Ooooooh it's snail time, yes yes yes!
Did you know that snails use a whopping two brain cells for much of their decision-making?
For example, when our adorable snail friend is looking for food, one neuron determines if the snail is hungry, and then another neuron determines whether there's any food around the snail.
Just two neurons, but they help make oh so many important decisions.
And when we're thinking about what we should do with our lives - such as what goals we should pursue and what paths we should go down, we want to be more like these snails, too.
When a new opportunity or idea comes up, we need to quickly know if it serves us, and whether we need to pursue it, or just leave it off to the side because it's not for us. No overthinking, but just clear decisions that take no brainpower.
So let's learn a simple "two-brain-cell" way to make all these complex decisions and actually achieve our goals.
What is the two-brain cell method? As the name implies, it's pretty simple.
And simple is exactly what we need so we can get things done without overthinking every time a new idea or opportunity comes our way.
Instead of just writing down a list of goals, we list the twelve big problems in our lives that we want to solve.
Any time a new idea, thought or opportunity pops into our head, we measure it against those 12 problems and see if that's something we should pursue. That's it!
But don't take it from me This process was actually invented by Richard Feynman, one of the greatest physicists of all time.
He put it perfectly:
"You have to keep a dozen of your favorite problems constantly present in your mind, although by and large they will lay in a dormant state. Every time you hear or read a new trick, or a new result, test it against each of your twelve problems to see whether it helps. Every once in a while there will be a hit, and people will say, "How did he do it? He must be a genius!"
- Richard Feynman
Goals, on their own Can cause us to think too rigidly and may cause us to miss the great, currently-unknown opportunities that will come our way.
Our goals may also be based off of arbitrary timelines that just cause us to stress and worry. Goals like "I need to compose for X game in Y number of years" really can mess us up.
But, our goals never get achieved how we think they will be So if we have a set of consistent problems we want to solve, we have room for new opportunities that our goals can't account for on their own. That's why this process can be so powerful.
So, how do we start? All you need to do is write down a list of 12 of your biggest, hairiest, favoritest problems that you want to solve.
And don't worry if it's not clear how to. I'm sharing my current 12 favorite problems below.
And you don't need to read these daily You just need to put your 12 favorite problems somewhere that you'll run into them regularly, almost by mistake.
I use an app called Obsidian for all my note-taking and knowledge management, and I have it set to show me a random note each day. As a result, that note will pop up from time to time, and it's a great reminder.
And yes, these will change over time. Just like anything else, these aren't set in stone, and they'll change as you do.
Especially with 2022 coming in soon (I know, I know) This is a great time to start thinking about your 12 favorite problems and listing them out.
And if you're in my private Game Industry Pro course slack community, feel free to send me your 12 favorite problems if you need a second pair of eyes!
"But Akash, you gold-flecked pistachio macaron," you ask, "Goals can't be all bad, right?!" Goals aren't bad at all! It's just that, on their own, they can cause us to think a bit too rigidly, and force us to predict the future, which can keep us closed to the more interesting opportunities that will come up.
Set goals, absolutely, and then mix them with your 12 favorite problems. You'll get way more clarity and way more flexibility in how you achieve everything you want to.
And speaking of giving you clarity Here are my current 12 favorite problems to help you think of yours. Note that these are all "What" and "How" questions. What and How questions work really well here, but tweak this to work for you.
How can I usher in an age of abundance, joy, and creativity for several generations of artists?
What can I do every day to make sure I am going toward my dreams of having a strong online income stream that frees me to pick only the best clients?
What can I do to ensure that my health, nutrition, and fitness are at peak levels for my entire life?
What does it look like to express my own genius on a regular basis?
What do I need to do to become a better, more thoughtful, more emotionally aware leader who can consistently inspire the right people to take the right actions?
What courses, materials, and programs can I create that will both increase my income and visibility as well as help increase the income, skills, and prospects of the creatives who take them?
How can I ensure that my circle of friends are all amazing peers that all help, trust, and push one another?
How can I become a truly great speaker, writer, educator, and creative who has his own style, methods, and perspective?
What can I do to keep sharing my perspective, while also sharpening and refining it at the same time?
How can my daily rituals support my desire for prolific output both in terms of content and sound design?
What can I do to share myself more in my content and make myself more relatable and trusted by everyone that I speak to?
How can I make sure that I'm always learning from various disparate sources and combining them together so that I can have a greater depth to everything that I create?
Pay attention to what is, and isn't in your problem list You'll really see what's important to you (versus what you think is important to you), just by listing these out.
This will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed when there are just too many things to do, too.
So, let's summarize what we learned today
We want to achieve all of our goals without overthinking on if any opportunity is "right" or not
Listing out our twelve favorite problems is how we can quickly determine what's right for us and what isn't
Your 12 favorite problems will shift and change throughout your life
Snails are SO cute and have just as much brainpower as I do
While we may not be snails with just two brain cells We do want some of our decision-making to be as simple as their's are. That way, we have clarity, stop overthinking on what we want from our life, and can stay focused without chasing every new shiny thing.
And if you'd like more advice on building your game audio career, without overthinking it
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