Browsing around on the excellent Pakwired a few days ago, I came across an article that stated most people never learn these life lessons until it’s too late. Now, I’m not sure what ‘too late’ really means. Perhaps when people get too old to use the lessons learned? Nonsense. It’s never too late to learn a lesson you can use, but there are certain lessons that are better learned early on than never at all; that’s primarily the point the author was trying to get across.
Now, I’m not an authority of learning life lessons before you get too old – mainly because I’m still quite the young man myself. Even so, I can appreciate the lessons in the article, and I want to share a few of them with you for this week’s Motivational Monday. Here are a few that really stuck out to me.
Don’t wait until tomorrow. Do it today.
How many times have we told ourselves that we would do something tomorrow and actually stuck with it? I wish there was a way to keep track of the ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’s’ and see how many times we actually ‘do it tomorrow’. The track record would be abysmal, and it’s not hard to see why: saying we’ll do something tomorrow is nothing more than giving ourselves an excuse for procrastinating that we are comfortable with.
If you really have to put something off until tomorrow, don’t just say, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Instead, plan to, “do it first thing in the morning,” or, “tomorrow afternoon around 3pm.” Passively saying you’ll do something tomorrow without making plans means it won’t get done, so actually plan to do it. For everything else? Start today.
You can’t please everyone
As creative folks, we tend to beat ourselves up about the stupidest things. You know what I’m talking about, too: if someone gives your indie game a 1-star review and unconstructively criticized your game, that hurts. It can cause you to have a bad day (or week), and seriously bring down your morale. It happens to us all, but know that you can’t impress everyone.
That’s all there is to it. That person that gave your indie game a 1-star review? He/she probably enjoys playing games that you flat-out hate, and that’s fine, and you know? Because you didn’t develop an indie game for that person in the first place. Clearly, the game they thought they were going to play was different than the one they played, and they hated it because of it.
And that’s just one example. You’re going to run into people that absolutely hate the work you produce, and many of them are going to voice their opinion whenever they get an opportunity. Don’t sweat it: if you developed an awesome indie game tailored to a particular audience, that audience will love it. Everyone else? They can come along for the ride or not – it’s their choice.
Don’t take things so seriously
Along the same lines as the second point, you can’t take things so seriously all the time. You just can’t. Some people mistake this for ‘giving up,’ and ‘just not caring anymore,’ but that’s just not true. Taking your professional life (and other aspects of your life) way too seriously puts a ton of pressure on yourself. We see people all the time that want nothing more than to be respected by their peers – so much so that they’ll do anything to gain that respect. Are they better for it? Absolutely not.
Your career as an indie developer should be a blast. So what if someone calls you a few four-letter words on Twitter? Let it slide. Especially in the last few years, we’ve seen the careers of indie developers blow up in front of us on social media all because they took themselves way too seriously. If they hadn’t taken the comments of a few trolls too seriously, we may be getting some new games from them right about now.
In other words, don’t sweat the small stuff. Stop placing so much pressure on yourself to ‘succeed,’ and enjoy the ride. You’ll be better for it in the long run.