How To See Your Life As A Game—And Yourself As The Main Character

Nicolas Cole
9 min readApr 17, 2020

Every time I speak on a podcast, sit on a panel, or present at a conference, I tell a quick story about my teenage years as one of the highest-ranked World of Warcraft players in North America.

The reason I tell this story is because, first of all, it’s not what the audience is expecting.

I don’t “look” like the stereotypical hardcore gamer (at least, not anymore). People always laugh, and find it funny that I would be willing to publicly admit my teenage obsession.

But second, and the real reason I like sharing this story is because it provides context to all of the lessons I share immediately after it.

Gaming taught me to see life as a game — and myself as the main character.

Over the course of my 28 modest years on earth, I’ve learned time and time again that “success” and “achievement” is the product of a small handful of actions:

  • How you spend your time (the # of hours you accumulate toward a given skill)
  • Who you spend your time with (the quality of your hours)
  • Where you spend your time (the # of skills you try to master all at once, or…



Nicolas Cole

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