An antidote to the treadmill of self improvement
Level off, not up.
When I was younger I played a game called Warhammer 40k. It was a table top battle game. There were space marines, elves, orks, dwarves and creatures of chaos. In order to play, you had to buy little metal figures.
The figures were made to be painted. This was part of the fun.
You could only do battle with the troops you had.
Every six months or so, they’d issue new figures.
The new troops would be sold as a way to ‘level up’ your army.
Giving people a chance to ‘level up’ didn’t add to our enjoyment of the game. It did however create a tension that was wonderful at making us want to part with our money.
No matter what happened, our armies were never quite good enough. We always were fantasizing about the new figures. We always wanted more. We were on a treadmill of ‘leveling up’.
Seth Godin calls this the ratchet of improvement. The tension of ‘wanting more’ drives people to be less content with what they have and crave something else, something new, something different, something bette…
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