Friday, November 23, 2018

Life Lessons and Wargaming : Are you Hungry?

Hey Everyone!  After several months since the last one of these articles, I felt it was time to add another installment to my ongoing series "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.  Today the focus is on something that had awoken in me a few years back and how it has shaped my past few years in wargaming, life, fitness, and every aspect of my life.  It is less of a lesson you learn and is more of an idea you suddenly realize.  It is about being hungry.

If you read and prior articles from this series (if you haven't I highly suggest you do so) you will know the importance of having goals as well as how you need to be dedicated and motivated to reach those goals.  So with all this in mind what does it mean to be "hungry"?  To put it simply being hungry is to always want more and to always be getting closer to your goals and constantly pushing those goals farther out.  Being hungry is a road with no end, but at the same time, it is a road, and that once you are on it, you hope will never end.

No matter your goal, be it a new army, getting an award at a major event, or even lifting twice your body weight you will start with a high level of motivation.  After a while, that motivation will fade as the initial spark fades and the real work begins.  This is where being dedicated kicks in, but how do you develop a sense of dedication to your goals?  You have to find your reason to become hungry for those goals which will allow you to fight through the times when you want to give up or feel like the goal is too far out of your grasp to not warrant trying any further.

Getting hungry for your goals is similar to turning on a light switch and as you "get hungry" you will know without a doubt what it feels like to be hungry.  I find the best way to turn this light switch on and keep it on is to write down your goals as you set them and plan out how you will get there with milestones, action items, etc...

To use an example let us look at the goal of becoming "The Best insert army Player in the World".  It is a bit of a subjective goal and if I am honest close to a dream than a goal, but going large is possible if you are hungry enough for it!  Assuming the goal above you would look at how you might reach it and most importantly what the timeframe you set for yourself to accomplish the goal.  Setting a deadline is key as it will help you stay hungry as that date draws near.

To become the world's best player for a specific army you would likely look at placing exceptionally high at a large number of events.  A good timeframe to accomplish the goal might be a year if we keep the fast pace of releases in mind so for our example we will go with that as our deadline.  With the goal in mind and the deadline set, you can imagine that you would be highly motivated as you select your army, build your list, plan out the events you will attend, and begin to buy the models.  In the run-up to the first event, you will find that motivation is gone and has fled your mind leaving you with only your willpower and dedication to get you through.  However, even that dedication and willpower will only get you so far toward your goal.

So how do you recharge those batteries that keep you going?  You can talk with your club mates, interact on social media about your goals, or you can watch some motivational videos to get you moving again.  While these are good and useful to do from time to time, I often do this myself, it is cyclical and you will find yourself needing to go back, again and again, to keep those batteries charged.  Instead of just charging your batteries you need to light a fire and get hungry.  If you wrote down your goals and deadline it will be your fuel for this fire and to flip that switch to become hungry.  Keep that goal and the deadline all over your hobby area, put it in your army book so whenever you refer to a rule or a warscroll you see it in there to remind you of what you are chasing.

Chasing a goal such as becoming the best player for a specific army will be long and require a lot of work.  Not only will it require you to know your army inside and out you will need to constantly be practicing, evaluating, adapting, and improving throughout the year.  If you are hungry for your goal then the task will not become a chore and even when you feel as if you are getting nowhere you will have the fuel you need to keep chasing and you will continue to be hungry to accomplish your goal.

Happy Hobbying and Stay Hungry.

Chuck Moore