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NEW VIDEO: I Replaced Gaming With Real Life (Nicco Transformation)


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Posts posted by Ikar

  1. 21 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

    Had a really good meeting with my writing coach. My book is coming along well. I'm very burnt out otherwise but I've been trying my best to do at least one or two cleaning chores a day and getting at least half a strong work day in instead of losing the whole day to ruminating. 

    It's tough when I'm in a depressed episode like this, but I think staying neutral and not forcing positive thoughts is helping. I'm just doing one little thing here or there until something starts rolling and I notice I'm productive for longer than 10 minutes. 

    I have a story to share regarding forcing positive thoughts/toxic positivity:

    Almost three years ago, I met a guy who was on his way to becoming a financial advisor. He got me to join his gig with him and I was a part of his team for a while. I eventually quit, because the job required me to do too many things I didn't like or cared about.

    I believe a part of me quitting was his toxic positivity. This guy was just always happy to start a new project, excited to do phone calls, attend another team-building etc. During one of the longer travels we had together, I told him he's like the Terminator.

    I don't think he asked me to elaborate or maybe he even took it as a compliment. The reason why I said that was because he never had a problem. He never complained. Because of that, I never really believed him. He just seemed too perfect to be real and that's why I never connected with him as a person. I spent quite some time with him, but I never got to know him because of his facade.

    I believe he is successful now and quite well off. He's also a very potent meme in my closest circle of friends, because they know him too, as he makes effort to make himself visible in the region.

    My decision to stop working with him also saved me thousands or even millions down the road that'd have gone into his pockets or banks offering inefficient financial services. The awareness of cheap and effective investment vehicles is miserable in Czechia, even though they are available. I wish we had an IRA or 401(k) like you do in the US, although thankfully at least some domestic competition to big banks has sprung up recently. That's why I am working on setting up my financial blog, although I'm struggling with allocating time to this project 😞 

    21 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

    I've started declining a lot of needless family and friend events. I think people need to understand as we get older, our social circle changes. People with families branch off and going to random friends 1 year old kid birthdays Isn't achievable by most, nor is it worth their time. The older we get, the more commitments and responsibilities we have and is important that we set time aside for mental and physical restoration to counteract the stress from these added commitments. 

    If not, we may find ourselves finding quick fixes to cope with added stress... gaming, porn, drugs, alcohol, sleep, social media and YouTube apps, TV, etc. 

    Disconnect is healthy and important. You don't have to go camping in the woods, but you do have to take a few minutes here and there to do nothing, accept boredom, and process your day, every day. 

    100% on having more responsibility as we get older. It's crucial to be able to say "yes" to yourself and "no" to others, and to mean it, if need be.

    • Like 1
  2. 20 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

    Hygiene is so important, especially in recovery. 

    It is. Quitting heavy gaming, brushing your teeth, sometimes going out with friends or cleaning your room (as you mentioned in your diary) is a practical equivalent to taking care of yourself.

  3. 11th June - 15th June:

    I did some minor financial optimization, worked on a computer upgrade, went to the swimming pool with my girlfriend and met another friend on Sunday.

    During the week, I had classes as usual. On top of that, I went outside, read (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker - been enjoying it so far) and started solving the issue of my car battery. I used the inter-dental toothbrush for the first time after a long time yesterday, so that's also something 😄

    • Like 2
  4. 3rd June - 10th June:

    It's been a good week. I changed my address online, as it can influence my business. I went swimming with my girlfriend and created a plan of actions for my business. My girlfriend and I had a small misunderstanding during the week. We later clarified the situation and our expectations. I'm proud of us and I'm happy to have such a great girlfriend 🙂 

    I also finished my questionnaire for students last weekend, sent it out to students and I've already got about half of the people to respond and get the other to respond the next week. Some of them expressed interest in a few auxiliary services related to English lessons, so I might get a few extra € right there.

    Today was a bit weird. I was supposed to get furniture for my grandma with my brother, however the battery in my car died. We'll have to do it some other day. Regardless, I made a good use of my time. I visited my family on my bike and therefore had a good workout. In the evening, I wrote an email for a pay-raise to one of the language schools, yet again. It's worth a try! 😄

    • Like 3
  5. 26th May - 2nd June:

    I actually did have time to watch the rest of the hockey championship and the results were quite surprising!

    Regardless, many hours of this week were spent preparing for and moving to my new room/flat. I'm happy to say that even though there are still a few things lying about on the floor, most of the work has been already done.

    I've been meeting my girlfriend and two best friends frequently, if not every day. I also spent some time with other people as well and I can say I've been enjoying it. I met my father today for lunch too.

    The last thing to mention is the last round of my business mentoring. I got a lot of ideas for my English business. My plan for the weekend is to handle the invoices and finish work on my questionnaire for students.

    • Like 2
    • Like 1
  6. 17 hours ago, IlikeCookies said:

    Hello Ikar, Congratulations on such an astounding, miraculous, fabulous, wonderful, amazing achievement! 
    I actually thought at the start that you only quit on days 1, 3, 4 and 7 😂 


    Anyway, it is pretty inspiring for a newcomer like me to see how much your life has improved. I have been – yes let’s face it – horribly, abhorrently, disgustingly, disgracefully addicted to gaming. I wasted my childhood on it. Now I am wasting my life, but I think that I can improve 😄 

    So simply your achievement makes me quite happy and I hope I can trace your footsteps. 
    Thanks for sharing and I hope you can achieve more!

    Hi, I am happy my post encouraged you! I'm sure you can improve your life in the same passion as I did 🙂

  7. 18th May - 25th May:

    I've been watching the hockey championship for the past two weeks. You might know that there are just a few matches remaining in the play-off. I've been watching it fairly actively and it's really the only time when I care about watching sports. I realized it's just too much passive entertainment for me, really the same as with watching a film every day, binging series or something similar. Anyhow, I'm not gonna have the time to watch the final matches at the weekend 🙂

    Besides the kitchen for my grandma, I got working on getting the air tickets claim from February. The rest of the things have been going as usual, so I'm happy 🙂

    • Like 1
  8. 3 hours ago, Zoe said:

    I’m trying to keep the feeling of this weekend in my mind to keep me hopeful and motivated. It shows me how much my environment affects my emotional state. It’s made me think a lot about what is hurting my happiness the most. It is my job. It’s just toxic. So, I will start seriously taking the steps to leave. Yesterday, I took the steps to start private practice. I have a business ID and Account now. I have completed the paperwork with my consultant and I had a zoom meeting with her yesterday and feel really encouraged and supported. 

    All the best in your new venture! I hope it goes well for you, as it has gone for me 😄  

    • Like 1
  9. 6 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

    I started reading a new book yesterday and hated it after 50 pages so I stopped. I found a new one that I'll try this weekend. 

    I feel you. It's a bore to read a book that is not interesting. I haven't read seriously for about two months, just because the book I borrowed isn't all that entertaining. I need to pick up a new one from the library.

    • Like 2
  10. 5 hours ago, Zoe said:

    Random question..Is there a way to save a journal entry without submitting?

    There is some mechanism that keeps the text in the cache of your browser if you go to another page or close the window, but it's not always 100% reliable.

    • Like 1
  11. 12 hours ago, Faroe Islander said:

    Great to hear that you are managing to keep a balanced life between work, relax, wants socializing and learning hope the rest of the week and weekend go well 

    Thanks! I wish the same to you 🙂

    • Like 1
  12. 14th May - 17th May:

    I visited my family on Sunday and went to a concert with my grandma, which was actually surprisingly good. Also watched hockey in the evening.

    Had my last exam on Monday, spent some time with my girlfriend, researched some stuff about kitchen design for my grandma, had mentoring and a few lessons as well. I'm happy that business mentoring is back on track, as I have many new useful insights and I'm going to work on them at the weekend.

    Baked a chicken on Tuesday, had more classes too, met with some friends in the evening.

    Today I put in the hours as well, although I had a nap in the afternoon, as I have been feeling tired during the day. I'm wondering what to do now, I'll likely watch a movie to zone out and relax, as I haven't been feeling the best.

    • Like 2
  13. 13 hours ago, Zoe said:

    @IkarGlad to have a fellow vet here! Served throughout  the United states, deployed to Iraqx2. It was ok as it could be…time not deployed was great for structure. I’ve always kinda been one of the boys, so enjoyed competing against them in physical fitness stuff. Deployments..war is not cool..but I survived, kept my integrity and left. 😀How was it for you?

    Oh, I wouldn't dare to call myself a "veteran", as I wasn't on any tour outside. I was at the army university for a year, half a year as a radio operator and half a year in transition/training. I quit because I was pissed off that I saw no way of getting past the army bureaucracy to relocate somewhere to do something useful with my English, although I was surely more of an idiot five years ago 😄

    Agreed on the structure, I have to have good organization skills in my line of work dealing with 20+ students weekly. I got a gun license three years back. I'm planning to go to the shooting range again soon with some friends, one of whom is a former Royal Marine I believe. I'm still using a bunch of my army clothing for leisure/around the house activities, as it's comfortable and because I like to reuse things 😄

  14. @BooksandTrees  put it eloquently. Better than I would. I believe he's speaking from his own experience. You don't want to replace an addiction by another addiction.

    5 hours ago, Zoe said:

    As an army veteran—Not sure if Cam is a veteran or not. If not, you don’t have the privilege of using us as an example for any sort of campaign/program you  are throwing out there. If he is, then he should  know better. 

    Well said. Where did you serve? How was it? I'm curious, because I also served, although in Czechia 😄

    • Like 1
  15. 5 hours ago, Faroe Islander said:

    my only worry is that they have always been very keen on me focussing on the normal good grades -> Fixed good job at a private/public company while this year I have taken another route.

    Right now I'm riding on trust from previous years (passing everything with good marks) and I fear what may happen if that trust breaks, since they know people directly or indirectly at the uni who could keep an eye on me + handle most of my expenses. I'll try to look into it since they have promised to be open about possible different masters or even other degrees/vocational training programs once I finish my degree, it could be interesting, specially with the general university subsidies in EU countries though I would probably have to look at making it compatible with work.

    I think it's good that you decided to try something else. Myself, I can't really imagine being a normal employee at this point. But maybe I will be one again 🙂

    For sure, the EU system of universities is very interconnected and if you decide to pursue a second master's or PhD, all the power to you! 🙂

    5 hours ago, Faroe Islander said:

    @Ikar and @BooksandTrees, since you are probably far more experienced that me in the topic of handling time and distractions could I ask you for some advice on what to do when cravings, mental blocks come up but you still have to keep working since your schedule is tight? And also on how you arrange your time afterwards to stop the cravings and blocks to gain strength.

    I think for me the idea of playing games comes to my mind about less than once a month, but it's always at the time when I'm in the middle of doing something else, so I don't even have time to think about it.

    I only postpone things if I start to believe they are overwhelming, as @BooksandTrees pointed out via the video above. Only two things I am maybe not completely happy with my progress, and feel somewhat overwhelmed, are my grandma's kitchen and writing a claim to airlines about compensation for a canceled flight. Neither of those are crucial though.

     If my schedule is really tight, I don't have time to think about replacement activities in the first place! 😄

    I get bored sometimes, but it's normally for an hour or two at maximum. My replacement activity at this point isn't gaming, but things like catching up with mails, chats, washing the dishes, cleaning, showering, catching up with some YT channels, bookmarks... At this point, I get back on track automatically without much delay.

    • Like 1
  16. 11 hours ago, Faroe Islander said:

    It was. thank you for taking the time to write it out

    That is a more or less true, right now I was always told that I needed to go to uni, they didn't let me choose vocational training, it more or less ended well since with the extracurricular activities and by starting to understand university more as a chance to learn, understand the world, grow as a person and have more opportunities instead as an obligation to study it helped a lot.

    Right now what I'm struggling most with is that they push me towards focussing more on better grades (which is understandable) but this also comes at the cost of also shifting priorities away from things like extracurricular activities where I can apply things learned in the uni. I can't really fight back to much since they have experience in the field and also in educational things + they have the money.

    Right now I'm looking forward to the undergraduate's thesis to get a chance to try something new though I don't know how I would go about trying other fields since when I study my degree I find it enjoyable but also lack concepts or things that can be found in other degrees and I don't know what to do about that.

    I wish I could also learn about those and not just be forced to focus completely on my degree but I also know that to some point specialization in todays days and age is required to really get economic opportunities, specially in my country. For now I'll just focus on my degree, do you have any ideas on what could be done about this?

    And congratulations on getting your degree and finishing the subjects in your master, it can at times be quite challenging and it deserves recognition

    As a side note to my previous point, my bachelor studies were special in the way that our class only met once a week. All of the people were basically 30+ who overall had better motivation to study than 19+ students. They already had jobs, kids and better time management. Even though we met once a week, we got together a few times outside of class and stayed in touch. That experience only underlines the fact that uni is not solely about grades.

    I understand your parents' perspective. You'll be "their kid" as long as you are around them daily and/or they provide you with a substantial amount of funds. And as long as you're "their kid", they will never fully respect your decisions and they will think they know better than you. I believe one of the best things I've ever done was to move out of my parents' house.

    I'd say that if you find something interesting and enjoyable, you can go for it in your free time. I'm extending my uni studies by half a year too, so my idea is that you could perhaps do the same to alleviate some of the stress, granted you trust yourself that you are able to finish the degree at a later date?

    Thanks for the praise! 🙂

    • Like 2
  17.   I'm using the template I used the last time. 15/04/23 - 13/05/23

    "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.

     First off, I've been looking forward to writing this and having the time to do so. I like this habit of mine 🙂




    Books/Reading articles:

    L: Currently reading Idiot by Dostoevsky, although not very regularly.

    T: No, I'm just not interested in that book, will need to pick up something else. I read a few newsletters.

    Possible direction/goals:

    Continue getting through the newsletters.

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



    L: I've been spending more time with my family than planned this month. I'm one step behind on the kitchen plan, however I will make some progress on it over the weekend and ask my father about some technical details of the purchase.

    T: Oops. I'm still somehow puzzled how it's week 19 and I'm 6 weeks behind the plan below. Anyhow, my father advised me to not go alone, as there'll be a lot of furniture to pack and I will need his trailer. I'm gonna set it up tomorrow, so the furniture is at my grandma's place by the end of May.


    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, laying the new linoleum, putting in the new furniture. Get it done well and ASAP.


    And with this plan, my grandma should have a new kitchen at the end of April 🙂

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

    Possible direction/goals:

    Work on getting the new kitchen for my grandma.

    Continue working on bettering the relationships with my family.



    L: The university has been taking up around 13 hours a week in total as I predicted. The trip was nice and the projects are still ongoing.

    T: I have one more exam to go and then it's just the thesis and finals. As planned. 

    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.



    L: I went to the career festival. I didn't really get any deals done which was the primary point of my visit, however I think it was still a good idea to go, meet some friends and acquaint with others.

    I started a new mentoring program yesterday, so I am pretty excited. I hope to get some good ideas for my business and make new connections.

    T: Unfortunately, my mentor had some time troubles, so I've only met him twice so far, although we are meeting on Monday. I've been on the tasks and exercises he gave me at least.


    Classes are at a stable 25-30 hours a week, plus a few hours for admin work.

    An example for 29 hours next week: Category A 59% (53); B 9% (9); C 5% (7); D 12% (10); E 16% (19). 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.

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

    Networking events.

    Work on the new mentoring project.

    Variable pricing.

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

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

    Past projects:

    Update my website to reflect the new ideas and inspiration from the web.

    Get a customized redesign and SEO for the website.

    Networking events. = Attended the networking event on 5th April.

    Work on Linked In - use the notes from seminar.




    L: We've been going for walks with my girlfriend fairly often. Went for a bike trip with my girlfriend.

    T: Went for a bike trip with my girlfriend again. Bike and walks.

    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.





    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 20)

    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)

    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. (Sep/Oct)

    I saw a girl on Monday, 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. Going out with her again tomorrow. (Oct/Nov)

     I think quitting games matured quickly and brutally overall, including in my relationship to women. I can say I am attracted to the girl I have been seeing. She gives me more than enough signs that its mutual. I don't think I am wrong, but I've been surprised before 😄

    I have to scout her behavior for a longer time to see how (in)secure she is. She's capable of being independent, based on the things she's done in the past, so I am not sure whether she's just trying to seem more "approachable" for me to make a move on or whether it's a bigger issue. I don't want to have a clingy girlfriend.

    It's been going well with the girl. I wouldn't dare to call her my girlfriend yet, but we've spent several afternoons/evenings together, so it's pretty serious dating now. (Nov 22). I believe now she's a girlfriend. (Dec 22)

    It's been going well with the girl. I wouldn't dare to call her my girlfriend yet, but we've spent several afternoons/evenings together, so it's pretty serious dating now... I believe now she's a girlfriend. (Jan 23)

    We've been seeing over the weekends mostly for an afternoon/evening. It is good (Feb 18th 23)

    T: My girlfriend moved to a location closer to me two months ago and we've been seeing more regularly. I'm happy and grateful for having such a loving girlfriend.

    Possible direction/goals:

    Set up at least two dates a month (with my girlfriend).


    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, uni work, blogging


    Additional thoughts/activities:

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

    This month, I did these cool activities: business mentoring, reading about finance, spending time with friends and my girlfriend, going to the theatre, kitchen planning for my grandma, watching a series about people in debt and their solutions, blogging (!), winning a table football tournament, going for a weekend 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.

    Stop watching porn (again). - I am not porn-free, it comes in waves. I'll try to be more aware when the urges come and what makes me more likely to have them. This month (March) I had a good run without porn and too much news 🙂

    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.



    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.

    I found out I quite like to give presentations, if I really believe and enjoy the topic. This goes for both my school and business presentations. Better keep that in mind.

    • Like 1
  18. 8th May - 13th May:

    Spent some time with friends, my girlfriend and in general just being busy with work and school. Went for a lunch with my father, to the theater and set up a new room to rent from June! It's been about time to leave the dorms after three and a half years.


    From Mark Manson's weekly email:



    There’s no such thing as, “I don’t have enough time.” You always have enough time. You don’t have the right priorities.

    Living well means spending more time on things that matter. Living poorly means spending more time on things that don’t matter. Wisdom is knowing the difference.


    I think I have been fairly good at prioritizing my own interests, while giving others my time and attention as well. I do things that matter to me and don't do things that don't matter to me. I still put it here because I think he put it eloquently.

  19. 23 hours ago, Zoe said:

    Real life, I'm able to pretty much fake having my shit together except to the people who I really allow in (maybe 2 people).

    Why do you feel like you need to fake having your shit together? What would help you soothe that feeling? This particular sentence is somewhat similar to what my girlfriend sometimes says. I'm always astounded when she does and the fact she doubts herself to this extent.

  20. On 5/10/2023 at 9:40 AM, Faroe Islander said:

    I still haven't figured these ones out and sometimes catch myself thinking about the end of the activities in a bad way (like I'm having fun with this team at the uni, but what will happen when they leave next year, how will I adapt and continue, they were a big reason why I was in and why the experience was enjoyable despite the hardships...)

    I'm currently going through the uni myself and I can say the reasons why I was/am there changed over time. Back in 2016-2018, I just viewed it as something I should do and I think that's also why I dropped out of one. A big factor was that basically all of my immediate family has a university title, though a bit of that still remains there until today. After I quit games in 2019, it was a good way to fill time and I learnt some time-management skills in general. I finished bachelor in 2021.

    Before starting my master, I knew it was a calculated risk, as I knew I could have a well-paid full time job if I wanted to back in 2021. But it still made economical and social sense for me to go to master. I've managed my study responsibilities fairly easily in the past two years and all I need to do now is to write the thesis and do final exams in January.

    Therefore, I believe it's natural that one thing leads to another and that reasons and motivations change over time. I'm sure you'll adapt and continue without many problems even after some of your teammates leave.

    On 5/10/2023 at 2:02 PM, BooksandTrees said:

    It's also tough because each college major has a very tight, 4 year regiment to follow in order to graduate. This adds a lot of pressure to the student to accept this program for their forever job. Realistically everyone changes jobs. I'm now 10 years out of college and most of the people I graduated with from my engineering school are no longer engineers at all. So just realize you have options and can just see this through and don't have to fully commit. 

    If you want to do well in college you're not gonna have time to game. I recommend joining clubs and groups related to your major and doing homework and studying with them etc. A lot of my job opportunities outside of college stemmed from me being a member of those clubs back in college. They'll fill your time and you won't have the need to game anymore. After college is when you randomly get 8 hours a day back and filling that time sucks. 

    I think the mindset of "forever" job is there because kids, teenagers and young adults don't really have much agency to make their own choices, because their parents or school didn't teach them that. It's always "You have to go to elementary school." "You have to go to high school." etc. and it's hard to break the cycle. 100% on not committing too early and exploring different options. It takes time and some trial-and-error to make quality decisions.

    On 5/10/2023 at 11:27 PM, Faroe Islander said:

    Thank you a lot for the advice, I'll try to manage through college at least the best I can I'm almost finished with its hardest part (at least I hope so) Now I just have to be careful with my parents they are very pushy with uni grades in particular, they have  a strong believe in those being the most important part about college and have talked to me about focussing more on them and cutting a bit the extracurricular activities 

    Right now I'll see what to do since I really don't want to cut down on them though the time that would give me would be nice and about the not working on an engineering job I still have to wrap my head around it.

    I knew that my future would probably envolve some variation in jobs, companies and maybe different roles within them but working on a completely different field still seems like a bizarre notion/concept

    Having good grades at the university is akin to kissing a girlfriend in a relationship. Is it important? Yes. Is it all there is to it? No.

    Extracurriculars give you nice hobbies, contacts, options for friendships, jobs and other things that can be useful later in life. Very few people actually care about excellent grades themselves after uni, as long as you have the title. Grades are really mostly a substitute for specific successes with specific rewards in real life.

    I hope the post was useful to you in some way 🙂

    • Like 2
  21. On 5/5/2023 at 7:21 PM, LordFederickRamsay said:

    If you're struggling to keep up with your daily journal, I'd recommend this. I can also sense (correct me if I'm wrong) you were put off by the inactivity / no responses to your posts. In some ways this (for me) is actually appealing because I write about such intimate things in my journal and no-one except @jailbreaker. reads them (occasionally). 

    I'm also doing Respawn Elite and on this forum, under daily journals, Cam says to (it might be on Respawn Elite or this forum - I can't remember) keep up with three journals. You're my second journal I'm going to keep up with if you come back! Currently, I'm updating my own daily journal, and responding to jailbreaker's daily journal. Remember if you've gamed since the 25th April, it doesn't matter. You can restart your 90 day detox and I'll check your journal daily. I usually commit to an hour of my time to this forum but I always spend more than that...! 


    On 5/10/2023 at 12:32 AM, BooksandTrees said:

    I agree with @LordFederickRamsay. not many people read these posts unfortunately and it is frustrating. I wrote about it dozens of times with @Ikarabout how there isn't a community feel and it can be depressing. We tried our best to create monthly shoutouts in celebrate section a few years back. 

    Over the years, I have followed many journals and I believe Books has followed even more. I think Cam's idea of following three journals is sound to create some self-sustaining ecosystem, but only if they are active journals. I'd consider someone "active" if they have been here in the past month (that'd be me 🙂 ) or have a history of periodically returning over longer time periods (that'd be Books).

    The matter of fact is that 98% of people stop writing here because they relapse, quit games using a different technique or just aren't interested in journaling. I am here because I am interested in journaling. Sometimes I get a comment and the UI is convenient, so I keep on doing it here at GQ. A thread on Reddit might be faster, but I'd argue the conversation would be more superficial than here. It's all about your preference.

    On 5/10/2023 at 12:32 AM, BooksandTrees said:

    It's just tough because sometimes the community leaders relapse and leave. The other issue is it's hard to help others when you can't help yourself. These feelings can lead you into making templates to follow to give you some sort of structure to recovery. He's right about templates. They feel like work. Don't do them. Most people who do them burnout and quit. 

    I go through phases of long summary posts and then short posts about emotions or what I'm specifically dealing with. Try to make your posts so they help you most. If you want to vent, vent. If you are stuck on one thing, write one thing. 

    I agree, it's important to do what works for you. I normally about five posts a month on current events and then a monthly report with the areas of my life. It helps me track the progress, devise ways to improve and appreciate the journey in the long run.

    On 5/10/2023 at 12:32 AM, BooksandTrees said:

    And this is unrelated, but I used to feel obligated to read every diary and post to help and it's exhausting. I feel bad that I don't write on everyone's page anymore but it's so important to have others help you during recovery. I ended up taking a long break from here because it burned me out. 

    Take your time with it and let it go in waves. You both are doing great and it's big just being on the right path. 

    Yeah, it takes time to create posts like these. I started reading related comments, thinking, writing and an has hour passed and I haven't even seen anything older than the 5th May post by @LordFederickRamsay. Don't spend this amount of energy on a journal of a guy who left the forum two years ago, have mercy with yourself.


    @Zoe  What a cute cat! 😄

    I'd recommend not editing older posts, unless you think it's impossible to share the information anymore. It makes it easier to follow the journal for others, as nobody will go through older posts just to see if you changed something, nor there are any obvious notifications in case you do. Journal soon! 🙂

    • Like 1
  22. On 5/2/2023 at 11:02 PM, BooksandTrees said:

    Good job. It sounds like you've found great life balance during this time period. 

    There are always a few things to improve, but overall I've been feeling great. I'm quite excited about what the future holds, but I am also happy with what I already have, just glancing through my recent monthly reports. I hope you've been experiencing the same!

    • Like 2
  23. 3rd May - 7th May:

    Worked on business mentoring, had my last university class and did some minor stuff. Went for a weekend with my girlfriend to the nature and to a different town. Had a good time overall and I'm happy and grateful 🙂

  24. 21 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

    I feel very burnt out after all the huge life events in the past few years. I don't think I've been coping with the stress well. I'm exhausted. 

    They're good life events and bad from the 2 old jobs as well. Lots of Rollercoaster riding. I think I'm going to take the next week or two to detox from junk food and tv and apps etc. I haven't really been watching porn at all which is good. Maybe like twice a month which is a huge improvement over the 3 time a day years ago. 


    I feel you. I remember the immediate fallout of games even after quitting. About a week after quitting, I got fired from my post office job. It was just unavoidable and even though I didn't care about it much, it wasn't encouraging. Some stuff will just drag on regardless of what you do now.

    As for porn, I feel better the last few weeks or months as well, basically since I got my girlfriend. I watch it a few times a month too. I'd say I am curious about it rather than addicted to it at this point.

    • Like 1
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