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Paul A.

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  1. Day 11 Today was my brother's birthday, so the whole family went out for brunch. I also had off work today. Pretty relaxing day today. I made some progress in my web dev course, but beyond that I've just been watching YouTube videos, mostly about personal finance and investing. I could always be more productive, but I'm not one to stress myself out for productivity's sake. If I wanna goof off and take it easy, I'll goof off and take it easy. As long as I'm making steady progress towards my goals each and every day, that's enough for me. It's one thing if I don't even touch my web dev course for a week because I get sidetracked watching YouTube, but it's another thing if I make a little bit of progress each and every day towards my goal. I'll take the slow and steady approach over the "productive", unsustainable approach any day of the week. In a week's time, I'm 14% of the way through a 350 hour course. That's pretty good if you ask me. Today is the first of 3 days off I have this week. It's the first time in a while I've had more than 2 consecutive days to myself. Today was an easy day, but I plan to apply myself towards my web dev course a bit more tomorrow. If I can spend two hours total tomorrow working on the course, I'll be satisfied. I'm just hoping I can stay consistent with it. I've noticed myself consuming less and less content related to software and web dev, and more content related to personal finance. Not like this is a bad thing, but it's just an observation I've made. The world of personal finance is nothing new to me, but it's always exciting to dive back in, especially now since I've discovered a different approach to achieving my financial goals. I find myself wanting to learn and consume as much content as possible about the subject. This isn't exclusive to personal finance; I've done the same with many different subjects over the years. But, the fact that I've delved into personal finance multiple times in the same way is quite telling. I have a feeling that it'll remain a crucial element of my life for years to come. Speaking of which, I set up a recurring investment last night; $5 every market day into an S&P 500 ETF (for those who don't know, the S&P 500 is an index that tracks the 500 biggest companies here in the United States). That equates to about $100 every month automatically invested, on top of the money I plan to contribute manually as I get paid. To me, it's really exciting to automate my investing in this way. It also forces me to be a bit more responsible with my spending. If I can't find $5 extra to fork over for my financial future every day, I'm doing something wrong!
  2. Day 10 Game-Free I’m gonna start keeping my phone off. It’s something I’ve done in the past, but I can never make a habit of it. The reason I want to try it now is because I’ve noticed that I try to alleviate my boredom or kill time by checking my phone. Whether it’s by scrolling through YouTube, checking Instagram, or even refreshing the forums here, I check my phone a lot. And I don’t like that I do that. For one, it’s a big distraction for me. I kill my own productivity, whether at work or studying, by checking my phone compulsively. Secondly, it makes me feel like I have nothing going on in my life. I almost always have nothing going on in my phone, which I always interpret to mean that my life is just uninteresting. Of course, this is a false assumption, but I can’t help but make it every time I check my phone and it’s free of notifications. For those reasons, I want to try to keep my phone off as much as possible. The only issue is for when family or friends want to call me (which really doesn’t happen too often), but in that case, I’ll just call them back when I turn my phone on. I built my first simple website today using HTML and CSS. I copied an example site provided by Codecademy, but I wrote all of the code myself. Granted, I needed a lot of help from the Codecademy forums and Stack Overflow to fix issues I didn’t know how to fix, but I still did a bulk of the work unassisted. I found myself wanting to do more after I finished the site. The process of writing the code and styling the site was a lot of fun, and it’s definitely something I want to pursue as a career. I would’ve progressed further along in the course I’m working on today, but I was at work and I didn’t have the time to watch the video lesson. Fortunately, I’m off for the next 3 days, so I have a lot of time to work on the course. I’m finding myself getting more and more into finance. I’m watching more finance-related videos on YouTube, and generally have a desire for more money. Not because I’m lacking money, nor is it because I want to spend the money, but simply to have it. The feeling of having money and KNOWING you have money is very liberating. It’s the assurance that you have choices. Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does buy choices. No money, no choices. More money, more choices. I’ve experienced both ends of this spectrum. There was a point in time I had more money that I knew what to do with, and unfortunately I made the wrong choices with said money. There’ve also been plenty of times where I didn’t have any money, and obviously I dealt with the consequences of said lack. I don’t want to be wealthy so I can blow a bunch of money on stupid stuff. I want to be wealthy so I can have choices. The feeling of having choices is a unique kind of high. I want that high.
  3. I’m taking the passive approach myself. The little money I do have in the market is in a low-cost S&P 500 ETF, and that’s where I intend to put a majority of my money moving forward. I became disenchanted with individual stocks long ago. ETFs, especially those that track a particular index, are just so much easier than picking stocks. With an S&P 500 ETF or total market ETF, you can take advantage of diversification and the growth of the market, all in one simple package. It’s great.
  4. Thanks for the words of encouragement! I really appreciate it
  5. Day 9 Game-Free Fairly unproductive day today. Unfortunately, I caved to PMO last night. No excuses, I just didn’t put the proper safeguards in place. I need to be more cognizant of when that time of the night rolls around. Once the desire for sexual release kicks in, it’s almost impossible not to get swept up in it. At the very least, I’m not acting out by spending money on escorts and sexual partners like I used to do. Fortunately, I’ve been able to keep that under control. Now the real threat is pornography. I’m gonna have to find creative ways to limit my access to it and otherwise abstain from watching it. But I’m sure I’ll figure out what works for me in time. I didn’t spend as much time on web development as I would’ve liked to today. Call it laziness or procrastination, probably both. I’m getting to the stage where I can’t be carried by motivation alone. I’m gonna have to rely on a bit of discipline. Whether it means setting aside some time each day dedicated to learning web development, or just making sure I study a bit each day, I’m gonna have to incorporate some discipline into my learning. As more and more people are getting hired at my workplace, I’m more motivated to get out of there as fast as possible. I don’t want to compete with other salespeople for customers. My heart just isn’t in it. There was a stretch of about a month where I was incredibly motivated, but that motivation has long since dried up. Either way, I want to leave that sales job as quickly as I can so I can transition into web development. But in the meantime, I’m gonna have to stay disciplined with my studies. I moved some money back into my brokerage account. Right now, my dad is receiving half of my paychecks and putting them towards savings, and I get the other half. I figured it was time I learned to be more responsible with my half. After many failed attempts at saving money, I learned that I’m just no good at it. If there’s money sitting in a readily accessible savings account, I’ll spend it, without fail. But what I am decent at is investments. I used to take investing very seriously, and I educated myself a lot on the subject. I once had a lot of money tied up in crypto, and I even made a decent profit off it (I lost it all due to market volatility, but I digress). I bring all this up to say that I respect the value of investing money as opposed to saving money. If I have money tied up in investments, appreciating and growing in value, I’m much less prone to spending it frivolously. That’s because I find investing a lot more beneficial and a lot more exciting than saving. In a sense, my investment account has become my savings account. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to have a bit of money in savings (I’m sure @Ikar would kill me if I didn’t, haha), but I’d rather keep the bulk of it in investments. I’m excited to grow my account over time. I’m already planning to contribute half of what I receive from my next check straight to investments. I apologize for the wall of text today, I just had a lot to share. I applaud if you made it all the way to the end, haha. I’ll be back tomorrow
  6. Day 8 Game-Free I slept through most of the morning. I’m not sure why, I just didn’t really feel like getting up. It wasn’t fueled by depression or anything, I think it was just laziness. Either way, my morning was fairly uneventful save for a psych appointment and a bit of learning web development. I went off to work in the afternoon, no sales today. I made some appointments but that was the highlight of my workday. I progressed through my web dev course while at work as well. I’ve fully immersed myself into the world of software engineering at this point. When I’m not actually learning web dev/software engineering, I’m watching videos or otherwise consuming content about the subject. Its pretty much taken the place of gaming in my life. When I wasn’t playing games, I was watching gaming videos, even at work. Now it’s the same with software engineering. While it’s not the best thing to be studying programming while at work, I think it’s much more productive than watching game videos. Besides, a lot of my work day entails me sitting around waiting for customers. I might as well make the most of all that time.
  7. Welcome! Quitting games is certainly not the end all be all, but it will make the possibility of achieving those big goals a lot more real. You’ll find you have a lot more free time to pursue other ventures, which may just translate to success in your goals. The road you’ve chosen certainly won’t be easy, but then again, nothing worth doing in life is easy. You’ve made the right choice by deciding to quit video games for good. I wish you the best of luck on your journey!
  8. Things are going well! I’m diving into the world of tech and learning front end web development, which is pretty exciting. Haven’t had much in the way of cravings either, overall doing pretty well!
  9. Taking care of yourself is so important! Glad you’re putting your own well-being first
  10. Day 7 Game-Free Diving deeper into the world of computer programming. After messing around with Python some more and getting frustrated, I decided to stick with front-end web development. From what I've heard (and learned for myself), it's the easiest way for a beginner to break into the field, especially someone who's self-taught like I am. I was able to chat with an old friend of mine who's studying computer science, and he also gave me some guidance in this area. He confirmed what I'd learned from YouTube, that front-end is in fact the easiest route to take. He noted that if I apply myself, I should be able to get a job as a front-end web developer in about 6 months. His advice motivated me to take my programming journey seriously, and it reassured me of the possibility that I can break into the tech field without a formal education. Ever since about the 11th grade, I've had a tough time sticking it out in a school environment, so the fact that I can break into such a lucrative and respected field without a degree is really exciting (for context, I've dropped out of school three times, specifically post-secondary institutions). For now, I'm focusing on learning HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as these are the fundamentals I need to learn for front-end web development. I'm excited to keep learning! I spent most of the day going through a front-end engineering course on Codecademy, even while at work. Work has been very slow recently; I hadn't made any sales for an entire week up until today. Ever since I discovered programming, my enthusiasm for work has dwindled, because it cemented in my mind that I don't want to stay in sales forever. I never intended to stay at the job long-term, but my newfound love of programming has only made that more clear. This job is only a stepping stone to put money in my pocket while I work towards my ideal career in tech. Not to say that sales is a bad career, but my heart's just not in it. I'd rather work in a field that I genuinely enjoy.
  11. Can relate. Have you tried reading fiction, or diving into some other fictional world? If you’re craving escapism, I’d recommend you escape to a fictional world. Or you can try some extremely engaging replacement activity, such as producing music or computer programming. Both of those activities are extremely easy to lose yourself in, and serve the same purpose of escaping to another world. From my perspective, it definitely looks like your mind is trying to come up with rationalizations and justifications to play again. Don’t fall for them. If gaming took over your life once before, what will stop it from taking over again once you relapse? The moment you relapse under the pretense of an “experiment”, your mind has succeeded in sabotaging your progress. Stay strong and keep moving forward day by day. You got this!
  12. Less than a week into learning how to code, and I'm already starting to doubt myself. Learning to code is hard! The whole world of computer programming and software engineering is so vast that it's a bit overwhelming. Even after posting that I want to learn front-end web development, I have no idea where to begin! (P.S. I'm not enjoying the Codecademy front end web dev course so far). It feels like there's so much room for error; that if I don't figure out what I want to do right away, I'm going to fall flat on my face. I know this isn't true, but it sure feels that way. I wish I had a reliable resource to share my concerns with, but at the moment I don't so I'm just venting it all on here. I sure hope this stuff gets easier with time. I certainly don't intend to give up, but I'm just feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything right now. I may end up going back to learning how to make games like I initially intended, or I might forge an entirely different path altogether. But I'm gonna need a lot of help to do it. I think YouTube tutorials are going to be my best friend. If only I had the patience to sit through one... In any event, no one said this was gonna be easy. After all, nothing worth doing in life is easy. I guess I'm gonna have to muster up some grit and keep pushing. I'll use this forum as a way to keep myself accountable as well. Hopefully I can leave all this overwhelm behind as time goes on.
  13. The world of computer programming is so expansive. I didn't even realize the scope of it until today. That being said, I had to re-evaluate - again - how I wanted to go about learning computer programming. There's three primary paths in the world of software development - front-end development, back-end development, and full stack development. From what I've learned, it's best to focus on either front-end or back-end development rather than full stack (front-end and back-end combined). In addition, it looks like front-end development has the most opportunities available for entry-level work. With that in mind, I went ahead and purchased a monthly subscription to Codecademy to learn front-end web development. That means I'll be switching gears yet again, from Python to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I'm fortunate that I'm making this switch so early on, rather than finding out months into learning Python and being forced to commit to back-end development. I also decided to go for front-end development because it entails working on the part of a website or web app that people actually see and can interact with, which I think would be more rewarding for me. And there's also more room for creativity with front-end development, rather than the logical-analytical world of back-end development. I'm gonna spend the rest of the day diving into the 350-hour Codecademy course. I'm glad there's so much content in one resource. It gives me a bit of structure to dial in my learning, rather than floundering around from one resource to another.
  14. What activities have you used to try and replace gaming? I don't want to be that guy that just parrots everything somebody else says, but Cam has a point when he says you need to find certain activities to replace your gaming habit. For me, computer programming is the one activity that fills the gaming void. It has constant measurable growth, just like a video game, and it's interactive. It's attributes like this that make programming a suitable replacement. Activities like reading are great, but they don't serve the same purpose gaming does. You'll need to find activities that are just as fun, but just as interactive and stimulating as playing video games. Especially when you're feeling those cravings. Reading a book just won't cut it at that point. Hope this helps