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29 Sep 2014

Motivational Monday: ‘You Are What You Repeatedly Do’

Every Monday (and for the past few weeks), I have found myself writing motivational posts for you guys. It’s difficult to get back into the swing of things after the weekend is over, so I’m making these posts a regular feature just like I do with ‘Free Tool Friday.’ Every Monday, it’s my hope that these post swill help you to get back into the groove of the week ahead a little easier than before.

With that out of the way, I want you guys to read an article I found a while back. Entitled Six Keys to Being Excellent at Anything, the author discusses that most of his life, he felt that some people were born with certain gifts and skills. We’ve all been there. Sometimes, it seems as if no matter how hard you try to be good at something, there’s someone that’s better by default.

The author states that his company has worked with executives at a variety of different organizations, and he has found that anyone can become awesome at pretty much anything. He states it’s the same as building muscle: you push past your personal limits (i.e. your comfort zone), rest, then continue on again. To sum it all up, he states one of Aristotle’s quotes describes this process perfectly (and it’s the inspiration for today’s title):

“We are what we repeatedly do.”

In other words, practice makes perfect.

When it comes to developing your first indie game, you may not know where to start. But if you’re like most indie developers that are trying to make their first game, you already started a long time ago via your fascination for all things gaming. Believe it or not, you have an idea for what makes a game great and what makes a game stink. From there, it’s all about how to translate that knowledge into an actual, awesome product. The best way to do this?

Practice.

Trial-and-error.

Learning how to make an awesome game.

I urge you to read the full article (linked above), but before you do that, take a look at a few important details that the author states can help you to become awesome at anything (in your case, developing indie games).

 

Jump into the hard work first

We’ve mentioned the value of doing this numerous times here at Game Academy, and the same goes for getting better at something. If you want to be awesome at developing indie games, you need to do the hardest work first before you have less energy and willpower to tackle these tasks. I can vouch from experience: if I postpone the tasks I want to do the least, I find it much easier to procrastinate. If you want to be awesome at something, procrastination should be eliminated every chance you get, and this tip will do the trick.

Work on getting better in small doses

The author recommends that you try to improve your craft for 90-minutes at a time. After that, take a break (I recommend 10-15 minute breaks), then start again. He also states that you shouldn’t practice for more than 4 ½ hours per day. I suggest separating work/practice and plain ‘work’ if possible.

Get advice from your peers – sometimes

One of the most interesting things to take away from this article (again, I suggest you read it) is that you should seek out advice from your peers. It’s simple to reach out to other successful indie developers via social media, and you need to do it in order to get feedback and advice. However, the author states you shouldn’t do this often – only sometimes.

The reason? Too much feedback too often can increase your anxiety and ultimately keep you from learning your skill properly. Have you ever had someone that was constantly critical of your work? It kept you from getting better, didn’t it? The same principle applies here.

 

Have a great Monday everyone – and get better at what you love doing the most: developing indie games!

Source: Harvard Business Review

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