"Be open to all outcomes, but attached to none."

Kaizen - The Quest for Neverending Self-Improvement

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Posted (edited)

Prologue: Start of the Journey

fall-autumn-road-facebook-timeline-cover

改善, the Japanese term for continuous self-improvement, is a noble philosophy and perfectly resembles what the path I have decided to walk henceforth. For the purpose of this journal, I understand the term as personal philosophy rather than as exotic management concept or production tool. We are all but wanderers on the road of life that has many winding ways and paths which we could take. Some are steep and cumbersome, some are short and invite us for a casual stroll, some lead uphill and others downhill. We can choose to stagnate and withdraw in false safety, the cocoon of media, the comfort zone and gaming. Or we muster up the courage to walk down the road of life, unknowing what will await us up ahead.

The way itself is the goal, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. My journey has begun.

CUMULATIVE PROGRESS:    Days of journalling: 2     Days without gaming: 16                     (Status 11/03/2017)

Edited by Granitwelle
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Posted (edited)

Chapter 1: Hitting the Road of Life (Month 1/ Day 1-30)

Sorry for the poetic introduction, however I want to treat this project with due diligence and if one starts something, one better does it properly, right?
I was addicted to gaming for almost two decades - owning a PC, PS1-PS 4, PSP/PSVita as well as GB Color/Advance/NDS/3DS. I was an avid fan of immersive JRPGs with engrossing stories, the epic tales of my childhood that would eventually become the looming shades of my adolescence. I wasted hours playing WoW as well as Battlefield, raged and endured pointless conversations in games, seen guilds form and fall apart, see friends come and go, people drift away and others succeed on the road of life. What is my thought on this period of time? It was fun, sure. But I lost thousands of hours that could have been spent on much more rewarding activities, honing skills, learning languages, being curious about the world, socializing and updating myself.

I finally quit cold-turkey fifteen days ago. Just like that, I sold, discarded and got rid of everything gaming, manga and anime related. It was a ton of money and time. Surprisingly, neither did it hurt nor was it difficult. Now I look back on bittersweet nostalgic memories, but I am ready to fully dedicate myself to becoming a better version of myself. There is no going back now. This journal shall document my progress.

Thank you Cam for providing such an opportunity for exchange and support as well as thanks to the community whose journals and books are equally inspiring and motivating as well. After reading a lot of different journals, I decided to start my very own journal. Let's overcome the demon that bound us for so long!

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Day #1 // Days without gaming: 15         Friday, 10/03/2017

The first day of writing a journal. Seems interesting to be honest, it's been a while since I would actually write one. Many researchers, poets and great authors did so as well and it enriched their lives significantly. I think this is a perfect opportunity for us to take a break, distance ourselves from the hectic daily lives and take a moment to reflect.

Today, I would attend university and study for six hours altogether. I worked in the train as well, looking forward to meeting my parents again after a long period of absence. I realize what a fool I had been all those years. Despite my parents' worrisome comments, I decided to waste away the better part of my prime playing numbing games. I enjoy the conversation we had at the dinner table, eating a wonderful stag stew my mom has prepared. I should work on my thesis, however I found myself socializing and reading a lot.

I still feel odd - tired most of the time since I quit gaming. My brain needs to adapt to all the time I made available and I need to find new means of purposefully spending my days. This will be interesting indeed.

Gratitude journal

- I am grateful for my parents' support and unconditional love

- The vet who would undergo an extra effort to treat my dog which has gotten quite old (athrosis, she needs injections)

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

- worked on the train for the first time in years, socialise more and more

Workout/run: Only on Mon/ Wed/ Sun , need to take it slowly to build up some muscle

Meditation: I actually bought a Nepalese Singing Bowl as well as Japanese pine incense which I plan on using for further meditation exercises. I still have to inform myself about the chakra's though.

Daily affirmation: I can do this, a lot has improved so far.

Reading: Currently reading Nathaniel Branden's book on self-esteem

Weekly Goal(s): spend less time on the PC, be more proactive

Monthly Goal: Survive the first 30 days of gaming detox, get my paper done, study hard for upcoming exams and start working on my thesis

3 Month Goal: Successfully complete 90 days of non-gaming in order to make my brain rewire. There is no way back as I do not own gaming-related stuff anymore, however withdrawal symptoms might be hard.

What went well today: Positive conversation with friends and lecturer, deep and meaningful conversation with parents

What I could have done to make my day better: stop procrastinating, being sleepy and doubt myself. Overthinking does not help either

What I will do differently tomorrow: Work hard despite the fact that it is weekend, prepare for some meetings, keep on feeding my brain with positive input

 

Edited by Granitwelle
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Posted

Hi

I like the lay out. Sometimes I have found it's great to just spew your emotions into your writing though. If you're just getting into fitness check this out. I can tell you're a huge nerd like me so I think you will like it.

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Hi mate, 

Well I have become a bit of a nerd through gaming, reading more or less the entire British/American literature canon as well as watching too much documentaries/anime about Asia/Japan. You also seem to be a metalhead? What are your favorite genres? I used to listen to Trash, DM, Doom and Folk. Nowadays, I sometimes listen to KSE, Eluveitie, Trivium or Metallica if I need to vent (also nice for workout).

Nerdfitness - I actually signed up, but I never really used it. Thanks for the reminder though, now that I do more sports, I might return to it. It's gamification on the other hand - not that this triggers a relapse later though - do you have more experience with it? Any drawbacks? I actually plan on picking up martial arts, so this would be a nice way of tracking progress.
 

 



 

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Posted

Why are you quitting anime and manga too?

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Why are you quitting anime and manga too?

Because I want to and desperately need to move on. These activities were equally introverted and isolating as gaming was for me. I kept on buying things, building up a collection and had them sitting on my shelf, gathering dust. I did not find time to read or watch them. They are also linked to gaming and would only trigger a relapse (Ninja Storm, Tales of, anime style JRPGs). Moreover, I felt that they made me somewhat emotional, mindful and sensitive. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however I now find myself in a hypercompetitive, capitalistic environment with regard to my future job. I wasted away a significant chunk of my formative years with gaming, so I want to catch up and finally become a proactive man rather than staying an introverted, complaining and shy adolescent.

 

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Day #2 // Days without gaming: 16         Saturday, 11/03/2017

I was actually quite lazy today. Spent time with the family, watching news on the telly and chatting with an old acquaintance of ours. I'm glad she visited us again, she always makes me smile. She's such a light-hearted and warm person, it's actually contagious. My dog was lazy as usual, but her appetite is finally back to normal. She's eating more again, which is a good sign and puts my mind at ease (she's got arthrosis and sometimes does not eat at all). On a personal note,  I wasted too much time in front of the PC again. I will meditate more and go to bed early. I still feel tired and idle too much, I hope this will get better soon.

Gratitude journal

- I am grateful for my parents' support and unconditional love

- an acquaintance who would visit us regularly, whom I hold dearly as I've known her since I was a kid

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

- I start to smile more again. Feels a bit odd actually after all this time.

Workout/run: Worked out for half an hour, using my home trainer as well as doing some sit-ups and crunches. Boy, I'm in a terrible shape, time to fix this

Meditation: Japanese pine incense sticks as well as my singing bowl support my meditation routine. I started to work on my root chakra, need to be grounded after all.

Daily affirmation: It's starting to get tougher, but what did I expect. 16 day streak, you can do this!

Reading:  Nathaniel Branden's book on self-esteem

Weekly Goal(s): spend less time on the PC, be more proactive

Monthly Goal: Survive the first 30 days of gaming detox, get my paper done, study hard for upcoming exams and start working on my thesis

3 Month Goal: Successfully complete 90 days of non-gaming in order to make my brain rewire. There is no way back as I do not own gaming-related stuff anymore, however withdrawal symptoms might be hard.

What went well today: Further conversations with parents as well as a the aforementioned acquaintance. Feels good to socialise more again.

What I could have done to make my day better: wasted too much time in front of the PC, did not work again. It might be a weekend, still I need to get things done. I'll do it tomorrow

What I will do differently tomorrow: prepare for a meeting, work on my thesis, travel back to my place of study

 

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Posted (edited)

Day #3 // Days without gaming: 17         Sunday, 12/03/2017

I have spent the majority of the day working on coursework as well as planning appointments for the next week. I have optimised my meditation cycle as I know more about chakra as well as their associated chant and hand sign now. I am not esoteric per se, however I find meditation to be quite relaxing and it puts me at ease, reducing stress levels. I also spent some time outside, recharging my batteries in the sun. Spring is around the corner and the gloom of winter will finally fade. Also time to lose my graveyard tan, I am still pale as a ghost :D

Gratitude journal

- I am grateful for my parents' support

- I am also grateful for those friends who maintained contact and with who I start to socialize more again

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

- I feel more energetic now that I do sports and meditation, things are improving

Workout

Half an hour on the treadmill

Meditation

Full cycle chakra meditation, pine incense and the newly acquired singing bowl

Daily Affirmation

17 days, well done. Less than two weeks until the first milestone is reached

Weekly Goal(s): spend less time on the PC, be more proactive  better, still wasted too much time

Monthly Goal: Survive the first 30 days of gaming detox, get my paper done, study hard for upcoming exams and start working on my thesis

3 Month Goal: Successfully complete 90 days of non-gaming in order to make my brain rewire. There is no way back as I do not own gaming-related stuff anymore, however withdrawal symptoms might be hard.

What went well today: more energetic, still a lot of room for improvement, I arranged a gathering with two friends for a quick beer next week

What I could have done to make my day better: waste less time on the internet, stop self-doubt

What I will do differently tomorrow: get my eight pomodoros this time (8hrs work min), start of another work week as well as first important meeting tomorrow.

 

Edited by Granitwelle

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Day #4 // Days without gaming: 18         Monday, 13/03/2017

Appointment could have been better, I should have argued in a better way. Well, preparation is paramount

Gratitude journal

- Nujabes' instrumental pieces, Aimer's angelic voice and heavy metal
- I'm grateful that I have finally found the guts to get my s*** together

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

-nothing in particular

Workout

-none

Meditation

full cycle chakra meditation

Daily Affirmation

The road gets tougher, but men define their worth via opposition. Keep calm and carry on!

Weekly Goal(s): spend less time on the PC

Monthly Goal: Survive the first 30 days of gaming detox, get my paper done, study hard for upcoming exams and start working on my thesis

3 Month Goal: Successfully complete 90 days of non-gaming in order to make my brain rewire. There is no way back as I do not own gaming-related stuff anymore, however withdrawal symptoms might be hard.

What went well today: socialised more, got my paper done

What I could have done to make my day better: (never touch video games in the first place) prepare better in advance, be more confident

What I will do differently tomorrow: another meeting, another chance

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Posted (edited)

Hi, to answer your question

I listen to all sorts of shit! Mostly metal though. My favourite bands are: Skeletonwitch, Sylosis, Cannibal Corpse, The Black Dahlia Murder, Death, Be'Lakor, Insomnium, Immolation, Cryptopsy, Psycroptic, In Flames, Bolt Thrower, Vektor, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Inferi. I also like post rock/metal, electronic synth stuff (tycho, perturbator, GoST), classical music and a bit of jazz.

Check out this japanese jazz instrumental I found

Edited by Schwing
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Posted (edited)

I listen to all sorts of shit! Mostly metal though. My favourite bands are: Skeletonwitch, Sylosis, Cannibal Corpse, The Black Dahlia Murder, Death, Be'Lakor, Insomnium, Immolation, Cryptopsy, Psycroptic, In Flames, Bolt Thrower, Vektor, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Inferi. I also like post rock/metal, electronic synth stuff (tycho, perturbator, GoST), classical music and a bit of jazz.

Check out this japanese jazz instrumental I found

Thanks for the recommendation, I get a Cowboy Bebop vibe from this piece. The guy's got some talent.
 

I listen to Katatonia, Killswitch Engage, Insomnium, Black Sun Aeon, Draconian, Eluveitie, Faun, Apocalyptica, Amon Amarth, In Flames, Moonspell, Turisas and sometimes mainstream stuff such as Metallica, BFMV or Trivium. Moreover, I also like Jazz/Jrock/ Traditional Shamisen/Koto music.

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Day #5 // Days without gaming: 19         Tuesday, 14/03/2017

This will be a short post, I've been working all day long. Lecture, assignments, coffee break with friends. Nothing exceptional, however I managed to waste less time in front of a PC. Things are improving slowly, but steadily.

Gratitude journal

- I am grateful for my parents' support and unconditional love

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

- Contributed a lot in a lecture where I did not expect I'd be knowledgeable enough.

Workout/run: Walked 3 kilometers

Meditation: Japanese pine incense sticks as well as my singing bowl support my meditation routine. I started to work on my root chakra, need to be grounded after all.

Daily affirmation: Well done so far, the 30 day milestone is getting into reach

Reading:  Nathaniel Branden's book on self-esteem

Weekly Goal(s): spend less time on the PC, be more proactive

Monthly Goal: Survive the first 30 days of gaming detox, get my paper done, study hard for upcoming exams and start working on my thesis

3 Month Goal: Successfully complete 90 days of non-gaming in order to make my brain rewire. There is no way back as I do not own gaming-related stuff anymore, however withdrawal symptoms might be hard.

What went well today: socialised with friends

What I could have done to make my day better: Negative thought still impairs my performance. I want to fix this

What I will do differently tomorrow: work hard again

Edited by Granitwelle

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Nice. I have never heard of Faun, Apocalyptica, Moonspell or Turisas. I will check them out with due haste! As for mainstream stuff: I still listen to my chemical romance from when I was 13! Forgot to put them on the list. I also forgot to mention my favourite hardcore / hardcorey offshoot stuff: Hail the Sun, Converge, The Fall of Troy 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the recommendations, Schwing! You might not like Faun as they are quite unusual (Medieval, Folklore, German vocals), however as I listen to Eluveitie, I deem Faun a rather good complement to Eluveitie's harder stuff.

Journal Day #6 // Days without gaming: 21         Thursday, 16/03/2017

Not much happened today. I start to feel some withdrawal effects, slept a lot in the past two days (no lectures). I finished many household chores, however I only digress from the more important things. Next two weeks will be tough. Finished my paper as well, not that it is much of an achievement though (only three pages). I'll start to revise for finals, better than sleeping or partying too much (just another form of escapism). On we go!

Gratitude journal

- my parents again, my crazy family

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

- did some maintenance work in the household, removed limestone and cleaned the flat for a bit

Workout/run: -nothing-

Meditation: full cycle

Daily affirmation: I managed to hit the third week w/o gaming! Nine more days and the first milestone is achieved!

Reading:  Nathaniel Branden's book on self-esteem

Weekly Goal(s): spend less time on the PC, be more proactive

Monthly Goal: Survive the first 30 days of gaming detox, get my paper done, study hard for upcoming exams and start working on my thesis

3 Month Goal: Successfully complete 90 days of non-gaming in order to make my brain rewire. There is no way back as I do not own gaming-related stuff anymore, however withdrawal symptoms might be hard.

What went well today: Well I was semi-productive (improvement over yesterday)

What I could have done to make my day better: My all time low so far. I seem to look for alternative things such as YouTube/craving for Anime now that I quit gaming. I should not waste more time.

What I will do differently tomorrow: plan on visiting the library to find some inspiration pertaining to work

Edited by Granitwelle
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Journal Day #7 // Days without gaming: 22         Friday, 17/03/2017

University went well today, made a lot of progress but still face a high workload. I socialise a lot but I do not find time for sports, I'll make up for that now.

It has been raining a lot lately as well. I like the mood actually, on the one hand, it makes me pensive and lost in thought. I get a craving to be creative, to write something or philosophize a bit. A nice mug of coffee, relaxing, somber piano music (/classical music/downtempo/ chillout) and a good book - this is the life :D If you talk a long, extended walk with your dog, immersed by nature with that fresh scent lingering in the air - sublime. The world is purified and peaceful, as one poet might put it (and especially true if you live in a city).

I digress, however I wanted to reflect a bit upon this peculiar mood. I'll start working on my assignments now again, no dilly-dallying. I'm not playing games after all anymore, so I'd better quit that mindset. We all have dormant latent potential which must be polished, so I better get started ^^

Gratitude journal

- rain for turning me into a wannabe poet-philosopher

- my dog

One amazing thing that happened/I did today

- getting out of my comfort zone, socialising like a boss (no logical need for anxiety as it seems, it goes well if one tries)

Workout/run: -nothing-

Meditation: full cycle

Daily affirmation: Keep calm and carry on! And yes, we have such a poster at our university.

Reading:  Nathaniel Branden's book on self-esteem

Weekly Goal(s): spend less time on the PC, be more proactive  --> doing well, one more day

Monthly Goal: Survive the first 30 days of gaming detox, get my paper done, study hard for upcoming exams and start working on my thesis

3 Month Goal: Successfully complete 90 days of non-gaming in order to make my brain rewire. There is no way back as I do not own gaming-related stuff anymore, however withdrawal symptoms might be hard.

What went well today: tough day, but very productive. Did not sleep away my time

What I could have done to make my day better: Quit complaining and end social anxiety. Would be sweet if there was a quick fix for that

What I will do differently tomorrow:  Not much, keep on working, travel back to my place of study and (hopefully) ace the upcoming presentations

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Nothing like a bit of rain and draconian - arcane rain fell. I love rain! I like watching all the puny humans cower at the might of mother nature. HAH!

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