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Life Is A Video Game (You Can’t Escape The Matrix)

I remember waking up at 3 a.m. so I could play games before I had to go to high school.

From Halo 3 and Call Of Duty to World Of Warcraft and League Of Legends.

I was addicted, to say the least.

Increasing my level in video games took priority over increasing my level in reality.

But I wouldn’t change a thing.

How else would I be able to write this newsletter?

Psychology, metaphysics, self-help, and modern business all point to life being a video game.

In a metaphorical sense, of course. I’m not saying that the underlying fabric of the Universe is a giant computer that aliens built before humans existed… but it’s quite similar as we will learn (and I’m not completely closed off to that idea. Who actually knows?).

I want to break down each perspective so you can:

  • Make progress toward your goals (and fall in love with the process)
  • Understand how to tap into optimal states of consciousness
  • Stop taking life so seriously and create your ideal future
  • Reinvent yourself or the character that plays the game of life
  • Leverage your character to pursue your life’s work and earn a meaningful income

A game is a structured flow of information.

Life is in-formation, and our quality of life depends on our ability to process it.

When we push too far beyond our edge, too far into the unknown, there is too much stimulus. We can’t metabolize the experience. Information builds up and creates anxiety and overwhelm.

When we shy too far away from our edge, too far into the known, there is little novelty that makes life worth living. Our mind is not stimulated. Information is easy to digest and we become bored.

The conscious mind can process 50 bits of information per second.

The unconscious mind can manage 11 million bits of information per second.

As we become more efficient at processing information, or playing the game, our unconscious grows in power, and we free up conscious attention to invest in what we deem meaningful.

In video games, you have a map. The light of awareness reveals where you have been and what you have experienced. This knowledge allows you to make better decisions in the future.

The darkness of the map is the unknown, and you wouldn’t launch yourself too far from the known.

You must slowly puncture the unknown, let the experience normalize through skill acquisition and emotional management, and press forward.

The purpose of life is to raise your consciousness.

This is only possible by living at your edge. Embracing the story of life. The highs, lows, successes, and catastrophic failures. The most miserable place you can be is in the middle.

Psychology: How Video Games Make You Addicted To Progress

The optimal state of inner experience is one in which there is order in consciousness. This happens when psychic energy—or attention—is invested in realistic goals, and when skills match the opportunities for action. The pursuit of a goal brings order in awareness because a person must concentrate attention on the task at hand and momentarily forget everything else. – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Flow.

You’ve heard about it before.

The optimal state of consciousness that all of the ancients, mystics, and psychologists point to with their teachings.

Where you are at one with doing or being.

You lose self-consciousness and move through life without a worry in the world.

It seems that the key to the good life is investing attention in what we deem meaningful. But what you deem meaningful is found by investing attention in what you eliminate as meaningless. This process of trial and error, high and low, focus and distraction is the natural balance that keeps life enjoyable.

But if you get stuck in a low, chaos ensues.

Psychic Entropy

Ordered consciousness is what creates degrees of the flow state.

To “order consciousness” is to focus your attention on something external or internal. A task, situation, or conversation in the external. Or a thought, emotion, or feeling in the internal.

Both have their benefits and change the way our brain operates.

When we lose focus to a distraction, we increase the chances of entropy – the decline into chaos. Psychic entropy is when the mind tends toward a disordered state of consciousness.

When we give life, or attention, to a negative thought it multiplies.

A social media post about how eggs will cause cancer brings thoughts about your grandma’s health, your diet choices, if you’ve fulfilled your potential, how food affects your skin quality, what you are going to eat next, and more.

We can reverse entropy when we use our human ability to zoom out, gain perspective, and refocus our attention on doing or being in a direction that brings growth.

Video Games Order Consciousness

There are a lot of practical lessons we can learn by deconstructing how video games order consciousness.

Those lessons can be used to enhance our learning, skill acquisition, and self-confidence.

When you first start playing a game:

  1. You have no idea what you’re doing.
  2. You go through a tutorial so you aren’t exposed to everything at once.
  3. You practice at level one until that level becomes boring.
  4. You are introduced to more skills, traits, and abilities to practice with.
  5. You progressively overload the challenges you take on until you decide to stop playing the game.

There must be a skill challenge match if we want to maintain order in consciousness.

If the challenge is too high for your skill, you get anxious.

If the challenge is too low for your skill, you get bored.

So, you start by learning the rules of the game.

A “game” represents any situation in life. Especially the ones where you lack confidence and can’t see yourself winning.

Then, you practice the mechanics of the game.

There are a series of steps, or quests, that provide education and practice in unison.

Remember this when you approach anything new (or get bored with your current endeavor).

If you are faced with a large challenge, you need to learn and practice at your level.

If you are bored with your current level of challenge, you need to expose yourself to the education of the next level, practice the new skills, and enjoy the neurochemical cocktail with a double of dopamine as you transcend to the next phase of your life.

Self-Awareness As A Compass

Balancing skill with challenge is the metagame you must practice.

When you get bored, your mind will start to drift and think “I could be doing something better with my time.”

You tilt into self-centeredness. Refocus your attention on adding a challenge to the situation.

Even if you work a job with the same repetitive tasks, you can make it more enjoyable by creating a more challenging game.

You may see daily walks as boring, but what if you add some rules? Try making it without stepping on a crack in the sidewalk.

When you get anxious, your mind grasps at negative aspects of yourself.

“I’m not good enough.”

“What will people think of this blemish on my face.”

“I could never make that much money with my business.”

You tilt into self-consciousness and let negative thoughts multiply.

Again, pause and zoom out. Refocus.

This will take intentional practice to make a habit.

Metaphysics: We Live In A Survival Based Simulation

If you play a video game on your computer, such as “Doom” or “Uncharted”, you see compelling 3D worlds with 3D objects. Yet the information is entirely 2D, limited by the number of pixels on the screen. The same is true when you look away from your computer to the world around you. It too has pixels, and all the information is 2D. – Donald Hoffman

Donald Hoffman is a cognitive psychologist and author, notably of the book The Case Against Reality.

In the book (and various podcasts I’ve binge listened) he argues that human perception is a “user interface” that hides the true nature of reality, so that we can survive.

Natural selection doesn’t favor organisms that see reality as it is.

This aligns with psychedelic enthusiasts like Terrance McKenna who say that language is virtual reality. Perception is a closed system and psychedelics allow you to see beyond our fitness-based perceptions.

Spacetime As A Compression Algorithm

Hoffman argues that space and time are a visualization tool.

They are the operating system of our user interface.

Think of a desktop screen.

Subjective reality is like a screen that is programmed to help us see what we need to see in order to do what we need to do.

Every “material” object is like an icon on the screen.

It is pretty. It has properties and qualities. We should “take them seriously, but not literally.”

You can click around on the screen and perform specific tasks that result in a desired outcome.

These desired outcomes are “fitness payoffs.” These payoffs are like points in a video game. Through trial and error, we learn how to win, and how to evolve. By winning, your offspring go to the next level.

In real-world simulations, organisms that saw the truth went extinct. Like an ant trying to mate with a glass bottle, because its perception was distorted.

Removing The Interface

Everyone thinks they are seeing the truth but it’s more like everyone is in the same video game like Grand Theft Auto.

When we look at our computers and consoles that run these programs, they are packaged up nicely.

We don’t see the wires and diodes that transfer information to create what is on the screen. And even if we did see it, it wouldn’t serve our survival. We wouldn’t understand it and wouldn’t be able to do anything with the jumble of electronics.

Even further, we can’t see or comprehend the code that is running the game.

We can draw connections between this theory and non-duality, infinite consciousness, and mentalism / idealism.

If you were to remove your interface (with a tool like psychedelics or advanced meditation) you would eventually go insane. Your ego would dissolve and you would “live” and operate in a completely different fashion. Your physical body or avatar would stop playing the game – and you would probably die very soon.

There is a reason people aren’t on psychedelics 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We aren’t at that phase of evolution just yet, but who knows what the future holds.

For now, it is wise to ground yourself in the metaphysical and act in the “physical” from a place of higher perspective.

The Mind As A Vessel

The human mind is a vessel where reality flows through it.

Think of it like a projector.

The light that the projector emits is consciousness.

The film is the mind.

The light shines on the film and displays a spectrum of experiences that humans have. It frames our perception.

Self-Help: How To Reinvent Yourself (Your Character)

Life is a game.

Stack gold.

Acquire skills.

Gain experience.

Unlock new levels.

And eventually, get to a point where you have the resources to do whatever you want.

When your operating frame is focused on the process that will actualize your future, your focus is impenetrable, and you live in a world of your own design.

The difference between a video game and real life is virtual risk and real risk.

The sameness between a video game and real life is learning, practice, and becoming a dopamine junkie.

Video games have tutorials, professions, quests, and an unknown to explore.

Real life has childhood, career paths, responsibilities, and potentials that you are unaware of – but once discovered – can drastically change how you think, act, and work.

Once you understand the significance of the patterns illustrated between games and life, you can begin to correct your behavior in a manner that is conducive to your ideal future.

Increasing The Complexity Of Self

No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it. – Albert Einstein

To raise your consciousness you must increase your level of mind.

To raise your level of mind you must open your perspective.

To open your perspective you must identify problems, take on the challenge, acquire the skill, and receive the knowledge necessary to transcend your previous identity.

With each level of mind, your identity must change.

The knowledge, skill, belief, and experience you order in your mind as “self” determines the opportunities available to you.

At level 1, you have access to opportunities slightly above your level. The opportunities you can register in your awareness exist on a spectrum.

As you level up, you have access to all opportunities beneath you, and those slightly above you still.

It is a massive disservice to your life to distract yourself and never see what you are capable of.

Creating The Games You Play

If games have a desired outcome (winning), a path to get there (progression), and habitual actions to take (priorities) then we can create games out of any situation in life.

This Universal principle of purpose, process, and priority is the underlying framework of human behavior.

If you don’t have a goal, you don’t have vision.

If you don’t have a path, you don’t have clarity.

If you don’t have a task, you don’t have focus.

Most of your problems in life can be solved by understanding and applying this principle.

To create a game, you need a hierarchy of goals that frames your attention.

As an example:

  • A 10 year goal (that allows your vision to blossom)
  • Yearly goals
  • Monthly goals
  • Weekly goals

All of which are to be loosely held in the back of your mind. They should not be your master, but your guide.

Only from there can you align your education and daily lever-moving actions with them.

The progress you make increases meaningful dopamine in the brain, it feels incredible.

And if you can anchor your attention to this hierarchy of goals, most of your worries disappear.

You’re overly focused on the negative parts of your life because you haven’t built positive responsibilities that demand your focus.

The more attention you invest in your goals, the stronger their gravity becomes.

All Change Is Behavior Change

To change your life you must change your actions.

To change your actions (in the right direction) you need a plan. There isn’t any other way. And if you don’t create your own, someone will create a plan for you.

To stick to the plan you need a system.

Systems are organized behavior changes.

To create a system you must attack your goals, embrace the nature of trial and error, double down on your successes, and persist until “success” becomes the default state in each area of your life. Health, wealth, relationships, and happiness.

Business: The New Digital Society

Eventually, everybody will be in the creator economy. – Naval Ravikant

The world is shifting from corporate dominance to individual power thanks to technology.

This is reflected in nature through the principle of division and unity.

Everything divides and reunites, like ocean to cloud to rain, and the creator economy is the perfect example of this phenomenon.

In the Renaissance Era, the economy favored the multi-dimensional. The polymaths. The artists who refused to limit their abilities. The thinkers, creators, designers, builders, and individuals who took responsibility for their mental, physical, and spiritual development.

In the Digital Renaissance we are going through, history is repeating itself.

We can learn anything, do anything, and become anything thanks to the vast and rapid information expanding at our fingertips.

The expansion of the mental plane of existence (through the internet) has created a field of infinite potential.

Communication is no longer local.

Commerce is no longer local.

Friendships are no longer local.

Society is no longer fragmented.

The creator economy is virtual reality.

Your personal brand is your character.

Online business is the game and progression.

Networking is how you build a powerful tribe.

Purposeful products are how you make a living.

The intrinsic philosophy you cultivate throughout your journey is the marketing firepower that attracts those like you.

You are a part of the creator economy right now.

The question is – which side are you on?

Are you engaging in the mutual benefit of value exchange? Product for money? Or are you draining your attention, overloading your mind, and wasting your creative ability by not producing anything in return for the value you are taking?

Brand – You Are The Most Profitable Niche

Your brand is your online avatar.

Strong brands have vision. A big irrational goal that they are leading their followers toward. The gravity of that goal – and the energy displayed along with it – is what attracts people to you.

Your brand is your highest version.

It is who you are becoming.

It is your guiding light toward a better future that allows you to align your actions with goals through a tangible vessel that others can benefit massively.

Your job is to display who you are in your profile picture, images, bio, and website.

Your style shapes your designs.

Your vision shapes your bio.

Your goals shape the content, product, and marketing you create under your brand as a hierarchy.

Content – Lessons Learned Completing Quests

Your content is the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, opinions, lessons, and advice you acquire as you pursue your challenging hierarchy of goals.

Do you see the power in this?

Writing has changed my life.

It has brought self-awareness, self-understanding, and the ability to organize my thoughts – or order consciousness – to make life more enjoyable. This is a driving factor why I created 2 Hour Writer – to teach you what is arguably the most valuable (and profitable) skill that will never go out of style – even with the emergence of AI.

You don’t need fancy content frameworks and templates.

They help, of course, but the best content results from energy transfer.

As you acquire knowledge and skills through education and practice – share the ideas that spark excitement and resonance in you.

Do not filter yourself.

This is what attracts a like-minded readership that sets you up for monetizing your life’s work.

Product – Systems For Behavior Change

The best products spark positive behavior change.

Behavior change is reflected in the eternal markets of business – health, wealth, and relationships.

Write to yourself.

Build for yourself.

Sell to yourself.

Create a product or service out of the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired on your journey.

Something that you would have wanted, or something that would truly benefit your life right now.

There are individuals in the creator economy that sell courses, clothing, supplements, blue light glasses, planners, coaching in multiple areas of life, kitchenware, and really anything that shapes the lifestyle of people like you.

People will object and tell you to “start a real business.”

What they mean is, “I am fabricating problems that don’t benefit humanity. Don’t start a business around real problems that will raise the collective consciousness.”

People who have a poor relationship with money think that sales and business are evil.

They don’t understand that the exchange of goods is a part of human nature.

Money is neutral until put in the hands of good or evil.

Consistent progression toward your conscious goals ensures that you lean toward good.

When you solve your own problems and sell the solution, you can guarantee that those problems exist on the cosmic scale, and rest well knowing that you are making a difference.

Marketing – Cultivating An Intrinsic Philosophy

It is wise to study marketing and sales.

They are evergreen skills backed with psychological and metaphysical principles of value exchange.

Of course, there are tainted aspects of those skills. People who lack moral development will use them for evil, but like money, these skills are neutral until wielded.

Invest in education around these, but do so to note patterns and identify principles that shape your articulation and persuasive ability.

From there, use the intrinsic philosophy you cultivate as you play the game.

Goals imply problems and problems imply struggle.

You will struggle on this journey, but the lessons learned are what increase your level of mind.

The reasons or “whys” behind your pursuit is how you promote the product you create to the people you’ve attracted.

Why did you start training in the gym or fixing your health?

Why did you improve your relationships and social life?

Why did you increase your wealth through business, skill, and professional pursuits?

The “why” is what creates emotion in your readers.

From there, you can learn tactics to test on your business to increase revenue, but don’t lose your soul in the process.

That’s it for this one my friends.

Life is a game.

– Dan Koe

Who Is Dan Koe?

I am a writer & brand advisor for 7-8 figure creators, influencers, and social media brands. I am obsessed with dissecting human potential, lifestyle design, and one-person businesses.

When You’re Ready, Here’s How I Can Help You:

The FOCI Planner

Goals are important. If you want help reverse engineering your vision into bite-size goals and tasks — order The FOCI Planner.

The Art Of Focus Book

Find meaning, reinvent yourself, and create your ideal future. Now available on Amazon.

The 2 Hour Writer

Implement Our 2 Hour Content Ecosystem To Learn High Impact Digital Writing, Boost Your Online Authority, & Systemize Content Creation For Rapid Growth

Mental Monetization

Monetize your creative work with a digital product that sells while you sleep. Turn your knowledge, skills, and interests into a meaningful income.