Marginal Gains

I love to play Pikmin 3 on our Wii U and can often be found sitting in the den trying to reach the Platinum level on the various levels found in the Collect Treasure mode. I'm not going to say I'm the world's best player, in fact probably quite far away from it, but I'm good enough and I try to improve as much as I can by testing out different orders of collecting the fruit and killing and collecting the creatures that try to eat the Pikmin.

The way I like to play is to get good at a level, like really good at the level, knowing little things and the orders to do things that mean I shave a second or two off my time and then once I think I've got the fastest possible route, I check attempts on Youtube and sometimes I see something that they have done that means I can shave another second or two off my time all in the pursuit of my ultimate goal, getting the platinum award. It's these small marginal gains that improve my performance and for me, it increases my enjoyment in playing the game and even if I don't make the Platinum level every time, I enjoy trying to reach the level, I enjoy the act of thinking about it all.

Pikmin Marginal Gains

As I was drifting off to sleep a few nights back, I realised that the same method of small gains each time I do something applied to me in my religious life too.

I am not the best Christian of all time, far from it.

Sometimes I forget to say my prayers or they are a little repetitive or they aren't as meaningful as they could or should be. Sometimes I forget to read my scriptures, or study my scriptures or think about the Sacrament, or follow the Sunday school lessons, or keep in touch with those I minister to, or those I've been called to lead. Sometimes I forget to write in my journal or I watch a TV show that really isn't as appropriate as I know the media I consume should be.

Every day I try though.

I try to pay more attention to the prayers that I say. I try to not let my prayers become repetitive and really mean what I say. If I forget to read my scriptures then I try to read just one verse and not beat myself up about it. I'm working on the rest.

Every day I make small changes to how I live my life. I try to make it better, I try to live how I want to be. Snap a little less, love a little more. I make these small changes and build upon them and fail and start again and fail and start again and make small changes and make small marginal gains.

I know that it means that one day I'm going to be the person I want to be, I'm going to reach that Platinum level of life.