Are You an NPC and How Not to Act Like One?

I am sure you hear the term NPC (Non-playable character) being thrown around, it’s meant to describe some people’s behavior who don’t get it (life).

You are most likely thinking “Is that me?”. Instead of telling you what describes an NPC, I will break down this one word that must be used as a mantra so that you can remind yourself that you’re better than that. 

One of the things that people who want more out of life do is remove themselves from relationships that don’t have a positive impact on their lives. NPC’s will always spend their time with the same people even though, it doesn’t have a net positive influence on their life.

If you want to be high-value, you would rather be alone than spend time with anyone who drains your energy and bank account. In one of my top posts, I talk about this Why You’ll End Up Outgrowing Your Friend.

There is one word to think about to find out if you are an NPC: “Agency”.

Do you have it?

In short, agency is when you are taking an active part in your life and taking action intending to improve your situation.

Think about a video game where NPCs have set dialogue and their actions are always predictable.

Here are 3 key aspects of how to have agency in your life.

KEY 1: Be Proactive

There is a book by Steven Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, where Habit 1 is “Be Proactive”. Most people have an idea of what they should be doing instead of putting it off or waiting to be told to do something, this high-value person will simply take care of it.

One simple example is that you know you should be reading and instead of some outside force (School or Work) making you read, most times, something you don’t want to read. You’re proactive and purchase the book to start to read or at least watch this video on YouTube summarizing it. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Summary

An even easier example you have probably seen and heard is when someone has a health issue and starts to make life choices, but only because they have to because their condition will get worse. Instead of making the correct health choices and being proactive, they are forced into action.

Think of it as self-determination, you are in control of your actions and decisions in your life, it’s a harsh truth because it also means if you are not in a place you want to be (financially, in relationships, or in health) then IT IS YOUR FAULT

Key 2: Responsible

Having agency in your life means you are responsible for the outcomes. This is also a positive thing because you will also have good outcomes.

Once you start living with intention and move toward your goals, all the health benefits, promotions, and healthy relationships will be because you moved your life in that direction.

Many people, when they hear “you have to live with the consequences”, it’s thought of only as a negative, but actually could also be a positive. 

“As a consequence of my healthy lifestyle, I am not on any medication and can live a pain-free life.”  When most say consequences, it’s meant to sound like a bad thing but it is closer to “You have to live with the outcomes.” than “You have to live with this negative outcome”.  

KEY 3: Autonomy

The last key point is being autonomous

The first thing that popped up in your head was most likely self-driving or artificial intelligence (AI). 

Let’s go back to NPCs which are not autonomous, they just do what they are preprogrammed to do. If you watch an NPC in a video game they usually just wait around for the main player to come by then they will act.

Autonomy means acting based on your goals, values, and preferences. You should be going out and doing things you enjoy regardless of what everyone else thinks. 

I always hear this “I want to do x, but I have no one to go with”. If you were living your life autonomously, when you find that you have no one to join you on something, try doing it alone so that you’re not waiting like an NPC for another player to join you. 

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-UG