How Video Games Taught Me To Invest In My Health

Just as you could do all the real life entertaining things in the game, you could do the boring ones too.

When I was younger, I used to play a lot of video games.

Looking back at it now, I was as bad as the modern day Netflix binge watcher who takes down entire seasons in a single weekend. I remember on some of the games, they even kept track of your play time. The numbers were startling.

Anyways, one of the games I used to play was called Fable — it was a role playing game (RPG) where you were a character in this open world that took place in a colonial setting.

You start as a child, but as you play the game and your character grows up, you can do all kinds of different things such as go gambling, shopping for clothes, compete in a battle royale, go sailing, or get drunk at the local pub and sleep with one of the local ‘wenches.’

While my friends played this game, they mostly went around doing these kinds of things, because lets face it, they’re pretty funny and entertaining. They’re built into the game for a reason — to entertain you and entice you to play.

However, I spent a lot of my time doing two things

  • Working jobs — such as a blacksmith or a wood chopper
  • Saving my money to buy real estate

Just as you could do all the real life entertaining things in the game, you could do the boring ones too.

How exciting.

But I was on to something.

I had figured out that when you worked at a job, you could level up and earn more money based on how much experience you had doing the job.

So if I worked my way up and became a more experienced wood chopper, I could earn money faster with a higher wage.

At first I sucked it up and made the “minimum wage” you could call it, but after leveling up a few times, I was earning a decent chunk of change for just chopping wood!

Who knew that was a viable career path!?

I also had the whole real estate market figured out.

Once I learned that you could buy properties in the game, such as shops and houses that paid rent, I knew that was the way to go.

Every building you owned would pay its ‘monthly’ rent amount every 15 minutes in the game — it was a goldmine!

So that’s what I did, chopped wood and bought properties.

When my friends would see my character, they would say how boring it was. My character certainly wasn’t dressed up as cool as theirs, nor were my weapons quite as powerful.

So Guess What Happened?

I got rich.

I owned every property the game would let me buy.

All my friends were doing their thing with buying goofy outfits and getting told their fortune by the local witch, but I thought there was nothing cooler than pretty much owning the entire world.

But now that I was rich, I had the coolest goofy outfits and other expensive things my friends still couldn’t get from shops and other places where money was a barrier.

What’s the Moral Of The Story?

This is what we should be doing in our daily lives.

No, I don’t mean becoming a professional wood chopper or building a real estate empire — unless that’s your thing.

What I’m talking about is investing our resources into ourselves and our future.

Instead of screwing around (even though it’s a video game and that’s kind of the point) I was investing in my future by working those jobs and buying properties so that I could have a ton of money later on.

That’s called delayed gratification — where the work comes up front, but the rewards aren’t realized until later in the future.

However in today’s modern world, our society is more interested in instant gratification, or rewards being realized instantly.

We’re Addicted To Instant Gratification

This is the problem with the weight loss industry.

Everyone wants to take the magic capsule to lose weight or drink nothing but kale and pineapple juice shakes to drop 20 pounds in 10 days so they can go back to their normal, yet destructive, eating habits.

But it doesn’t work that way.

Great things take time.

Lasting results require lasting changes.

If you want to lose weight and be healthier for the long term, you need to build healthy diet and exercise habits for the long term.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Losing Weight

In the same way, after I bought properties in that game, I would have to come back and pay for maintenance work on them or else they would stop paying me rent.

If I just stopped chopping wood and stopped maintaining my properties in the game, I would’ve gone broke again.

It’s an ongoing process.

With that being said, chopping wood and buying properties isn’t so bad, and I still had fun doing plenty of other things in the game too.

Balance Is The Key To Life

Even though I didn’t have as cool of gear as my friends did, and even though I my weapons weren’t quite as good, they were good enough for me.

I was much happier allocating some of my money and time to real estate instead — I saw the bigger picture.

It’s not like it was a chore for me to chop wood a lot and buy real estate.

It was fun — I enjoyed it!

I always knew how much gold I needed to collect while I was chopping wood, so it became fun for me to try to earn that much money — to reach that goal.

The same goes for your health.

You don’t have to eat plain chicken and broccoli every night for dinner.

It doesn’t have to be dull and boring, nor does it have to be perfect.

You just need to find a balance.

The Bottom Line

We need to invest in our health.

Especially those who are overweight or obese.

Being overweight causes a higher risk factor for things such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and some kinds of cancer, just to name a few.

Losing weight and lowering your risk for these health conditions can potentially be adding years to your life.

How can you afford to not invest in your health at the risk of losing years of your life?

The most precious asset we have in this world is time — and our time is limited as it is.

Investing in your health is a chance to buy some additional time.

I’m a big fan of Jim Stovall’s book Ultimate Productivity.

If you don’t know who Jim Stovall is, I suggest you check him out — his story is so incredible and inspiring.

Anyways, there’s a quote in the book:

“Only by accepting full responsibility for your past, which has resulted in your present, can you then take control of your actions today, and create a successful tomorrow.”

This is especially true in terms of your health.

What you’ve done in the past is a direct cause for whatever your health is like now.

And just the same, your long term health will be a direct result of your future actions — starting with your actions today.

So do something about it.

Sign up for the gym.

Start eating more vegetables.

Go for a walk on your lunch break.

Start somewhere.

It’s ironic because we spend so much time investing in ourselves on a daily basis.

We spend 40 hours each week working so that we can have a place to live, possibly a car to drive, food to eat, and do other fun leisurely things.

Why not put in a little extra effort to take care of ourselves as well?

If we don’t properly take care of ourselves, we may not be healthy enough to enjoy life to the fullest. Or we may not be around at all.

As Jim Rohn said:

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

Don’t know where to get started?

Sign up for my free Weight Loss Email Course here to learn everything you know to get on the way to living a healthier lifestyle.

Originally published at www.andrewschutt.com on November 14, 2016.


Originally published at medium.com

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