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NEW VIDEO: I Quit MMOs and THIS Happened

Ikar

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Posts posted by Ikar

  1. On 10/12/2022 at 3:59 PM, LostRiver said:

    I want to drool over your work ethic coupled with balanced life (and on top of all that sobriety!): but this is something that awes me the most. As a game + tech addict, I always need some dopamine by the way of gaming of browsing stuffs on my phone. I find it really really hard to "zone out" without cravings. I almost do not know how to naturally zone out I guess haha

    It's always good to see the Moderator keeping his life together while having fun 😁

    I tried to quit a few times before I came to GQ, so I think it's rather a coincidence that I am "sober" since day 1 here. I think I just realized it's a life-death thing for me down the road. The whole quitting experience matured me quickly and brutally, but I am doing much better now.

    I use my computer often enough for my work, so I have very little desire or need to go on my phone. I have the "Digital Well-being" system app on and I regularly spend less than an hour on my phone a day. Sometimes I do get bored without the phone or computer, but I realize that's natural and I go wash the dishes or clean the room. There's always something to do.

    Thanks for your message 🙂

    • Like 1
  2. If it's easy for you to pick up a new hobby, it might be worthwhile to start with something that is "universally" useful. It could be going for walks, exercising, reading a book, volunteering or whatever. I noticed everything most of the hobbies you want to try require phone or computer. That makes it very easy to just switch to YT or watching series whenever you want, which is probably something you don't want long-term.

    I also realized that it's better for me to be good at a few things, rather than perfect at one. You don't need to be the best programmer in your town or the king of the salespeople. Just see if what you do makes sense and/or if you enjoy it and go from there. I don't think that it matters a lot whether you can monetize it or not at this point.

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  3. 11 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

    Since I stopped sharing my art daily and decided I would just make one big post in early November and just feature my favorites... I have had so much less pressure to get it perfect every time. I'm truly drawing just for myself now and it feels amazing. I really need to focus on working in obscurity and make peace with the fact that I may always be obscure.

    Yeah, I find that hobbies are the easiest to do when there are no expectations from the outside. Yes, you can get money/recognition if you publish your art, but it's on you whether you will actually share it with others or not. I haven't published my money blog articles either and that's fine.

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  4. 7th October - 11th October:

    I worked at the internship, started a new book and handled some family business about future inheritance. I also worked on my university projects. At the weekend, I cycled 35 kilometers total to visit my family and 20 kilometers today to pick up my car. I'm feeling pretty tired now.

    ---

    I clocked in 28 hours of teaching last week, on top of 11 hours of uni lectures and 7 hours of uni projects. That's quite some active workload.

    My weekends usually fall into heavy relaxation zone, where I do some important thing in the morning, maybe after lunch. After that in the afternoon, I go for a walk, watch a film and zone out for the rest of the day. I tried to write on my blog over the weekend, but I couldn't come up with a topic despite reading five other articles by different writers.

    I'm wondering whether I am a workaholic or not. Maybe English online teaching is my replacement for (online) gaming. Stimulation to correct, improve and the need to pay attention most of the times. I can say that having 8 classes (like today) is tiring, though there's a limit on that and I can say "enough". I actually make money too, unlike streaming 😄

    I have social life normally after I finish my workday at 7 or 8; I have a quick beer in the student's pub and go to bed at 11 or so.

    I saw a girl yesterday, we started chatting two weeks ago because we share one subject at the university and decided to meet together, because we are writing a lot. She's quite talkative, seems like the nervous type, though she seems to have some tactical tools to help her with that, like good hobby structure and calendar. We'll see.

    • Like 1
  5. 2nd October - 6th October:

    Spent Sunday reading, did a bit of uni stuff, customer analysis of my students and watched another thriller movie.

    I was busy the first three days of the week, on top of visiting my mom sort of out of schedule and getting the needed part for my car, so it can be fixed in the next few days. I don't need to use my car every day (thankfully I have made a lifestyle that doesn't require far away commuting), but I still find it difficult to make do without it.

    Had a bit of time to write my diary today, gonna have to make a move on the many uni projects tomorrow and at the weekend, as well as to visit my family.

  6. 8 hours ago, Paul A. said:

    I tend to get too excited when I make decisions, without considering how I may feel after all is said and done. I’ve made a lot of big decisions in the moment that I ended up regretting after. I’m glad I didn’t this time.

    That's a good thing to notice about yourself.

    • Like 1
  7. 29th September - 1st October:

    I biked every day of the workweek (at least 20 minutes). I went for a walk today as well. I still think I need even more exercise in my life. And less masturbation.

    I was supposed to go for the weekend to a cottage with a few guys from high-school, however I decided not to in the end. I felt there were more pressing matters with the uni coming up and other stuff I need to take care of, so I worked on that today and will work on that tomorrow.

    I talked to my friend in the evening yesterday. He said I have a great start at 25 (he's 28 himself) to life with all the things I'm working on and that I have, but he himself also admitted that he doesn't have a bad life either.

    I've written this many times, but some four years ago, my life was a disaster. Uni dropout, army dropout, no plan, crumbling relationship with my X, no friends, cold family relationships... and it has turned around. I was born again on the day I first wrote here. I can take some credit for that, but not all of it. I hold only a few things in complete reverence and the act and experience of quitting gaming is one of them.

    • Like 1
  8. 4 hours ago, Paul A. said:

    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.

    I can relate, I had this kind of employments too. What's funny is that what I always questioned about English teaching what not whether I was capable of doing it or whether I liked it (that was just given) but whether I could make money from it. This however was in the incubator for a long time, since I left the army in summer 2018 (started uni again in fall 2018) until I started making enough money to be cash-flow positive in autumn 2020. People are generally OK with university students taking their time to do something useful, so I wasn't under that much pressure. Regardless, I found out through the many jobs and internships that I don't prefer to have a love/hate relationship and strong emotions at work; maybe in my life overall. I'm pretty convinced at this point that one of my core life values is stability.

    4 hours ago, Paul A. said:

    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 realized I don't have the nerves, the knowledge or the interest to be an active investor, so I am just putting everything into low-cost world stock ETFs. I think anything with +10% return a year (consistently!) involves the need to get educated on the topic more. I don't like having strong emotions when it comes to investing either, so no crypto for me 😄

    4 hours ago, Paul A. said:

    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.

    You are right we need both saving and investing to build wealth. Personally, 90% of my money is invested in the market. 10% is cash and savings to get me through a few months of no income. I'm feeling fine, even if the markets aren't 🙂

    • Like 1
  9. 25th September - 28th September:

    A lot of things is going on at the moment. We have public holiday today, however I still have two classes in the afternoon.

    First, I sent the mail and went for a consultation about the topic of my thesis on Sunday. Though I don't have the exact topic in mind yet, it helped to talk things through with my tutor.

    I wrote another article for my blog. It's been over a month since I wrote my first one, so I just need to get the domain operational to start promoting it.

    I met my brother for lunch on Monday.

    One of the locks on my car got messed up, so I had to take it to the mechanic. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to find the spare parts through his own channels, so this might drag on. This sucks, because I wanted to use the car at the weekend. I'm also currently dealing with some family stuff and the car would've been nice to have, but it's OK, I'll handle it.

    Fixed a flat tube on my bike today after I hit something on the road to my students yesterday. It was the first one I managed to fix myself. Hooray! 🙂

    ---

    I had an interesting business mentoring session that was organized by the university today morning. I got a lot of input and a lot of questions to answer. Suffice to say that I need to beware of being too rigid in my approach. In some ways, I need to work smarter and not harder or more and explore what's possible and available. I feel I am reaching the ceiling of my time constraints. I should have ~30 hours of classes the next week, on top of ~15 hours of university classes. It's my duty to be as effective and efficient with the that time, while still having time for myself.

    • Like 1
  10. 6 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

    Something I'm dealing with is socializing again. I think the pandemic was actually nice for me because I recall writing in 2020 and 2019 how I thought a lot of my friends provided surface level friendship and nothing deeper. Barely any of these people talked in the pandemic and now they're coming out of the woodwork asking to catch up. I have tried socializing a lot since July and I'm a little tired of it.

    At this point, I'm only going to see people I care about. There are some people trying to talk to me to catch up and I'm tired of it. The pandemic has given me the confidence to realize I can be fine on my own and with my fiancee. I don't need to keep seeing people or need to see people. It doesn't matter. A good example of this is I was the best man at one person's wedding. I was one of his only friends because he puts zero effort into friends. I hated everyone at the wedding except for a few people. I don't talk to any of them anymore. It feels wonderful. 

    I've made it a point to stick to seeing about 5 friends and keep those friendships strong. The others are going to stay acquaintances. 

    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.

    • Like 1
  11. 5 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

    I'm not in any financial trouble right now, I am not even one cent in debt (and how many Americans can say that??) I no longer live in hoard and squalor. Clearly my "shopping addiction" is really not that bad. It's still good to be mindful of it but honestly the last thing I need is one more thing to stress out about. 

    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.

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  12. 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.

    • Like 1
  13. 8 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

    Great posts. I agree with what you said that I said about hobbies not being work lol. 

    I just had a breakthrough of my own with hobbies and finding a process I enjoy. I think it's easy to find something we're interested in but the hobby needs to progress with the path of least resistance for it to flow well.

    We get caught up being so linear in progression. An example of this is I've been playing the drums to absolutely random songs I find and read the tabs twice while playing, then move onto another song. I hit bored perfecting like 4 songs. 

    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.

    • Like 1
  14. 8 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

    I don't think you necessarily need to delete everything right away to quit. I know it's really hard. Sunk cost fallacy is keeping me from deleting my Origin account because I spent over $500 on The Sims.

    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.

    1 hour ago, Paul A. said:

    But if there’s one thing holding me back, it’s the social aspect. I have a good friend of mine that I play with regularly, and deleting my account would cut off our main source of communication. It wouldn’t be so much of a big deal if he didn’t live in another state. Other than that, I don’t have much else of a reason to keep the account around.

    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.

    • Like 1
  15. 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.

    • Like 1
  16.  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:

    Spoiler

    I learnt that perhaps I do not have as hard-core of a monogamous mentality as I thought I would have. I'm also probably more aware than ever that everybody is fucked up, including myself. There are a few women I could think of in the romantic plane in my area. I don't think it makes much sense to be writing about specific women though. I came to the realization that planning in this area is usually cumbersome and counterproductive.

    I cut one of the relationships, did sex and I'm keeping my eyes peeled.

    I was predicting the change in my sexual mindset and behavior for a long time. I behaved and acted in line with it. I just needed the reality to catch up on it; similarly to that when I was gaming, I got fired from the post office several days after I quit gaming, because most of my (unsatisfactory) work there was done when I was still gaming.

    In the past, I believe I looked at the more obvious sexual displays of others with both distaste and envy at the same time. Especially when I thought that I have no other option than to sit and do nothing or to get drunk and hope that something happens. It just took some time to internalize that the thing standing between me and a good (even if only sexual) relationship with a woman is... me.

    As long as there are two consenting adults, whatever goes. Whether it's a good idea or not is another question (given the circumstances), but I won't villanify that behavior a priori anymore.

    That said, a horrible relationship is better than none at all. The cataclysmic end of my last one was likely the trigger for me to quit games for good. Nothing is forcing anyone to stay and die in a horrible relationship, except the lack of options in one's head. (December)

    I learnt a lot about the sexuality of women over the past few weeks by spending time with the Spanish girl. I learnt a bunch about my sexuality as well. I also learnt relationships can be more nuanced. It's been a great learning experience so far. (January/February)

    I've spent about two months with the Spanish girl and this morning she left home for three weeks, after which she should come back. I feel that she's into me, that she cares about me and that she doesn't want to lose me (be it to another relationship or due to some quarrel between us, though I find the latter less likely), though at the same time I feel we both want to assert ourselves to leave other options available. In my case to find someone more "permanent" to date/be together with, because I know she'll be gone in the summer. In her case it's different relationship philosophy and uniqueness of every relationship.

    To explain that further, she actually encouraged me to meet other girls to see what might come out of it, which is generally something I am not 100% confident at and could use some practice in. Regardless, despite our differences, I feel that we're willing to respect each other and not argue about them. (March)

    We had a few talks together with the Spanish girl and decided we wouldn't carry on with the sexual element in our relationship. It was the first time for her trying to amalgamate sexual and affectionate relationship into one and the second time for me. I decided to take her for her word and not to push her into something she doesn't want or isn't sure about. I sensed/noticed that it's not the first time she's having difficulty in continuing the relationship in the current setting. I think that a part of good relationship is the ability to respect "no" as a "no" and it's definitely one of the things I want in all my relationships that go deeper.

    I'm actually somewhat surprised by how romantic the relationship has come to be. I think we are both considerate of each other and already value each other to go through this in an abrupt or otherwise bad way. I feel a sense of loss in a way, but I think various factors chimed in to dampen it. Besides, I have learnt a lot about various sexual topics and I grew more confident in this regard. It's very liberating to be playful and inventive too!

    This one is actually only a few days old, but I do feel attracted to one girl and I want to have sex with her, although I don't think something long-term could come out of it due to the factual differences that we have. Hooray for being human! (April)

    We've been flirting and dancing around around with the girl from April. I told her we're gonna do something together after I am done with the finals and I want to keep that promise. I'm not 100% sure if it's the right move, but I'm gonna take the opportunity regardless. (May)

    There are some situations with the girl where we do get close, although from some situations I also understand that I don't want to be too closely involved with her and neither does she. Though I like her physically and I think she's aiming at good things in life, I feel she constantly needs to put herself in messy/highly emotional situations and states. I can joke about it and laugh it off with her as her friend, but it'd be very different if I decided to be a more unpredictable variable in her life.

    That doesn't mean random and unpredictable sex can't happen. The last week I had sex with a friend from the dorms I've known for over a year. We were both tipsy, though I think we were both surprised how that evening ended up happening.

    I've been having thoughts about the time with the Spanish girl, meaning there could still be something I need to decode. I didn't talk to her before she left to Spain about a month ago and nor I gave her the letter I wrote and planned to give her. Regardless, I've thought about the topic myself. I found that the main idea is to take it as it is, regardless of what the reasons of her sudden April "cut" were. I also believe that sometimes the more loving and more courageous decision is to walk away to prevent more hurt and pain, whether due to toxicity (my X) or time constraints (Spanish girl?). One of the things that "got" me closer together to her was the care. She really did care for me as my mom or grandma would, which I noticed when she was adamant about the fact I needed to see the doctor. The fact that we could also agree to disagree was amazing as well. Lastly, she did catalyze more effort from my side to get to know my family better and closer.

    Talking to one of my friends, she said the average masturbation for her is better than the average sex. I found that quite surprising, as I've never thought that would be the case for anyone.

    To end on a good note, I met an interesting girl yesterday in the evening and wrote her on Messenger today. I really should meet even more new people. We'll see what comes out of this. (June/July)

    I noticed that I am thinking more outside of my head about this topic and around friends which is good. (August/September)

    I'm fairly positive I am making progress in this area. It's really only about having the guts to say hi and then making the ask to meet. It needs to become the routine, if I want to have some control over this aspect of my life. The end-result doesn't actually matter. And I'm aware I will make mistakes, get myself in stupid situations, get used and whatnot, but it's all in the game. I'm fairly adamant and determined in this. I've done a lot of scouting recently, so I got some "hard data" on a few girls I was interested in. (September/October)

    To put a real example here, I'm currently making an effort to find dates and a girlfriend. I met a girl last Monday, had a good chat with her for a while, wrote her to meet up and she agreed. Five minutes into the second meeting, I found out she had a boyfriend, yet I didn't just turn around on my heel, as I promised her a walk around the city she doesn't know. I spent some two hours with her, had a good conversation with her, found out she's a good speaker and discussed some views on philosophy and politics.

    The advice I could take from this regarding my dating life: Be more aware of social situations when I am first interacting with a girl I like and be better at scouting to find out whether she's already seriously dating someone or not. Then again, I got something I wasn't expecting but is valuable as well: thinking about reconsidering some of my life views through a good debate.

    All in all, it's impossible to answer the question: Was it a success or a failure? Well, It depends on how I choose to look at it. (Oct/Nov 21)

    I've been meeting one girl for about a month now, both in a planned way but also running into her randomly. She seems shy, a maverick/lone-wolf to a great extent, but also quite honest. I think it's gonna be interesting. Gonna meet her on Monday and do something together again. (Nov)

    So I've been out a few times with the Georgian girl I met at the beginning of October. She's fun to be around, likes my analytical mind and so we sometimes grapple intellectually. She's also kind and I'd argue more compassionate then I am. We're gonna plan something together the next week too. I'm fairly unaware about where this is going, so I'm leaving this go its own way. The only thing that's for sure is that she leaves at the end of January.

    What I've been probably happiest about that this area of my life seems to have some traction, as I felt there was none during the summer until the end of September. What's also worth noting is that this one of the areas with the most shades of gray and trial and error I've been in. I can absolutely not plan for an outcome. It's as much about knowing the other person as it is about knowing myself. (Jan 22)

    Things have been going pretty well with the Georgian girl. She's gonna stay here until June and I myself might go to Germany for Erasmus in April, if the situation permits. It's nice to have somebody close to me to share things and try new things with every now and then. She's intellectually bright and can challenge me on a few things, so she also gives me the mirror sometimes.

    She's also good at English and had some interviews already. She negotiated even a bit higher rate than I did. She actually gave me the impulse to revisit the payment I get from language schools this early. (Jan)

    February and March have been pretty good with the Georgian girl and I believe we both enjoyed it. I'm happy that we managed to get the things we wanted to get done together. We will continue to date, until the distance is just too much to bear. She's going to have a more complicated schedule in April with a lot of traveling and in mid-May she's going to move to another city, which is however reachable on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. I hope to post an update on this when the time comes. (Feb/Mar)

    In April, we've been apart for about two weeks and there's one more week until she moves to another city for the internship. We spent a lot of time together this week.

    I've entertained the idea to have a long-distance relationship until I/we are able to be in one place or to change location at will. My plans are to do the Erasmus in Bulgaria and finish the masters at the uni in early 2024 and after that I am completely location-independent - until then, I am to an extent bound in my current city. The money is not necessarily the issue either; although it's usually more expensive to travel than to stay in one place, I expect my financial situation to be healthy. It's not unrealistic, but we'll see. (Apr/May)

    We've been seeing for weekends. My girlfriend even made a surprise visit today, traveling to my hometown for the weekend. (Jun/Jul)

    Made a promise to not watch "porn" to my girlfriend. Our relationship is very warm. We shared some nasty secrets about one another and I think that bound us even closer. She's leaving back to Georgia in mid-August. We plan on seeing once or twice more and deciding what's next. (Jul/Aug)

    She told me she doesn't want to have a long-distance relationship when she leaves in two weeks, partly because she already has the experience of long-distance for three years and she doesn't want to go through that again. I did cry (which I haven't in at least a few months, if not years), although I do not feel heartbroken. I take it as it is. Life's good.

    She's been a great friend to me and I believe she will be in the future too. I believe she made her decision after contemplating it for a long time. I know she likes me, loves me. And because she's a great friend of mine, I won't question her judgement and try to convince her of something else. She knows what she would go through if she had another long-distance relationship. She has the right to say "no" to it and act in her best interest.

    The malicious part of my mind keeps telling me that I am a rejected loser, as I was unable to convince her to continue the relationship. I think the malicious part takes inspiration from concurrent culture/TV or my past experiences with women. However I decided to have the relationships I want now, not based on templates that somebody tries to feed me or on what happened before.

    The good thing about the "romance" in the relationship is that it has a closure I can understand and get by. So while the pain is inevitable and it sucks we won't see each other anymore, the suffering is next to none, as I don't pity myself or second guess something, as I did with the Spanish girl.

    Another great thing about the relationship is that I never needed to "act like a man" or "extort" something from her. We always said what we wanted, more or less straight up. Not playing mind-games saves a lot of energy and even if we argued sometimes (about something philosophically significant; not about who is going to wash the dishes), we just acknowledged the differences and moved on. This also meant acknowledging our negative personality traits - she is often too disorganized and bad at planning things, whereas I can be sometimes condescending and arrogant (I think I share that trait with my father). (Aug/Sep)

    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 🙂

    • Like 2
  17. 5 hours ago, Amphibian220 said:

    I do believe from your and other members’ posts the position that we are not reaching success if we are not leading and becoming more stronger. Cameron and the people that work with him are definitely in the fight from the research and support they have made available to us. Imagine if Cam had set up “the moderate gamers forum”. It would have been a joke.

    The limited or false efficiency approach, where I was completing work assignments for a number of months at a cost to my health and prospects doesn’t work. It is another video game.

    A leader can be anybody who follows great values and mission for his community at large. So that means being tested more everyday. Its amazing how many times we can experience a reversion to old patterns, because they are coping mechanisms to some extent.

    i watched a documentary about elite special forces and I found that they actually work hard at getting used to situations of greater responsibility when they are in danger.

    Once this character is established, its amazing just how much can a former lay man achieve.

    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.

    3 hours ago, Pochatok said:

    Hmm, it has worked out for me! I do think that as an approach to treat addiction it is uneffective, but I've come back to casual gaming (<20min/day) and it actually leaves me feeling good. There are two multiple sides of the coin to any activity, and categorizing anything as either "good" or "bad" limits very much the ability to understand what that thing truly is. 

    I'm curious of your definition of "becoming stronger": what does increase in strength look like to you across different activities? I do agree with your point about becoming a leader 100%, leadership skills are key to thriving in modern environments imo. 

    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.

    3 hours ago, Pochatok said:

    What do you find beneficial to you or others in writing blogs? I've done it for a bit, and just ended up feeling discouraged cuz it didn't seem to leave any impact on people around me...

    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.

    • Like 1
  18. 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.

    • Like 2
  19. 6 hours ago, Paul A. said:

    Because of that, I no longer owe the company money, so I should start to see actual commission from my paychecks, which is nice.

    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.

    • Like 3
  20. 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.

  21. On 8/25/2022 at 3:24 AM, Paul A. said:

    A FI/RE blog would be awesome! I'm pretty familiar with the community myself (although I'm notoriously irresponsible with money lol), but if you feel so compelled to start a blog, I say go for it! You could potentially help a lot of people, not to mention it could serve as a great outlet for you.

    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.

    • Like 1
  22. 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.

    • Like 2
  23. 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:

    Quote

     

    Things that are probably somewhat unusual about me work-wise:

    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.

     

    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.

    • Like 2
  24. 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.

    • Like 1
  25. 13th August - 16th August:

    Over the weekend, my girlfriend and I went to visit a castle, went for a walk, cooked, went to the swimming pool and...

    That's it. I drove my girlfriend to the bus station this morning and she left to Georgia.

    The malicious part of my mind keeps telling me that I am a rejected loser, as I was unable to convince her to continue the relationship. I think the malicious part takes inspiration from concurrent culture/TV or my past experiences with women. However I decided to have the relationships I want now, not based on templates that somebody tries to feed me or history.

    The part of my mind with perspective knows that just to wait a year or a year and a half without the certainty the relationship would go anywhere from there is a long time. After all, in a relationship, you're looking for someone to be with, not somebody to wait for. And it also knows it's good to take the words of your friends seriously.

    Honestly, the relationship has been more enjoyable for me when my girlfriend still lived at the same dorm as I did, before she went to the internship to another city. The days spend with her after May over the weekend were always a blur - trying to spend time together to make the most out of the time together, while the other important tasks got stalled. This is obviously a non-issue while dating someone who lives nearby.

    The good thing about the "romance" in the relationship is that it has a closure I can understand and get by. So while the pain is inevitable and it sucks we won't see each other anymore, the suffering is next to none, as I don't pity myself or second guess something, as I did with the Spanish girl.

    Another great thing about the relationship is that I never needed to "act like a man" or "extort" something from her. We always said what we wanted, more or less straight up. Not playing mind-games saves a lot of energy and even if we argued sometimes (about something philosophically significant; not about who is going to wash the dishes), we just acknowledged the differences and moved on. This also meant acknowledging our negative personality traits - she is often too disorganized and bad at planning things, whereas I can be sometimes condescending and arrogant (I think I share that trait with my father).

    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.

    ---

    On 8/13/2022 at 2:09 PM, Ikar said:

    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.

    I intentionally watched some YT videos that popped up the last month from my subs, after unsubbing from a few that provided me with only entertainment value. I currently have about 2 hours of videos opened in my tabs that I am interested in, and I've already watched another 1 hour over the weekend. 3 hours of content a month is hardly a reason to have YT as the "default" homepage!

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