Alex’s Analysis – Achieving a Goal

posted by on 30th July 2011, at 4:16pm

Sometimes, it takes a while for me to even think of what to write. It must relate to RuneScape in general, as it’s my position, but at the same time, whatever’s happening is either already said in the Jagex update, or it goes up on the RuneScape wiki in mere hours thanks to a team of nearly a thousand no-lifers who dedicate their very existences into unravelling all but the code-behind of everything that Jagex has done with their game. I suppose as long as it makes them happy, it’s worthwhile…

OK. Focus, Alex. Don’t rant. Their choice, not yours.

Anyways, as I highlighted with my last article, to get something done, you have to see it as fun and devote yourself to it. Easy enough to do. But what about long-term stuff? It’s easy enough to study and go to school, but what if you’d like to… oh, I dunno, make a game. RuneScape 4? Months of hard work followed by a lawsuit and a ton of legal conflict. So don’t actually try it.

No, I mean do something big. Something that doesn’t just take an hour each day to do (or it will take forever). Building a house (RuneScape or otherwise), getting 99 firemaking (RuneScape or… no, never mind; just RuneScape), or writing a book (don’t even try me). Sure, you know how to get into it, but how do you succeed in it? Why the heck have I not added that in my other article?

Because I like to make you wait, my loyal fan-base. Ooh, yes. You will have patience. If you want something in life, you’re going to have to work for it. You can’t just have it. But you guys have it lucky. If it were up to me, I’d write down all my advice and sell it in book form. Make some money on the side.

Fortunately for you, that’s not in my personality. I like you guys, and I want you to like me too.


Anyways, goals come in a variety of flavours. They can be things that you do for convenience, they are things you can do for status, or they’re things you can do as a life-long ambition driven by a part-experience inspiration. In a nutshell, they’re something you want, but as you currently stand, you cannot have it physically manifest in front of you at this current moment.

So you either decide to accept the cruel reality, or you whine about it making lots of noise and destroying stuff until somebody else does it for you. Or adds to your collection of bruises. Which nowadays, really should be the case.

However, there is the third option, in which that you fix this scenario by actually getting it yourself. If you want something, then you go for it. Not only do you get what you want with the right amount of effort, but the satisfaction of a job well done makes the deed and convenience so much more worth it.

For example, in RuneScape, I’ve got a set of poison++ dragon spears and a karambwan dragon spear. The poison++ one, unlike the karambwan, also has a chance of greater damage, making it more powerful. Yet, I like the karambwan one better, and I’ve barely touched the poison++ ones. Reason for this is because not only did I do the quest to get the karambwan itself, but I placed it on my first ever dragon spear, which I saved up for and got after a couple days of effort (I was considerably low-level at the time, and it was wicked-expensive). A while after that, I bought a couple of poison++ spears for no reason. Just to have. I dunno.

I still appreciate the karambwan ones much more. If you check out my old fake-picture album, you’ll see every instance of my spear in them is the karambwan one. It’s been my general weapon of choice for a long time, and I still have it in my bank.

Then I got my whip after getting a guthan helmet from the barrows. Again, an achievement, and I’ve still got that very same whip in my bank.

Then I saved up for a Saradomin Godsword and bought it. There was a moment I could’ve profited 20 million from it, but I didn’t want to sell it. I had grown attached to it. Sure, it’s just a game item, but I value it as an achievement. A trophy, if you will. I mean, if you got a trophy for winning a high-school hockey game, would you sell it on the street for a hundred bucks and buy an identical 10-dollar gift-shop replacement? No, you wouldn’t.

And if you would, then I suggest immediate psychological help, because you’re not gonna succeed in life. Ever.

Goals are part of life’s values. Choose carefully, and grab ahold.



Let me let you guys in on a little secret.

I am fully and totally aware that what I’m preaching is something that’s already making a ton of white noise in the community. There are whole sections of self-help books out there, each of them tailors to make people more productive by calmly or intelligently provoking them. They’ll play with words, and psychologically toy with you in order to get them to buy their books.

Not me. First off, I’m free to read. Secondly, there’s no psychological trash. I’m not choosing words or deliberately taking my time. I’m typing as I talk, and I talk out loud as I type. Most people go back and edit their work; reading and re-reading, correcting words to make it sound more positive or serious. I type it as it is, and leave it at that. Sure, I’ll skim through it later on, but I’m not trying to prove I’m an incredible writer with insurmountable credibility. I’m just an every-day guy with an opinion and a rapidly diminishing amount of spare time.

You’re probably tilting your head a full ninety degrees right now. Isn’t this a guide to achieving goals, Alex? Why the heck are you complaining?

Because, my friend, that’s how a goal starts. With a complaint. Something that somebody just cannot tolerate. I complained about self-help guides costing too much, so I set the goal to make my own series that’s free to read and converses directly with the audience as though you were talking to somebody.

Same goes with a lot of things. Neighbour is sick of people using his parking spot as a litter bin, so he sets up a remote fence and sign. Somebody wants level 99 Smithing, having being annoyed at having to pass all those mouth-watering promethium ore rocks, so they set the goal to work at it for 2 hours a day so they’ll get it within a month. A person gets sick of watching these “donate-now” poverty commercials and sets a goal to raise a couple million bucks to donate just to get them to stop advertising (or at least make them better, because they ain’t working very well if there’s so many out there).

See, you can’t just set a random goal and go for it. You need to know what you want first, because it’s this desire that gives you the drive to carry it out to the finish. I could set myself the goal of making a million dollars, or winning the lottery, but do I really want to be incredibly rich? Do I want that publicity, and do I want to be able to live off the interest, not having to work for a living? …um… you know what? I honestly don’t. Second example here; if I was rich and all, I wouldn’t have any drive to do any real work and set some world-changing goals. Having the incentive to make money to feed yourself is one of the best sorts of motivation you can get.



Now, I’ve got no idea what kind of goals you want to set for yourself, but I can at least give you universal advice.

My first piece of advice is to keep things as simple as possible. Break an otherwise complicated task down into smaller parts, and then do them in order. Best way to do this is with paper and pencil. Or computer. Which I don’t doubt you have.

Actually, no. Computer is not as good as paper and pencil. Use the paper and pencil to create a list, and then put it somewhere you cannot ignore. It’ll always physically manifest itself in front of you. A computer, well, it’ll be a text file mixed in with a ton of other files that you’ll probably forget about anyways. And it’s harder to write it down than to use a computer; making it more appreciative and valued. See, we’re already valuing our goals.

Follow along with me now. It’s not just advice; I want you to actually do this with me. Go ahead, get some paper and pencil. Yes, pencil; you’ll probably want to use the eraser. Or just pen and lots of paper. I’m serious. Go ahead! Go get some! NOW!

OK. Pencil. Paper. Ready. Here we go.

Get yourself a goal. Can be something simple and meaningless, like a level 99 skill in RuneScape. Or it can be something splendid, like saving up money for one of those new Nintendo 3DS systems. Something simple as an example to get in the practice, or something you legitimately want. Your call. You want me to acknowledge your existence? Yeah, I guess I could call that a goal too.

All right. You got your goal. Now take the paper. (…the large, white thing, not the small yellow one), and the pencil (this is the yellow one), and start writing.

Start at the top. Write down “GOAL” in nice big capital letters.

Now, give it a title. Namely, what you want. I will use, as an example: GOAL: Become a RuneScape Player Mod (purely an example).

Next, let’s write a few sentences detailing exactly why you want to complete this goal and what the goal involves. Summarize, and keep it simple.

“I want to become a player mod so I can finally silence those annoying auto-typers and in-game advertisers. This will involve me making myself known to Jagex in a positive manner.”

Now here’s why a pencil would benefit you. If you’d like, you can do this step on the computer, and when you’re done, just write it all out. The next step is to create a sequence of steps that you can take to achieve the goal. Not just that, but also highlight whatever tasks must be completed before the goal itself can be achieved. If you will, a milestone sheet. I like to call them “checkpoints”, though, as when you’re racing, rather than record the entire race, you only record smaller sections in the midst of a lap so you can not only tell which sections you’re faltering, but it gives you a fallback point in the middle of the race should something happen.

So, what does this goal involve you doing? Again, start simple. However, and here’s the trick, whenever you pull something out of thin air, you write it down.

Then, you have to ask yourself “What does that involve?”, and with a little tab spacing, write down this step directly below the last one you did.

Try to keep going down as much as possible, highlighting as many steps as you can.

Here’s my example (warning: thought process ahead):

“How can I become a player mod? By making myself well known to Jagex. So, what’s the best way to do that? Perhaps get well known on the forums. OK, how can I do that? By becoming very active. Yes, that would involve me standing more time on the forums. That’s as simple as it can get. Now, how else can I get well known on the forums? Maybe start up a self-help guide section on the RuneScape forums? Nah, there’s too many of those, that won’t work. Must be unique… ah, I could set up a “learn to read English” forum guide! That would really help players out. Not just English, but also those annoying slang terms that lazy players use overtop learning to type correctly (just kidding, guys). How could I do that? I suppose by making a list of commonplace english and slang terms, and translating them with an online dictionary for some convenience. OK, that’ll take me a while to do, so I’ll first do it all on Word for a week or so, and then copy/paste it into the forums.

How else can I make my presence well-known? Ah, the report abuse button. Sending in legitimate reports and not over-the-top ones will help show Jagex I care for the security of the community. Ah, but I should really not just go helter-skelter, because that will make them think I’m intentionally tying to become a mod with abuse spamming. I have to show them I’m not only wanting the status to help keep RuneScape secure and take out those annoying auto-typers, but also that I’m mature enough to receive it, and won’t go abusing it. So instead, I think what I’ll do is go around the free worlds for an hour every day, walking around the Grand Exchange and other key points, and if I see any auto-typers or bad people around, I’ll send in my report. Only when they blatantly deserve it, though. And I will not provoke any of them; they have to legitimately be inconsiderate, abusive, and rowdy.

If I make this a habit and do it for a few months, sooner or later Jagex will see my name appear often with trustworthy abuse reports and a popular forum thread, and they will offer me the status so I can help serve them better!”

So, in list form, it’ll look something like this:

“GOAL: Become a player mod.”

“I want to become a player mod so I can finally silence those annoying autotypers and in-game advertisers. This will involve me making myself known to Jagex in a positive manner.”

“How to accomplish:”

“- Become very active on the forums with a useful forum service
– Create a “Learn to Read English” post on the forums
– Create a list of common-place RuneScape items and requests
– Look them all up using an online translator.
– Organize them in sections.

– Become a trustworthy source of abuse reports
– DAILY TASK: Patrol the free-to-play worlds for an hour
– Go to the Grand Exchange, Lumbridge, and Falador bank areas.
– Report any obvious abuse going on, making sure that the rule is obviously being broken before submitting.
– If it’s all good, switch worlds and repeat 10 times.”

(What’s more is that I can turn this into a checklist, so when I accomplish a part of this goal, I can check it off so i wouldn’t have to remember where I’m at)

And when you’re creating the list, it’s not something you just sit down and take 5 minutes on. Take your time. Hours. Not even all at once. Think for a bit, and when you can’t think anymore, just stop. Go for a walk or something, or play a game, or do whatever. Carry that paper with you wherever you go, and when an idea randomly pops into your head (it will, trust me), then you can add it to the list at your convenience.

And don’t think this list cannot be changed. Maybe you’ll get a whole new idea, or maybe an idea won’t work at all. Use your eraser. It’s there for a reason. Even rewrite it all on a brand new sheet of paper if you need.



If you want any advice on carrying through the actual goal, see my “Getting Into It” article. I really don’t want to have to repeat myself, because otherwise Shane will give me that wide-eyed stare I make him do almost too much.

Otherwise, the only advice I can give you is to stop consulting self-help guides, get out, and with a great force of will, have at! Say it out loud as you stand up with all your might. Do it! Shout: I WILL DO THIS! I WILL NOT LET ANYTHING STOP ME!

And don’t forget to thank me after you’ve gotten yourself a million bucks. I like knowing I helped someone today.

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