Superbetter | Book Notes #8

SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient – Powered by the Science of Games by Jane McGonigal

Do you like playing games?

We​ ​play​ ​games​ ​because​ ​they​ ​are​ ​fun​ ​and​ ​challenging.​ ​Have​ ​you​ ​ever​ ​noticed​ ​how​ ​motivated you​ ​are​ ​to​ ​finish​ ​that​ ​one​ ​​level​ ​or​ ​defeat​ ​that​ ​one ​big​ ​boss,​ ​no​ ​matter​ ​how difficult?​ ​Have​ ​you​ ​ever​ ​noticed​ ​that​ ​after​ ​you​ ​fail,​ ​you​ ​immediately​ ​want​ ​to​ ​try​ ​again?​ ​And​ ​how excited​ ​and​ ​determined​ ​you​ ​are​ ​to​ ​do​ ​so?  
  
Games​ ​have​ ​that​ ​incredible​ ​effect​ ​on​ ​us.​ ​Wouldn’t​ ​it​ ​be​ ​nice​ ​if​ ​we​ ​bring​ ​this​ ​same​ ​attitude​ ​in​ ​our real​ ​life​ ​tasks​ ​we​ ​need​ ​to​ ​get​ ​done,​ ​problems​ ​we​ ​need​ ​to​ ​overcome​ ​or​ ​make​ ​positive​ ​changes​ ​in our​ ​life?​ ​This​ ​is​ ​what​ ​the​ ​core​ ​message​ ​of​ ​ the book Superbetter,​ ​it’s​ ​about​ ​adopting​ ​the​ ​mindset​ ​and attitudes​ ​we​ ​have​ ​in​ ​playing​ ​games​ ​into​ ​tackling​ ​real​ ​life​ ​challenges.​ ​Superbetter​ ​gives​ ​us​ ​a framework​ ​to​ ​transform​ ​a​ ​real​ ​life​ ​challenge​ ​into​ ​a​ ​game,​ ​in​ ​seven​ ​simple​ ​rules.

The author Jane McGongigal is a game designer, she came up with Superbetter after she had a concussion and had a difficult time recovering to the point that she was having suicidal thoughts ( apparently common in people who suffered a concussion). She even made it into an app that you can play on your phone where she created quests and power ups to help with issues like anxiety and depression. The whole book is littered with game quests that the reader could easily do to understand the Superbetter rules better. But what I really took away from the book is the framework, the rules on how, I , myself could create a game out of a real life problem that I have. The concept is intriguing to me, and so I set out to understand them better and summarized them here.  

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The Now Habit | Book Notes #7

The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play by Neil A. Fiore

The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play
by Neil A. Fiore

Have you ever procrastinated?

It’s frustrating isn’t it? Wanting to make yourself do something you know you should do but just not being able to do it. In fact, the more you tell yourself that you should do it, the more you don’t feel like doing it.

Procrastinators know that feeling very well. Have you ever wondered why that happens? I used to think it’s because it’s an inherent personality trait, that some people are just born lazy and some are not. But this book argues otherwise.

We procrastinate not because we are born lazy or we are inherently flawed. We procrastinate because we want some relief from stress. Stress caused by fears we associate with the task we need to do. This includes fears imperfection, fears of failing, fears of being judged ( we think that our work is a direct reflection of our worth).

The fears signals threat to our brains. We respond and try to cope by by avoiding the cause of the stress altogether – by procrastinating. This brings us relief. The relief is only for the short term though, in the long term, it just sabotages our goals and waste the most important, non-renewable resource, we have – time. If our response to a task we deem threatening is procrastination, therefore, the book suggest, the solution we can focus on is to make the task feel safe and unthreatening.

How do we do that? Continue reading →