Personal development can often feel like a slog – endless checklists, rigid routines, and the pressure to constantly be “optimizing” yourself. But what if we reframed it as a game? Gamification, the use of game mechanics in non-game contexts, can make personal growth engaging, fun, and sustainable.

Level Up Your Skills

High income skills.
  • Quests & Challenges: Break down your goals into smaller, achievable quests. Learning a language? Challenge yourself to complete daily Duolingo lessons (gamified language learning app). Want to improve your public speaking? Participate in online toastmasters meetings with points for participation.
  • XP & Rewards: Assign experience points (XP) to complete tasks. Reaching a fitness goal earns you 50 XP, mastering a new skill earns 100 XP. Reward yourself for reaching milestones with fun activities or small treats.

Build Your Character

  • Choose Your Avatar: Identify your ideal future self. What are their strengths, values, and habits? Visualize yourself as this person to guide your choices.
  • Unlock Abilities: Focus on developing specific skills like communication, resilience, or time management. Each mastered skill unlocks a new “ability” that empowers you in different areas of life.

Check tools to create your avatar online or go to

Find Your Party

  • Team Up: Find an accountability partner or a mastermind group. Support each other’s quests, celebrate victories, and offer constructive feedback. Online forums and communities can also provide encouragement and shared experiences.
  • Leaderboards & Friendly Competition: Join online challenges or create friendly competitions with friends. Track progress on leaderboards to stay motivated and see how far you’ve come.

Remember, It’s a Game, Not a Grind

  • Take Breaks & Power-Ups: Schedule rest days and self-care activities. Gamification shouldn’t lead to burnout. Take breaks to recharge and come back feeling refreshed
  • Level Up the Fun Factor: Make it enjoyable! Explore different learning methods, listen to educational podcasts while commuting, or turn chores into a race against the clock.

Personal development is a journey, and gamification can make it an exciting adventure. By incorporating game mechanics, you can transform self-improvement from a chore into a thrilling quest for your best self. So, grab your controller (metaphorically, of course) and get ready to play!

Do You Want to Restart this Game from The Beginning?

Do not worry. You can repeat this personal development game with the following steps with more confidence:

Step #1: I am an Essentialist from Now On

Only prioritize the important things (essence). For now until the next few months or until something important is achieved or you can manage it as well as possible. For example, if you are an employee who is trying to get a promotion, then focus on improving your relevant skills until you achieve the promotion. It’s better for you to focus on one thing and become the best in that field, rather than focusing on many things but not getting significant results and satisfaction from it.

See more about Essentialism.

Or if you are an entrepreneur, focus on just one area you are looking to improve. For example, if you don’t have a product or service that can compete with competitors, then the one thing you should focus on is improving the process and quality of the product or service before starting to run your marketing campaign.

Or is your one thing about being the best parent for your children? So understanding parental behavior and child psychology is important for you right now.

Start With Why

Know the clarity of WHY you choose the only thing as the most important thing to do as your purpose, your belief. Then, know the discipline of HOW to do that with your strength and values as guding principles. And finally the consistency of WHAT your role, your products sold, or your service offered.

More detail on Start With Why.

The Secret Code for This Game

  • Just prioritize what’s important. The paradox of choice: why more is less?
  • Put aside everything that is not important
  • Free yourself from now on (become unavailable for unimportant things)
  • Start by saying “No” instead of “Yes” or “Maybe” to unimportant things
  • Run a few projects with great wins, leave behind all the loss and meaningless projects

Important Winning Concept

  • Less is much better and more meaningful
  • Disciplined pursuit of only what is important
  • Living a truly important life

The Domino Effect

Imagine if hundreds or even thousands of domino cards were lined up standing in such a way that they were close to each other, then when the front card was dropped, the front card would drop the second card, the third card, and so on, until all the dominoes fell!

So, the front domino card is called the one thing, the most important thing that you need to determine and choose as your number 1 priority right now. When you find your one thing, you can get everything else (like a series of falling dominoes) because you very precisely chose and arranged your most important things in order. In fact, by determining the most important priority things correctly, the next big important things can be achieved.

Example of Domino Effect Strategy

Lets flash back to previous example: For example, if you are an employee who is trying to get a promotion, then focus on improving your relevant skills until you achieve the promotion. It’s better for you to focus on one thing and become the best in that field, rather than focusing on many things but not getting significant results and satisfaction from it.

Personal development example.

Or if you are an entrepreneur, focus on just one area you are looking to improve. For example, if you don’t have a product or service that can compete with competitors, then the one thing you should focus on is improving the process and quality of the product or service before starting to run your marketing campaign.

You can also create your own domino effect strategy based on your need:

  • Employee (from skill improvement to early retirement)
  • Enterpreuner (from product quality improvement to early retirement)
  • Accountant (from getting professional certification to have passive income with digital online courses)
  • Actor (from a few work orders to a lot)
  • Student (from E or D to A+)
  • Investor (from bad investment to best one)
  • Trainer/Teacher/Instructor (from active income to passive income)
  • Engineer (from low salary to highest one)
  • Politician (from low influence to highest one)
  • Athlete (from last winner to be number 1)
  • Leader (from self doubt to confidence)
  • Etc.

See more The One Thing.

Efek Domino is A Modification of Pareto Law (or 80/20 Rule)

If Pareto’s Law is 80/20, which means that with 20% effort, you will get 80% results, then the Domino Effect reduces the 20% effort above to 10%, 5%, even 1%: only prioritize what is important!

See more The 80/20 Principle.

Need A Shortcut? Try This One!

If you are still confused and cannot decide your one thing or your essence, you can refer to this image (from the book: “Your Next Five Moves” by Patrick Bet-David):

or this image:

The first move is “Understand Yourself” section 1: “Who do you want to be?“, can be described with the following image:

From the path above, select one role you want to be and stick to it until you get great success!

For instance, you want to be an influencer (YouTube). Then your first domino to flop should be: gaining influencer with YouTube skill!

After completing Step #1: You are now an Essentialist, what is the second steps?

It is:

Step #2: I am an Effortless Essentialist Now

Let’s take previous example of employee domino effect.

Personal development example.

Domino #1: Improve relevant skills

First of all, you write down one main skill that you need to master. For example computer programming.

How can you best master computer programming?

How can you “take down” this first domino effortless?

Much Effort
  • Learn independently (without a mentor)
  • Using the wrong learning methodology
  • Doing cramming and memorizing in a short time without understanding the concept
  • Do by trial and error
  • You were sure you were right but it turned out you were wrong and no one told you
  • Learning from the wrong people (the blind leading the blind)
Complex vs simple personal growth.

Learn computer programming from the best teacher who is expert and experienced in the field.

The first part of Effortless concept is Effortless State, with 5 easy and logical sequential steps as below:

  • Invert all views and perceptions of work, tasks, activities, even hobbies, from an inverted (upside-down) perspective. So, you find the easiest and shortest path to do it. Not painful-and-hard conventional ways. Invert: make it easy.
  • Once you find the easiest and fastest way to do your work, tasks, activities, even hobbies, then you will happy to do it and can make it fun as well. Enjoy: make it fun.
  • Once you are at the stage of enjoying your tasks, activities, hobbies and work because they are easy, short, and fun, then you will be able to let go of all other things that are not important. Release: lighten the road.
  • Once you let go of all the work, tasks, activities and hobbies that are not important and do not contribute to your most important things, then you will be able to rest well. Rest: recharge fully.
  • With sufficient rest and abundant energy, you will be able to properly examine and validate what is truly the most important thing for you, get invaluable insights from what you see, your life purpose, and other remarkable thoughts and ideas that you never see before. Notice: see things clearly.

Let’s review in more detail about the steps above.


Learn computer programming from the best teacher who is expert and experienced in the field.

Effortless State

1. Invert: make it easy

Learn only the essences of the computer programming with minimal amount of time and cost. Look for crash courses run by computer programming experts with top reviews. If you are serious to make it done first time right, do not learn with free stuff. You are investing in you.


  • Instead of asking, “Why is this so hard?”, turn the question around to: “What if this could be made easier?”
  • Challenge the assumption that the “right” way is inevitably the hard way.
  • Make the impossible possible by finding a less direct approach.
  • When faced with a burdensome task, ask: “How can I make this easier than it needs to be?”
2. Enjoy: make it fun
  • Make a fun group of computer programmers.
  • Meet up to discuss a specific computer programming topic every week.
  • Gather and travel together to the best holiday destinations once a month.
  • Create fun computer programming tips on t-shirts and stickers.
  • Hold comedy events with funny computer programming topics.
  • Make a contest and choose the winners in several categories.
  • Share giveaways and gift for most productive members of the club.
  • Invite people to be the member of the club.
  • Make learning like fun travel in your holiday.


    • Pair the most essential activities with the most enjoyable activities.
    • Accept the fact that work and entertainment can coexist.
    • Turn tedious tasks into meaningful rituals.
    • Let laughter and joy lighten your moments.
    3. Release: lighten the road
    • You are currently active in an automotive club, social gathering club, or other clubs besides the programming club, announce that in the next few months you will temporarily be inactive due to a certain special mission.
    • Your budget doesn’t cover the course price? First divert funds from desire items and savings or investment items into the computer programming course budget.
    • Course times conflict with other existing events? Schedule all these other events into other schedules to make room for your programming courses.
    • Are there still activities, events, targets, other needs that interfere with the smooth running of your course? Release these activities, events, targets and other needs right away.
    • If you have other goals besides mastering computer programming, such as continuing your master’s studies, pursuing a career in politics, or something else that you haven’t done yet, then you should postpone implementing all of that until your computer programming course is finished and you are proficient in mastering this knowledge in your work.

    If you are hesitant to reject or give up your past activities or offers of current and future activities from your friends or colleagues, maybe you need a way to say “no”.

    Recall this concept of Essentialism: focus to the only one most important thing right now.

    Also, throw away all feelings of disappointment, anxiety, fear, ungratefulness, resentment, trauma, and all negative feelings within yourself so that you will be freer to do what is most important to you.


    • Let go of emotional baggage that you don’t need to carry around.
    • Remember: when you focus on what you don’t have, you let go of what you do have. When you focus on what you have, you will get what you don’t have.
    • Use this habit recipe: “Every time I complain, I will say something that I am grateful for.”
    • Release grudges from their position by asking: “What work have I given this grudge to do?”
    4. Rest: recharge fully

    Once you free up everything that isn’t important and only focus on what is important, then you will have plenty of time to rest.

    • The division of 24 hours a day is 8 hours for sleep, rest and relaxation, 8 hours for work, and 8 hours for family or self (education, training, exercise, entertainment, meditation, fun, family time, me time etc.)
    • If you get enough sleep, rest, and relaxation, then you will have plenty of energy to do the things that matter most. So this 8 hours of sleep, rest and relaxation is absolute and cannot be reduced.
    • Arrange time to work on the most important things, for example your main job or programming courses, only during productive hours (for example, 8 am to 12 noon). You don’t want the slightest disturbance at this hour. Then from 1 pm to 4 pm you can take part in meetings, discussions, receive guests, telephone calls, chat, and other interactions. See also Deep Work and Flow.
    • If you reserve the morning for sports and work or the most important course, then make each session a maximum of 3 sessions with each session lasting 90 minutes and at the end of each session followed by a short break of 15 minutes. After 4.5 hours of work or courses and 45 breaks, the rest you can do less important work starting around 1 pm.
    • Taking a break, relaxing, or just looking in a further direction to rest your eyes for 1 minute every 15 minutes or 30 minutes is also very important to reset yourself to be fitter between work and activities.
    • After a total of 8 hours of doing important and less important work, then you should take the next 8 hours for yourself or with your family. After that, you use the next 8 hours to sleep, rest and relax.

    See also Why We Sleep?

    In a 90 minute nap, you can get the same benefits as an eight hour night’s sleep. Napping can also improve performance in reaction time, logical reasoning, symbol recognition, improve mood, make you less angry and frustrated.


    • Discover the art of doing nothing.
    • Don’t work more today than your body can recover for tomorrow.
    • Break down essential work into 3 sessions of no more than 90 minutes each.
    • Practice quality naps.
    5. Notice: see things clearly

    Pay attention to all programming course materials as carefully as possible. Do all the exercises and quizzes. Ask lots of questions about material you don’t understand. Also ask about your trainer’s hobbies and interests. Invite your trainer to occasionally provide material when the group is gathering. What can you do with programming skills? To what extent can your new skills benefit other people, companies, countries, and humanity as a whole.


    • Achieve a state of heightened awareness by harnessing the power of presence.
    • Train your brain to focus on what’s important and ignore what’s irrelevant.
    • To see others more clearly, set aside your views, advice, and judgments, and place their truth higher than your own.
    • Clean out the trash in your physical environment before cleaning out the trash in your mind.

    After you understand and implement the Effortless State, you can always do Effortless Action and Effortless Results. All make up your life significant and effortless! Write in the comment below if you have any idea.

    More about Effortless.

    Your personal development secret: Be an effortless essentialist!

    Personal development example.

    Your effortless result in “taking down” the first domino card will flop the second domino card more easily (“improve “Build Relevant Network Relationship”), as now you are an expert in computer programming which is on-demand by many people and companies. By the way, who wouldn’t want to be friends with a computer programming expert?

    Be an essentialist and be effortless for the rest of your life from now on.

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