Jump to content
×
×
  • Create New...

The Journey Within


Pierce
 Share

Recommended Posts

@WorkInProgress I like that quote! Focus seems to be the key to turn anyone from an average person to a success.

Day 35

To start with the negatives: I didn't get nearly enough work done today as I wanted. There was open lab for invertebrate zoology, but the building was locked for the weekend so I will need to accomplish the tasks I set for today, tomorrow. I tried to study at the library in that time, but was drenched from the rain and was otherwise unfocused (again, focus is the key). If quitting video games could be likened to finally breaching the walls of a castle after a prolonged siege, getting tasks done that I'm not naturally inclined to do is like coming up against the elite horde of defenders that outnumber your troops 2 to 1. I like those odds, and am not daunted by them, but I have delusions about how hard I'm going to have to fight to get to the level of productivity needed to achieve my goals. Take the Stairs has been giving me a lot of good suggestions, but I'm already getting nervous that I'm losing momentum for this semester.

On the bright side: ever since I quit video games I have been able to have much greater control over negative habits. I won't go into too much detail on this because I'm getting pretty tired, but I've seen giant leaps of improvement in having control over impulses, such as what I eat, when I choose to rest, and being able to resist against activities that would waste my time, such as mindlessly surfing the internet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the bright side: ever since I quit video games I have been able to have much greater control over negative habits. I won't go into too much detail on this because I'm getting pretty tired, but I've seen giant leaps of improvement in having control over impulses, such as what I eat, when I choose to rest, and being able to resist against activities that would waste my time, such as mindlessly surfing the internet.

Woot!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've definitely backslidden. No, I haven't played any video games, but starting last Sunday night I started watching gaming related videos on youtube. I was watching them because I was procrastinating from studying for the two tests I've had this week. Really I don't have any excuses, and while I don't want to start over because I know that will lead to discouragement and maybe relapse, I also don't want to just pretend that nothing has happened. I'm not going to count the last three days, and am going to start with day 36 tomorrow, because, yes, I will have quit watching them by then.

This goal is too important to back down now, too much is at stake.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Remember that you've already dealt with procrastination, gaming and mindless browsing. Just repeat those leaps of improvement. Choose better activities as you did before! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've definitely backslidden. No, I haven't played any video games, but starting last Sunday night I started watching gaming related videos on youtube. I was watching them because I was procrastinating from studying for the two tests I've had this week. Really I don't have any excuses, and while I don't want to start over because I know that will lead to discouragement and maybe relapse, I also don't want to just pretend that nothing has happened. I'm not going to count the last three days, and am going to start with day 36 tomorrow, because, yes, I will have quit watching them by then.

This goal is too important to back down now, too much is at stake.

Good job posting. We've got your back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the encouragement guys, it means a lot. I'm back in the saddle.

Day 36

I'm posting this a day late because I was in a lab until around 9pm. I was tempted all day with my positive momentum having collapsed and my negative momentum beginning to gain way in the other direction. The previous day (Wednesday) I had spoken with two friends on the how they remained productive. The first said he viewed his life in the scope of the big picture, and with that view he was able to put great importance on even the smallest of tasks. The second friend had a saying for when he needed to get something done, "this is necessary"; after saying that, boom, he gets it done no matter what. With those two pieces of advice I was able to grind back into a mode of filling my time with useful tasks rather than avoiding them.

Day 37

Momentum is on my side now. Granted, Fridays are usually easier than most days because I spend the day mainly on social and administrative activities, but I've gotten my self-confidence back and that's what matters. I've spent a half decade trying to quit video games and wasting time on the internet, and my lack of success is likely because my mind has been rebelling against the constant challenges I have set before myself. In this half decade I have: chosen to follow a dream that for years I was too afraid of committing to (becoming a doctor), tackled courses that are completely out of the scope of my natural talents, had an exponential leap in my social skills and confidence, and have become stronger and had a healthier diet than I ever have before in life.There are really only two areas in which I am dissatisfied in my life: the amount of time I waste and my grades, with both being interconnected. I have a great inclination for the humanities, but am very weak in math and science. In the past two years I have learned an immense amount of biology and chemistry that has changed my view of the world, and I don't plan on stopping here. It has been completely worth it to choose a major in something that is very foreign to me, and I know I can do more than just survive in these classes; I believe that the time is coming soon where I will excel in them.

It is for this reason that this must be the year where I gain control over my use of electronics. If I have accomplished so much in the past, why can't I achieve this? I can and I will, and I will do so much more. I dream almost every day of the moment when I don the white coat and stethoscope of a doctor, and of what it will be like to be like to go to places in the world where my trade saves lives and makes a difference. Staying within the boundaries of virtue, I would give anything to reach both of those milestones, and unless death or sudden calamity takes me, I surely will. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 38

There was a giant, mandatory summit for all student organizations today. I'm trying to live by the philosophy, "if you aren't early, you're late", and my getting there right on time was shamelessly rewarded with finding out that the time they told us to get there was 15 minutes before it began, so I ended up waiting around, haha. The three hour presentation was chalk full of information I already knew; still, I studied some organic chemistry and spent some time with the other ballroom people that came with me, who are very much like a second family. We got out almost an hour early, which was nice, and I was feeling very good at the amount of work I got done.

From 1pm onward I struggled to get much of any productive work accomplished. I feel quite positive that it's Parkinson's Law, "work expands to fill the time available for its completion." When I know that I only have around an hour to do a task, and working on it is the best thing I can be doing in that moment (and I use the word "best" loosely, because sometimes my emotions tell me it is "best" to mindlessly surf on youtube), I can sprint through my work. In light of P's Law, my goal is to work smarter and not harder. I might even have time to start reading through the ever growing pile of personal reading books I have. Robert Greene's book, Mastery, just arrived on my library's hold shelf for me and I'm feeling a bit guilty by the fact that I still haven't finished the other two books I checked out. There's a lot I plan on getting done over the next decade, and I can do it if I can pair the tenacity I have with a love of excellence.

I'll end this post with a cool example I found out about today. Think of a shield wall. In the heat of battle there are hundreds of foes that want to kill you on the other side of your shield, but they are not the imminent danger. Your comrades protect you from those that are on your left and your right, and the rest of your enemies of farther back within their own ranks. It's only the man in front of you that you need to worry about. He deserves all of your focus and ferocity. Then the next one and the next one, until you have either died or fought your way to survive for another day. That's the way to live life. Quoting Teddy Roosevelt, "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena...who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 37

...I've spent a half decade trying to quit video games and wasting time on the internet, [...] In this half decade I have: chosen to follow a dream that for years I was too afraid of committing to (becoming a doctor), tackled courses that are completely out of the scope of my natural talents...

"Talent is just a start value, it means nothing if you don't work. If there is anyone, who is willed to work while you rest on your talents, he will surpass you and he will know what he has to do to keep going while all that you are will be.... some talented guy who will never understand how he couldn't make it. I swear to you, no one is at the top because he is talented in something, it is because they MADE working their talent and that's the difference between you and them. Remember my words when you will fail." - some random guy that changed my life.

Needlessly to say that I failed. But it gave me the most important lesson in my life: what it's like to be on the wrong side. I wasn't a worker when I failed, I was talented and rested. But realising the value of what he said to me at that time after I failed at my "goal" was a necessity for me. It's the reason why I can train 2 times per day, why I have written every 2 hours in my calender that I need to eat, even though I'm not hungry and why I am going early to bed so I can rest and restore myself for the next day(and many other things I do for the purpose of preparing myself to work efficiently): It's because I'm a worker, I'm a maker and this has become my talent. Don't get me wrong though, I wasn't born a worker, it's something that I got talented in. And this is the reason why you WILL succeed, you chose to be a worker and went out of your talents and that will make all the difference in the end.

You know what it's like to diddle around with your time and waste it. To feel bad about this fact and this is the reason why you chose to become a Hero. Maybe it was a necessity, maybe it will make a huge difference in the end and lets you understand things in a way other people won't be able to understand. I know the feeling when you see other succesful people and think "Why haven't I done what they did so I could be like this now?" but that's the point!

You are a unique set of atoms and experiences and because of that you can have a unique influence on people and change their life, just like this random guy did change mine. He had a looot of failure, but this guy is currently doing triathlons with insane times, has won several champion cups in different Ballroom dances and still has time for a job, family and other hobbies and he's like 52 or something. But the most important thing is that he said this to me when he was in my train once for 2 hours and he wouldn't have said that without the failure that he had. Of course he could had done some things better but then he wouldn't had the experiences to touch my life so much with bare words, it's insane!

and I can't even thank him or something because even if I did, he wouldn't even remember me, life is cruel haha. but who knows where our paths will probably lead to ;)

Trust me, things like gaming, midless browsing and many other things can be such a small unnecessary thing in your life if you choose to be a worker, to be a hero. But if you want to be a Hero, then you will need to behave like one.

And you already chose to be on the right side :)

"Don't cry to quit! You're already in pain, you're already hurt! Get a reward from it!" - [Eric Thomas, Secrets to success]

Edited by tirEdOrange
Wanted to share with you how I deal with my motivation to just do things sometimes, at least in terms of sports. I'm currently learning to "get talented" in learning & self-improvement in the mental area as we both know. I think it's quite similar though.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@tirEdOrange Wow... It's hard to follow up an act like that, haha, but I know I need to respond somehow. First off, I want to sincerely thank you for sharing such an important quote from your life. I couldn't agree more. I've seen many other pre-meds that are much better at school (chemistry, physics, biology, math, etc.) than me and have much more impressive resumes have given up on their dreams of becoming a doctor when times got tough and things didn't go their way. I'm glad you quoted Eric Thomas, because he really inspires me as well. In one of his videos he talks about how he succeeded where other more talented people failed because he had heart, and heart was enough. I fail over and over and over, but I've chosen a path where failure isn't an option and that's why I have the tenacity to continue on. I'm also glad you use the word Hero, because I enjoy that word as well. From what I can tell, you work to excel in sports and your own self development so that you can better help others; that's what being heroic is. We have dreams that are bigger than ourselves, and that's why while others are resting on their talents we will be pouring out our energy to, "sacrifice the person that we are for the person that we want to become" -Eric Thomas. Thank you for your encouragement, my friend, and for sharing those nuggets of wisdom you have collected. They are both sincerely appreciated

Day 39

Paused. That's what life is when we give into old habits that only bring us down. There's a reason for why I haven't posted in the past two days. I chose to escape the pain of studying by watching youtube for hours on end. My problems didn't go away, they were merely.... paused. The thing about that choice is that it's not like my life is in stasis. I only have a certain amount of seconds in my life before I die, and my greatest fear is of wasting them. I can never get them back if I do, and dreams that could have come to pass are just gone. That's not what's going to happen here though. Even if you break my legs I'm still going to get back into that saddle; I'll just have to put more elbow grease into it this time to get back up there. I'd be a liar to say I've broken free by today, because I still spent some time falling down, but my most prominent desire is to become free and that is enough. I've found three more parts to the solution: 1. Turn on StayFocusd when I want to block youtube and just get work done (something I should have thought of a long time ago). 2. Read more. I enjoy reading and want to get through my accumulating pile. Why waste time when I can gain life altering knowledge and whittle away at that pile? 3. Become a lot more diligent with my meditation regimen, and put more free time towards that. Meditation lessens the amount of swaying we do to the winds of pleasure and pain, and after partially relapsing I'm really sensitive to both right now. I feel optimistic about tomorrow and am curious to see what happens.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's all about how you respond. You made a powerful choice to get back and get focused again. Continue that dance and you'll be blown away at how much success you find throughout your life. The key is to stop the spiral before it goes too deep!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 40

I got a lot done today, but more along the lines of administrative tasks and less with studying. It's easy to do the former, but the latter is a struggle. Looking at my grades throughout previous semesters it's almost certain that I'm going to need to take additional years of school past my undergrad to even have a chance of getting accepted to med school. That doesn't bother me so much if I knew that I would make the grades I need to get in then, but there's no certainty that I'll have that habit anytime soon. I'm trying to fire all engines in that direction so that I'll have the right skill set when the time comes. In the mean-time I'm enjoying some of the other habits I've been building, such how I got to read more today and really focused in on meditating. I'm really tired now, but I'm aiming towards getting a lot of studying done tomorrow so I can blow off steam and read a lot and go out dancing on Friday.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 41

Great day today! It was chalk full of classes, but I got a decent amount done. Getting my momentum back as far as my studies go is my main priority right now. My experiment for organic chemistry lab ended two hours earlier than most, so I had time to go down to the latin cultural event that was happening in the middle of my campus. I feel pretty good about being the only white guy out there dancing in the line dances, like the Wobble, and with a partner. I only know the basic step of Salsa and Meringue, and I learned a dance called Gumbia (don't know how it's spelled), but through confidence and throwing in some swing moves I was able to hold my own in foreign waters. I've started planning a field trip to a latin club with my ballroom group on account of this. I want to continue to push myself towards new and uncomfortable experiences, all for the sake of growth. There will be a lot more dancing tomorrow, but I'll deeply disappointed if I don't throw an even greater amount of effort towards school work during that day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not counting today, because I wasted a lot of time, but I'm retroactively posting for yesterday since I was so busy I didn't have a good opportunity to do so then.

Day 42
It was a decent day, with negligible wasting of time, and after my cell bio class I even got a good amount of studying done on the RNA transcription and translation process. I maxed out in squats during my workout and am slowly getting back to the peak strength point I was at in the summer. I also co-taught a ballroom class later on and then went out dancing that night, which was a lot of fun. I'm starting to realize that I may want to divvy out my time more so that I try out new activities instead of dedicating so much of my free time to dance. I also definitely want to read more, because the more I get in the habit of reading the more I enjoy it and leading to less time wasted on the internet.

As for addressing today, I'm so tired of giving in to moments of weakness where I don't want to do my work. The life philosophy I want to have is: I will do what I believe is right, no matter how I feel in the moment. It's frustrating to catch myself slacking in very large ways, give myself a giant mental pep-talk, and then go back to slacking again. I guess I'm just not motivated by my goals enough, which is strange because I feel as I am willing to sacrifice much for them. It goes back to the fact that it is much harder to make many long-term, small sacrifices than one quick, large sacrifice. I'm always game for experimentation, so here's my goal for the next week (starting tomorrow, Sunday): 1. To set specific study goals for each day and make it a priority to meet them, even if it means skipping other activities. 2. To avoid using youtube completely, and minimize all non-school related internet use as much as possible. 3. To meditate twice a day for 20 minutes (when I wake up and before I go to bed), every day. 4. To read more from my chosen personal reading books during study breaks (I want to start using the Pomodoro technique more, so after every two 30 minute intervals). There are some other goals I can think of off of the top of my head, but they are much less important so I really want to stick with these four for now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last paragraph seems very similliar to me. I struggle too, with that difficult "putting aside" things I'm really into and I don't know where does it come from. It's good to know I'm not alone. I've event started thinking that maybe I'm cheating myself about me being so much into these activities, but it seems like it's more a procrastination problem.
Anyway, lets get things done.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Piotr I wish we were few in number, but I think this type of procrastination is the dreaded killer of dreams that plagues us all. If you find any strategies that work, please let me know; I'll try to do the same.

As for the day, I fell down in the mud again, but I want to talk about it for a bit. It's funny, actually doing my work isn't all that painful, but it's almost as if I go to youtube out of absent minded habit. It's sad how powerful such a small voice in my head is; I really need to make a concerted effort to resist that natural state. Here are three proactive thoughts on the matter: 1. Whenever I ask guys that were formerly in the military how they built discipline their response is usually quite disheartening: just do it. I guess that's it. No fancy techniques or mystic knowledge, just stop thinking about it/waiting until you feel motivated and just take action. 2. Another useful mentality is: if my death was imminent what would I be doing? Obviously one must still include mundane tasks in this mindset such as hygiene, rest, nutrition, and smaller tasks that get us closer to our larger goals, but this is otherwise highly useful. 3. Inflation counts for time as well, meaning that procrastinating will only make life harder later on. The payoff for completing the task will be diminished and  the cost to accomplish it will have increased. To give an example, yesterday morning I felt as if I had all the time in the world and could waste as much of it as I wanted, but now I feel that I would sacrifice an outrageous amount to be able to repeat this weekend. I know that time is by far one's most valuable resource, but in the moment I treat it as highly expendable. It is the most frustrating contradiction, and I know that overcoming it will likely be the greatest accomplishment of my life. That is not an overstatement, I mean it. Obviously I should be trying a lot harder.

One last thing: life is a lot harder than a video game. In a game you can restart from a checkpoint, or even in the most brutal games you can at the very least create a new character; life is quite different. In life you must live with your mistakes and you only have a limited amount of time in general. Video games are a crappy facsimile of life, and that's why life is so much more important and needs to be treated with much more care. Where does this conclusion lead me? I don't know, it's kind of open-ended at the moment, but I know that I want to start living more and stop spending so much time in front of a screen, whether it's a video game or not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Listen to more Jocko Willink - his two podcast interviews on Tim Ferriss' are gold. His own podcast is gold. He basically reinforces JUST DO IT so hard, it becomes a mindset. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Cam Adair I just bookmarked one of the interviews for later and put Jocko's book in my read later list. Thanks for the recommendation!

Day 43

Back on track. I can see the pattern looking at most posts, and my stumbling around in my electronic entertainment quitting goals is largely due to two things, from best I can tell: 1. The loss of the beginning of semester motivation. 2. The barrage of tests that came at me recently. In other words my success in my game quitting goal is closely tied into my overall motivation and time-management (so that I can study more efficiently).

I've gotten quite a bit of studying done today on DNA and RNA synthesis, and I plan to do more tomorrow. Some other tasks I've worked towards: maxed out my squats again while weight lifting, read a chapter in my book on Bushido, and shadowed my volunteer coordinator at the hospital I'm helping out at once a week. Tomorrow I want to continue my advance in studying so that I can regain momentum and retake control of this semester. Working towards building mental toughness and just getting things done is proving to be really enjoyable. If I can keep this mindset for the next year I know I'll have incredible results.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 44

Not too much to say other than that I got a good bit of work done and it was a solid day. Just as in the last couple of weeks my momentum was slipping and I was falling into the abyss, I feel my stride getting stronger as I climb my way back up. My momentum is now positive, and I know that now is the time where I need to press even harder. Complacency is my greatest enemy, because I'm far from where I want to be; I'm far from even breaking neutral.Top three goals: 1. Lose the confusion with organic chemistry and actually learn enough reagents to know what you're doing. 2. Mentally lock down DNA and RNA synthesis really well. 3. Ensure that thoughts are continually redirected from weakness to productivity, and really focus on mindfulness and a regular practice of meditation every day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 45

The ascent out of this pit is growing difficult, but my arms are still strong. I have a week or so until my next barrage of tests, and for three of my four classes I'm becoming more and more prepared (on the other hand, organic chemistry is not a happy situation right now). Still, I can't complain about today; I've been trying out a new technique of consciously writing down three things each day, and I know I'll plenty today. I practiced ballroom technique, lifted weights, and had lunch and dinner with friends. I had lots of social interaction, which made for a very emotionally positive day, but at the same time it came at the cost of productivity. I've cracked open Robert Greene's book Mastery and I've already started gleaning tips from it on how to be more efficient. Time to climb further tomorrow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 46

I'm climbing higher and my speed is faster. I had a lot of work to get done in a small period of time today since I had three classes and a four hour lab. As I began to get distracted I asked myself the question: how much are you willing to sacrifice towards your goals? My goal of becoming a doctor is everything to me because its a goal that is about something higher than myself: helping those in dire situations. The answer is, from best I can tell, I'm willing to sacrifice everything (within the parameters of virtue). This is on a mental level though, so to turn it into physical action I must remind myself this in every moment when I need to do work that I don't necessarily enjoy or see the purpose of. I base my life around four virtues: Truth, Love, Honor and Excellence, and when I am being honest with myself I am incredibly lacking in the fourth one. This is something I seriously want to remedy. In that vein, I have a lot of fun activities planned tomorrow (I use Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings as my time to relax), but I also have more time than usual planned in there. I'm hoping I can get even further tomorrow towards building a good work ethic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 47

I almost pushed this post off for tomorrow because I'm so tired. As for school work: the guest lecturer in my cell bio class was excellent, and I studied some organic chemistry with friends in the afternoon; still not a lot of work done, but Fridays are meant to be laid back as I said yesterday. The main thing I did today was manning a booth selling cookies for our ballroom club, which was mainly dancing with various partners out in front of it and having a great time. It's good to have a social group like them. We had ballroom practice that evening and I forwent going out to a local dance studio that night. It was very much a bummer to not go out and have fun with my friends, but again as I said yesterday, I need to sacrifice for my goals if they are so important to me. One last thing: one of the girls I was dancing with used to be a bodybuilder and offered to help me train arms and chest in weight lifting twice a week. That's a deal I can't pass down since I don't have experience in weight training other the plan I've been doing off of the internet for the past year. I guess this means I need to start breaking out my homemade protein powder and making a regular go of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share