“The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” – Albert Einstein
Sometimes inspiration comes from the weirdest places.
In my spare time I love to play videogames. Underneath the beautiful things we see on the screen lies mathematic formulas that are either true or false, 1’s and 0’s.
Sorry to spoil the magic guys, but that’s basically it!
So, while playing Football Manager 2014 I started thinking about what makes players succeed in the game and in the real world. Checked the web and came across some interesting reading and videos on the subject.
I won’t bore you with the details, there’s a LOT of stats and numbers in the game, but what it basically came down to were “Determination” and “Work Rate”.
Here are the definitions:
Determination – The quality of being determined; firmness of purpose.
Work Rate – The rate at which work is done. The amount of energy that is expended in sport or physical exercise.
I saw this experiment a guy did where he gave all the players identical stats except for Determination and Work Rate. The players started out the same age at the same club and then basically let the game simulate about 20 years into the future.
The stars are:
No Brain – Low Work Rate, Low Determination
Pure Balance – Medium Work Rate, Medium Determination
Pure Workrate – High Work Rate, Medium Determination
Pure Determination – Medium Work Rate, High Determination
Chosen One – High Work Rate, High Determination
All things being equal except the ability to work hard and being determined mind, what happened?
No Brain started out just like the others, had a few good years but slowly drifted into obscurity in the lower leagues. He just couldn’t keep up with the others.
Pure Balance stayed with his original club for his entire career where he made stable progress but never really soared to any great heights.
Pure Workrate also stayed with his original club for his career and basically matched Pure Balance in performance. He did however get let go by the club and decided to retire earlier.
This is where it gets interesting!
Pure Determination improves quicker than his earlier teammates. How? He’s not an ox like Pure Workrate so what’s the deal? We’ll get to that! He goes on to have a great career in the top divisions and even played for his national team.
Ah, The Chosen One. As one can imagine this guy became a household name. Amazing career in the top leagues and is still a key player while the others are either declining or retiring. He not only plays for his national team in over 150 games but is also the teams captain!
I felt three feelings when the experiment reached its end. First happiness that there was this kind of formula or secret to success within the game. Then I felt sadness over the players who never got to tap into that secret. Finally I felt a kind of respect and excitement that this could be a part of success in real life!
The basic conclusion of the players are:
No Brain – Had the basic natural “talent” as the others but couldn’t be bothered to push himself either physically or mentally. This characters big plan included getting home, sitting down in his Fatboy with a bag of chips and a coke for an episode of “Kitchen Nightmares”.
Pure Balance – He was your “Average Joe”, no big plans but could work a bit harder than No Brain. Reliable and stable. You want someone who’s always there when he’s needed? Just call P.B and he’ll sort you out.
Pure Workrate – Man, what a guy! Want that jar of pickles opened? Pee-Wee’s your go-to-guy for all things physical. Ask him what his plans are for the weekend and he’ll tell you he’s hanging out with his main man P.B this weekend showing him how to chop wood, lift heavy objects, shoot small animals and other manly-man things.
Pure Determination – While Pee-Wee’s pumping iron with P.B spotting him Mr. Determination is looking at videos of matches and analyzing their next opponent. He’s also talking with his agent about moving to a bigger club that’s got better training facilities. He knows what he wants for his future and is taking the steps to attain them.
Chosen One – Cho hangs with bro Mr. Determination watching matches and analyzing tactics. He’s also at the gym late with Pee-Wee after P.B and Mr. Determination are pooped. This guy’s agent gets offers from bigger clubs all the time! Cho’s got the brains and the brawn to make it big!
Who are you most like? I remember being No Brain for a while in my late teens. I was Pure Balance during my years in bands. When I started producing I became Pure Determination.
And now? Just to toot my own horn for a bit (get your mind out of the gutter) I feel like Cho. I’ve found where I can be of most use to other people and i’ve got all these plans how to do it as well as things I want to do on the side.
To recap what I felt I learned from this was that if you can and want to work hard life will give you the opportunity. This is your work rate. This is your engine.
But if you want to succeed in a broader sense you’ll have to start using your mind to set up and achieve things on the way. This is your determination. This is your rudder.
And the fuel to drive it all? Your dreams. What you want out of life.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a 1000 horsepowers in that engine if you haven’t got a rudder. You’ll go wherever the winds and the waves take you.
But even if you’ve only got 1 horsepower and a rudder, baby, your cruising towards your goal. Not as fast as the person with the 500hp engine, but what the hell… Don’t compare. They might not even be going that far!