It doesn’t matter if you have all of the programming and game design knowledge in the whole world, if you don’t prepare yourself to get over the obstacles to success. Some of these obstacles are often in our own mind.
Even if your goal in life is not to get rich and earn oodles of money, having a mindset similar to successful people is going to lead to success. There are things that successful people do that other people don’t, and one of them is training their mind to overcome obstacles.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all you can do, but it should help you get into a productive and successful mindset.
You Go Where You Focus
My brother-in-law enjoys driving motorcycles and I was considering getting a motorcycle myself so I was talking about things to keep in mind. One of the most important things he told me is “You steer towards what you are looking at. You need to keep you focus on where you want to go.”
This is true of life as well. If you know exactly where you want to go and what you want to achieve your mind will subconsciously try to steer you towards it.
Create a clear goal of exactly what you want. Make it compelling, something you have a strong desire to achieve. In fact write it down and read it aloud every morning and every night to keep it fresh in your mind and keep you excited about it.
Solutions Not Problems
This follows the same lines as your focus. When you come across a problem or an obstacle, only spend a short amount of time clearly describing the problem. This is not normal. Most people tend to spend a lot of time focusing on all the obstacles they have to overcome and make themselves tired thinking “I got to this and that and the other thing and it’s just so much … uhhhhh!”
Define the problem in a single sentence if possible, then focus on all the ways to solve the problem. You can usually think of multiple solutions and things you can do that completely eliminate the problem. Try to come up with at least three real, actionable solutions. Then pick one and do it.
Process Not Results
If you tie your success to things that are outside your control, you are setting yourself up for failure. People with a successful mindset find a process that works and then they measure their success by how well they stick to the process, not what results they get.
Oftentimes as a beginner in game design, “failure” is the norm as you figure things out. If you focus on how much people don’t like your game or how few people play or buy your game, you are going to get discouraged and your motivation will go down.
But, if instead, you focus on doing good game design and making games consistently and following a good game design process, the results will come.
Get Rid of Fear
One of the biggest obstacles in anyone’s mind is fear. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of poverty, fear of ridicule, and the list goes on. In The Art of Game Design, Jesse Schell writes “[A Game Designer] must lack a fear of ridicule.” Any successful person, has to be able to overcome fears that are blocking their way.
Usually these fears are in our mind and usually completely unfounded. Often a good exercise to do is ask these 3 questions:
- What is the worst that could happen?
- What is the most likely outcome?
- What is the outcome I want and the payoff?
Then focus on the last one. You will tend to find that the worst that could happen is not really bad at all or at least very unlikely and the payoff for doing the action and it going right is huge.
Focus on Success
Where you steer your mind is what you will head towards. There are other successful mindset principles and I may do second post about the success mindset later on. In the meantime I would recommend the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It is an older book but has timeless truths about success and having a successful mindset.
Now get your mind focussed on success and go make games.