Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 177,074,073 Issue: 327 | 25th day of Sleeping, Y10
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How to Keep the Rickety Boat Afloat


by love_charmed

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Is that tiny sliver of hope you’ve meticulously held on to slowly slipping away because, try as you might, you just can’t get that item you so desperately want? Every day, countless Neopians suffer over some particularly desired thing seeming so hopelessly far away. It happens to everyone at one point or another. In fact, it’s still happening to me— luckily though, not as severely as it used to.

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I had been here for about three years, not even close to having 500k NP, which basically constituted my status as borderline dismal. I had just recently gotten into stocks (accidentally selling at a loss), earning my everyday NP the usual traditional way via gaming (not getting 1k/play in any of them) and doing my dailies. I’d have done restocking if I hadn’t feared it so much.

I had read several guides about games, how to become a millionaire, etc. However, it wasn’t that they hadn’t worked for me, but that I wasn’t able to manipulate the information properly. Those, added to the fact that my relationship with this site had always been erratic: one week, I was completely obsessed, then I would disappear for a whole year? It was an entirely too vicious cycle.

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Do note that what I’ve just described was me from about a year ago. I returned just recently. Weirdly enough, I still remain as compelled as ever to earn that first 1 million NP when, usually, I’d have been over this unpredictable phase of mine by now. As pathetic as it may seem, I was able to earn more this week than I did during the rest of my Neopian life.

So, what was it about this particular time span that changed, helping keep my motivation in play? Well, other than the guides I finally understood, here are a couple of factors to keep in mind:

Take on the small before the gigantic.

What was that item you’ve wanted so badly to get? How much money do you want to earn by the end of the month? Know them already? List them down.

Goals, especially setting them, help a great deal when trying to get to where you want to. However, blatantly stating the unattainable you had in mind of getting by next month is not the ideal way to go about it.

Set yourself minor milestones—“I will earn (insert amount) by the end of next week/month.” Doing so will take your mind off of the bigger, outwardly less achievable task and set it as a more comfortable—yet no less constructive—chore. Look at it every day, or enough times to drill it into your head, and strive to accomplish it. Before you know it, you’ve achieved several of your smaller targets and are able to finally get that morphing potion or paint brush or petpet you’ve been working so hard for.

Keep in mind that it’s better to list down rather than let them remain wandering around in your head. Put them on your user lookup or pet page to help remind you. If you’re the type who likes to keep such information a secret, type it up in a notepad or word document or notebook that doesn’t lie too far away from your computer. Maybe even sticky note it on your monitor screen. Whatever method will jog your memory and maintain your focus the most is perfect.

Okay, you’ve done the goals part already, so what else should you do?

Know friends, Neo or RL, that acknowledge your situation.

As annoyingly redundant as it may seem, they help. A lot. Especially when you feel the need to rant and rave, whether it be about not having that particular amount of NP, or even how ridiculously impossible some people are, concerning how much they earn. Some may rant with you (which ends up with both of you releasing a string of hilarious threats that will never happen); some just listen (read) and comment, which helps you all the same.

Not only are they great for releasing inner mind workings, but finding ones who have the same objectives as you do helps keep you in line. You can tell each other about the huge sales that are happening, guide each other through games and plots—there are countless things you can achieve when you have another by your side lending a hand.

Although people may not notice, relief comes as soon as you know that someone else is in the same unstable, lowly boat as you. With relief, comes the (dare I say it?) inner peace that allows you to concentrate and try even harder.

But then, sometimes, concentration increases; slowly overworking your mind without you even noticing. Then, when it comes, it can come in several forms. Eye twitching, snarling at the screen, slight headache even. Symptoms of what exactly?

Stress.

Maybe not the intense kind, but any stress at all while playing Neopets is no good. TNT didn’t create this site just to make your life harder, contrary to what some may think.

Have a well-earned break.

You’ve been constantly working on getting that particular amount of money you want. All your hard work has paid off seeing as you’re earning a lot more this week than ever before. Great! But, what’s this? During a particular plot or game you want to get through, you suddenly bite out at the screen because you didn’t get enough points? Or you didn’t get that particular item while restocking and now your brain’s tingling?

It’s good to know when to take a break.

When was the last time you edited your lookup or pet pages? If you haven’t already, do so. You might even find that you have a secret love for HTML/CSS.

How about checking out the Boards? Maybe. For me, checking out the boards, especially ‘Shop Ads’ and ‘Stock Tips’ where the richer players lurk, makes my head itch when they post something practically dictating how much more they own compared to regular players (only some of them; others are downright angelic). So, I only visit some of the time. But don’t let me stop you.

You may be one of those people who like helping out the newer players. Why not drop in and check out ‘Newbies’ and ‘Help’? At times, helping newbies—not n00bs, they create far more commotion than you need—makes you feel satisfied with yourself. So much so that when you’re done with answering their questions, you’re perfectly fine to continue on earning NP.

Neomail a friend and get reacquainted. Check out Neopet’s new features. There are numerous ways to relieve that ever-growing headache of yours. Just find out what best suits you and remember, it shouldn’t be stressing you out even more.

I wouldn’t call these three pointers a strategy per se, just some friendly advice for the next time you groan in defeat.

It worked for me. Why wouldn’t it work for you too?

 
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