Sample Narrative Essay: Learning the Value of Consistent Practice
Self-improvement is a fruit that every individual aims to acquire. A painter could paint a thousand canvases with the hopes of becoming a master. A bodybuilder may spend all of his days in the gym, sculpting his muscles and posture. A storyteller can create hundreds of characters to craft a fictional world that awes the audience. A child may read piles of books to become fluent in a foreign language. Individuals strive to achieve self-improvement in different skills and aspects of their life. A man can aim to improve his ability to throw a ball which others may perceive as useless and a waste of time. However, the act of self-improvement not only enhances a particular skill but develops mindsets that one can apply in their life. This narrative essay will describe my journey of improving skills in a video game which led to improved physical capabilities, work productivity, and learning the value of consistency.
In June 2020, the company Riot Games released the competitive first-person shooter game “Valorant”. Streamers, content creators, and many of my friends quickly jumped into the game. I was never a fan of the genre as I perceived it as time-consuming and more of a sport rather than a relaxing video game. However, my friends eventually persuaded me to try the game. While I was new to the competitive FPS genre, I had previous experience with the FPS game Team Fortress 2. I had a total of 1,000 hours in the game which gave me a mechanical advantage in Valorant. I quickly understood the objective and mechanics of the game and eventually found myself enjoying my gaming sessions. After a few days of playing with friends and learning the game, we decided to jump into a competitive environment. This is where we play with similarly-skilled players and acquire a rank. I had my hopes up and expected to receive a high rank. Unfortunately, the game placed me in the middle bracket which was in the Silver and Gold ranks. As I felt disappointed, I accepted that perhaps my knowledge of the game is lacking and that I need to improve.
Upon this realization, I decided to traverse a journey of self-improvement and become a better player. The disappointment that I felt when I received my average rank fed the flames of perseverance and made me pursue a goal that I never wanted. I employed the use of some of the best research methods to better understand the game and identify my lapses. I scoured the Internet for research papers, documentaries, articles, and other resources that could provide insight into competitive FPS game mechanics. I spent days searching, reading, watching, and listening to authoritative sources that I believe could help me in my quest. After a week or so of relentless research, I narrowed down the factors that I needed to improve. I concluded that I need to develop my reflexes, posture, mental condition, hand-eye coordination, critical thinking skills, and mental health. Here, I began to understand that improvement in the game will beckon improvements to my physical and mental health.
With my research complete, I modified routines, tasks, and practices from professional FPS coaches and experts. The tasks that these experts provided were specific to the needs of professional Esports players which meant countless hours of training. While I wanted to follow these extensive routines, my schedule does not allow me to spend eight to ten hours of training. Instead, I analyzed the theories and teachings of the coaches to establish a personal routine that can produce positive results. In August 2020, I began following the routine with the hope that I can achieve self-improvement and improve my performance in the game. I began with short morning exercises that enhanced my upper body strength and posture. During the afternoons, I engaged in “aim training” exercises where I use applications to improve my mouse control, hand-eye coordination, and reflexes. During the nights, I would watch recordings of my games to analyze my performance and improve my critical thinking skills . Additionally, I aimed to maintain a healthy state of mind to ensure that I perform at maximum capacity.
I followed my routine for three months without skipping a day. I performed my exercises and training despite headaches, body pains, bad weather, and extremely tight schedules. I wanted to become a better player and nothing in the world could stop me from pursuing that purpose. However, in the fourth month, I realized that my rank in the game still remained the same. I followed theories and teachings from professionals, I trained the relevant skills with relentless pursuit, and I never missed a day of training. I realized that despite my investment, I was still in the same position that I was in months ago. I noticed improvements in my skills and I know that I am a better player than before. Yet the fruits of those labor were similar to who I was before I began my journey. I felt that I have climbed mountains and crossed raging rivers, yet I ended up in the same field where I took my first step. And so again, I felt disappointed.
I thought back on the work that I did and the possible lapses that I may have made. I knew I could have worked harder. I knew I could have spent a couple more hours of training and focused more on improving my weaknesses. However, I did not want to compromise my personal and professional life for a simple game. I understood that while I could have done better, it would have required me to sacrifice important things. Also, while my status in the game did not improve, I noticed an improvement in my physical abilities and mindset. The daily exercises provided me with the benefits of physical fitness . Maintaining positive mental health allowed me to become more productive not just in the game but in my professional work. And most importantly, I learned the value of consistency. I understood that training consistently for a couple of minutes every day is better than training for multiple hours and skipping certain days. As I continued to look back, I acknowledge the improvements and forgot the disappointment that I have felt. I have developed self-perception which allowed me to look past the failures, understand my mistakes, and continue practicing.
My journey to self-improvement began with the aim of performing better in a video game. The competitive and engaging nature of the medium ignited my passion and led me to a road of hard work and consistency. I developed skills that not only apply to the game but also to real life. I became a better version of myself - with a sharper mind and a stronger body. This journey, despite failing my initial purpose, produced results and lessons that I can apply to future endeavors. Learning the value of consistency made me realize that I can improve any skill through slow but consistent practice. It may take years but I know that consistency will lead to gradual progression and eventually, success.
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