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Ikar

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Posts posted by Ikar

  1. I'm using the template I used the last time. 25/10/23 - 22/11/23

    "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.

     

    --- set smart/stretch goals - read book again

     

    Books/Reading articles:

    L: Finished "World Order" and started reading the book about freelancing I mentioned. It's not in English, so that's why it's nameless 🙂

    T: Still on the business book, although I've been prioritizing other projects, so I didn't spend much time on it.

    Possible direction/goals:

    Continue getting through the newsletters.

    (Borrow) and read one book until the next monthly report.

     

    Family:

    L: The kitchen plan ran into (another) problem. The working desk is a few centimeters shorter than needed, due to the fact there are unmovable drain pipes near the wall. The best solution, according to my father (and I share it), is to get a wider working desk, rather than to cut the cupboards to let the pipes through them.

    I met my mom for lunch about a month ago. Other than that, there's nothing special happening, except the fact that I'm going to visit my family/grandma every week until my grandma's kitchen is reconstructed.

    I got a new phone for my grandma, as her old one broke down. I also went for sushi with my brother (and my girlfriend), as well as for lunch with my father. I also visited my family four weekends in a row.

    And I can say I still don't give a flying fuck about the reconstruction of the kitchen. I'm 100% ready to give somebody the money to make this problem go away. I've tried it twice or thrice. Nothing came out of it. I'm just gonna consult my father on what to do next, as I just can't do this.

    T: Took my grandma and my mom to visit my grandma's sister family. The visit was OK. Went for a lunch with my father. Otherwise nothing new.

    Spoiler

    Since October, the project of my grandma's kitchen has been my responsibility. Some progress has been made, however I know that half a year is just too big of a time-frame to justify. I'm gonna lay out the plan:

    Weekend of 11th/12th March: Ask my grandma to give me a "free hand" in the reconstruction of the kitchen. She was hesitant regarding the scope of the reconstruction, which made me hesitant in turn, because I didn't know what to do. I want to convince her that she has nothing to worry about and that the whole operation will be fast.

    Weeks 11 and 12:

    Consult my father and brother as to the design of the kitchen and use the IKEA kitchen planner to help me out. Show my grandma the plan for the kitchen at the end of week 12 and get a green light.

    Weeks 13 and 14:

    Go to IKEA to get the furniture and other shops for linoleum and other smaller stuff. There's no need for new electronic appliances, so there's no need to get involved with electrical thingies. Transport the furniture to my grandma's flat.

    Weeks 14 and 15:

    Plan a weekend with my father/brother to help out with the reconstruction. Removing old furniture, a bit of demolition, painting, putting in the new furniture. Get it done well and ASAP.

    NOT: I don't want to get alienated from my family.

    Possible direction/goals:

    Work on getting the new kitchen for my grandma.

    Continue work on maintaining the relationships with my family.

     

    University:

    L: Currently on 9 thousand words, although I wrote the last of them at the end of August and then I left for my holiday. This week, I resolved the email communication issues and had a consultation with my tutor. He advised me to be more specific with my topic and to send him a short summary at the weekend, so that he can insert the thesis assignment into the system.

    I think I'm past the negotiation/assignment stage. It feels like I have done nothing, though I put some 20 hours into it in aggregate over the past month. It's not exactly "nothing". The main slowdown was due to the fact my tutor sometimes takes days to reply. That pits me into a stage when I can excuse doing nothing until his next reply, out of fear that I'm gonna work on something that won't be relevant after his reply.

    Since now the thesis really is in the system, the layout is reworked (again), I'm gonna try to work on it every day from now on and I have already started today.

    As an interesting university side note, we hosted the first student exchange the last week and we're hosting another this week as well. It'll be the guys from Finland whom we visited in March.

    T: Got the outline pretty much done. I'm currently on roughly 18 thousand words, so I won't have troubles with the word count. I have until 9th January to submit it, meaning about 45 days. I'm confident that if I put 2-3 hours in every day, it'll be done, although it's hard to anticipate how much work it will take to finish the theoretical and empirical parts. I'm actually surprised by the fact that I have a lot of it done, even though I had week-long breaks in the past.

    My plan is to work on it every day, do at least a little bit every day, no matter how small. I shouldn't have any days away from now on, so it's doable.

    NOT: I don't want to drop out of the university.

    Possible direction/goals:

    Do the main part of my diploma in summer/autumn 2023 and do the defense and finals in January/February 2024.

    Work on the assignments in a timely manner.

     

    Business/English:

    L: Events have really picked up pace. I had a business presentation for young students and attended a networking event. I started attending an online language lecturer academy and I can say I'm stoked. I got a Google sheets system for students running and I believe it'll improve the quality of my lessons greatly.

    I'm also booked for three other events in November already. I'm really funneling a lot of time into my professional development ever since I've returned from Georgia and I can say I'm enjoying it.

    I've been actually working (in the pure sense of lessons taught) a few hours less, but I don't mind. I have the flexibility, which is currently more important for me than pure income.

    T: I had a consultation with a girl who wants to teach informally in her company; a shared acquaintance told her to visit me to ask how to best do it.

    I haven't been feeling the best in the last few networking events. I'm not sure if there are any relevant ones for me before the year ends, but that's OK.

    I also lost a few courses over the past months, though again, I'm not too worried about it. I'm still making enough money to save some and I can use the time for my university studies or spend it with my girlfriend. Besides, I got two new students in the last three weeks 🙂

    -

    An example for 19 hours this week: Category A 53% (64); B 4% (4); C 5% (0); D 5% (6); E 33% (26). Brackets are % values from previous month.

    -

    I've done a bit of an analysis of my courses and categorized them based on what they provide me. I earmarked five types of courses:

    a) my own - well paid + generally more motivated students (as they pay the courses themselves) + more challenging

    b) premium - language school courses paid at a premium compared to my standard LS courses for various reasons (roughly matching the a) group)

    c) flexible - courses from LS that don't have a fixed schedule, meaning it's on me if I make time for them or not (though I mostly do, as can they plug the gaps or can start my day)

    d) challenging/fun/prospective - standard LS courses with an added quality

    e) neither - standard LS courses without any added quality

    -

    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:

    With my job position and student demand secure, I'm more able and willing to reschedule or even cancel classes in case I want to do something, mainly in the evening and for holidays. I enjoy having this option thoroughly.

    Keep classes at a stable 25-30 hours a week.

    Keep asking for reviews or recommendations from students.

    Look into strategies to become truly self-employed by skipping the agencies in between.

    Create a learning plan for myself.

    Go through "lecturer academy" materials.

    Write down specific areas and what I want to do in them:

    Networking and business events.

    Get a system to mark down the progress of my students, together with their learning plan.

    Check out business vouchers for equipment.

    Past projects:

    Questionnaire.

    Fixed logos on my website for better visuals.

    Updated the pricing section of my website. Variable/tiered pricing (do in July/August).

    Got minor pay raises from language schools.

    Did evaluations/testing of my students, if required.

    Attended one networking event and one marketing seminar.

    Introduced "phone call" classes. Update website/business profiles with "phone calls".

    Lecturer academy.

    Sample business contract on my website.

    Google sheets system for students.

     

    Exercise/Movement:

    L: Somewhat hampered, because of the issues with my foot the last week, though I can say the amount of activity I get is about the same. I also think I've been ill fairly often these months, which is definitely something I don't like.

    T: Cycling and walking still, though I prefer walks due to the weather. Had two hikes too.

    NOT: I don't want to become fat.

    Possible direction/goals:

    I enjoy the fact I do not have to be "actively" dealing with this area of my life, as it's technically a part of my job. I just have to be on lookout if that was to change.

    Keep in shape.

     

    Blogging:

    L: I haven't had time to even think about blogging with everything that was going on, although I do have a half-way written article in the works that I could publish soon.

    -

    T: -

    Possible direction/goals:

    Find a suitable UI/web template.

    Set up emailing for subs.

    Post two articles a month.

    Polish links in articles. Interlink new articles with old ones.

    Finish articles in concepts.

     

    ---

     

    What to do if I am bored?

    Replacement activities for 1 hour: reading books, cleaning, washing the dishes, reading newsletters

    Replacement activities for 2 hours: going for a walk, work on my business, blogging, diploma thesis

     

    ---

     

    Additional thoughts/activities:

    My hobbies are: personal finance, graphs/projections/statistics, gunnery, GIS/statistics, reading/videos about (modern) history, English, working on my business, blogging/writing, geography.

    This month, I did these cool activities: spending time on the GQ forum, table football tournament (another!), going for lunch with my father, hosting Finnish students, organizing a team-building event for 30 people with my geographer group, attended a Toastmasters meeting, changed wheels on my car for ones with winter tires, visited the cinema, attended my girlfriend's graduation ceremony, hiked twice.

    My girlfriend has been stressed by the lack of activity at her new work. She's bored. She wants to do something more active. Judging from the list of activities, I'm nowhere near being bored, though I can/did share only a few of the activities above with her. My plan is to do something active at the weekend to cheer her up.

     

    ---

     

    Goals/resolutions/aspirations for 2023:

    Pass all the exams at the uni, finish the thesis and finish all university duties successfully in January/February 2024. - WIP, progress = yes

    Improve my business, so that I don't need to teach for language schools anymore, by getting more private contacts, opportunities and students. - WIP, progress = yes

    Go to Georgia to visit my friend. - Unfortunately, the plan didn't work out. I plan to go there later this year, either in late summer or autumn. We did it! 🙂

    Stop watching porn (again), stop reading too much news (again). - Got some blocks going on. The past week was clean!

    Start getting up when my alarm rings. - I got better, not 100%, but better.

    Continue: planning, walking/exercising, writing/journaling, reading, studying for uni, working on good life/work balance.

    It's a short list, but if I manage all of it, I will be happy.

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  2. 13th November - 21st November:

    I didn't have much time to work on my thesis the last week, but I anticipated that. The challenge now is to get back into the rhythm of writing, which I've hopefully done today with a few necessary emails regarding the thesis. I have a bit over six weeks to submit it.

    The main event the last week was organizing a four day trip to a town nearby for about 30 people with a few other people from my geography group. It was quite tiring physically and socially, but I do feel recharged mentally.

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  3. 17 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

    We just tried, backseat and all, and I just felt absolutely terrible the entire time. Didn't even get 5 minutes into it, didn't even get to actually loading up the building part.

    I guess the emotion of hate/anger towards "what gaming did to me" is still too strong.

    12 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

    I spilled my guts about this on the Discord server and the one person who responded told me I was obsessing too much and to just "stop worrying about it so much"
    So that was worse than nothing kinda wish I never even said anything!

    Even people in recovery for this addiction don't take it seriously 🙄 how am I ever supposed to have real conversations about this, how am I ever supposed to feel supported?

    I feel more supported recovering from this in NA where most of them don't understand it and even play games but know it's important to me so they take it seriously anyway.

    It's not obsessing, what you're doing is thinking. Discord is "too fast" of a medium to discuss this, journaling and NA are "slow", so people usually think before they say or write something. I'd argue the guy either doesn't care or doesn't have a gaming problem at all.

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  4. 1 hour ago, FDRx7 said:

    Hmm... you might be right, it could be saturation. However, do you think maybe you have grown to view these networking sessions as a chore, something where it isn't successful if you don't get anything out of it? If so, it might be helpful to re-frame these as just time to meet new people and have good conversation. I've been to my fair share of networking sessions and the best were ones where I placed no pressure on achieving some kind of outcome other than striving to have a good time speaking with people. That's when the real networking begins anyways. Maybe this could alleviate some of the weight you feel and rejuvenate your experience?

    It's true that I started going to these sort of events regularly just a few months ago, so the initial thrill probably wore off already. Another issue I see is that there might be some events that are not as interesting for me, but I can't tell before I'm actually there, because I started so recently. Starts are always confusing 😄

    I'm normally not a shy person, but I agree completely with you that I might be just putting unneeded pressure on myself to produce "results". These things can take years to materialize into "results". All the while being a freelancer is not only about making the "results", but also having a good feeling in the process - about the job, the people involved, speaking topics and other stuff. But hey, at least I know I'm not OK with focusing only on "results" and treating people only as a means to my ends 😄

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  5. 9th November - 12th November:

    I'm not very happy with the way I've been handling my networking meetings recently. I do my homework to prepare for them, but once I am there, I just turn apathetic and/or I just don't want to meet anyone new. I still do meet some new people, but I'm not 100% comfortable. I'm might be saturated and should cut some meetings or I perhaps need to recharge my enthusiasm. We'll see.

    Thesis has been going well, worked on it every day except one this week.

    Met my friend and my girlfriend a few times this week and went to the cinema for a new film.

    Later today I'm going out with my girlfriend.

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  6. 17 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

    More developments on the podcast I mentioned some entries back. After telling my friend how I felt, he's been acting very petty. He's been sending me texts now and then that leave a slight reasonable doubt as to whether it is meant to poke at me. He released the latest episode and texted me that the very beginning might pique my interest. I listened and he had included a disclaimer at the start saying that I had made a mistake he had considered removing but thought it was funny and left it in; he hoped the audience would feel the same. It could be considered something someone would do to add levity to a podcast (since hosts do make mistakes on air), but it seems more like a deliberate move to mock me as I'm sure he removed his own errors. So, with that all being said, I'm done with it entirely. I don't need to be mocked about something I'm only helping with. I'm thinking of just sending a text simply saying he should consider it my last episode. I haven't taken any action yet as I wanted to think over, to determine if my frustrations are truly founded. However, I think with the way things have been over the past week or so, it seems like a very effortful inclusion to elevate himself and debase me. It has been difficult to parse because it feels like true gaslighting. I'm sure he'll say he has no idea what I'm upset about, but I expect that response.

    Wow. It does seem like a really harsh poke. Otherwise, I can't imagine why he wouldn't at least inform you beforehand, because it doesn't matter to the audience in the end. The main issue I see here is that these things linger on the relationship; it's not only about the podcast. How are you going to approach that?

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  7. 2nd Nov - 8th Nov:

    For the first time, I visited a local Toastmasters group to practice public speaking. I even had a short improvisation, for about a minute or so. They were very nice and I'm looking forward to visiting the event again.

    I've been working on my thesis and I've done good progress over the last week. The word count is at 14k words from 9k the last week. I still need to rewrite it, as they are just excerpts of documents that I've read. I still have to adjust the outline a little.

    I took my grandma and my mom to visit my grandma's sister and her family. My grandma was happy I took her there 🙂

    I changed the wheels on my car yesterday, as the winter season is starting. I didn't want to delay it to find out one day that the snow has already fallen and I'm still on my summer tires 😄

    I had a few business events the last week - meetings, networking and perhaps something I could call my first consultancy for a beginning lecturer 🙂

    I have a meeting with my geography university group in the evening and after that I'm meeting my girlfriend.

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  8. 15 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

    My reading confidence has increased tremendously. After finishing my first novel (430ish pages), I am no longer intimidated by books that are four- or five-hundred pages long. These books used to fill me with a sense of defeat just by looking at them. This was the first large book I've finished in a long time. I needed that confidence boost to begin tackling larger books again. Now, a book that is 200 pages feels quite manageable. I think it helped that the text wasn't too demanding; the warm-up made it easier to jump back into reading, just like exercise. However, I think I'll need to be smart about how I approach books for a little while. Just like progressive overload in weightlifting, working a little outside your comfort zone is the best way to build muscle. Working way above it is a recipe for failure and pain. So, with books I will need to gradually step the difficulty until I'm back to where I was about 8 years ago, reading truly taxing works but with vigor, interest, and sustained concentration. Of course, I will never disband the pleasure of a light novel. It's more about expanding my ability to read difficult books.

    I keep a list of books I've read over the last three years and threw in the ones I read even before that. It was relatively easy, as I didn't read at all at high school. I can say that the main factor in finishing it is how entertaining it is.

    I basically don't mind the length at this point; I read the whole Gulag Archipelago (all three volumes) which amounts to around 2000 pages. I read it for over half a year and I couldn't care less 😄 

    I don't think I mind complexity either (hello Nietzsche), it's just that some books take longer to digest and ponder. If I read 15 pages in 60 minutes, so be it, I'm OK with that 😄

    15 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

    Thanks for your reply. I've known this guy for... wow, 17 years. He is indeed a good friend of mine, though we don't see each other in person very often anymore because he lives quite far from me. We have other things in common and he calls frequently to talk on the phone. I started this with him a year ago more to be a friend than anything else. Even back then, I wasn't super crazy about the idea, but I said yes anyway. I think I've done the best thing by slowly trying to step back from it. If I continue doing something because I feel obligated only to him, it will stress the relationship; I feel it has already done that, to some extent.

    It's very interesting because his stated (or sometimes implied) intention of the podcast was to show expertise, but I've only been in this field for about 3 years. He hasn't even entered it officially yet, only having done a co-op for a few months. What expertise are we demonstrating? I understand perhaps showcasing critical thinking, but I can do that in so many other ways that require less of my time (i.e., my work itself). At this point, it seems to be something meant to serve him even though I'm probably the one purportedly poised to benefit most from it due to my experience.

    I guess there's a good chance to recover from this issue then!

    One thing I got from the freelance book (currently 350/730 😄 ) is that people indeed see these blogs as passion projects, but also as future marketing tools. Once they have enough demand for their service, the interest in the project dies off. The book I'm reading is only from 2017, but as I'm currently crunching through its extensive sources, I found many personal/business blogs that were discontinued.

    Coming back to your situation, if you think you don't benefit enough from the podcast to justify the time expenditure, then you won't benefit no matter what anyone else says, because you're not gonna spread the word etc. The effect is mainly psychological.

    • Like 2
  9. 1 hour ago, FDRx7 said:

    Very busy day at work, but that's good. I recorded another small episode of a podcast that my friend and I have been doing, but it's really hard for me to be motivated about it. It isn't a passion of mine, and it reminds me of work too much. In my off time, I'm trying to do other things that bring me joy outside of work. Additionally, I stopped listening to podcasts, so the irony is thick. He isn't in the field I'm in, but he's trying to break in (I say field in general, not my specific line of work) and I think he believes this is his ticket in because he can point to it with potential employers. I think the value of that is overinflated. Yesterday, I told him relatively how I feel, that I can stay to help with mini-episodes, but it requires too much time for me to be doing my own large episodes. I probably should have been more direct, as my comments were a bit circuitous. Still, he didn't seem to take kindly to that, and told me that I can point to it to showcase my skills. I said that I don't need it to do that, because my resume speaks for itself after the years I've had in this work. Thus, this wouldn't be my motivation; it would only be to continue because I find it enjoyable.

    He then told me that there's something to be said for seeing it through. But we've been doing this for almost a year now and I am just not interested. "Seeing It Through" and "Sunk Cost Fallacy" are sometimes two sides of the same coin. I have so many things I want to do in my life, and this ranks low on the list. I only have so much time. He's still my friend and I want to preserve that relationship, so I was trying to reach a middle ground. Not sure what the future holds for it though. I feel as though the only reason we are doing it is for him, and that his appeals to me have been not for my own success but because he thinks it is his ticket in. It feels a little manipulative. Perhaps I'm overreading, but I also don't want to remain unguarded against being used.

    It's been on my mind for a long, long time. So, I'm glad I at least said something, but it looks as though he's not going to let me out so easily.

    I guess in times like these, it might be helpful to figure out how the relationship started and where it's at now, including the things you did and do. Say, if you've had three years of good hangouts and the podcast thing has been going for a year as well, there's surely something to come back to. If you see your friend for the last year only because of the podcast, it'll be more difficult to get it to some setting you'd prefer, because you share nothing else.

    I'd say that now you have some kind of "business partnership" going on (mixed with your friendship), since while he doesn't pay you, he's using your expertise in the podcast. I don't know how he can reasonably expect you to do a good/great job though, as it seems you're in this project against your will.

    -

    I have one recent story myself. My girlfriend and my best friend said they'd have English lessons with me. Their English isn't bad at all, though my best friend is leaving his work soon and having a brushed up English for the interviews might come in handy. The same was true for my girlfriend a couple of weeks ago, on top of that she is somewhat competitive.

    It was almost as if I had had foresight, because I plainly told them "OK, no problem. Work it out together. Just tell me when." For the next few weeks, I had to repeat it a few more times to her, because my best friend's communication with her was rather haphazard and awkward, which she often brought up when we were together.

    In the end, nothing came out of it. I treated them like any other professional would and I'm happy that I did. Everything is OK, I still hang out with them and I remembered this episode only because you have something similar at the moment 😄 

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  10. On 11/2/2023 at 1:44 PM, Vee said:

    I wish, I wish I could play in moderation. I wish I could lay down rules for myself and only play being Xpm and Ypm. I know as I type this I'm trying to delude myself into thinking I can.

    Yeah, unfortunately for us, this is not how we work. Hobbies are something that we like to do rather than plan to do. Most of them end at just doing them. That's not to say you can't (or rather didn't) develop your hobby of writing into something bigger, but that's a vision and an aspiration for the future. We all came here because we couldn't plan our gaming.

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  11. I've been feeling a bit puzzled over the last couple of days, mainly due to the fact that I noticed I have gone from 9 private students in January, through 13 students in June, to 8 students today. I do have an initial consultation later today, so it can be 9 again 🙂

    To do myself justice and to put things into perspective: it's also true that I had no job at all teaching in 2020, about 1 private student in January 2021 and 4 private students in January 2022. What's also true that I still have 6 of the 9 students that I had in January 2023. Nevertheless, I'm still surprised by the downturn/slowdown.

    The main question is of course to what degree I am responsible for that and to what extent it is just the expression of free will of my students to quit having lessons with me. I can't control the latter. I stepped up the effort on the former since I returned from Georgia, although there are also two sides to that: to improve the awareness of my services and to improve the quality of my service. Both are important, though the second one likely more.

    I can say I've been doing both for some time now. Some of my students even complimented me (beyond the standard level). I'm still aware that even though I can take positive action, the benefits of it come with a delay; much as when I got fired from the post office after I stopped gaming (although there would be a good chance of that anyway).

    My work can be a luxury to some, while being a necessity to others. It can actually change over the course of lessons too. I think I prefer the "necessity crowd" a bit more, as I think their motivation is better, as they have some "end goal" in mind, such as finishing the university or getting a promotion.

    I am going to create a learning plan for myself, as I do for my students, to make my efforts more cohesive. I think the re-evaluation of the way I view my job has already happened, so I'm going to be less surprised in the future, should this happen again.

    Meanwhile, I have time to pursue my own interests. I'm not in a stressful situation of not making enough money to break even, much less than to go into debt.

    • Like 3
  12. 23 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

    Great job on the outline and it seems like your relationship is going really well. Great to see. 

    Thanks! I believe so too. We need to address the issue of common time now, as now she has a normal day job (6/8-14/16) and I normally work in the evenings, but we'll figure it out.

    • Like 1
  13. 26th Oct - 1st Nov:

    I finished the (new) outline for the thesis and worked on some formalities of officially submitting it. Spent a few hours on it this week, but I know I'll have to spend more to finish it. I have two months to get it done.

    I attended my girlfriend's graduation ceremony and met her family there. She was moved, as one of her friends showed up, despite the fact that they have a complicated relationship. I'm happy to have such a smart and pretty girlfriend 😄

    The second exchange with the Finnish students finished as well. We went for a hike on Saturday. It was a nice visit overall, but I told my girlfriend that I'm too old and settled to co-organize these events and perhaps to even attend them (as if on holiday).

    My girlfriend and I also watched the final matches of the 2023 Rugby Championship. The final was quite intense, but the team I rooted for won in the end 😄

    I've been reading the entrepreneurial book and absorbed many ideas and opened many tabs in my browser, so today I decided to just go through some of them instead of reading. I need to make time to put the ideas into practice!

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  14. On 10/29/2023 at 10:17 PM, BooksandTrees said:

    Today's been a strange day in terms of deciphering my emotions. I slept in and was tired. I read a lot of my book and enjoyed it. I then took a nap and just relaxed with my wife. 

    I haven't wanted to do anything. Not out of depression or boredom. I just didn't feel like drawing, writing, playing the drums, building legos, playing sports, or watching TV. 

    I just wanted some quiet today. It's been so busy at work and in life with family stuff. I got some funny ideas for future stories but all I really want to do today is be cozy in a blanket and exist without effort lol. 

    Back to my first sentence about it being strange and trying to decipher it: I can't tell if it's good or bad. I have adopted a mindset of accepting boredom because I think it's my mind telling me it's tired. I used to spend years trying to do all these thought intensive hobbies on weekends after long work weeks and it just set me up for more exhaustion. 

    The good thing is eventually I naturally develop more energy and interest in doing thoughtful hobbies and just do them without thinking. So I'm just gonna roll with it. I feel better overall. Sometimes it's ok to be bored. I just have to keep reminding myself of this. I guess 5 years into quitting video games I still have the anxiety that I need to always be making progress or gains in an active and passive way. Just gonna take some time to heal still is all. 

    I guess it comes with spending years upon years of trying to be the best and never letting it rest. I'm always almost right when I say to myself that I just need to do nothing and I never regret it. If our gaming success was calculated as (time spent on task) x (intelligence), we still missed the important ingredient of multiplying it by (planning).

    Addicts have 0 in planning, as they have no sense of alternative. A kudos to every streamer/gamer who just eventually shrugged, scratched their head and said: "Eh, I don't have enough fun doing this." or "I don't make enough money streaming to make it worthwhile." But that's real (self)knowledge there and not just the pure ego that we had.

    It turns out that planning can really make a big difference; even if we do/train something for an hour a week, it's normally almost infinitely times more than the average (rather median) person, so we can be pretty decent at it. So it's OK if you've done your share of writing, drumming or lego building for the week, as the only thing really need to look after is your well-being.

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  15. I'm using the template I used the last time. 22/09/23 - 25/10/23

    "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.

     

    --- set smart/stretch goals - read book again

     

    Books/Reading articles:

    L: I read "Be Obsessed Or Be Average" by Cardone and I got rather mixed feelings about the book. I also started reading "World Order" by Kissinger. Not caught up with my newsletters.

    T: Finished "World Order" and started reading the book about freelancing I mentioned. It's not in English, so that's why it's nameless 😄

    Possible direction/goals:

    Continue getting through the newsletters.

    (Borrow) and read one book until the next monthly report.

     

    Family:

    L: The kitchen plan ran into (another) problem. The working desk is a few centimeters shorter than needed, due to the fact there are unmovable drain pipes near the wall. The best solution, according to my father (and I share it), is to get a wider working desk, rather than to cut the cupboards to let the pipes through them.

    I met my mom for lunch about a month ago. Other than that, there's nothing special happening, except the fact that I'm going to visit my family/grandma every week until my grandma's kitchen is reconstructed.

    T: I got a new phone for my grandma, as her old one broke down. I also went for sushi with my brother (and my girlfriend), as well as for lunch with my father. I also visited my family four weekends in a row.

    And I can say I still don't give a flying fuck about the reconstruction of the kitchen. I'm 100% ready to give somebody the money to make this problem go away. I've tried it twice or thrice. Nothing came out of it. I'm just gonna consult my father on what to do next, as I just can't do this.

    Spoiler

    Since October, the project of my grandma's kitchen has been my responsibility. Some progress has been made, however I know that half a year is just too big of a time-frame to justify. I'm gonna lay out the plan:

    Weekend of 11th/12th March: Ask my grandma to give me a "free hand" in the reconstruction of the kitchen. She was hesitant regarding the scope of the reconstruction, which made me hesitant in turn, because I didn't know what to do. I want to convince her that she has nothing to worry about and that the whole operation will be fast.

    Weeks 11 and 12:

    Consult my father and brother as to the design of the kitchen and use the IKEA kitchen planner to help me out. Show my grandma the plan for the kitchen at the end of week 12 and get a green light.

    Weeks 13 and 14:

    Go to IKEA to get the furniture and other shops for linoleum and other smaller stuff. There's no need for new electronic appliances, so there's no need to get involved with electrical thingies. Transport the furniture to my grandma's flat.

    Weeks 14 and 15:

    Plan a weekend with my father/brother to help out with the reconstruction. Removing old furniture, a bit of demolition, painting, putting in the new furniture. Get it done well and ASAP.

    NOT: I don't want to get alienated from my family.

    Possible direction/goals:

    Work on getting the new kitchen for my grandma.

    Continue work on maintaining the relationships with my family.

     

    University:

    L: Currently on nine thousand words, although I wrote the last of them at the end of August and then I left for my holiday. This week, I resolved the email communication issues and had a consultation with my tutor. He advised me to be more specific with my topic and to send him a short summary at the weekend, so that he can insert the thesis assignment into the system.

    T: I think I'm past the negotiation/assignment stage. It feels like I have done nothing, though I put some 20 hours into it in aggregate over the past month. It's not exactly "nothing". The main slowdown was due to the fact my tutor sometimes takes days to reply. That pits me into a stage when I can excuse doing nothing until his next reply, out of fear that I'm gonna work on something that won't be relevant after his reply.

    Since now the thesis really is in the system, the layout is reworked (again), I'm gonna try to work on it every day from now on and I have already started today.

    As an interesting university side note, we hosted the first student exchange the last week and we're hosting another this week as well. It'll be the guys from Finland whom we visited in March 🙂

    NOT: I don't want to drop out of the university.

    Possible direction/goals:

    Do the main part of my diploma in summer/autumn 2023 and do the defense and finals in January/February 2024.

    Work on the assignments in a timely manner.

     

    Business/English:

    L: I attended a networking event and I'm happy that I did! I also met my online students face to face while visiting their city, which was also nice 🙂

    On a more practical note, I got a small pay raise from both the language schools, as well as from my students by creating a new price list. I also got an invitation to a weekly outdoor English project, however it's in a bad time slot, as I already have classes there.

    T: Events have really picked up pace. I had a business presentation for young students and attended a networking event. I started attending an online language lecturer academy and I can say I'm stoked. I got a Google sheets system for students running and I believe it'll improve the quality of my lessons greatly.

    I'm also booked for three other events in November already. I'm really funneling a lot of time into my professional development ever since I've returned from Georgia and I can say I'm enjoying it.

    I've been actually working (in the pure sense of lessons taught) a few hours less, but I don't mind. I have the flexibility, which is currently more important for me than pure income.

    -

    An example for 17 hours this week: Category A 64% (63); B 4% (12); C 0% (8); D 6% (4); E 26% (13). Brackets are % values from previous month.

    -

    I've done a bit of an analysis of my courses and categorized them based on what they provide me. I earmarked five types of courses:

    a) my own - well paid + generally more motivated students (as they pay the courses themselves) + more challenging

    b) premium - language school courses paid at a premium compared to my standard LS courses for various reasons (roughly matching the a) group)

    c) flexible - courses from LS that don't have a fixed schedule, meaning it's on me if I make time for them or not (though I mostly do, as can they plug the gaps or can start my day)

    d) challenging/fun/prospective - standard LS courses with an added quality

    e) neither - standard LS courses without any added quality

    -

    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:

    With my job position and student demand secure, I'm more able and willing to reschedule or even cancel classes in case I want to do something, mainly in the evening and for holidays. I enjoy having this option thoroughly.

    Keep classes at a stable 25-30 hours a week.

    Keep asking for reviews or recommendations from students.

    Look into strategies to become truly self-employed by skipping the agencies in between.

    Write down specific areas and what I want to do in them:

    Networking and business events.

    Get a system to mark down the progress of my students, together with their learning plan.

    Check out business vouchers for equipment.

    Past projects:

    Questionnaire.

    Fixed logos on my website for better visuals.

    Updated the pricing section of my website. Variable/tiered pricing (do in July/August).

    Got minor pay raises from language schools.

    Did evaluations/testing of my students, if required.

    Attended one networking event and one marketing seminar.

    Introduced "phone call" classes. Update website/business profiles with "phone calls".

    Lecturer academy.

    Sample business contract on my website.

    Google sheets system for students.

     

    Exercise/Movement:

    L: We walked and hiked quite a lot with my girlfriend in Georgia. I make an effort to go out every day, to at least read a book outside or go for a short walk. Cycling/walking to my students in the area as well.

    T: Somewhat hampered, because of the issues with my foot the last week, though I can say the amount of activity I get is about the same. I also think I've been ill fairly often these months, which is definitely something I don't like.

    NOT: I don't want to become fat.

    Possible direction/goals:

    I enjoy the fact I do not have to be "actively" dealing with this area of my life, as it's technically a part of my job. I just have to be on lookout if that was to change.

    Keep in shape.

     

    Blogging:

    L: I haven't had time to even think about blogging with everything that was going on, although I do have a half-way written article in the works that I could publish soon.

    T: -

    Possible direction/goals:

    Find a suitable UI/web template.

    Set up emailing for subs.

    Post two articles a month.

    Polish links in articles. Interlink new articles with old ones.

    Finish articles in concepts.

     

    ---

     

    What to do if I am bored?

    Replacement activities for 1 hour: reading books, cleaning, washing the dishes, reading newsletters

    Replacement activities for 2 hours: going for a walk, work on my business, blogging, diploma thesis

     

    ---

     

    Additional thoughts/activities:

    My hobbies are: personal finance, graphs/projections/statistics, gunnery, GIS/statistics, reading/videos about (modern) history, English, working on my business, blogging/writing, geography.

    This month, I did these cool activities: spending time on the GQ forum, table football tournament, going for sushi with my brother and girlfriend, going for lunch with my father, going for a trip with my girlfriend and her sister, attending a travel lecture.

    Past few weeks have been OK with porn. Not great, not terrible, with some progress.

     

    ---

     

    Goals/resolutions/aspirations for 2023:

    Pass all the exams at the uni, finish the thesis and finish all university duties successfully in January/February 2024. - WIP, progress = yes

    Improve my business, so that I don't need to teach for language schools anymore, by getting more private contacts, opportunities and students. - WIP, progress = yes

    Go to Georgia to visit my friend. - Unfortunately, the plan didn't work out. I plan to go there later this year, either in late summer or autumn. We did it! 🙂

    Stop watching porn (again), stop reading too much news (again). - Got some blocks going on. The past week was clean!

    Start getting up when my alarm rings. - I got better, not 100%, but better.

    Continue: planning, walking/exercising, writing/journaling, reading, studying for uni, dating, work on good life/work balance.

    It's a short list, but if I manage all of it, I will be happy.

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  16. 21st October - 24th October:

    I've been busy. Not over the top, but busy enough. I've been meaning to start working on my monthly report, but that'll have to wait a bit. I've been hooked on the freelance book and have been reading almost every day though.

    I had a lunch with my girlfriend and her sister on Saturday. She seems like a decent person and a good sport. I also visited my family on Sunday.

    We also successfully completed the student exchange, though I can imagine it was taxing, especially for my colleagues/fellow students, as I didn't take part in the whole program. I hope I can be more involved for the second exchange in a few days, though not at the expense of shirking work, my girlfriend or anything else.

    I'm a bit sick today, perhaps because I haven't been wearing socks much even outside to allow my foot to recover. I even slept during the afternoon. I hope it'll be better tomorrow.

    • Like 1
  17. 18th October - 20th October:

    I visited my tutor on Tuesday and sent him (another) draft of contents of my thesis on Wednesday. Gonna work on it at the weekend as well.

    I also had a lunch with my father and sushi with my brother. I introduced him to my girlfriend and I think they got along well 🙂

    Right after the evening sushi, we had a couple of students come here for a few day city exchange. The event is organized mostly by other members of my geography group, but I am trying to do at least something to help out by accommodating two of them, while I am temporarily sleeping at my girlfriend's place. Next year, we're gonna visit their town in return!

    I've been reading the book about freelancing daily and I'm hooked.

    ---

    The current events are somewhat complicated by the fact that my feet are caught in the cycle of blisters, mold and swelling. I have a cream to deal with the mold, but it's been going on ever since I've bought new shoes for my holiday in Georgia, so for almost two months. I've had this problem once in the past and I visited the doctor, so I think I have the knowledge to deal with this on my own, but if it gets out of hand, I'll visit the doctor/hospital. I hope it's gone in the next few days, meanwhile I'll be sock-less and shoe-less as much as possible.

    The plans for tonight and the weekend are somewhat unclear time-wise. I'm planning on spending time with my family, the exchange guys, my girlfriend and my thesis, but the order of that is not fully in my control.

    • Like 4
  18. On 10/18/2023 at 2:35 PM, FDRx7 said:

    Another tough day during the latter half. I think I'm feeling very directionless at work. I've been put on this project by myself and over the course of my time at this company, have received very little oversight from management. I'm usually left to just figure it out on my own and, even if I do reach out for help, half the time I spend is just explaining context because the person isn't on the ground with me. I'm growing tired of it and really in need of a change. I hope to hear back from the job I applied to soon. The waiting is killing me... it is still within the window of their 1–to-2-week response time, so I'll just need to continue being patient. It has certainly been distracting, even just in the back of my mind. I need to be better about leaving my phone downstairs so I don't incessantly refresh my email, looking for that response.

    Once work was over, things were a little better. I'm always cheered up by my wife, and taking the dog for a walk together was good for my spirits. Still, even on that walk I had trouble shutting out my anxiety about work. I have this impending sense of doom that I'm not doing something right or I'm missing something, and it will suddenly come back to bite me out of nowhere. I suppose I'm caring a little too much. At the very least, my work ethic is enough to push me to care about doing a good job, but the lack of clarity on my role and responsibilities is making me increasingly trepidatious. I'll endeavor today to return to the basic frameworks I have at my disposal to try to progress on a few fronts.

    I hope the response you'll get will be positive! It does seem you're really ready for a change. What are your thoughts/plans if the response isn't positive?

    3 hours ago, FDRx7 said:

    So no, I'm not being too strict. Every time I make one of these choices, my life gets better. The doubt comes knocking every now and then but that's the old habits trying to steal away the joyful life I'm rebuilding. I really don't need YouTube, and now I've realized how little I actually needed those podcasts. Life feels simpler with less noise (excluding music as I've said before, I love music and there are many ways to enjoy it). I will not stop now. I will keep clawing back my attention, my focus, my life. 

    When I confided to my girlfriend with my porn habit for the first time, she innocently replied: "And what's the harm in that? People watch porn, I've done it too." I told her that the harm isn't just spending 30 minutes every other day doing a particular activity. Having two hours a week more or less never killed anybody, though I know it sounds funny.

    The main problem is that I consider something a problem. It's rather uneasy to live with a problem once it comes up, especially if you can influence it. I know the damage is much more far reaching than those two hours.

    Now she sees things differently. She understood that this thing influences my well-being, as well as my ability to be intimate with her/my sex drive.

    -

    As for distractions, I'm always anxious when it seems that my day is passing by in a blur. I made a subconscious habit of marking/checking my (I use Google) calendar for things to do. It definitely enhanced my ability to just stop for a moment and think about the best way forward in my day. My minimum resolution time is 30 minutes and all the various activities have their own color.

    I think it's still the best to plan a day ahead for bigger/important activities that shouldn't be missed, on the other hand this flexible planning/freedom of choice lets me segment my day: if I want to work for an hour, I can; if I want to relax for the next half an hour, I can. I really think this is the way to prevent either burnout or sloth.

    • Like 2
  19. On 10/19/2023 at 5:16 PM, Pochatok said:

    So much happening! I'm so glad there's all these wonderful social and impactful experiences for you to recap from last week 🙂

    Thank you! I wrote it in a rather curt format, so I'm not sure if I did it much justice, but I'm quite happy with the current events in my life. I'm definitely not bored 😄

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  20. On 10/19/2023 at 6:28 AM, wheatbiscuit said:

    Those feelings are almost history now, after 5 months. I said in @BooksandTrees's diary, I think, that I wanted to find out what a Summer without gaming felt like again, in newer times. However, a lot of the memories I wish to re-live/overwrite/whatever I do might not even take place if I can't sustain my close relationships. Those relationships have been suffering due to my focus on real life, oddly enough, and I have very often been frustrated with them of late.

    I would find it very hard to dispute Cam's words in his relapse-prevention video (you can find it easily by clicking on the 'emergency' heading at the top of this website, which I obediently did and watched, lol), which were that 'gaming again will not solve any of your problems and they will be right there waiting for you when you come back'. But at 29 years of age, is my brain not set for the rest of my days?

    I agree with @FDRx7 above. It's not my idea, but again, things get worse before they get better.

    You're still reaping the aftermath of your addict-self actions from the past, while you have nowhere near even the ephemeral comfort that gaming provided. The high is over. Perhaps the actions you've taken in the last five months don't seem like much, but they are realistically much more life-changing than those you'll do in the next five months, if you decide to stay on the path of getting to a better place.

    29 is no age, if you stay healthy you can even triple that, so there's plenty of time to create, fix and end many relationships. I believe the important people in your life will recognize the change and the department of your relationships will magically "heal itself", as you step into your life more fully.

    My family has definitely recognized and felt the change and there are very few people with whom I've been in contact now even when I was gaming. And the new people you meet don't care how you used to be, if you're good to them now 🙂

    • Like 1
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  21. On 10/7/2023 at 4:35 PM, FDRx7 said:

    I wonder if it's momentum. This is usually the problem for me, especially with social engagements. My wife often tells me, "You'll enjoy yourself once you're there." And it's true, I like seeing people. It's just the prospect of getting up and getting there feels so tiring for some reason. I have not gone to see people sometimes simply because I just didn't want to do the prep to get there. Once the ball is rolling, I'm good but I really need a push to get it moving. It even happens sometimes with simple things like going to the grocery store. Fine once there, but the idea of getting up and moving to do that can be an obstacle. Based on what you describe, perhaps it is similar for you? You seemed to really enjoy your time volunteering once you were out of the house. It sounds like it was just the prospect of getting there that was initially in the way. What do you think?

     

    On 10/18/2023 at 2:30 PM, Vee said:

    Yeah, I definitely feel like the getting there thing is a large part of it. But I don't understand why that is so much harder for me than it seems to be for other people. I went to volunteering yesterday, but for about ten minutes before I was just standing up with my head against the wall thinking about whether to go or not. It's less than a five-minute walk away. Volunteering is still intimidating but going to the supermarket isn't, and that's less than 15 minutes away. I try to break things down by thinking, "I'll just put the right clothes on, I'll just gather my things, I'll just put my shoes on" and that mentality helps a little, but it's still so hard sometimes.

    I sometimes have these situations too, although not very often; I normally just go. I hesitate only when it is expensive to come, if I don't know how it fits my schedule or some other rather objective reason. But I'm also a person who hardly feels any kind of regret, so normally I am at peace with whatever decision I make.

    Volunteering should be a totally voluntary activity (obviously 😄 ), so you should be excited enough to go there quite easily. It's not like presenting a product to a client, when you have some internal doubts about the product, your company, your character etc. There could be a social reason as to why that alone isn't enough to make you just go. Maybe it could help to promise somebody to show up the next time you're there?

    • Like 2
  22. 17 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

    Nice job at the tournament. Make any new friends there or know anyone?

    Thanks! I actually knew most of the people there, as it's a dorm/university kind of thing.

    • Like 2
  23. 12th October - 17th October:

    Went to a networking event to meet some new people. Finished reading "World Order" by Kissinger and started a new book about freelancing. Attended a table football tournament and finished second. Worked out a shared table/system in Google Sheets to help my students and myself with orientation in their learning. Went for a trip with my girlfriend and her sister. Attended other fun events as well.

    • Like 3
  24. 2 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

    I think it goes to show that it's more rewarding long term to put that effort into your own life and have real accomplishments. Not fake ones that can be lost due to people who don't care about you and never did. 

    I like to read "real" as "connected to others or oneself". I can imagine a workaholic at a company who has been pushing paper for many years without any effect on the world; though he got money, he wasted his time and life. On the self part, I think creating/doing something for yourself (reading, writing, making pretty graphs etc.) is truly never a wasted effort, as we did it for ourselves.

    • Like 2
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