How many years of adversity would you endure to achieve your goals? Constant jeering, doubt from everyone you know, and a growing sense that regardless of how much effort you put into trying to overcome your current situation, survive, and profoundly thrive, carving out a niche for yourself, that it’s possible it won’t happen? John (left) and Trishna (right) will face adversity frequently in “The Story.” How will they- and we- endure to ensure victory?
Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (character building)
How do we ensure victory?
It’s easy in videogames: practice, preparation, and persistence. If you lose to a boss, study why you lost, gather more resources and level up your characters, and keep trying. Cheat codes and external study guides unfairly give you the advantage. There is honor derived from learning strategies and overcoming obstacles through your own efforts.
Done well, we can apply these same principles to real life.
If you’re terrible at public speaking, complaining won’t get you meritorious results. You have to practice speaking in front of others – dogs are great for this because if you can hold their attention, you’ve mastered the medium. Practicing will prepare you to address where your insecurities within your presentation to overcome that. Then, persist until you win.
Videogames are adversity simulators.
Life, both real and within “The Story,” is random. Other than governing laws of nature, everything else is pure chaos. That’s why it’s easy overindulging in escapist hobbies like videogames and anime! John realizes that early on. He doesn’t want a temporary escape from his bullies. He and Trishna want days and years with minimal conflict.
We all want to live in easy fantasy worlds.
If we can work toward achieving an equilibrium between the chaos of reality and the order of fantasy, then we might perceive then achieve success through years of adversity with relief. John and Trishna won’t easily give in to their bullies. Trishna can get positive reinforcement from her parents and siblings. John’s independence leads to conflict.
Maybe they subconsciously know to practice, prepare, and persist?
Or maybe they found the right vehicle to train them in these disciplines? It’s not easy to practice when we have many things to distract us. It’s not easy to prepare when we must constantly repair our affairs. It’s not easy to persist when we can list things causing resistance, taking our wrists to constrict our ability to create works enabling subsistence.
Either those framed rhymes or they flatly know their options:
John spends his entire compulsory education facing adversity from everyone. He knows there’s a better life out there if he just keeps his head down, and works hard to not rock the boat too much during those 18 or so years. Once he moves in with Trishna at the start of “The Story,” his life is immediately better. Not as dramatically, Trishna knows the same.
What if it took you 18 or so years to become successful in your field?
Isn’t it exciting knowing the finish line’s number?
Sources: My professional and personal experiences.
Inspirations: My generally perceived inadequacies over not achieving more success over the course of fewer than two years of writing. If it took me 18 more years to become successful, is that really so bad? No! I would then need to make sure I plan out the next 18 years – by practicing my craft, life itself, and preparing to persist until I achieve my success.
Photo: I had some trouble with this one. I went with “18” in the background, for reasons explained in the essay, but it’s not a great photo…