Friday, 9th December 2011
I do read EVERY e-mail that is sent my way by fans and try to respond to as many questions as time permits. With the volume of e-mails, it is just not possible for me to answer them all, even though I do MY BEST TO TRY! If you ever want to send me a quick message on Twitter, as many of you who follow me already know, I am VERY active and can respond to your messages on there as well.
This was submitted to me by a fan of the site. Check it out and let me know what you think. Send me your responses or anything else you feel is epic and worthy of being shared on the site.
It’s been about 5-6 months since my awakening, and the last time I contacted you…
In that time I’ve devoted myself to studying history, economics, and philosophy. I wanted to share with you some of the ideas I’ve been working on with people.
What we (meaning mankind) are facing right now is a morality crisis that is manifesting itself in a total financial collapse. The boomer generation has dropped the ball in this country, and it’s unfortunately understandable given the circumstances under which they grew up.
The biggest accepted lie in society is Keep Reading
Things are getting heavy…
Actually, the world hasn’t really changed that much, but that’s the point isn’t it? To maintain the status quo. To keep the order and the structure in tact so that no one has any wild ideas of breaking any rules or revolting against the powers that be.
But what about these popular sayings: “To each his or her own.” “Whatever floats your boat.” (personal favorite) “Hey…it’s your funeral.”
Let’s run from this angle and say that life doesn’t really have any rules…just certain regulations (which by common sense we all have a cognitive understanding of) we all choose to follow. Keep Reading
There are a lot of things that are wrong with the world, some of them we can’t fix, but most of them we can. This is because most of the things that are actually wrong relate to the cumulative effect of the many choices we all make as individuals on a day to day basis.
How we act, what we value, the orientation of our priorities, our fears, our hopes, the disconnect between what we truly feel inside versus what we choose to present to others… It all conspires together and can leave us feeling lost, confused, angry, depressed, etc.
So in the meanwhile, we medicate in our own different ways…
What lessons do they really teach? What stories do they really tell?
Something has changed over the last 50 years – Something besides technology and the other obvious advancements.
On average, people have more conveniences than ever, more access to information, more awareness of themselves and the world… but yet, it seems to me people are more confused and unhappy than ever before. What is happening? No, I mean really?
I’ve always felt that if someone in the know would just say SOMETHING – no, not just SOMETHING, but some honest, usable TRUTH that we all can use to help make sense of things and provide some kind of structure or thought process, it would be greatly appreciated by many.
Yet no one really says anything. Not really….
Then it occurred to me. Maybe I should say something.
Not that I think I am “in the know” or anything special really. In fact, who am I to say anything? Right?
But isn’t that the question? We all have been trained to think that way, and I am just playing along with it – which results in people not really saying anything…. And the wheel goes round and round…
So I am going to start sharing things that I have learned. Things that I see. Things that I know. I do this with the hope that it is useful for at least ONE person out there. So that maybe, ONE person’s life can be improved a little because they learned something from me, which I had to learn the hard way.
Now some of the things that I will say may completely contradict things that you have been taught by the conventional system. I don’t know what to say about that. You can either believe me, or believe the conventional system that taught you.
But before you disregard what I say, please consider that the conventional system is what has left you confused, probably in debt, probably stressed, and most assuredly feeling trapped on some level. The conventional system benefits from you behaving according to it’s rules – well, I should say that the people who control the conventional system’s rules benefit from you sticking to plan.
I, on the other hand, gain nothing from you and am just trying to share what little I have.
It’s up to you – but please know that everything I say, I believe – and I am able to prove, debate, and support. And I accept all challenges to my statements.
So with all that being said, here are three random beginner things you can tell your family and friends and you can rest assured that what you are telling them is true:
1.) Going to college only guarantees ONE thing – and that is you (or someone) will be paying the college in order to attend.
2.) Our system teaches you to define yourself internally by what you CANT do. It teaches you that the further you define yourself by the things you are NOT, the better your life will be. In fact, that is what an EXPERT is considered to be – a person who knows all the things that can’t be done in their area of expertise.
Imagine a newborn baby, who knows nothing, ALL possibilities are available to its thought process when trying to solve a problem it has never faced before. It doesn’t know what CANT be done, so the likelihood of that baby coming up with a solution that was never before realized is MUCH higher than an adult expert who already has set rules and limitations in place with their thoughts.
Don’t define yourself by what you CANT do. Keep that newborn baby example in mind and try to define yourself by what you CAN do, and know that you can continually add to that list of things and ever broaden the definition of yourself.
We literally live in an infinite universe, with infinite possibilities – don’t believe for one second that things that one person has achieved are beyond your reach. The only real factor is time. It might take you longer than someone else, but you CAN do whatever you focus on.
3.) Whenever you tell a lie, a big one or small one, it doesn’t matter if you get away with it. It always hurts you. It hurts you because you know you lied. You cannot escape it and it will hurt your self-esteem. A lowered self-esteem causes people to sometimes make poor choices for themselves, which in turn can sometimes cause more lies to be told.
The system teaches us that lying or misrepresenting ourselves can be a good thing. It teaches us that it can be a justified thing (think of the end of “The Dark Knight”) In fact, on occasion we are told that doing things covertly is the best choice.
I am here to tell you that you that this is flat out wrong and you will get better results on average if you choose to act OVERTLY rather than COVERTLY. In all areas of your life. Period. More on this later…
Let me know what you think. If you think I should just shut up – let me know that too…
|Hi I’m West a 12 year old kid who play wow because I have no friends and I saw you I PLAY WOW music video and was wondering do you really have a blood elf palidin? And if so what realm? After I saw the video I showed it to my mom and dad because they think WoW is a waste of time but the video shows every, and I mean EVERY reason, that I play WoW.|
Dear Mr. Chalfant,
You can no longer say that you have no friends, because I am now your friend which automatically makes you cooler than everyone you know. I’m the only friend you will ever need. If anyone ever tells you that you have no friends, just show them my picture and say, “YOU JUST GOT PWNED, NOOB!” – Then laugh to yourself, because you can know deep in your heart that you are so much more awesome than that person that they cant even understand it.
In regard to my W.O.W. characters, the realm that my Blood Elf Paladin lives on must remain a secret! This is so that I can continue to rule the lands I inhabit with impunity and merciless power. Anyone you see in the game with the name JACEPWNS is likely a fake. Pay them no respect!
As NOOBS they can not grasp that you are training your mind to be more and more proficient at multitasking, while simultaneously improving your hand-eye coordination far beyond your future fellow competition.
The pure NOOBNESS that your parents bask in, totally keeps them unaware of your ever increasing comfort and skill with using a computer with complex software – nor can they appreciate the purity of watching someone pursue a passion with all their heart.
Alas Mr. Chalfant, your parents are trapped in their own NOOBOSITY, and they dont know it.
They can never know the joy of W.O.W. they way you do. They will never have the fond memories of killing their first Murloc or battling the Lich King… Don’t hate them for this, just give them hugs and kisses. That might make them feel better.
In the meanwhile, despite the fact that they live in a house built on NOOB mountain, THEY STILL ARE YOUR PARENTS!!
They pay for everything and take care of you and keep you safe and worry about you and make sacrifices and do the best they can – so it is only fair and right that you give them respect and honor and do as they ask of you!
Your parents have earned the right to be in charge, and it is your DUTY to follow their lead!
Remember, they have lived a lot longer than you and know a lot of things that you don’t! Listen to them and learn from them!
So if they ask you to stop playing W.O.W. for whatever reason, YOU STOP PLAYING OK?? If you want to stay as my friend, then you listen to your parents. I don’t want friends that can’t live up to their duties and responsibilities! W.O.W will always be there for you later.
Stay strong Mr. Chalfant!
A recent message from my inbox that I thought was worth answering in a more public fashion!
Name Mike Rastall Subject Screw the game industry…whats your diet! Message Love the show, your humor, and all that jazz. Sure I’m a hardcore gamer but I’m also an obese american that was grown up on video games and that we all are nerds/fat/freaks compared to normal society.
Now I don’t feel that way anymore(26 years old now) but still you give hope to a hardcore gaming nerd with your fitness.
Did you ever post your diet and workout routine anywhere?
Any advice on how to motivate gamers that want to get in shape but lack the proper motivation?
I try to throw out the advice that they should pretend that the gym and real life is a video game like WoW. Each pound you lose or each minute longer you can run is a level gained in life. When you achieve your master weight, strength, endurance(whatever your goal) is when you max out!
Keep it up Jace. Love V but love your show more.
P.S. Is Ian Somerhalder cool like Boone and Damon from his TV shows or is he one of those metrosexual actors that just know how to act like a bad ass? Lol.
I have never fully discussed or published what I do for my diet or exercise routines. This is partly because I am not a certified trainer or anything and partly because I don’t really think I have any secrets that aren’t mentioned a million times in different ways all over the internet already.
However, there ARE a few things that I can tell you that may be useful in general – and these are things that for some reason I rarely hear “expert” people discuss. I’ll leave it to you to speculate on why that is…
Insight #1 - You should have ZERO expectation of actually enjoying working out and dieting. I can tell you most definitely that I do not enjoy it. I don’t wake up every morning looking forward to putting myself through unpleasantness, strain, exhaustion and hunger. I have met and know MANY superfit, magazine cover, awesome-smiling, happy-looking, life-must-be-amazing people who diet and work out every day – who absolutely do not enjoy the actual acts of exercising or dieting. What they enjoy, is THE RESULTS THAT COME FROM IT.
Now certainly, there are certain types of people who like pain, discomfort and general self-inflicted suffering of various types, but I am not one of those people and you probably aren’t either. I like to eat BIG and gobble yummy foods and sit around and CHILL. The problem is that if I do that too much, I will not enjoy the way that I physically appear, and I will not be pleased with my compromised physical capabilities.
So when people try to motivate you and say crap like “imagine like the gym is a video game you play” and basically try to sell you on the idea that exercise is fun and easy, just tell them to piss off with that BS. You hate the process, and the fact is they probably do too. They aren’t really being honest.
What is honest then? Well, I think the honest truth is that it is a simple decision you have to make about what you HATE MORE.
If you hate the way you look, or how you physically perform, MORE THAN how much you hate dieting and exercising – then that is all the motivation you really need. Because frankly, you are going to have one or the other.
To make it easier, I would encourage you to develop a viewpoint of dieting and exercising as an unpleasant absolute necessity with no option to avoid. Sort of like going to the bathroom or paying taxes. Learn to enjoy hating the process and hating the fact that you have to do it. Master the art of complaining about it to yourself and make every exercise session that you complete an additional burning ember of internal hatred at the universe for making difficult dieting and exercise the key to the body you want instead of 5 glazed donuts + Super Street Fighter IV every day.
It is important that you believe that this is something YOU HAVE TO DO – NOT CHOOSE TO DO. Consistency is key to progress. When you absolutely do not feel like exercising, TOO BAD, go to the gym and just stand there and look at people then – but GO TO THE GYM. More likely than not, once you get there you will do something, which is better than nothing at all, which is not even an option, because like taking a crap, you MUST do this…
If you can set your expectations in this manner, I promise, diet and exercise will be less difficult to do. This is because you will successfully remove some mental disappointment from the equation. No longer will you be looking for an “easy way” or to somehow “feel good” while doing it. You will know that it sucks and it will meet your expectation every time. Eventually you will learn that the harder and more intense and miserable you make your diet and exercise, the faster you will achieve your goals and the less time you will have to spend doing it (but that is another article.)
Insight #2 – KNOW WHY YOU ARE DIETING AND EXERCISING.
If you are looking to achieve a result as fast as possible, CHOOSE ONE NOT BOTH and orient your exercise and diet program for it.
Now certainly, when you choose one, you will get some positive effect toward the other – but in order to make sure that you aren’t wasting one second of your effort and that everything you do takes you toward your goal, you MUST be clear as to what your priority is – HEALTHY AND FIT? OR THE WAY YOU LOOK? These are very different approaches.
Almost ALL of my knowledge and orientation is focused on the art and technique of affecting the way that I look. All of my workouts revolve around this paradigm, as well as my diet.
I don’t care how strong I am. I have no desire to run a marathon. Who cares how high I can jump…? I don’t. I want to look / appear like the comic book and film/tv action heros I grew up watching and that is the target I head toward. So my diet and exercise follow that pursuit.
Now the fact that my pursuit has had the side effect of making me stronger than the average person, or quicker or whatever doesn’t matter to me. If I cared about that and that was supposed to be my goal, my time at the gym doing what I have been doing would be considered wasted. This is because there are many people who look “smaller” and more “normal” than I do who are faster, can jump higher, and are stronger because that was their primary focus instead of “looking” impressive.
Professional bodybuilders look FAR more impressive than professional powerlifters, yet the powerlifters are MUCH stronger than bodybuilders. In fact, I’m almost positive that the “World’s Strongest Man” title has never been held by a professional bodybuilder. Again, Bodybuilding is about a “look” whereas strength competitions are about power. Two different goals.
My point is that your focus is very important in determining what you should spend your time on.
There are many people who look “normal” that are incredibly healthy and can run 10 miles no problem and feel great. This pursuit of fitness like this is just as valid as looking like a “hero” arch-type. There is no one answer. It is all good.
I could elaborate on this further but the main takeaway on my insight here is that you will get more bang for your buck if you recognize that working out for optimal “looks”is one thing, and working out “to just be healthy” is another. Try not to confuse them together completely.
My 2 cents!
Oh, and yes Ian Somerhalder is a very cool dude to hang out with.
I often get asked how one should go about getting a video game idea they have made, or how to get a start in the game industry. I thought I should just try to answer the below e-mail I received the other day on my blog so that anyone who was interested in asking me this could hear what I have to say on the subject:
Breaking into the Industry Message
First, I would like to start off by saying “Thank You” for the Jace Hall Show. For awhile my only means of video game news/entertainment was the G4 network, which is good for what it is, but the majority of the hosts are not gamers and have not worked in the video game industry, so I feel somewhat disconnected from them on that aspect (But I’ll be damned if some of them aren’t hot!!).
I’ve been a gamer since my first nintendo in 1986, and I’ve played so many games over my lifetime I’ve begun in the past 15 years or so to heavily critique games in the genres I love, mainly RPG and Turn Based Strategy games. So much so that in the past few years I’ve been working on what I would call a “Video Game Screenplay”. Basically I have written down everything I want in a game, and how I would like to have it made. I know it sounds childish to some point since I’m going on 28, but it’s a hobby to me, and one that I enjoy immensely. Which brings me to why I’m writing you. I have basically written an entire video game (story, battle engine, character devlopment, etc.), and I’m wondering how to go about possibly presenting this idea to a perspective company for production. Think along the lines of Final Fantasy Tactics (in my opinion the greatest turn based strategy game ever). I think that many of the greatest games ever will go uncreated simply because most people with the ideas (gamers like myself) don’t know what channels to funnel their ideas through. I understand that companies hire programmers, artists and writers, but how do you produce credentials and a video game creator, the person that decides “THIS” is the game we are going to create. The field has just become so lucrative and expansive, unlike 25 years ago when a person with a good idea could get a game made with minimal prodcution expense compared to today. Will companies take a chance on an idea from an outside source, or is the little guy with big ideas forced to create facebook and flash games?
Any insight that you could provide on this matter would be appreciated greatly (I need something to do with the 100 page binder I’ve amassed over the years).
While I can imagine that a tremendous amount of thought and work has gone into your game design idea, the short answer is that, generally speaking, the video game industry is not set up to easily digest and process “outside pitches” that come from individuals with little to no proven game design/creation experience.
There are many reasons for this but here are just a couple of easy-to-describe reasons:
1.) The video game industry is not short on ideas. Go to ANY game company and within its walls you will find individual employees with numerous concepts, ideas, stories, even functional prototypes / proof of concepts that they have built themselves. Ideas are plentiful and a lot of them are great. YET, they do not get made. This is because while the ideas are many, the number of people available on Earth who can actually MAKE THE GAME is incredibly limited.
This is not even a question of money, of which there is plenty of. It is an actual physical limitation of having access to human beings that know how to take an idea and forge it into reality on a Playstation 3 or XBOX 360 (or whatever.) Currently, the demand far exceeds the supply.
One of the toughest challenges that any sizeable video game publisher has to face is how to fulfill and execute on all the ideas they already have. Video games can take years to build, so any decision is not only a big economic one but also one that ties up valuable human resources for extended periods of time. The video game industry is constantly facing an issue that is referred to as “opportunity cost.” If they make this game today, they can’t make that other one tomorrow – they just wont have the capacity. Publishers have a finite number of game development teams.
This is a key differential from Hollywood. In Hollywood, although the production investments can be enormous, generally the physical supply of talent to create film and television programing exceeds the demand of the number of available productions (one of the huge advantages of having a fixed final delivery platform of ”film”, instead of having to literally re-invent everything every 5-7 years when the consoles “upgrade” – but more on that in a different article!) On top of this, the bulk of most film’s heavy spending and en masse team work is measured in months, not years. So key talent can get in and out of a production and be available to work on something else. This creates the opportunity of more and more productions of varying sizes and types and eventually over 80+ years time the need for new ideas wherever they might come from since they have used up every internal idea imaginable and still have capacity.
The video game industry is not there yet. Instead, imagine if Will Smith signed on to a movie and simply could not work on anything else for over 3 years. Key, bankable actors being tied up for 3 years at a time would have a profound impact on the film industry. Some things would be quite limited and different. Welcome to the video game industry!
2.) Given the above points (and many others I don’t have time to articulate) it just does not make a lot of sense for publishers to open the front doors and let inexperienced people come in and pitch game ideas. On top of that there are numerous considerations that must go into a game design that relates to the actual limitations of not only the current hardware technology, but also the particular software technology that an individual publisher uses or has developed and it is very unlikely that an inexperienced designer would know to design with those considerations in mind.
Due to all this, the current business model really doesn’t support the notion of buying random external “game designs” and then doing all the heavy lifting to make the idea into a product.
There are many other factors that I could go into, and I’m sure there will always be some exception to the rule, but I’m going to stop describing the obstacles and now I am going to tell you what you CAN do to possibly make some headway with your efforts.
2 SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN TRY:
Option 1.) One of the points that I made above is the scarcity of competent development resources in the video game industry. Publishers look left and right to find independent developers that demonstrate capacity and promise and they quickly engage them with projects and determine if a longer term relationship might make sense (i.e. BUYING THE DEVELOPER.)
Given this publisher need, you can use it to your advantage – your challenge is to approach DEVELOPERS with your idea/design instead of PUBLISHERS and convince them that you have something amazing. Among many things (like budgeting) a developer will be able to examine your design and if there are technical problems with it (unfeasibility, etc.) they will know what can be done (or not done about it.)
IF you can get a developer to get excited about your design, it will be UP TO THEM to take it to publishers and engage them.
A competent developer with a track record, and an idea they are passionate about will get the attention of a publisher, I assure you. At that point, you will be in the game and have a chance.
Now, I am not sure of the size and scope of your game design, but if you are targeting premium AAA game production as your end result (like GEARS OF WAR), to be honest, most competent developers with worthwhile track records that could do that job, will likely not be interested in speaking with you. They are busy. Forever. Seriously.
So, if you are going to take this direction, aim high, but set your expectations more toward finding a smaller, perhaps somewhat unproven independent developer that is looking to make it big. It is possible that they have been so busy doing grunt-work just to survive as a business that they may not ever have had time to develop a full-super-big game development idea and document. It is possible that you might just walk in and provide the missing piece they’ve been looking for!
Option 2.) Build your own game team and make the game yourself. I’m not going to go into the detail of how to completely do this (I’ll save it for my book!) – but basically you need to find other people with the necessary complimentary talents who are as hungry as you are and work together toward the common goal of creating the game. Everyone will need to contribute, everyone will need to sacrifice, and everyone will need to cooperate. They may be inexperienced, or poor communicators, or whatever, but as long as they share your passion to see it through, you will all be successful. I promise. I know this because this is the route I took to enter the game industry. I founded MONOLITH PRODUCTIONS INC. with 4 of my friends when I was 23 years old. The rest is history!
I know this is not an all encompassing answer to your questions – but I hope it helped a little. In the end, I can tell you that there is no single way to break into the games business, but it all starts just by making the attempt – which you have done by sitting down and writing your game design document – KEEP GOING – try anything – define yourself by what you CAN do and not by what you CAN’T.
The other day I posted an article answering a site visitors questions and basically fell into a diatribe about how a person should always try their best at things and build their self-worth around that core personal measurement. I said that the act of attaining a goal isn’t as important as what you do to get there. Etc. Etc.
In any case, this article spawned some great discussion around the net – but there was a response that someone made in the comment thread about my article that I feel I need to address and clarify – so below is the comment and my answer to it!
New comment on your post #1160 “Ask Jace: How I do it – Keys to Success Tip #1
Jace article quote:
>”you must NEVER measure yourself by whether or not you accomplish the goals
> you set.”
This “everyone who tries is a winner” idea does not help. It just promotes the
entitlement delusion. Sure, you can feel good knowing your did your best but
you are still a loser if you did not succeed.
I am glad you brought this up. That way, I can clarify – because you are misinterpreting my message (although I can see why)..
First off. Entitlement is generally a bad thing. I don’t believe in it really. I think that regardless of a person’s achievements and record, one should always feel thankful and honored to receive anything – not feel entitled to things.
The idea that everyone who ‘tries’ is a winner is not what I am attempting to communicate.
The act of trying is NOTHING if it is not your absolute best.
Making an effort versus making your BEST effort are two different things. You always know when you did your absolute best. When you truly have done that, you always feel good about yourself and your attempt. That feeling, is not about feeling like a “winner” – its different than that.
If a person truly understands and applies what I’m saying, then the feeling of being a “winner” will become unimportant to them, because being a “winner” requires an external acknowledgment and the focus should be on the personal internal acknowledgment and feelings of self-worth. It’s about truly liking yourself, respecting yourself. Keeping your own score on yourself, and pushing yourself harder and harder – which in turn makes you like and respect yourself more.
The act of simply participating in something is worthless unless you are giving it your all.
And THAT is the disconnect I have with your interpretation of what I am saying…
Your quote “everyone who tries is a winner” seems to imply that the mere act of participating at something should make you feel like a winner, like you are doing something…. No, it shouldn’t.
We know that we can participate in something and put a half assed effort in. We should never feel good about that – EVEN IF WE WON AND ATTAINED THE GOAL.
“WINNING” is irrelevant if it did not require your best effort to achieve it.
The philosophy and practice that I am talking about in my article is focused on slowly building a feeling that is incapable of generating entitlement issues – because the better you feel about who you are as a person, the less interested you become in receiving external validation.
Entitlement is a form of external validation that is the result of core insecurity.
I agree with you that telling someone they should feel like a winner just because participate is #FAIL – but I wasn’t trying to say that. I apologize to everyone for not being more clear.
I hope that helps clarify… or maybe I just confused you and others even more!
I received this letter the other day and I wanted to answer it but share my response with everybody because I get a lot of e-mails that are very similar.
Subject: INSPIRED O.O by youu, sir.
i wonder if jace hall actually reads this…if not i will sound lame. =]
just wanted to say ive been inspired by you (if you’re actually reading which i doubt as you seem to be rich and famous and have no time for fans ‘SADFACE’)
Anyways, yeah my outlook on life has been that of generally to be successful you need to be hardworking and have little time for your life. But you’ve been the CEO of companies and produced massive amounts of games and still are able to be seemingly carefree and stay positive (not in the please dont commit suicide way, but in the life is wtfpwning amazing way….if you understand.)
TO THE POINT
As i am still in school i wanted to know what subjects to take (high school or university) that are related to the whole aspect of game designing…..because i am generally uninspired by school and enjoy playing wow too much -.-” but i am on the verge of an epiphany that will make me…work hard. SOUMUSTREPLY =]
PS im not crazy, just eccentric when it comes to writing letters. =]
PSS i REALLY hope you (jace hall) reply instead of an automated….computer thing..
First of all, YES, I do read and try to answer all the e-mail I get. Sometimes it takes me a while to get to it, but I really try to get to it all. No “automated….computer thing…” YET!
Now on to some answers.
Let me just say that it is an honor to hear that I inspire you. I appreciate you telling me that and although I don’t believe myself to be better than anyone else or in the business of trying to be “hey look at me I am all that,” it is always nice for any person to know that they are making a contribution to the world by inspiring someone else in a positive way. I am just glad that I am being moderately useful in some way! I am happy to be of service.
You mention that I seem to be rich and famous. Well, I can assure you that I am not rich by any stretch of the imagination. I still have to work, have a house payment and bills and etc. Yes, I have had some limited success but I still have a long way to go and would have to shift my focus if my desire was to become “money rich.”
While I am on the subject of “money rich” I’d like to offer a few thoughts.
I personally do not base my feelings of success or failure on pure economics. Some people do, and to each their own – but for me it is never about the sole pursuit of acquiring “money.” Certainly, what is worth doing is worth doing for money, but my life’s experience has taught me that the true value of one’s self-worth is not measured in gold pieces but in personal achievement instead.
There is nothing wrong with money. Obviously you need it to survive to a certain extent and that is ok. However, of the many people that I know who have more money than they can ever spend, few actually have positive feelings of self-worth. Quite the opposite actually and a lot of times this results in self-destructive behavior. Having lots of money can free up a lot of mental time, and people can use that mental time to hate themselves even more than they normally would. The image of having lots of money can seem to project that you can be happy and carefree, but I assure you that money alone doesn’t give you those things. So it is for these kinds of reasons, I simply do not pursue “having lots of money” as a sole goal.
Personal achievement, on the other hand, is nearly ALWAYS fulfilling. Money can come and go, people can forcibly take money from you, but personal achievement LASTS FOREVER.
It’s yours. Permanently. No one can take your achievements away from you. Your achievements are your truth and they will continue to pile up and build your self-esteem and help you feel your own self-worth and importance regardless of what others my think.
Personal achievement is one of the true values of life. And here is something to think about: Many people believe in some form of afterlife. Most of these beliefs revolve around a person somehow retaining their consciousness, essentially who they are, AFTER they die. If this is the case, then clearly the ONE THING YOU CAN TAKE WITH YOU AFTER YOU DIE ARE YOUR EXPERIENCES – SUCH AS YOUR PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENTS. So in my book, that makes something like personal achievements seem like a good investment (just in case.) One thing we all know for sure is that YOU CAN’T TAKE YOUR MONEY WITH YOU.
The best part about all this is that YOU decide what achievements you want to accomplish. There are no rules. There are no wrong answers. You just need to figure out what pursuits are important to you. You decide which things you enjoy doing and make you feel good. Then you just set some simple step by step goals and work toward them. That’s it.
And now for the biggest secret and most important point of all. PLEASE LISTEN TO ME ON THIS:
While it is important to set goals and work toward them you must NEVER measure yourself by whether or not you accomplish the goals you set.
What you must measure yourself by is whether or not you did your very best to TRY to accomplish them. It is CRITICAL that you understand the difference.
As long as you know that you are doing the best that you can to get to your goals, IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU ACTUALLY GET THERE. The personal achievement is ALWAYS IN THE EFFORT NOT IN THE RESULT. You will never feel bad about yourself if you truly know that you have been and are doing everything you can/could to reach your target.
The only time you will feel bad is if you know in your heart that you could have tried harder, and have a bunch of excuses. THAT is what kills you, not the fact that you didn’t achieve the end result.
So in summary, the basic goal you should have for all things you consider is this: JUST DO YOUR BEST. I MEAN REALLY DO YOUR BEST. If you do that, amazing things will happen for you – a lot of it will be unexpected awesome stuff. I promise. Remember, THE JOURNEY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE DESTINATION IN ALL CASES.
I have written the long winded diatribe above in order to answer the next question you had for me. You tell me you are in school and you want to know what classes you should take to pursue a career in game design…
Most people would just tell you to take some set of standardized classes, pat you on the head and send you on your way, but I don’t want to do that. I want to teach you “how to fish” so you can eat for the rest of your life, instead of just “handing you a single fish” so you can eat for a day.
So here is my answer: It doesn’t matter what classes you take. Really. If you have an interest in game design, figure out what aspect of game design interests you most, set some simple goals that are interesting to you in that area (make them up!) and start doing your best to figure out how to get there and DO NOT STOP. There’s no formula. Buy a book, take whatever class you feel might apply, get some game that has an “editor” and start making maps. Grab a notepad and just start writing a design you believe in. All are stepping stones to your desired interest. Keep pursing it, step by step. You will get there. I promise – and if you don’t, as long as you keep giving it your ALL, you will not feel bad about it in any single way. There is no standard format to personal success other than doing your best at all times. That act alone instant makes your successful, every day.
There are no rules, only the limits of your own mind perceiving yourself trapped in some kind of pre-arranged societal program that everyone seems to buy into because they are told to and it seems easier – it’s not. Nothing worth having is easy to get. Prepare for pain and suffering and challenges and love every minute of it because when you look back you will realize that those are the fun parts!
Most people define themselves and their world by what they CAN’T do. Step one: Unlearn that. Define yourself by what you CAN do and know that you can do what you set your mind to. That is what I have always tried to do.
Case in point (I won’t get into the gritty details now but:) I had a less than stellar childhood, no money at all, and never took a computer class in my life – YET, I can program in BASIC, C, C++, MOS 6502, Motorola 6800 and Intel 8086 Assembly language. No classes, no teachers, just a desire for personal accomplishment in that area. If I can do that, ANYONE CAN.
Know this – He/She who is most determined in a battle will always eventually win no matter how strong the opposition.
Hope that helps!