Mind Sprites

Inspired by Becoming a Magician by Autotransluscence

​By investing in ourselves whether our intentions are selfish or altruistic the world creates a result which looks the same on paper. The future you has more resources to share. In the massive multiplayer game of life you are leveling up:
  1. The ability to entertain or inspire
  2. Knowledge to make or heal
  3. The means to build or give
  4. A wildcard: physical or mental strength and energy to recursively feedback into the engine. Exhaust as fuel. Mechanically that’s the way a turbocharged engine actually works.
Aiming to complete a marathon is not about joy or the experience. It’s the story you tell yourself about the kind of person you can become. You want to become the kind of person that can finish a marathon. Imagine what else that person can do. Just imagine.

The quest is underway

Look at the mechanism that kicks off once you set out to train. There’s an unsaid fantasy:  I am going to be Me 2.0. The finish line will be a signal that the new you has arrived. The goal ain’t the thing, it’s a proxy for the thing. As urgently as you want to be the better thing, you will fixate on the proxy.

In your desperate pursuit, the unsaid vision of future you propels you forward. It builds an invisible audience in your mind. It cheers when you make good time on your practice run. It boos when you skip a session because you were out late the nite before. That audience is like lane assistance on your car, correcting your path when you veer.

That subconscious audience exerts a lot of influence for a bunch of nameless mind sprites. Their whispers are your self-talk. Their shouts are your self-doubt. You’re chasing a proxy and that’s ok. But beware to inspect your vision and don’t let its sprites into the game without a ticket.

Adjust your mirrors

Who does your fantasy future self serve?

What are the values of that future self?

Are you sure you want to conjure an audience for it?

The people you surround yourself in real life will also act as lane assistance. We commonly hear how we are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. They are your real-life audience. Their mindsets are contagious. Their optimism, pessimism, energy, and honesty are subconscious benchmarks. Think carefully about this. Are they nudging you towards the right course?

If I’m wrong about this it’s because I’m underestimating their influence.

Setting milestones

The small challenges en route should feel just slightly out of reach. The final destination should be uncomfortably ambitious. This compensates for the fact that we overestimate what we can do in the near term and underestimate what we can do in the long term.

A small change in initial conditions can result in a wide error in the point of arrival. The course correction tweaks along the way cannot overcome an angle of incidence that was wildly off the mark. Just ask a sailor.