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  1. To visit my girlfriend in Helsinki for Christmas, then we're stopping by London and catching the NYE fireworks. Exciting!
  2. Half a day delayed, the post you've all been waiting for. I think this is my shortest journal so far, but I'm thinking of spending my day 12 (the start of October) doing some reflection and planning for the month. Expect a juicy next entry! Day 11 Quote I’m contemplating: “In a blink of an eye, we’ll all be gone. 100 years compared to infinity is nothing. I talk to my sister all the time… I say, ‘girl, you better start having some fun. We’re gonna be gone in a minute. You’re gonna look back and say, "shit, I should have been laughing, and now I’m dead”’” - Jamie Foxx (That quote quickly got three quotes deep…) Video I’m watching (12 mins): What I learned as a prisoner in North Korea What I’m reading: (Article) My Incredibly Simple Guide To Stoicism(Book) The Paleovedic Diet by Akil Palanisamy Status check: I’m checking in quickly after a late night out. I don’t remember the last time I let myself stay up this late. It’s past midnight! What a boring old fart I have become. I feel good though. Very happy I went. Three things I’m grateful for:I’m grateful for the chance to party the night away.I’m grateful for my desk that I’m typing this on.I’m grateful for my friend turning 22.Three amazing things that happened today:Partying.I didn’t feel uncomfortable for almost the entire night out. This was something I wanted to focus on - loosening up - as I normally find loud social events quite stressful. I much prefer smaller more intimate encounters.I had some killer garlic prawns for lunch.How I could have made today better: I decided since it was the weekend to give myself a relaxing day. What I noticed was that without having a clear goal, the day vanished into thin air. It actually felt very unsatisfying. On the one hand I did kind of want that, but on the other hand, I didn’t get to digest the book I had hoped to, or go through my photos, or go for a walk. The day just kind of vanished in the procrastination of relaxation. What? Thoughts: No thoughts, just sleep.
  3. Day 10 Quote I’m contemplating: “People always think you gain trust first and then you’re vulnerable with people. But the truth is, you can’t really earn trust over time with people without being somewhat vulnerable first.” - Brené Brown Video I’m watching: Every kid needs a champion by Rita F. Pierson “Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” What I’m reading: The Paleovedic Diet by Akil Palanisamy - I didn't find time to read today. Aiming to finish this over the weekend. Status check: I’m feeling a mix of things, all squished and bundled together. Excitingly, I’ve gone and applied for a lot of work. I feel amazing for having done that for myself. At the same time though, I’m playing the waiting game to know whether any of it will amount to anything. Waiting sucks. It feels like I’m in a void, passing between worlds. I’m also feeling a little lonely, as the past two days I didn’t have anything social planned. I’m happy that my friend’s birthday party is tomorrow though. Something to look forward to! Three things I’m grateful for:I’m grateful for my camera.I’m grateful for the time I have on this earth.I’m grateful for the smiles I receive in response to mine.Three amazing things that happened today:I did my workout for the day.I picked up my camera that I haven’t touched in a few months and a sketchbook and set off into the unknown for the evening. While sitting in the park, a dog came up to me and we locked eyes. It stayed just out of reach and just stared. At least a good few minutes must have passed before it decided to walk off, without a word. What an amazing feeling it is to look into another’s soul.How I could have made today better: By not stressing and obsessing over the NYE tickets my girlfriend wanted me to buy online. Sitting there and spamming refresh for an hour before giving it a break wasn’t the best idea. In the end the site still hadn’t recovered from the crash, so I lost out in every sense. Thoughts: Today I got some pretty major cravings early on to game. I was sitting down for breakfast and had such a strong urge to grab my phone to game. I’ve clearly made this a habit in the past. Then the cravings came back while trying to book NYE tickets. The act of mindlessly refreshing made me want to game hard, but I resisted. In other news, I’ve been reading through Tom’s Journal and finding lots of inspiration to get out and meet more people. I think it needs to be pretty high up on my list of priorities, as I’m feeling the need for more connection. Another thing on my mind is just how slow this is feeling, which is both good and bad. Normally life seems to pass by at incredible speeds. Before I know it, the year is over. But the past 10 days have been playing in slow motion. My thoughts are that this is due to a combination of reflection, which I did almost none of, and the empty space gaming used to fill. It feels like my brain is all mushed up right now, and like nothing is making sense. Sleep time.
  4. @thehondasc00py - The other Chrome extensions I'm using right now are: Clip to Evernote - I fell in love with Evernote and use it liberally. Their extension compliments it beautifully.1Password - Managing all passwords with a single mother password! Hallelujah!AdBlock Plus - Once you use it, there's no going back... News Feed Eradicator for Facebook - Really great. I've deleted all my social media in the past, but I've found this to be a good replacement. It takes away all the mindless scrolling of Facebook and only leaves the good bits like events and messages.Google Calendar ExtensionFor blocking sites I've downloaded K9, which isn't an extension, but it opens up in your browser. I'm happy with it so far. @giblets - You have a good point. I wanted to use my online journal as a tool to reflect on each day, so I've decided to put it before bed. I do a bit of free association journalling in the mornings, and am enjoying that. You're right about putting my journal first though. I'm sure I'm inspiring others who read my journal, so I shouldn't worry about not helping the community out as much. Journal first, everything else second. Thanks for telling me what I needed to hear.
  5. @ChewyChickenBones Great username! I'm still early on in the challenge, but I'm finding the forum a great place to escape to whenever I may be craving to play. The support here is wonderful and it makes you realise you're not alone in wanting to change your life for the better. We can get through this.
  6. @Cam I've been wanting to find a meaningful way to keep my Japanese fluency up since coming back to Australia. I'd be keen on helping out with Japanese translations if it's a thing. Also, I'd be interested in helping with the badge-bot. I'm so excited to have one that I may as well help make it happen.
  7. Day 9 Quote I’m contemplating: “You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world’s happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.” - Dale Carnegie Video I’m watching: There's more to life than being happy by Emily Esfahani Smith “There's an emptiness gnawing away at people,and you don't have to be clinically depressed to feel it. Sooner or later, I think we all wonder: Is this all there is? And according to the research, what predicts this despair is not a lack of happiness. It's a lack of something else, a lack of having meaning in life.” What I’m reading: The Paleovedic Diet by Akil Palanisamy Status check: I’m tired, feeling like these journals are getting pushed back a little later every day. Responding to other journals on the forum is something that gives me joy, but has been feeling difficult to squeeze into the day. I feel like I should try and write my journal earlier tomorrow and then respond to journals after. Other than that, my eyelids in particular are feeling tired, and my shoulders. The shoulders would be from being a monkey in the tree yesterday; eyelids from looking at the computer screen too much in the last few days. I’m also excited though. Lots and nothing got done today! Three things I’m grateful for:I’m grateful for music’s ability to sooth the soul.I’m grateful for the act of journalling, and the way it seems to kick me in the ass just right.I’m grateful for my worn out shoes and how they nurture my feet while I travel around.Three amazing things that happened today:Inspired by what I was reading about eating more seafood, I reached into the cupboard and grabbed out a can of sardines that had been sitting there since the dawn of time. Double checking the expiry date (and realising these things last forever) I opened it up and incorporated it into a tomato-base vegetable scrambled egg. It turned out to not only taste amazingly delicious, but also boost my mental clarity. It was like someone only just realised the room had a light switch, and decided to turn it on. Amazing!I dedicated the day to finding a job. Quite recently out of work, I was in a bit of a slump, but decided to finally get my shit together. Still in the first stages, but if felt amazing to give myself permission to rise again.I got to spend some time with mum, and she was asking for advice for tackling difficult issues. It was amazing to finally have a deep conversation about all the little things I’ve been obsessing over. Talking about how important journalling has been sent shivers through my body - a sign that I was onto something real and true. I love those very tactile experiences.How I could have made today better: I’m going to be honest. I could’ve done without that bar of chocolate I ate after my long day at the library. I worked hard, so of course I deserved a reward. Were there better rewards I could've given myself? Yes. The instant satisfaction of the chocolate only made me feel terrible afterwords. Was it worth it? Nope. Thoughts: This journal is getting quite long now isn’t it? Some of the above points probably don’t need to be fleshed out as much. By the time I get to my thoughts, I almost feel like I’ve used them all up. Then again it’s much easier to expand on my thoughts as they come to me. In that regard, I’m happy with how it’s turning out. My recent addition of what I’m watching is an experiment with two main goals:I’m finding it inspiring to listen to different perspectives on topics of interest. This is something I’d love to be make a daily habit, beginning with short 10 minute videos.With great feedback the quotes I’m mulling over, I thought providing another launch point for people reading to find themselves in the right place at the right time wouldn’t be bad. I love that moment when things finally click for people.
  8. @thehondasc00py, @WorkInProgress - Definitely a value I hold highly. I have the same problem with setting too much for myself. I follow through on almost everything, but because I set the bar too high, I inevitably fall short. That last 5% that gets left unfinished isn't too bad by itself, but when it happens again and again it begins to become a habit. It's a balancing act setting big and bold dreams while still keeping them achievable. As Bill Gates says, “most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
  9. @thehondasc00py mate, if only we were in the same country; I know we would resonate 205% and connect like nobody else. I totally understand the desire to skip past the social game part and get those deep relationships. Give yourself some time for this. You only set your mission of finding a friend down on paper on day 16, and by day 17 you were tired of trying. You definitely don't have permission to beat yourself up over it after a single day. Great job with a few things: You visited that tat studio. Awesome! Did you get to talk to them about your idea? You talked to a girl! Shame on the person reading that and laughing. The first of your missions for the week crossed off, and it sounds like you talked to more than one. Bonus points!You're meeting people! This isn't bad that it isn't turning into friendships right away. You're reaching your hand out to people and hoping they might take hold. Breaking down your perfect image around them can come in due time. This is a quality achievement. Say hello enough times and the right person will say more than hello back. You realised something is holding you back. This is the key to unlocking the door of change. So open that door. Be your weird self. This has got to be my favourite thing about journalling, and the thing that keeps my coming back for my addictive fix. I'm always happy to talk about any of these things. I'm technically still in university myself, just on a one year break.
  10. I had a good laugh at this. I love when everything inside you is screaming to not do something, but you know exactly what needs to happen, and you do it anyway. I'm eager to follow along with your progress. Keep us updated.
  11. Welcome @Raven! I'm really happy for you deciding to make a change. You've already done the hardest part: taking that first big step. It's not going to be easy, but don't forget to appreciate yourself for taking action. We're all in this together.
  12. Day 8 Quote I’m contemplating: “There is no way to happiness - happiness is the way” - Thich Nhat Hanh What I’m watching (10 minutes): Getting stuck in the negatives (and how to get unstuck) | Alison Ledgerwood | TEDxUCDavis “We tend to think that misery loves company,That venting will help get rid of our negative emotions, That we’ll feel better if we just talk about how terrible our day was… But we forget to talk about the good stuff. And yet that’s exactly where our minds need the most practice.” This is exactly what I needed to hear, delivered loud and clear. Listening to what Alison had to say also brought some clarity to yesterday’s thoughts. Working through my journal seems to be improving my ability to switch from a negative frame to a positive frame. Awesome! What I’m reading: The Paleovedic Diet by Akil Palanisamy - From what I’ve read so far, this is far more than just a diet book. It might still be on sale if anybody’s interested. Status check: I feel great. It’s almost as if the panic from yesterday doesn’t exist any more. I don’t know whether I needed to get some space by sleeping on it, whether it was the journalling practice that helped. There’s a sense of calm though. My body feels satisfyingly tired. I feel like I’ll sleep good tonight. Three things I’m grateful for:I’m grateful for TED talks, the ideas they share, and how accessible they are.I’m grateful for my girlfriend’s laughter and the happiness it brings me.I’m grateful for dark chocolate and its delicious intensity.Three amazing things that happened today:I decided to reconfigure my Chrome browser and accidentally lost all my data in the process. "How convenient" I thought. I get to start fresh without the clutter from my gaming days. I spent a bit of time setting up extensions, including downloading Momentum, which is such a nice page to open up to. As my focus task I put “enjoy slacklining."I went to the slacklining meetup that I had committed myself to going to. I had a great time, met some cool people, did some balancing, had some laughs. Apparently there weren’t nearly as many people as there normally are because of a festival that’s on in Victoria. Conveniently that made it easier for me to mingle with the people who did turn up. I came home to find a letter from my girlfriend! She had surprised me with the most beautifully crafter letter I’ve ever received (letting her artistic talent shine). What an amazing way to end the day.How I could have made today better: By working out something I could do when I get home and I’m exhausted, instead of trying to push through the exhaustion and get more done. A short nap? Listening to some chill music? A cold shower? Some ideas of things I might try. Thoughts: I’ve been mediating on the idea that everything we do is updating our minds in some way, as if we are editing the code our operating system. Naturally, we try and optimise each update towards efficiency, or in other words: laziness. It got me thinking, every time I set myself a task to commit to, but give in to the temptation to not follow through, I’m programming myself to be a person who doesn’t follow through with their commitments. Whether it’s waking up early, meditating, going to the gym, meeting up with a friend or writing down 5 things to do today. Giving up on even the smallest commitment sets me back by miles. So how would I approach this? By fundamentally rewiring the essence of who I am. I’m going to start knowing myself as someone who doesn’t give in to the voice inside my head trying to talk me out of following through. As someone who stays 100% true to their commitments. And knowing that a small spec of snow can become the size of a boulder by the time it reaches the bottom of a mountain, I’m going to take it one step at a time. I’m only 8 days in, but that’s 192 hours of commitment to being gaming-free and having a daily meditation practice (and unofficially, journalling practice as well) that I’ve stuck to, and the first 8 steps to becoming very powerful. ACTION STEP: I’m going to put this to practice by giving myself ridiculously easy commitments to make following through a habit.
  13. Thanks for the tips @giblets. I really enjoyed having your perspective on it. I think I’ll try and get to the bottom of exactly what the stress is about, defining it more accurately, then I’ll report back. In the meantime I realised you're right. I have more to lose from not attempting the audition at all than by not doing well. You’re very welcome @thehondasc00py. There’s something encouraging in remembering that we’re all human and always have something to improve on. I’m going to try sit with my cravings when they next appear. I’ll be absolutely stoked if I manage to simply take 3 deep breaths. It would be heading in the right direction. I've been following along with the stress package from Headspace. While I don't necessarily think guided meditations are any better or worse than just being mindful, what I do appreciate is having a mentor and a guide who I can learn things I otherwise may have never discovered from. The visualisation he gets you to do in this case is to image liquid sunlight flowing into you and slowly filling your body. You imagine the liquid to have a spacious, relaxing and warm quality. Eventually it fills you all up and you sit with the feeling. It was strange at first, but I'm honestly starting to feel this profound spaciousness, as if the boundaries of my skin cease to exist. Granted it's only for a few seconds at a time before I lose it, but it's pretty cool.
  14. @FreetheG You caught my attention with "homemade food." I know what you mean, nothing beats a freshly cooked meal prepared with loving intention. Except maybe sharing that meal with someone you love.
  15. @thehondasc00py I should've guessed you were into the same down-tempo lo-fi hiphop chill beats as me! I was picking something up in your music but it didn't click. Turn the dream into a reality one day man. That sounds radical! @Parkreiner I'm planning on visiting for the 2020 olympics myself, if I don't find my way there sooner! There's so much more to see than just the music scene. Don't sell your experience short!
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