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Paul’s Journal


Paul A.
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2 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

I also have to add that... Spiritual awakenings might not feel the way you expect, you might not even know you've had one until you see it retrospectively. They are also not a one and done thing, I have had many and most of them seemed mundane at the time they actually occurred. It's more like opening a window and letting the breeze in than jumping out of an airplane most of the time, but I think we always expect it to feel like jumping out of an airplane!!

Had no idea you were a fellow seeker as well! Super exciting 🤗

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Been using PMO as a way to avoid spending money on sex. Not a very constructive coping mechanism but it’ll have to do for now. In the meantime, I’m trying to learn how to write, but I’m finding I don’t enjoy the act of writing itself that much either. If writing doesn’t stick, I’m not sure what my hobby of choice will be to replace gaming. Ideally, I want something that’s oriented towards creation rather than consumption, even though some consumptive hobbies aren’t so bad (such as reading). I just think I’ve consumed enough content for a while, and I’m ready to start applying what I’ve learned rather than overloading myself with information. One of these days I’m gonna sit down and set some goals, as well as put some systems in place to be more disciplined. I’ve done enough “learning” and I’m ready to get out there and just make things happen.

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I feel like I’ve reached a crossroads. I don’t really know where to go from here. I’ve burned all my bridges with gaming and I’ve kicked it for good, but I’m still plagued by a nasty sex and PMO habit. And yet, part of me feels like even if I succeed at kicking the sex and the PMO as well, I’d only be treating a symptom, and not the problem itself. What the problem even is, well that’s what I wanna talk about. Sometimes, I deal with bouts of dissatisfaction with life. I’ve been dealing with them for as long as I can remember. I can’t really trace the source of it, all I know is that it’s there. Sometimes, it seems to disappear for a while, usually when my life has some kind of direction. But, it comes back just as frequently. Right now, I feel like I don’t have direction in life. Like I’m kind of just going through the motions. And through everything I’ve learned, I know this sense of directionless-ness isn’t inherently bad. In fact, it’s ok to feel like this (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself). But I still don’t like the feeling. I’ve formulated a few ways to try and deal with it, like plunging back into my hobby of making music, or becoming more disciplined with good habits, but I’m hesitating to take action on either of these. I think that until I tackle the source of the dissatisfaction, it’ll continue to come and go. I’m getting ready to sit down and meditate in the woods for a while (but I’m not gonna watch my breath, I’m really just gonna think). Hopefully it helps me to break new ground on the source of my dissatisfaction.

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I think bouts of dissatisfaction are normal and a part of being human. Everyone can be always doing more but... why bother if your belly is full and the bed is comfortable?

I think the main ingredient to overcoming the feeling is keeping busy. However keeping busy according to your own volition, not because somebody said that you should do something. Then you'll see where the life is taking you and the direction will be clearer. I gamed (often socially), wrote about games and learnt English well, even though there were guys who were even better at English in high school. English teaching is my job now.

As for the directions and goals themselves, you also never know when some paths will intersect. I've always been a saver with my money and I naturally accumulated it, even if I had no reason to. Later on, I learnt I could reach some amount that would free me completely of the worries that I can't afford to do something and it definitely opens up many more possibilities for my future.

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5 hours ago, Ikar said:

I think bouts of dissatisfaction are normal and a part of being human. Everyone can be always doing more but... why bother if your belly is full and the bed is comfortable?

I think the main ingredient to overcoming the feeling is keeping busy. However keeping busy according to your own volition, not because somebody said that you should do something. Then you'll see where the life is taking you and the direction will be clearer. I gamed (often socially), wrote about games and learnt English well, even though there were guys who were even better at English in high school. English teaching is my job now.

As for the directions and goals themselves, you also never know when some paths will intersect. I've always been a saver with my money and I naturally accumulated it, even if I had no reason to. Later on, I learnt I could reach some amount that would free me completely of the worries that I can't afford to do something and it definitely opens up many more possibilities for my future.

This is helpful, thanks!

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I notice I’m starting to be less consistent with my entries. I’m now aware of this and I’ll try to change it. Anyway, I was struck by something. I had posted the other day about a recurring sense of dissatisfaction coming up every now and again. Well, I determined that the cause of it was my own failure to take decisive action in life. Apart from dropping video games, I haven’t taken any action to improve my life, so of course I’d be dissatisfied. That’s not to say that once I reach a certain milestone in life, I’ll be satisfied. But I haven’t actively been working towards something. In other words, I haven’t been taking any action. Well, that’s gonna change. I’ve had a passion for music for a while now. I’ve uploaded songs on streaming platforms, and I’ve taught myself how to produce and how to mix/master. The one thing I’ve failed to do is be consistent with posting music. So I’m gonna change that. I’ve made a goal to make 52 songs at once so that I can upload one song a week for a year. As of this writing, I have two completed. I’m not so determined to get to that magic number 52 as I am to just immerse myself in the music making process. If I fixate so much on getting to 52 songs, the quality will suffer. I know 52 songs will take a while, but I’d rather take my time and enjoy the process than rush to crank out mediocre work. In addition to my music making, I’ve decided to start waking up early every morning (5am). I’ve determined waking up early to be my keystone habit that will create forward momentum in my life, so I’m determined to stick to it, no matter how uncomfortable it might be. I’m also gonna start working out 4x a week, first thing in the morning. I know these initiatives won’t transform my life overnight, but over time they’ll create the forward momentum I need to succeed. I’m not motivated by the results either, I’m motivated by the prospect of taking action on a daily basis towards a better life for myself. I think this will prove much more sustainable than any other source in the long run.

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As a fellow gamequitter who has been on this journey with you for a bit, I demand royalty or at least one mention of the term "gamequitter" in your album.

Just kidding, it is always awesome to see others here commit and make way towards a better life for themselves.

Wish you all the best with your progress!

Edited by LostRiver
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On 7/28/2022 at 5:44 PM, Paul A. said:

part of me feels like even if I succeed at kicking the sex and the PMO as well, I’d only be treating a symptom, and not the problem itself. What the problem even is, well that’s what I wanna talk about.

When people in 12 step programs say "the disease of addiction" that's what they're talking about. We're addicts regardless of what "drug" we use, and even if we stop using the addiction is still lurking there. We're wired differently than non-addicts (that being said, ANYONE can become an addict under certain circumstances.) Once you're an addict, there's no cure, no going back to "normalcy". This is our new normal. We have to learn how to live with it, how to fight our cravings and strive to be better people. Fortunately, it can be done, it's being done all the time. People who struggle with addiction learn how to overcome their hardships and use healthy coping mechanisms instead, I've seen it happen and it's happened for me too. I still struggle daily but I'm the best me I've ever been and I'll keep striving to do better! With this goal in mind, I'll never truly be directionless.

I think you're doing great. I hope you'll share your music with us!

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9 hours ago, LostRiver said:

As a fellow gamequitter who has been on this journey with you for a bit, I demand royalty or at least one mention of the term "gamequitter" in your album.

Just kidding, it is always awesome to see others here commit and make way towards a better life for themselves.

Wish you all the best with your progress!

Thank you! And I’ll consider your offer and get back to you haha

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2 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

When people in 12 step programs say "the disease of addiction" that's what they're talking about. We're addicts regardless of what "drug" we use, and even if we stop using the addiction is still lurking there. We're wired differently than non-addicts (that being said, ANYONE can become an addict under certain circumstances.) Once you're an addict, there's no cure, no going back to "normalcy". This is our new normal. We have to learn how to live with it, how to fight our cravings and strive to be better people. Fortunately, it can be done, it's being done all the time. People who struggle with addiction learn how to overcome their hardships and use healthy coping mechanisms instead, I've seen it happen and it's happened for me too. I still struggle daily but I'm the best me I've ever been and I'll keep striving to do better! With this goal in mind, I'll never truly be directionless.

I think you're doing great. I hope you'll share your music with us!

Thank you for the kind and supportive words! And I’ll be sure to share my music as I upload it

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My workday is dragging even longer than usual. I don’t particularly enjoy my job, but today feels especially taxing. I can’t wait to go home to work on some music. I woke up early this morning (5am), went for a run, wrote a song, then I went back to sleep before I had to come here to work. I also wrote another song while at work. All things considered, it’s been a fairly successful day, but I just want the workday to be over with.

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Aug. 1 - Aug. 4

My birthday was on Monday the 1st, and I spent a majority of the day at work. I turned 20. I didn’t feel particularly excited, it was just another day to me. Otherwise, I’ve just been working the job and working on more music. I’m at 6 songs out of 52, and I wrote a 7th earlier today. In other news, I’m actually starting to enjoy my job. I realized it’s all about mindset (as corny as that may sound). I rediscovered the power of positive thinking, and re-learned how thoughts generate feelings, which generate actions. It all starts with your thoughts. If you think positive, you’ll feel positive, and you’ll do positive, which in turn leads to more positive thoughts, and the cycle repeats. Of course, there’s such a thing as toxic positivity, but I’m far from that point. What I’ve found works best is to replace negative thoughts with positive ones as they come up. No need to force myself to think positive constantly. And it really does work. I found myself more motivated for work than usual, and one of my coworkers noticed that I’m more lively today. I’m excited to see the power of positive thinking playing out the more I practice it.

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Posted (edited)

 

I’m started to get discouraged with music. I downloaded TikTok to research what other artists are doing in terms of social media, but I was inundated with videos of rappers that are way more talented than me.

Up to this point I thought I was a pretty decent rapper, but the fact that I can’t freestyle coupled with my mediocre lyricism in comparison to other MCs pretty much deflated my confidence in my ability. And I logically know I can just work hard and put in more time to improve in both these areas, but at this point I’m not sure if I’m even willing to put in the work. Music is something I really enjoy and I’d love to do it as a career, but there’s a bit of an impostor syndrome that kicks in when I see how average I really am. I don’t even think I have what it takes to be a professional musician anymore.

Other than music, I’ve been trying to improve at work. For those who don’t know, I sell furniture, and it’s a salaried position draw commission. I’m actually starting to enjoy my job, which I detested less than a week ago. I’m motivated to become at least the best salesperson in my store, if not the whole company. Ever since I “discovered” positive thinking, I discovered an underlying desire to be the best at anything I do. It’s kind of why this music situation is so discouraging, because I recognize that I’m far from the best, and that there’s a seemingly insurmountable wall between me and my goal. And yet, I recognize I’m far from being the best salesperson in my store, let alone the company; but it doesn’t bother me nearly as much. Maybe because I’ve only been selling furniture for 2 months, whereas I’ve been making music on and off for years now.

I’m leaving a “rough” version of a song I’ve been working on attached to this post for you all to listen to. I’m rather proud of it, but it may end up being the culmination of my on-again, off-again relationship with music; I’m not sure if I intend to continue making music after this song is finished. Any feedback on the song is greatly appreciated.

 

Edited by Paul A.
Ignore the first video
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3 hours ago, Paul A. said:

I’m leaving a “rough” version of a song I’ve been working on attached to this post for you all to listen to. I’m rather proud of it, but it may end up being the culmination of my on-again, off-again relationship with music; I’m not sure if I intend to continue making music after this song is finished. Any feedback on the song is greatly appreciated.

I enjoy listening to rap from time to time, mostly Eminem, although I also listen to a select few smaller bands like Living Legends (this is a great song about addiction) or The Chicharones (this one is quite funny, at least it has that ring to me :V ). So that's my "expertise".

I usually hear more drum/beat structure in rap, so that's what I am used to. I also don't always sing along with the song, though I sometimes like to. I heard your song once and I got that you are singing about a personal message. As a whole, without the beat it just feels to me like a 3-minute long slur of words. This is how the LL song I linked originally felt to me too actually, so if that's what you want to do, then it's good 🙂 

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23 minutes ago, Ikar said:

I enjoy listening to rap from time to time, mostly Eminem, although I also listen to a select few smaller bands like Living Legends (this is a great song about addiction) or The Chicharones (this one is quite funny, at least it has that ring to me :V ). So that's my "expertise".

I usually hear more drum/beat structure in rap, so that's what I am used to. I also don't always sing along with the song, though I sometimes like to. I heard your song once and I got that you are singing about a personal message. As a whole, without the beat it just feels to me like a 3-minute long slur of words. This is how the LL song I linked originally felt to me too actually, so if that's what you want to do, then it's good 🙂 

Although Weird Al is not a rapper by design, I threw in a link for him too 🙂

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So I decided to drop music and go all in with my sales job. I still have two songs I’m waiting on to get mixed/mastered, but I’m not in a hurry to get them back. I figured if I’m gonna go all in with something, it might as well be sales, since it’s something I’m new to. The way I see it, it’s less discouraging to work towards honing a new, unfamiliar skill than it is to work on an old skill in which you haven’t improved at by much.

Either way, the past few days have been pretty good. I’m enjoying going to work, so much so to the point that I went in on my off day (today) to do some product research and make some calls. I humorously tell myself that I’m going to be “the king of the salespeople” (an homage to One Piece to any of my anime fans), but I’m putting in the work to turn that humorous statement into reality. I’m planning to go in a few hours early tomorrow to watch some training materials.

I spent most of yesterday at work and I had a fairly successful day; I managed to sell upwards of $5k in furniture. Although I’ve set a goal of myself to sell at least $10k every day I’m working, I’m still happy when I know I put in my best effort. I’m happy to sell anything at all, really. To me, sales is all about helping people. The more people I sell to, the more people I help. And even if I don’t end up selling to a person, if I know I put my best effort to help them while they were in the store, then I’m satisfied.

I spent a good portion of the first half of today sleeping, followed by a therapy session. I had a fairly enlightening discussion with my therapist about a good array of topics, from the power of mindset, to affirmations, to the significance of Yin Yang. After that, I went to my workplace (even though I was off) to make some calls and do some research. Two customers I had worked with previously expressed interest in buying more furniture, which I’m excited about. If I can sell them more stuff, it means I’ve helped them out even more; or at least that’s the way I see it.

Something frustrating did happen over the past two days though. I’ve expressed my desire to excel at my job to two of my close friends, but one of them did nothing but discourage me and label me “delusional” for wanting to do so. He specifically called me delusional because of my positive thinking, saying I’m not being “realistic.” This is super confusing to me, because he thinks he can tell ME how I feel about MY job. It’s even more frustrating because he has a tendency to not take me seriously and discourage me every time I present him with a new goal or aspiration. To him, it’s just another in my string of inevitable failures. Well, I decided to cut ties with him after that. This isn’t the first time I’ve cut ties with said friend, but for one reason or another I would always let him back into my life. Well, not again. I’ve grown to a point where I can no longer tolerate any negative energy in my life, even from old friends. It’s a shame because we’ve been through a lot together, but this is simply the way it has to be.

Funny thing is, this “friend” hasn’t had a job for years and is literally doing nothing with his life, claiming that he wants to be depressed until he dies. I’ve tried to help him so many times, but he just refuses to be helped. And like I said before, I can’t have this energy in my life anymore. I can’t have people dragging me down every time I want to make a positive change in my life. I’m 20 now, we’re too old for that. Otherwise, things have been on the up and up these past few days.

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1 hour ago, Paul A. said:

Two customers I had worked with previously expressed interest in buying more furniture, which I’m excited about. If I can sell them more stuff, it means I’ve helped them out even more; or at least that’s the way I see it.

Ah, sales. A part of my English teaching is sales too, because while people are mostly already "sold" on the idea of learning English, I still have to "sell" them on the idea I am the person they should choose to guide them. Though I would probably buy (or even receive for free) second hand furniture myself; makes it easier on the wallet and being financially independent sooner for me. Guess nobody can buy a second hand English lesson 😄

It's always nice to have the clients return and commend you either by words or more money spent. I once had this multi-level financial advisor gig, though I never seriously got myself into it. I don't know why; I just never really believed in the service. After that I got enough English classes anyway. Later on, I found out this company works on fat commissions the customers pay. You may get a few dozen dollars from every piece of furniture sold and I may get another student to teach, but these guys get one-time and ongoing % fees of the product they pitch and sell well.

1 hour ago, Paul A. said:

Funny thing is, this “friend” hasn’t had a job for years and is literally doing nothing with his life, claiming that he wants to be depressed until he dies.

If he really wants to do that, let him. People just sometimes grow apart, though I understand cutting people off for the first few times is difficult without much previous experience (being young).

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3 hours ago, Paul A. said:

I humorously tell myself that I’m going to be “the king of the salespeople” (an homage to One Piece to any of my anime fans), but I’m putting in the work to turn that humorous statement into reality.

YES we just started One Piece and I absolutely love this show. (I know I watched it as a kid but remember pretty much nothing of it.)

3 hours ago, Paul A. said:

Funny thing is, this “friend” hasn’t had a job for years and is literally doing nothing with his life, claiming that he wants to be depressed until he dies.

Sounds like my wife... (Although ok in her defense she's been a lot better this past week lol.)

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3 hours ago, Ikar said:

Ah, sales. A part of my English teaching is sales too, because while people are mostly already "sold" on the idea of learning English, I still have to "sell" them on the idea I am the person they should choose to guide them.

Everything is sales! At the heart of sales are the skills of convincing and persuasion. To paraphrase Grant Cardone’s Sell or Be Sold, as soon as you’ve convinced someone of your point of view or persuaded them to take a certain course of action, you’ve made a sale! Everything in life can be seen as a sales transaction. It’s a beautiful profession because you don’t need much in the way of a formal education to succeed, anyone can be a high achiever in sales with the right mindset and work ethic. For someone like me who abhors school, it’s perfect!

2 hours ago, GrainSiloEnthusiast said:

YES we just started One Piece and I absolutely love this show. (I know I watched it as a kid but remember pretty much nothing of it.)

KAIZOKU-O ONI ORE WA NARU! (I’M GONNA BE KING OF THE PIRATES!)

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2 hours ago, Paul A. said:

Everything is sales! At the heart of sales are the skills of convincing and persuasion. To paraphrase Grant Cardone’s Sell or Be Sold, as soon as you’ve convinced someone of your point of view or persuaded them to take a certain course of action, you’ve made a sale! Everything in life can be seen as a sales transaction. It’s a beautiful profession because you don’t need much in the way of a formal education to succeed, anyone can be a high achiever in sales with the right mindset and work ethic. For someone like me who abhors school, it’s perfect!

I think that strategy works well for business and salary negotiation too. I'd just be careful of "selling" in personal life; I think you can't just "sell" someone into starting a family with you, for example.

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Today was fun. I went into work ahead of schedule and pretty much spent the entire day there. It’s funny because looking back not even two weeks ago, I would dread spending long hours at work. And yet, today I chose to go in early of my own volition, and to stay the whole day. Today was my most successful day yet; I wrote 6 invoices for a total of about $10k in sales. What made it more satisfying was the fact that I had to work for every single one of my sales, from running around checking inventory, to spending upwards of an hour with a single customer, to even doing some lifting and moving of furniture. I really feel like I helped my customers as much as I could, and it reflected in more sales. I’m planning to go in early tomorrow as well, and I hope I can replicate, if not outdo, my success from today.

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Yesterday I went into work early again. It was fun, but I found myself getting a bit tired in the middle of the day, likely because it got very slow. Nevertheless, I had another fairly successful day, writing 5 invoices for a total of $6.6k sold. Admittedly, my success was carried by a miracle sale I made near the end of the day, where a couple approached me with full intentions to buy a fairly expensive bed set. That sale was about $3.5k, and it catapulted me to first place for the day. Naturally, I was quite excited about that. I’m off work today, which is good because I felt a bit burnt out last night. Today’s an open book; I’ll likely spend the day reading a sales book and listening to a sales audio program, and then I’m going to the local fair with my friends later this evening. I’m looking forward to a fun day.

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I had a disappointing day at work today. Disappointing in terms of my numbers. Weekends are supposed to be our busiest days, but I only managed to write 3 invoices for a total of $2.4k. I realized midway through the day that my people-pleasing tendencies are preventing me from making sales. I’ve been listening to Closer’s Survival Guide audiobook by Grant Cardone, in which he provides over a hundred phrases a salesperson can use to close a sale. Problem is, I was too afraid to use any of them. I was afraid I would get an adverse reaction from the customers and lose the sale, or somehow make them feel like I was pressuring them. The thing with these closes is that they can come across as rather forceful, which I'm afraid of. I never want to seem like I'm forcing the customer to buy. Nevertheless, I think that this fear of coming across as "forceful" is costing me money. This was made apparent to me when I presented a couple with a $5.5k ticket of a recliner set they loved, at which point they let me know that they would "think about it." Any salesperson knows that this is nothing but a stall, and I had actually listened to a close from the audiobook about how to handle this exact stall, but I was too afraid to use it. And that fear ended up costing me $5.5k in lost sales.

The issue that then arises is that people-pleasing is wired into my personality. I loathe confrontation and I've never liked to rock the boat. So to overcome this "tendency" of mine essentially requires an overhaul of my entire personality. It's not gonna be easy, but at this point I'm already committed to becoming the best salesperson in the store. I've got to do whatever it takes to become the king of the salespeople, and I can't reasonably expect to achieve that goal if I can't overcome a measly fear of confrontation. But instead of just forcing myself to be more type-A, I'm going to find myself a mentor, and I already have the perfect candidate in mind. My regional manager stops by the store every so often, and next time he does, I'm going to ask him what it takes to be the best. I don't want to tell my coworkers that I intend to surpass them, but I'm sure my regional manager will be supportive of my endeavors. He's a seasoned sales veteran himself, so I'll be sure to glean as much information from him as I can. I want to avoid disappointing days like today as much as possible, and I'll gladly do what it takes to make it happen.

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I'm a people pleaser too and the struggle sucks: to confront or not to confront???

Good thing is you are in direct sales and you will get experience faster to overcome.

My thing I wanna share with you is that when being a customer, almost everyone is self-rightous. I mean: I'm not gonna agree with everything this salesperson is telling me even when he might be telling the truth, and even when he might be doing it for my own good!

So some days, when I know my products and my services are good, and the customer is being stubborn about it, I need to tell them straight that they are getting the wrong idea.

Excited to follow your sales stories. Just avoid the burnt out I guess 😀

Edited by LostRiver
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I had another disappointing day yesterday. The weekend as a whole was a letdown in terms of my performance. Yesterday I wrote 3 invoices for a total of $2.9k. Weekends are supposed to be our busiest days, so the fact that I didn’t hit even one daily goal over the course of the entire weekend was pretty discouraging. Our daily goal for Sunday was about $7k, but I only managed to hit $5.3k over the course of the entire weekend. Not a great way to end the week. I’m hoping I can do better this week. Last week as a whole was my best week yet, even taking my bad weekend into account. I wrote 21 invoices with a net volume of $29k, more invoices than anyone else in the store and the second highest net volume in the store. I’m hoping to exceed those numbers this week.

In other news, I’m back in the gym! I just hit the gym this morning, and I did some grocery shopping right after to supplement my workouts. I’m currently 186 lbs at 5’9”, which is fairly heavy for my height. I’m looking to lose some weight while putting on some lean mass, so I’m doing what’s called a body recomposition. What that looks like is eating at a slight deficit with a protein-heavy diet while doing my typical gym routine. I’m hoping to see results in about a month, which is how long it took last time I was working out. Between my job and my new workout routine, there’s plenty to keep me busy for the foreseeable future.

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