If real life was as cool as a video game...
I woke up and rolled over, turning off the alarm. Looking at my clock, I saw it was around one in the morning. I silently crept into the computer room, switched on the monitor and my face lit up with the cool glow. I pulled up a web browser - I think it may have been Internet Explorer back then - and did a quick Google search for... Runescape.
When I was younger, my cousin introduced me to an online role playing game called Runescape. In this digital world, your character can develop skills of a wide variety including smithing, fletching, crafting, archery, and mining. As you participated in these various skills throughout the world your skill levels would rise. As the individual skill levels would rise, your cumulative level of your character would rise. You could accumulate mountains of gold, rare treasures, cool armor and fierce weapons! During my time playing the game, I was part of a clan who would work together to complete quests and share the bounty!
It was in this game that I learned how to type quickly, barter with my skills, buy low - sell high... I also learned facts like bronze is a copper/tin alloy. The game was addicting!
This evening, I had finished crossing out the last item on my to-do list for the day and thought, "I would love to play a game right now... maybe something like Runescape." This is a scary thought because, guys, I'm 22 years old! As I realized what I was thinking, I began wondering, "Why the heck do I want to play Runescape?" The answer is pretty simple but has crazy cool implications:
We like the feeling of knowing that we're good at something and that we have earned that level of expertise through hard work and dedication.
I remember the shot of endorphins that I would get from every "Congratulations! You're now level ##!" that popped up on my screen. It was a pat on the back. It was reward for my efforts. This game allowed me to rack up these levels relatively quickly, with only a few point and clicks. I was able to create a character - a dimension of myself - and construct this incredibly talented fighter who could forge his own weapons and traipse off into uncharted territory with my clan at my back.
Then I have to shut down the browser and turn back to the homework on my desk or work the next morning. Why couldn't life be like this game?
Yes... that's the question isn't it? Why not?
If I want to learn how to sword fight or forge my own weapon, what's to stop me?
Life actually allows us to be the character we all envy!
Upon adopting this new perspective, we open a window to see the world as bigger and more diverse than what we could imagine! Suddenly, everything is available to us if we're up to the challenge! I recently wrote about becoming a Renaissance Man; being well-rounded or a Jack-of-all-Trades isn't some 14th Century, child-prodigy trend. It's up for grabs! As Leon Battista Alberti, so wonderfully put it, "A man can do all things, if he wills."
Here are a few things I want to learn/do:
(in the comments, I want to hear about at least one thing YOU want to learn/do!)
- Sail (Navigating with a sextant, of course)
- Martial Arts
- Speak Another Language
- Knife Fight
- Build an Epic Tree-House
- Circumnavigate the Globe
- Sew My Own Clothes
- Cook a 7-Course Meal
To get y'all started, I've included three neat skills that you can learn in less than 5 minutes. They give you that unexpected, well-rounded, practical flair that we all love.