Growing as a person while growing your assets!
The Personal Growth Series.
Introduction to the Personal Growth Series - feat. Splinterlands
One of the topics I enjoy reading about is Personal Growth. Chasing my best self is something that makes me wake up in the morning because I have so many flaws that this task will surely keep me busy for a lifetime or two.
The other thing that made me want to start this series is the fact that building assets within the Splinterlands’ ecosystem require a lot of patience and time. We do spend a good chunk of our time trying to grow our assets in this game, so why not find ways to grow as a person at the same time?
In this series, I’ll try to revisit a few concepts, I gathered through my personal growth journey, from a Splinterlands casual player’s perspective. By doing so, we will hopefully be able to learn, or most probably review, a few things while having fun together.
The Half Full / Half Empty Type of Thing
In Life, there are often two contradictory ways of looking at the same thing.
Death: Fatalism or Gratefulness?
How we regard Death is, for example, a good illustration.
We can EITHER see everything as meaningless because whatever we do, this will all end the same way (fatalism). OR, we can perceive everything as meaningful by the simple fact that our limited time makes every moment we spend precious (gratefulness).
Life: Fatalism or Gratefulness?
The same thing applies to the Unfairness of Life.
As much as we would like to wish for a Fair Society, the reality is that from the beginning, Life is Unfair. That being said, we can now decide on how we want to look at it. We can EITHER complain about it (fatalism), OR we can try to look for our own set of Unfair Advantages (gratefulness).
Coming from someone who was born in France, a well-developed country, this might sound easy to say. Well, I concede, it certainly is. Even as a son of immigrants, I got my fair share of Unfair Advantages. I won’t deny it, and neither do I want to.
The Definition of Unfair Advantages
However, Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba describe in their book "Unfair Advantages" as a set of competitive benefits that are unique to you. Those Unfair Advantages are not always as obvious as Money or Status, they can also take roots in more traumatic experiences.
The concept at its core is the following:
If we do believe that every human being is unique in its own way, everyone has a set of Unfair Advantages.
How we see Death, and therefore Life can widely vary depending on our current overall situation and/or our state of mind. I simply wish that at whichever stage you are in life, you’ll find the strength to gradually move away from Fatalism to Gratefulness at your own pace.
My Unfair Advantages
Let’s start with the obvious.
- I’ve never had to suffer from the horrors of war unlike my parents' and grandparents’ generations.
- I was well fed every single day (certainly too much!).
- I always had a roof on the top of my head.
- I benefited from an excellent education system.
- I was surrounded by people who cared for me.
- and so forth!
Now, the less obvious.
Turning Bad Luck into Good Luck
Well, life happens, so not everything is rosy.
I’ll try to give you a specific example to illustrate what I meant by Unfair Advantages taking roots from more traumatic experiences. At the age of 13, I lost my mom. This was Bad Luck and, to be fair, it took me a bit of time before turning it into Good Luck.
However, after a few years, I started to look at this event from a totally different perspective. To this day, I believe my mom what trying to teach me something. Her last lesson on Life was to show me how fragile and short it could be.
This became one of my Unfair Advantages. I started to make Life Choices very different from my peers. While most were looking for a sense of Security, I was looking for Adventures to paraphrase Jim Rohn. This mindset expanded my possibilities.
Stacking the Deck in Your Favor to Succeed
While I was trying hard to fit in during my teenage years, I ended up realizing that rejecting my Chinese roots in some sort was a very stupid way of doing it. Eventually, I started to completely embrace my multicultural background. This became another of my Unfair Advantages.
At home, we used to speak a dialect. Even though I couldn’t speak a word of Mandarin, the dialect certainly helped me catch that language much more rapidly than others. My Chinese is still quite awful today but, this is entirely on me.
By stacking the deck in my favor, I got much more opportunities than I would have ever got otherwise. It expanded my vision of the World, I met my wonderful wife and, we were able to build a decent financial situation for ourselves.
The MILES Framework applied to Splinterlands
Below are the 5 categories of Unfair Advantages listed by the authors.
- M: MONEY
- I: INTELLIGENCE & INSIGHT
All types of intelligence
(Book-smart, social & emotional intelligence, creativity)
- L: LOCATION & LUCK
- E: EDUCATION & EXPERTISE
- S: STATUS
Including Network & Connections
The underlying constant below those Unfair Advantages is Mindset!
In Splinterlands, if you have the Money, you’ll be able to leapfrog many players who have fewer resources. This will allow you to build a strong deck from the very first day or invest in assets out of reach for the majority.
Intelligence & Insight:
The diversity in terms of Rulesets, Abilities, Splinters, Cards, and Mana Caps allows for a set of cognitive abilities to flourish. The game tests our strategic thinking as well as our creativity in coming up with new synergies.
Location & Luck:
One of the things I noticed is that playing in a different time zone than the majority of the players, this actually became an Unfair Advantage I got over others. Encountering less fierce competition probably helped me climb up the leagues.
Education & Expertise:
Unfair Advantages, while often “undeserved”, can also be skills that have been honed over time. For example, the more time we’ve spent in the game, the higher the chance is to become an “expert” at it.
Being an influencer or being part of a guild might offer benefits that others don’t have access to.
So what are your unique set of Unfair Advantages?
- Did you get a Gold Foil Legendary at the very beginning?
- Did you get cards delegated to you by other players?
- Did you start the game way earlier than anybody else?
- Did you win any giveaways?
- Is there anything else you can think of?
Let’s say you have found your set of Unfair Advantages.
How are you going to leverage them now?
I wish you the best of luck!
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