• Matthew Walker

XCOM & GEARS POP! | mindset.

I've always been fascinated by mindset. The ability to channel that mind of yours, and "think what you become" (thanks Buddha). It's without doubt the most powerful tool you, or I will ever own.

So, why am I splashing Xcom and Gears POP! all over this blog post?


Well...


When I first started playing Xcom 2, I sucked, and I mean like, really sucked. I had my so-called "strategy" handed to me countless times - getting punished for mistakes, flattened for miscalculating a move - and yet, I kept going back for more.


Now, in 2020 - I'm confident in saying I'm a pretty decent player of this excellent game. Xcom 2 is famous for its point-blank-range (98% or so) misses. Yet despite this glaring Xcom'ism, we as players keep hitting start to carve away at that particular learning curve. Again, and again.


At the minute, I have seemingly rediscovered that constant itch to improve with another game, 'Gears POP!' - a mobile tower-defence meets strategy-cover-shooter title, using Funko Pops designs of the Gears character pool. I suck at this game too, or at least I'm really inconsistent - but man am I constantly looking to improve, and learn from my sometimes very one-sided set of defeats.



My point in all of this is to highlight the comparison between a Growth Mindset, and a Fixed Mindset. Without reading (and listening to) Dr Carol Dweck's exploration of these concepts, I never would have found myself digging deeper than ever to learn from the bumps that inevitably you face when aiming higher - without developing that Growth Mindset, I wouldn't have been able to send the Advent Dictatorship packing, back into the abyss of space, or better still learn about Game Engines, or Middleware.



| ANY WHICH WAY


Simply put. A growth mindset means to grow - to expand, and be comfortable in the vulnerability that comes with learning something new. A fixed mindset means to stay put, remain comfortable, and do what you know.


Both are equally acceptable, and neither are wrong to adopt - it's simply down to choosing which fits you best, and where you'd like to place yourself.


Children are born as level 0 npc's to us, and yet, everyday, they're learning, everything - from feeding, to crawling, to walking and climbing. Talking, and sleeping to jumping, and running! The list goes on. Trust me, it goes on!


They don't know failure. They're a blank canvas, learning to accept and build a relationship with Ev. Rah. Thing!


Why as adults do we retrain ourselves out of thinking this way? Perhaps we don't, maybe it's just me and my programming, but Dr Dweck wouldn't be publishing these kind of articles and books if there wasn't huge demand for this kind of knowledge right now. The video below is a TED talk that Dr Dweck gave elaborating upon these concepts.



Perhaps its just maturity. It's likely that, but these ideas around workflow and mindset are increasingly growing in value - across any industry. I've found that as projects have increased in scale, with more riding on their success - it's become even more important to best support myself: to be the best possible version of myself.



| KEEP CHEWING


A learning curve is exactly that. It's a curvature of energy and time that you invest in something, to progress. Each small step is continually a step in the right direction. You cannot escape the hurdles that come with learning something new. Bouncing back from a setback too can be determined by how fixed or growth focused you may be.


A fixed mindset might say, "ah well, that didn't work out, nah I'll move onto something else". Whereas I've found a growth mindset supports the inevitable bumps with "okay, well, I totally got that wrong, but let's see what happens if I do this?".


We go back for more. We want to learn. We want to grow.


I'm very aware that this blog post is very 'pro-growth', and I don't shy away from that. I've spent years, literally years telling myself that "I could never do that", or my personal favourite, "these are my skills, that's it".


But adopting this way of thinking works. You can expand and grow into new roles, fulfilling new goals that once you may have thought to be unachievable.


I still suck at Gears POP!, and it'll no doubt be the same when Xcom 3 eventually releases - but, jumping back on the wagon, and learning by past mistakes? Oooo rah. Let's do it.



Walker out!



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