Every classic book on personal finance that you’ll read contains one core theme: Cut expenses. This concept also holds true in the realm of getting focused. My biggest expense came in the form of time. I’ve been actively playing a video game. Yes, I know. It sounds profoundly childish. But it’s true. I won a Playstation 3 at a company Christmas party. At first, I didn’t want it. I hadn’t played video games since high school, and back then, I definitely played way too much. This time around I reasoned, “I can handle it. Video games are great for when you’re too tired to read, and don’t want to watch TV.” The problem with this philosophy centers on the fact that, today more than every, video-games are absolutely stunning. They are beautiful, deep, sophisticated in artificial intelligence and they contain an online component to play against people.
This results in one thing that’s very addicting: challenge. I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of playing these games against people. It becomes a thinking game, and you literally lose track of time. Unfortunately, this challenge doesn’t translate well to life. In life, there’s no scoreboard, and if their was, I doubt points would be given to playing videogames (unless, of course, they’re only played in casual settings or a party–i.e. a Guitar Hero or Mario Party).
It was a very, very tough decision, as I had a couple buddies playing the game with me; but in the end, what drove my decision to bury this habit was asking myself two questions:
- Where do I want to be in five years?
- Do the people that get there play video games?
The answers to these questions made it crystal clear that I should kick this habit before it becomes addicting.
The University of Notre Dame’s newest head football coach, Brian Kelly, says it best: “You can’t start winning ’til you stop losing.”
In the realm of focusing, it’s:
You can’t start focusing ’til you’ve stopped getting distracted
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