How does an 8-year-old feel the weight of the world on his shoulders?
Well, it starts with me playing Command and Conquer in 1998.
At that time, my parents bought a new computer and got me that game as a gift. It was my first computer game, and I loved war and military history.
So I jumped into it.
And one of the first options in the game was to choose the good or evil side. So obviously, I chose the good side.
I played the game with all my heart but soon stopped having fun. And it wasn't because the game was boring. In fact, this was the best game I ever played.
But I had a hard time being in command of the good side. Because every time one of the soldiers got killed, I felt horrible.
My imagination went crazy.
I would think about how the dead soldiers wouldn't return to their families. How their lives were cut short. And all the other emotions a sensitive kid would go through.
Every soldier killed was a stab to my heart.
And the pressure of accomplishing the mission with zero causalities was too much for me. I was too hesitant to make moves and procrastinated on every offensive move.
I couldn't keep playing like this.
So I stopped for a couple of days. And came to a conclusion that would help me play the game much better.
I joined the evil side.
And it felt liberating. I didn't care if I won or lost. Or if my soldiers got killed. Since I was on the wrong side, I didn't care anymore. I was able to be bold, offensive, and strategic. I had zero expectations of succeeding.
And the game became a blast to play.
I was creative and resourceful and saw opportunities I couldn't as part of the good side. All this because I played the game without unnecessary pressure on myself.
Anyways, I bring this up because you need to reduce the pressure you put on yourself. Otherwise, your best self will rarely come out and shine. The best way to minimize self-pressure is through these daily reminders:
Remember, you are painfully human.
Remember, you are going to die.
Be grateful for what you have. We're all one calamity away from our lives being forever changed.
Without even knowing, it's easy to put pressure on ourselves.
Where we try to be perfect, forget about the things that matter, and not think we can lose the things we have today (like health).
We must constantly remind ourselves of how human and fragile we can be. And when these reminders are mentally absorbed, you can live without unnecessary self-pressure. In fact, life can become like child's play.
So the next time you tense up from pressure.
Take a deep breath and give yourself those three simple reminders. It'll make the journey of life a little more bearable.
Until next time,
The Charismatic Nerd