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In my last article, I talked about why you need to invest in yourself. There is one key point that I didn’t touch on, however.

While it is wise to invest in your skill set, knowledge of your field, or in your health, there is also another reason to take the time (and money) to push yourself further.

Life. Experience.

For some of you this may be obvious, but I get a surprising amount of resistance from people when I talk about how to push your career and life forward. The general responses seem to be knee-jerk reactions. These replies are referred to as “invisible scripts” by financial expert Ramit Sethi. Basically, they are deeply-embedded myths that we simply believe without a second thought. They’re so insidious that we almost never notice when we’re saying/thinking them. 

Here are some examples of invisible scripts:

“The game industry in my city/planet sucks.”  “I don’t have any good friends because no one cool lives here." “I can’t make music because I didn’t go to school for it." “I’m so bad at sound design." “I don’t want to try that because it will stop me from enjoying X." “I’ll try and get a job at a game studio. That’s the safest option." “That’s cool, but I could never do that."

Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone gives you the life experience that will help you completely dismantle many of the scripts that are running your life right now. When you go to a seminar, travel to a new country, meet new people, read a book, or learn a completely new subject, your ability to see through the lies that have been perpetuated in your own head grows.

For example, last month I went to London (yes, again). This time for a completely different type of seminar - a real estate investing seminar hosted by John Lee and Vincent Wong of the Wealth Dragons.

Me with the Wealth Dragons: Vincent Wong (left) and John Lee (right).

Why did a game audio professional go to a 3-day real estate seminar in London? To get out of my own head, to learn how successful people in other fields work, and of course, to get yet another taste of London. I learned more about marketing, pricing, and positioning than I have from any other talk or seminar that was within game industry. I smashed some of my own invisible scripts and am now able to coach my students far more effectively. None of this would have happened had I stayed at home and done the same thing over and over.

Even if your idea to invest in yourself has little or nothing to do with game audio (or whatever your chosen path is), that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Most of the time, it can only benefit you.

What do you guys think? How have you been pushing yourself forward lately?


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