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How to Make the Hard Work of a Long Term Goal as Fun as Playing a Video Game

We recommend reading part one of this two-part post “What is Grit? Why Does Grit Matter?in order to better understand this information.

A “cheat code” to success?

Although there’s not really cheating involved, knowing how the game is played can help you find the shortcuts and win the game! It’s the closest thing to having a cheat code for a successful future.

How to make the development of grit easy

Grit becomes easy to develop when you know how the “game of life” is played. The Career Prep Academy system is akin to providing you with the “cheat codes” to find your own personal shortcuts to win at the game of life.

It can make the difficult steps of finishing high school, planning for college, selecting a career path, networking, and finding a rewarding position far easier than doing it on your own.

The first step to making it easy to develop grit is to “break it down” and to be aware of what’s coming up:

  • Define your goal: If a goal is some fuzzy idea of something you would “maybe” like to do in the future, that goal isn’t REAL to you. You won’t be committed to completing the goal. Dropping out or changing your mind many times won’t matter since the goal was never more than a fleeting idea.
  • Discover the steps: It’s impossible to know EVERY step to complete and hardship that must be conquered along the way. But having a general idea of the demands of completing the goal and the difficulties you will face makes it a lot less scary to deal with the idea of taking on a goal that may take years to accomplish.
  • Create a to-do list: When you have a well-defined goal and you know what main steps must be taken, you can start planning and prioritizing. This makes the hard work easier—you can plan ahead in order to make the most difficult tasks manageable. Even in High School, students get a chance to work on a term paper with a due date weeks (sometimes months) away. Students who have the foresight to plan their work, research, and create an outline, will have great practice for creating a to-do list for longer term goals.
  • Learning how to ask for help: This is the part that feels most like “cheating” for most people. This is not about asking for someone to do the hard work for you. To many people, it feels that just asking for advice is somehow admitting defeat. There is a common misperception that an underdog has to do it all by themselves, but few things are accomplished without a helping hand, or even a “cheerleader”. Students are often too shy to ask for help; assuming that if circumstances are not in their favor, there is no hope for help. Even if all that is needed is a ride for an after-school project, some students have been too bashful (or felt too unworthy) even to ask for such a small favor. Self-advocacy is a very important part of the program, just as it is in the “real world”. Employees who aren’t afraid to ask questions and can ask for help are better able to complete goals, which matters for employee evaluations and promotions.

It is doubtful that anyone could consider these “tricks” cheating, but feeling unworthy of success or even a small favor has made many students avoid some of these simple steps.

An amazing “side-effect” of these tricks is a sense of accomplishment.

And that is the second half of how to make developing grit and making the hard work of a long term goal as fun as playing a video game.

It’s not exactly a secret that young people (and in fact, people of all ages) enjoy video games. These “tricks” actually have something in common with what makes video games “addictive”. Incremental rewards can help motivate a player to complete the game.

If you are unable to view the video, or would like more information about this video at the TEDTalks site, click here.

If you’ve ever thought that it would be great if homework and all of the difficult and tedious parts of life were as fun as a video game, these tricks to developing grit can make that a reality.

Contact Career Prep Academy at 317-641-4677 for more help with developing grit and achieving your academic goals.

When you know how to “hack” your brain, the “hard work” is turned into a game.

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