Coming soon

Daily, snackable writings and podcasts to spur changes in thinking.

Building a blueprint for a better brain by tinkering with the code.

The first illustrated book from Tinkered Thinking is now available!

donating = loving

~ Book Launch ~

Visit the Bookstore to purchase a copy of

The Lucilius Parables, Volume I


August 13th, 2018

How many levels are there?  This is a fairly straight-forward question when it comes to a video game.  It’s like a book.  There’s a first page.  A beginning, a middle and eventually that last page comes around and hopefully, if the writing is good enough and the imagination of the game developers is creative enough, that last little bit of the book or the game is as satisfying as possible.   A paragraph, or level, or boss character to defeat that requires the context and skills of the entire game or book in order to succeed or truly appreciate. 


What about life?


Often we here people say colloquially  “That’s some next level stuff”.


But what does this mean?


How many levels are there?


Is there a glass ceiling of growth that we cannot go beyond as individuals?  A final plateau that we are forever stuck on, running flat toward an infinite horizon, forever unable to attain anything higher, more expansive in context?




As humans, we can always keep growing.  The problem is that the process either gets cut short, or we start to go in the other direction: we start to decay.


Remember, it’s best not to rest on one’s own laurels.  Our minds are sharks and if they are not moving forward, they are dying.


If our brains are not challenged with learning and new knowledge, then our brains are decaying.


It seems that the shifting nature of the present does not allow for much stability.  As much as we like to fool ourselves otherwise.


Each moment is either a moment of growth and learning




it is a moment of decay and oblivion.


For the depressed mind, staring at the past and seeing a lack of accomplishments might be akin to chewing on some kind of masochistic gristle, and in turn hinder or downright prevent any change for the better as the focus on the past determines the future by perpetuating the past.


We must remember that the present moment is a TIGHTROPE, where neither the past nor the future actually exist.


Our next action is constantly a blank slate, no matter the past, no matter our accomplishments or lack thereof. 


Focusing on the past too much results in decay and oblivion.  Fearing the future or fantasizing about it too much likewise is a recipe for the decay and oblivion of the moment.



Each moment is a choice between decay or growth. 


We can sink back down a level and let more time pass us by.



Or we can LEVEL-UP and grow. 


The truly incredible piece about being alive is that while we know where the bottom level is, whether it be beginning with birth or decaying into death, we do not know where the top is. 


As far as we know, there are infinite levels above us through which we might ITERATE


All of us can, within a minute or two, think of areas in our life that we’d like to be better.  Areas where we’d like to LEVEL-UP.



Often the steps to gain that next level are fairly simple, straight-forward and even blatantly obvious.


Figuring out the steps to the next level is not the hard part.


The part we seem to have so much difficulty with is choosing in the moment to take those steps, one after another, consistently, by paying mindful attention to what we are doing during that moment.




This episode references Episode 42: Level-Up and Episode 88 Tightrope.  If you’d like to fully explore these episodes, please check them out next.


Check out the Tinkered Thinking   Reading List

Dive in to the Archives

Podcast Ep. 120: Next Level

Tinkered Thinking

donating = loving

If you appreciate the work of Tinkered Thinking, please consider lending support. This platform can only continue and flourish with the support of readers and listeners like you.


Appreciation can be more than a feeling. Toss something in the jar if you find your thinking delightfully tinkered.