What Stellaris taught me about success

Though it doesn’t happen everyday, I occasionally get inspired after I fire up my Xbox or Playstation, and delve into the mythos of certain games. This week, a new game I bought poured extra vigor into my goal-oriented mindset.

Don’t just watch the throne

We have all heard about becoming Kings and Queens of our domains, and becoming wealthy. It’s almost always a good idea to aim high when it comes to our dreams and ambitions.

I’m pretty sure the average person supports the idea of leveling up their lives. I certainly do.

Related: 3 Ways The Sims teaches us how to make it in life

But, the blueprints for success have changed in the last handful of years, and ideas like building wealth and becoming a King seems like more of an abstract concept that a true reality. How can we really do this?

Enter Stellaris.

The sci-fi strategy game, where you are the commander and leader an intergalactic empire, and win the game by exploring and successfully colonizing a large enough chunk of the galaxy (not easy), or either forming a friendly federation with neighboring empires or outright annihilating them (also not easy).

I’m hooked.

Maybe the Sci-Fi genre just gets me. In truth, Bladerunner 2049 and Interstellar were two of my favorite movies from the past decade. But Stellaris, with it’s style, soundtrack, and overall depth has reminded me that

I am the commander of my empire. And so are you.

The depth of Stellaris

You can choose the likeness of your people, and even your first leader (elections will be held automatically after). Are you a human population? Or alien? You can also choose what kind of government you are. Are you a Egalitarian Democracy, or a dictator who keeps slaves? (yup, you read that right)

Are your borders open to other species? There’s are a ton of details to choose from when running your empire. Keeping your citizens happy, avoid rebellions, diplomacy with other species, and, of course, war, is just a small part of it.

Life Lesson: Take command of your empire, and build it

You can build the life that you want for yourself but you have to make moves, the galaxy isn’t going to move for you, my friend.

That unexplored business idea you have is still waiting for you. It’s not going to build itself. It’s up to you to try it out and see if it’s worth exploring. Relocating to that new city you’ve got your eye on is only a couple of strategic choices away.

Whether your specific enterprise is already in motion, or just starting out, you have to strategize, act, and adapt. You must keep building, either in size, wealth, or quality. And since the world is changing absurdly fast these days, you have to think ahead.

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We can’t control the world–or galaxy–around us, but we can control how productively we spend and invest our time and resources.

Stop wasting time

In Stellaris, be mindful of your time, and make sure your activities support the greater goals of your empire. Spend too much time idle or hung up on trivial things, and your rivals will outgrow you, or even march their armies right up to your plante’s doorstep.

So too, in life.

How much does your day-to-day activity make progress toward your goals? What about on weekends? Are your regular activities benefiting you in the long run? If they aren’t, cut them. Save the time and energy.

There are 24 hours in a day, which is plenty of time for you to make a little progress on your goals. After just a few simple adjustments to your schedule, you can shift from being semi-unproductive to a highly productive person.

Save your energy for things that matter

Extra time means nothing if you’re not engaged. So don’t forget to manager your energy just as much as you manage time. To write that book, or record that song, you need energy.

Avoid soul-sucking activities like unnecessary worrying, jobs you hate, dealing with people who bring you mostly drama, and blah blah blah. You’ll get a nice energy boost when you see the progress you’re making.

Get moving

Strategy games will teach you to think 2 and 3 steps ahead. If you think ahead and take advantage of the time, skills, and energy that you already have, you’ll grow.

Time to build.

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