Lifestyle Gamification: How to become successful without looking impressive

 

Recently I’ve been watching many of the videos that have me in them (Note: not the one above), and I noticed a few things:

I really don’t seem all that impressive

You know how the first time you ever heard yourself on tape, you really disliked your own voice? It’s a bit different from what you expected and not as “cool” as you thought. It’s the same for me when I was watching those videos.

It’s pretty interesting in the sense that, everyone who sees me in these videos feel that I am normal. I’m still the usual Yu-kai, being all weird but having some method to the madness, but when I look at myself, I’m like, “What?! Who is this guy?”

These are some of the observations I have on myself:

1. I have a nasally voice that could sound kind of sleazy  Along with my fast talking speed, it could really resemble the sound of a bee. Quite annoying, and definitely not an impactful way of speaking.

2. My posture is somewhat slouched and awkward. It almost seems like I lack energy.

3. My body language is stiff and rigid.

4. Since English is my second language, sometimes I get trapped with strange diction or needing to rephrase my sentence midway through because of my grammar issues. Taking ESL and Honors English with Shakespeare at the same time in high school didn’t really help much. Luckily, I still use my original name Yu-kai, so people kinda expect that and I get away with a lot of it.

5. Even without the language issue, I seem to make a lot of socially awkward comments that just entertain myself. To be honest, I’m just truly a socially awkward guy due to my strange blend of all the cultures. I used to think that being my friend would be lots of fun, but after watching these clips I feel that being my friend requires a good amount of tolerance, hahaha. Perhaps it’s both!

So with all these things going on at the same time, I’m looking at myself and thinking, “This guy looks like a sleezy dork! Why would anyone want to work with him?”

It’s strange, because it does seem to be the case that everyone (I think…) who meets me and interacts with me thinks decently of me, and tell others about all these great things about me that I don’t think are necessarily proven.

No, I’m not trying to boast while pretending to be humble. I really don’t think what a lot of people say about me is backed up. After all, some people tell others I am extremely smart only after 2 casual greeting sentences. I don’t know where they get the idea that I am smart and to this day it is still puzzling to me how they arrive at that conclusion (I guess I’m just not that “smart” :P)

The key to building a strong personal brand without having an impressive image

So what’s the trick? There are A TON of things I need to improve on myself, but I could share what got me a decent brand name in the world DESPITE those awkward things that I do.

You who don’t have the dorky awkwardness, how much easier it would be for you to brand yourself well!

1. Focus on Vertical Networking, or making your current network successful

When most people think about networking, they think about meeting new people. That’s horizontal networking. Another way to make your network stronger is to help those already in your network to become successful. That way people respect you and you have built a stronger relationship since you were there for each other.

In an older blogpost, I wrote about the 6 Core Concepts of good FD Networking. It goes with the principle “networking starts with the self” and “in order to network, you need to be someone worth networking with.”

The 6 Core Concepts are: Integrity, Sincerity, Optimism, Confidence, Initiative, and Persistence.

If you always uphold these 6 Core Concepts, then you will be respected by people you meet.

2. Strong work ethics and a sense of mission

It doesn’t take keen observation to notice that a lot of people in this world become flaky and unreliable when things need to be done.

That actually means as long as you show good attitude and make sure everything that is in your responsibility gets done and gets done fast, you will have already stood out among your peers.

It pretty much means that if you have an uncompromising ideal to fulfill all your promises, and do everything you SHOULD do, your reputation spreads fast. That actually goes along with the core values of integrity, sincerity, and initiative.

3. Don’t be afraid to create unique value

School, work, and society overall often pressures you to conform – to be like everyone else.

However, you need to constantly find opportunities to break through your comfort zone and challenge what has always been working with a new idea of your own.

New ideas may not even be better ones, but unless you actually think about them, there may never be any improvement in the system.

The burden of innovation in your environment lies on your shoulders, not people who are smarter.

4. Work with good people

If you associate with passionate and bright people, your reputation will be associated with them too. Not only does the group accomplish great things that you will be known for too, but the experience itself makes you and your public image stronger. And of course, you could always learn a ton more working with inspiring people.

Find people who are higher leveled than you so you can level up faster at more difficult dungeons! 

5. Live your day to the fullest

This means that you want to use your time well and constantly stay productive.

You have 168 hours a week, and it is really up to you how you want to spend that time.

A 40 hour week job is really not “full time,” it’s actually slightly lower than quarter time.

If you use the other quarter to sleep, that means you have the other 80 hours left to either do nothing, complain about your 40 hour work or make a difference in this world.

If you want to accomplish uncommon things in this world, you need to live every day of your life uncommonly. If you live every day just like everyone else, you will end up like everyone else.

10,000 Hours of Play

If you play your life like a gamer (Lifestyle Gamification), you will slowly build up your stats, level up, gain a distinctive reputation, and conquer quests that will open up new ones for you.

Life is a game, in which only hardcore gamers make it to the leaderboard.

14 thoughts on “Lifestyle Gamification: How to become successful without looking impressive

  1. dean guadagni

    Yu-kai,

    Thank you for the follow on twitter! This post is meaningful to me as I am always interested in networking tips and strategies. I was especially pleased when I read this statement:

    “networking starts with the self” and “in order to network, you need to be someone worth networking with.”

    Excellent thought that everyone should be working on in their networking. As Jeffrey Gitomer likes to say “Give value, give continously, give without asking for anything in return.”

    Btw I watched Jun’s video Pt. on Social Media branding. He is a high energy guy and the video was enjoyable to watch. Props to Jun for his mention of tweetbeep!

    I look forward to more great stuff from you and your associates–thanks Yu-kai!

    Dean Guadagni
    Business Director
    Inner Architect; Inner Architect Media
    http://innerarchitect.com

    Reply
  2. Yu-kai Chou Post author

    Hey Dean,

    Thanks for the comment! Yea I think networking is about building relationships and helping each other out, instead of being a whore for the crowds. In FD, we coined the term Vertical Networking, which means that instead of getting more people into your network (horizontal networking), we try to make everyone in our network successful, hence making our network stronger. The relationship is also a lot more meaningful in Vertical Networking, because you actively participated in their lives and successes.

    Haha, yea Jun is an awesome guy. He is a guy that can make any company successful, and FD wouldn’t be the same without this buddy. You should follow him @junloayza too :D

    Hope you have a great weekend and that you will be successful in every activity you engage in!

    Reply
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  7. SonnySpeaksOut

    Hi Yu-kai, love this post man! but you don’t sound nasally at all, actually I thought the same about my own voice and was told when I first spoke at toastmasters that I had a lovely voice? so like myself you are probably your own harshest critic. I love your blog posts but really love the videos they are very cool and most of all very engaging…keep it up. Hope to meet you some time.

    Reply
  8. Yu-kai Chou

    SonnySpeaksOut Haha, thanks for the encouragement. I am pretty harsh on myself…but I have high standards for my game! ;-)
    I’m pretty sure I have a bit of a nasally voice, which you will hear from quite a few asian speakers…probably because the Chinese language trains the nasal parts to produce sound with all the different tones. I’ve been thinking about ways to correct that too ;-)
    Hope all is well with you!

    Reply
  9. finneycanhelp

    Nice! Thanks for the tips! I loved how you presented yourself in the Game Changer podcast: http://www.engagingleader.com/podcast/gamechanger/

    Reply
  10. achintngm

    the first time I called a radio live show.. actually it was 5 mins delay when aired.. I felt so awkward over my voice…thought I was too stupid to call for atleast 2 weeks…

    Reply
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