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Ikar

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  1. It's interesting, because I normally drive in silence too. I drove 2x40 minutes today with my girlfriend and her sister and since we were talking during the ride, nobody even thought about turning the radio on. The only incentive I ever have to turn it on is when I'm curious about discovering some new song or perhaps to remind myself of some song that I'd forgotten. I guess I am quite happy that I really do tasks one by one. I'm really unable to listen to podcasts because I want to pay full attention to the thing that I do. In which case, I'd rather watch a video, because I also get visual input together with it. It also makes it easier to stop and say "OK, I watched this video for 20 minutes and it was OK to relax. Now, what do I do next?" It's much easier to segment the day and decide on going outside for a walk, for example.
  2. Yes, that's also the advantage of being self-employed; I don't really have to deal with people that make my job more difficult. I basically only meet my students and new people at networkings to have new students. There are of course intermediary steps; I think very few people have just started out as self-employed/business owners, I think everybody has some "normal" employment experience. I can imagine it feels great to have this out of the way, good work 😄 There's this idea that Manson described quite nicely - attention is more important than information nowadays. Information itself has mostly turned into entertainment or a hobby. I know a lot of things about modern history, but it doesn't automatically make me an expert, because anybody else can look up what I know in a matter of seconds. But I can understand how hard it is for older people; TV in their 20s-30s could've been an avenue to knowledge, whereas today in their 70s it's really largely entertainment to pass time. There's nothing wrong with passing time, but I understand it can be difficult to distinguish it from actually learning something useful, especially in podcasts. Who knows, if there are Game Quitters, there could be a community called Podcast Quitters in the future too 😄
  3. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    8th October - 11th October: I watched a video on how to run English lessons. I have to say I feel better and more satisfied, if my preparation for lessons is more wholesome. My feeling of inadequacy has subsided. I visited my family on Sunday and had the new phone ready for my grandma, so I am happy it worked out well and that she's no longer stressed about it. I'm also in contact with my tutor regarding the thesis, so there's some progress there as well.
  4. Gah, company politics and bureaucracy! I know I was still gaming back then, but I left the army precisely due to the fact that I just didn't have years to wait until they finally decided to put me in a position that I would perhaps like. I understand your drive to change things up.
  5. Good luck! I'd definitely say you can be optimistic; if it doesn't work out, you still have your current job. How much of an improvement would it be compared to your current position?
  6. I saw the following in the journals somewhere and also in a book; many things are defined as habits rather than goals. My "family" monthly section hardly ever has any specific goals I could tick off, so I have "directions" there rather than "goals". I still think I can do better defining longer-term goals, as some things just take months to complete. In the dorm group (I lived at the dorm for about three and a half years and only moved this June), I go by the nick "Non-Alc" 😄 Anyhow, 2020 and 2021 were kinda special at the dorm. The pubs were closed due to corona, so the meetings obviously moved to the dorms themselves. But I gradually moved from consuming alcohol on a daily basis, simply due to the fact I had to be ready at 7 or 8 in the morning for my English lessons. The in-dorm partying/meeting stopped in autumn 2021, as the pubs opened again. I didn't feel like hitting the student's pub every other day was a good idea, plus I got a girlfriend at the start of 2022, so my consumption went down even more. I second the thought that meetings can be fun without alcohol. I have done it multiple times. My country (Czechia) is unfortunately known for cheap alcohol and I really believe we have an alcohol culture, without any exaggeration. Alcohol is a slow and vicious killer of whole communities; in my opinion, cocaine, meth or heroine are more merciful to the addict's family or friends in aggregate. Sounds good! A bit of a shame that tea colors my teeth brown 😄
  7. I like the graphs and scores! It's been a long time since I stopped journaling every day, but I always evaluate and "score" things once a month and once a year. I don't normally go back to my monthly reports, but I believe it's always in the back of my mind, helping me to be grounded and to have some perspective. I noticed you also have a "no drinking" streak. I can relate to being in a pub with friends, wanting to have something good to drink... I think I would have stopped drinking regular beer altogether, if pubs had draft non-alcoholic beer. They normally don't and all the alternatives are kinda sucky: drinking sodas hurts my teeth and buying bottled non-alcoholic beer or water for 2x-4x the price in a shop just makes me want to invite my friends to a picnic or to my flat 😄 Regardless, I noticed that even having/not having one beer has an effect on me. I don't know when I've become so sensitive, but I can feel it. That's why I have a beer maybe two times a month now and I prefer to grab the non-alcoholic/radler one whenever I'm in the mood for it at home. I also love tea as you do! I think the average is above a liter a day for me. I prefer a strong black tea, but I also got some green tea to change things up. I normally use the same teabag two or three times during the day, as I intentionally want to make the tea weaker; I'm not sure if it's too healthy to take in so much of it and it's also just about the ritual.
  8. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    29th September - 7th October: I can say I was productive this week, as well as somewhat out of my comfort zone. I specified the topic of my diploma thesis and worked on the questionnaire. It's the first thing I want to get done before working on anything else, as it's gonna take some time to get the respondents and it will also help me refine the topic/aim of the thesis even further. I also went to a business conference on Thursday. I had a short five minute presentation and it was a good experience. This week was also tougher in regards to my mood. I studied a lot for my professional development as an English lecturer and I became more bashful regarding my abilities and partly my knowledge. I also decided to step up my publicity locally by throwing small flyers into mailboxes; it could help my business, doesn't cost much and I can use the exercise. As for today, I'm feeling off. I've had headaches, I feel cold and I even took a nap during the afternoon. I hope it'll be better tomorrow.
  9. I feel you. I think that's how my relationship ended 5 years ago as well. My X got just tired of me not getting a job and gaming all day. I think she wanted to improve her life, but it's hard to do that if you have a partner who is just stagnant and perhaps even sabotaging your process. I get a feeling that stagnation (for sure over 6 years) in other people means they are fairly happy with how things are. Her mental issues suck, but you can't let that hold you hostage, much less your daughter. My girlfriend depends on me as well, but not in a way that an addict would be on their drug. I hope you can take that into account while searching for a solution. Can you mobilize someone to help you out? It's sad when kids get caught up in the middle by no fault of their own 😞
  10. In times/cases like yours I wonder: What has changed in the relationship? How does one go from being happily pregnant with a partner to this situation? What are the factors that contributed to this? I know that these don't only have to be negative; maybe you grew in your life so much over the past few years while your partner stagnated and that created a big rift, as you could relate to each other less. Whatever the result is, I hope you'll be able to remain strong through this and work out a solution with your partner.
  11. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    I have some hard-to-remove software called LeechBlock on my computer and it works well. I always have to deactivate/reactivate it every 30 minutes on YT and I perma-blocked the various news websites. That YT block there is more of a reminder that I shouldn't spend too much time on it, but it's quite rare I watch a video longer than 20 minutes. I get too bored with longer videos. I found out that I found the small screen of the phone too annoying to read too much news, so I don't abuse the fact I don't have any blocks for it there. News has always been a distraction for me for just five or ten minutes maximum. Porn turned out to be much harder to deal with. The idea here is that I'd have to block out half the internet at a specific time for some period of time. If there was some app that would hard-immobilize the access to it, together with Chrome and YT for 3-6 hours at the push of a button (I watch porn basically only before sleeping), that'd be amazing, but I don't know if there's one. I'll look into Freedom and Screentime both though, thanks for the suggestion 🙂 It turns out locking myself out of my phone wasn't a big deal. Luckily, it was Saturday and I'm more reliant on my desktop than my phone historically. But it makes sense with all my gaming history and student calls though 🙂
  12. It's been four years since I quit and I don't think I've experienced what you're describing as often as when I gamed. Regardless, an emotional high of immersion for, well... having a normal life is a tradeoff I'll gladly make. Good job! I had issues with my brushing when I was a teenager, so I know it's hard to get back on track or even start anew. It kind of helps that I have sensitive teeth; if I go without brushing for a few days, I get toothaches whenever I eat. Nowadays I can confidently say I brush 6/7 nights of the week 😄 I'm writing my master's thesis at the moment. I can say is that I need to worry less about how much time (or how many days) it will take me to move to the next stage. It's because the next stage (or even multiple stages) pops up during the process from the unknown. I know that if I put in two three quality hours of work in every day, I'm going to finish it, just like other students before me did. I promised my tutor a concept of a questionnaire at the end of the weekend and that's what he and I shall have. Yes! I found out that many of the games I played in the past have several tracks or even whole soundtracks I can listen to indefinitely and which can serve as great background/time stamps for me. The genre is generally classical voiceless (as many of the games of the 00s had these), although some have some modern element mixed to it. I think voiceless D'n'B tracks work the best for me. I've been meaning to try out some jazz music as well, but I have issues with actively listening to tracks if I don't already know them and that's not conductive to work 😄
  13. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    Toying around with enhancing/re-calibrating the blocks, I managed to lock myself out of my phone for 24 hours. Luckily, I can still call 😆
  14. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    23rd September - 28th September: I visited my family, worked on a business presentation for young students, did some cycling and walking as well. I also attended an online meeting regarding English lecturing and it gave me a nudge to continue working on myself, my lessons and my business. My plan for today was to work on my diploma, yet I didn't. (What I did instead was to catch up on newsletters and on select financial topics that interest me.) I communicated with my tutor at the weekend, however I haven't heard back from him since. I'm gonna work on it tomorrow - I have a plan to create a questionnaire for my thesis and use the data, so I want to send him a concept of it by the end of the week to give him some incentive to reply. Inactivity in this area makes me nervous, even though I still have well over three months to finish the thesis.
  15. It really shows that different people have different soft spots and need to know how to manage them carefully. I'm lucky to have walked out of my gaming delirium when I was 21. I learnt English as an addict and had the confidence to pursue it as a career later. It's a wise thing to take and work with both the bad and the good, even if there's not much of it.
  16. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    I'm using the template I used the last time. 11/08/23 - 22/09/23 "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 finished the book. I also finished "Smarter Faster Better" by Duhigg. I set up a SMART goal for my university thesis. I wanted to borrow a new book two or three weeks ago, but the uni library is closed for the summer. Caught up with my newsletters. T: 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. 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. Another piece of family business that I'm dealing with is my mom. Overall, she's too wishy-washy and disorganized for me to deal with. I'm gonna talk to her tomorrow and try to find out how we're gonna approach our relationship. T: 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. 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: I started daily work on the thesis two weeks ago. I have some four thousand words on the paper, with a few ideas for future chapters and the direction of my research. My plan is to send the draft to my professor in three weeks before I go for a two week holiday with my girlfriend. T: 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. 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: One of the business meetings was great, the other one more of a revision of what I already know from other meetings and from the web. I did some minor promo/advertising on my social networks. I read some articles from an interesting pricing blog. I worked out the personalized price increase from September and I'm gonna start telling my students the next week. Quiet month overall. T: 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. - Classes are at a stable 25-30 hours a week, plus a few hours for admin work. Note: July and August and maybe September are going to be abnormal, as some courses don't run during summer and people are often on vacations. An example for 23 hours this week: Category A 63% (67); B 12% (0); C 8% (6); D 4% (14); E 13% (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". Exercise/Movement: L: Going for walks almost daily and cycled perhaps 100 km the last month in total. T: 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. 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 got the blog online at the end of July! There are some minor things to improve, but I put it out there and posted it on social media to get the word out. There are about five articles thus far. I even wrote a brand new article this week. T: 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. 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: going for a massage, spending time on the GQ forum, visiting Georgia and visiting my students, buying new shoes and shirts, visiting a cottage/cycling trip, having good conversations with my girlfriend. --- 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. ---
  17. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    I think that's true. I came back from my holiday a week ago, but in my head I've been having trouble getting my handle on things. I'm likely doing a decent job, but day-to-day progress on long-term projects is hard to appreciate.
  18. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    16th September - 22nd September: So I've caught up on all the important things, though some non-urgent stuff is still awaiting my attention. I visited my family at the weekend. I finally connected with my tutor; there's been some mess with communication, as the uni IT department is transferring the emails, but I hope now I have all the relevant information. I also attended an university event, did some reading, connected with two new students and spent time with my girlfriend. I believe I am porn free for about a week now, thanks to my newly implemented blocks and my laziness to crack them open due to unknown complexity of such a challenge 😄 I've been feeling the taste to play "Total War: Shogun 2" here and there for a few days now. Granted it's a fairly complex game, I think my brain is craving some complex problems to solve. Therefore, I'm going to direct my attention towards complex problems in the real world to keep it busy 😄
  19. In a way, your writing reminds me of this guy here. I like it 😄 It all depends on the context that you are in. If you think the guy just made a comment/joke to make others laugh, I'd say that's fine. If you think it was directly aimed at somebody in the office/you, you could confront this guy (in a calm way) and learn why they are putting you through this. I've been pranked before and it was funny for others, EXACTLY because I took myself too seriously and overreacted and did stupid shit. Do you really want to give a damn about a few strangers/colleagues laughing at something? Maybe yes, maybe not. There are two types of people who laugh at "Women are X. Men are Y. Greens are Z." jokes: 1) they laugh, because they think it's true and just want a relief from their reality (especially if it's the opposite categories, i.e. women joking about men) and 2) they laugh, because they know it's absurd. That way, generally everybody laughs at these jokes. The amount of smack talk and deadpan jokes that my girlfriend makes about kids would make you believe that she really hates kids, yet it's not true and she wants to have kids in the future. I make a personal ecological effort, yet I can laugh both at the people who glue themselves to the road ("Oh, so you want to "save the planet" by disrupting the traffic, hence making everybody burn more fuel and making everybody adhere to your own personal worldview?") AND the people who don't recycle or waste a lot of food, by calling them primitive barbarians without any culture and regard for the environment. These things are hard 😄
  20. It's indeed useful to have mentors. I've taken part in two mentoring projects in the last year and both had a positive influence on me. Both of them spurred some activity in me, especially regarding 2) - things related to my professional success. The language schools generally don't provide any guidance here, as developing myself in this way effectively turns me into a competitor rather than an employee. Simply put - they will organize seminars on how to run the classes, use the technologies etc., but not on how to find new business partners or how to present myself online on my website. For that, I need to seek help myself.
  21. First off, I have to say you have an interesting style of formulating thoughts and writing 🙂 I can relate to this 100%. It's true that for long-term happiness, we need to be able to appreciate the distance. Occasional short-term exhilaration won't help. On the flip side, I think that's great! You have the freedom to choose. Many people can't choose, be it because of their physical environment or some mental prison they've constructed. You can weigh options against one another and choose the one that best serves you and your values, temporal or long-term.
  22. Sounds amazing! I hope you'll be able to plan it while not hampering your progress with writing. Yes, I've come to think of it as a spectrum. This is regarding the use of time. On one extreme, we have addiction - full commitment to one thing. On the other extreme, we have fragmentation - no commitment to anything. In the middle, there is balance - some commitment to several things. I even started working on a blog post about "being average", how that term is deceptive and how it's useful for manipulation. That's because it's completely normal and healthy to be even below average; I'm below average at juggling, because I don't do it and there are a few people who are good or even great at it. I'm a below average screamo listener, because I couldn't care less about the genre. The trick is just assessing in what areas you want to be better/it makes sense to be better than the average, to focus on these, and to cut the rest as insignificant noise. Good work, I can only imagine the relief 😄 I'm doing it because my family and I agreed that I'll inherit the flat in the future; it's already officially in my name for about a year. The exchange was I would carry the brunt of the work around the flat, for as long as my grandma is alive and also after. As such, I feel uneasy, as I don't think I'm doing enough at the moment. I spent some time with my family today and I privately decided that I am going to visit my parents and my grandma every week now until the kitchen is done, in order to be more in touch with the reality of the kitchen and to consult and run the project more actively, especially with my father. The issue here is that there are two categories, though they intermingle: 1) Directly related to my language school classes - emails for students (schedule changes, organization of courses), preparation for classes or invoices. Preparation is already included in the price of the lesson, so are occasional vital emails about the schedule. Invoices aren't either, as they aren't related to the students in any way. 2) Related to my professional success - networking, seminars on business topics or seminars for my English education. These are my voluntary activities outside of the contract with my employer. Networking allows me to reach new contacts and students with whom I can work on a private basis. The seminar section improves my know-how in business and English. There's a good reason to argue for a raise with improved English know-how, however I've been told they require an official teacher's certificate (TEFL/TESOL/TESL/CELTA/DELTA etc.) to increase my salary. I'm going to do one of them for sure, maybe even multiple, but finishing my university degree in the next few months takes precedence. That said, I don't know how much time I spend on 1) and 2) exactly. 1) should be around 5-8 hours a month. 2) is way more variable, maybe between 10-30 hours a month.
  23. There are many things I'd react to, but I'm just gonna go to the crux of why you started journaling again: I've never thought of it in these terms, so thanks for that! I'm almost always thinking something like: "I should know better, but because I don't, I'm gonna put these obstacles in the way and hope for the best." What's worked for me on my desktop computer was to set up permanent blockers for news. I've never watched porn on my desktop. I also normally spend more time on my desktop than on my phone. News and porn have been a problem for me only on my phone, where it's surprisingly harder to get rid of them; or rather to install a system that would discourage me 100% when I crave porn. I was porn-free from last August to December last year and I haven't been on such a streak since. In contrast to you, I don't think I've felt "badly stressed" for several months now, so I don't think my porn usage is due to stress. I just crave something that "fires me up" every now and then. I had a useful and good yesterday, really without any negative emotions during the day. I was genuinely content and mentally tired (but maybe I need to get more physically tired on a regular basis and see if it helps). But right before my bedtime, a thought appeared: "How about some porn?" I just decided to keep lying in my bed, as I set up a new system of blocks yesterday and I fell asleep shortly after. The craving comes from somewhere deep down and I can't figure out where or why, as it just appears out of nowhere. Therefore, I don't think there's a way to make the rest of my life better/different, which would in effect cure my porn problem. I decided to go with the solution that I should just simply stop. The alternative of looking for "something new and exciting" would be incompatible with the current relationship I have with my girlfriend. She's attractive, both physically and personally, so I don't believe I'm necessarily looking for sexually attractive women in porn to compensate for her. That written, I remember you writing about a partner of yours in the past; having a person to lean on in times of imminent relapse or somebody talk this through could be helpful. I did a lot of sentence editing of the text as I was writing, so I hope it's coherent and maybe even useful 🙂
  24. Upon reading this, I blocked/uninstalled News and YouTube from my phone. I also cleaned up my FB and LinkedIn interests to have only relevant business news there, perhaps just with a few of my interests mixed there. Gotta be persistent.
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