Grind and Study Routine for <4 Month Supernova Elite Chase - Macro Overview

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This is a post I made on 2+2 in reply to a follower's question regarding my playing and studying schedule while chasing Supernova Elite from January-April 2014. This provides a general 'macro' overview of how I approached the chase during each month, and in future posts I will touch on the 'micro' of the chase, i.e. the specific aspects of each day.

My grind and study routine varied throughout the year so far, given various circumstances. In the earlier part of the year I tried to get a decent-sized session in the early morning (say 3-5 hours), so that I could have most of the rest of the day free for spending time with my grandma who stayed with us here for most of January. In general I find that grind is by far the best for work:life balance and overall health.

Later in the year to get enough hours in, and because I would often stay up quite late watching a movie with the wife, my playing times became more erratic, just getting in a few hours here or there to try and fill the quota. This was a good pattern for being able to finish by a set time and have some of every evening free, but it was bad for waking up at a decent time, and bad for the other parts of the day, getting gym sessions in etc.

In the final part of the chase (last ten days or so), I made a very set plan where I would earn around 20k VPP/day average. To do this I decided I would do nightshifts, and the nightshift would be one huge, uninterrupted session. In that session alone I could get anything up to 20k VPPs. This was a pretty huge effort, and one which I could not do much longer, especially given the fact that what I do impacts the quality of other people's lives (esp my wife), so it was what I considered a well-worth ten day sacrifice, but only that. It had been quite a while since I'd enjoyed a genuine break from the intensity of playing these games, so the sooner I could be finished with the first Supernova Elite the better.

I spend a lot of time learning - there's no way to win without doing so. I've come to realise/come to the conclusion that all players fighting to be at/near the top of all games are working ridiculously hard. Each thinks they work the hardest in the world and cannot comprehend somebody else putting in the graft they do. But in reality they're all making a similarly huge effort which separates them from the rest of the pack. This on top of the already high demands of grinding hard makes the whole pursuit more challenging than most can imagine.

Something the legendary British marathon runner Paula Radcliffe said has stuck firmly in my head ever since I heard it. She was asked about whether she found running marathons as difficult having become so experienced and great at them. Her reply was that she feels the exact same excruciating pain that she did when she was starting out - except she has grown an increased tolerance for the pain.

I think the key to succeeding with most things in life is to understand that they are not, and never will be 'easy', but you can become better and better at overcoming 'difficult' things - moreso than others can. When I say this it shouldn't be confused with unconscious competence [buy Jared Tendler's books] - the idea that we can learn something so well that it becomes ingrained and essentially an automatic response without requiring conscious thought. Instead I am referring to the mental and physical demands of high-intensity competition.

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