Gratitude. That is the topic.
When you are making your game and following your dreams it can be a humbling experience, especially when you start out. During those times when you are drawing on your inner reserves and powering through, you might want to take a moment to be grateful. Perhaps, just perhaps, this can help you get through some of the rougher moments.
I want to expand on some of my prior thinking… the “no man is an island” idea. When you are working on your game and living your life you can probably look around and see a few people who are supporting you, encouraging you or perhaps some who helped you along in the past. They might be prominent in your thinking or not. Regardless, they are there if you take a moment. In fact, they are there whether you are starting out or are a billionaire. True friends, family and even strangers who have helped you with no desire for any payment or return.
I’m now going to give you a powerful method to increase your energy, make you a more positive person, generally more likable and undoubtedly increase your earning power along with your productivity. Start saying “Thank you” a lot more. Add “I appreciate your help/time/assistance” into your everyday vocabulary. You will be surprised at how this will brighten your day by brightening other’s days.
What does this have to do with indie game development? Everything really. Like it or not, the world is full of people and these are the same people you want to buy and support you with money. The quickest way to get anyone to help or support you is to present a sincere pleasing personality. This is one of the strangest and truest things in the universe but when you help others get what they want, you actually end up getting what you want.
I am going to bet you have asked for help on a programming, art or design forum at some point. Did you thank that person or persons? You might have! Maybe though, you were busy readying a demo or some art and promised yourself you would get around to it a little later. Well, later is now. From this point forward work to thank people quickly and sincerely as soon as possible.
Now, onto Step 2!
Let’s take it one little step further and leave it there shall we? Now comes the time you start giving back what you got on your ongoing ride to the good life. Next time you see a chance to help someone else out, give it a shot. Nothing too big mind you. You can start small! Maybe you got mail from a fan about how you do your art. Maybe you made a friend on Twitter who asked you about your game engine. Who knows? The point here is you undoubtedly see a chance to help someone every single day and you have plenty of chance to help. If you’re not getting flooded with mail or Twitter bombed for requests then it’s as easy as opening a door for someone or just waving a friendly “hello” to a stranger.
The point here is anyone who is doing what they love is in a unique position in this world. If you are living your dream (or starting to) then it is in your best interests (on every level) to encourage others to do the same. Basically, you want to lead by example.
At this stage you might be thing “OK, Donley! I get it, but can you give me some examples of the payoff and how soon I can expect my rewards for all this feel good stuff?!?”
Good question and here we go!
- You feel better about yourself. Helping others and return a kindness immediately goes to work on your overall health and well being
- Others look on you more favorably. You might need some help down the line and guess who will be lining up. The best part about this is gratitude for some reason is atransferable return. You might help one person but get a return from another. Crazy!
- You will set in motion at least one if not many more long term windfalls. In treating others with a kindness or gratitude or respect, you are putting some serious forces in effect. Trust me when I say this is not any sort of mumbo jumbo. It happens and it’s real.
Deep stuff and not your normal game dev talk, I know. I like to think though, that all achievement starts from the correct attitude.
We’ll get into some talk next week about what to do after you get your first game loop going! Stay tuned and live your dreams!