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Gaming the System 006 - James' First 30 Days As a Digital Nomad in Thailand!

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kortheo

My Journal - Travis

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Hi Travis, I also vote to delete your account.

I had a very similar decision to make when I decided to rid myself of my Steam account. I had the option to delete it (and lose its value forever) or to gift it to my little brother. I ended up deleting it. This was firstly because I knew that at some point I would be overcome with nostalgia and just ask for it back since I would see him playing my games all the time. This would end up in me turning myself and my brother into gaming addicts, and may result similarly for you if you chose to gift your accounts. Secondly, I knew that to move on from games I would have to make the barrier to entry as high as possible, and deleting the accounts do just that.

I am proud of my decision because I have metaphorically burnt the bridge behind me that I could have travelled across to get back into video gaming.

Cam and Florian have good points also. I have been forced to find other ways to connect with my little brother since we aren't playing games together, and actually find much more interesting things to do now.

Although you may lose the accounts' value by deleting them, you remove the possibility of you falling into the depth of gaming addiction. This is much more valuable in the long term so that you can build the life you want, so my vote goes to deleting the accounts.

Congratulations again on making 90 days, I hope you choose what is right for you and don't let the detox go to waste :)

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Okay guys. I just nuked my accounts (Steam, Origin, Battle.net). In Mark Manson's words, I just killed myself.

 

I'm going to go outside for a while.

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I didn't start working on getting rid of my games until I was well over 100 days game free so I know how that feels.  It is tough no matter how long you've gone without using them.

Congratulations on pulling the trigger!  That is not an easy thing to do!

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Bold moves are the name of the game. You can't breakthrough to the next level in your life unless you're willing to take a stand for yourself in this way. Celebrating you over here in Canada today brother. :)

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Congrats for deleting your accounts.  I realize it must be much harder to delete a steam account full of games vs selling a console or sabotaging browser games accounts. I invested quite a lot of time in these and I came to a point where I was about to be super competitive, but in a matter of minutes I destroyed hours of gaming time. For the best, no regrets! ;)

If we were all meth addicts, would we gift our substance to our family or friends? I know I won't! Or maybe only if it's the addiction talking and hoping to be able to get it back sometime, who knows.

Great decision!

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Day 92
 
Deleting my game accounts felt like I was running full speed at a brick wall, except when I actually hit it, it was paper-thin and I painlessly burst through. On the other side, the world was the same as it has been recently, just a little calmer and lighter.
 
I used this method to delete my accounts. So I basically changed them all to a temporary email that no longer exists, and to random passwords that I have no record of. They are as good as nonexistent. I couldn't recover them even if I wanted to (which I don't).
 
In truth, it feels like a weight has been lifted off of me. I can sense that I have a certain amount of brain-space that has always been devoted to video games. It's kind of like that feeling when you leave a job, or finish a final exam, or end a relationship - you suddenly realize that there's a chunk of information that you can let go of because it's no longer relevant to your life. In my case, it's a big chunk. But it's very nice to know that I don't have to ever think about those games again if I don't want to. I can truly leave it all behind and move forward now. Thinking about it now, I didn't realize what I burden they were...
 
Something else could turn up, but to my knowledge now I own no video games or video game hardware. If my previous identity in life was 'gamer', then that's an identity I can actually leave behind now. What kind of gamer owns no gaming related things? If someone asks me about video games in conversation, I can legitimately say "Oh, I don't play video games, sorry." Whatever I am, I'm not a gamer anymore.
 
I think it will take some time for me to process the fact that they're all really gone, that I don't have to devote any mental energy to them, that I can't play them again. The amount of time and mental effort I had devoted to some of those games was immense. It's exciting to think that I can re-purpose all that mental energy for projects that actually matter to my life now.
 
I'm proud of myself. This is a huge milestone for me. It was scary, but I did it anyway. I know it was the right choice.
 
If this is "killing myself", good thing I can Respawn! Going to check out the new version soon. It's a good time for it :)

---

I finished my Christmas shopping earlier today. I went to the grocery store. I bought some new winter clothes for myself. I'm learning some new juggling tricks. I've been spending a lot of time with friends. I'm going to get drinks with some new friends tonight. Hopefully tomorrow I can finally lay out some projects I want to work on over my break. I have been very productive the last couple of days with Christmas stuff and deleting my accounts, so I'm moving forwards!

Gratitude

  1. My 5 minute journal, which I am eagerly awaiting in the mail!
  2. Finding great jeans and jacket today for good prices.
  3. Fingerless gloves to keep my hands warm, and allow me to type, in the winter :)
  4. Seeing my nephew and niece today.
  5. All the support I have gotten here in response to my posts the last two days!
  6. Discovering a new hangout spot.
  7. Reading a new book.
  8. Going to see Star Wars with friends tomorrow night.
  9. Progress on a personal issue.
  10. New albums from favorite music artists.

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Day 92
 
Deleting my game accounts felt like I was running full speed at a brick wall, except when I actually hit it, it was paper-thin and I painlessly burst through. On the other side, the world was the same as it has been recently, just a little calmer and lighter.

I really love these two sentences.  They're inspirational, artistic, and powerful!

Actually, the whole post was awesome, but that was my favorite part.

Like you, I tell people that I don't play video games.  It's amazing!

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Day 92
 
Deleting my game accounts felt like I was running full speed at a brick wall, except when I actually hit it, it was paper-thin and I painlessly burst through. On the other side, the world was the same as it has been recently, just a little calmer and lighter.

I really love these two sentences.  They're inspirational, artistic, and powerful!

Actually, the whole post was awesome, but that was my favorite part.

Like you, I tell people that I don't play video games.  It's amazing!

Out of likes, but thank you sir! I had fun writing them :).

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If this is "killing myself", good thing I can Respawn! Going to check out the new version soon. It's a good time for it :)

 

 Dude the whole "kill my old self" philosophy was one of my strongest supports to turning my life around.

I thought "kill my old self? BUT I'M PROUD OF THAT GUY, THAT'S ME"

But then I thought "wait a minute... I'll still be the same old guy, I'm just going to kill the shitty guy and become a new better guy..."

TL; DR: KILL OLD GUY BECOME NEW GUY 

 

Stay+awesome+my+friend+_42f9da770185e8f6b3bb279e2fdd2924.jpg

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Day 93

Attention

I came across a great point in a book I'm reading today. Our attention is a finite resource, and how we direct it is important. We can choose how we spend our attention, just like we can choose how we spend our time. Living in the information age, we will be better off to the extent that we can focus our attention on information that is beneficial to us and enriches us, instead of the distracting noise. This is not a simple task, but it's worthwhile. 

"A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention." - Herbert Simon

With this in mind, one thing I decided for my vacation (now until the 4th of Jan) is that I'm going to limit mindless internet browsing. This takes a few specific forms - first, I have elected to completely stop using reddit for the duration. I don't get much out of reddit these days other than mindless entertainment. Info-tainment at best. This makes it analogous to the role that video games played in my life. While there are interesting and worthwhile discussions to be found on reddit, they are often the needle in the haystack, and there is just too much distracting content with little value. Basically, the signal-to-noise ratio for reddit is just too high for me for it be a place I habitually go to. I also don't really feel seen and heard when I contribute to reddit; I'm just another member of the faceless swarm. I want to spend my time online where I can have worthwhile interactions with people on a smaller scale, like Gamequitters!

One site I'm going to experiment with is Quora. I didn't know much about it, but it seems like a place where I could connect with people about intellectual topics in a way that gives value to others. This is ultimately what I wanted from reddit but never really got. I will let you all know how that works out!

In addition, while I will continue to use Facebook I will not allow myself to browse it mindlessly when I'm bored. I have to use it with a specific purpose in mind - get information about X event, message Y person, make Z post, etc. This one can be tough, but I think it's a good guideline. Ironically, facebook would be better if you could just disable the newsfeed, haha. (Oh my god you canhttps://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/news-feed-eradicator-for/fjcldmjmjhkklehbacihaiopjklihlgg/related?hl=en; this is amazing. Now I just get thoughtful quotes where the newsfeed used to be... I am so amused and happy about this. My mind immediately feels calmer, seriously. Never ending content is stressful and distracting.)

Projects

One thing I wanted to do for my vacation was plan and complete some short-term personal projects. Here's what I've got:

  1. Personal Finance:
    1. Research and open an investment account, probably a Roth IRA.
    2. Come up with a system for tracking your expenses.
  2. Read Books:
    1. http://www.amazon.com/This-Will-Make-You-Smarter-ebook/dp/B005LC1OR0
    2. http://www.amazon.com/Mans-Search-Meaning-Viktor-Frankl-ebook/dp/B009U9S6FI
  3. Food:
    1. Develop plan for cooking and buying groceries so that you stop eating out so much.
  4. Fitness
    1. Attend a fitness bootcamp event.

Some of these are things I do well. Getting the Roth IRA opened is probably not a huge deal, I just need to learn about it first. Tracking expenses is a little tricker but I have some experience - I've used both Mint and YNAB but both had pros/cons to them. I haven't found something that really clicks with me yet.

Books are simple enough. Just gotta read 'em!

Food has always been a challenge for me, and I'm not sure why. In the past I've tried to do a Sunday meal prep and cook for the week, but it feels like a very labor intensive thing. I have to pick a meal, go to the store and buy food, and spend time cooking and packing it. It takes hours. One thing I might try now is to pick a meal and buy the groceries on Saturday, and then do the cooking and packing on Sunday. Splitting it up might make it easier. Any thoughts on this one would be great!

Gratitude

I received my 5 Minute Journal yesterday! So I'll be doing my gratitude habit there instead from now on. Liking it a ton so far. I think that anyone doing a gratitude habit on here would enjoy using it as well. It has some good information in it.

One thing I'm grateful for though - I discovered an awesome coffee shop basically a 5 minute walk from my house. It just opened a couple months ago, but I didn't notice until now. Very happy, I have a new hangout spot!

Edited by kortheo

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I can totally relate to the idea of distracting flow of information. With some site suggesting this and some pages suggesting the exact opposite it is, at least for me, hard to come up with well-rounded picture. Enjoying your journals! :) 

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Day 94

I'm beginning to feel a little restless due to not being in my normal routine. This being my first vacation in a while, it's a bit of a transition. I'm also a bit of a workaholic, so it's not always easy for me to have idle hands.

Not that I've been idle. I've been making good use of my time. Yesterday I did a bunch of research on investing and IRAs. This was something I've been meaning to do for a while. Also, it was great because I noticed I was able to focus on this for several hours without distraction - I think cutting out mindless internet browsing is working! Anyway, I was in the process of opening a Roth IRA with Vanguard online, but I ran into a a technical issue and then the system forced me to send in a paper application instead of completing it online. That made me pretty frustrated at the time, because I wanted the instant gratification of getting it all done in one day. But no matter what, it's going to take several days to complete everything, so I'll be patient. I just dropped my paper application into the mailbox right before coming to this coffee shop. So I can check that off my to do list until I hear back from them! I'm excited and proud of myself for getting an investment account started, though.

I've done some other small things... I cleaned out my fridge, I'm doing laundry/dishes today, and I even cleaned up my YouTube subscriptions... still had some gaming-related ones in there.

I've been doing at least one social thing a day, but lately it's just been hanging out with the same couple of friends. Despite that I'm feeling a little lonely, like I'm needing more social connection. I guess when I hang out with them we usually just watch TV/movies so there's not always a ton of interaction. This is fine normally - I like watching stuff with them, and we are watching a lot of good movies that have cultural or intellectual significance - I feel like it's enriching rather than mind-numbing - but still when that's the bulk of my social interaction it's not enough. On a side note though, we saw Star Wars last night, and it was great! Ha.

I think that cutting out reddit/facebook is also making me feel less connected. This is valuable insight, because it makes me realize that they were meeting that social need for me partially in life. Not that social sites are all bad, but I'd prefer to meet my need for socialization in a more meaningful way where possible. Again, I think lately I've been fine... but the holidays / vacation has thrown off my normal routine.

Last night I felt like I needed a creative outlet that I didn't have, in addition to needing to feel productive. I'm beginning to realize now just how much I would turn to video games in the past on vacations, breaks, etc. It used to fill all of my excess free time. Ironically, instead of being relaxing down time for me, this vacation is more of a test than ever of leaving video games behind, because this is the prime time would I would binge and play them in the past. Normally my time is filled with work, but now I'm having to find new things to spend my time on. I'm half tempted to just go buy a guitar or something and start learning.

I'm reading This Will Make You Smarter. It's good, but slightly dense and basically a bunch of little essays that don't always connect together, so it's hard to read more than a bit at a time. I also just started reading Man's Search For Meaning, which I'm excited about. I'm hoping to finish both of these before Jan 4th when I get back to work.

On my second day in the 5 Minute Journal... loving it so far. :) 

Celebrating Christmas early with family tonight... hope everyone has a great week!

Edited by kortheo

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Awesome to hear you're enjoying the 5 Minute Journal. Big fan! 

Last night I felt like I needed a creative outlet that I didn't have, in addition to needing to feel productive. I'm beginning to realize now just how much I would turn to video games in the past on vacations, breaks, etc. It used to fill all of my excess free time. Ironically, instead of being relaxing down time for me, this vacation is more of a test than ever of leaving video games behind, because this is the prime time would I would binge and play them in the past. Normally my time is filled with work, but now I'm having to find new things to spend my time on. I'm half tempted to just go buy a guitar or something and start learning.

These are the tests we need sometimes. It's easy to do well when things are easy, but it's when things get a bit harder that we are truly tested. Your attitude, self-awareness and foundational approach to your day are in the right spot for you to succeed right now. All the work you've done the past 94 days is paying off now. B|

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Day 95

Last night my family celebrated Christmas a little early. We went out to dinner and opened presents; it was a really nice night.

Today, I spent some time with my friend Kelsey. She's in town and I haven't seen her in 6~ months, since she moved to Florida for a Phd program. It was really nice to see her; we walked around town and got food and coffee.

I'm doing a decent job with things overall... I think. I'm staying off reddit/facebook, and I've been trying to get some reading in. I'm continuing to do work on my personal projects - I just purchased a document scanner on Amazon, so I'll get to digitizing the documents that I do have still.

One thing on my mind is that I did watch porn recently for the first time in a long time (months). I'm not sure how to feel about it. My attitude towards porn is still evolving I think. On the one hand, I think it can be harmful and have negative effects, especially if used habitually over long periods of time  (as articulated by the NoFap community). But I think it's also bad to demonize it completely and feel shameful for viewing it once in a while. If we wallow in shame and feel like we're failing somehow for viewing porn, that just doesn't seem healthy either. I understand some people may want to swear it off forever, and that's fine. But it's also possible to use it to legitimately explore one's sexuality, I think. Anyway, just something on my mind recently.

Also, tonight I'm going out with a couple of friends for dinner and drinks. So that should be fun. Merry Christmas everyone!

It feels weird not putting my gratitude items here anymore. I promise I'm doing my 5 Minute Journal though :) Maybe I'll start writing them here (or doing both).

Edited by kortheo

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Day 96

Just got back from a family Christmas get together... and pretty tired. Time for my daily post!

Cutting excessive internet browsing out of my life (reddit, facebook) has been much tougher than I expected. Nonetheless, I'm succeeding at it. I think I was in some sense addicted to reddit. I feel myself experiencing a withdrawal from the dopamine that provided (at least that's my interpretation). I feel tired and not totally myself, and I feel similar to how I have in the past when quitting porn or video games.

I'm developing a good habit though - in the past when I had a few minutes I would take out my phone and just read reddit or whatever, but I didn't feel that was adding much to my life. Now, I'm taking those moments to just read kindle books on my phone instead. 1 page here, 5 pages there - it adds up! So I think that's a positive change, and it will help me reach my reading goals faster.

Last night dinner and drinks with friends was a lot of fun. The topic of dating came up and they asked me about my dating life at the moment. These are people I'm still getting to know. They were interested in hearing about my situation and were open to introducing me to single friends they knew, etc. It was an important experience for me to be seen by others as someone with valid romantic/sexual interests and to be acknowledged in that way, actually. I think I have spent a lot of time being uncomfortable or ashamed of that aspect of myself, even if it was mostly unconscious. I think I've always seen myself as less worthy of relationships or sexuality than other people. So yeah, being open and honest with people about that was really healthy. This is an area I'm currently working on feeling more comfortable with.

I have a family member who recently moved here and who I'm getting to know. He's roughly my age, and into Magic: The Gathering, so he invited me to join him for a Magic draft at a local game shop next Friday. I'm definitely going to go! It will be fun to play with someone else who's interested. Drafting is fun too, since you don't have to spend a ton of time worrying about a collection or spending money for a specific deck. You can just go and play and have fun.

I have been struggling with some habits lately. I haven't been the best about daily exercise, or sticking to my sleep schedule, or simple things like flossing. And I slipped up with porn. I think being out of my regular structured routine is the main cause of it... these aren't huge slip ups, but they actually affect my self-esteem on a short term basis, especially when it's multiple things. I'm realizing I can't feel good about myself with I slip out of my healthy habits, or into old bad habits. Food for thought. I'm kind of glad Christmas is over so the holiday stuff will begin to die down.

Gratitude

My 5 minute journal has been a good experience... it is challenging in some ways. When I wake up in the morning and I'm not in a good mood, I have to do the journal right away, first thing - so it forces me to push through whatever resistance or negative emotions that I'm having, and think of positive things. So that has been a useful exercise.

I think I may still do a shortened gratitude exercise here, though, in addition to the 5 minute journal. My posts just feel incomplete without it.

  1. Time with family.
  2. Giving gifts.
  3. Connecting with a new in-law.
  4. Enjoying the drive with my family.
  5. Quiet time to meditate.

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Day 97

Got up a bit late today. Wasn't feeling very good when I woke up, mainly due to not being the best at following my own habits at the moment.

I ended up going out to a coffee shop and reading for a while - at least I'm making good progress on that. In Man's Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl makes some very enlightening points about meaning and purpose. He says that without a "will to meaning" (i.e. some purpose that you have in your life for what and why you do what you do) we end up in an existential vacuum. He says this is a large problem in the modern world, because we have lost many things about human culture/society that give us meaning in our lives. Absent these, we often end up with a will to power (frequently money or status) or a will to pleasure (indulgence in sex, food, whatever). This gives me insight into why I'm struggling on my vacation with so much unstructured time. I don't have any real reason to get up on time in the morning. There are things that I want to do, but I have excess time to do them, and I don't have anything that I need to do. So it's easy to sleep in. Absent a lot of demanding work, a will to pleasure might rise up (hence porn usage). I think it may be more useful to view my sudden return to porn as a product of my current circumstances rather than as a willpower or moral failing on my part.

All of this also explains why Cam recommends having projects to fill vacation time... I have created those for myself, but they aren't taking up as much time as I expected... so I guess I should have created more / different projects. Ironically, I'm less happy on my vacation than I was while I was working. While I was working, I had a lot of important projects that took my time and gave me intellectual challenge; now I mostly lack that, so I'm struggling a bit. My general emotional state has been less happy the past week than it was when I was working, and I had a purpose.

So I'm learning a lot about myself... but now I'm feeling a bit depressed. I'm feeling like I've fallen into a slump here. So it's a bit challenging to pull myself back out.

I spent time with friends today and ended up playing a video game with them (co-op) for maybe 30 minutes. The nature of the game made it roughly equivalent to an arcade game I would say, which I have played before. I don't think that there as anything wrong with it but I also have to be careful, especially given how I'm slipping with other habits. Frankly, my daily morning and evening routines are all out of whack... I have been doing an okay job of keeping with those activities, but I am not consistent about doing them at the designated times of day.

If anyone has any advice or has had similar experiences while on vacation, I would love to hear about it.

Gratitude

  1. Pizza.
  2. My friend's cat.
  3. Nice weather today.
  4. Spending time with my sister tomorrow.
  5. Learning about myself.

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Yep! It's interesting because that's one of the suggestions that (I know) is so important, but I don't see it's received that well. I wonder how I could communicate it in a way that would resonate more.

Because I work for myself, it's like having a "vacation" every day. I rarely wake up with things I have to do, and instead it's usually up to me to create these tasks for myself. Today's a classic example. It's Sunday, I could sleep in, watch football and lounge around all day. And I could easily justify it. Or I could sleep in (a bit), get to a coffee shop and work for a bit, and then maybe come home a bit earlier than normal and have some extra rest. The choice is always there.

So a few of the suggestions I have that work well for me:

1. If you're having trouble getting out of bed, set a meeting for early in the morning. It's a lot easier when you have a coffee meeting to get to at 9am then to randomly hope to wake up at that time.

2. Get out of the house as quickly as you can in the AM. I'm rarely not out of the house within an hour of waking up. And I rarely end up back home before 7-8pm. 

3. Cut your tasks down to shorter 1 hour blocks if you need to. My typical day looks like this:

Wake up, Morning Routine, Breakfast (1 hr)
Drive to coffee shop (30 mins)
Work at coffee shop (4 hrs)
Lunch (1 hr)
Work at coffee shop (3 hrs)
Workout (1 1/2 hrs)
Drive home (30 mins)
Dinner, hang out with a friend, call a friend, rest a bit
Work (1-2 hrs)
Watch a video or two (30 mins)
Sleep

The first thing I do every morning when I get to the coffee shop is write out the 3 most important tasks of the day. I focus on those first.

Now when it comes to some of the struggle you're running into, I'd encourage you to expand your projects a bit. It sounds like you have a good starting point for them, but they only take so much effort/time, and/or they are only so much fun. You have the right idea with them, they just need to be expanded a bit.

Last year my goal over the week holiday was to not work and read books instead. I had 5 books I wanted to read, and after calculating the # of pages I had to read and my average reading speed, I had to read at least 4 hours/day (if not longer). So I always made sure to schedule that in, 2-3 different blocks of time. Throw in a few other activities and there isn't that much time left in the day.

Hope that helps.

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Day 98

Feeling less depressed today, but still feel really crappy waking up so late (like 10-11am today). I was out at the movies late at night last night with friends though, so at least I have a decent reason for it.

Thanks for the input Cam. I guess I didn't make a concerted effort to create a schedule for myself; I convinced myself that I wouldn't need one, that it would be too rigid, that an informal schedule would be fine (although I didn't even really have that). Even now, there's a part of me that is resisting the idea of creating one for myself. Clearly this hasn't left me feeling good about things though, so I guess I know the results of how that goes. I'm halfway through my vacation and have 1 week left, so I can experiment and see how forcing myself to keep a schedule goes for this second week, and compare. Plus, Christmas stuff is all out of the way now, thankfully, which makes things a bit less crazy. This will be a nice little learning experience.

I agree with getting out of the house in the morning; I think I'm going to make myself get up at 8 and get to a coffee shop by 9 and start my day that way. It's funny, simply putting items into my google calendar I think makes me more likely to do them. I do tend to like to feel like I'm on schedule - which is impossible when I don't have one.

It's funny, you talk about everyday being a vacation and having nothing that you 'have' to do. My work is often like that... I manage my own time and tasks at work, but because it's work, I have no problem doing that. I guess with my personal life it feels less urgent. But of course time is limited and valuable, so it's important to use it well. I wonder how to bridge the disconnect... I also wonder what the balance is between keeping to a schedule and working during free time and allowing yourself to relax and have fun.

I've got to run, those are my thoughts for the day.

Gratitude

  1. Getting lunch with my sister.
  2. The feeling of anticipation.
  3. Telling friends that I nuked my game accounts, and then having to explain.
  4. Support from this forum.
  5. Time to read and drink coffee.

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Definitely start with a more defined schedule and also allow it to flow as it needs to. Your schedule is just a general guideline, it can change as it needs to. If you handle the first half your day well, you'll be in a good position. Many of your nights seem to have social events so it's just the first half of your day that you can focus on a bit more.

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Day 99

All right, I've been following my schedule today! I woke up at 8am as planned, and got out of the house to a coffee shop relatively quickly. I was able to focus and finish my reading for the day (I did a quick calculation to see how much I would need to meet my reading goals for the vacation). Then, I went to an art/crafts store and got a few supplies because I want to explore some new creative outlets. I got lunch with a friend afterwards, and now I'm back home. My big project for the day was to go paperless - my paper scanner came today. I don't know that I want to do that all day though. I don't have that much to scan, but there's also no reason that I couldn't spread it out over the week.

Earlier today I was getting some gaming impulses. In particular I wanted to play Hearthstone, and thinking about how much time I had invested in that game, and how much I loved it, and how I had deleted my account and all of that was gone - well, it feels kind of crappy. I feel sad about it. I don't know that I regret it - in fact I don't, because if I wanted it back, it would mostly be a matter of spending a couple hundred dollars to get cards. I have the experiences, I have the skill and knowledge from what I put in. But I think it's also important that I did step away in the way that I did... as Cam said, sometimes you have to make big moves. If it turns out that it was the wrong move... well, I had no other way to find that out but to take it. But it could also be the right move in the long run, and it probably will be. I'm sure this is part of the process. Actually, the sadness I feel might not even be about the game at all, but about my ex who I played it with. I'm still processing our breakup in some ways, and this might just a be a part of that. On a tangential note, I'm going to a Magic draft this Friday with a friend (I think I mentioned this) so that will be a way to scratch that same card game itch, but in a healthier way.

I've also been thinking about goals. It's past time for me to get new ones. I have projects that are taking up my time this break, which is good, but I also need long term projects to focus on and build towards. I have a couple of writing goals in mind for myself that could be long term projects to commit myself to. It occurs to me that I would like to write a book in my lifetime. I have a few ideas about that, even if I'm no where near being ready to actually do it. This occurred to me when reflecting upon some of the writing in Man's Search for Meaning - the idea that we each have an individual purpose in life that only we can fulfill. Knowledge and writing have always been central to my life, and finding a way to express that in a way that is useful for other people I think would be very fulfilling. The problem has always been that I bump into a self-defeating thought pattern of it all seeming too big, or thinking I'm not good enough, etc. But the slight edge principle and continual practice can overcome those problems. I just need to commit to a little work each day. I will talk about this more later.

Gratitude

  1. Drawing as therapy.
  2. My friend's cat, named Snail.
  3. Coffee.
  4. Breezy weather.
  5. Simple, delicious, affordable sushi.

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The War of Art by Steven Pressfield would be a great next book for you. :)

Very interesting... just wrapping up with Man's Search for Meaning, I'll give that one a shot next!

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Day 100

Another significant day, in number and in substance. Hitting triple digits just always feels good B|. Got up this morning according to my own schedule and knocked out my routine, feeling good.

Yesterday I was feeling really lost. I think that deleting my game accounts made all this real for me in a new way. Suddenly, I really had quit games; we're playing for keeps now. It was scary and took some time to process. Suddenly everything just hit me and I realized that I have no idea what I'm doing. I felt directionless and scared and confused. All of this has caught me slightly off guard, because 10 days ago it felt like everything was going so great. I thought I had reached an end because I deleted my games, but actually it's just another beginning. I'm realizing now that this is still 'good' - it's uncomfortable, but it's part of the process, and a sign that I am making progress and going through positive change.

What helped me recover from this state of confusion and dread were a bunch of your videos, Cam. I watched the following videos all together yesterday:

  1. Four Stages of Competence -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvEzWQ6DzQ
    • This helped me realize where I was in the process of quitting and getting competent at other areas of my life, or life in general.
  2. How to Find Your Purpose - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAm-1dnPzTI
    • This helped me understand that what I am going through is normal. I remember watching this video when I was earlier on in my journey and it didn't really click; this time, it totally clicked.
  3. 7 Things to Expect When You Quit Gaming - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDpRDvFvImw
    • This was a good reality check. I also reassured me that I'm dealing with normal stuff. It was a nice reminder that this process takes a long time, isn't easy, and can throw unexpected things at you. It grounded me a bit with where I'm at currently.
  4. How To Get Motivated After you Quit Gaming - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IFAOiJDegE
    • This was simply a good shot in the arm, too. I don't remember the details, but it did help motivate me!

Taken together these were extremely helpful.

I guess I'm starting to figure it out on my own, and maybe it's different for everyone, but I'm curious if anyone past the 90 day detox stage wants to share what came next for them, or if they have thoughts on what to expect. If I felt like I had a road map before, now I feel like I'm fumbling around in the dark. What were your experiences?

Currently Reading

  • The War of Art
  • Man's Search for Meaning
  • This Will Make You Smarter

I finished Man's Search for Meaning yesterday, and that was probably one of the best books I've ever read. It gave me new perspective on how to think about my life. Then, I picked up The War of Art, which grabbed me and didn't let go; I finished it this morning. I found that incredibly motivating and clarifying - I love his idea of what means to be a pro, and I absolutely identify with it. I think that that idea of being a pro combined with the ethos of the slight edge can be a recipe for how you approach your life. He talks about distancing yourself from your profession in some way, but the idea of showing up no matter what and taking your undertakings seriously can apply to your habits, routines, lifestyle, goals, etc. Combining his message with the message in Man's Search for Meaning, I'm coming to realize that there are things that I have to offer the world that I should pursue, even if I'm not sure what those things will look like exactly yet. I have some ideas, and that's all I need to get started. Anything else is procrastination and Resistance.

Thanks for the recommendation, Cam. You seem to have a knack for knowing what people need at certain times. Let me know if you have any other books up your sleeve.

Onward and upward!

Gratitude

  1. Having enough food to eat.
  2. Coffee.
  3. Fountain pens.
  4. Feeling productive.
  5. Cam's book recommendations.

Quote

"Happiness does not consist in pastimes and amusements but in virtuous activities.”
~ Aristotle, game-quitter since 384BC

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