How Candy Crush taught me everything I need to know about reaching my goals
Like everyone else in the world, there are some aspects of myself that I am not so proud of. I’m not a patient person. I tend to forget things – especially freshly-brewed cups of tea. I often only remember them when I come to the kitchen for a different reason, only to stumble upon a mug of cold, brown water sitting underneath the Keurig spout. In short, I have little to no ability to delay gratification. And I love me some Candy Crush. I love the challenge of it, I love the squench sound the candy wrappers make, I love when the deep baritone voice says, “Divine!”, I love when I switch a candy ball with a striped candy and a bout of spastic candy carnage ensues.
I’m more of the “enjoy things now, don’t worry about later till you have to” mindset – and I am 100% positive that this is a large part of the reason that I have several unfinished projects in the closet and on the tabletop at any given time, and why my mind is still full of ideas and goals that have yet to come to fruition.
With this in mind, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that I am one of the millions of people that has spent my hard-earned money on Candy Crush. It seems ludicrous when you think of all the good use that such money could be put to – and of course, the good things that could be accomplished in the time that one spends playing the game – but spending money on the game isn’t so surprising when you consider what seems to be a growing societal problem concerning immediate gratification.
There’s a thrill that comes with beating a level – a thrill more quickly felt when you’re willing to spend 99 cents here and there to get power-ups, extra moves, extra lives, etc. At some point, however, I made the decision to stop spending my hard-earned money on a freaking app. I decided that if I was going to beat a level, it would be the old-fashioned way: on my own.
Today, I beat a level that I have been stuck on for weeks. I’m not kidding you. Weeks, perhaps even over a month. And friends, let me tell you, the thrill was completely different than the one I’ve felt upon beating a level with some monetary cushioning. It felt more grand, more fulfilling, and more solid.
It just felt better – in every way. I know that this is how it would feel to finally go the distance and finish things. Apply things. Make ideas happen. If I can just learn how to harness the discipline, to avoid buying those figurative power-ups, I know that when I get there, the taste will be sweeter than anything I’ve experienced thus far.
When all is said and done, using shortcuts only cheapens the high. Yes, you “win”, but at what cost – both literally and figuratively?