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Not so caught in the undertow anymore - journal


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I'm in my late twenties and I decided to quit gaming yesterday night. I actually played games yesterday and I was convincing people why gaming wasn't bad last week. I still believe gaming isn't really my problem. Me making it a priority over more important tasks is. I actually believe gaming can still be very beneficial to people who control it and it can learn us skills.

My biggest problem is that gaming and especially brainless internet browsing is an easy escape from the things I should do. There's more detail in my introduction thread.

Anyway what I wanted to share today I that I'm pretty curious about how it is going to go. I don't feel a lot of anxiety or anything. I have to admit though. When I turned on the PC and I realised I should actually delete my games since I'm not gonna use them anymore made me feel weird. Especially because I bought this course more out of curiosity than out of a will to stop gaming. On the other side, I'm doing the action steps, I paid money for an e-book and now I'm writing on a forum ... part of me believes gaming must be a problem.

I can however conclude this: Gaming is a trigger to turn on my PC and do mindless internet browswing (which is the real problem). By handeling gaming I will also handle my internet browing.


Books I want to read (will also be posted in the opening post, open for recommendations)

- The 48 laws of power - Robert Greene (ongoing)

- Mastery - Robert Greene

- The Art of War - Sun Tz

Edited by UndRt0w
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Hmm I just realised something already. It's important enough to write down here as well...

I don't watch television anymore and I also don't want to do that. I don't want to browse the internet brainless but that would mean no youtube, no twitch, no reddit (or at least not a lot), no 9gag, ... The impact is a lot bigger than I initially thought. Maybe I should think about what I am allowing or which hours I am allowing what .. but I probably should go cold turkey which I will do for now.

So tonight (I'm EU so it already past 9pm) I will just read the book and practice my guitar. Untill I get bored of it and then I'll go to bed 'early'.

I guess I feel a bit confused not but I also like it a bit, it actually opens a lot of new perspectives. So now I'm even more curious to read in the e-book. Catch you guys tomorrow!

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Hey Undertow, great to have you join us here. Your initial thoughts remind me of my initial thoughts when I started (tomorrow is Day 300 for me).

Stick with it. You'll be surprised! You're right that gaming itself isn't the problem per se. But you'll gain a lot but giving it up.

Best of luck man.

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Thanks all!

Kortheo congrats man! 300 days .. that's amazing! Congratulations man!

hycniejsy I feel you man! And I agree 100% .. I don't know if I want to stop gaming, but on the other hand I also don't know if I want to keep gaming. So I'll do me detox like Cam suggested in one of his articles.

I was reading the e-book and the action step was deleting my games ... I thought about it and decided to do it tomorrow. Then I was thinking about why I wouldn't do it today... there was absolutely no reason to not do it today. I had nothing else to do .. no tv, no twitch, no games, no youtube and I already finished practicing my guitar for the day... so I just deleted all of my games, steam, origin, battle.net, WOW, Runescape launchers , etc ... 50 GB of games are gone now. I'm serious about this stuff even though I'm not sure if this is what I want, there's no harm in trying it.

I kinda feel good about it .. my last step is deleting the apps on my smartphone and Ipad. I will also unsubscribe from my favorite streamer (the psychologic effects that Cam described really hindered me from doing this for a long time).

Edit: unsubscribed from twitch, deleted my twitter completely (since that was my way to follow twitch streamers), next step: setup cold turkey once again

Edited by UndRt0w
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Day 2

I feel really motivated. Don't really feel anything negative yet. So far this is feeling fairly easy. I woke up and I started reading, almost finished the e-book. I decided it's probably a good idea to journal my action steps as well. May get some good feedback here if I make beginner mistakes.

Today I'll write about the action steps where I have to come up with new activities. Thinking about it, the biggest problem will be the social activity. I'm pretty good at being alone to be honest. Even in games I didn't really pay that much attention to the social aspect, I was always more of a solo player. I must say though, Twitch was definitely a social outlet for me. This was surprising I never realised this. So I definitely have to find something to replace that.


Mentally engaging activities

  • Practicing guitar, I'm already doing this each day but I could definitely put more effort into it.
  • Making music with ableton. I joined a Coursera course on this but never opened it.
  • Programming: Always been interested in this (codeacademy)
  • Working out, I actually bought a home gym so I didn't have to go to my regular gym. I hate losing time by driving.
  • Side business. I was starting a blog and side business before. I bought a high end program called zero to launch from Ramit Sethi. Maybe an interesting thing to start again.


  • Read books (especially self-development books and biographies)
  • Drawing, I once started this and I actually think I may be pretty talented. Maybe it's time to find out?
  • Watch documentaries/go to movies/ watch a series (this last one isn't a problem I'm not a netflix-junkie so it's fine)
  • Meditation! I had over a 50 day streak and then I quit ... #FeelsBadMan
  • DIY home project. I bought a house this year and I'm still working on it so maybe make this a pleasant activity instead of an annoying chore

Social .. oh boy.. still need to really specify this but have some general ideas

  • Go to as much concerts/festivals/cultural events... as possible. And actively search for them!
  • Do relaxing activities outside like reading in a coffee shop, going to the movies with a friend, etc.
  • Find a class to take .. I still don't know which one but overal I like learning new stuff
  • I used to do karate, a friend of mine was planning to start a club. Will ask him about it.
  • Maybe beer brewing or something that allows me to join a class AND invite friends over.
  • May also try to get some sort of music network so I can play with friends (don't want to start a band though, been there.. done that)
  • Find a bar that play good music so I can hang out there and talk with people about cool music.
  • Social stuff that comes from the side-business. Maybe I'll start freelancing before doing a purely online business.


Well have to get ready for work now, already pretty late now... Will continue my other action steps this evening (looking forward to filling in my google calender, I've always been a planning freak).

That's it for now. Catch you guys later!

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Hey @hycniejsy , thanks for the suggestion. Dancing class isn't really for me for several reason. The most important one being that I don't really like the places where people dance. I more like a 'rock-dude' overall I don't like dancing too much. I really dislike clubs and stuff like that.

I'm more the dude that chills at bars, goes to festivals and goes crazy in a moshpit. Stuff like that. Overall I don't like crowded area's but when the atmosphere and music is good it doesn't really bother me (again like festivals).

Also I'm definitely not the greatest dancer but I'm ok. I have a good sense of rythm and stuff so... but yea overal don't like to dance. I really think that being able to dance is cool, but it's not really something I aspire.

Nonetheless keep the suggestions coming! I like getting them and thinking about them

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My go-to's

Mentally engaged: Guitar theory or new concepts for guitar, new licks // Backup: Coding

Tired: When really tired something really passive like documentaries, when not so tired but more in a chill-mood books or jamming on the guitar (stuff I already know)

To make more friends: search for events and concerts. Go to a coffee shop. Go to a city and walk around a bit, there's always an opportunity to help someone in need in those places. Hop on my bicyle and just make a ride through my town. Big chance I'll run into one of my friends.

When I feel bored: Reading, DIY home projects (get new idea's), go to the movies

Stressed: Meditation, Series, Drawing


Alternative environments

There's a coffee shop in my town. Never been there but it looks nice so I'll definitely see myself chill in there

There are 3 small forests nearby, I like nature.

Sitting at the canal near by home

Go to starbucks in nearby town

Found a blues/rock cafe nearby so I'll check that out as well

Chill in my empty house that I'm still renovating


I already started to set up new routines but it  isn't finished yet so I'll do that next thing in the morning. Gonna play some guitar now.

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Typical weekday

It depends

Week 1: Get out of bed way to late, wash my face quickly, grab some food, rush to work  -- work -- come home, feel tired, sometimes eat something and turn on the pc -- small intermissions here and there for eating (mostly preparing it and eating it in front of the pc), take a quick shower, playing the guitar for 15-30min and stuff like that -- then PC again till it's bedtime

Week 2: Get out of bed late, but only have to work at noon so... -- sometimes eat -- PC, brainless internet, twitch, youtube, rarely a game -- Work -- come home tired, turn on twitch or youtube or facebook and start gaming while multitasking -- then I would play some guitar again -- eat in front of pc and go to bed.

Weekend: Get out of bed -- PC -- eat and maybe do a small task -- PC -- play a bit of guitar -- PC -- eat -- PC -- decline or cancell a chance to go out -- PC -- Sleep


Free time

During the week I've got around 6-7 hours of free time

In the weekends it's probably 12+ hours on most days

Planning for weekdays

Knipsel.thumb.JPG.8127b2ae2eb732b703215b Knipsel2.thumb.JPG.34261ffa1efd09cfc3ed1


Will do weekend after work. Will have to contain a lot social stuff.

Maybe I don't have enough social things during the weekdays, what do you guys think?

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Sweet, another musician!  I love the schedule you've made for your day.   You said you're pretty good at being alone - me too haha.    If you're looking for more social things during the weekdays- maybe once a week or whenever you could swap something in your routine for a social activity, or, I don't know if you are quite introverted like me, but how about just trying to start up a few conversations with people during either your commute, at lunch, or at work??  Is your social skill something you're looking to improve, or trying to make new friends etc? 

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Hey @usernameforworldpeace! that would be a great idea! Sometimes I like to keep an eye out to help people on my way. Feels really fullfilling ! I actually did something similar today .. I'm not really an introvert well in a way I am.. I don't make friends easily but when the ice is broken it's easy for me to talk to people. I'm not really awkward or anything. I just don't mind being alone a lot.

Let's share my 'interesting' day ...

My morning was good, then it was time to go to work and suddenly the Doomswitch turned on ...
The clock in my house wasn't accurate and I missed my train really by just a minute. I kept really calm and waited for the next one .. but that train had a 20 minute delay. Soooo I figured this was a good time to go to the coffee shop nearby that I wanted to visit ... it was closed due to yearly vacation ..

Hmm .. ok so I went back to the train and when I arrived I caught the message that the train was cancelled completely. I went to work with my car. On the way to work (still had a lot of time) I stopped in a shop. I ordered something but I didn't hear anything from it for weeks .. so seems like they actually forgot to order it ... while I was walking back to my car I got a text .. they train departed after all and because of this (well actually because of a weird rule where I work) I was now too late for work!!! 

So I hurried to work .. but because I hurried so much I actually forgot my laptop in my car!!! So I took a reserve laptop ... IT DIDN'T WORK !!! So I took a second one .. It didn't work properly but it did the trick for my meeting.. After the meeting I went back to my car to get my own laptop because that other thing didn't work properly ... the bad luck I had! After that everything went better.


The good parts: I tried to go to the coffee shop, I went to the shop where I ordered. Socially really fluent. I didn't really get angry even though I had a lot of bad luck. I remained pretty calm. So yea .. I did great in a way

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Weekend activities

This was hard! I was trying to avoid the social activities at first because I don't really want to do them. But in a way do want to do them I guess.. I want to be able to enjoy them even though I don't at this point.


So this is the schedule but it doesn't have to be this strict. It's just to show myself I can easily fill time without being on the pc as much. On most weekends I would be 10+ hours/day on the pc. Now it's more around 2-5 hours / day and all that time is for usefull stuff.

The important rules:

- Do at least 1 social activity each weekend: go to old gym, go to the coffee bar, do something with friends, go to bar/movies/out. Even though I planned several of them it's important to do at least 1 of them each weekend. It dsoesn't have to be all of the planned things.

- When I'm bored and I don't know what to do I will do an activity far away from the pc

- Every planned thing maybe replaced with a social activity

- Every PC activity may be replaced by a non-PC activity

- I didn't really plan any chores .. so chores can replace anything but it may not hinder my goal to do something social in the weekends (unless the chore is social, like helping a friend)

- Nice weather = outside activities

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I finished the e-book today. Still have to do a lot of action steps though. So lets get to it.


Status check, how am I feeling

I didn't feel a lot yet. I don't really miss gaming. I also don't miss mindless browsing for the moment (as I expected). Nonetheless, sometimes I just browse and suddenly Cold Turkey blocks me. The habit is still there, I would still do it, I feel surprised in a sense but I don't feel bad about it. I immediatly think about what I was doing and continue it or choose another activity.

What I do feel sometimes is a tiny bit of anxiety when I think about Twitch. I liked everything about Twitch .. the streamers, how personal it felt, the emotes, the funny chat spams, the  nice people in chat, the toxic people that get smashed by the streamer, the donations and the feeling everything could happen at any moment. There's a lot more I miss. Writing this I don't really feel anything, but sometimes I think about Twitch or what I was anticipating on Twitch and then I feel weird and a bit sad even. 

This is easily counter by thinking how many 'friends' I had on Twitch .. and even though several people knew my screenname I didn't really have friends. Maybe a couple of them may wonder where I am, but that's about it. I sometimes feel a bit bad for a smaller streamer where I was one of the more active people in the channel. On the other hand, it's not like the channel will fail or succeed because of my presence.

When I feel any emotions regarding to gaming it hits me in the brain like a sudden clarity and it's immediatly followed by a weird/ emotional feeling. It's very easy to control though. It's not a deep sadness or anything, it's just a weird feeling of sadness that suddenly pops up and goes away just as fast.

Write down 10 things I'm grateful for

1. My job: I made promotion quickly after starting and I have pretty nice coworkers.

2. My new house: I'm craving to go live in it. I'm really tired of sitting at my parents house, it creates a ton of stress

3. The helpers of my new house: Being my parents and friends of my parents. These people know a lot about renovating and help me a ton!

4. My parents: Even though they annoy me like crazy and I really can't live for long at this house anymore. I'm grateful for them taking care of me. Looking forward to moving and have a more healthy relationship with them

5. My reflections and decision making: I'm really good at making evaluations of my life and changing it now and then. Making the deliberate choice to game and then making the deliberate choice to slow down on surfing and gaming. I feel that when I'm old I can never blame myself for being 100% on autopilot.

6. This community: I really like active forums and especially the ones with likeminded people. It's pretty nice to read your guys stories. Also, everyone here seems really normal, some guys are real hardcore gamers and look like it, other look like fathers with a family but have the same problem. I think that's pretty interesting and makes this community really awesome

7. My guitar progress this year (will be continued later on)

8. Me being good at 'life'-stuff. Even though I enjoy being locked up in my room behind my pc I'm still pretty good at life stuff. I did great at school, I had it pretty easy. I found a job and did great at it. People often like me pretty fast and I gain trust very very fast. The 'obligations' in life just come naturally to me, so that's nice.

9. The feeling of fresh air .. especially after being stuck in a room that hasn't been ventilated properly

10. The feeling of the sun on the skin ... ohhhh boy just feels so good.

11. Being born in a safe country and having 'fair' opportunities or even better.

12. Taste of music .. I like my own taste of music and the diversity of music that I like. I'm openminded when it comes to music.

13. Friends. I don't have many of them and I don't want many of them either. But my friends are people that I sometimes won't see in months and when I see them again we just take off where we left.

14. Being able to so easily fill in this exercise.. really I can keep going. I did gratefulness exercises for months :-) But I'll stop here

Meditate for 10 minutes

It's in my schedule. When I finish all my action steps I'll start following it and I'll do it on a daily basis. I don't need to be convinced, I used toi meditate a lot and it works.


Reading an article on facebook, a friend telling me about news, etc .. makes me want to browse mindlessly

Waking up: ¨Just realised today that I had a habit of turning on my smartphone and browse Facebook and 9gag for an hour when waking up. I deleted those apps days ago along with my games.

Thinking about Twitch: seeing battlefield 1, thinking about the smaller streamer, thinking about my favorite streamer, thinking about an insanely funny pokemon Go stream,...

Seeing a Pikachu on the street ... no I'm not a Pokemon Go player .. I swear I saw a real Pikachu! Or a guy in a pikachu costume at least, probably the latter.

Having tons of time and not wanting to do anything active.

Talking with certain friends about games

Pick 1 habit to do each morning

Already did this, it will be meditating


Three characteristics/behaviors I want to change

- Be more social: Having it easier to talk with strangers and break the ice (once that happened I'm ok)

- Having tons of idea's what to do outside my house and being able to spontaniously act upon it .. eg. I'm bored, let's go to the bar and see if x and y are there. So basically having a network that I can acces at a certain place when I don't really have plans.

- Be more positive and less stressed out. This already improved tons!




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I didn't mention 3 tasks because I had plans for them. I already wanted to do something with goals in this journal and it will probably be things I will write about on a daily or at least weekly basis. So I wanted to seperate it from the rest.

Large Goals (goals are dreams with a deadline)

- Be better at the guitar, being good enough to teach people or play on a stage

- Family and social network, this is a long term goal though. Not really a priority

- Start a side-business and grow it untill I may quit my current job (if I would want to quit it)

- Produce my own album and make all the music by myself

- Learn programming

- Travel and be more adventurous

- Make my house nice

- Develop a new style for myself

- Being more happy/calm/relaxed/chilled out

- Being strong and athletic once again

Priorities and specific goals

- Guitar

- Being more chilled out

- Strong and athletic (being able to do a pullup with total weight of 100kg.. my weight is 70-75kg , 100kg Bench Press , 150 kg squat , 200 kg deadlift, 3000m coopertest)

- explore producing and programming

Monthly goal, Actions and tracking


- Being able to play the solo's of stairway to heaven, comfortably numb and Hotel California completely and fluently. I know comfortably numb and hotel california only for a part and stairway to heaven is played with too many mistakes. Being able to finish these 3 songs would be a crazy achievment this month (maybe impossible but I can try)

- Get a lot of practice hours in , at least 22 hours extra this month --> track with Toggle and post here

- Learn more guitar concepts and theory


Being more chilled out

- Meditate daily --> track here

- Be less stressed and be calm in as many situations as possible


Strong and athletic

- Start working out again and do at least 10 training sessions this month (4/week)


Explore producing and programming

- 5 hours Producing this month

- 5 hours programming this month

Idea's for next month

- Plan an adventurous trip. I want to travel this year and I will start preperations next month.

- Plan a lot of events maybe set a goal for this as well in the future


Guitar 0/22

Meditate 0

Exercise 0/10

Produciing 0/5

Programming 0/5


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Awesome plan, but you also need some time to rest to be less stressed.

Do you have some activities which helps you rest on this plan? If yes, which ones are they?

By the way, if you're not into dancing (but if you like rockbands you're probably similar with dancing pogo, right? :D ) I can recommend you joining to Toastmasters club in your city and practice public speaking/leadership skills.

Greetings, Mad Pharmacist

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Rest activities:

Meditation / Walking and cycling / Guitar playing /Reading/...

That already a lot for me :D

About Toastmasters. I 'm considering it, but it's more something for the future. It's not really what I want to learn right now. Also at work I'm a supervisor, so I already get a lot of leadership practice B| I do want to learn public speaking one day, but not yet (I'm also pretty good at it already)

About today

I didn't follow my schedule at all .. because I had a big chore to do. I had to dig a large hole at my new house. It took me 3 hours of digging before I was ready!

When I came home I wanted to play guitar ... oh crap! I forgot! Yesterday one of my strings broke. Something confronting happened at that point. I didn't have strings and I wanted to polish my guitar. So I texted a friend of mine who gives me the materials .. but he wasn't really home. At that point it struck me ... Normally people would go to the guitar shop, but I always search/find a way not to go outside.

But not today! I got dressed and went to the guitar shop. Even though I never wanted to go alone or always tried to avoid it, it was pretty fun and I actually liked doing it.

Then I came home, fixed my guitar and then played it... and now it's 6pm and I'm sooooo tired.

Still left to do today: (updated 19:07 & 19:33 & 22:44)

- Meditation 1/1 --> Check

- Guitar 1.5/1.5 --> Check

- A bit of programming (I started Pyhton yesterday, I have no idea what I'm doing, but the thing/codeacademy says I'm doing it correctly O.oxD Soooo I guess it will get more clear the more I do it --> Check

- Oh, digging a hole for 3 hours counts as exercising btw!!! 1/1

Read book --> check 

Edited by UndRt0w
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New plan for the journal

After reading Remigjus blog I figured a nice layout would be nice. I think my big walls of text are pretty tiring to read ! This is why I made some sort of form I can fill in each day.

Also I will implement some thematic days:

- Grateful monday .. since mondays are often the worst, why not think about what we are gratefull for on monday? Every monday I will list 10 things I'm grateful for!

- Truthful thursday .. what are some weird/embarrassing/nerdy/... stuff I did due to gaming or confess sins I made that week, be brutally honest with myself

- Social saturday .. Report on something social I did this week or this saturday. Could be in the form of challenges.


Days without gaming: 4

Craving: 4/10

Social: 5/10

Goal progression (15 days till deadline)

Guitar: 1.5 / 22 (+1.5)

Programming: 1/5 (+0.5)

Exercise 1/10 (+1 , still counting the digging)

Producing: 0/10

Daily Habits

 ☑ Reading

 ☑ Meditation

 ✘ Waking up at 07:45 am --> 9am

Social saturday

Since I was outside for most of the day I talked a bit to my neighbours and someone a bit further on the street. Also went to the guitar shop. Today we had a cleaning lady coming over. I talked to her a bit as well. Didn't do anything outside my comfort zone though, but being outside definitely makes me more social! Which is nice and a small step in the right direction.



Books I want to read (will also be posted in the opening post, open for recommendations)

- The 48 laws of power - Robert Greene (ongoing)

- Mastery - Robert Greene

- The Art of War - Sun Tz

- ... ?

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