The Quest System

Have you seen those university courses where the syllabus is structured like an mmo with quests, bosses and achievements?

I've read alot of self-help books in my time, as I learn best by reading and my dad has a huge collection from his days as project manager. A common theme about being successful is plotting a timeline of things of what you want to accomplish, when (to be completed)and how (you'll do it). Although I believe in this system, I honestly don't practice it too much in real life. The closest I get to is mapping a goal out, how I can accomplish it, but sometimes there is the fear of failing at something that big, holds me back.

A close friend that knows me very well put it to me that I tend to over-think situations and sometimes I just need to take the leap and not be afraid to make mistakes. I'm deathly afraid of making mistakes in life (vs games/mmos) and thats why I plan so much but takes me so long to get started.

I wonder if I set up these goals more like an mmo, with quests, bosses and achievements, that maybe i'll have a better chance at accomplishing them. That a different system of accomplishing goals will provide better incentive to see it through. 

I find that when I know I have things to do, ill write it down on a lined piece of paper, so that whenever I have a free moment, ill look at it and work on one of those tasks. Its nice to see when you complete them, but as the books state, when you don't put a deadline to them, sometimes they aren't completed. For example, "make peanut butter chocolate chip mini cupcakes for the first time" has been sitting on that paper for the whole week. I promise ill do it saturday... unless I go shopping for clothes instead since I have a gift certificate. Its one of the things on my list (shopping) soo.. thats ok. Kinda.

For us mmo gamers, maybe approaching completing tasks in real life should be put in the same form as an mmo. We have a quest, this most cases, a timed one; I personally hate timed quests, but it did usually mean we'd finish that first. There would be little check marks under the quest title that were steps you needed to finish in sequence to complete your quest. There will be a boss battle at the end, which if you defeat, meant your quest is complete. Once the quest was done, you'd hand it in and get rewards including achievements.

I think we tend to focus on the boss battle which scares us, while we forget to be greedy (Money is not bad, it is the love of money that is the root of all evil) and think of why we're doing the quest: Loot. We need to think of the rewards we'll get for completing said quest. Sometimes we also get the intrinsic value of the journey of doing the quest too which is great. As well as the 'Tome of Knowledge' unlocks we get that we can refer to in the future when we encounter the same 'quest' or 'boss.'

The biggest thing when completing real life quests is that because we're focusing on the boss fight, we ignore the rewards. By getting hyped on the fat lewt, it'll motivate us to accomplish it faster, instead of dragging our heels. Sometimes we need to spend that extra couples seconds/minutes thinking hard about what that reward is and if you somehow can't think of a reward tangible/intangible, then we should find something we can reward ourself with. Whether its a new video game, our favorite treat or something we've desired. I've never understood it until I just wrote this, but another quote: "always pay yourself first, then pay everyone else." Meaning, make sure there is something you benefit from by completing the task so that you have that motivation to complete the goal.

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