This is part 1 of 4 in our Leveling Upwards series.
525,600 minutes. But how do you measure your experience in life?
Many TTRPGs and video games have a direct path to measuring our experience. We see points rack up and meters fill and skill trees grow and new features unlocked as we set out to complete the tasks before us and advance in our personal story. We can see the dashboard and character sheets with the culmination of our experience on display, for our admiration and utility in making decisions on where to go next and explore everything that we can do.
Sometimes this experience is all measured in points metered out as a reward for tasks or sometimes it is bundled together as a gift when milestones are accomplished.
And of course, with enough experience, we level up.
If only we had such a thing in real life, right?
Chances are it’s hard to see all of your experience in one place – unless you are: going through a performance review, showcasing your work like an artist’s retrospective exhibit, or working with a coach. We might see evidence in our behaviors or personal mementos we keep around us, but that’s it. It makes it really hard for us to see ALL of the experiences we have brought with us to this present moment.
That changes now.
Take a deep breath and settle into wherever you are right now.
Where were you five minutes ago?
Where were you five weeks ago?
Where were you five months ago?
Where were you five years ago?
Where were you when you were five years old?
As you take a moment to journey back in time, think about what it took for you to get to where you are now.
What challenges have you had to face to arrive at this moment?
What unexpected twists and turns led you here?
What moments of joy and peace shine brightest along the way?
What are you witnessing in your life right now?
Where are you going next?
Take a few moments to jot down any meaningful memories or insights from these questions.
We talk about reflection a lot here at Coaches & Dragons, but often we stay focused on inquiry and finding answers. When it comes to measuring our experience, however, reflection remains insufficient unless matched with awareness, acknowledgement, and affirmation of that experience.
Awareness of all that we have experienced: peaks and valleys, highs and lows, clarity and wandering.
Acknowledgment that we are the culmination and celebration of our experience.
Affirmation that we are successful, triumphant, and ready for whatever is next right here AND right now.
Reflection might point us in the direction to look, but we need to take the extra effort to elevate our experience to such a level.
Approximately a level up, so to speak.
So this week, we encourage you to
Take an honest look at your experience to date.
Build that dashboard of your skills and features that you’ve unlocked.
See what quests remain on your to-do list and consider what experience you will have gained as a result.
And above all, honor all of the super hard freaking work it took to get to where you are now.
That’s what a level up is all about.
See you on the next level!
Autumn & Jerod