Written by: AJ Merlin, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
What can we learn from video games and implement them in our mindset for a better career? With lockdown all around the world, more people have resorted to playing video games. The main attraction to video games? Being someone else. Here you are, in another world, in another body, living another life. How exciting is that? This is the perfect opportunity to try out who you could be with no consequences. But what if your life was a video game? Would you act differently?
Here is what we can learn from video games, and some tips on how you can shift your mindset for a more fulfilling career.
The main mission
In a video game, the main character always has a clear mission. There is a list of goals to achieve before moving to the next level. And most importantly? The main character never gives up. Sure, they can have some moments of doubts, but they always get back on track. Setbacks are always overcome, goals are reached.
We don’t have a map, checklists, and tips, but we have an internal compass. Are you clear on what your mission is? Do you wake up every morning knowing exactly what is your higher purpose, and what can you do on that day to work towards it?
If you’re unsure of what to do with your career and life, start journaling. You might not know where to start, and that’s OK. Like in a video game, you might need some tutorials. You can start by writing whatever comes to your mind without judgment. You could also ask yourself, “What do I want to do with my life?”. Just go with the flow and see where it goes. If you have more experience with journaling, ask yourself, “Who am I, really?”
Side quests are always useful
Do you feel like you’re wasting your time? That you’re lost or side-tracked? It’s never the case in a video game. Whatever you do is always moving you forward. Any side quests will bring you something new and valuable and make the main mission easier. You’re always learning, even from awkward moments and unpleasant experience.
Do you celebrate your small wins, the little steps that bring you closer to your ultimate goal? We tend to be so focused on the big outcome that we forget to celebrate the baby steps we’ve achieved. And if you feel that you wasted your time or you’re lost at the moment, write what you’ve learned from that moment about yourself, what you like or don’t like—every little things matter. You’re always on the right track.
Enjoy the fun
Video games are FUN. Stories can make us laugh or cry, but their purpose is to entertain us. When I play video games, I always open all the doors to check what’s behind. Sometimes I regret it (hey hundreds of monsters), but it’s always worth it. What can you do to be more playful with your career and life? Isn’t it why we play video games, after all? Being more courageous and see what will happen? Getting out of your comfort zone is the way to grow and improve. Going over the same actions repeatedly would be poor entertainment, and so would be your career.
Is there something you’d like to do with your career, but you find it a bit risky? Are you scared to speak up, contact someone, make a move? We all can be caught in a negative thought pattern. “What if I get fired? What if I lose money? What if they make fun of me or judge me?” Think the other way around: “What if I get a promotion? What if they say yes? What if I have a true impact on someone else?” This will improve your mood, shift your mindset over time and open your eyes to some unseen opportunities.
Characters in video games have a clear mission, many opportunities along the way to improve their skills and meet new people, and are not scared to be true to themselves to complete their mission. What would you do differently if you knew your life was a video game? Would you take more risks? Would you be more confident? And if so, are you willing to implement it now? There is never a game over. You can always restart and try again. You might sometimes doubt about your journey, or if you’ve made the right decision, but if you follow through for something that truly resonates with you, you will get to the end.
AJ Merlin, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
AJ is a Creative Mindset Coach who helps female creative freelancers and entrepreneurs strengthen their mindset and befriend their inner critic so they can manifest their full potential. She worked in the film, TV, and video games industry for the past ten years as an assistant producer, a script supervisor, an LQA tester, a writer. Her coaching business focuses on providing creative women with mindset tools that free them from their struggles and help them become their true selves. She focuses on three particular pillars: How to tackle your inner voice and reframe it so it becomes your empowering mentor, how to be efficient with your time and keep your motivation up no matter the obstacles, and how to feel empowered as a woman and achieve your dream in alignment with your values.