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Pierce

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About Pierce

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  1. @info-gatherer Dude, glad to hear it! And anytime my man. One of the main lessons I've been learning recently is that a man is most fulfilled when he has lots of responsibility in his life. Having something to fight for puts things into perspective. I'm looking forward to hearing about the changes in your life once the break is over. In the mean time, keep the running up man. It is one of the most cathartic experiences I can think of when in a slump.
  2. @info-gatherer Thanks for the encouragement. You're right that self esteem is the most important part of this quest. I've been absent for a while since I've been building more of it. It's good to be back. Day 15 When my parents got back from the UK I slipped up, and when I did it again I got into the slump of wanting to get my life back together before coming back here. I started researching pen and paper games and isolating myself during the break. Then an old friend spontaneously invited me on a beach trip since they had an extra bed at the condo they rented. We kissed that night and she became the first girl I ever entered into a serious relationship with. Those 7 days at the beach were filled with 7 years worth of life lessons and experiences compared to my normal life. Heck, the last few days back have felt like weeks. She and I are long distance, which has been incredibly painful, but it's also taught us so many things. My final and hardest semester has began and I have been more motivated than ever. I already am looking into cars so I can get a job. I've been studying, taking better care of myself, and becoming more of a man every day. I don't know how often I'll post, since I've gotten so busy, but I do want to periodically speak of my progress. I haven't had cravings for a long time now, and while this motivation is partially externally motivated, I am trying to make it more internal every day. I'm now going to study, but before I do, I just want to say how glad I am that I chose to stick with this path. I am enjoying the struggle and the triumphs of each moment, and am excited about where it takes me.
  3. Stay strong until the holidays end brother. Take this time to rest and recharge so that you will be ready for school. Maybe try a new hobby or read a book you've been putting off for a while. I wish you luck in finding new outlets for social interaction as well.
  4. Day 2 Workout: yes Meditate 20mins Read 30mins Conversations 0 No Electronic Entertainment yes Did well today. Got my paperwork for yesterday's clinical turned in, then studied and worked out with a friend. He also taught me some parkout. I'm utterly exhausted again. Couple things left to do tonight. I also need a social event to go to this week to get my 5 conversations, since I didn't want to count my conversations at the ER yesterday, otherwise I'd have enough for multiple weeks.
  5. Day 1 Workout: no Meditate 20+mins Read 15mins Conversations 0 (+?) No Electronic Entertainment yes Embarrassing I only made it 8 days. I thought on why I slipped up. I worked hard when the house was my own and I was responsible for everything, but when my parents came back I allowed myself to grow slightly lazy, which grew even more. Today I was doing a clinical at the emergency department and worked hard all day, and even though I'm so tired I had to take a half an hour nap just to be able to type this before bed, I feel good. The anime I watched yesterday was very fun, but my life was frozen. I'm ready to move forward. So while I wanted to watch more today, it wasn't difficult to stop myself and push forward.
  6. 8 days. Hmm. 8/4 8/5 Workout: yes yes Meditate 0 0 Read 0 0 Conversations 7 (+2) 7 (+0) No Electronic Entertainment yes no Yesterday I worked frantically to clean the house, wash and clean the cars, get groceries, and prepare dinner for when my parents returned. It felt good to work that hard. Today I let me guard down. Unfortunate.
  7. Day 7 Workout: yes Meditate 0 Read 2mins Conversations 5 (+3) No Electronic Entertainment yes Wow, I can't believe it's been a week. It's gone by quickly. With days a fantastic as today, I can see why. The main event today was going to the park to do firefighter training with my friend. I had bought sand earlier in the day (while at the hardware store I had three fairly detailed conversations w/ employees, thus reaching my social goal), and we used trash bags and duct tape to make the sand into a 30lbs weight that can be used for "rucking", or walking/running with heavy weights in your backpack. We both had sore backs from this, so instead of rucking my friend taught me how to set up the oxygen pack and how to put on all of the firefighter gear quickly. At first it was friendly and instructional, but I made it clear I wanted him to push me, so each time I didn't get under a minute to put on the gear I would have to run with it in the blazing sun. I attempted it many times and it was utterly exhausting, with my best time being 61 seconds (2 away from my goal). My friend was so inspired by my tenacity that he agreed to step up his game as I taught him the medical side of things. I haven't stated this before, mainly due to superfluous embarrassment as this situation is very normal, but I live with my parents as I go through college. They will be back from their UK trip tomorrow, so my goal is to clean the house and their vehicles as a proper welcome home gesture. I bought car soap today, and am excited to get started.
  8. I can see how what I said sounds like marching, but what I'm advocating is very much running. Likely a bad description. Here's a video that makes the technique a bit convoluted, but at least includes demonstrations. Glad you broke through and didn't let excuses get the better of you new habit. That's a very strong foundation for it.
  9. @info-gatherer I've said it before, but it bears repeating: your grasp of the written English language is better than most Americans. Very impressive. Thank you for your words. You're right, and I'll need to be more long-term focused if I'm going to give my mind a fighting chance at rewiring. Days 5 and 6 8/1 8/2 Workout: 10 mins of yoga yes Meditate 10mins 0 Read 20mins 30mins Conversations 2 (+0) 2 (+0) No Electronic Entertainment yes yes *I've realized that by putting x's in the boxes of my goals it looks like I didn't accomplish them, whereas I meant that as a success, so I will edit that above. Yesterday was such an eventful day that I chose to do other tasks instead of posting. I don't regret it. I had my comprehensive final, which allowed me to just barely eek by in my hardest class, cardiology. I'm not proud of that, but the fact that I passed allows me to catch up on it during the break and advance on to the the next level of my training. I also found out that due to an organization I applied to, I get free tuition next semester! Pretty great. I'm surprised more people didn't take advantage of such an offer, but it worked in my favor. That will take some financial burden off of going to fire college. After class I set up the usual weekly DnD session, but as with the three previous weeks most people were unable to come. My friend who was a co-creator of the campaign and another guy from my medic guy showed up. We met at my house and I was glad to have a reason to be disciplined about cooking, so I made a Tex-Mex stir fry. While eating the topic of gaming did come up, and some gaming videos were shown. When I realized what was happening I quickly walked to the kitchen to wash dishes and then took a phone call from another friend. When I came back I advocated we start the game. The friend from school had to leave after a short while, so I suggested my other friend unveil the campaign he'd been thinking of being the Game Master for. It ended up being a fantasy steam punk setting, and with the two of us crafting the narrative as we went along, I probably had more fun than I had in a long time. If I could play DnD more often there would be much less of a temptation for video games. Fortunately I used another trick up my sleeve to replace gaming: exercise. The friend I've training for fire college with and I met up to run and do bodyweight exercises at the park. It was grueling for me since I was the one holding us up from getting the best time we could on the course since I was taking too many breaks doing pushups. We still beat are all time best by two minutes, which shows how rapidly we're improving. After that we ran a very steep hill, and I motivated my friend since he doesn't train hills. We ate and studied at his house, but he had trouble focusing, so we shot the breeze talking about all manner of subjects. I set many goals for myself today and have done very few since I spent so much time hanging out with my friend. I could be upset, but I'm not. Being social is important now that I'm on break. I'd rather do that than be isolated. Besides I still have the next couple of days to complete those goals, since they are flexible, so I'm not worried.
  10. I can empathize with that feeling of urgency, that you will miss out if you don't game now. The whole reason why I'm back here now was because I had access to a gaming computer for a short period of time, and was horrified about the amount of time I spent on it. It'll be difficult, but choosing a new and challenging habit, like running, to fill the void instead is wise. Running is incredibly therapeutic. I don't know if you've ever studied technique, but the Chi Running model helped me: let each step land toe first, keep your back straight and slightly leaned forward, sashay your hips subtly, and pick a location for your gaze to focus on to break your run into smaller chunks. Happy running!
  11. Day 4 Workout: yes Meditate 10mins Read 15mins Conversations 2 (+0) No Electronic Entertainment yes Ran this morning, read some of my speed reading book, spoke on the phone with a couple of friends, and for the rest of the day I've been working on clinical patient care reports. Shouldn't have taken too long, but ADD tripled the time it took. Had bad cravings, and could see why I was so hooked to my vices. Over the excruciating boredom of doing that work anime or video games looked pretty nice. I muscled through it and felt really good putting my signature at the end of those sheets. Wish I had a signet ring so I could fully express how much I felt like a 1600's nobleman sealing documents of great import. Comp final and DnD tomorrow.
  12. @JustTom You're right, very difficult, but ultimately the most direct way towards becoming the man I want to be. As for social, I've noticed those skills have not grown nearly as much as when I went out dancing in the past. Setting this goal will hopefully lead to trying out new events each week to reach it. Day 3 Workout: yes Meditate 20+ mins Read 5mins Conversations 2 No Electronic Entertainment yes I spent all day at the ER today and, hopefully, this will have been my last clinical there. It was a great experience and I had the privileged of being part of a team that saved many lives and increased the quality of life for countless more, but I definitely spent more time there than I would have liked. Today I mainly ran errands for the nurses, extremely helpful for them but not too much for my skills. I did get to do CPR at one point, and further hones ECG placement (which is easy to begin with). I also went out of my way to be charismatic with the nurses, and got to know a dude from my class better who I never had really spoken to before, so I count that as one stranger. Another stranger is a woman I met while walking my dog this morning. Also, I did meditate at times when the nurses didn't have anything for me to do at the ER. At home I planned on running and lifting weights, but fell asleep on the floor for half an hour after giving my cat and dog attention. When I woke up I remembered that integrity is the chief virtue I'm focusing on. I finished lifting weights right before the gym closed and had a great run. Tomorrow I have a lot of school work to do, so I look forward to testing myself with that.
  13. Day 2 I finished Respawn today. What I enjoy most about that book is how it gives a detailed plan for a better life. I'll list my goals for this detox below: For one year I want to quit: Video games, including related websites and videos Anime TV Shows Movies Non-educational YouTube videos I will limit unproductive internet browsing, which has been less of a problem than those listed above The four goals I wrote down in Respawn I want to focus on to fill that void for the next semester represent the four spheres of my life: physical, emotional, spiritual, and social. They use the SMDA Goals acronym: Specific, Measurable, Deadlines, Accountability. I have the deadline set for February 4th, which is when Fire College begins. So I have this short break and my last semester of paramedic to get there. If I don't meet these goals, it isn't the end of the world, but they are important. Physical: S- work out at least 30 minutes daily. M- reps and run times written down on notepad. D- become fit enough to heavily exceed fire college standards by February 4th. A- I will chart whether I met the goal in my journal. Mental: S- read 30 minutes daily using speed reading and note taking techniques. M- mark down how long I’ve read each day. D- have built the habit of regularly reading, using speed reading technique and taking notes by February 4th. A- I will post my reading times on in my public journal. Spiritual: S- meditate at least 20 minutes daily. M- I will write down how many minutes I have meditated and whether I have succeeded. D- to comfortable be able to meditate for an hour by February 4th. A- times will be public in journal. Social: S- have a conversation with at least 5 strangers each day. M- I will chart how many I have met each week, with the week beginning each Monday. D- be confident enough to approach women to ask for phone numbers by February 4th. A- I will make my chart public on my journal. I will list these goals like this under my day counter in the future. The conversations counter resets each Monday. It will be listed like this: Workout: yes Meditate 10 mins Read 5 mins Conversations 0 No Electronic Entertainment yes As for my day, I had a good run this morning, spoke with my grandparents over the phone, and had a friend over. I'm very excited about the next year.
  14. Nice man. I like the ambitious goals. Habitica is the most popular gamification web app, from what I've seen, but I've heard of others.
  15. @Cam Adair As always, thanks for the kind words. Respawn has been great. Even for someone who has studied a lot of self help, I find it incredibly useful for how it is very intentional in having you apply the lessons rather than having them sit in your brain. It's written in a way that can be approached by just about anyone, which a laudable feat. Day 1 Last night a friend rang my doorbell at 4am and it scared the living daylights out of me. He needed some help and a place to sleep for a bit since he was so tired, and once I woke up I was actually happy to have the company. I've been watching to house while my parents are on a trip to the UK, so it can get lonely. I was going to use playing the Witcher to fill that void, but it only masked it. Today I felt that loneliness, and did reach out to friends some, but tomorrow I will be more proactive and read at the library down the street and then meet with another friend later. Outside of being at home all day, I enjoyed day one of freedom. I had a fantastic work out in the morning. I lifted weights and then ran three miles. I made sure to run without a shirt as a test of self-confidence, and building a tan was an added bonus. I did watch some youtube, unfortunately, but the videos were by self help guys: Thomas Frank, Jordan Peterson, etc. That did cost me some time, but I still got 5/7's of the way through Respawn. I did the exercises as I went along, and the hardest one was getting rid of my account with the Witcher on it. I bet my subconscious was banking on me failing again so it could bathe in the dopamine of playing it once more. I'll finish it tomorrow. I know I'm reading through it quickly, but I'd rather do that and reread it multiple times total at a later date, than read it once over a long period of time. It has been incredibly helpful already, and while part of me is skeptical this is the time I'll truly quit since I have been an unwilling servant to this vice for the past seven years, another part of me believes that this is the time I earn my freedom. My biggest step for being happy in life with this crutch gone is being more social. I've been thinking of events I can go to. There's a local meditation center, and it would be good to regularly attend that. I also want to start dating again, so going out dancing with friends would serve a double purpose of hanging out and meeting women. At the very least it would help in sharpening skills that have always lay rusty, i.e approaching with confidence. Tomorrow I'm going to work on implementing the four daily habits Cam suggested, and on using the pomodoro technique to avoid wasting time on the internet. I also postponed the lesson on filling up the free spots on my calendar, as I need to look up more events in my area. With all of this mental scurrying around, I can still honestly say: life is good.
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