Video Game Lesson on Priorities in Life

“What the hell man?! They came for me with a shotgun while you were off fucking around in the other house.”

Mind of Steel is all about productivity, discipline, staying strong and focused. Because I talk about these things most of the time, some people assume I’m a robot who works 30 hours a day and never has fun. In reality, I fuck around more than I’d like to admit.

This includes playing video games from time to time, mostly with my friend Brandon.

We play two-team shooting games where we fight against other teams. You know, Call of Duty style. Our current poison of choice is a battle royale game Ring of Elysium, which requires a certain level of strategy and tactics.

In other words, think Hunger Games in the mountains — you drop somewhere on the map, and you need to find guns, kill everybody else, and outrun a natural disaster.

Now, here’s where it gets tricky:

Like most games, there are multiple ways to play. You can get into firefights, hide in the bushes and wait for everybody to kill off each other, or anything in between. Depending on the part of the map, time you have left, and loot you have available, you should choose a different approach.

Sometimes, it’s best to go after people guns blazing. Other times, it’s better to be more tactical and wait for the optimal time to attack. Sometimes you flank the enemy. Other times, you haul ass and try to outrun the bullets.

Here’s why I’m bringing all of this up:

Brandon and I make a plan. We choose which strategy we are going to use for each game we play. Then, like 5 seconds later, Brandon fucks off on his own and gets himself killed. I fly off the handle and get pissed because: “What the hell were you doing?!?!”

The worst part of it is that Brandon thinks it’s funny. So while I’m losing my voice yelling at him for “not sticking to the protocol” and “you never listen to me”, he’s laughing his ass off.

He may sound like an asshole. But he’s right.

It’s just a fucking game. It’s supposed to be fun. If he wants to go fuck around in a video game, why shouldn’t he? Why would I care? In fact, I do the same thing he does. These improvisations are what usually leads to the best and most enjoyable moments of the game.

Being the “Mind of Steel robot”, I tend to take everything too seriously — even things that I shouldn’t. This is solved by determining priorities.

Now, I am aware of this. I have priorities. 

I know which things matter and which things don’t. That’s why I work every day but don’t play video games every day. That’s why I’m quick to get over a ridiculous fight with my girlfriend but I’m not quick to forgive a personal insult. It’s the same reason I shouldn’t care about in-game choices as much as caring about having fun with my friend — which is the entire point of playing.

If you get angry, annoyed, or insulted over something, take a step back and ask yourself: Is this really worth getting emotional about? A lot of the times, the answer will be: “Hell yes!” But a lot of the time, more than you’d like to admit, the answer will be no.

Priorities aren’t about focusing on one thing at a time. They are about ignoring a million unimportant distractions so you can spend your energy on things that matter.

If everything matters, then nothing does. Choose carefully.

P.S. Want to be more focused? Check out rules of a strong mindset.

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