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  1. I feel what you're writing. I think my social groups are fairly diverse and that I am keeping in contact with a lot of people too these last few months. I think only 5% of all the people I know and currently meet are friends I would meet in order to solve some emergency or go out with them alone. Another 15% of the people are fun to hang out with, but I don't have a strong tie with them. I haven't gone out anywhere with them alone, though it's possible that I would or will (girls I'd date and people that are just good company fall here). The 75% I just don't care about and they just "happen" to be there whenever I go somewhere. I'm happy that things are going well for you and your fiancee! A lot of the social needs depend on the type of the relationship you have. I can say for myself that my relationships work the best when my girlfriend is also my best friend.
  2. Good job! It definitely refutes the message that being debt-free is only for rich people. I still find it astonishing people go into debt for things other than housing (and maybe, but just maybe, investing). It's unseemly. I don't blame them, it's just sad to see that a lot of people are so uneducated in the topic.
  3. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    20th September - 24th September: 22nd September - I spent the past three days either teaching or in classes at the uni for eight hours. I got another offer from a new student, but I feel I am on the verge of what I can realistically take work-wise. 24th September - It's not as bad as I thought, I do have free time, just less. I'll deal with it. I finished some work for the internship, visited my family and voted at the communal elections today. Gotta put in some work for the thesis tomorrow.
  4. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    I agree, the secret is not to over-complicate things. If I want to write, I don't need to think about marketing strategy. I should just write. Linear progression may work well with mechanical tasks, but not with creative ones. I wrote about it at more length in another post, the short story is that these two always work together.
  5. Speaking of which, I still have my Steam account worth about the same amount. I just haven't touched any games on it for three and a half years. If you really want to keep in contact with the guy and believe you have something worthwhile to talk about besides gaming, you can use Messenger, WhatsApp, Discord or any other chat application. I kept chatting on Discord with one guy who used to watch my streams until about a year ago.
  6. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    11th September - 19th September: Last Sunday, I finished one GIS layer for the internship, wrote the monthly report and for the EGEA congress in Hungary. --- I'm happy I went, as it was both my holiday and an opportunity to do something new and different. There were workshops, presentations, meetings, excursion... for me enough drinking and sleeping as well, although there were others that had too much of the former and too little of the latter 😉 I'm 100% sure that there was a nice looking girl who wanted to do "something" with me (one of her friends told me), however: a) I had enough to drink that night and I don't think it's a state to start off "something" with (I've never "blacked out" from alcohol nor went out of control) b) even though I had enough to drink, I stayed self-aware to realize I don't need to hook up nor do I need to visit a place that's time-wise even more remote than Georgia c) I chatted with her in the end and left it at that I need to keep my head clear of bullshit, so I can get what I want in the end. Banging girls while drunk is definitely one of the areas to steer away from. I got home on Saturday night. --- On Sunday, I did admin work for my students/courses, visited my family and went for a beer in the evening with friends. On Monday, I had my first uni classes, some new English students, got a haircut and socialized in the evening.
  7. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    I'm using the template I used the last time. 13/08/21 - 11/09/21 "L" will stand for the (last) plan/notes for this term. "T" will stand for done this term. I added "Future goals/direction" to better reflect on the things I am trying to do and to add specificity. I will copy it and stick it somewhere where I can see it to remind myself whenever I feel aimless. I will also use different colors: blue for newly added goals/habits, green for completed/successful, orange for ongoing/some progress and red for ones I haven't worked on in that period. --- Books/Reading articles: L: I read the book about homeless people, their stories and advice for life. I also read the "Animal Farm". It was very catchy and I read it in one sitting, even though I was dead tired by the time I finished it at night. I started on Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment". T: I finished Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" (in English). It is a well-written book, gripping and divided into chapters that could be read in about 30 minutes. I've been reading a lot of finance/lifestyle blogs to have inspiration for my own blog posts. Zero on the newsletters, but that's OK. Possible direction/goals: Continue getting through the newsletters. (Borrow) and read one book until the next monthly report. Family: L: My brother is nice to hang out with and my father is a reliable and I can count on him with anything, though he is sometimes too hotheaded. I went for sushi with my brother two weeks ago and it was cool. Things are more difficult with my mom and grandma. I spend several hours a month alone with my grandma. I think she sometimes has the "victim" complex in a way that she did XYZ for other people and they didn't do anything back for her or don't understand her (without her asking). I can't help but feel that she also distorts my ability to have an opinion on my mom and that I see my mom as a caricature. That's not to say they dislike each other - my mom visits my grandma regularly and that wouldn't happen if they weren't on good terms. Weirdly enough, I think my mom is the family member I know the least. As I wrote earlier, I went for sushi with my brother and his girlfriend. We had a family meeting yesterday and it was actually quite engaging compared to how it is normally. T: Nothing special this month. NOT: I don't want to get alienated from my family. Possible direction/goals: Continue working on bettering the relationships with my family. University: L: I'm roughly halfway through the internship (60/120 hours). I'll list the pros and the cons of it as I see it: + The people there are chill, helpful and the atmosphere overall is relaxed. That's a big positive. I remember this was not the case during my final months in the army, though I understand I was quite an idiot four years ago and the degree to which it was self-imposed could be debated. - I'm not sure of the importance of the assignment I am working on now. We finished the greenery mapping and digitization of it last week. This week, I worked on correcting some data formally in GIS (editing polygons, dealing with overlaps). Although the guys around me agree that the data source is dubious and sometimes outright wrong, they say we need to work with the data we've been given. It's just hard for me to seriously work on something I don't find the purpose/reason in. - The office environment overall is distracting (not for me now, because I do mundane tasks and sometimes I have to ask others for some help), as people go around the rooms and talk. Sometimes it's work-related, sometimes it isn't, yet my workplace there is hardly ever quiet. Compared to the high-focus classes of English that I usually have (45-60-90 minute classes; except when the students are working on some grammar exercise, I need to go to the toilet etc.), the office environment seems like an unfocused dungeon to me. T: 100/120 hours now, so 20 hours remaining of the internship. Granted I'll be away the whole next week and the week after the uni (and more courses) start, I'm happy I managed to do most of it by now. I have the schedule for the uni already. No searching of sources for the masters' because internship takes precedence. NOT: I don't want to drop out of the university. Possible direction/goals: Find an internship for summer. Find more sources for my upcoming masters' thesis during the summer. Work on the assignments in a timely manner. Job/English: L: The work has been slower as expected, though I still do maintain about 10 lessons a week. I picked up a few new courses too. I'm currently working through a lot of ideas/concepts I accumulated during my holiday last week. I got a new font for my website too, so that's something! Not as many classes, but I worked on the website and other various small improvements. Gonna have to take some pictures with students. T: I finished some small improvements on the website. I also got checked out some materials from the uni business courses I got in June. However it seems I won't be able to attend these continuation bi-weekly seminars due to a collision in my own uni schedule. In other news, the work will be plentiful. Some students are coming back after the summer break and my schedule is quite packed, especially together with the university. It should work out though, I don't think I need to drop any courses. NOT: I don't want to have a job that I don't enjoy. I don't want to have a job that is not well paid. Possible direction/goals: Take pictures with my F2F students for the website. Keep asking for reviews or recommendations from students. Create a client persona for both B2B and B2C. Update my website to reflect the new ideas and inspiration from the web. Look into strategies in becoming truly self-employed by skipping the agencies in between. Check out a few more seminars on how to run online courses. / English research Exercise/Movement: L: A lot of walking as a part of the internship and regular short-distance cycling as a part of getting to the internship and classes. Cycled 80 kilometers total to the cottage at the weekend trip. T: Some walking and cycling, although I am not sure if that's enough. Some days I don't do either. Gotta think about this more. NOT: I don't want to become fat. Possible direction/goals: Keep in shape. Women/Dating: L: T: IMPORTANT - I thrive when I have an equal partner in a relationship. I also have experience to see obvious red flags contrary to that a mile away. In a relationship, I can be sometimes condescending or arrogant. I know what I want in a relationship. I won't sell myself short in a relationship. Possible direction/goals: Look around and relax. I have done well. Set up at least two dates a month. ----- Digital maintenance, new info after a month written in blue, two months after in green: The plan is to get rid of or reduce the usage following apps and websites. I will include cases why they might be useful and why I have had them so far: Instagram app - deleted. I have a few acquaintances there, but they're mostly foreigners and hardly anyone writes me there. If my friends have it, I have other means of contacting them too. Deleted the account a week ago completely, there's just no point in having it. Deleted. News webpages - blocked. I use them merely as a source of fun, due to their comment sections. I hardly ever come across an article that I would be genuinely interested in (maybe one in a hundred or a thousand). The same will go for "Wiki/Current events" - even though it's a healthier alternative to consume news, it might sway me, so I'll get rid of it too for now. No point in having these around either, the blocks stay. Blocked still. Facebook - limited. I used to justify keeping FB around for scoping events in the area, but I can't remember when was the last time I actually used it that way before coming to Prague (I was looking for events there, as I am not local). Computer blocked and I have never had the app on the phone. I use the website for Marketplace (for room/flat rent) and sometimes events. I catch myself fairly quickly if I notice myself scrolling. Checking more than I'd like on my phone, but not spending much time on it, as I always catch myself. YT - limited. I listen to music on YT, so I won't block it completely, however I am going to block/reduce the main page to prevent me from scrolling it. YT works well with my interests overall, but I noticed I just rely on it to entertain me more than I'd like. I'll peek on the main page, go through my followed channels and pick out videos I want to watch that they made the last month. No stream watching. I actually watched a guy stream before this month, though he usually streamed only for an hour or two. It was because he switched from making videos to streaming; I don't think I would start watching him if he only streamed in the first place. Going to YT every few weeks and opening up select videos works for me. I generally have many other things to do than to spend time watching YT videos, so the videos sit open in tabs for days or weeks. --- The blocks will apply on my desktop computer and notebook. I'm gonna have only one browser on them with a blocking add-on installed. My phone will be "unlimited", mostly as I am not really used to using it that much (not having mobile data helps a lot) and in case I actually DO need to use the blocked services above. I also have a "Digital Wellbeing" widget on the home-screen of my phone, showing me how much time I spent on each app. This is definitely not the first plan I devised for this area of my life. I actually have it partially in effect on my desktop computer at home already. This is just a thought out update of the plan put into words. --- What to do if I am bored? Replacement activities for 1 hour: reading, cleaning, washing the dishes, learning languages, learning programming Replacement activities for 2 hours: going to the gym, going for a walk ----- Additional thoughts/activities: My hobbies are: personal finance, gunnery, GIS/statistics, reading/videos about (modern) history, English, blogging and geography. - I do not want to be lonely. I'm intentionally putting a very broad classification here, because I don't know how my friends or romances are going to look like a year from now. All I know is that long-term isolation is deadly and that I want to have meaningful relationships. I do not want to become addicted again. All of the things above got a lot better once I stopped gaming several hours a day and dozens of hours a week. Time to time, I encounter a game with a strong pull on my psyche. I don't know if there's anything else that could have such a pull on me that would also be good for me. Who knows. - This month, I did these cool activities: spending time on trips with my girlfriend, reading about personal finance, taking part in social events, meeting friends, working on my business, going to the shooting range, blogging. --- Things that are probably somewhat unusual about me work-wise (possibly a concept for a blog article could come out of this): I actually do enjoy doing some routine and mundane tasks in general. People often ask me if I want to teach English forever, if it's not stifling or boring. I honestly tell them I don't know if I want to teach English forever and that it's the best job I've had so far. I could always up my English more by taking only more advanced students to teach to force me to study and prepare more. I get why people ask this, especially if they are more of the creative sort. I understand they want a job they can learn a lot from. I'm going to be a bit counter-cultural here; learning is not without forgetting. Learning for the sake of learning is not a must for everyone, but for a few people who take it up as a hobby. There's just no way to do everything at the same time. My great curse of the past became a great gift of the present. I spend thousands of hours at the computer, yet I learnt English well enough to build up on that and turn it into my job. Good learning doesn't exist without rote. Good language learning is very much something for people who love rote; it changes slowly and there's an "infinite" number of words, combinations etc. Learning how to work in a GIS software after a year? You'll be lucky a) to remember the basics after not working with it for a year, but also b) to find the same/similar layout/version of the program as you left. That's why I have hobbies, I try out things in my off-time and if I enjoy them very much, I might do them more often and monetize them. That's my creative time, free of charge. I revel in calculating and optimizing my taxes over and over again, trying to find out if I can save more in a legal way. I also enjoy working in the GIS, just drawing polygons on hours on end. Maybe even to be a shooting instructor? To sum it up, I've worked a job I didn't enjoy in the past. But nobody knows better than I do what jobs are those. --- New! Addon 2: I enjoy writing articles, however I am not enjoying the process of how to actually set up the blog, whether I should try and make some money off of it. I think I will, but I won't go on writing e-books, providing courses and whatnot. Just a few affiliate links for the services I like. This allows me to focus on writing and not fret over something I don't even know I want to do. This reminded me of what @BooksandTrees once wrote - hobbies are not work. Moving got canceled, we'll see how it goes. I want my own room though. I'm willing to change my location for that and to pay a bit extra. I did some room reorganization in case I do have a roommate for a while. There are tentative plans to meet the Georgian girl again in a few months. I'd like to combine it together with some Erasmus+ project as well. Got appetite for writing, either here on GQ or on my blog. Weekends have been slower, no trips the last few weeks. Going to Hungary for a week for the EGEA meeting though, so that should make up for it 🙂
  8. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    I think it depends on how strong the conviction is and how big is the cause. I believe GQ as a whole has potential to raise awareness about the issue that gaming addiction exists, though it's hardly institutionalized anywhere in the world. As with any addiction however, prevention and pointing out the risks works the best. I shared my perspective on this with my friend, as she's solving some issues with a few of her friends/acquaintances taking cocaine. I could play games, and I even played some relatively simple ones in the last three and a half years, but for me it's playing with fire needlessly. I think there's no "casual" activity (gaming, drinking etc.) once you get the feeling you are overdoing it or tracking the time spent on it and thinking if doing this is still a good idea. I'm writing about non-bullshit ways how to reasonably manage personal finances. It's interesting to literally anyone who uses money (and has a job), while using myself as an example, my successes and fails. Then I add some starting points on how to deal with the situation or just interlink websites where others have already written it better than I did. I've started to spread the word around my friends and even students, sending them random excerpts from what I wrote if they are interested. So far I'm just accumulating and writing articles without publishing them for now. I'm thinking about the way I want to interlink the articles between one another, make my blog visible on social media (though my Instagram has just been deleted 🙂 ) and maybe add some reasonable affiliate links, though I admit my initial motivation for this is charitable - just to make people think about their lives through my writing.
  9. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    4th September - 7th September: I finished deep cleaning of my room on Sunday and visited my family. I finished several small errands on Monday and worked on the internship, as well as wrote a bit for the blog. On Tuesday, I had more English classes and wrote an article for my blog too. Today I had English classes, an appointment with dental hygienist and I'm going to meet a friend in the evening.
  10. How come you owed the company money? I thought you went there to make the money, not to spend it 😄 As for the work struggles in general, you'll see. I don't know what job is right for you and you don't seem to know now either. All I can advise is to save up money; if your current job/lifestyle makes you hire a hooker once a month to just forget about everything, you need to change something. Otherwise you'll forever be stuck working a job your destructive lifestyle needs. Having a few hundred/thousand $ gives you an opportunity to change things up if you feel like you need to. I found out that reading, walking and sometimes just stopping to look around or to look at something that caught my attention helps with mindfulness and the ability to just be in the present. Writing is good for this for me too, as I sometimes stop to look around me when I am out of thought. Though now I am freshly without a girlfriend, she and I made a promise to not watch porn at least until Christmas. I think the last time I watched was three or four months ago when we made that promise for the first time. Even then, I masturbate more than I'd like, though there's no porn and mostly no orgasm involved. Things sure are easier in this regard when I can cuddle with my girlfriend a few times a week, but alas. I figured out that in my case, having a girl just for sex would only make things worse. I'm just not that kind of a guy.
  11. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    28th August - 3rd September: I had quite a bit of social events this week, meeting my friends, people from university, high school and I helped a friend with the last part of his moving. I also worked on the internship and had English classes, as usual. The past week, I spent about twenty hours mostly writing articles for my blog and reading blogs that are similar to the style I have. I have five articles ready and when I'm writing an article, it always happens I want to explore some concept more in another article. For the start, I'm trying to write about my personal experience and attitude and how they lead to the actual (more technical) solutions of my personal finance. I feel fairly busy now, but not overwhelmed. I'm also de-cluttering my room, because it's possible I might have a roommate in the future. I'm almost finished (I want to take stuff to my parents' house to see if they find anything useful today), but I'm still surprised this is taking several hours to do. Then again, if I were to move, half of my work would've been done already; my things are now organized more efficiently than before and I'd just need to take the boxes (that I often use instead of compartments) and go.
  12. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    Thanks for the support. I hope to make it into a repository of good sources and articles for the average Czech (or Slovak) Joe who isn't in the top 10% of people who can fluently read English without Google-translating every other word. I know from experience that the general level of English here is not good enough to comfortably read even plain English like this. I'm also going to write a couple of articles before getting the website up. I want to be able to post an article every week, but just in case that doesn't work out, I want to have some stockpile I can reach into. --- 25th August - 27th August: I'm about halfway through "Crime and Punishment". I helped my friend move on Thursday and went for a walk and watched the new "Top Gun" film on Friday. Today I did the laundry, wrote my first FIRE blog post, did my English preparation and read. In the afternoon, I'm meeting some friends outside. Tomorrow I'm gonna do the second part of the laundry, do some work for the internship, do some deep cleaning of my room and write another article/rough concept for the blog.
  13. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    20th August - 24th August: I've been feeling sort of anxious and upset these days, but I believe it's been singularly caused by the fact the room I wanted for rent is not going to be available. I got to know to know that on Monday, so the next day I was at the manager of my current dorm. The thing is, it's not a problem to stay at my current dorm, it's just that it's unsure whether I'll be alone in the room. There's no point trying to set up something now, as there's not enough time, so there's no need to stress about it. - In other news, things are going fine. I did some work for the internship, brushed up some more details on my website, spend some time with friends and family, been reading every day (about 1/3 through "Crime and Punishment"). I even did a bit of random job searching. I am seriously thinking about starting a blog about FI/RE, as there are just about three blogs that seriously go into the topic in Czech, while only one of them is active on a regular basis. The rest of them are either short introductory articles and articles from people ranging from financial advisors pushing their product through MLM to ordinary swindlers. I have an unique concept in mind for the blog, so I just need to find the time for it.
  14. When I quit games when I was 21,5, I was actually fired from my temp/part-time post office job shortly after. I went to my 2019 Iceland job-trip a few months later, but it took another year until November 2020 since I had some reasonable income from teaching English. Out of all the jobs I had, I'm at least on my eight one at 25 and that's only since I was 19. That's to say, any job or business is some function of money generation and personal satisfaction. Money: If the job doesn't generate a reasonable income and just allows you to survive, it's shit. If it allows you to spend money on things you care about, then it's good. Gaming addiction is quite a "luxurious" problem to have, mostly limited to US or Europe, so I'd assume you're from a normal or better financial background. Ordinary Africans or Indians generally have more immediate trouble to deal with. Caveat: I think it's crazy that people borrow money for anything else than housing and maybe investing. It's also a message of value and status. You value me, you pay me well, so I don't go working for the next guy. I think it's also a great razor for the comparison of jobs you'd like to do. For me to accept smaller pay, I'd have to enjoy my new job A LOT more than I do my current one, leading to... Personal satisfaction: Do you want to learn new things at work? Meet interesting people? Or just chill and relax? The great thing about it is nobody can tell you what satisfies you. I have recently ranted about it in my monthly report, so I'll just copy it here: The main message? Maybe you'll be the king of salespeople. Maybe you'll be an amazing MC. Maybe you'll operate an excavator for fun and do programming for money. You get to decide what mix of money and personal satisfaction is right for you.
  15. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    17th August - 19th August: I've been reading regularly - not every day, but I realize I can find half an hour to read a chapter or two of a book. I'm also reading the newsletters, though they've been accumulating for the past three weeks. Had to get up early the last two days and that meant I wanted to take a rest in the afternoon after my work was finished. Spent some time with a friend in the evenings and had a meeting with my university classmates/graduates in the afternoon. English teaching and internship are going as planned. Spent around eight hours on my feet yesterday mapping the greenery.