Lessons From No Game No Life - Go Where You're Needed

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Purpose is important. Critically important. It gives us focus and direction, without which we’re left to be knocked around by all the world’s social forces that want us to get on their specific path. And if we don’t get on-board, we’re left to languish in isolation.

A lot of human activity is based around providing value to other people. Our incentive structures are built that way. If you’re providing a lot of value to people, you’re more likely to be rewarded. If you’re not providing value for anyone, society (and life) is likely to punish you. And providing value for others is where many find purpose, making it both externally and internally rewarding.

Where many get stopped up, however, is where to apply themselves in order to be able to find purpose and provide value. As a result, many either attempt to shoehorn themselves into an acceptable position, providing some value but ultimately not finding purpose, or check out entirely, becoming NEETs and resolving to spend their time indulging in this or that, wherever their whims take them.

For those who are able to find the place where their specific skills are needed, however, providing value and finding purpose comes easy.

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Sora and Shiro found themselves so without purpose in the real world that they’d given up, resolving to spend days at a time cooped up in their room, playing games of all kinds, eventually gaining a reputation online for their skill.

However, when they find themselves suddenly dropped (literally) into Disboard, a world where games are law, they quickly begin to not only assimilate, but dominate, as their skill at games put them head and shoulders above the other humans of Disboard, and even let them stand toe-to-toe with beings capable of using magic to gain an advantage.

Their skills certainly gave them status and power in Disboard, but it also gave them something more important: Purpose. And with that purpose, motivation. They’d found a place where what they can do is valuable. For the first time, they had goals, and direction. Because Disboard values the ability to win games, Sora and Shiro found it easy to not only fit in, but thrive there. The power structure was easy to navigate for them.

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Those of us who inhabit the real world don’t have much chance of being whisked away to a land of giant chess pieces, but we do have control over where we choose to apply our efforts, and a chance of environment can open up new opportunities to use whatever unique skills we have to provide value to others.

While it might be tempting to abandon and resent society for not making the path clearer, many times a little initiative, some creative thinking, and possibly a bit of guidance is all it takes to set you on an upward spiral.