Forget Leveling Up: How To Enjoy The Present Moment

Why do we work so hard to level up only to have to start over again soon? I mean level up in the sense of anything. You can level up in Call of Duty, a career, in a relationship, money, your house or your reputation. Why do we work so hard to build things that will be forgotten?

It’s a great example with Call of Duty video games. While I’m playing, I see people grinding – doing whatever it takes to level up as fast as possible. We know there’s going to be another Call of Duty game in the future where we will have to start over. Why are people willing to sacrifice so much?

It’s amazing to see people who are playing the game so much with the idea that they will get somewhere some day. Some day the level they will get to will be enough. Someday there will be at a high enough level that they will be respected. Even if they just joined into a game, everyone’s jaw will drop and people will look up to you. As soon as a new game comes out, you have to start out at zero with everyone else.

In the game you can see how crazy this is because they release a new game every single year. It doesn’t matter how high you get in Call of Duty Black Opps 3. Next year there will be another Call of Duty and you’ll have to start over with everyone else. It doesn’t matter how far you get because soon enough you’ll have nothing to show for everything you’ve done.

In life though, we take things much  more seriously. For example, how hard do people work to level up their bank account to get 6 figures. There’s never enough. To me, video games are a relief compared to what most of us do in real life. My mom says you can never have too much money. You see people that spend 30 – 50 years relentlessly working on a career to go into a grave or an urn.

There’s no where you can really go where you don’t end up starting over again. This is really helpful for me to know today. I know the only joy I can get out of doing something is doing it. Nothing I’m doing will give me something that I won’t have to start over again someday. It doesn’t matter how many videos I do or how many fans I have online because someday no one will remember any of that. Someday I will go right back to zero with anyone else.

I used to consistently be the person that’s trying to level everything up as fast as possible. I got to level 10 prestige in at least two of the Call of Duty games. I often played and ignored other parts of life so I could push my Call of Duty levels faster and higher. I played things I didn’t like in the game because I’d level up faster. I looked just far enough forward to miss the joy and pleasure of playing and just enjoying what you’re doing. I didn’t look far enough forward to see that there is nothing I could hope to get out of what I was doing. When you do things with the intent to get something out of them you’re missing the joy of the moment.

With relationships, I got punished because all I wanted to do was level up the relationship until I was getting laid. When that happened, it was like a new Call of Duty coming out. Once I got to getting laid which I thought was often the max level of a relationship, then I thought it wasn’t fun anymore. What I liked to do  was the leveling up to get to that point. Once I was at that point, when you reach the maximum level of prestige the momentum is often taken away. The motivation is often lost to keep playing the game.

The game designers often have that in mind today. They have and endless leveling up system where you can keep playing and you can’t level up so quickly. For some people this is making it more obvious, there’s nowhere to go. You can’t just reach the maximum prestige just by playing enough. You can’t go anywhere. There are people that are fantasizing about what you can get by reaching the end of that, too.

When I used to drink, I wanted to use it for a means to an end. I started from a place where I didn’t feel well sober and then I drank so I could get to this place that was better. I didn’t give consideration to the fact that I have to start all over again. It didn’t matter how much I had to drink. At some point I have to start all over again and that is how you end up having addictions. You only look far enough forward to miss out on the moment and miss out on what’s going on around you that is already beautiful. You miss out on the complete means to an end.

You’re always trying to get to an end and as soon as you get there, there’s another end. Some day you’re on your death bed and you realize that maybe you shouldn’t have reached for the end so bad. I wanted to get through this. I often ask where are you trying to get through to? Often their trying to  get through to salvation, a place where there’s no more pain and suffering. You can get through to salvation when you’re alive in this body.

Everything you’re trying to level up to eventually goes back to zero. The only pleasure is simply being right where you’re at right now. You don’t need to be a higher level in the game to enjoy it. You don’t need to be at a high level in your job to enjoy it. You don’t need to be a higher level in life to enjoy it. No amount of money you have in the bank will lead you to feeling better than you’re feeling right now.

No amount of money you have will not disappear after your death. Life goes on no matter how much you level up in one game or another, there’s always a new game to play.

I’m thankful today that I get to spend time enjoying everything around me. I just happened to level up in the process. I am okay with the fact of starting back from zero. I am okay knowing that someday it doesn’t matter what this body has accomplished. It will fall apart and I still will exist. Life still will go on. I know that because it’s still going on now and I don’t even remember all the things in the past I’ve tried to level up. I have a release from the prison of using every moment as a means to an end. I feel great today and that’s why I made this video with the hope that you can feel how I feel.

I pray that I remember that there’s nothing I can level up that won’t reset to zero. I pray that I remember all the joy I have is immediately available right now. Everything I could ever hope for is immediately available right now. Anything I can hope to get out of the future is already available this moment. I pray that you have the chance to enjoy life around you and not have to do anything as a means to an end to get your salvation. You already have salvation right this moment. I’m honored you’ve spent this time with me and I hope you have a great day today.