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Joseph's Journal


RControl

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I’m starting this journal so that I have some kind of record that can keep me accountable during this time. Also, knowing the importance of writing things down and keeping a habit, I’m hoping to put out an entry at least daily for the next couple of months.

Day 1 has been going fine for the most part. I’m getting urges/cravings to keep playing and my other mindless addiction of browsing the Internet to replace that void hasn’t completely vanished yet, perhaps as a result of still not completely filling in the time with some activities to do. Although I had to do some other errands and I’ve gone to class today (for summer school)… so that counts for something.

I’m going to try to read up further on some of the book suggestions that I’ve been given later on when I can (4 Hour Chef, The Slight Edge, etc.), although right now I’m also reading up on some of the other journals and the other treasure troves of information that can be found here and elsewhere, which is quite a lot for now. I think the social skills section of this forum might also be more relevant to me given my severe social anxiety, which I have received treatment in the past for. It's definitely one of the big-picture goals I've been trying to work on to reduce this anxiety. (Side-note on my anxiety is that it isn’t as serious as it used to be but it’s still an issue I have to deal with constantly. I kind of still loathe things like job interviews for example, or walking up randomly to strangers and asking them for specific favors sometimes, although I know that inevitably I will have to deal with this at some point.)

My goals for tomorrow are to continue with my fitness goals (which I haven't been able to do today, although I did do quite a fair bit of walking around), do some additional studying for school (as I have some readings to do) and perhaps continue reading more and learning more about other individuals who are also involved in this community.

Anyways, that’s all I have to say at this point. Onward to day 2!

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Day 2:


Went for a run earlier today. I still have cravings to play video games. I’m still kind of trying to reconcile with the fact that I have so much free time that I’m wasting on the Internet still, even if I’m not playing any games. I still continue to look at gaming forums on occasion. It does seem like other people on this forum have had the same issues too (from reading others’ journals), so this doesn’t seem to be anything new. That means I would also have to make a conscious effort to not be on the Internet so much, while at the same time also work towards my goals.
Exercise helps a lot in that regard too. My mood has changed dramatically during the past week ever since I’ve been doing it.

Been looking into more of the forum. Started reading a few of the longer journals (not everything, but bits and pieces given the amount of time I can only have in a day), as I feel like that big picture and that longer progression over time will give me an idea of what to expect in the future. At this point I’m somewhat aware of a lot of the self-help stuff (like zenhabits which I’ve read a lot in the past, as well as The Power of Habit, which I might also look into as well). I do however want to look at other books that are not just about self-development or self-help, as I also have that tendency to use them as a crutch to sometimes escape my problems too (kind of like the idea of reading a book about procrastination in order to procrastinate even further).

(Also, by putting my thoughts and everything out there I can at least hold myself accountable in some way, even though I could lie to myself and say that everything is all fine and dandy which the Internet can make it easy to do. But regardless.)

I’ve looked into some books that I want to get, at least starting tomorrow. Since I’m missing the fundamentals for cooking, it does seem like the 4 Hour Chef looks good (and the Slight Edge, if I can find that book somewhere or else I might have to order it online and wait), though there are some resources online for beginners that I might also try out. I’ve also heard about books like The Food Lab which I’m also into as it talks a lot more about the science and theory behind cooking. That might be for later though.

Admittedly, I did not do as much studying as I would have liked, although I did some review of the things I’ve learned from last class. I go to a school that is a bit more intensive with studying in that regard (and where class averages are not inflated, and thus are quite low), which was a conscious decision on my part to instil some kind of discipline and direction in my life. I kind of identify with Cam when he talked about using gaming as a way to escape from the burden of studying (in his recent story that he had posted). Maybe that’s something I need to work on.

I’ve also looked into the social skills guide presented on I Will Teach You To Be Rich alongside a few other resources. I do wish I had known about this stuff earlier, as so far I'm finding them very helpful (and hopefully in the future I don't back out of any commitments towards working on myself on the social end of things).

Anyways, if you made it this far in I thank you for reading. I’m going to continue reading more on some of these things and will try to implement them into my daily life.

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Hey welcome to the forum and good job ons tarting your journey!

Especially in the beginning it is helpful to soak much informations because to think a lot about self development is an awesome first step to actually doing it. I found the pdf of the slight edge( I bought it for something around 5 dollars but I found the free pdf here)

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Day 3:

Well, after a quick Google search I found a PDF of The Slight Edge, although I know @WorkInProgress posted the link (thanks, by the way). I don’t know how I didn’t do that search earlier, I just kind of assumed it. After all that was an opportunity right there that I could’ve just taken advantage of. (Although technically speaking it might also be illegal, which is why I didn’t bother, but regardless...

I do recall watching a video where there was a lady walking into a car dealership who had responded to an advertisement on the local newspaper which promised a free brand new BMW to the first person who just came in and signed up. Most people just tend to gloss over those things. I’ll have to find that one sometime… but it serves as a reminder for all the opportunities that we miss especially when we aren’t quite looking for them.)

I’m only a quarter through the book. While I found the introduction to be somewhat judgmental of the characters he was describing even if only for his own reasons (because I say there are many, many factors that could explain why someone like the lady shining his shoes isn’t in the same position as him that he didn’t really address)… so far I’m liking the book. I never really thought about how the events of life can transpire and affect your future in a compound interest kind of way. That’s a really interesting insight. I hope to finish the book by tomorrow when I can.

I also did a lot of studying for school and also went to another class today. I also witnessed another person sitting next to me who had been playing some Tetris and other video games throughout the entire lecture. I bet he could use this website. =P 
Fortunately I wasn’t so distracted by it and I could continue listening to the professor. Admittedly I’ve never been the type to get distracted by all sorts of things around me when it comes to tasks that I’m in the middle of doing, listening to lectures included. (Although when it comes to leisure and recreational time for video games, it becomes a whole other story.)

Anyways, I’ve been quite busy today. I haven’t really spent as much time idling around on the Internet. I’m also pretty tired too, which I guess is a good sign that I’ve done something at the end of the day. I hope this trend will continue further down the line.

Edited by RControl
Must. Thank. @WorkInProgress!
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Yeah that judgemental part of the book pissed me off too. It feels like he is saying it is everyone's self fault if they aren't millionaires right now, without calculating in all the random bad things which happen to people. The message is still true and we all could be at a better place if we would do these slight edge action every day ;)

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With any book, video, teacher, mentor, or any person, it's important to take everything with a grain of salt, learn what you can from things and let the rest go. Too many people get caught up in disagreements that they miss out on the lessons they could be learning. Just because someone says something doesn't mean you have to take it on.

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With any book, video, teacher, mentor, or any person, it's important to take everything with a grain of salt, learn what you can from things and let the rest go. Too many people get caught up in disagreements that they miss out on the lessons they could be learning. Just because someone says something doesn't mean you have to take it on.

Yeah, there are definitely issues with the book, but that doesn’t mean that the book is terrible or that it isn’t insightful, however. In fact many passages of the book are pretty good.

 

Day 4:
Some insightful things I have learned from reading The Slight Edge:
-    Consistency of habit is important to success
-    There will be tasks you will have to do that on the surface may be insignificant, but are very important in the long run
-    Do these tasks and discipline yourself even when nobody is watching
-    Embrace sadness and the other negative emotions as part of the process in your journey, as that way you will be able to understand happiness (and embrace and appreciate it even more). Same for embracing adversity; that way you will be able to understand how to be a strong person.
-    The Happiness Advantage – being happy first will allow ourselves to feel more creative and engaged – which leads to better results (and success)
-    “Anything worth having is worth working and paying a price for.”

I’m not done with the book yet as I thought I would be, although I am almost finished with it. It got me thinking a bit about how I got to this point in my life and what I could do to get better. I may be able to squeeze in a bit of time to finish the rest after I post this journal update.

Besides reading this book, I also did another run today (aiming to do this for at least half an hour per day which I have been doing). I’m surfing the Internet still but I’m allocating more of my habits towards things that I feel could benefit me. I’m reading the news – but I’m more reading about things that interest me, like science/technology and those advances rather than things like what’s happening in Istanbul, as those are the kinds of events that always tend to happen and are tragic all the same, unfortunately, so reading more about them doesn’t exactly help me in any way I feel like.

My cravings for video games are still there sometimes, but they’re starting to fade. I don’t know if it’s because of reading this book or after some constant reevaluation – but it certainly feels like they’re becoming less and less important to me. 

I don’t meant to sound so philosophical, but largely because out in the real world I’m not just competing with younger folks over things that feel so inconsequential (I guess you can say) to my survival and my being. Instead, I’m living in a world with everyone else where a lot of other things feel much, much more grand in scope and important. Achievements in a game where the developers of the game can easily bend the rules to their will isn’t something that I feel so comfortable about, now that I think about it. Also, outside of the game these achievements have no relevance. (For example, I’m not much of an FPS gamer… so I’m not going to be able to follow nor understand the importance of certain game achievements or rankings in said games when I don’t even understand them as a whole in the first place. This goes for everyone else who doesn’t play many video games in general – and there are a LOT of them, why should they care about the importance of something you did in a game?)  

Therefore, in doing so, those achievements are diminished in regards to their importance. Life in many ways is already a long game, one in which nobody has that same level of control.

 

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Day 5:

 

Been dealing with some familial issues, which I won’t get into too much detail about. I will tell you that they do involve my grandmother who has dementia (in the early stages, but it does seem to be rapidly progressing and getting worse). I hadn’t seen her in a couple of weeks, so I figured why not visit her and help her with some stuff and etc.

On a side-note, I can only hope that should I ever live that far that I can remain healthy for as long as possible. It really, really sucks to see these kinds of things in person and it is kind of a big fear of mine to suddenly lose your functioning and all of your being, which often tends to be the case for those who fall into such a category.

Besides that, things have been alright so far. I just finished The Slight Edge. I don’t have a lot to add that I haven’t already learned (besides just in general the idea that what you think influences your actions which in turn is what you get as a result). It may be one of those books to come back to when I may need it as a refresher, just in case there’s another rut in my life and I forget some of these principles.

I also found a PDF online of The Power of Habit, so I’ve also begun reading that as well since that also seems to be a favorite of this forum too.

Now that I’ve set up a routine for exercise, I’ve also been trying to follow this guide for stretching. Technically I’ve been trying to follow this guide for the past week or so, and I’ve been able to follow the routine on some days, but I haven’t kept up a consistent habit of doing this every day as recommended. It is somewhat time consuming… but given my lack of natural athleticism and physical flexibility, I want to start working on this soon.

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Day 6:

Watched a bunch of videos on Cam’s YouTube channel. Found a lot of them that were relevant to the situation I’m currently in – including questions I had that he addressed. They are really helpful.

I did a bit of studying and some other usual stuff at this point that I’ve talked about in previous entries, so I have that going for me. It’s all about keeping the habit.

Speaking of which, I am in the middle of reading The Powers of Habit, although I’m still just at the beginning. But I’m enjoying it so far. It definitely got me thinking about so many of the things we often do that we don’t even realize, even the small things (like how a habit of eating McDonald’s is generated from just one choice, and how easy these habits can be broken by one minuscule change in the environment on the surface). It goes to show how we think we may be in control of ourselves and what we do, but that isn’t exactly the case.

My parents will be on vacation soon (a couple of weeks from now) for about a week, so I’ll be the only one alone in the house. This will give me some time to start a couple of personal projects that I’ve had in mind geared towards my self-development, such as cooking. (Another goal of mine, much like everyone else’s goal as a functioning member of society, is to take responsibility for myself, especially if I want to have any chance of moving out soon and to progress towards other long-term goals.) 

So in that case I’ll just defer those to that time frame for now. But I’ve also doing other things as well now that I have quite a bit of free time on my hands (such as what I’ve described thus far in my journal), so it’s not been too bad so far and it keeps my mind going rather than become stagnant and possibly wallowing in depression, as I will sometimes experience under such situations when I have nothing to do but overthink about my situation. That's something I may look to address in other future journal entries if it does come, though I'll also make sure not to ramble too much about it.

(On a side-note, The Slight Edge itself talks about how much your thoughts influence you - and how what you focus on tends to shape your future actions in that sense. Keeping busy by focusing on the things I want to do, rather than on other priorities that will negatively affect me, seems much like a good idea to me at this moment.)

Edited by RControl
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Day 7:

I continued reading further into The Power of Habit. Some very interesting observations that can be applied to all different kinds of fields. It’s definitely something that maybe I should look into further when it comes to finding other things to replace the habit of playing video games – using the cue and reward I get from them but changing the routine so that I’m really doing something else that is more important.

While I’m doing a bunch of different things, I don’t exactly know long-term if I am doing the right things. I played video games in the first place really due to boredom, and later on in order to escape from a lot of the issues that I had going on with my life. Also, now that I’ve stopped, I still kind of crave that similar stimulation. Studying is a chore, reading is still something I have to force myself to do. But I wonder if after some time I may figure this out and it will be a lot different.

(Also, those personal issues are a lot more magnified from my perspective now that I’ve stopped. I will address them further into this entry.)

I can also see where Cam is coming from when it comes to setting up Game Quitters – the 90 day detox that is much like AA’s 90 days of meetings, the community-like environment that AA and Game Quitters both offer as well as other slight similarities.

Anyways, besides the usual I also scheduled some driving lessons for myself. I’ve never really quite learned how to drive before, and so I’m going to begin starting next weekend.

It does kind of bring me to my own issues and kind of how far behind I feel in comparison to others, even in spite of the fact that it isn’t really a healthy thing to do and I always tell myself that. I guess I would blame some of that on video games most definitely – if I were wired differently I don’t think I’d have the same issues that I have right now (of being social, of progressing in life at the same pace as others, etc.). Most of the people around my age whom I know already have quite a lot of experience with driving (alongside the fact that many of them have graduated from college and are well on their way to forming their own lives while I’m not there as of yet). But I guess another part of video games also is the competitive aspect of it, which I guess translates to reality as well. Either way, it’s only something which I can dwell on for only small portions of rather than the whole thing, as that would only drive me further to insanity and depression and madness.

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Dude driving lessons is a great idea!!! They seemed to help me in a number of ways i wouldn't have even dreamed of  could. They make you feel like your taking the first step to becoming productive and the r=feeling you get when you pass i have been told is amazing! Let us know how they go dude!!!! :)

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I'm doing driving licence course (trucks and trailers category). I must admit that it's very good activity if you like driving. Also, this gives you new experience, new document, more possibilities and gets you out of the house. Good luck with your lessons!

Greetings, Piotr.

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Dude driving lessons is a great idea!!! They seemed to help me in a number of ways i wouldn't have even dreamed of  could. They make you feel like your taking the first step to becoming productive and the r=feeling you get when you pass i have been told is amazing! Let us know how they go dude!!!! :)

Alright, will do! But in the meanwhile:

 

Day 8:

I've been preparing a bit for class today which I attended, so there’s that. I haven’t really had much time to do anything else though. I wasn’t really able to read much of The Powers of Habit this time around. 

It takes about an hour and a half through public transportation to get to school one-way, then back (so 3 hours total). This plus the lecture occupies a huge chunk of my day. Trying to go for a dorm room on campus is really freaking expensive, but yet I’m currently really considering the option of possibly moving to somewhere closer to campus so that my commute time will be cut much shorter. I think it will also be a lot easier for my mental and physical well-being, as I can use the gym closer to campus that I’m already paying for, as well as not having to surround myself in a somewhat dreadful environment that is public transport ALL the time. I also think the change in scenery might shift my bad habits a little bit. Learning about how habits work; I would always be playing games in my room, so it makes it difficult to study or do other important things in my life when my bedroom itself is a cue for the habit of playing video games, which is something I'm definitely going to pay attention to and be more careful of.

Also it will be a lot easier to meet other people and make new friends. But I don’t know, we’ll see.

I’m also trying to readjust my sleeping habits especially during these past few days. Currently I fall asleep at around 1 – 1:30 am, whereas before I would stay up until past 3 am (sometimes close to 4 am) simply so I could play more games. I’m simply trying to fall asleep as early as I can (without it being too early).

Tomorrow I will have to get started on my essay that was just recently assigned in class. Hopefully I don’t procrastinate myself out of it. =P

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Hey moving theer seems like agood idea. Until you decide you could read in public transportation while listening to some music. Makes my daily train rides more enjoyable and I can even fit in some nice self development books in my dayplan.

That is kind of what I already do, although the motion sickness gets to me sometimes so I end up not doing as much as I would like besides the music. It does make planning for a lot of things difficult when it takes that long just to get to where you want to be.

Last year I even had to drop a course - because lectures would only run for one hour each day and it would be my only class whereas the commute is three hours total.

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