Earlier this year, I played a few exhibition rounds of Tekken 7 with professional gamers.
I got beat 0-6.
After that, I stopped playing.
Time away from the game and other distractions helped me realize something very important.
This thing is something I believe a lot of people go through in all they do in life.
Why people plateau
Growing up, I was often taught one way to do something.
My dad broke this mindset out of me but it came crashing hard when I put an emphasis on what my public school teachers taught me.
We’re taught to believe in the same policies and that the old way is often better.
While the latter is true to an extent, history has shown that it limits one’s ability.
That old saying, “Doing the same thing and expecting different results is called insanity” comes to mind.
The reason why so many people plateau in improvement is because they expect to get further by using the same methods.
Critical thinking and going above and beyond one’s comfort zone is frown upon in traditional education.
It’s why so many people stop learning when they achieve what they’ve been conditioned to achieve what is seen as the grand prize (i.e. a college degree).
How this theory came to be
In 2019, I began taking my exercise journey serious.
Before, I would just go to the gym, do whatever, and eat whatever afterwards.
When I decided to take it serious, I learned the basics of weight loss and muscle gain.
Within months, I took notice of results.
My co-workers at the time did, too.
As I continued to work out, I felt that feeling of plateauing again.
What got me out of it was learning beyond the basics.
In order to get lean, you have to reduce your calorie intake as you lose fat.
Had I not read that guide, I wouldn’t have known that.
When it comes to lifting heavier weights, the name of the game is to do the same exercises for three weeks while increasing the weights.
Once those same exercises have been done, new exercises that work the same muscles will have to be done.
How to break the plateau
Breaking a plateau is something a lot of people have difficult dealing with.
Many think it takes hard work.
That isn’t true.
It’s doing things differently over time.
I often play one of my friends in Tekken 7. He doesn’t take the game serious like I do, yet he always beats me.
He once told me, “Your reads are predictable! I know what you’re going to do next!”
When he told me that, I thought back to the professionals I played earlier this year.
While playing by himself, he practiced his moves like I’ve never seen anyone do before.
He was super dedicated to his craft to the point I realized I was WAY underclassed.
My style of playing is better than the average.
His style of playing was top tier.
Instead of just practicing combos, he was practicing how to read his opponent.
What he did was he set the computer to perform a certain move.
He did this to read the animation of his opponent’s character and figure out which moves the character he had could have him beat.
Tekken 7 has many characters so you can imagine how much time it takes for him to practice with one.
Plateau breaking also came to mind when I learned how to better my filmmaking.
For a decade, I used the methods I “learned” at university.
As time went on, it never once occurred to me what I learned in school didn’t apply to real life.
I sought out help from a number of successful filmmaker that didn’t learn the traditional way and discovered something fascinating.
They got better by watching those better than them, applying what they learned, and built relationships with others.
Those three things cost next to nothing to learn.
But for some reason, spending $30k to learn film history was essential.
Just for fun, here’s another fantasy example.
The show Dragon Ball Super displays this theory perfectly.
The two main characters Goku and Vegeta are very strong characters.
However, throughout the course of the series, Goku is always stronger and better than Vegeta.
How is that possible?
Goku takes joy in finding a new challenge, fighting wise. He seeks stronger fighters each time a new arc starts.
Meanwhile, Vegeta trains the same way.
Yes, he trains under pressure but he rarely changes his methods.
Goku achieved ultra instinct while Vegeta was left behind (again).
When it comes to parenthood, Vegeta has Goku beat by a long shot.
Vegeta understands what it means to have responsibilities thanks to his short time around his dad and a strong community.
Goku was raised mostly on his own.
He accidentally killed his grandpa when he was child so he had no guidance other than what he knew.
Vegeta may not ascend past Goku as a fighter but as a dad and character, he’s second to none.
Breaking a plateau is a challenge but it’s necessary to do in order to better in life.
Breaking plateaus isn’t fun and it isn’t easy but it’s well worth it.
One of the things that helped me break a plateau was traveling.
I show you how here: https://gumroad.com/l/oxmvy
Peace & love!