This Friday, Esfand, a Twitch streamer known for streaming World of Warcraft, came on the HealthyGamer stream. Dr. K and Esfand talked about a variety of topics, including obligations vs. fulfillment, how ADHD minds work, and the role video games play in our lives. Overall, Esfand and Dr. K discussed being true to yourself.
Obligations vs. Fulfillment
Esfand shared with Dr. K that he owes it his community to stream WoW Classic. He enjoys playing WoW, and he wants to grind to be Grand Marshall. However, as a result, he also sacrifices some of the creative aspects of his stream that bring him enjoyment. While he does enjoy playing WoW and gets a sense of accomplishment from it, he also feels that he is leaving something behind. There was a period where he was doing Variety streams and enjoying them. However, there was a promise hanging in the air. He felt that once WoW Classic came out, he’d have to abandon the sense of fulfillment from the Variety streams and only stream WoW because that is what he promised his community.
Upon further exploration, Dr. K and Esfand found that Esfand’s sense of obligation to his community was deeply rooted in his personality. One of the things that contributed to this personality trait was his relationship with his parents. He felt grateful and indebted to his parents, who worked an insane amount to create a good life for their son. Esfand wanted to work hard to give his parents a credit card so that they did not have to work anymore. He needed to pay off the debt that he owed them.
He also realized that he plays a retribution paladin in real life and gives people ten times of what they deserve. If he gets hate and toxicity, he’ll give it back. If he gets love and kindness, he’ll increase it tenfold and give it back as well. Dr. K shared with him that Esfand’s dharma (duty or responsibility) was to give that credit card to his parents. However, giving back the hate and toxicity to internet noobs might get in the way of that, as it would just be exhausting.
Every human being feels some obligation to repay both toxicity and kindness. However, we should pick our battles carefully. It can be extremely draining both to give back toxicity and always try to repay people’s kindness tenfold. Therefore, we should first try to assess when we the capacity to do either and then go through with it if it aligns with our goals. It is good to pay kindness back to someone who deserves it. But if it comes at a cost that you cannot bear, then it is ok if you need more time or cannot repay them as long as you communicate that.
How do ADHD Minds Work?
Esfand shared with Dr. K that he felt stuck only playing World of Warcraft on stream. He reminisced back to when he used to stream a variety of games, and how that used to give him a sense of fulfillment. He also has ADHD, which makes it hard for him to do one thing all the time.
Dr. K shared with Esfand that in Ayurveda, traditional Indian medicine, there is a personality diagnosis called Vata. People whose minds are Vata tend to put their best selves forward when they engage in many different activities. For example, Dr. K streams on Twitch, practices psychiatry, does research, teaches for a few hours a week, and provides consulting. He juggles as many different things as he can without dropping a single one — that is how he excels. Even though the best people in those fields outclass him, he practices each of these fields at the same time. As a result, he can create a niche for himself where he surpasses everyone else.
People with Vata minds often get diagnosed with ADHD because their minds have a hard time being still. Their mind is like the wind — it blows hard in one direction, stops suddenly, and blows hard in another direction. They get intensely passionate about one thing and then switch to another after a while.
Vatas tend to struggle in society because we assume that the road to success is putting in the work on just one thing for long periods. We appreciate people who work one job for five years and build their expertise in one field. However, that is not the best environment for Vatas. Vatas are their best self when they can engage in multiple activities simultaneously, and forcing them to work on one thing robs them of their fulfillment.
Check out this video in which Dr. K discusses the different strategies for success:
Why are we Drawn to Video Games?
Esfand shared with Dr. K that he wants to do a Classic WoW stream for 42 out of 48 hours to achieve some of the game’s rarest achievements. Dr. K shared with Esfand that if he were to sit him in front of a psychiatrist, they would diagnose him with a video game addiction. However, that is not fair to him, because it is his work, and WoW also serves a purpose to him.
Sometimes, video games give us a chance to be the people that we want to be in real life. They allow us to fulfill goals that we feel are otherwise out of our reach. Grinding for his guild in WoW allowed Esfand to feel the feeling he would get when he could give his parents that credit card. Completing goals for his guild allowed him to get a taste of achieving that and being the person that he wanted to be in real life. That is why it was so valuable to him.
Check out this article to learn about what makes video games addictive.
Video games create an environment where anyone can succeed with the right amount of effort. However, real-life does not always feel that way. Real-life can appear complicated and unfair, while the rules in a video game are much more straightforward. It is much easier to put in the work in a game and achieve a result than it is to do the same in real life. Understanding what purpose video games serve for you is crucial if you want to move forward in life.
Generally speaking, the usual meditation techniques that work for most people do not work for those who are Vata or have ADHD. That is because their mind is very dynamic and will not want to stay still. It will flit from one thought to another.
Since Esfand is quite Vata, Dr. K decided to teach him another technique. Here is how you perform it.
- Sit up straight and close your eyes.
- Put your palms together and bring your forearms parallel to the ground.
- Feel the different points of tension in your hands and arms: fingertips, palm, wrist, elbows, shoulders. Let your attention dart from one area to another without thinking about any point in particular.
- After some time, put your hands in your lap in Bhairava Mudra (right hand on top of the left, palms facing up and thumbs touching each other).
- Sit with yourself and observe your breath.
This meditation is good for Vatas because it tires out your mind. As a result, it automatically calms down. It is similar to getting an overactive child to calm down: exhaust them with activity, so that they can sit still. If you try to force your mind to be calm, it will not comply. In that case, you can use this meditation technique to pacify it.
Check out the full interview here!