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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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            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.

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                          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 September 20, 2018

                            How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                            How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                            Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                            If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                            1. Breathe

                            The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                            • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                            • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                            • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                            Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                            2. Loosen up

                            After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                            Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                            3. Chew slowly

                            Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                            Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                            Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                            4. Let go

                            Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                            The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                            It’s not. Promise.

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                            Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                            Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                            21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                            5. Enjoy the journey

                            Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                            Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                            6. Look at the big picture

                            The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                            Will this matter to me…

                            • Next week?
                            • Next month?
                            • Next year?
                            • In 10 years?

                            Hint: No, it won’t.

                            I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                            Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                            7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                            You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                            Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                            8. Practice patience every day

                            Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                            • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                            • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                            • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                            Final thoughts

                            Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                            Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                            Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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