You Want A “Power Up” You Don’t Want A “Cheat Code”

I learned this week that video game creators created cheat codes to test their games before pushing to production. I may be one of the last people to understand why they existed, but now the logic of cheat codes totally makes sense.

In my mind using cheat codes meant you didn’t truly learn how to play the game. Any athlete or artist will tell you that it’s in the hours and hours of practice that raw talent evolves into a gift. Gifts that often pay dividends in the most crucial moments. Moments that to others might look like luck.

The problem is, I think we’ve come to expect a cheat code as we navigate the game of our careers.

  1. Top 10 Steps A Get A Promotion.
  2. What Not To Say In An Interview.
  3. 5 Easy Steps To Start Your Own Company.
  4. How To Find A Mentor.

We’re messaging tips and tricks, cheat codes, in everything from your eyelashes to your income. These “How To’s” and “10 Steps” boil-down years of experimentation and learning into what the reader is supposed to believe are the right answers. They claim that THIS is what you need to do to get an “A+” in life.

I see a bit of a problem with this “cheat code” approach. All the instructions and guides, they’re created solely on insight from the author’s past and don’t consider YOUR future. Heck, they don’t seem to consider the future at all. And if we’ve learned anything from this year (2020) it’s that the future can be VERY uncertain.

This is why, and here I am giving you a cheat code right now – but this is a hard one; I think you need to stop searching for cheat codes in life and start uncovering power-ups.

Power-ups still make you play the game but make you a better player. Power-ups require you to learn how to utilize your ability or skill based on where you are in the adventure.

When it comes to mentors, power-ups are like having Yoda, Obi-Wan, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader as your team of mentors. And yes, Darth Vader is a mentor of sorts. Because Luke’s adventure is his own and he learns from ALL of them, he learns how he wants to be Luke. Luke had adventure guides, not mentors.

Power-ups consider the potential and the past. 

So I challenge you if you’re looking for or giving advice on how to navigate the Future You, start looking for Power-Ups not cheat codes.

The game might not always be fun. But it will be yours.