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Successful Sunday, June 23rd, 2024

Lessons from the Dungeon

Screenshot from a video game.  Our hero is surrounded by armed skeletons and an eagle bear.

Hello, Subscribers. One of my former leaders told us it's not worth doing if it isn’t fun. This forms the core philosophy of my weekly writings and will help you prepare for the week through the power of play to set yourself up for success. Incorporating play into your daily routine can enhance your creativity, problem-solving skills, and overall well-being, leading to personal and professional growth. I glean insights from my inner child about behaviors and patterns and can help you do the same. Let’s get set up for success.

It’s time for an accountability check-in. My second about of the 7 Days of Rest Challenge, created by Nikki St. Paul, was not as successful. Ironically, part of the reason was that I stayed up a few nights finishing my 7 Days of Play Challenge. I have continued my morning walks. They are a great way to begin my day, and I am getting caught up on my podcasts. I did not push through when I was tired and did honor my needs. I have rediscovered micro-challenges power and am celebrating many wins from 5-minute tasks. What was your most significant learning last week?

A few disclaimers:

First, the Town of Grove is sovereign over the dungeon, so we will not discuss monster rights.

Second, there is only one objective in the dungeon: smite or be smitten. We do not care about the monsters’ backstories.

Third, you should always make time for fishing.

Now that we have that out of the way, I have learned five potential truths from crawling around in dungeons.

1. Preparation to Action.

2. Control: holding on to power can prevent you from leveling up.

3. Failure is a tool to level up.

4. Journey: quests are not the objective.

5. Fate is random.

What does fighting Elite Bugbears and Greater Basilisks have to do with struggle? What can we learn from Venomous Wyverns and Mountain Ogres? We can learn how to overcome our struggles. The dungeon is very safe for a dangerous place.

There is much research about the power of play, and you see many instances of gamification. Play evolves as you get more comfortable with the game. If you watched me play this game a few years ago, you would be entertained by shrieking, literal ducking, and panic because a hoard of monsters descended all at once. You can learn about someone’s mindset from how they play. Are they a good sport? Are they risk-takers? I appeared calm under pressure, but back in the day, I was freaking in.

I use play as a way to act out real-life principles in a safe place. I have been more willing to decide and pivot depending on the outcomes versus waiting until I thought I had the perfect move to act. There is no ideal move. I have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic that the rug can be pulled from you anytime. Some situations defy planning because they have never happened before.

If we look at my first point about being prepared, I had some hindsight when I restarted the game and decided to get additional resources before entering the dungeon. One strike; monster vanquished! I have since retired that character and restarted at a more challenging level. My strategy had to change because the same tactics were not working this round. I entered the dungeon with minimal resources, but I did have an edge from an heirloom handed down. Use every advantage you have in life. I also have more of a mindset of abundance versus fear, and I noticed that I found most of the things I needed just by walking around in the dungeon.

Point two control. When you get an excellent weapon, you tend not to want to give it up. Usually, it has bonus points or extra abilities. However, this prevents you from potentially being able to do more damage with a more potent weapon because you don’t want to lose the bonus skills. You have to be able to stand on your own. Prepare yourself for the next level. When you get comfortable, it is painful to have to learn new skills, but you need to be willing to work up your skill points to grow. Trying to fight a hoard of level thirty-two monsters with a weapon from level five will either result in you having to run away or you will perish. Just as I learned to take a hit in the short term in the game, I was getting more comfortable with taking a hit in real life, learning to grow. My striving for perfectionism was holding me back and making me my victim.

Failure. I have perished twice so far in the dungeon. The game gives you three options – you can give up some fame and skill points, buy your way out of it and start from a nearby level, or leave all your money behind and be transported three levels back. I would instead leave money on the table to give up my reputation and skills. You have to make your own choice. When you hit a wall in real life, sometimes you have to step back and start over. What is lovely about starting over is that you gain additional knowledge and skills, and when you meet the monsters again, you are more resilient and better prepared to deal with them.

The journey. In the game, your objective is to defeat a big baddie on a pre-defined level, but even after you defeat the monster, there are more levels to explore and things to learn. I discovered that some of the fishing spots only provide jewelry versus weapons. In the real world, if you try and live for goals, you will often be disappointed once you reach them. If you have a growth mindset, you will instinctively crush your goals and find yourself in places you never imagined. You also have a pet in the game. It is nice to have people share the journey with you in real life. You help them, and they help you, and together, you both level up and get to some incredible places.

Fate is random. Sometimes, you go to the Shrine of Learning and level up; sometimes, you get penalized. Sometimes, the Magic Anvil will enhance your weapon, and sometimes, it will strip everything away, causing a chain reaction that you are no longer strong enough to wield it. What do you do when you are thrown for a loop in real life? Panic? Sometimes, you have to retreat, regroup, and retry.

The dungeon has been my training ground for real-world challenges. It's a safe space to experiment, fail, and learn without dire consequences. As a result, I've become more decisive and adaptable in navigating life's obstacles. This is why I am such a staunch advocate for the power of play. If you are stuck and don't have enough time, make the time for play. If your house were on fire, you would drop everything to put the fire out. Your personal relationships are on fire if you are overwhelmed and burned out. Rundownitis is no joke. Play is the antidote. 

Join the other 7 people in the Play Posse and sign up for the 7 Days of Play Challenge before 7pm EDT today. .