Jump to content
×
×
  • Create New...

NEW VIDEO: 22 minute gaming addiction documentary

The Journey Within


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 395
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I would narrow down the problem into two main factors:  Negative habit loop Our mind associates places, people or even objects with feelings and actions that we took previously. Quite lit

@info-gatherer Good advice man. I've yet to have a morning that didn't make the past problems look insignificant. Thanks. @Cam Adair I don't know how often we've thanked you for all that you've d

@info-gatherer Sounds like you enjoy getting to know people better is what you enjoy about casual conversation. I'm at a point in my life where I'm skeptical about meeting new people, so maybe that's

Posted Images

Day 23

Pretty routine day; got some lunch with a friend, did some errands to prepare for volunteering at the hospital, and got a ton of studying done. It's funny how many things I have to be grateful for, and I have plenty of work to get done, but the thing that keeps me back the most is not being able to maintain positive emotions. Being able to be positive around others is much easier than being positive with myself. It's embarrassing to admit it out loud, but I struggle with feeling emotionally isolated a lot. I have more friends now that I am in college than I ever have had in any other stage in my life, but I don't confide in them about emotions and so I feel about the same as before. I used to use video games to drown away these feeling and let the numbness take over, but I don't have the option anymore, I have to face my problems head on. 

I've been thinking about why this is for a while now. Maybe its because I'm used to being the listening ear and not the other way around, or maybe its because I'm tired of people leaving when the friendship is no longer convenient and don't want to go through the pain of opening up again. These are excuses that honestly seem to be rooted in fear, and I need to face up to the truth and do something about it. I'm meeting with a  close friend tomorrow and I plan on opening up to him about this, even though I can tell it won't be easy. I'll also watch my self-talk and try to flip the negatives back to positives. Any other advice would be appreciated. It's good to be just be honest with the world about it.

"Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as be understood" -George Orwell, 1984

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 23

 It's embarrassing to admit it out loud, but I struggle with feeling emotionally isolated a lot.

Want to start off by saying, it was really strong of you to admit this! With that being said however, don't be embarrassed. Most people (typically ex gamers like you and I) are used to being isolated in their own thoughts. The big thing I invite you to try, is every time you look yourself in the mirror every day, take a deep breath, and try to compliment 5 different things about yourself, be it looks, talent, or personality. I'm guilty of low self esteem so this really does help. And I think being emotionally open with your close friends is a great first step. We all achieve different things in a day, and feeling good about it can inspire us to accomplish more, where as negativity promotes the contrary.  Final thing, cut yourself some slack. I guarantee that every day more good has happened than bad. Sure, we all have off days, we're not perfect, but if we all treated ourselves like shit for it, we wouldn't be able to function. Hope this helps! Have a good one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@WorkInProgress Thanks! I found out that my local library system has this book, so it's definitely on the list for when I get through my next couple of books. Checking out some of the reviews on Amazons, it definitely seems worth-while.

@TheBroMoe On point advice, as I have come to expect from you, my friend. You are absolutely right that it is important to look oneself in the mirror and speak the truth (which is positivity). I work on self-talk a lot, but this will take it to a whole new level and I'm definitely going to start doing so starting tonight, thanks. I notice that we usually feel how we act, so by walking around campus standing up straight and taking the time to smile and look people in the eye as I passed them by, I felt much more content and self-assured today. I believe that ties in to what you were saying, and I highly recommend doing so if you haven't tried that method out yourself. Lastly, you are right that more improvement happens than negativity every day, and that's a great attitude to have.

Day 24

This post will mostly cover the answers I found from trying to tackle the problem I posed yesterday, since nothing very noteworthy happened today other than being very sore from getting back in the swing of weight lifting again. 

I met with one of my friends for lunch, as planned, and after talking about various philosophical issues (as we usually do, which is why we are such good friends) I broached the topic of how he keeps from feeling lonely/isolated. Other than going to school and getting lunch with friends, he spends most of his time at his apartment. While there, he goes through dense books on history and philosophy at the speed that most people go through seasons of a television show, and does a lot of thinking. It's for this reason that I really can relate to him and value his friendship, because he dares to ask the questions that most people shy away from. 

His answer was simple: if you are alone because you dare to think for yourself and live a life that reflects the insights you gain, you should take that solitude as a badge of honor. In other words, he focuses on the positive rather than the negative. This reminds me very much of Walden, which was written by Henry David Thoreau as he lived by himself in the woods for over two years. In his book he talks about how company is only pleasurable when there are new and stimulating topics to talk about. Just as I once used gaming as a crutch, so too am I trying to use people as a crutch. Does this mean that I should stop hanging out with other people regularly and cease from being vulnerable with my friends? Absolutely not! It merely means that this is work that I must put in the work on myself if I want to make progress, and I would be at a complete standstill in this area if I had not quit video games, so for that much alone I am immensely grateful.

It seems those pesky Stoic and Zen philosophers are right yet again: the journey is not without, but within.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 25

It's surprising that it's this early in the semester and the days are already starting to blur; in some ways it's difficult for me to differentiate what happened today from the events of previous days. I got a good bit of chemistry homework done and thoroughly enjoyed all of my classes, even the daunting 8am organic chemistry lecture this morning. I also saw a guy I'd met a few times sitting alone at lunch, and decided to sit with him and ensure that I was social. He happened to playing some Warhammer series related game, and I didn't think anything too much of it. Over the course of the next hour he excitedly told me about it as I ate my lunch, and I was surprised at how uninterested I was. I enjoyed what he had to say (i.e. the lore and his mentality behind how he played it), but I was thoroughly disinterested in the game itself because I knew it was just a waste of time. I detail this interaction because it proves that video games have merely been merely an excuse to avoid both school and self-improvement work, and are far from being a passion of mine. Furthermore, when I told a different friend later that I was quitting for good this time, he responded by reminding me about how many times I had tried and failed in the past, and implied this wasn't going to any different. I just gave him a knowing smile and told him that I was certain I was done this time, and I meant it; I know I am, and I couldn't be happier.

Switching gears to a different topic: meditation and my study of philosophy and self-development have taught me to focus on my thought life. I noticed today that my mind has been focusing on really vain things when I leave it unchecked; it wanders to the girl I talked about a few posts ago, then it goes to areas where I want to improve my life such as my physique, worrying about grades, my social standing among my peers, etc. In other words, it focuses on what I don't have rather than what I do. What a complete waste of time, and an incredible drain of resources! I asked myself, "Would you be willing to give all of these ambitions up if that's what it took to succeed towards your most important goals?" As I said in my initial journal post, my dream is to be a doctor in countries where people don't have access to medical care. I frequently forget this, but when I waste time I am letting the people I want to help down. I cannot look myself and the mirror and know that I am willingly doing that, so I promised myself that I was willing to give up/do whatever it takes fulfill my two core values of seeking truth and living as compassionately as I possibly can. When my thoughts wander towards silly things my goal is to either redirect them towards worthy causes (envisioning myself studying hard to get good grades, or what it will be like to one day be fulfilling my dream of helping the poor) or practicing mindfulness and not thinking anything at all. Following through with that level of commitment will bring about profound reverberations in my life, and I am fully prepared to see that happen.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 26

I'm posting this earlier than I usually do because I'm going out dancing late tonight and know I'll just want to go to bed when I get home. Noteworthy events of the day: I got one step closer towards wading through the bureaucracy to be able to volunteer at the local hospital, met with a few friends who were practicing ballroom at the rec center who taught me some new moves in Waltz and Rumba (and had a quick refresher in Tango), and I got the low-down on some excellent study resources for o-chem 2 from one of the aforementioned friends. Tomorrow and Sunday I'm going to need to hit the books really hard to be prepared for the slew of tests that are slowly drawing nearer, but tonight I'm just going to let loose and cut some carpet out on the dance floor (or in my case, a very slick hardwood floor, haha).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks @WorkInProgress, I didn't think about it, but I am nearing that milestone.

@Cam Adair It definitely will be. As an undergrad that may very well be the closest I come to experiencing what practicing medicine is actually like, so getting my feet wet will be very nice.

Day 27

Strange day. Throughout the day I had an incredibly heightened sense of lucidity, one that could be likened to what it is like to be suddenly woken up from a deep sleep. The experience was so powerful that it was hard to focus on studying, because my mind kept on wandering. For a little while I had reason to wonder if I had fallen into a state of anhedonia, or difficulty with deriving pleasure from life (which would result in a lack of motivation to study), but I found that not to be the case. The litmus test was when I went to help instruct a beginner ballroom class for newcomers to the club, and my pensive mood gave way to a more extroverted and exuberant one. After that was over, I began to reflect again as I tried to study (key word is tried). I began to realize that the state was more positive than negative, from best as I could see it, but it had its drawbacks (i.e. the lack of focus). The closest parallel I can give is the ancient greek virtue of euthymia, or peace of mind as Seneca calls it. I felt completely at peace with myself, in a very serotonin-driven/Zen-like way. The down side of this frame of mind was that since I had not mastered it I was still very much prone to distractions.

I am excited about this breakthrough, because it has led to caring less about how others perceive me and more on acting authentically. I'm trying to figure out whether the cart or the ox came first, because I don't know if the euthymia has caused the newfound self-assurance, whether it is the other way around, or whether it is a synergistic effect. I lean towards the third option currently, and here's why: the mental side comes from a mixture of meditation and lessening  my dependence on external reward mechanisms (quitting video games, focusing less on women, minimizing my sugar intake, and hopefully cutting the unproductive use of youtube/TV out of my life completely as well soon), and boosting my confidence by making a point of acting as the most confident person in the room wherever I go and through dance. My hope is that this feeling will continue over throughout the next few days and I'll be able to find more answers.

Lastly, for accountability purposes, my goal is to be able to post here tomorrow that I studied really hard for both Genetics and Organic Chemistry 2. It's getting to the point in the school year where I'm already feeling behind, and knowing that I have a test next week compounds upon that urgency.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Piotr I have, but this journal is doing an exceptional job on its own. I can only speak for myself, but I've learned that whatever habit I'm trying to develop won't be sustainable if I don't learn to become accountable to myself about it. Thanks for the suggestion.

Day 28

I primarily got chores done today, which isn't great, but it's something. A lot of unproductivity came from trying to force myself to do work. It took my until the end of the day to discover this, but what works much better is to meditate for a minute or so if I'm distracted, then ground myself in the work at hand. Once I am fully engaged in the chosen task I become less prone to mentally wander. This means I'm still fairly behind, but I am optimistic about tomorrow.

Edited by Pierce
Link to post
Share on other sites

@Cam Adair I need to try that tactic sometime, sounds interesting.

Day 29

Much better today. I got one step further towards volunteering at the hospital, caught up with a friend over lunch who introduced me to one of her friends, and got a moderate amount of work done. There's still so much more I want to accomplish as far as studying, but I'm gaining momentum. Here are two large positives that occurred:

1. I met with my pre-med adviser and she told me I'm right on track. I've had so many nay-sayers on this journey, myself included probably as the biggest one, because of my grades, but just hearing that made my day. I looked myself in the eye in a mirror after the meeting, and thought to myself, "You're really going to do it, you're going to be a doctor someday." The thought of that makes me giddy even now, and even though there are still some monolithic challenges to overcome, I can say with complete honesty that I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make that dream happen; even if it takes me a decade longer than everyone else (I know it won't) I've chosen this as my rite of passage into becoming a man, and only death can stop me.

2. I went to the gym on my own and really pushed myself. I'm starting to get my strength back, and I can envision myself squatting, benching, and dead-lifting weights one day well beyond what I have set my sights on. Over the next decade I really want to commit as my #3 or #4 most important life goal to become as strong/fit as I possibly can. Even though I'm still at relatively low weights right now, it was a good feeling to know that I gave everything in the hour I put in there.

I have a good chunk of open time tomorrow, so here's hoping I can really give a good effort at studying for my test Thursday.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 30

There are two topics I want to touch on that I've been thinking about today: discipline and confidence. In the former I've realized that resisting bad habits has been a lot easier over the past month, which is an incredibly encouraging sign. In the latter, I've been in much better moods ever since I started making a conscious effort towards this goal.

Discipline: I’ve started reading Rory Vaden’s Take the Stairs and it has been hard to put down. I found out about this book through The Art of Manliness (my third favorite website after Actualized.org and Game Quitters) and its focus on self-discipline peaked my interest. In the first chapter Mr. Vaden has already established that the key to success is having a love for/daily habit of taking on difficult tasks that propel you towards your goal, and having a willingness to make great sacrifices and endure great pains to get there.

Confidence: from best I can tell, the truly confident person is someone who doesn't care about how others view him/her, but is rooted in his/her own code of values and self-perception. As I said previously, I have been making a concerted effort to act as the most confident person in my vicinity, and even more recently I have been trying to have an internal locus of control on how I view myself, rather than external one. When done correctly, this has resulted in more authentic behavior and has led to a much more joyful life.

On that note, here's a poignant quote that I think of quite often when I think of the subject of confidence, “No one’s ever given us respect. So what? Who cares as long as we respect ourselves?” -Gan Xing, Red Cliff.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad you looked into these two things today. Out of the two which of these do you struggle with more? For me, it's confidence. You're like me in that if you want to learn more about something, you will research a ton about it. Keep it up man!

Link to post
Share on other sites

In the former I've realized that resisting bad habits has been a lot easier over the past month, which is an incredibly encouraging sign. In the latter, I've been in much better moods ever since I started making a conscious effort towards this goal.

It's amazing how much (positive) change we can make when we actually try to. Great job man!

Link to post
Share on other sites

As always, thanks for the encouragement Cam.

As for you question, Moe, I find discipline to be much more difficult to foster. Confidence is actually something I've had an incredible amount of improvement in, but it's something I always want to get better at. Confidence, both internally and externally, can be built up through simply choosing to feel/act confidently and through building up necessary skills. If you want, I would be more than happy to share some of my secrets in a different post on how I have gotten better at this skill, and as I have said before dancing has played a huge role in this area.

Day 31 

I've been pretty exhausted the last few days, and I don't see that letting up anytime soon. Still, it's a good kind of tired, because I got a lot done today. One of the main tasks I completed was going through a three hour training session at the hospital for my volunteer program. I was very distracted for a lot of the time there, because I was the only male volunteer in a room full of beautiful occupational therapy students who were also part of my group, haha. I think I convinced at least one of them to check out the ballroom club I'm in, so that's a positive. Other than that I lifted weights, got a little bit of studying done for my test tomorrow (there's still a lot more I want to get done), and attended a meeting for all student organizations with a friend from aforementioned ballroom club. I'm about to go to bed, but as I reflect on my day I can only be incredibly grateful to be alive and to have all of the blessings that I do; I hope someday, and even in the stage I'm at now, I'll have a chance to repay all of the kindness that has been shown to me by life.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

“No one’s ever given us respect. So what? Who cares as long as we respect ourselves?” -Gan Xing, Red Cliff.

I love the quote :)Respect from others is earned by the things we do, Respect from ourselves is gifted as long as we realize what we have already done.

 

I enjoy seeing the progress in your work. Feel free to feel a little bit mentally restored by the respect that I want to pay you now for your (growing) attitude and persistent work. I admire it! :)

By the way, I danced too for a longer time some ballroomdances, but only the traditional ones. It's great how 2 people can work together with their bodies to achieve cool moves and connections, totally feel you there :P

Link to post
Share on other sites

@WorkInProgress It's the best problem one can possibly have ;).

@tirEdOrange Preach man, and thanks for the encouragement. I definitely feel the same as I read about how you hone your ability in sports and relationships to become quite a formidable person; you've come a far way, and pumped to see who you become by day 90. Yeah, ballroom's the best; you might want to try out some of the less traditional stuff someday (i.e. swing, salsa, chacha, etc.), because you might enjoy that even more.

Day 32

Long day, and I want to go to bed ASAP after writing this. I had my first test in genetics, and even though I studied for it, it was still very difficult. Other than that, just lots of classes and a long lab. The main thing I'm noticing is that the difficulty of the classes I've been taking over the past few semesters has been progressively building both a better work ethic in my life and the ability to become proficient at subjects that I don't have a lot of experience in (math and science in this case). Anyway, I want to get to that sleep, but it's good to be alive and to see the good in the world that is still worth fighting for.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 I was very distracted for a lot of the time there, because I was the only male volunteer in a room full of beautiful occupational therapy students who were also part of my group, haha. 

Sounds awesome :D

That's like every yoga class. xD

#goodproblemstohave

Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 33

I'm posting this a day late because yesterday afternoon and evening were very hectic. Excluding the myriad of every day events, it was the day of our ballroom club's first orientation, and as VP of the club I had a lot of prep work to do with the president. The turnout was incredible, with the amount of new members being half of the number of returning members, bringing our club to a record number of membership. Those that want to be a part of the club have to show a decent level of commitment to even join, so this increase definitely meant something. After orientation we went out dancing and I ended up staying out until 1pm, which is incredibly late for me since I follow the Benjamin Franklin sleep schedule ("early to wake, early to rise," etc.). A very positive day overall.

Day 34

Due to my late night shenanigans I woke up much later than usual. I did some meditation, studied a little bit of the Krebs Cycle for cell bio, and then was off to the second and final orientation for the club. It went off without a hitch, and I proceeded with some administrative tasks with the club's president. I want to talk about him for a moment, because there is a very important lesson to be learned from him: making use of every second. He works three part-time jobs, is interning at a local sheriff's department, spends a ton of time running both the ballroom club and a marksmanship and survival organization, spends a lot of time with his fiancee, still has the time to make good grades in his coursework, and on top of all this he is able to do it all with a debilitating neurological condition that would make most people want to stay in bed all day. Minus the stress and frequent forgoing of food, water, and sleep, I have been trying to learn his secrets for productivity. As we worked on the aforementioned task together, I noticed that he is laser-focused on whatever the job at hand is, and he breaks it down into one small chunk at a time. Watching him work could be likened to watching a skilled marksman take down one target after another as they pop up, swiftly and deftly, and do it all with a sense of poise. On top of this, he plans out every single part of his day, not only specifying what he will do in that block of time, but also knowing exactly how he will do it. If I am going to achieve my goal of getting into medical school, I definitely need to learn how to be productive on this kind of level. I've read many books, listened to many podcasts, and experimented with many efficiency techniques, and yet I still have difficulty in making my days count on the level that I would like for them to. Tomorrow is wide open, and I'm curious to see what I can do with it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.