in Business, Creativity, Motivation, Philosophy, Psychology

Climbed Up The Skill Tree – Fell From The Top, And Hit Every Branch On The Way Down

“There are plenty of skills I’ve learned from playing video games. It’s more interactive than watching TV, because there are problems to solve as you’re using your brain.”

– Shaun White

Today we’re going to be talking about a valuable life lesson I got from playing “Borderlands 2”.

Now, you don’t have to be a gamer per se, but here are 3 concepts that’ll be useful to understand moving forward:

  1. Skill Tree – A hierarchy of perks that boost certain aspects of your characters skills. For example, how much damage you deal or can take.
  2. Loot – The stuff you find along the way that’ll impact your game. Weapons, shields, relics & class mods/COMs (Character Optimization Modules).
  3. Random Number Generator (RNG) – The lottery that decides what loot you get and the obstacles you face.

Borderlands 2 - Zero's Skill TreeComparisons made. But which is superior? A tough decision.

When I began playing “Borderlands 2″ I’d already seen a bunch of videos on YouTube. They propagated for a certain style of play based on certain skills and loot as being better than others.

These people had gotten further along and seemed knowledgable, so I trusted their advice.

However, once I was actually in the game I found it a lot more difficult than expected. While I was building my character just as they described, I wasn’t finding the things I needed.

Then I heard someone say the magic words: “I don’t build my skill tree around the loot I want, I build them around the loot I get.”

That’s when it clicked for me. I’d been going about it the wrong way around.

Given that “Borderlands 2″ has 8 main weapon manufacturers, 6 types of weapons, each weapon has 5 parts, there are different prefixes, different rarities, different levels, and the drops are mostly random?

Yeah, good luck with that. And it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

The people I’d been listening to had already been farming for a while and been blessed by RNGesus to get the loot they wanted (and needed) for that particular set of skills to work optimally.

Liam Neeson - TakenYes, yes… We know about your particular set of skills!

Only then did I understand that I’d fallen for the what to think mentality rather than learning how to think.

When it comes to real life the rules are a bit different. There’s still the element of RNG, but we’re also afforded some choice when it comes to which skills we want to develop.

Granted, not everyone will be afforded the same exact benefits & obstacles that’ll allow them to go for the same things. Some of us are born into less than desirable circumstances when it comes to health, security, love, education etc.

However, at least in theory there’s for the most part some actual opportunity to leverage our strengths, and at the very least have a decent shot at putting the skills we have, or wish to acquire, to good use.

Take a minute to reflect on the skills you wish you had. How could they serve you?

Also, look at the skills you’ve already acquired and developed. Are they serving you? Or do you need to spec into a different branch entirely?

Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!

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