Beyond the Carnage: 7 Life Lessons from GTA IV
Buried deep within GTA IV's high-speed police chases, vehicular homicides, cold-blooded killings and large-scale armed robberies, there lie hidden gems of wisdom that you can apply to improve your own life in the real world.
1) If you wanna make an omelet, you gotta break some eggs. GTA IV teaches you that when you want to accomplish something, you should go for it without worrying too much about stepping on other people's toes. When you carjack an old lady and only have 30 seconds to make it from the gun store to the respray shop, some people are gonna get run over in the process. If you want your boss's job, you might have to get him fired before you get the position. When you get what you want, people may get hurt. It comes with the territory.
2) Trust no one. Everyone you meet has an agenda. Let me repeat that. Everyone you meet has an agenda. Of course, some may have a more malicious agenda than others. Regardless, everyone around you is almost always looking out for #1: themselves. Look at Ghandi -- that guy was practically begging to get 15 minutes of fame with some sort of "MTV True Life: I'm a Revolutionary Peacemaker" documentary. Think about it. GTA IV lets you experience "friends" lying, cheating, stealing and stabbing you in the back to get what they want. Only trust yourself.
3) Plan for the best, but prepare for the worst. Pretend you're in GTA, you just got assigned a new mission, and you envision yourself kicking ass: running, ducking, diving, all while taking out gangbangers with expertly timed shotgun blasts and never getting a scratch on you. So do you walk in to the gun fight with one-third of your health, no body armor and low ammo? Hell no. You stock up. You prepare for the worst. Shit, buy some rocket launchers while you're at it. Why not. In life, you never know what could go wrong. It always pays to be prepared.
4) The more nice shit you have, the more people respect you. We live in a shallow society folks, and GTA IV understands this by letting your character get all types of shit that doesn't have anything to do with the actual game. You can buy nice suits & expensive shoes, move into penthouse bachelor pads, and of course, drive baller whips. If you pick up a chick on a date (yes, the game lets you do this), she'll verbally tell you how impressed she is when you pull up in a luxury car similar to the one 2Pac got shot in. Art is modeled after real life guys. People notice these things. Respect yourself by getting some nice digs.
5) Get revenge when it counts. Don't let people walk all over you. Donald Trump has touted this for years, and its actually good advice. If people know they can screw you and you won't do anything about it, prepare for it to happen with greater and greater frequency. If someone wrongs you, get them back, and make absolute sure everyone sees it so they know you're not one to be messed with. In GTA IV when someone disrespects your crew, you don't sneak around and poison their morning tea -- you roll up right on the basketball court and blow his brains out in front of all of his homies plus a few random bystanders. See how everyone else runs away? This is called leading by example.
6) If you want something, you have to work for it. America is the land of opportunity, not the land of uh-here-take-this. Don't expect things to be given to you on a silver platter, or for the world to be fair. Sometimes when you want something, you have to be prepared to take it. When Niko arrives in Liberty City, he has nothing. By the middle of the game he's got a highrise apartment and a pile of money, not to mention tons of guns and bitches. Get out there and fight.
7) Go off the beaten path. Don't blindly follow the guidelines that society lays out for you. If you followed every traffic law in GTA IV you would get so bored playing that you'd eventually turn off the game, which in real life would be the equivalent of killing yourself. Make life interesting. Think outside the box. There's no one right way to do something. Steve Jobs took the mobile phone market and turned it upside down with the iPhone, a device no one had ever seen before. In one GTA IV mission, Niko dresses up as a gay guy to take another gay man out on a date for the sole purpose of killing him. This type of unorthodox thinking is what you need to succeed in the work place as well as in life. Make it happen.