Did You Come to Play the Game on Easy?

playing on easy

Imagine that you just got that brand new game you’ve been drooling over for the last month.

You rip open the packaging, slide the disc into your console of choice, and hit play. The title screen pops up, and you’re asked to choose a difficulty level.

Odds are, that if you’re serious about playing it, there is no way in hell you’re going to choose easy. That’s just too… easy.

Sure, you might start out playing on the easier levels until you grow comfortable enough in your skills to move on. Hell, you might even take the tutorial level. But sooner or later, you’re going to have to take it up a notch and start playing on hard mode.

Otherwise, the game will be nothing but a boring walk in the park, and completing it won’t mean a thing to you.

No, when playing a game, you want the challenge. You want to play on hard mode, tackling the obstacles that keep you on the edge of your seat and force you to improve and evolve. That’s when your efforts start to mean something.

And at the end of the game, as you fall back into the couch and catch your breath, you look back at your achievements with pride.

That’s how you play a game.

Not fidgeting about on the easy levels that let you waltz through everything without breaking a sweat, but on Legendary mode that keeps you constantly on the edge of your seat.

But what if I told you that life itself has a similar difficulty setting? And that right now, you’re probably fooling around on easy.

Staying in the same city year after year, working at a mediocre job where you hardly have to push yourself, living the same routine day in and day out, and only ever doing what a million other people have already done before you – does that sound like Legendary mode to you?

Before you go on reading, I want you to take a few seconds and ask yourself; did you come to play the game on easy? Did you come to simply follow the beaten path of society, never challenging yourself and never testing where your limits go?

Playing on Easy

Seeing how you’re reading this, I assume you live in a somewhat developed country. There’s probably a pretty good safety net, and an entire society designed to help you stay alive. You’re basically guaranteed a certain level of life quality, and you won’t ever have to fight for any of your basic necessities.

It won’t be hard to find a somewhat decent job. You’ll probably have no trouble attracting a passable mate, settling down in a decent house and maintaining a mediocre standard of living.

There is no challenge to any of this – if anything, you have to actively try to fail at these things. Even if you struggle for a while, your government would probably step in and help you get back on your feet.

All you have to do is follow the beaten path of society, and you’re all but guaranteed to make it through the game of life.

But to what end?

Passing through life like this would be the equivalence of sailing through a game on beginner mode, with a game guide open in front of you, and your big brother there to help you if the going gets too tough.

There’s just no challenge to any of this.

And just like a game played on easy won’t be worth sh*t to you, a life lived in mediocrity won’t bring you any lasting joy.

Don’t believe me? Let’s imagine you’re at the end of your life, and you’ve played it all on easy mode. What will you have achieved by playing your game like that?

You never tried your hardest. You were never pushed to improve and become the best you could be. You never reached the high scores you could have reached, and you never achieved the rewards you could have achieved.

Sure, you made it through the game – but why?

When you’re looking back at those 40 years you spent working a job that neither interested nor challenged you, what will you feel?

When you remember all those countless hours spent on your couch, and realize that you never once challenged yourself – what pride will you feel?

When you think of all the potential you never lived up to – that book you never wrote, that marathon you never ran, that business idea you never saw through – what satisfaction will you feel?

Completing a game on easy is no achievement. You won’t look back at your game and think “holy crap, that was intense!” There won’t be any great feeling of satisfaction once you’re done. At best, you’ll feel slightly content before you go play a different game or start over on a harder level.

The same applies for real life as well.

There’s only one difference; you’re not allowed to start over on a different level. If you choose to play the game of life on easy, that’s the only level you’ll ever get to play.

So don’t you think it’s time you stopped fooling around on easy, and started playing your life on a level that actually meant something to you?

Or are you not comfortable enough in your skills to leave the tutorial level?

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3 Comments

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  1. Hey Mathias. Really enjoyed this article and it is very true. We all need to challenge ourselves in some way. As you stated, living in a developed country, we have all the opportunity we need. We have all the basics covered for survival. We have too much at our disposal we don’t know what to choose. We choose the easiest way as it is simplest.
    Great article!

    1. Hey Andy, glad you enjoyed it! You’re absolutely right – we as a species will always have a tendency to choose the easy way out. It’s just the way our primitive brains evolved!

  2. I find that I make the most progress when I find the level of difficulty that is “just right” for me. Too hard and I end up frustrated, discouraged, wanting to abandon. Too easy and I feel understimulated. The middle ground is uncomfortable AND realistic.

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