10k HP - Yu-kai Chou

10K HP Step 6: Achieve Your Quests (Milestones) 

10000 hours of play

In my growth journey, I’ve arrived at the crucial step of achieving my Quests, which are key activities aligned with my Game Objective.

These quests, from educational pursuits like reading and taking classes to personal and professional milestones such as starting a family or advancing in my career, are integral in acquiring necessary skills and strengthening alliances.

This stage is where everything I’ve learned and decided upon in the previous steps comes into play, transforming into actionable steps that propel me forward in the game of life.

The importance of my attributes and role becomes clear as they guide me in choosing the right quests, enhancing my skills, expanding my network, and sometimes even leading to a pivotal role transition.

The rewards of completing quests extend beyond personal growth, offering tangible benefits like higher scores, resources, and the unlocking of new zones or quest lines. These achievements elevate my status improve my gear and allow for greater self-expression and access to new opportunities.

Key quests such as earning an undergraduate degree or navigating immigration procedures can open doors to further education, career advancements, or even a significant “Zone Shift,” enabling access to new countries and diverse activities. This concept underscores the importance of being in the right environment for optimal growth and sometimes necessitates a strategic relocation for better opportunities.

Historical figures like Elon Musk, Gandhi, Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, and Leonardo da Vinci exemplify the impact of pivotal zone shift quests in their journeys.

Their geographical relocations were instrumental in their success, demonstrating that sometimes the most crucial quest involves moving to an environment that better aligns with one’s ambitions.

This idea is further illustrated by the story of a hero in this chapter, who embarked on a multi-year plan to complete a critical zone shift quest, highlighting the profound influence of one’s environment on one’s path to success.

Quest Dimension 1: Scope

I’ve learned to categorize my activities into different types of quests, each with its scope and significance. These quests can be broadly classified into Sagas, Arcs, Major Quests, Minor Quests, and Tasks.

Major Quests are substantial commitments that significantly shape my life, like starting a new job or moving to a new country, and typically take months or years to complete. On the other hand, Minor Quests are shorter, less intensive commitments that still contribute to my growth and advancement toward my game objectives. These could include activities like taking a short course or reading a book.

Tasks are even smaller actions, the kind I might list in my daily to-do list, such as writing an email or spending time with my family. Together, these minor elements build up into Minor Quests, which then contribute to the completion of Major Quests.

The relationship between these quests is dynamic. Minor Quests might be part of a Major Quest or exist independently. For example, in my Major Quest to launch a product, there are several Minor Quests like recruiting people and planning marketing.

But a Minor Quest can also stand alone, like a weekend philanthropy trip. This distinction helps me understand the complexity and interconnectivity of my activities. As I complete these tasks and quests, they string together, forming larger narratives in my life.

Major and Minor Quests lead into each other, creating what is known as an Arc – a series of quests that collectively lead toward a single objective. The culmination of multiple arcs and quests over time then forms a Saga, which represents a significant era or act in my life. Reflecting on my life so far, I see that I’ve lived through several Sagas, each marked by its own set of Major and Minor Quests.

To better understand this concept, I look at the life of someone like Elon Musk. After concluding his “Paypal Saga,” Musk began what could be termed the “SpaceX Tesla Saga.” Within this Saga, there are numerous Major Quests, like inspiring space travel, which in turn involve a variety of Minor Quests and Tasks.

These included moving to Los Angeles, joining the Mars Society, and attempting to buy rockets from Russia – an effort that eventually led to the founding of SpaceX. Recognizing the varying scopes of these quests helps me differentiate between activities and understand their relative importance and impact on my life game.

This nuanced understanding of quests is vital because it provides clarity and precision in how I view and approach my life’s activities. The term “Quest” is often used broadly in the literature about gamifying life, encompassing a wide range of activities from visiting a country to launching a product or even becoming a billionaire.

However, I recognize that these activities vary greatly in scope and impact. By categorizing them into Sagas, Arcs, Major and Minor Quests, and Tasks, I can more accurately gauge my progress, set appropriate goals, and appreciate the journey of my life as an intricate and rewarding game.

Quest Dimension 2: Activity

In my approach to life as a game, I’ve learned to categorize the activities I undertake into various Quests based on their nature, moving beyond just the scope.

These Quests include Career, Learning, Resource, Health, Spiritual, Relationship, Alliance, Discovery, Service, and Adventure Quests. Each type of Quest is distinct in its purpose and contribution to my life. Career Quests shape my professional path, Learning Quests enhance my knowledge and skills, and Resource Quests gather valuable assets.

Health Quests focus on my physical well-being, while Spiritual Quests delve into my inner journey and search for meaning. Relationship Quests revolve around the dynamics of personal connections, and Alliance Quests are about forming networks and partnerships that align with my objectives.

The variety of these Quests reflects the diversity of experiences and challenges I encounter in life. Discovery Quests, for example, are about self-exploration and understanding my true self, often leading to personal growth and self-awareness. Service Quests, on the other hand, are altruistic endeavors aimed at contributing to society or the environment, much like Gandhi’s strategy in his life game.

Adventure Quests inject excitement and novelty into my life, encouraging exploration and new experiences. Each Quest, whether it’s a new job, a spiritual practice, or a travel adventure, adds unique value to my journey.

I also recognize that some Quests can overlap in their categories. An international work assignment, for instance, might be both a Career Quest for professional growth and an Adventure Quest for experiencing new cultures. In such cases, I prioritize the aspect that aligns most closely with my Game Objectives.

This flexible categorization allows me to understand the multifaceted nature of my experiences and how they contribute to my overall life goals.

What’s crucial in this journey is not just the naming of these Quest Activities but understanding their significance in my life. Each Quest, regardless of its category, plays a role in advancing or sometimes hindering my overall Game Objectives.

Recognizing where each Quest lies in my journey and its impact is key to navigating my life game effectively. This understanding helps me make informed decisions about which quests to pursue and how they fit into the larger narrative of my life.

Quest Dimension 3: Significance

I’ve come to realize that the significance of quests toward my game objectives is crucial. Quests can be categorized as Main Quests, Side Quests, or Pivotal Quests.

Main Quests are essential in advancing me significantly toward my objectives, often unlocking new opportunities and higher-level quests. For example, enrolling in a university might be a Main Quest as it leads to further career advancements.

The nature of a Main Quest varies depending on the specific game and role I’ve chosen. Sometimes, I might realize that what I previously considered a distraction or a Side Quest, like mentoring interns, could be a Main Quest in a different role, such as a Career Coach.

Side Quests, in contrast, are activities that don’t directly contribute to my game objectives but are pursued due to personal hobbies, interests, or distractions. They might be meaningful, like spending time with family or engaging in sports, but tend to slow down progress toward my main game objectives.

They serve as a break from the main game, often enhancing the quality of life or improving mental states. However, they can also be a source of distraction, especially when influenced by peers. Recognizing and balancing these quests is a part of the strategy in my life game.

Pivotal Quests stand out as activities that dramatically alter my trajectory toward my game objectives. These can be life-changing, either as Major Main Quests or even special Minor Quests. For instance, Steve Jobs meeting Steve Wozniak was a pivotal moment, just as Gandhi’s experience in South Africa reshaped his mission.

My pivotal quests, such as starting a business at seventeen or conceptualizing the Octalysis Framework, have significantly influenced the course of my life. Identifying and pursuing these quests is key to achieving success in my 10K HP Game.

Understanding and categorizing these quests helps me stay focused on my game objectives. Main Quests are not limited to professional goals; they can include personal and spiritual aspects, like volunteering at church or supporting my family.

However, it’s also important to engage in various minor quests, especially when I’m still exploring my life game. These minor quests can unexpectedly transform into pivotal quests, helping me find my true path.

Committing to a Major Quest without clarity on my game can be costly, like pursuing a Ph.D. without a clear direction. It’s crucial to avoid long-term commitments that don’t align with my true objectives, as many people get trapped in career side quests unrelated to their life goals.

My strategy involves identifying Main Quests in all areas of life, from health to relationships, ensuring they align with my overall mission.

So, What is Not Considered a Quest?

Not all activities qualify as Quests. Three key criteria define what isn’t a Quest:

  1. Daily Chores and Indulgences: Routine tasks like grocery shopping, doing laundry, and even occasional social activities don’t advance my game objectives. While necessary for daily functioning, they are maintenance tasks, not growth-oriented Quests.
  2. Passive Consumption: Activities like binge-watching TV, aimless social media scrolling, or casual internet surfing are generally not Quests. They lack the intentional pursuit of a goal, which is essential for an activity to be considered a Quest.
  3. Trivial Activities within a Quest: Simple actions like walking to the office or opening a laptop, while part of a larger Quest, aren’t Quests in themselves. They’re just tasks contributing to a Quest’s completion.

Overall, if activities are done without specific intent or simply out of habit, they don’t count as Quests. I need to engage in activities that are purposeful and align with my game objectives, rather than getting lost in mundane tasks or passive behaviors.

How to Decide on Your Quests

The first method involves Finding a Role Model or Mentor who resonates with the role I envision for myself. By communicating my game objectives to them, their guidance can significantly help me grow and level up.

Another approach is to Model my journey after a Role Model. This means studying their life, breaking down their journey into tangible quests, and then replicating these in my own life, tailored to my circumstances.

Progressing my Skill Triangle is another crucial method. It involves analyzing my current skills, identifying gaps, and then creating an action plan to acquire and enhance the necessary skills. This might include enrolling in courses or undertaking specific quests focused on skill development.

Additionally, Joining my Allies’ quests is a collaborative approach to learning and growing. By aligning with allies who are engaged in the same game as me, I can join their quests, enhancing both my learning experience and my network.

But what if I face obstacles in these methods?

If I don’t have a Mentor, my next quest could be to find one. If I’m unsure about my Skill Triangles, I should take the time to understand and map them out. If I find myself isolated, seeking out a Guild where like-minded individuals gather can be a great way to align with new allies.

The key in the 10K HP Journey is to always know the next Quest to take on. Any uncertainty or lack of resources simply presents a Discovery Quest for me to embark on. The worst thing I can do is not play at all, as that would render me a passive NPC in my own life.

To counter the “I don’t have a Mentor yet” obstacle, I can transform this into a proactive Quest. This mindset shift is crucial; it turns challenges into opportunities for growth and ensures that I am always actively engaged in my personal development journey.

Every hurdle is a chance to embark on a new Quest, ensuring that I am continually progressing towards my goals and objectives.

Minor Alliance Main Quest: Finding a Mentor

yukai chou gamification expert 10k HP

  • Step 1: Identifying Your Role Model: Before finding a mentor, gain clarity on your Game, which is your overarching goal, and your Role, the means to achieve this goal. Identify a Role Model who excels in a similar Game and Role, embodying the success and mastery you aspire to achieve. Choose someone whose career path and achievements inspire you and whom you wish to emulate in your personal and professional journey
  • Step 2: Research Thoroughly: Thoroughly research your Role Model’s journey, including their achievements and guiding philosophies. This preparation allows you to approach them with informed and relevant questions, fostering a connection based on genuine interest and admiration for their work and accomplishments.
  • Step 3: Reach Out: Determine the best way to contact your Role Model, prioritizing personal meetings or less crowded communication channels. For instance, contacting them through a new project like a podcast or a less active social media account can be more effective, as I have found more engagement and responsiveness when approached through such mediums during my new initiatives.
  • Step 4: Offer Value: When approaching your Role Model, clearly communicate the value you can bring to the relationship. Expressing your willingness to contribute, whether through work, perspective, or skills, establishes a symbiotic relationship. An example from my experience is my business partner, Joris Beerda, who offered his services for free initially, leading to a successful and mutually beneficial partnership with The Octalysis Group.

When approaching your role model, it’s crucial to establish a personal connection by finding common ground and sharing your journey and ambitions. Demonstrating your goals and aspirations, as discussed in Chapter 3, can help earn their respect and willingness to assist you. If initial attempts to connect don’t receive a response, employ the One-Two Punch and Uppercut technique from Chapter 8, which involves following up two to three times over a month. If there’s still no reply, it’s important to move on and seek other role models. Remember, there are many potential mentors out there, and as you grow and develop, new opportunities to connect will arise.

Advanced Method: Create a Quest Journey Map

In my quest for personal and professional growth, I’ve adopted an advanced method called the Quest Journey Map. This method involves dissecting my life into distinct “Sagas” based on significant life phases, and within each Saga, identifying “Arcs” or major quest lines like jobs, health journeys, or family goals.

These Arcs are filled with Major and Minor Main Quests that have had a meaningful impact on my life.

By documenting these quests, I can track all the activities that have significantly shaped my life and strategize to tackle future pivotal quests effectively.

The first step in creating my Quest Journey Map is to break down my life into Sagas, marked by significant stages or transformative experiences. Each Saga comprises several Arcs, which are themes or projects relevant to that period of my life, such as a particular job or a personal development goal.

Within these Arcs, I list out the Major Quests and independent Main Minor Quests, focusing on those that have left a lasting imprint on my life.

As I document these quests, I analyze their essence, reflecting on the lessons learned, skills acquired, and attributes honed. This analysis helps me identify patterns or common threads in these experiences and assess whether my activities genuinely contributed to my overall objectives.

Through this process, I gain insights into the effectiveness of my past quests and their alignment with my life goals.

The next step is a reflective analysis where I scrutinize the Attributes, Skills, and Alliances developed throughout my Sagas and Arcs. This requires honesty and a critical approach to understanding how past choices have propelled me forward or held me back.

Identifying which Quests led to meaningful success and fulfillment, and the type of Alliances that consistently opened doors for me is crucial in this analysis.

This in-depth analysis informs my future quest design, allowing me to align upcoming quests with my strengths and areas for growth. It also guides me in deciding what new skills or attributes to develop and how to refine my approach to building Alliances.

My Quest Journey Map, therefore, becomes a dynamic, evolving guide that keeps me aligned with my objectives and aids in making strategic decisions for future success in my 10,000 Hours of Play. The goal is not just to play the game but to master it, creating a unique and fulfilling story of my own.

yukai chou gamification expert 10k HP

Crafting a 10K HP Quest

Specific: Define the What and Who: Quests must clearly outline the Activity Type and Desired Actions, eliminating ambiguity. For instance, specify writing a 300-page science fiction novel instead of just aiming to “write a book.”

Measurable: Set Clear Win-States: Quests need measurable milestones to track progress and define success. An example is setting a goal to complete a certain number of chapters each month for a book.

Achievable: Ensure Urgent Optimism: Quests should be challenging yet attainable, aligning with your skills and resources. This approach prevents frustration and abandonment of goals.

Relevant: Align with the Why: Ensure your Quests resonate with your core values and broader life goals. This makes each step meaningful and aligned with your ultimate objectives.

Time-bound: Set a Clear Fail-State: Quests require deadlines to create a sense of urgency and focus. For example, setting a manuscript completion deadline infuses purpose into each writing session.

3-Star Achievement System

In my self-improvement journey, I utilize a 3-Star Achievement System for my quests and tasks, inspired by the tiered completion system in mobile games. This approach allows me to set realistic yet challenging tiers for each quest, tailored to prevent them from being overly difficult or too easy.

For instance, in an academic context, achieving different grades earns varying star ratings, and in my learning community, Octalysis Prime, different membership targets correspond to different stars.

This system also applies to labor-driven tasks, where stars are awarded based on completion speed, making even smaller activities within a minor quest, like writing or proofreading a chapter, measurable and rewarding.

However, I ensure that tasks aren’t so trivial that setting up the system becomes more cumbersome than the task itself, such as applying it to everyday emails.

Monitoring and evaluating performance is essential once this system is integrated into my quests. Regularly reviewing my completed quests based on their star rating offers insights into my performance, effort levels, and areas for improvement.

Rewarding myself based on the difficulty and impact of the tasks completed keeps me motivated, with more significant rewards for higher-effort, three-star achievements, and smaller, regular rewards for consistent efforts in one and two-star tasks.

For a simpler approach, I count the total number of stars earned, regardless of task complexity, setting up rewards for every set number of stars achieved. This method focuses on overall effort and accomplishment, helping me maintain motivation and track progress.

However, in case of failure to complete a task, I take a two-week break from it, using this time for reflection and reassessment. This approach prevents negative spirals of demotivation while recognizing the importance of even late completions.

Applying the 3-Star System is particularly effective for Tasks and Minor Quests, where quick feedback and a sense of achievement are most beneficial. Major Quests, with their longer timelines, are less suited to this system due to the delayed feedback loop.

By focusing the system on smaller, more immediate tasks, I align with the principles of Cognitive Ease and Urgent Optimism. This strategy creates a game-like environment of rapid feedback, keeping me engaged, motivated, and steadily moving toward larger goals within my Sagas and Arcs.

This approach not only aids in my progress but also enhances the enjoyment and fulfillment of my 10,000-hour journey.

yukai chou gamification expert 10k HP

Conclusion

My journey of personal and professional growth through completing Quests has been transformative, aligning perfectly with my Game Objectives.

These Quests, varying from educational endeavors to significant life milestones, have been fundamental in developing my skills and forging stronger alliances.

They have led to tangible benefits like improved status, new resources, and access to unexplored zones, facilitating personal growth and opening doors to new opportunities.

The inspirational journeys of renowned figures like Elon Musk and Gandhi, who underwent pivotal zone shifts, underscore the significance of being in the right environment for achieving one’s ambitions.

Their stories, along with the experiences detailed in this chapter, vividly illustrate how strategic decisions and environmental changes can dramatically influence one’s trajectory toward success.

This understanding reinforces the importance of carefully selecting and pursuing quests that resonate with my goals, shaping a path that leads to both personal fulfillment and professional advancement.

If you want to review the 10K HP series:

  1. The strategy guide to beat the game of life: 10,000 Hours of Play
  2. 10K HP Step 1: Choose Your Game (Mission)
  3. 10K HP Step 2: Know Your Attributes (Talents)
  4. 10K HP Step 3: Select Your Role (Identity)
  5. 10K HP Step 4: Enhance Your Skills (Abilities)
  6. 10K HP Step 5: Build Your Alliance (Network)
  7. 10K HP Step 6: Achieve Your Quests (Milestones)

This is the final post in a series that will dive deep into the 6-steps of the 10K HP strategy guide.

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