Note: This is the last of a four-part series. Click here for Part 1—becoming a professional gamer, here for Part 2—the lessons learned, and here for Part 3—how I solved my addiction.
Today I ask you the same question: Are video games holding you back?
I can’t answer for you, nor can I tell you what to do.
At the end of the day you know what’s best for you.
However I can at least share my perspective.
And before talking about what life could be like, though, without video games, let’s jump into why video games are potentially so destructive.
The Addictive Nature
A problem becomes evident when everything in life gets shoved to the back burner to the exclusion of one thing.
For me, that’s what happened. Everything outside virtual reality was no longer important in my life:
- Social skills
And the worst thing about my addiction? No matter how many hours I sunk, it never got better. The emptiness remained at the end of the day.
Taking Back Control
Quitting required one thing: ruthless honesty. I had to take off the blinders to see how wrecked things were.
And with that awareness, I had a tough choice: keep playing and let my life slip further down the gutter, or quit and take back what was rightfully mine.
After considering the effect playing games would have on my future—the choice was clear.
Living with regret later in life was a burden too big to bear.
The biggest obstacle is trading the short-term pleasure of playing games now, for a future you have no idea even exists.
We live in the moment and tend to do things that feel good right now.
Putting in years of work to achieve a result isn’t something most want to think about.
But if you want to more out of life—you must.
You must envision your future and consider the effect your current actions are having on your future self.
It’s not easy looking ahead, seeing the price that must be paid, and then disciplining yourself to pay it.
But it’s the only choice you’ve got if you want more out of life.
Otherwise, you’ll be in a boat without a paddle, with no ability to steer towards your intended destination.
The brick wall that stand between you and the life of your dreams? The life that fills you with passion and makes you excited to wake up every day?
This is your hardest challenge, yet it’s your biggest advantage.
Because most people would rather duck their head under the covers than face delayed gratification.
It Gets Easier
The hardest part is the beginning. You’ll quit and you’ll feel a huge hole inside.
But that pain diminishes, quickly, as you build momentum in other areas of your life.
You just have to get the ball rolling so you see an inkling of progress. That progress will inspire and give you hope.
You just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
The Turning Point
Eventually you’ll reach a turning point in your life where playing games seems utterly foolish.
But you won’t reach that point immediately, it will take time and effort. The change will be gradual.
However it’s all worth it.
Each year, for me, has only gotten better.
The time I have now, which is no longer tied into gaming, has gone into:
- Building relationships
- Learning a musical instrument
- Building a business
- Traveling to cool places in the world
…and much much more.
Now? Games to me are simply an afterthought, what with the kick-ass life I’ve built.
How could I ever go back?
Clearing the Old and Making Way for the New
Imagine, for a second, your life being like a forest.
A forest, after existing for so many years, accumulates underbrush. This underbrush does one thing: it hinders the growth of new life.
Every so often you’ve gotta take a match and set it all to blaze. Destroying the old makes way for the new.
In your life, dropping habits that no longer serve you creates space for new habits that will spring forth new life.
So where do you envision your life in the next few years? What new habits are you creating to create a new, more kick-ass version of yourself?