What follows is a quote that I underlined recently, and has been in my head – to ponder over the weekend.
“Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.”– No source, found in the book “Radical Acceptance”, by Tara Brach
Bad and painful things happen to us all; by our own fault, by the hand of others, or by the rolling of the dice of fate. Not even the strongest of us is immune to pain.
But the stories we tell ourselves, the movies that we play in our head about the origin, reason, justice, value, consequences of pain – this is on us.
Painting: “The Lictors Returning to Brutus the Bodies of his Sons” by Jacques-Louis David
Sometimes it pays to do the things we love.
When I found out that Felipe Pepe was recruiting volunteers to help him create a compendium of the history of computer RPGs (“Role-Playing Games,” for those less familiar with videogame acronyms) I immediately knew that I wanted in.
I never imagined that one day my work would be part of a printed book, much less a book from which 100% of the author’s profits would go toward charity – in this case, the Vocação institution, which grants education and finds employment for young people in the most disadvantaged areas of Brazil.
But it did. You can order it here, and do so knowing that once the first print is done, there will be no more. It is a single, limited edition.
I can only thank Felipe in triplicate:
Thank you for engendering such a passionate project.
Thank you for having endured my delays and edited my words for the better.
Thank you for finding and taking the opportunity to use this work to improve the world.
Video games are not always a waste of time.
The two most valuable things in modern marketing are permission and attention.
If we manage to grab someone’s attention long enough, and make a case solid enough for them to give us their precious email address – to allow us into the near-sacred, private space of their inbox – then that’s a huge win. They have already signalled interest in what we’re selling, and even made the effort to connect.
If we then fail to make the sale, that means that we are either making the wrong promise, or delivering underwhelming value. They are inviting us into their digital home, they have opened the door to us, and we show up and sit on the living room, and then either stay quiet or spout nonsense.
This is disrespectful of the people who trusted us with their permission, and wasteful of our capabilities and opportunity.
The biggest obstacle to making the sale is inertia. It’s easy and natural to do nothing. To stand still. To take no action.
That’s the state of the 1.000.000 visitors that come to your website every day. To get even 1% of them to act, to give you permission, that is good – improvable, but nonetheless, good.
But if after that, you only manage to make the sale to 1% out of that 1% who acted?
That’s a tragedy. We can do better.
Painting: “Mercury and Herse” by Jan van Boeckhorst