When I talk about growth and try to explain a methodology for achieving growth I find myself referring back to this model time and again because it so easily and thoroughly explains the concepts I’m trying to communicate in a way that most everyone can understand instantly.
I call it the RPG Model of Growth.
It's not my invention and I lay no claim to it. It’s simply an effective metaphor that goes as follows:
In a role-playing video game you start the game with an avatar. This avatar is on level 1 and has many attributes such as health, stamina, power, strength, magic, healing, etc…
In the beginning of the game your avatar is weak and vulnerable. They can’t face the big boss or they’ll be killed instantly.
But they can fight the underlings and the henchmen and gain experience. The more baddies they fight the more experience they get. Soon your avatar levels up. All their attributes are increased and those baddies aren’t so bad anymore.
But new baddies show up and they’re harder to beat, but they give you even more experience.
This cycle goes on and on until you’re finally at the highest levels of the game. Now the enemies you first faced in the beginning of the game run from you and the one’s you faced in the middle of the game are easy to beat. Your attributes are maxed out and your avatar is ready for anything, including the final boss. You defeat him and the game is won. And you defeated him by leveling up.
While real life is somewhat different- unless magic is real and nobody told me yet- it can be treated the same way.
You are your avatar of life. Your attributes are now things like discipline, belief, fortitude, resilience, grit, stamina, education, self-reliance, intuition, instinct, education, empathy, compassion, etc (you get the point).
These attributes are all at various levels from your experiences in life. But they are not static things. They can be leveled-up when you gain experience.
Let’s use running as an easy example. If you’ve never run long distance you can consider yourself level zero. You can maybe run a mile or two and you’re winded and fatigued. But you stay consistent and keep doing it.
After a few weeks you can run three or four miles and running one or two seems easy. Project that a few months and you can run eight miles and a three mile run feels like a rest day. You’re leveling up.
The physical examples are the easiest to explain, but the same model applies to those attributes I mentioned earlier. Your goals are the bosses you want to defeat. Landmarks along the way are the mini-bosses.
You gain experience everyday and make progress towards the finish. Then when the day finally comes your avatar’s stats are maxed out and you slay the boss and save the village- or you crush the interview and land the promotion- or you pound the pavement and finish a marathon. Congratulations, now onto the next boss.
Remember, you can’t beat the game overnight, and nothing worth having comes easy. But with the right mindset and a proper plan you can beat any boss out there.
So treat life like a video game and level-up!