Today, I am an author, writer, and entrepreneur. But a decade ago, I was a Gladiator.

At 17 years old, I was one of the highest ranked World of Warcraft players in North America. I started playing the game when I was a freshman in high school, 14 years old, and by the time I left for college I had racked up close to 10,000 hours of game play.

You might not be a gamer. That's OK.

Let me share one of the most important life lessons I took away from my gaming years, and how my experiences playing World of Warcraft changed my outlook on Mondays forever:

If you want to be successful, you have to be consistent

Back in 2007, there was this thing in the World of Warcraft called the Honor System.

It was a way for players to earn rewards. The highest ranks unlocked epic armor, weapons, etc., while the lower ranks gave you a measly tabard to wear for your efforts. Each week, you would compete in matches and earn Honor Points, and every Tuesday, the game would calculate your Honor Points in relation to everyone else on your server (which consisted of anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 players, give or take).

The Honor System worked like a grading curve.

Imagine taking a test with 19 other classmates. And let's say you get 18 out of 20 questions correct. That's pretty good. You deserve a B. Right?


The Honor System would say that while you did in fact score an 18/20, that does not mean you will be receiving a B, because Johnny scored a 19/20 and Margarita scored a 20/20, meaning that although 18/20 was a good score, it actually wasn't all that great compared with many of your other classmates, making your score less valuable.

Now let's say the following week, you score an 18/20 again. And let's even say Johnny scored a 17/20 and that Margarita didn't study, so she scored a 14/20. You'd think, hey, maybe an 18/20 is pretty good now.

Wrong again.

Because over time (second week now), since you had climbed higher on the Honor System, the bar for which you were aiming was linearly raised. Meaning that while the 18/20 you received last week progressed you halfway to the next rank, the 18/20 you received this week only progressed you 40 percent.

The higher you climbed up the Honor System, the higher the expectation, and the more Honor Points you were required to earn to progress.

Mondays aren't the start of your week. They're the end

Tuesday was judgment day in the World of Warcraft, and us sleep-deprived players would spend our Mondays furiously trying to rake in as many Honor Points as we could before "the week" was over.

While all my high school peers were complaining about how Monday meant the start of another boring week, I was chugging energy drinks trying to finish my week out strong.

I've treated Mondays the same way ever since (sans unhealthy energy drinks).

What this brutal grind up the Honor System taught me is the importance of a work ethic, follow-through, and, in particular, perspective.

Mondays are not the start of your week. They are not a free pass to complain, stroll into work late, say you're going to get your work done tomorrow, etc.

Do you know what you would be if that's how you treated your Mondays in the World of Warcraft back in 2007? You would be a n00b. Because you would never make it past the first few introductory ranks.

To succeed in the World of Warcraft, you had to commit yourself to the grind.

Now, was it healthy? Eh, that's arguable. Was it obsessive? That's a good word for it. But in a sense, you had to be, especially if you were a high school student like me with strict rules on computer time during the school week. To be successful and climb up the ranks, you had to treat the whole process with a sort of discipline most people never, ever experience.

Mondays, especially, were the busiest days of all in the World of Warcraft. Every player was grinding his or her heart out trying to get as many Honor Points for the week as possible before the servers went down for maintenance and ranks were calculated on Tuesday mornings.

To this day, that's still how I treat my Mondays.

And if you want to be one of the best at what you do, then you should too.

Unless ... Unless you enjoy being a n00b.