The “Old You” Cannot Conquer Your Current Challenges

Adrian S. Potter
3 min readJun 4, 2022

Why leveling up is critical.

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

The Secondhand Inspiration Project begins with a motivational quote and ventures wherever the creative path meanders.

“Every next level of your life will demand a different you.” — Leonardo DiCaprio

Life is a multiple-level video game. In each phase, we alter our strategies, assume different roles, recruit new supporting players and resources, and tackle new goals.

Transitioning to a different level often triggers ambiguity and confusion. Like playing a new video game for the first time, we may not know which direction to head, which pitfalls to avoid, or our objective.

And that’s okay, even if it doesn’t feel “okay” at the moment.

To get what we want and “graduate” from a level, we must work hard, struggle and strive. Things are always trickier than they were previously, and even if we face familiar foes or scenarios, they too require an evolution in our mindsets.

The basic tactics used to win Level 1 of a video game will not help us defeat the final boss on Level 10. To be honest, they will likely cause our demise. Game over.

Each level should be a progression from the last.

No matter how successful we might become, we should never stop learning, evolving, and improving. We should never settle for “good enough” and allow ourselves (or our teams or businesses) to plateau.

Photo by Thirdman:

We can’t just keep doing the same things ad nauseam without adapting to the changing world. As DiCaprio’s quote implies, we will always face different complexities which demand growth, improvement, and adaptability.

Every new level yields a (hopefully) better version of us. Our enhanced identities allow us to respond with more power, wisdom, patience, and confidence.

So let the demands continue. Let our shortcomings be questioned. As Josh Waitzin said in “The Art of Learning,” let’s acknowledge that “sometimes limits need to be pushed.”



Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity ·