I’m a gamer. I love playing videogames. From the moment I got my first Playstation at age 10 until nowadays, when I’m more of a PC gamer.
I can’t quite pinpoint what it is that makes the experiences so compelling… Maybe it’s the fact that their stories are able to emotionally involve you more than other media. Maybe it’s the fact they feel more realistic because you’re the one taking the actions.
Or maybe it’s because when you fail – or die, depending on the game – you get a second chance.
The Beauty of The Checkpoint
Have you ever played a classic 90s game on a Super Nintendo or a Mega Drive? One of my favourites from that time was Sonic the Hedgehog. In it, you got to control a blue hedgehog that could run at ridiculous speeds, dashing up walls and jumping on enemy heads to defeat them.
The difficult part was not getting hurt by the baddies, as that would cause you to lose all the golden rings you had collected during the level you were playing. If you were hit a second time after that, that was Game Over.
That was a tough deal and something that happened quite often throughout the game. It was one of the first instances of failure you got as a kid – getting you ready for the real world. Thanks Sega!
I’m sure that many players would have quit if it wasn’t for strategically-placed checkpoints.
Checkpoints, once you went through them, were a sort of insurance. If you died after passing a checkpoint, things weren’t as bad. You would restart from that checkpoint and weren’t forced to start at the beginning of the level, foregoing how far you had got at the moment of death.
Checkpoints are vital to games. Without them, games would be either too easy, so nobody would die, or completely unplayable by the general public.
Did you know there are also checkpoints in real life?
Checkpoints in Real Life
Life doesn’t have many checkpoints. If you fail at something you don’t often get a second or third chance. If you get laid off from your job, you don’t get to go back and do things differently the second time around. If you go out of business, you don’t get all the money and time you put into it back.
In real life, checkpoints are made of money. Once you understand that money isn’t just money and that it can work for you to give you even more money, you start seeing it as an income checkpoint.
For example, let’s say you’ve been working in a company for 15 years, and have consistently saved an average of 30% of your salary. After 15 years you have a sizeable amount of money, which you have invested in stocks of companies which distribute a part of their profits as dividends.
Thanks to the yearly dividend raises you now have a dividend income that can pay for your mortgage and your bills. Every single month.
Because you’ve invested in a well-diversified bunch of companies with long histories of dividend increases, you can be pretty sure that they will continue paying you more every year.
Even if you lost your job, that money would still come your way. You would never earn less than what you are earning now. It would be like going through a new checkpoint every time you invested new money, or one of your companies announced a dividend increase.
The security of online businesses
Starting an online business is an incredible opportunity for anyone who wants to increase their earnings. Whether they just want a bit more money on the side, or they want to earn a lot of money and reach financial independence.
The downside to an online business as a long-term (I mean over 20 years) source of income is that it’s never been done before. The internet and online businesses have not been around long enough to guarantee that they’ll still work 40 years down the line.
What works today might not work in 3-5 years. We just haven’t got enough data to be sure enough about it.
The same thing goes for jobs. A lot of people I know feel very comfortable in their desk jobs. They feel an allegiance to the companies for which they have dedicated their time and effort. They also hope this loyalty mutual…
This may not always be the case. If a company is struggling to survive in adverse conditions, it may be forced to sack a number of employees.
If a company is struggling to survive in adverse conditions, it may be forced to sack a number of employees. As sad and disappointing as that may be, it’s the harsh truth – I’ve lived it myself!
Go through a checkpoint every month
My advice is that everyone should save as much as they can, every single month. Save now that you have a job, or a successful online business.
By saving every month you’ll ensure that you’ll go through a real-life checkpoint. The longer you save, the better that checkpoint will be, and the closest you’ll be to beating the game – in this case the game of life!
One day, you’ll get past the coveted checkpoint after the big boss at the end. You’ll never have to go back to the previous levels and play – or work. You’ll be free to do anything you like, or even start other games.
Thanks for reading everyone! Let me know in the comments below if there are other aspects of life that could benefit from checkpoints!