Famous Japanese strategist Miyamoto Musashi explains in his Book of Five Rings that dancing, poetry, art, music, flower arrangement, etc. are NOT THE WAY OF STRATEGY but that the WAY can be recognized in all things that adhere to the doctrines of nature. I find this to be TRUE EVEN OF VIDEO GAMES, and one that I have find myself toiling away on for hours is Civilizations V. This game is a civilization simulator, in which you get to basically run a nation from ancient times to the modern era…
There are 2 THINGS I’VE DISCOVERED playing this game that I find interestingly applicable to life:
1) BUILD A SOLID FOUNDATION, even when it looks like you’re wasting time and falling behind. While other go-getters might prosper by trying to take the easy route and exploiting every opportunity, eventually, IF THEY’RE QUALIFICATION ARE POOR IT WILL BE DISCOVERED. In Civilizations this means spending the extra time to look for a good spot to place your city, scouting the area, and fostering your resources. However, this DOES NOT mean to turn a blind eye to a great opportunity (like conquering a weak city-state mwahaha!). In life, it is important to research, educate yourself, and foster your skills before jumping into something risky.
2) FOCUS ALL YOUR RESOURCES IN ONE DIRECTION. In Civilizations this means you choose if your nation will focus on culture, military, gold, etc. early on, and you work diligently into that direction. It is not as advantageous to spread your resources thin, for that tends to foster mediocracy. In life, your resources are your time, smarts, skills, and yes, GOLD. If you can focus these all on accomplishing one goal, you will be HIGHLY MORE SUCCESSFUL than if you try to do a bunch of things at once (trust me, I tend to work this way and it is not the most productive).
In Civilizations I’ve found that the most generally successful strategy is to create a small, strong, and fortified nation, and then spread out into the rest of the world from that solid foundation. In the same way BUILD YOURSELF INTO A STRONG, SHINING CAPITAL and then from the abundance and safety of your core you will be able to CONQUER ANY OBSTACLE.
Have courage but watch out for barbarians, my friends.