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My journal - Thomas


Phoenix
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Day 1 (monday)

I already made my decision the day before in the evening to quit video games. I only had to execute the decision by deleting all my games and characters. To start off with my WoW vanilla server account which I've spent 2,5 months playing almost every day since summer break. Kinda crazy how I spent almost the whole day playing the day before I quit. Big factor into this was my lonely birthday, nobody deserves that. Anyway, I watched alot of Cam's video's and read some blogs. Later on I went to school and passed a test. The day went pretty smooth without games.

Day 2 (tuesday)

I spent the whole morning making homework and learning. Then I went to school and came back home late. After that, inmediately went to my track club and worked out. The biggest local race is coming up this saturday and I want to get in good shape! If you're interested: I run a 5k in under 17.00.
I had a girl approaching me at street, she was advertising something. I don't fall for these kind of things, but I did want to improve my social skills so I had a small conversation. At school I improved further by having more small talk with classmates.
Now when I got home, I had an agreement going with friends to play a game that evening. I know one of them from school but he dropped out, so I only stay friends with him through playing games. I really didn't want to disappoint him since we rarely communicate at all and he is one of the very few friends I got so I did play a game (please don't shoot me). Now don't get me wrong, but there's a difference between a hardcore game like WoW and garry's mod. I don't even enjoy playing that game. I procastrinated an hour to avoid playing that game but I did anyway. We played for only an hour and I went off due to arguing between them. I really feel like 1. they are friends but 2. they keep me from my goal. We never really did anything else than games. Only once going to a theme park but that's not what you do everyday.

Day 3 (today)

Had a long day as well. I spent the morning making assignments and came back home late from school. I am trying to get more things going in my life by filling my agenda with appointments.

One of the keys is to start organizing things, even if it's just with one person (or even just yourself.) That way you become a leader and give other people a reason to come hang out, instead of sitting around (playing victim) and waiting for others to do it for you.

So that's basically what I'm going to do. I called my sis to go shopping on friday, not only getting out of my comfort zone but also gain some clothes. Second, I am trying to appoint a fun event with my sport friends. I asked some people and they seem pretty excited. Third, I asked a colleague to have a meetup with my old colleagues and have a good time.
As you can see I take this pretty seriously. First few days kinda suck cause I don't have anything going yet. I'm also figuring out what social activities I should chose. The ones described in the 60 hobby pdf file don't really fit to me. Maybe I go skateboarding, there is a measure of progress and I could make friends with it. I don't know yet though.

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Hey Thomas! I enjoyed reading about your day(s).

Yes, definitely try and organize an event with your friends outside of games. Sometimes you game just because that's the only way you know how to relate to your friends (and they know how to relate to you.)

Keep working at it. All of this stuff is going to evolve over time as you learn more and more about yourself. Just keep working at it. :)

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Haven't posted anything in a while. Anyway I was quite busy with school throughout the week so I didn't really have time for anything.
On saturday I participated in a local running race which went great. In the afternoon I didn't really do anything useful, my day consisted of watching stupid video's on the internet and boring myself to death. Still I didn't play any games. So that leaves me thinking what I should do.
I want to start a small business. I would buy cheap items from china and sell them a bit higher for some profit. It really gives me energy to make real money on selling goods with a markup, besides it is a usefull experience during my study as it brings subjects likes taxes more to life. I already made steps of buying some samples and can't wait to try out the market. Making money and seeing it as a hobby seems like the ideal combination. Currently it's not a hobby at this point as I am starting out but I will get there.

I must admit I recently relapsed. I played a small rts game (not a hardcore game) to fill the time. I am just so bored I don't know what else to do. Making homework seems so dull to fill the time and finding a fun activity is really hard. I am also getting calls from my old gaming friends to play games and try to seduce me into it which I declined. They wonder what the hell happened to the old me and want me back. They even let me decide which game to play. It's really hard since they are my friends but they are distracting me.
I'm happy I deleted wow as it made me depressed even though I accomplished so much in it.

I don't really know what the future brings. I feel like if I keep getting bored I will fall into my old patterns and no changes were ever made. Also mindlessly browsing the internet isn't contributing anything at all, so I don't really know about that. I feel like I need to get out there, get out of my house and just do something. I really wonder what most of you all do at night to fill your time.

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What I do at night to fill my time (6 PM - 9:30 PM):

  1. Play with my baby.
  2. Put her to bed.
  3. Clean.
  4. Cook.
  5. Eat.
  6. Journal.
  7. Food Journal.
  8. Talk with my wife.
  9. Watch a TV show.
  10. Get ready for bed
  11. Sleep.

Edit: I should mention that this is after months of working on making my life the way I want it to be. Also, I'm probably older, married, and have a kid. This is most likely a very apples to oranges comparison. I just felt that you deserved an answer to the question you asked. I hate putting myself out there in the form of a question to get nothing.

Edited by wookieshark88
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I want to start a small business. I would buy cheap items from china and sell them a bit higher for some profit. It really gives me energy to make real money on selling goods with a markup, besides it is a usefull experience during my study as it brings subjects likes taxes more to life. I already made steps of buying some samples and can't wait to try out the market. Making money and seeing it as a hobby seems like the ideal combination. Currently it's not a hobby at this point as I am starting out but I will get there.

I don't really know what the future brings. I feel like if I keep getting bored I will fall into my old patterns and no changes were ever made. Also mindlessly browsing the internet isn't contributing anything at all, so I don't really know about that. I feel like I need to get out there, get out of my house and just do something. I really wonder what most of you all do at night to fill your time.

Yes! This is exactly what you do in your "free time." The mindset shift is going from something where you want to be "entertained" to where you want to be engaged. For example, at night I spend a lot of it doing one of the following:

1. Working on my business
2. Hanging out with friends
3. Reading/studying for myself or my business
4. Learning through documentaries

and then for about 30 mins/night to wind down, I watch sports highlights, read about politics, check FB, etc.

But for you it's about recognizing that you have these other goals you have, and then investing your spare time into them. You can spend them reading and studying about how to have a successful business as you described (check out Amazon Fulfillment businesses), taking action (1 hour/night over time is a lot of time!), etc.

If you haven't seen this video yet it will help:

Also this one too:

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Hey Thomas. Thanks for your journal. I like your honesty. If you are this good at analyzing and writing down your thoughts you will surely accomplish a lot! If you want to grab some coffee write me a PM. I live in The Hague.

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Hey Cam! Starting a small business is definitely an engaging hobby. But it doesn't take much time at this point, so I still have lots of time left.
Throughout the past week I felt my attention shifted to mindlessly browsing the internet. I don't want to get down that road for the next few months. Quitting gaming is not something I do overnight. It takes time to develop this mindset and stick to it. I already made progress of taking initiative to make a party and I'm proud for that. There's still work to do though.

I'm always amazed by your informative video's and how true these words are. Understanding how we think is vital to quitting games. I often feel like I just want to quit doing homework if I encounter an obstacle. I suppose the best way is to just suck it up and do it.
I must admit things haven't gone all to well the past week, but today I completely deleted every.single.game. There's no going back to it, not even the small games. It doesn't bother me really, I can go days without gaming. The thing is, I need to start taking action against procastinating as that is the real problem.

Hey Thomas. Thanks for your journal. I like your honesty. If you are this good at analyzing and writing down your thoughts you will surely accomplish a lot! If you want to grab some coffee write me a PM. I live in The Hague.

Hey Tom, thanks for your message. I believe being truly honest about yourself and reflecting on your actions is a good thing to do.
I actually go to highschool in The Hague! Maybe we can meet up some time! PM me when you got time :)

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?Interesting read, I've read all of it.
Procastination always led me to do my tasks the last hours. I never knew about the connection of this underlying fear deeply routed in our systems with procastrination, preventing us from failing to maintain status as 'that smart guy'. His theory is actually true as I passed all my tests in first year. After I failed one test in second year I felt the world was going to end and felt like a failure. That led me to more failures throughout the year, starting a snowball effect. It took my entire summer vacation to pass my tests again and maintain my status as 'that smart guy'. I guess it's a form of fear of failure. Now I don't think it's wrong as it keeps me sharp, but it's a wrong form of motivation.
Nonetheless thanks for your message

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I've been "that smart guy" for much of my life. I can tell you that it's a world better to be the good habits, methodical, ass kicker guy than being the smart guy. The key is that you still get to be the smart guy doing the other stuff too!

I know all about the procrastination thing. As a sufferer of depression and anxiety, I used to not do the things I needed to do because I was too depressed. As the deadline came closer and closer, my anxiety would grow until it surpassed my depression. At this point I would go all out to get my task done. This cycle was absolutely awful for me. In the book "Think and Grow Rich" the author says that one of the keys to success is to eliminate any outstanding tasks as soon as you can. Those tasks keep you in the past and distract you from fulfilling your potential.

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I've been "that smart guy" for much of my life. I can tell you that it's a world better to be the good habits, methodical, ass kicker guy than being the smart guy. The key is that you still get to be the smart guy doing the other stuff too!

I know all about the procrastination thing. As a sufferer of depression and anxiety, I used to not do the things I needed to do because I was too depressed. As the deadline came closer and closer, my anxiety would grow until it surpassed my depression. At this point I would go all out to get my task done. This cycle was absolutely awful for me. In the book "Think and Grow Rich" the author says that one of the keys to success is to eliminate any outstanding tasks as soon as you can. Those tasks keep you in the past and distract you from fulfilling your potential.

?I think the attitude has similar habits with perfectionism: you want to be portrayed as someone smart, but as such you limit yourself because of it. Like people wondering "Why would he do X, that's totally not him" (you get the idea)

As for procrastination, sounds like you had the same issue like me. We tend to do things till we raise our anxiety to the point we h

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Today was a good day. Zero games at all and I wasn't even bored.
First I woke up and tried this meditation thing. I meditated for 5 minutes, am still new at it so I have no clue if I do it right lol.
Then I went to have a haircut, looks nice and smooth :) I got back home and my stock arrived! I got absolutely stoked about selling items. I tested my product and got even more excited, Then I did some homework and went on to school. Got back from school, went inmediately to sport club and came back home in the evening. I spent my time in the evening posting auctions, reading and posting on Game Quitters. That was pretty much my day

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The book "The Power of Habit" is a 10/10 book for me. A definite must read for anybody who is frustrated with bad habits that seem impossible to escape and good habits that seem impossible to form.

Using anxiety as a motivator held me back in life for way too long. It's an awful waste of energy and completely unnecessary to get things done. I unlocked a whole new level of potential a few years ago when I broke that habit and hope you can do the same!

Your day sounds awesome!

As far as your meditation goes, I'll soon have an outline ready that will help to clarify how some things work. Honestly, the key to meditation is very simple. Sit still and feel the sensation of your breath. Thoughts will come to your mind, but don't fight them. Acknowledge them gently and let them float away. Your mind will wander. It's not the goal of meditation, but it's completely okay and normal. When you realize that your mind has wandered, gently bring your attention back to your breath. Don't judge the quality of your meditation. As long as you're doing it every day you're improving even if your mind wanders the entire time. Be cheerful as you meditate (this is actually very important).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Today is a really tough day for me, and the day hasn't even passed yet.
So I got my portion of activities throughout the day: sport, work, cold showers etc. overall pretty decent. But the over the past weeks the saturday nights have been filled by boredom. Since I filtered gaming out of my activities I got more time to spend. So going out would be the obvious answer. There's this big party with some of my favorite artists I wanted to go to alone. So I told my sister, she said 'You need someone to go out with. Nobody goes to a party alone'. For years I have neglected my social life by gaming and now I face the harsh truth. Everybody is having a great time but I don't.

Edited by Phoenix
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Go alone. I went out every single night for 3 years, most of the time by myself. Your sister has limiting beliefs about going out alone, that's ok but you don't have to let her influence you in that way.

Having fun is a choice you make. You could go, meet some new people and have a ton of fun.

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Phoenix reporting in!
So I didn't have anyone to go out with, I wanted to go anyway. Before I went I gathered tips about going out alone, it was very helpfull. I NEEDED to do this so I thought to myself 'fuck it let's go'. I went out saturday evening to the local club. I didn't know what I could expect but my mission was to have fun and socialize. I got in and first thing I thought holy shit there's loads of people here, nobody even notices if I'm alone or not. First thing I did was ordering a beer. I scanned the environment for people to talk to while I drank my beer. I saw one of my old colleagues from work I haven't spoke to in years, I approached him, greeted him and had some small talk. I noticed he was with his group of friends and I didn't want to cling to that guy for the rest of the night so I quickly moved on to maintain my momentum. Then I saw another old colleague of mine, he was glad to see me. I've talked to him, asked how he was doing etc. and had a drink with him. He was also with a group of friends but it was more spread out. Over time I went from sober to a bit more loose. I approached random people with this random joke I had in mind that makes everybody laugh. It worked, so I introduced myself and had some small talk. Sometimes people asked where my buddy's are at, I told them I was meant to meet them up at the bar but they cancelled it, so it was all good. I felt accepted within the group, this is what I call 'the homebase'. From there on I approached more random people, same method. Someone even gave me a free drink. I saw some old classmates from school, we don't have much in common but I approached them anyway. I greeted them, showed interest in what they were doing and revived the connection. There were more acquaintances around than I expected. I moved a bit around over time and got back in the homebase. I got two free shots from there. People are so much more nice and approachable with some alcohol. EVERYBODY is having a good time. Now I got to the point where I had to kindly decline more drinks. I experienced once in my lifetime when I was drunk and it didn't feel good the day after. I am a rookie when it comes to alcohol and partying so I toned a bit down as I don't want to do stupid things. It was almost 3 AM so I was there for almost 3 hours, which was to my idea more than enough. I got myself some new friends, so I might have a group for the next time I go there.

To sum it all up:
- I approached about 10 people and had 6 drinks.
- Alcohol is key
- Going out is expensive, drink beforehand
- Plan things beforehand
- Don't overthink too much

I did the right thing by leaving, as I'm sober and not hungover at this moment. I faced my fears by moving out of my comfort zone and had a really good time. This has been a very interesting social experience for me and I will do this in future to further develop my social skills.

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Hey Phoenix

Haha so great you were afraid of going alone and in the end you talked with so many people. That's great! Yes I would also recommend just going alone if you have nothing to go with but really want to go. I am lucky that my girlfriend usually comes with me when I want to go to a concert but even if she wouldn't I would just go alone - I mean if there is a concert of "the offspring" you GOTTA go right?

I am also proud that you didn't drink too much. I have enough experience with alcohol but still keep drinking too much IF I go out with my friends from school. It just happens that you want to stop but then all people say "COME ON just one more beer!" and WOOSH you drank 2-3 more beers.

And the next day you regret it ;)

By the way I also realized at some time how "alone" I am while walking through the city. I am often alone because I need to buy something or whatever but most people go to town with 1-2 friends. Hmm it's hard to explain but I just want to say I know this feeling. One of the positive things about this is that I am super efficient buying stuff haha

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I haven't posted anything in a while so here's a recap of the past few days:

My week has been pretty decent, some days were ok, some days were boring. This is probably due to having nothing to do (still haven't really found a hobby). This is temporary though, because school is starting next week so I will have enough stuff to do.
I have recently taken the habit to take a cold shower every day. I do this since thursday last week. Sometimes I even wonder why I do this, but I remind myself this is healthy and it makes me tough. I also (try to) mediate every day in the morning whenever I can for 5-10 minutes. First time I did that my mind was filled with random thoughts. In my recent mediation sessions I became a bit more peaceful in mind. I'm still learning how to meditate, but practise makes perfect!
I've also been training for 7 consecutive days, I've never done that before! Today was a rest day due to early work, but tomorrow I will be training again. I've asked other sport mates to come with me and we got a little group so we're making the habit to train every day in the woods! The last time I trained in the woods it made me feel... alive. You will understand when you walk in the woods in the morning, with sun shining through the trees with fresh air and an inspiring environment. Can't wait to go again! :)
As for hobby's, I asked my sister who is pretty good with the guitar to give me a lesson in guitar. She said she'll help me so I will soon try out a new hobby!

There are still things I want to change. 
- Purchase and read a book. I really should do that.
- Change eating pattern. If I want to get to the next level and win competitions, changing my eating habits is a must. I find this one of the hardest habits to change.
- Finding a new hobby. I am still searching for a new hobby, I'm going to try out playing guitar tomorrow
- Getting things done. Seriously, I have had so much free time but I still find myself browsing the internet when I should be sending letters or making homework.

Overall I'm pretty happy. I do have the occasional craving but I remind myself there's light at the end of the tunnel. 
So, that's it basically. Theres work to be done!
 

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With hobbies it's all about trying a bunch of new things and trying them a few times to push past the initial learning curve. My friend Calvin has a project called The 100 Club that could be a fun idea for you to try. I actually just interviewed him for an audio bonus I'm putting together. I haven't released it to anyone else yet, so you're getting an exclusive here. Check it out

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That's an awesome idea, I signed up! 10 minutes a day should definitely be doable. I just have to commit doing it. It reminds me of the quote '80% of success is showing up'. 
I've actually played the guitar today for about 3 hours and learned different chords first day. There are so many good guides on youtube, it's like there's a teacher ready at any moment. The moment I first hit my chord correctly I felt ecstatic. Sure it's just a simple chord, but it means alot to me getting it right :D

Thanks for the interview, I feel priviled. I have listened to it for approximately 35 minutes (had to cut it off because I need to go, will listen to it later). At 10 minutes he talks about top 5 values and making decisions based on them. That's quite interesting, because if I understand it correctly, making decisions on what your core values are will make you more happy. Everybody wants to be happy, so that means I should find my core values. There's a whole list of them, I can't choose haha. 
At 32.00 he talks about removing distractions, which are so true. When I do homework, I move upstairs because there's little to no distractions there. 
32.40 having the mental state is hardest for me as well. When I'm at the gym it's easy, then it's like "oh, I'm at the gym. Let's work out". But at home you have to move yourself.
34.40 is some on point advice for learning the guitar! Hmmm.. I have to make a rule for myself to get the most out of the activity. I think I'll practise every chord every day before I start, that seems like a good rule.

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I really enjoyed reading about your club experience!  Also, I'm really excited to see that you've been meditating.  If you have any questions about how it goes, I would be happy to help you out.  I'm no pro, but I have a pretty good foundation at this point.

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