Have to do. Vs. Want to do.

Ask anyone that has somewhat of a 9-5 job and I bet you'll find someone who can confess to spending days, weeks, even months at a time not really doing anything note worthy enough to remember, but instead they have been on auto-pilot, or phoning it in so to speak but in this case they're phoning it in on life. 

I'm a firm  believer on the concept that TIME is our most valuable currency. When it's all said and done, we won't be asking for more money or things, but TIME. So why do so many of us. (Myself included) lose track of this and "waste" so much of our time?

The idea that we're not taking the chance to make something out of everyday to better ourselves or our relationships with others seems like we're wasting that precious time. I think in some cases when we get up, go to work, come home, sleep, get up, go to work, come home, sleep, and so on and so on we may be messing with that delicate balance that creates a healthy mental state. And for most of us, we HAVE to run this cycle so how do we make the best out of the TIME we do control.

Well first stop using cruise control. As crazy as it is start participating in "The daily grind" realize that you actually WANT to spend your time doing these actions. This gets incredibly hard to nail down as everyone's life situation is different. But I think we can all benefit from engaging in a more active thought process about the things we HAVE to do or are forced to do. i.e. I HAVE to work to earn money for bills, debt etc. But what if I simply say, I WANT to work to earn money so I can pay these things which will then enable me to do (insert awesome dream thing here). Not only does this perspective change lead to a more positive day to day but it also tends to lead to people being greatly more effective at their goals. At the end of the day it is important and in my opinion empowering to remember that regardless of what brought us to where we are it's up to us to move forward from there. So not only can we actively participate in our daily grind but we can control it, enhance it and guide it.

 

Now to get a little personal.

 

I hate debt. I hate everything about it and around it. I can't stress it enough. I like many, many, others have been sold the lies that are attached to debt. e.x. You need a credit card to build your credit. Which in a perfect situation will do that but you're building credit to be able to prove to someone that you're worthy of more debt. A mortgage. I understand that houses are incredibly, and increasingly more, expensive, and that most people don't have a spare 300k in the bank to buy a house so a mortgage is a very real thing for most of us. That said you don't need someone to check your credit score in order to get a mortgage. And if that's the only reason to get a credit card and/or use debt as a tool, then it's now void. 

Im not going to pour over the details of debt because I am no expert but I do know where I stand on it. I hate it. In all it's forms. If you want to know the reason I have this stance check out the book: My total money makeover - By Dave Ramsey. (The Audiobook is incredible)

Debt is something I've had to fight with for years.   Student loans, commercial debt, are the chains that have shackled and weighed me down. The root of my depression. Yup you read that right, depression. By all standards my life is amazing and by no means am I complaining. Many others have it much worse out there. Knowing this, for me, has lead me to want to help others when and wherever I can but thanks to debt, I'm highly limited on that. I struggle greatly with feeling caged into my day to day of thinking I am controlled by the remaining debt. Living by the I HAVE to do this because I HAVE to do this dilemma for too long. I made the choices that have lead me to having debt, and I want to pay it and be free of it. Because let me tell you. Every step I've taken towards this goal makes me feel 3000% more alive and happier. 

 I've recently started taking on the practice of not allowing myself to think I HAVE to do this but that I WANT to do this and that in itself has helped return control of my daily grind back into my hands and keep me motivated on the task. To not let the debt control me but to empower me to change and not be "normal". Believe it or not it's normal in North America to have debt of at least 1 form. Well I don't want to be normal I want to be free and to actively participate in my "daily grind" so that at the end of the day I can't honestly say I don't have a "daily grind" I only have TIME well spent.

 

So after all this rambling, I have to ask. Is there something you think you HAVE to do that is in fact something you actually really WANT to do?

You may find that in those moments of frustration, stress or even depression, when you think you're doing something that:

A) You HAVE to do.

B) That's out of your control.

You may in fact HAVE complete control and be doing something you actually WANT to do.

 

 -J. Mills

Healthy Body + Healthy Mind = Better Games.

The gamer diet. What a lovely bottomless pit of Mt. Dew & Doritos jokes. To be fair I did drink Mt. Dew Code Red in the past and still rock some Doritos every once and awhile but I know that stuff was garbage then and is still garbage now. I also know I didn't eat it because it was going to make me a pro gamer. I drank and ate garbage food because I was lazy and cooking my own food would take too much time from gaming, watching movies, chilling on ICQ and hell I was young (still am by most people's account) so I frankly didn't care.  

This post isn't about all gamers being unhealthy, lazy, slobs. It's about me being a unhealthy, lazy, slob. (Kinda bold to write that on my career website eh? Allow me to explain.) I'm only those things when it comes to my personal health. I proudly work my a** off when it comes to my professional/work life/relationships (granted I need to call my parents more) hobbies and projects. I, like I mentioned, just tend to ignore myself as I take a huge amount of pride in being in service to others. This means I happily will use all my strength and willpower on those activities and be too wiped to work on my health. Well that's changing. And I'm writing it down, so let's make this historic.

After coming back from visiting our families over the Christmas holidays 1UP (I.e. My wife) and I decided to buckle down and fix our diet and prioritize cooking over gaming and watching Netflix. Well it was awesome! We held strong for 2 weeks! Both of us felt better, looked better, slept better everything! But alas we stumbled, got busy (lazy) and went back to our eating garbage and spending a ton on takeout. I can assure you we're getting back on that horse cause damn did we feel like super heroes. Healthy super heroes.

 All this rambling but how does this relate to games and making them. Well I can't tell you what I've been working on but I can tell you my mind was sharper, more creative, and lead to great breakthroughs and ideas simply because I was fueling my body with great healthy food, sleeping more and NOT drinking a ton of caffeine. (One Coffee a day) I can honestly say that I can make better games if I prioritize being healthy. The fun part thinking about it this way changes the category health falls in for a workaholic like me. It makes it a mandatory task to be able to work more efficiently! This may all seem silly to most but we all have look through a lens at the world around us. And sometimes it just requires us to refocus that lens to learn we had the motivation and willpower to bring greater success or even do those things we've always wanted to in the first place.  

Do you have anything in your life you desperately wished you would prioritize higher yet it always seems to slip to the end of your daily task list? Feel free to share below in the comments or share how you found your motivation to change your situation.  

 

- Josh

 

 

Legacy

Kicking this off for no other reason then I feel that I want to carve out a public space online where I can put a little positivity into the world. I great man once told me that saying something with your voice can leave an impact but just as the words are said they start to fade. Write something down. Well that can be historic. I'm paraphrasing but R. Buckley. Thank you for this advice.

I'm not the most gifted writer, and despite being thirty my spelling/grammar are both incredibly bad. So if you're coming here hoping for an extremely well crafted piece with all sorts of pro writing techniques, I'm gonna have to stop ya right there. I write as if I'm speaking. Usually extremely casually. So if that's something you can get behind, Welcome. 

I'm not going to dive too deep with this post as I'm organically figuring out what I'd like to say and bring to the table here, but ultimately it will be to support my goal of encouraging/helping those looking to make video games or "break" into the industry in anyway I can. I'll try to answer any questions I may receive, and share some of the practices and struggles I have gone through and continue to go through. 

This blog will be a way for me to express myself, share my "sick" strats on life (please note the sarcasm there.), and talk about some of my fondest memories that I have of this crazy ride I call my career.

This all said. I think the one important thing I can start this whole series (or however long it will be) off with is that your career is not the only thing that defines you. Take stock in the other parts of your life. Know that all those pieces come together to make a much richer life experience.

-Josh