I never enjoyed school. I felt that most of what I was being taught was useless, I couldn't pay attention and I didn't preform very well.
In middle school I was so distracted that the teacher decided to have a meeting with my mother. She came up with the idea of giving me some play-doh that I could play with, along with a tape recorder to record the lessons so that I wouldn't distract the other kids.
But there was something that could keep my attention.
I loved the game Halo 2. It was a futuristic war game that involved team work, skill, strategy and many other aspects. I would login online every day to play this game for hours.
I think I missed almost all of grade 9 because of this game. But, I learned things that I didn't learn in school.
Only Passion Leads To Motivation
Doctors told me I had A.D.D., teachers said that I couldn't learn and my mom told me that I never listened.
So why was it that I focused so intently when I played this game. Because I was Passionate.
I hated school, so I didn't try. I loved video games, so I put my heart into it.
This taught me at a young age that you had better pursue things you feel passionately about, or you will never reach any level of mastery.
Every day when I woke up I wanted to keep playing, and keep getting better. These days I wake up and the only thing I can think about is helping people conquer their obstacles.
I could have easily given in to pressure and gone to university. Maybe I would have even found a good job and made good money. But I wouldn't reach my full potential if I didn't feel the passion.
Learn From The Best, Play Out Of Your League
The reason I became so good at this game was because I always searched for the best players I could find and tried to learn from them.
If someone beat me in a game, I didn't complain or make excuses. I messaged that person and asked them to play me again and criticize my weaknesses.
If you surround yourself with people who are not as talented as you, it might boost your ego, but it won't help you reach your potential.
When the people around you are on another level compared to you, your skills and knowledge will skyrocket.
Check your ego at the door and play with the best.
Work Ethic Beats Talent
I had a friend in this game, his name was Dustin.
I was always better than him, but he had determination that would impress Olympic athletes.
We would play games with each other one-on-one and I would win every time, but he never complained and never wanted to stop practicing.
One day his school had a lock down drill and he was stuck in class for hours with nothing to do. So what did he decide to spend this extra time on?
He got out a pen and paper, and started plotting. He thought back to all of our games, looking for commonalities and patterns to exploit. He spent literally three hours sketching and contemplating.
The next day we loaded up a game of one-on-one as always, but this time he won, again and again.
I was naturally talented, but he put in more effort so he beat me.
Whenever I worry about my abilities—seeing all of these people who are so much more talented than I am—I think of this story. It reminds that no matter how much talent I have, it's the effort that counts.
I'm not trying to say that school isn't important, or that it doesn't teach you anything, or even that video games will teach you more.
I believe that we can learn lessons from every experience. Video games taught me teamwork, patience, work ethic, humility and much more.
School wasn't the right environment for me to learn, so maybe it's good that the teacher gave me play-doh and separated me.
I was learning on my own time anyway. *pew pew, bang bang bang, BOOM*