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Life Is The Game And This Is Your Strategy Guide

Life Is The Game And This Is Your Strategy Guide

Life is the ultimate game, and since there’s no re-spawning in real life it’s important we play as best as we can. Oliver Emberton has divided a strategy guide we can all use to complete the game, ready? Go!

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    Real life is the game that – literally – everyone is playing. But it can be tough. This is your guide.

    Basics

    You might not realise, but real life is a game of strategy. There are some fun mini-games – like dancing, driving, running, and sex – but the key to winning is simply managing your resources.

    Most importantly, successful players put their time into the right things. Later in the game money comes into play, but your top priority should always be mastering where your time goes.

    Childhood

    Life begins when you’re assigned a random character and circumstances:

    Select-your-character

       

      The first 15 years or so of life are just tutorial missions, which suck. There’s no way to skip these.

      Young adult stage

      As a young player, you’ll have lots of time and energy, but almost no experience. You’ll find most things – like the best jobs, possessions and partners – are locked until you get some.

      This is the time to level up your skills quickly. You will never have so much time and energy again.

      Now that you’re playing properly, your top priority is to assign your time as well as possible. Every single thing you do affects your state and your skills:

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        This may sound simple, but the problem is you won’t always know what tasks to choose, and your body won’t always obey your commands. Let’s break it down.

        How to obey your own commands

        Many players find that when they choose to do something – say “go to the gym” – their body ignores them completely.

        This is not a bug. Everybody has a state, which you can’t see directly, but looks something like this:

        State

           

          If your state gets too low in one area, your body will disobey your own instructions until your needs are met. Try studying when you’re exhausted and hungry, and watch your concentration switch to Twitter.

          Your willpower level is especially important. Willpower fades throughout the day, and is replenished slightly by eating, and completely by a good night’s sleep. When your willpower is low, you are only able to do things you really want to.

          Every decision you have to make costs willpower, and decisions where you have to suppress an appealing option for a less appealing one (e.g. exercise instead of watch TV) require a lot of willpower.

          There are various tricks to keep your behaviour in line:

          1. Keep your state high. If you’re hungry, exhausted, or utterly deprived of fun, your willpower will collapse. Ensure you take consistently good care of yourself.
          2. Don’t demand too much willpower from one day. Spread your most demanding tasks over multiple days, and mix them in with less demanding ones.
          3. Attempt the most important tasks first. This makes other tasks more difficult, but makes your top task more likely.
          4. Reduce the need to use willpower by reducing choices. If you’re trying to work on a computer that can access Facebook, you’ll need more willpower because you’re constantly choosing the hard task over the easy one. Eliminate such distractions.

          A key part of playing the game is balancing your competing priorities with the state of your body. Just don’t leave yourself on autopilot, or you’ll never get anything done.

          Choosing the right tasks

          Choosing the right tasks at the right time is most of the game. Some tasks mostly affect your state, e.g.

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          Eating-1024x634

             

            Others mostly affect your skills:

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              You need to put time into things that ensure a healthy state – like food and sleep – to keep your willpower high. And then you need to develop your skills with what you have left.

              Some skills are more valuable than others. Good ones can open up whole paths like a tech tree:

              Skills

                 

                Others are dead ends:

                Dead-skills

                   

                  Combinations of skills are the most effective. It’s very hard to max out one skill to be the best – in fact, that’s often impossible. But it’s much easier to get pretty decent at lots of related skills that amount to something bigger, e.g.

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                  Entrepreneur

                     

                    Ladies-magnet

                       

                      ee how psychology just helped you become both rich and attractive? You should study that.

                      Where you live

                      Your environment has a constant impact on your stats, skills, and your chances of levelling up.

                      It’s possible to play the game well almost anywhere, but it’s a lot easier in certain places. If you’re female and in the wrong country, for example, you can’t unlock many achievements.

                      The odds of anyone being born in their optimal location are virtually zero, so research your options, and consider moving early. Location is a multiplier to all of your skills and states.

                      Finding a partner

                      Attraction is a complex mini-game in itself, but mostly a byproduct of how you’re already playing. If you have excellent state and high skills, you’re far more attractive already. A tired, irritable, unskilled player is not appealing, and probably shouldn’t be looking for a relationship.

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                        Early in the game it can be common to reject and be rejected by other players. This is normal, but unfortunately it can drain your state, as most players don’t handle rejection or rejecting well. You’ll need to expend willpower to keep going, and willpower is replenished by sleep, so give it time.

                        80% of finding someone comes down to being your most attractive self, which – like so much in life – just means putting your time in the right places. If you’re exercising, socialising, well nourished and growing in your career, you will radiate attraction automatically. The remaining 20% is simply putting yourself in places where you can meet the right people.

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                        Money money money

                        Later in the game you’ll have to manage a new resource called ‘money’. Most players will find money increases throughout the early game, but that this actually introduces more problems, not less.

                        Money-2

                           

                          The most important rule of money is never to borrow it, except for things that earn you more back. For example, education or a mortgage can be worthwhile (but are not necessarily so, depending on the education or the mortgage). Borrowing to buy new shoes is not.

                          Depending on your financial ambitions, here are a few strategies to bear in mind:

                          1. Not fussed about money. The low-stress strategy: simply live within your means and save a little for a rainy day. Be sure to make the best of all the time you save though, or you’ll regret it.
                          2. Well off. Choose a career and environment carefully, and be prepared to move often to move up. You’ll need to invest heavily in matching skills, which will cost you time, and be careful not to abuse your state or you’ll burn out.
                          3. Mega richStart your own business. It’s almost impossible to get rich working for someone else. Riches do not come from work alone, they come from  owning things – assets – that pay back more than they cost, and your own company is a powerful asset you can create from scratch. Compound your winnings into more assets, and eventually they can remove your need to work at all.

                          Later life

                          Your options change as the game progresses. Marriage and children will reduce your time and energy, and introduce more random elements into the game (“Emergency diaper change!”). This makes it harder to develop yourself as quickly.

                          Older characters usually have more skills, resources and experience, unlocking quests that were previously impossible, like “owning a house”, or “writing a (good) novel”.

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                            All players die after about 29,000 days, or 80 years. If your stats and skills are good, you might last a little longer. There is no cheat code to extend this.

                            At the start of the game, you had no control over who you were or your environment. By the end of the game that becomes true again. Your past decisions drastically shape where you end up, and if you’re happy, healthy, fulfilled – or not – in your final days there’s far less you can do about it.

                            That’s why your strategy is important. Because by the time most of us have figured life out, we’ve used up too much of the best parts.

                            Now you’d best get playing.

                            Oliver Emberton is an entrepreneur, writer, programmer and artist who writes about life and how to make the most of it.

                            Life is a game. This is your strategy guide. | Oliver Emberton

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                            Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                            How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                            How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                            When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

                            So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

                            1. Exercise

                            It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

                            2. Drink in Moderation

                            I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

                            3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

                            Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

                            4. Watch Less Television

                            A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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                            Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

                            5. Eat Less Red Meat

                            Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

                            If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

                            6. Don’t Smoke

                            This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

                            7. Socialize

                            Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

                            8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

                            Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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                            9. Be Optimistic

                            Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

                            10. Own a Pet

                            Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

                            11. Drink Coffee

                            Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

                            12. Eat Less

                            Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

                            13. Meditate

                            Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

                            Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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                            How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

                            14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

                            Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

                            15. Laugh Often

                            Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

                            16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

                            Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

                            17. Cook Your Own Food

                            When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

                            Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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                            18. Eat Mushrooms

                            Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

                            19. Floss

                            Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

                            20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

                            Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

                            Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

                            21. Have Sex

                            Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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                            Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

                            Reference

                            [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
                            [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
                            [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
                            [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
                            [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
                            [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
                            [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
                            [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
                            [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
                            [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
                            [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
                            [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                            [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                            [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
                            [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
                            [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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