Monday, August 22, 2011

Frustration Is So Overrated

Have you ever had that time of your life where you feel like the whole world is against you? Pfft.

Meet Syobon.

Syobon Action is a free Windows game based on the classic Super Mario. But if you think this is just another rip-off from the popular game, wait till you've tried to survive the first stage of this copycat. It is hilariously fun, enjoyably frustrating, yet simply addictive. And yeah, haters quit quickly.

Amusingly, there are a lot of lessons to be learned from this simple game:

1. Never trust the world you live in. Okay, that's an exaggeration. But really – don't. Nothing in this ever-changing world is ever stable. Just ask the stock market people. Or those countless unemployed graduates who enrolled in their respective college courses in the hope that there will be a golden opportunity waiting for them beyond the dreamy diploma. 

But just because you can't rely on this world doesn't mean you stop believing. Because...

2. There is always a solution. The fact that you are reading this now proves that every problem you've encountered so far (which, most of them you bemoaned as the biggest problem you ever faced) has been solved, or at least proved a bit irrelevant.

And how have we done that? Simple.

3. Never give up. We all aren't perfect people. While some have the good fortune of making less mistakes (both in quantity and visibility), what's important is that we all reach the same goal in the end. It kinda proves that what you lack in brains, you can make up with sheer guts, perseverance... and of course, experience.

Which brings us to...

3. Just because you've seen it before doesn't mean it won't happen to you. We sometimes have that subconscious idea that looking at our family, friends or some popular biography or life testimony should provide us an ample warning of what to avoid in life. Kinda like a game guide or walkthrough.

Well, somehow that's the point. But that hasn't prevented us from making the same mistakes, right? So what's the point? Nothing. Just keep learning. Why punish yourself needlessly? And yes, even if you keep making the same mistake, remember that...

5. Patience is a virtue. So is being alert. Anger management can only be effective if we can truly learn how to resolve that which stirs our emotions. By guarding ourselves from the triggers and finding ways to confront it, we can turn our negative emotions to productive motivations. Just the same, getting pissed off with the game won't help you get through a tricky part; the best way is always to keep a cool head, and calmly analyze the situation.

But let's be honest: there are points in life where everything we do does get seemingly pointless. Like a proverbial giant. But do we really need to face every monster along our path?

6. If you can't beat the final boss, don't. Beating the game isn't always about defeating the enemy – or maybe I should say, the real enemy that should be defeated isn't the final boss, but the game itself. Just like in life, we sometimes get stuck up trying to find solutions, when the answer is right before us. Like the clich√© goes, "Think outside the box." Remember your real goal. 

Except when the "goal" you expected leads you to an unexpected ending?

7. Don't expect a princess at the end of every game. Especially when the joy of accomplishment is more satisfying than a stupid, worthless prize. As a person who is highly goal-oriented, I have often felt empty after winning a competition, an argument, or simply finishing a project. I could feel a deja vu over each mental utterance of "Is that it?" and I could even remember depressing nights as I blankly stare at the empty to-do list.

Simply because I expected something else.

Oftentimes, I've had the same struggle with my spiritual walk. There are still moments in my life where I wished my good works would merit me more of God's favor. Blame it on the gaming culture I grew up in – but life isn't that fair. Or is it?

It makes me wonder: Why bother following His will, which admittedly feels impossible a lot of times? Why keep doing good, staying away from sin, and all those religious stuff?

Why do I bother to keep on living, anyway? 

So maybe all my extra efforts won't earn me an extra prize from God (like maybe a real lightsaber), but then I remember His promises: eternal life, a crown, and a doggie pat on my head while He says, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

(That's not so bad after all. But finding a princess at the next castle doesn't sound so bad, too.)

* * *

If you're skeptical about these, why don't you try it out and find out for yourself? :p

Free download for the game here.

(P.S. Haven't found a version for Mac yet.)


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