Friday, December 15, 2017

Life Lessons and Wargaming: Continuous Improvement

Hey Everyone!  Today I will be continuing my series on "Life Lessons and Wargaming".  The point of this article series is to look at the little lessons we learn throughout life and how we can apply these to our Wargaming hobby.  In today's article, I plan to talk about continuous improvement and wrap up my thoughts and hopefully persuade you to go after your goals and use all those lessons you have learned throughout life to help you become better hobbyist and gamer.  I might return to this series in the future, but today I will place a bookmark on it here.

It doesn't matter where you might be at in life or with your Hobby as long as you are walking the road toward improvement.  It is when you are sitting on the side of the road refusing to go anywhere that you truly fail.  Getting started is the key, but continuing to improve is how you open the door to your success.  Sometimes you find yourself stopping even if you don't realize it at first and you need to persevere to keep working toward your goals.

If you are the type of person who heads to the gym happily to lift iron and push your body to its limits then you might already see the correlations between this article series and the mentality prevalent within that type of atmosphere.  I wasn't one of those people, but I am now as I daily head to the gym for an hour or more.  The basic ideas learned in this atmosphere translates into other aspects of your life including your Hobby.

A little over a year and a half ago I was the perfect example of someone not working toward their goals simply sitting on the side of the road to success.  Sometimes I would have the motivation and move a bit down the road, but more often than not I was stagnant.  Even when I was moving toward my goals I always felt like more like a passenger than the driver.  While I won't go into the details just know that at some point I realized all of this and decided it was time to change and take the lead.  I don't want to come across that I was unhappy as it was the exact opposite.  I have a beautiful wife, lovely home, the greatest friends I could hope to have, but I wanted so much more.  A switch was beginning to turn on even though I didn't realize it at the time.

I say beginning to turn on because it wasn't some overnight change I experienced, but realization over a few months that while I was happy I wasn't satisfied.  I wanted so much more from myself out of this life then what I was currently getting.  I decided it was time to drive and stay ahead of the direction of my life in multiple ways, most of which I will leave out of this article, but a few of which were my Health and my Hobby.

I began to sort out that I was living in my comfort zone but going nowhere.  So as I headed to the gym and fell in love with placing myself outside my comfort zone to improve my body I also began to live outside my Hobby comfort zone.  I decided to paint an army with white as the primary color because white is a challenging color for me.  Instead of waiting for someone else to take the lead in some group projects I grabbed the rein myself.  It was hard and failure is very real, but it is worth it.

Now I feel confident painting with white as well as handling small and large projects, even multiple at a time.  I cannot say I am the best at either and the truth is that I am probably not, but I am better than I was and I want to be better than I am.  I have found happiness and motivation beyond where I was by reaching beyond myself and trying things that, perhaps, no one else has attempted before and even if I fail I know I tried and gave it everything I got.

I set goals regularly and put in my all to accomplish them because I have fallen in love with the process of doing the work and letting the results come.  I now live my life always happy, but never satisfied.  A year ago this way of living would be very alien as being happy should be the goal in and of itself, but while I felt happy where I was in the past it was only because I didn't come to learn what really makes me happy.  I am happiest when I am working to improve.  It has almost become an addiction as I eagerly look forward to my Hobby Fix, going to the gym, or working to improve me and my wife's life.  Being obsessed isn't a bad thing, but essential to keep yourself motivated to improving day after day in the way you wish to improve.

I wish I could say this was a road walked alone, but it very much isn't the case.  I haven't covered this much in this article series, but having a support group, tribe, club, family, or whatever you wish to call it is needed to stay fueled and motivated when you being to sputter.  At the gym, my friends are there to spot me and allow me to push more and more while encouraging me.  Likewise my wife, friends, and Family encourage my Hobby from my painting to my games, to my community projects, to this very blog you read.  They don't all necessarily know what it is all about, but they see my passion and obsession and know the joy it is bringing me.  My wife asks me how my games were after an event and will listen to the details of my battles earnestly.  My Mother will like every post from my Blogs Facebook page despite not knowing what I am saying most of the time.  My friends, both online and nearby, buy me paints and models while always being eager to take a look at their latest models I have painted and ask how my Hobby is going sincerely.  Without these support structures, there are times I might have quit.  Without them all, I couldn't become the best version of myself be it with my Health or my Hobby.

I have never been more fulfilled in my life as a whole, Health, Hobby, Family, and Friends as I am right now.  I credit this to my new found love of the process of hard work, goals, and continuous improvement.  I encourage everyone to take those hard steps down the road to improvement in their Hobby or any aspect of life.  It doesn't matter how fast or slow you go down that road, only that you keep moving and keep improving.  I believe anyone can do this and if you are working toward improvement share your journey with us and help motivate us on our journeys.  Our Community is in this together and by supporting each other our journeys we will improve the larger journey of our Hobby as a whole.  Don't ever give up.  Accomplish your goals.

Until next week, Happy Hobby.