The Dark Side of Leveling Up
The following chapter is from Full Circle: 101 Short Stories, Essays, and Insights to Improve Communication Skills
There is a famous quote that goes like this:
‘You never run out of problems. You’re either in one, just left one, or headed towards one.’
Whenever evolution occurs, it introduces a brand-new set of problems that were not initially expected.
This is why I don’t think we will ever run out of jobs.
With each new technology, we will get new problems that will require human intervention.
About a decade ago, I would go to the gym with my crew.
The crew consisted of 4 people.
Me, my brother, Wilson, and Ramon.
(Wilson and Ramon were brothers).
My gym buddy was Wilson.
My brother would work out with Ramon.
We went to the 24-Hour Fitness Shaq.
We would go at 3 am because that’s when it was empty.
Once the 4 of us entered the gym, me and Wilson would go one way and Ramon and my brother would go the other way.
Let the lifting begin.
One night, I’m working out and I noticed Wilson was in a good mood.
I asked him what’s up.
He let me know that he had been making a lot of money gambling at Hardrock.
I was amazed.
He was pulling in 350-850 dollars a night playing cards.
After the gym session, the 4 of us would go outside and talk by our cars.
I decided to hype up Wilson.
‘You guys know we have a baller among us?’
Then I looked at Wilson expecting him to tell them what he told me.
Wilson let the rest of the crew know how much money he had been making.
Ramon didn’t even know.
I noticed as Wilson was delivering the news, he seemed hesitant.
I guess he was trying to keep it lowkey.
Why would he want to keep it lowkey?
This was something that you shouted from the mountains, right?!
After we knew how much money Wilson was making, we’d often make jokes like:
‘Hey Wilson, when are you going to take us out to eat?’
After 4-5 times making the same joke, Wilson finally got the hint.
He took us to eat at IHOP.
When Wilson paid for the bill, we expected it.
He should cover it because he was making all that money.
What else was he going to spend it on?
As a matter of fact, he was making the added money because he had personal issues to resolve.
I don’t think his dad was present, so he had to take care of the added bills back home.
Sure, he was making money.
But he wasn’t enjoying much of it.
This was a situation where Wilson leveled up in terms of money.
But the level up led to a new problem:
Before the car, we would walk and take horses.
After the car, we leveled up in terms of transportation.
But with the level up came added problems:
- Car accidents
- Car burglaries and much more
In the Level Up Mentality book, I share the simple rule of:
‘Go on a competition with your prior day self…. forever.’
Why use a word like, forever?
Seems too gargantuan, no?
When you go on a lifelong competition, you expect problems rather than get startled by them.
This provides an incentive to look around the corners.
The masses are completely blindsided when new technology makes them irrelevant.
Their ability to adapt is minimal to nonexistent.
They think that whining is a form of adaptation.
They wholeheartedly believe that whining will turn things back to what it was like before.
But that’s like saying:
‘I don’t like cars, I want the horses back!’
Not going to happen.
With the correct worldview, problems are still a nuisance.
Very few people are like:
‘Yippy! Another problem!!’
However, the bounce-back rate when you EXPECT problems is staggeringly more efficient than someone who doesn’t expect problems.
When you expect something, you remove a lot of the fear from it.
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