Raising Your Living Standards: What Would Your Level 50 Look Like?

Think of an RPG where we level up our character for hours so we can slay dragons and complete world-changing missions. You start out with a cloth tunic and a rusty dagger, but eventually build yourself into an irresistible force. Why not approach your life goals in the same way?

Steve Kumb is the creator of Nerd Fitness , a fitness community dedicated to helping nerds, table jockeys and casual workers recover. This post is adapted from his book Raise Your Life: How To Access Adventure And Happiness By Becoming The Hero Of Your Own Story.

Life is great at level 50: you can enter special zones, wear special armor, and the level gives you a certain prestige. Oh, and you can beat any bad guy you want.

Why does life have to be different? There are a million different combinations in games that can lead to a max level character and life is no different. You can be a battle mage who is equally strong and wise, throwing lightning bolts with one hand and swinging a flaming sword with the other. However, another character can play the same game in a completely different way and create a completely different character type at level 50.

I want you to define what type of character you hope to become when you reach your personal level 50. Depending on your current situation, your “maximum level” may be simple or unusual. You can focus on getting better, or traveling, or increasing your wisdom and intelligence, or just giving it credit. To start this process, I want to share with you a few archetypes that you can use to determine what type of character you want to become.

In the end, I want you to think how you would answer the question that the king of Sparta Leonidas asked his faithful 300 soldiers: “What is your profession?” And I don’t mean, “What do you do for a living?” rather, “How does your character see this adventure world?” Even if you’re a bum who has never gone on an adventure, I want you to pick which character you WANT to be, and then we’ll work to get you there. After all, it’s hard to go on an adventure if we’re not made for it!

I always start by encouraging the characters to choose what they plan to do when it comes to adventure. We are made to move, and therefore a healthy body is a happy body: we need to find a way to bring physical adventure into our lives if we are to reach our full potential. We cannot conquer the world if we cannot get off the couch first or if we suffocate after climbing the stairs!

Shown below is how the class system is structured in ” The Rebellion ” at Nerd Fitness . This gives us a great starting point from which to start prioritizing our adventures, quests, and missions. You can create your character and choose your class at LevelUpYourLife.com .

Class archetypes

Can these familiar archetypes offer a framework for defining your goals? Are you all about fitness? Then maybe you are a warrior. Looking to improve your everyday skills and knowledge? Perhaps you will succeed in becoming a monk or druid. Think of these roles as desirable in order to start formulating your goals; I do a lot of fitness, but you can try to improve your life in many ways.

Warrior : You love the idea of ​​getting stronger and more powerful. Every day is an opportunity to move heavy objects or test yourself in competition with others and prove your strength.

  • Fictional Example: Thor of Asgard (The Avengers), Maximus Decimus Meridius (Gladiator), Brienne of Tarth (Game of Thrones)
  • Real life example: Haftor Julius “Thor” Björnsson playing “Mountain” in Game of Thrones.

Scout : Built for distance and efficiency, not strength and power, you can outlive any animal on the planet. Your muscles are built for endurance and you can travel long distances when needed.

  • Fictional Example: Legolas of the Forest Kingdom (Lord of the Rings)
  • Real life example: Rita Jeptu, Boston Marathon record holder; Ian Frodeno, 2008 Olympic gold medalist and 2015 Ironman champion

Ranger : Jack of all trades, Rangers are well equipped for any situation. You are good at strength training and you can do good distance when you need to, but neither is a specialty.

  • Fictional Example: Jon Snow (Game of Thrones), Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)
  • Real life example: Rich Froning Jr., four-time CrossFit Games winner.

Assassin : every building can be climbed, every chasm can be jumped over, any obstacle can be overcome. Killers spend most of their time training with functional bodyweight exercises, as this is usually the only thing they need to lift. Gymnasts and parkour enthusiasts would fall into this category.

  • Fictional Example: Ezio Auditore (Assassin’s Creed 2)
  • Real world example: Casey Katanzaro, known as an American ninja warrior; Damien Walters, professional stuntman, gymnastics coach and freerunning specialist.

Monk : Monks can kick and kick your ass, and they can kick your ass before you even know what happened. Incredibly agile, lightning fast and full of strength, the monks specialize in martial arts to stay in shape and take out opponents.

  • Fictional example: Neo (The Matrix); Beatrix Kiddo aka Black Mamba (Kill Bill)
  • Real life example: UFC fighters Georges Saint-Pierre and Rhonda Rousey.

Druid : Druids spend most of their time training in the arts of yoga, tai chi, and other movement-based disciplines. Each movement has a goal, and that goal is to further improve the agility, agility and strength of the druid.

  • Fictional Example: Lady Galadriel (Lord of the Rings)
  • Real life example: Josh Weitzkin, US tai chi champion and child prodigy.

Adventurer : Adventurers are brave souls who fear nothing and are always curious about what lies beyond the next hill or across the ocean. They often work diligently with their allies to ensure that every adventure is on the right track, exploring and learning for the sake of others.

  • Fictional Example: Indiana Jones, Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
  • Real world example: Forest Stroud (Survivorman); Lewis and Clark, researchers

These are just fun archetypes that will help get things off the ground. The good news is that there is no wrong way to play life when it is an adventure, and the type of character you play is completely up to you. Despite what you are told in the WarGames movie, the only wrong way to play is not to play at all. So, I want you to take a few minutes to think about your favorite activity. Even if your weight is 500 pounds and you are chained to the couch, think about the kind of character you want to be, or what you hope to do someday.

Not perfect for one of the above categories? Great. Me neither! I am more like a hybrid of an assassin, an adventurer and a bard whom I have defined as a “troubadour.” Whether you want to be a berserker or a battle mage, that’s entirely up to you. The important thing is that you start to apply certain traits to the type of character you plan to create, because it helps paint a fuller picture as you move forward. ( In my book, we get to the actual part of the quest / mission of the game you are creating.)

Back in 2011, when I first started building my life around the idea that this is a game, I decided my level 50 would look like this:

In terms of fitness, I’m in the best shape of my life – handstand push-ups, pistol squats, chin-ups, and 405 pound deadlifts. Plus I’m pretty darn flexible, well trained in kung fu, great break dance, and darn good at cooking. I live in a beautiful house by the sea. I wake up without an alarm and take my surfboard to my morning workout.

I spend the middle of the day working on Nerd Fitness and The Rebellion (while booking a business trip to … Hawaii? Japan? And a free vacation to Tahiti for airline miles) and then sneak off to play golf in the afternoon on a local course. I come home, do a quick strength or martial arts class, cook a healthy dinner for myself and my wife, and then relax by inviting friends over for drinks, music, cards against humanity, and hanging out.

This was the life I wanted to live at level 50 a few years ago. I’m here today and some of my goals have certainly changed a bit. I am sure they will change again in a few years. And that’s okay! I’m not yet at level 50, but I’m much closer to the life I hope to live now than I was then! Every time I go out on a quest or mission, I come back with a funny story that I will never forget, with a changed perspective on what is important to me, and with the desire to make some adjustments and get closer to those goals. These two paragraphs gave me a starting point and what I was working on as I was developing as a hero. Most importantly, it gave me permission to act, because I had a direction in which to move.

If you’re struggling to come up with the type of character you want to be, feel free to look at real people who are where you want to be. When you play a game like World of Warcraft and are at level 1, looking at someone at level 50 inspires you to get started; one look at his inventory and you’re inspired to play more. You know, it took this guy months or years of searching, chopping and crawling through dungeons, but if he can get to level 50 and get it all, then you can someday.

Reprinted from YOUR LIFE LEVEL: How to Access Adventure and Happiness by becoming the hero of your own story by Steve Kamba. Copyright (c) 2015 Posted by Stephen Kumb. Courtesy of Rodale Books. Top image by gdainti and karpenko_ilia ( Shutterstock ).


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