It was at this early point in my journey that my flatmate bought the Playstation game ‘Lego: Pirates of the Caribbean’. He began playing it by himself when he came home from work, while I carried on doing whatever took my time up of an evening. After only a couple of days, he encouraged me to join him in 2 Player mode. I figured he was just being friendly at first, but he kept trying to persuade me to join him in this quest. In the end, I figured I had nothing to lose. So I sat down, picked up a controller and pressed the ‘Start’ button.
One feature of the game was the ability to increase the value of all coins and treasure collected. For a certain price, you could unlock a special feature and all ensuing treasure or coins you collected would increase by the incremental value. Early on in the game, we found a chest that would enable us to activate Treasure x3. We could afford it so I suggested we unlock this feature, but my flatmate wasn’t keen. The reason being that he’d seen a chest that would unlock Treasure x10. The price to unlock it was far greater than we could afford- but if we went back through all the stages we’d already completed and searched for hidden treasure- as well as taking the time to unlock new special stages throughout our journey- we could unlock Treasure x10 in the long run.
“Ok, let’s do it then”, I said…
At last, after countless hours, we collected enough currency to unlock our eagerly-awaited prize. We returned to the vaunted treasure chest, and finally unlocked Treasure x10. We carried on in our quest to clock the game- and the difference was unbelievable! The numbers indicating our wealth at the top of the screen blurred every time we collected more coins- 10’s of thousands, 100’s of thousands, millions- in next to no time at all! All that time we’d spent tediously searching for more coins felt so insignificant compared to now, as we effortlessly racked up the kind of fortune that made me wish we could convert it into actual currency! I was so glad in hindsight that we took the time to fight and save for Treasure x10. It well and truly proved to be worth the struggle.
We clocked the game long ago- which was strangely disappointing for both my flatmate and I. There were no more levels to beat, no more monsters or skeletons or pirates to defeat. No more special stages to discover. No more characters to collect- whether it be skeleton Jack Sparrow, Blackbeard or an obscure henchman of Davy Jones’. It was the closure of a fun little window in time that lasted just a couple of months in the middle of winter. Yet the lesson I learned while playing that game stays with me to this day.
Sometimes I will feel weary about where I am, compared to where I’d ideally like to be. It could be my business, my life situation, my creative or financial pursuits. But then I think about the short-term fixes and compare them to the rewards of being patient and working away steadily. I think “Well, I could have Treasure x5 now…or I could keep going and have Treasure times TEN!” Just flashing back to ‘Lego Pirates’ and that awesome feeling of power and satisfaction as our characters ran around racking up the millions after slaving away for weeks on end…it puts everything back in sharp focus for me, and I breathe a little easier. It reminds me again that patience truly is a virtue…especially if (like me) you’re driven by a passion for finding all the different treasure waiting to be discovered in life. Who would’ve thought I’d have this kind of revelation just from sitting down to play a video game featuring Lego characters!
Many people accept Treasure x3 or even Treasure x6 and enjoy the fruits for a while…but then wonder what might have been. I don’t know what your specific idea of ‘Treasure x10’ is- but I do know that when the day comes where you not only find your Treasure x10 but you take it- you’ll not only enjoy the rewards, but also a newfound respect for the kind of person you have become on that journey. You are a person who will endure and who can stick with it, a person who doesn’t give up. A person patient enough to delay the short-term benefits for a much greater reward.
So in short? Keep hunting for that treasure!