How my gaming addiction helped me excel exponentially as a developer
Trying to pursue eSports had its own rewards.
I grew up being addicted to gaming.
I began playing video games when I was three years old. I would play all kinds of games, from shooting to racing.
I was good at gaming. I always had a drive to improve in every game I played.
Gaming wasn't good for me. I grew up being obese and having a temper. It was hard for me to go days without gaming or consuming such content.
I got into computer games when I was 12. We had just moved into a newly renovated apartment in Stockholm and my dad got me a new PC. I had seen people play computer games and how they used their keyboards.
It looked fun. To see how serious people looked when playing computer games. They would work in teams and be immensely passionate about it.
I began playing the game Crossfire. I would play the causal games and rank up.
There was a time when I was cheating. I used to dominate all the games when cheating. It was fun. I stopped cheating because the software I used to download had issues. You'd have to re-install the software and it'd only work for a few games before breaking again.
I decided to take the game seriously and level up with real skills. I began practicing harder. I made routines. I was asking people questions. I took it seriously.
People spoke about ESL (the place where pro players played) players being good. So I decided to take a look into it and decided to join. I kept practicing. I would watch the pro games and study them. I was obsessed.
Every Sunday, there was a tournament. I always look forward to it.
I played Crossfire for two years hardcore. Then the game started dying. People were moving to CS:GO. I eventually did too.
The summer of my life
I moved from Sweden to Germany at 14 with my family. We moved in May of 2015. Finding a school for me took a while, so I ended up starting school on the 19th of October.
I had five months of unlimited freedom. Both my dad and mom were working. Our home was always full of food and sweets. I'd often order food, and on top of that had my own room.
I would play games all day and watch Netflix before bed. I was so addicted to gaming that I'd set an alarm to wake up early to play all day. It was mad.
I was binge-eating the worst kind of things.
Looking back, I was basically a filthy and fat uncontrollable animal. Not a drop of discipline within me. I was a walking corpse. I was slowly committing suicide without being conscious of it.
It was a fun five months of temporary gratification. Five months of destroying myself in every possible way.
I was happy during those five months. But I wasn't fulfilled, content nor did I live with purpose.
I was escaping reality.
My CS:GO journey
During the five months, I transitioned from Crossfire to CS:GO.
You could make more money in CS:GO and the game was overall better. I was driven and determined to become a professional eSports player. As with Crossfire, I looked up pro gamers and how to become a pro.
I was always researching how to become better and improve. I would make my own warm-up routines. I was watching and studying pro games.
To fast-forward the journey and not bore you with details, I quit gaming in 2019 with a commitment to get a job as a software developer in 2020.
What I got from the gaming journey
When I was gaming, my ambition wasn't just to get good. I wanted to become number one. I wanted to be someone whose name everyone knows and respects. I wanted to be that person everyone keeps talking about.
I wanted to become the GOAT. That was my ambition.
In my heart, I couldn't accept living, grinding and not becoming the GOAT. I refused to stop improving. I was obsessed and immensely driven.
I carried this mindset over to software engineering and other areas of my life.
I may not become the GOAT, but that doesn't mean I'll ever stop trying to.
Finding the unknowns
One of my unique traits is that I understand there are things I know I don't know.
But I know, there are things I don't know, I don't know.
The known unknowns.
The unknown unknowns.
Because of this, I'm never satisfied with my current knowledge. I always have the hunger to discover things that'll benefit me.
When I was gaming, I knew people who were satisfied with their warm-up routine or practice. I was never satisfied. I was always asking questions and trying to find not just what works for me, but what works even better for me.
I was relentlessly seeking knowledge to become a better player.
I still am like this today.
Thanks to this relentless drive, I grew exponentially as a software engineer in just 1.5 years.
In 2021 alone, I did whatever I could to become a better software engineer:
Read 40 books
Built multiple side projects
Volunteered in communities
Sharing and building in public
Contributing to open-source
I'm not just striving to be better than yesterday.
I'm striving to be better than the last hour.
I'm striving to be better than the last minute.
I'm extremely driven to grow in every avenue of life:
I read 1-2 books weekly
I write blog posts and build side projects
I'm often reflecting
I wake up at 4 AM every day
I work out every day
I take a timer for many things I do
I use my time. Time is NOT using me.
I'm the commander of my mind, not its soldier
I had a bad past.
Now, I'm forging the destiny I truly desire.