My journey from squishy wizard to lightning bruiser

by Mike Levin SEO & Datamaster, 02/26/2013

Bear with me a moment. I’ll get to the squishy wizard stuff. Well, a new day has started. I’m going to keep on track with my daily journal in the Tiger code in vim. This is part of my old-school is cool agenda, and practicing what I preach. It is also to keep me on-track and focused—and I suppose OUT of the web browser while I’m writing, really. As much as I love Google Docs, this may be a case where being in the browser as a writing environment may be more distracting than its worth. And I need to master vim!

I have a lot on my mind to write about, and a lot of work to do. I have a flurry of meetings starting at 10:30 AM, and then most of the day free. So today is a day to take a few very well placed chisel-strikes to tease out the shape of the beautiful masterpiece that I’m gradually revealing. Okay, so first… my subway writing from this morning, and what THIS journal entry is really going to be named for. I’m tempted to actually get rid of this daily journal opening paragraph, and just make it a post about the subject-matter I wrote about on the train, but I want to keep this raw. I can always go back later and clean up journal entries into stronger stand-alone articles. Anyway…

There is a multi-player game designer way of looking at the world. It rose from probably the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, then migrated to arcade games and battle-cards like Magic The Gathering. Powerful hitters are made slow. Speedsters are given a glass jaw. And so on, so no one is made too powerful and ruins all the fun.

Lots of rules regarding strategy, life and success can be found in those rules of game-balance. But in real-life, you’re actually trying to throw the game out-of-balance. Things don’t have to be fair in real life, and a strategy of building yourself up to have excess capacity all over the place, but then holding it all in reserve to “decloak” with surprising, smashing force is a perfectly acceptable strategy in life. Speak soft, but carry a big stick.

As a battle character type, I am either a mighty glacier or a jack of all trades. The one thing I am not (yet) is a lightning bruiser—due to lack of speed, and lack of the total mastery required to cast mighty spells or throw earth-shattering punches. Some who casually know me might think I’m a squishy wizard, but my spells aren’t sufficiently powerful (yet), and I can take a pretty hard punch.

Conversely, I actually can throw a pretty hard and well-placed punch. People don’t see that about me much, because I like to just do my work and not throw my hat into corporate political arenas, where most punches of the type I’m discussing are thrown and received. I prefer to make my arena purely technical in nature, and the quality results of my work. Those are the punches in my world, and when the time comes, I can dish it out pretty well. Plus, I have fairly good command of a lot if disciplines—but not the total command I need to fulfill my mission.

My weakness is the lack of speed and profound mastery of a very few very important skills. Everything now has to be geared towards being FAST and stunningly expert in a few important areas. So everything I do has to combine the pursuit of mastery in the correct disciplines, and to wield that mastery to produce impressive results. Hit hard. Hit fast. But do that WHILE LEARNING. And in such a way, I will turn myself from whatever I happen to be, into the game-upsetting lightning bruiser.