You should accept all sidequests

An idea to provoke you to be more adventurous.

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Quote of the week:
"We all make choices in life, but in the end our choices make us."
— Andrew Ryan (Bioshock)


Accept all sidequests

A few years ago I was up in northern Michigan staying in a cabin with some friends.

One particular night we were all enjoying the beach. A few random locals came up and we chatted awhile. They found out we were interested in doing some cliff jumping and it was generally ill advised to do that in the popular areas.

They did however give us an obscure string of directions to a private area. And from that point on, the idea became infectious. Sure, we could go hiking, or we could accept a random stranger’s sidequest and fulfill our desire to go cliff jumping.

So we went the next day.

Wiktionary on the definition of a Sidequest:

quest given to the player that has no direct bearing on the main story/campaign of the game. Completion of a sidequest often results in the acquisition of money or items that are otherwise unavailable, or unlocks another sidequest.

Videogame Origins

When I was younger I played an open-world fantasy game called Oblivion quite a bit. The game was well known for its rich story and is also considered one of the greatest games ever made. I easily spent months worth of cumulative hours playing it.

Despite the main story being captivating, I always found myself off the beaten path. I could diverge in order to slay a dragon, join a secret society, or maybe even help the inn-keep. In games and in life, there’s a lot of magic and opportunity tucked away between the small pages we might otherwise skip on by.

The definition above makes mention that sidequests can often unlock other sidequests. I’ve had random messages evolve into coffees, into introductions, into jobs, and into friendships. Tiny divergences in the plan are worth your attention.

It’s an interesting comparison. Sidequests in video-games to spontaneous divergences in life. In video games, you’d often be rewarded with experience for completing side quests. Your character would grow wiser and stronger. In life, our ancillary experiences can prove to be some of the most significant.

A sidequest empowered me to go cliff jumping. I also got a job that changed the course of my career after an offhand introduction and conversation.

If I was sidequest averse, I might have stayed in. *shrug*

The value in them

Had my friends and I not accepted the sidequest to the cliffs up north, we would have still had a great day. But because we accepted the side quest, we had an unforgettable day. A day worth writing about. A day that I will remember for some time!

Some people avoid sidequests like the plague. For good reason. You stand to waste a lot of time if you’re accepting every opportunity on your doorstep. Much like that movie “Yes Man” with Jim Carrey, you run the risk of overextending yourself.

But I say accept away, for at best you’ll have a great opportunity. At worst you’ll have a funny story. And you never know what you might get yourself into.


I don’t have much else to share this week, so a funny XKCD comic to follow.

Wishing you and yours the best,

Cullin


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