If there’s one thing Final Fantasy and Diablo taught me when I was growing up, it would be the importance of Leveling Up. (And epic loot of course, but who’s going to find an Ultima Weapon in real life?)
It’s a simple process really: Find weak enemies to kill for experience first, rest up to heal, then find stronger enemies to defeat. Rinse, lather, repeat.
How different is this from real life though? Finding a more difficult song to master or a more delicate dish to cook; it’s just like a tougher boss fight. Many practical skills and impressive feats are thoroughly achievable through hard work and patience, much like Mephisto runs.
While we can’t offer skill trees and stat distribution, here are 7 ways you can Level Up:
1. Playing a Musical Instrument
Most of us are absorbed in careers governed by efficiency and industry, but what ever happened to creativity, self expression and personal fulfillment? One of the true joys of life is creating something that you can share and people can relate to, for example a personal blog or musical cover of a song you love. So pick up that moldy guitar in the storeroom or start Googling “piano lessons”. I’ll even help out with guitar lessons, just ask!
2. Speaking a third Language
There is no disadvantage if you can speak a third language on top of English and your mother tongue. Firstly, there’s the obvious advantage when travelling to that country. It adds a dimension on the C.V. and impresses at the restaurant. Learning a new language also expands networking opportunities and allows immersion in another culture, another world almost. With free online resources, that world is only a step away.
3. Hittin’ the Gym
If you haven’t started lifting weights, here are the facts: it prevents heart disease, helps with sleep, improves posture, regulates testosterone levels, boosts self confidence and enhances your image. There are a ton of free resources available at your fingertips and with the convenience and low entrance fees of public gyms, there really is no excuse.
4. Take up a Team Sport
Besides obvious health benefits, taking up a new team sport can improve communication and problem solving, sharpen decision making, develop personal patience and for others and foster bonds with old and new friends. Also, you are more likely to commit to weekly sessions with friends rather than a gym session that can always be put off.
5. Dressing Up
I quote from my previous blog post: “I’m in the opinion that a fashionably dressed man will leave a better impression than a lady with good fashion sense.” It’s not difficult to start: just visit male fashion websites with regularity. Some tips from another of my previous post: Fit > Quality > Brand, get a nice pair of loafers/boat shoes, belt must match your shoes and invest in a tailored suit.
6. Cultivate EQ and Compassion
If there is one thing severely lacking in Singapore, it’s compassion. Start by volunteering for a cause and making it a weekly commitment. Too much? Bring your younger siblings out for a movie and get to know them better. No younger siblings? Your cute nephews and nieces. Visit your grandparents and talk to them.
You could also raise your EQ, which I personally value more than IQ. A higher EQ would improve your relationships with your families, friends, prospective girlfriends and bosses. An excellent article by Karla Jennings on lifehack.org defines the Six Pillars of Emotional Intelligence: Self-Awareness, Empathy, Self-Regulation, Motivation, Social Skills and Happiness.
I used to be impressed by guys who can cook, until I went to Melbourne for my Bachelor’s and realised how easy it is. Start with breakfast if you haven’t already. Scrambled eggs are a quick and easy fix in the mornings, and a great start to cooking. Move yourself up to pasta and sauce, before doing meats and vegetables.
It’s not going to taste nice on the first try, but Kurt Cobain didn’t compose a song on his first try either. A social aspect of being able to cook is sharing your dishes with friends; organise a potluck! Want a recipe? Google knows.
This guide serves to add dimensions and diversity to enrich your life. Do not partake in this leveling up to impress your friends or with ladies; do it for yourself and your well being.
Ultimately, a man should never be content with himself physically, mentally, socially or spiritually; this drive and fighting spirit should test his limits and go beyond them. Only then, he would know he lived a full life, not one of just dreams and goals.
We foolishly believe that our own limitations are the proper measure of limitations.
- Napoleon Hill
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