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What do you really want out of life? Now what's stopping you?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lessons from the Game Realms

I won an Xbox360 recently and my friends were quick to point out that this probably heralded the end of my social life as a whole as I already spent an unhealthy amount of time gaming on my PC. They were, however, all eager to give a try when it arrives. True I have over the years managed to log up an extensive period of gaming. I have learnt to limit myself somewhat recently to enable me to at least function at some semblance of normality. It has not all been a total waste though, I have managed to gain a few practical insights into life along the way. While some may be a little contradictory this is because…

1. Strategy is situation dependent. There is a time to rush in and a time to be patient. Strategy can even change mid-game, especially true if playing humans and not the AI.
2. There is no SAVE button in life. Go on, play an entire game without saving once, live with the consequences of your mistakes. Causes you to think things through a little more doesn’t it.
3. Don’t be afraid to restart a level. Certain scenarios lend themselves to restarting-lost a business; restart. Your first book didn’t publish; write another one.
4. Sometimes you need to tear down something in order to build something better. Especially true in city civ/tycoon games. It may look like you are going backwards but check out the result.
5. Age ain’t nothing but a number. A nine year old with a gun is as lethal as a 25 year old. If you have a problem serving under someone younger than you, get over it or move over. It will happen.
6. Everyone has a role to play-know your role. Very true in MMORPG’s.
7. There is more than one way to skin a cat. There is more than one way to solve a scenario, often using different character combinations.
8. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
9 .Know the strengths and weaknesses of others-your opponents and your team. Sending infantry against a tank is usually a bad move.
10. it helps if everyone knows what they are doing. Some strategy games have an auto-attack facility build into their units-your units will automatically target the thing they are most effective against (e.g. pikemen vs. horses). If they don’t you have to control them and issue individual commands-this takes a lot of extra brain power. Empower people around you.
11. There is always chance. Even with the best plans the stray arrow can get through.
12. C.Y.A.-Cover Your A… .You can’t always tell who to trust. Many a time has been spent in a multiplayer scene only to have an ally turn on you while your base is undefended. In business if it’s not in writing it doesn’t exist.
13. Have a break-you can’t play all the time. Holidays are good from work.
14. Stay in the forefront of information. Get the best advice (and best machine) you can afford.
15. Liven up a little-it’s only a game.
16. You can use cheat codes but they’ll leave you with a nasty taste in your mouth. You can short cut in life sometimes (e.g. pay a bribe) but it’ll cost you more of your soul than you’d imagine.
17. Read the manual-there are so many little bits on information.
18. reading the manual is no substitute for game experience.
19. Experience counts. Level 70 vs. Level 20 no real contest.
20. Demo’s are there for a reason. Try something first before you make a major commitment. Live in the country for a fortnight before you move. Visit the area you are relocating to. Spend a few days shadowing someone before you pick a profession.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What can you do?

Apart from a mild batch of nerves as I waited for my papers to be processed my UK visa application was submitted without too much emotional panic on my behalf-I can't speak for my sister who had to send me a last minute document that I was unaware I required but she got it to me with her usual efficiency. The whole process amazed me how much I can actually get done if the situation demands it (making my sister's wedding in June is a situation that definitly demands it). I blasted through my 'to-do' list with alarming speed in order to get it in on time, as well as continue to manage my more usual program of practice and teaching-oriented activity. Now I have a nagging thought at the back of my mind that I've been a little lazy of late and need to do something about it...fit more in to my previously normal day. Increased efficiency feels good though and is largely to do with me writing my to do list in an manner that is very visual (my primary learning style).

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Not so Dumb

Dumb Little Man posted this article by Alex Shalman recently. Alex gives a lot of practical steps to aid personal development. Too often people publish books with '5 steps to...', '7 ways to ...', etc.. These often simplify life to one little facet and target people looking for a magic wand to make it all better. The great thing about Alex is that he writes steps to help in a variety of areas resulting in a more holistic approach. The article mentioned above focuses on idea generation and modification, but he has others on a myriad of topics. Not necessarily an instant solution individually but taken as a whole they really help.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Leaders don't create followers, they create more leaders. ~Tom Peters

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I generally can’t be bothered with email forwards, many get deleted before they get read, but once in a while you get one that strikes a chord. I got sent this from a couple who don’t usually clutter my inbox, which means that when they do send something it is probably worth reading. I’ve edited it a bit but it makes a great read.

“Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Who wants to be a millionaire' on television?I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, 'How about going to lunch in a half hour?' She would gas up and stammer, 'I can't.I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain.' And my personal favorite: 'It's Monday.' She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.Because we cram so much into our lives, we tend to even schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get the kid toilet- trained.We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet.We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of 'I'm going to,' 'I plan on,' and 'Someday, when things are settled down a bit.'When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas.Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of roller blades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.Now....go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to......not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask 'How are you?' do you hear the reply?When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, 'We'll do it tomorrow.' And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say 'Hi?When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift.....Thrown away. ... Life is not a race. Take it slower.Hear the music before the song is over.”

So there you go, have a great day!