So I’ve wanted to touch on one of the most relevant topics I’ve frequently discussed with those around me over the last two years. The topic of sacrifice specifically, and how much of my personal life I’ve sacrificed to be an indie developer. One of the experiences I touch on often is the balance between the happiness of doing something I love, juggling the frustrations of life, and keeping sight of the goal at hand. I always explain to people the difference between the comforts they want, and how those desires may not always align with their goals. This is a critical consideration if a person wants to attain satisfaction towards their goals. Sometimes it can be a challenging task keeping sight of what we truly desire because while we’re willing to work, we may not want to work too long, or too hard. We all desire fun, good times and change, but at the same time we want the comforts of stability and playing life safe.
The unfortunate fact about playing it safe is people do that everyday and still fail. Most of us know that one person who lives by the rules, only to be laid off from a company they’ve worked hard for so long for. Because it’s much scarier to take a risk these days, I have a major admiration for those who instead choose to first risk failure at what they love.
In attaining my own success, there’s one thing I’ve had to eventually come to terms with, and that’s realizing success doesn’t depend entirely on my talent, skills, or any knowledge or resources. In my experiences, and I would imagine for many others, I would say success depends on what I’ve been willing to give up to attain it. Whatever any given individual has to sacrifice is unique from one person to the next, but in my own experiences, I’ve given up a lot of hanging out with my buddies. I’ve also cut off a lot of relationships that poisoned my quality of life. Even right now as I write this blog, I worked 11 hours today, and now it’s 5:34am, and I’d much rather have watched my wife Rachel Bloom in some episodes of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend…. Okay, she’s not really my wife but hey… WE’RE TALKIN’ GOALS HERE! I’ve certainly given up a lot of sleep as well, but I live through each day with a peace of mind about where I’m at throughout the development of Legends of Nesslifia.
The first major change that had to occur for me was letting go of faulty ideas and the negative ways I viewed myself that used to hold me back. I had to think hard to re-evaluate those beliefs and come to understand what’s true, and then adapt a better outlook moving forward. One belief that held me back was the illusion that the life I led was a comfortable one. Sometimes we become overly content with our lives by losing sight or our dreams; it’s an incredibly easy thing to do without even realizing it. The more comfortable I became, the less open-minded I found myself to be. I had, and to a degree still have, people in my life who fall victim to a closed mind, and unfortunately they can’t realize how much a recipe for unhappiness it is. For me to succeed to the level I have so far, this whole journey has often made me uncomfortable. I’ve recognized it as a blessing as I used to live my life believing I couldn’t give up A, or that without B, how could I survive? It’s so EASY to cop-out with an excuse to believe why change is illogical, but that’s exactly how it goes!
Sometimes it takes a ridiculously illogical amount of time, energy, and sacrifice!
Earlier I mentioned how people play life safe, yet they can still fail as it happens so often nowadays. I believe success rarely happens to those who play it safe. In my own experiences, living comfortably has been a repellent for success. Think about the chances an individual would consider, or adapt a new method for reaching a goal if said action were to remove them from their comfort zone. The reality is in working towards success, something has to give. We’ve all fallen victim to the belief that sometimes success is near impossible to achieve, but that’s not true. Sometimes our goals are much easier than the mountain climb we assume it’ll be. Throughout my own journey, reaching my milestones on the road of success hasn’t really been a story of what it takes, but instead a constant reminders of the stress, inconvenience, and time required that’s just part of my path to success.
As an entrepreneur, I do determine my own hours, and it comes with its wonderful highs, but there are equally scary lows as I don’t live with the same luxuries most are accustomed to, and I never really know what life may bring in terms of road blocks. Everyone’s experiences and growth with sacrifice is different, I can only suggest living through the motions and experiencing it yourself. I am asked by my peers quite often why more “nerds” or artists don’t develop video games. Without having started your own product, and gone through all the trials and tribulations of bringing it to market becoming a success, it’s very difficult for a person to understand why. There’s so much that has to come together, and it’s a tall order for an individual or small group to face.
Far too often people I encounter think what I do is a dream job right away. More often the moment most artists and gamers realize the amount of work that’s involved they are scared off. I spend 35-43 hours a week developing on top of a day job that’s an additional 39-42 hours a week, and I didn’t even include the super late nights. Those nights are often followed by early mornings which begin the start of back to back double shift days. I have to forego luxuries like hanging out, watching TV, and dating; all of which make the indie dream seem a lot less worth the trouble. This is where I make my stance in how I define myself as a “gamer” because It’s not always about countless hours of PlayStation, but that’s a topic for another day. There’s such a big difference between liking the ‘idea’ of a dream, and having the moxy to actually pursue the dream. In my private moments of frustration, I desperately wonder what more might life demand of me in terms of sacrifice, and I’d question what more I have to give, but the answer is simple….
I want to walk this earth breathing life into Nesslifia as long as I can, and to be successful, there’s nothing I wouldn’t give.
Thanks for reading