Jump to content
×
×
  • Create New...

The Journey Within


Pierce
 Share

Recommended Posts

@WorkInProgress Thanks!

151 Days w/o Gaming, 8 Days w/o YouTube

My Fridays are scheduled to be laid back, which is nice. I helped a friend learn how to train with weights, got lunch with a different friend, volunteered at the hospital, and hung out with my parents in the evening. The main thing I want to focus on here was my discussion with that friend. I haven't sat down and talked with him since the beginning of late semester because of how busy he was, but picked right back up as if we had never left off. He's been having a lot of problems in his social life as well. I gave him some advice, and received some valuable advice in return. He pointed out that my feelings of isolation are coming from a lack of conforming with society, namely my fellow college students. It also comes from the fact that I usually care much more than others are willing to reciprocate. We both agreed that there is a certain wisdom to no longer caring, namely, no longer caring about what other people think. Living authentically is by far the best thing one could do.

It still stings that I can't go out and do fun activities with my friends. My lack of a car limits me to taking the bus to campus and back home. Last night and tonight they went out and invited me, but I had no way to get there. This is something I wish didn't bother me, but it does. In the Stoic manner I try not to cling to things I don't have much control over, especially those that are ultimately not long-lasting pursuits. It's not easy. Then again, the easy way is the hard way and the hard way is the easy way. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

153 Days w/o Gaming, 10 Days w/o YouTube

I was busy yesterday running errands. It was good to get so much done that I had been putting off. Today I mainly caught up on sleep and did some school work. I'm hoping to get the lion's share of the rest of my school work done tomorrow since it's a holiday. It's nice that I've done fairly decently with my weekend so far, and tomorrow I'll have a chance to really set my next week up for success. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Csaba_Bekesi I really appreciate your encouragement. The last semester I had completely quit video games, but found the same negative effects in my life as if they were still a part of it. YouTube can be just as destructive as any other addiction, as much so as gaming, and quitting it will be one less layer of the onion of our vices. I'm tempted to take a peek at your journal some time to see how this finding has positively impacted your life.

154 Days w/o Gaming, 11 Days w/o YouTube

As I distance myself from past vices, I find that I have more time and discipline to not only focus on school work, but also on self-development. Getting distracted on the internet is still very much a threat, but it's more a game of when I will do the work than if I will do the work. My main goal right now is to make that when a shorter and shorter time.

Beyond that I see I'm faced with a fork in the road. I have a good, albeit somewhat blurry, outline for my life (which I understand is subject to change as I grow older, and certainly will), but my overall attitude within its parameters is still up in the air. The left path in the fork is that of dissipating the ego: reaching a state of being fully present in the moment and detached from daily troubles and desires. The right path is that of ambition and trying to sprint towards my goals. In both I seek to achieve self-mastery and making the world a better place, but I'm having trouble knowing which is better to do that. I am tempted to try to find a way to do both, and while in some ways that does seem possible, in so many others it does not. I personally want to lean much more to the left, but society has taught me all my life how to successfully leverage the right. I'll need to ponder this further.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

155 Days w/o Gaming, 12 Days w/o YouTube

It's tiring work, but it's worth it. There's just not enough time in a day. Or maybe there is, but I get very tired when I try to use all of it. There's so much to do. Trying to do it all makes us stronger, but it also shows us that there's always more. I follow the right road carefully, with a left road mentality. The right road to ambition never ends, but with the left road of inner peace one must realize that he has already arrived.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Csaba_Bekesi Thanks for the insights! Any physical exhaustion would likely come from lack of sleep, though I've only been getting an hour less than I'm used to. It's more likely to be emotional, dealing with fear of another semester of pretty mediocre work, and of being isolated from my friends. You're right in pointing out that these factors are related to my detox. It's my hope that the time and freedom I gain will help me make more time for both studying and meeting with friends. It's also my hope that I'll have more mental resilience to deal with both as I detox. I'll keep your thoughts in mind.

 

156 Days w/o Gaming, 13 Days w/o YouTube

I'm at the point where I am already a bit lost in Calculus, and feel behind in my studying for all of my other classes. It's scary this is happening so soon in the semester. I've thought of some ways to combat both of these problems, but rather that detail the nuts and bolts here I'd rather talk about something more abstract: a working definition of flow.

Flow is both one of the most rapturous and most productive states a human being can be in. It is highly elusive, because our ego is constantly trying to steal our attention from the present moment. Why do we allow it to do so? Well it's easier for one thing, and it proves a quicker hit of pleasure. Flow takes practice to develop, and we often don't have much control when it kicks in. It's like someone who is inexperienced at making fires striking away at the flint; he/she doesn't know when the sparks will finally fly. It is much easier to go to a source that will give a guaranteed small amount of pleasure, and will provide sedation from the troubles of life. Our troubles pause, but so do our goals, and our lives continue to pass us by.

Flow is when we feel most alive. That's the feeling I'm willing to give up so much for. I almost relapsed today, but I remembered how much I wanted to achieve that state. Like Odin, I would give one of my eyes, and possibly more. I can say that in words, but my goal is to say it louder in my actions. Tomorrow I hunt for Flow, and will keep in mind, "Res dura rem facilem est et res facilis rem durum est." (The hard thing is the easy thing and the easy thing is the hard thing, if my Latin is right)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

157 Days w/o Gaming, 14 Days w/o YouTube

I'm still extremely tired. School was pretty routine, and I know there's a lot of work I want to get done tomorrow and over the weekend. Good things happened today, though. The writings been on the wall for a while that I've had trust issues with friends. It took a great deal of trust just to admit that to a friend today. I told her that the lack of trust comes from a fear of them leaving, just as so many have before. I gave her my word, "I'm ready to stop being afraid and start trusting again." It's the hardest path, but it's the path of healing. I'm not going to be a victim, and I'm not going to be a coward. I choose to open myself to the world, and let that be my strength.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Daring to Trust by David Richo was a great book I read on the subject. Most of the time we think we don't trust other people, but it's about a reflection of the lack of trust we have in ourselves. There's a lot of good in your last post. Good job being honest and vulnerable with your friend. :)

Edited by Cam Adair
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As always, thanks Cam. And I think you're right, there definitely has been a lot of lost self-trust and self-esteem over the past few months. I'm going to get it all back and go further. To quote someone I deeply admire, the physicist Richard Feynman, "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool."

158 Days w/o Gaming, 15 Days w/o YouTube

Two positives and a negative to report for today. To get the bad news out of the way first: I'm still not getting even near the amount of studying I need to get done if I want to succeed this semester. It's not as if I'm distracted, as I once was, I just am not being very productive as I work. I try to study, but do it very slowly. I know more effective techniques, but for some reason my weaselly mind convinces me to use the less painful ones. I only study well when there is flow (which is rare) or if there is urgency. Urgency is hard to simulate, though. I hope for better results tomorrow. A positive is that I've been working on acting more authentically and have been succeeding. I've felt more comfortable in my own skin: happier, more outgoing, and more prone to speak my mind and act independently of the opinions of others. As for the other positive: I'm becoming more and more convinced that dissolving the ego is something worth pursuing. It would mean making daily meditation non-negotiable, which is far from what I have made it since it's been hard to find a good time for it (when I wake up isn't an option and I'm drained of willpower by the time it's night). The adventure of life never ceases to amaze.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey you seem to struggle with similar things. I personally find the best way to meditate is directly before you start the day. I am always the first at work so I could use the first 30min as meditation time without anyone noticing. But lately I think I need to spent my time at work more with ... actually working. Thats why I will wake up next week everyday at 4am instead of 5am and do meditation and private jpurnal before my wife wakes up. To be awake at meditation I start the day witha  glass of wather then some streches then another glass of water and then I sit down for meditation. Maybe waking earlier could help you to create some time for it.

Ps. Some shortkey put this in quote xD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@WorkInProgress That's excellent advice! Waking up earlier means going to bed earlier, which scares me a bit, but for the most part I'm not doing anything important after dinner each night so it's worth a try. Things are a little bit crazy right now, but I hope to try it out by next weekend.

@ajaski708 Thanks, I can always use the encouragement. It's all about identifying when you're mind is trying to weasel it's way out of the hard path and in finding good replacement activities. If I can do this, I wholeheartedly believe you can. You got this!

160 Days w/o Gaming, 17 Days w/o YouTube

I'm catching up for yesterday as well, but I want to talk about today first so I can get the negatives out of the way. I did get distracted and watch quite a few videos today. I tried to fight it this morning, just sitting there reading (I recently started Absalom, Absalom by Faulkner). This worked for a time, until I started studying. I have such high expectations for weekends, and I know I can put them to good use once I get momentum, but I felt very worn out today. I would get on, start watching videos, then get off. I'm very tempted to reset my YouTube streak. The only reason I'm not was that I was fighting against it all day, and also resetting now might promote relapse more than seeing what happens tomorrow would. If this continues tomorrow, I'll reset it. If it doesn't, I'll consider this as just a bad day and move on. I know it comes from being a bit sleep deprived and from feeling overwhelmed with school work even though I'm only two weeks in.

It seems that there's always something my mind tries to make me miserable about. Before it was the feeling of isolation. Now that I have dealt with that it is the fear of another semester of poor performance at school. Reading my own words I can see that I'm in a negative paradigm rather than a positive one, but it's difficult to change that when I don't know what to do differently, or more accurately: have trouble implementing what I do know. What keeps me going is hope for the future and a strong sense of purpose. Without them I would be royally screwed, haha. I laugh, but I genuinely do think better times are coming tomorrow.

Yesterday I didn't get much work either, but I got to go out dancing with some of my friends for the first time in a long time. I was pretty rusty, but it was good to out there on the floor again. There's nothing like having a beautiful woman in your arms and putting a smile on her face. My stress melted right away while I was out there.

So, what's the way forward? Enjoying each and every moment of life, embracing the challenge, and seeking greater portions of wisdom. It's the wisdom of hard work that I wish to learn in this part of my life. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Positivity is a muscle like anything else. You're muscle to see the negative is just far stronger than the opposite. Find a consistent way to shift that - gratitude can be one way (throughout the day). It can also help to have your goals (specific ones) written down in places where you can see them often (phone background, in your room, sticky notes on your mirrors, etc.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thinking of my goals has been a tremendous help. I have Rudyard Kipling's poem "If" as my wallpaper on my computer, which serves as a standard I'm trying to meet. Today reminded me of the middle two stanzas,

"If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster 
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken 
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, 
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, 
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools: 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings 
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, 
And lose, and start again at your beginnings 
    And never breathe a word about your loss; 
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew 
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you 
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’"

162 Days w/o Gaming, 1 Day w/o YouTube

I've done a lot of things half-assed throughout my life, but this will not be one of them. I'm starting my streak over. It was just one bad day where I was weak, but one bad day can have major repercussions. I'm trying to pursue excellence when I've grown accustomed to mediocrity in so many areas. In the words of Vince Lombardi, "Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence." I am very grateful for all of the brilliant people that are around me at my school, because their talent beats the snot out of my mediocrity. It gives me an example of how much harder I have to work if I want to achieve my goals.

Last month I said that I wanted to work on learning how to be happy, and I've had a lot of success. I was content with being on my own today, just doing homework or running errands. I was content because I was in alignment with myself, I was being authentic. I let go of all of my regrets from the past, and gently eased away my anxieties for the future, and in that moment I was present. I'm excited about tomorrow, and I'm excited about this new streak, because each streak has the chance of being the last one I'll ever need.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've done a lot of things half-assed throughout my life, but this will not be one of them.

Been there for sure. Constantly try to reflect on where I'm only showing up 50% in my life. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@hycniejsy That would be good advice for some, but not for me. It would be the equivalent of setting a time limit for playing video games, and how that would end for most of the population of this site. I still do watch some videos on other sites for self-help material, but the internet is too accessible an entertainment source for anything else. I will never have the freedom I seek if I can't learn how to control myself.

164 Days w/o Gaming, 0 Days w/o YouTube

There was an irony in what cast me down yesterday (and by momentum today as well). It was nearing the time I needed to go to bed, but I had been listening to the Tokyo Ghoul soundtrack throughout the day and wanted to see what it was all about. It started with the trailer, which turned into an episode, which turned into seven more. Here's the irony: the show is about a man trapped between the half of himself that is dependent on a vile addiction (cannibalism) and the half of him that wants to live in compassion and freedom. There's a ghoul in me as well. He leaves me alone most of the time, but hounds me when I'm weak. He can't be satiated, and only wants more once I give it a taste. The only way to beat him is to starve him into submission, and then to redirect his desperation into energy that I need for hard work.

There's a Buddhist teaching that the best way to overcome the pain of a fire is to sit in the heart of the inferno. When one embraces his inner ghoul as a part of him, avoiding judgement while still seeing its dangers, he can become whole. It's in that complete self-honesty that one has the power to change.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is interesting how these Slips tend to fall into a low energy Zone most of the time. I realised that the most time I do stupid things is when I ahve an energy low or feel liek ym energy is not high enouhg to fulfill teh things that I planned. So watching your own energy Level may help you to identify where you ahve to do changes in your routines. For example go for a walk or to sleep in low energy phases. Do important work in high energyphases. For me the ebst time to do things is in the timeframe between 6-12am. Then I usually start to do be  more unproductive.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@WorkInProgress You're right. I'll need to be on the lookout for when those times. Per your recommendation I plan on waking up early tomorrow to give me time to meditate and get a head start on my studying. It was excellent advice, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out. I think I'll also follow suit in tracking my meditation habit, since I want to make a commitment to it, just as I see you are.

168 Days w/o Gaming, 1 Day w/o YouTube, 0 Days Meditated

I wanted to wait until I was back on track before posting. I was dealing with a lot of emotional turmoil, and wanted to have a little success to bring to the table before continuing on the journey. There's been a lot of doubt on the way I'm going coming from all sides. It took all weekend, but I've overcome it and am back to myself again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@hycniejsy That would be good advice for some, but not for me. It would be the equivalent of setting a time limit for playing video games, and how that would end for most of the population of this site. I still do watch some videos on other sites for self-help material, but the internet is too accessible an entertainment source for anything else. I will never have the freedom I seek if I can't learn how to control myself.

Good point. But if you want to succed, you have to find substitute for that which is not so destructive for you.

How about reading books? Or watching documentary movies on interesting topic for you? Or learning a language? There are so many opportunities and it's up to you how do you engage yourself into it :)

Greetings, Mad Pharmacist

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@hycniejsy Absolutely right. I have chosen reading as my replacement hobby, as I have many years worth of books in a list I have made. If I ever have more time than that, I have a guitar that is growing dust on it.

169 Days w/o Gaming, 2 Days w/o YouTube, 0 Days Meditated

I'm now done with my tests for this week, and have next week to prepare. The test I had today was in the evening and so I had all day to study for it. I found studying much more pleasant than I had in the past. When my computer is associated in my mind as an educational resource, rather than as an entertainment device, the process of learning becomes much more pleasurable. I'm hoping that this is the start of a new chapter in my academic career. I could definitely use that right now. 

As for meditation, it's unfortunate that I chose to sleep in today. I have better hopes for tomorrow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@hycniejsy Absolutely right. I have chosen reading as my replacement hobby, as I have many years worth of books in a list I have made. If I ever have more time than that, I have a guitar that is growing dust on it.

Hell yea! So many guitarist on this forum! On next meetup we should make some kind of rock off! :D

169 Days w/o Gaming, 2 Days w/o YouTube, 0 Days Meditated

I'm now done with my tests for this week, and have next week to prepare. The test I had today was in the evening and so I had all day to study for it. I found studying much more pleasant than I had in the past. When my computer is associated in my mind as an educational resource, rather than as an entertainment device, the process of learning becomes much more pleasurable. I'm hoping that this is the start of a new chapter in my academic career. I could definitely use that right now. 

I'll have to try it out - making my computer more associated with education resource.

That's because I'm printing everything I have on computer and then turn it off to not get distracted. However, if I'll manage to work on my laptop, I'll be able to save thousands of trees :)

Greetings, Mad Pharmacist

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@hycniejsy It's a very liberating feeling when you can use your laptop and not worry about getting sidetracked. Of course that's still a rare feeling for me right now, but one day! ONE DAY I'LL GET THERE!

170 Days w/o Gaming, 3 Days w/o YouTube, 0 Days Meditated

I focus on the negative so often in this journal that I want to state I few things I'm grateful for. First of all, I'm grateful for having this chance to turn my life around. I never would have thought I could have gone this long without gaming. If I can do this, I know I can reach my other goals, no matter how intimidating they are. Aside from that, I've been really enjoying my classes. I wish I could say more about them, but I'm exhausted right now. Maybe some other time.

Once again my main task now that I'm not wasting copious amounts, is utilizing that time better. Sure, I'm getting school work done, but I'm still behind since I'm not working efficiently enough. I'm hoping to fix that, and actually launch off my meditation streak, tomorrow (for that matter, when does tomorrow ever come? I wish it came sooner because I have an awful lot of important things that I've said will happen then). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@destoroyah That they are. I think you're right: it's time we take them out of storage and mount them on the parapets. That should scare off the vermin that keep on trying to knock down my gate and break my streak.

171 Days w/o Gaming, 4 Days w/o YouTube, 1 Day Meditated

In the vein of trying to build greater positivity, I will post about some positive things that happened today. I was able to meditate for the first time in a long time. I arrived at my Anatomy lecture a half hour early and meditated in the back. Even 20 minutes is still a very difficult goal at this point, but I know it'll get stronger with time. I also had lunch with a few friends, which happened spontaneously, and studied with one of them later.

The most positive thing that happened today is surprisingly paradoxical: I told my dad that I was depressed. I'd talked to a few of my friends about it in the past, and even hinted at it occasionally with my parents, but today I talked about it outright. The reason why this is a positive thing is that it has spurred me on to take action. It really upset him, and I that serves as an even greater impetus for change. One of my favorite resources is Actualized.org, and I watched a lecture on depression there. I have to agree with the speaker: the key to being happy is being satisfied in the present moment. This means letting go of all the times I screwed up with my grades and with friends in the past, and let go of my fears for the future. It means rebuilding my life one brick at a time, and giving intense focus and care to each one. That's something I can think positively about. That's something that gives me hope.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferson

Link to comment
Share on other sites

172 Days w/o Gaming, 5 Days w/o YouTube, 0 Days Meditated

I felt much better today. There were times I was laughing with joy, because I know that I'm pulling my life back together. Part of my stress has been my poor performance in school in the past, and I'm slowly starting to do much better. I can see rays of hope. I even chose to skip going out dancing with some of my friends tonight so that I could instead catch up on my sleep and get some studying done early tomorrow. The regrets of the past are fading away as I see a brighter future come into focus.

One thing I can work on is my meditation habit. I tried today and fell asleep. That's why sleep is such a priority right now. In fact, that's what I'm looking forward to doing shortly.

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