Warcraft or Success, Choose One

sword Warcraft or Success, Choose OneIt has been about a year now since I decided to break out of the month-to-month trap. In that time, I’ve started a business, and begun a partnership in another business venture. It has taken all of my attention, effort, and passion to make these things happen.

I know they would not have happened if I was playing World of Warcraft. Just this week, I was reading a discussion on ask metafilter, where one person eloquently phrased my exact feelings:

Several years from now, no matter how you spend the next several years, there will be many, many things you wish you had accomplished between now and then. Playing WoW is an obvious way to make sure you don’t accomplish things that you’ll one day wish you had. It’s a regret factory.

Regret Factory

“It is a regret factory”, what a great turn of phrase.

I have friends who play, and I have had a similar addiction in the past. I used to play Ultima Online, and vividly remember how much of my life was quite literally wasted amassing enough gold to buy an in-game house. Then I went on vacation, didn’t login for a while, and my house disappeared. Poof. In one instant, I didn’t even have the thin enjoyment of a pretend house to show for my months of effort.

Or Success

Contrast that event with what I’ve received from a similar dedication to business. In the last few months, I’ve made several thousand dollars from clients. I’ve made contacts with interesting people who I can help and who will be able to help me in the future. I’ve learned so much about marketing myself, commitment to myself, and believing in myself.

The wonderful thing about all that is that nothing can take those accomplishments away. Yes, I could spend the money. But all the learning doesn’t go away. The contacts wouldn’t fade if I went on vacation for a couple weeks. It is additive, and positive.

Even more interesting, and totally from-the-heart-true is the fact that it is thrilling. Actually, it is just as thrilling, only in a more deep-down way, as the rush from beating a boss in a video game. Landing a client feels simply amazing. Getting that multi-thousand dollar check feels unbelievable.

Similar Effort

My point here is not to try to talk people out of playing games. That’s foolish, and would never happen. What I’m trying to convince you to do is to take a long hard look at what is obsessing you. Is it building to the future? Or will it all evaporate the moment you stop paying attention to it?

If it is the latter, maybe you should reconsider your passions.

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2 comments to Warcraft or Success, Choose One

  • Sadly enough, this was the debate shortly thereafter with friends of mine:
    From: Phil Naugle
    Sent: Monday, December 18, 2006 2:46 PM
    To: Jeffrey Nicholas; ‘Bobby Hill’; Mark Samarasinghe; ‘oheath@luc.edu’; ‘Andrew Schreur’
    Subject: RE:

    i lied. It’s all I do!!! I raid big dragon bosses and I slay them with my sword. The sword of a thousand truths!!

    ——————————————————————————–

    From: Jeffrey Nicholas
    Sent: Monday, December 18, 2006 2:45 PM
    To: Phil Naugle; ‘Bobby Hill’; Mark Samarasinghe; ‘oheath@luc.edu’; ‘Andrew Schreur’
    Subject: RE:

    Can somebody please pull up the e-mail from last month where phil said he was going to stop playing…

    ——————————————————————————–

    From: Phil Naugle
    Sent: Monday, December 18, 2006 2:44 PM
    To: Jeffrey Nicholas; ‘Bobby Hill’; Mark Samarasinghe; ‘oheath@luc.edu’; ‘Andrew Schreur’
    Subject: RE:

    Start something else? I never quit!

    ——————————————————————————–

    From: Jeffrey Nicholas
    Sent: Monday, December 18, 2006 2:43 PM
    To: Phil Naugle; ‘Bobby Hill’; Mark Samarasinghe; ‘oheath@luc.edu’; ‘Andrew Schreur’
    Subject: RE:

    So you are going to start something else besides school?

    ——————————————————————————–

    From: Phil Naugle
    Sent: Monday, December 18, 2006 2:42 PM
    To: Jeffrey Nicholas; ‘Bobby Hill’; Mark Samarasinghe; ‘oheath@luc.edu’; ‘Andrew Schreur’
    Subject: RE:

    January 16th!!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait

    ——————————————————————————–

    From: Jeffrey Nicholas
    Sent: Monday, December 18, 2006 2:42 PM
    To: Phil Naugle; ‘Bobby Hill’; Mark Samarasinghe; ‘oheath@luc.edu’; ‘Andrew Schreur’
    Subject: RE:

    Anything else? What about the new ‘mo-craft expansion pack?

    ——————————————————————————–

    From: Phil Naugle
    Sent: Monday, December 18, 2006 2:40 PM
    To: ‘Bobby Hill’; Jeffrey Nicholas; Mark Samarasinghe; oheath@luc.edu; Andrew Schreur
    Subject: RE:

    I don’t have anything to devote that much time to. Why? Because I don’t have a side business and like Jeff says, I can’t make a decision on what it would be if I could.

    I have four classes and I’m done with my degree. I’m not going to overload myself by starting anything else now. Sorry dudes.

    ——————————————————————————–

    From: Bobby Hill [mailto:RHill@STERICYCLE.com]
    Sent: Monday, December 18, 2006 2:37 PM
    To: Phil Naugle; Jeffrey Nicholas; Mark Samarasinghe; oheath@luc.edu; Andrew Schreur
    Subject: RE:

    If you can’t relate to the article because “I don’t have a business” you might be a complete loser.

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Phil Naugle [mailto:pnaugle@aiuonline.edu]
    Sent: Monday, December 18, 2006 2:33 PM
    To: Bobby Hill; Jeffrey Nicholas; Mark Samarasinghe; oheath@luc.edu; Andrew Schreur
    Subject: RE:

    I was kidding. Interesting article but I don’t have a business and school is starting back up January 1st. I’m not a complete loser.

  • Geesh thanks for this post! It really helped me see that my gaming is killing off my profits as well. I’m a Company Of Heros player and Xfire junkie heck in the past year I’ve racked up over 350 hours of game playing and thats just the time that Xfire has logged on my profile!…

    So hopefully I can break that habit, and start turning those hours into hours of business profits vs digital slacking…