|UFC then and now
|I started watching UFC in 2006, and back then as well as for the following several years, the UFC was a bit like college football: Week in and week out, you never knew what to expect. Both opponents were expected to be at roughly the same skill level and physical ability, but in actuality the fights were often one-sided, and surprisingly so. This was almost expectable in a sense, because it was a relatively new sport, and fighters were still figuring out which techniques worked (grappling and kickboxing) and which didn't (traditional martial arts).
The UFC has evolved quickly since then, and to continue the analogy, it's now a bit like professional football: Week in and week out, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Fighters are fairly evenly matched. There's rarely a standout that destroys everyone they encounter. Most fights at the highest level are back-and-forth, skill vs. skill. It's boring at times, but it definitely has its place.
But sometimes, just like in the NFL (undefeated Broncos getting shut out for three quarters before benching their record-setting quartback) some fights don't go as expected (newcomer Holly Holm knocks out undefeated submission artist Ronda Rousey). #sports
|I've had a few experiences in life which have changed me from that point forward. Some of them seem almost trivial to call life-changing, but they literally altered the way I viewed or approached situations. Here are some of them:
- Harry Potter books. These books introduced me to literary fiction. Before reading them in my late 20s, I mostly read non-fiction books and whatnot. I read obligatory fiction in high school and hated all of it, feeling completed disinterested in any character or plot. For whatever reason, Harry Potter changed that. Its mix of approachable language, compelling storytelling, relatable characters, and complementary movies literally changed my life. Now I read fiction for fun.
- NFL RedZone Channel. I used to watch football in a love-hate way: The local team, on the local channels, filled with commercials and boring gameplay. The RedZone channel plays only the exciting parts of every single game. I went from watching a few hours interspersed on a Sunday afternoon, to seven straight hours of commercial-free action. It literally changed how I watch football.
- All-wheel drive. My old two-wheel-drive car used to get stuck in my own (flat) driveway. Plans were changed because my car couldn't make it in less-than-ideal driving conditions. With all-wheel drive, I can literally drive in the snow. I've passed cars on snow-covered, hilly roads, spinning their tires, as I effortlessly drive through it. It's literally changed when I can drive and how much bad weather I can drive through.
- Destiny. This video game was given to me as a gift, and I wasn't that into it at first. It's a first person shooter with a mediocre storyline, but it's designed by people who understand human psychology. There are elements of collecting, time-specific quests, and compelling personal challenges that get players to spend more and more time (and money). I used to play a video game until I beat it in 20 or so hours. I've spent something like 100 times as long on this game, and I'm still going. It's ridiculous to think about, but this game has literally changed the way I live my life and play games.