This is part of my "Training is my sandbox for life" series of thoughts.


I used to play video games a lot, as a kid. A whole lot. I never had a game console though. We had a computer at home from 1993 (or earlier, I am not sure). Things got even better once Windows 95 released.

I'd wake up early to play before going to school. I'd play after my dad went to bed. I used to play until I felt nauseous and/or got a headache. Until I found FIFA '95, the game I played most of the time was Doom.

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You see, I had finished Wolfenstein 3D by then, and Doom was a crazy level up. I loved it. I kept playing it. Until I found IDDQD (and IDKFA). Those are two cheat codes - the first one makes you invincible and the second one gives you weapons and ammo.

The first day or two after I found the cheat codes were fun coz I could play without fear, and explore the level a lot. But then, it got boring. It got so boring that I stopped playing Doom rather immediately. Yes, I could've not used the cheat code and played but somehow I just could not bring back the same interest.

put work, get results

I didn't cheat in my exams but I didn't need to. It was a simple enough game that I had cracked to get above-average grades. I just learned the wrong lessons over there. And by the 11th grade, that was also a game I completely lost interest in. Since I was forced to play it and I did not know better back then, I sabotaged myself consistently for a few years.

It was not until I found the iron game that things really changed in my head. When I put in the requisite effort, I got better. When I tried shortcuts, I got bit in the ass sooner or later. When I behaved stupidly and chased too many rabbits, my performance went down.

It was the perfect feedback system for me.

It also allowed me to look at my life with clarity. Do the work, and work is not just the hour in the gym but the rest of the day, and the rest of the week/month/year.

I love the iron game precisely because of my failures, because of how hard it is. And how simple it actually is and how I complicate it. Of all the mistakes I make. Because of the growth it leads me to. Because I learn.
Photo by Javier Santos Guzmán / Unsplash

Most of all, because there are no cheat codes.

I play this game because not only does it ensure I stay strong and I am able to play sports, sprint around, and do whatever activity I fancy, but because it makes me grow as a person.

Every day.

When I try to read a difficult book, or process a hard-to-comprehend idea, or faced with a difficult decision at work - it allows me to bring in a mindset that ensures sooner or later, I will figure it out. I will make forward progress.

That's why I love to train. That's why I train when I am on vacation. Or even when I am Strong Enough.

Without this part of my life, I would lose my rudder.

I am glad there are no cheat codes. And even if they found them, I am not entirely convinced I want it.