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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.

                        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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                            Published on November 14, 2018

                            Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                            Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                            With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                            For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                            In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                            Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                            Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                            It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                            For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                            Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                            Symptoms of Fatigue

                            Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                            • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                            • mental blocks
                            • lack of motivation
                            • headache
                            • dizziness
                            • muscle weakness
                            • slowed reflexes and responses
                            • impaired decision-making and judgement
                            • moodiness, such as irritability
                            • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                            • reduced immune system function
                            • blurry vision
                            • short-term memory problems
                            • poor concentration
                            • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                            Causes of Fatigue

                            The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                            • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                            • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                            • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                            • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                            Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                            Medical Causes of Fatigue

                            If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                            Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

                            Anemia

                            Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                            Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                            There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                            Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                            Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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                            This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

                            Diabetes

                            Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                            Sleep Apnea

                            Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                            Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                            Thyroid disease

                            An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                            Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                            • Lack of sleep
                            • Too much sleep 
                            • Alcohol and drugs 
                            • Sleep disturbances 
                            • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                            • Poor diet 

                            Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                            • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                            • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                            • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                            • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                            Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                            Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                            • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                            • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                            • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                            How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                            Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                            1. Tell The Truth

                            Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                            To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                            Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                            The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                            One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                            • How you feel
                            • What time of day it is
                            • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                            • How your mind and body reacts

                            This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                            2. Reduce Your Commitments

                            When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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                            If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                            When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                            Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                            3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                            If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                            Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                            If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                            Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                            Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                            4. Express More Gratitude

                            Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                            It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                            Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                            5. Focus On Yourself

                            Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                            There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                            But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                            We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                            6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                            Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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                            Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                            The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                            Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                            7. Take a Power Nap

                            When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                            Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                            This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                            8. Take More Exercise

                            The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                            Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                            The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                            You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                            9. Get More Quality Sleep

                            To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                            Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                            My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                            10. Improve Your Diet

                            Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                            Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                            On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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                            To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                            Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                            Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                            11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                            Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                            When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                            Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                            My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                            12. Get Hydrated

                            Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                            Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                            If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                            The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                            The Bottom Line

                            These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                            If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                            Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                            Reference

                            [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                            [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                            [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                            [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                            [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                            [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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