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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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I'm gonna start listening to those podcasts Travis, they seem really good! It's hard to find podcasts where people talk about real, helpful things that are backed up with real experience. :D

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Welcome back dude!

I'll start reading more of your journal later on, but 33 pages is rather long... O.o

We're glad that you're back and posting, so many people can take support from you and your story :)

Love how you're taking some time for yourself to just appreciate life and enjoy some "me time," keep it up :)

 

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I'm gonna start listening to those podcasts Travis, they seem really good! It's hard to find podcasts where people talk about real, helpful things that are backed up with real experience. :D

Thanks! Yeah I'm going to try to do a better job of doing 1/week. Haha I was a bit tired when I did my most recent one so sorry if it's a bit monotone. Glad you like them though!

Welcome back dude!

I'll start reading more of your journal later on, but 33 pages is rather long... O.o

We're glad that you're back and posting, so many people can take support from you and your story :)

Love how you're taking some time for yourself to just appreciate life and enjoy some "me time," keep it up :)

 

Haha no worries man. Read or don't read whatever you want. Hope you find something useful in it. Glad to be back.

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Day 238

Today I was walking around my neighborhood under the lovely overcast skies I enjoy so much. They happen most days here on the coast and it's great. Most people come here for the sun, but I enjoy the clouds even more so.

I stop and wonder how long I will continue the day count. At some point, I will have to let it go, because it's a number that begins to define you in some way. The purpose of the journal becomes the "number of days without gaming journal" rather than just a journal of my thoughts and personal growth. I know that I will at least take it to 365 so that I can have a full year of not gaming documented here, but I wonder if I will go beyond that, or just drop it and implicitly accept not gaming as my normal state of being. Not like it really occupies my mind much, but just a thought. As long as I have it there, I'm still defining myself by it in some way.

The past few weeks I've felt pretty great, but this week has been atypical for a few reasons and I've felt a little down, a little less confident, etc. My first response to this is to think that I'm failing or falling short some way and that it's thus my fault for feeling that way. But the reality is that we can't always feel awesome all the time, haha. Or at least I haven't found out how to do that yet - @Cam Adair, any protips? :P Even if we're doing all the right things, we're humans with emotions that will inevitably fluctuate no matter how well life is going. We adjust to a new normal and then our emotional set point re-calibrates. And that's okay.

I feel like so much has happened in my life recently that I have a backlog of mental Stuff to process. Like, on some levels I haven't even fully processed that I've quit games. It was a part of my identity for so long and now it's not; even though it's been over 6 months that's still not that long compared to the 20+ years that I played games regularly (I started playing quite young). Cam asked me to make a video talking about my history with gaming and I'm finding it surprisingly difficult to talk about, despite doing this journal for so long, but maybe doing it will be a good step in processing a lot of this. On the surface it's easy for me to say that I'm done with games and it's no big deal now and I'm fine blah blah blah, but I think the truth is I probably have some buried emotions here that I'm not facing yet. I'm sure it's the same for all of us - how could it be otherwise? This is big life-changing stuff, you guys!

There are many steps on any GameQuitter's journey. I've gone through a lot of them. But just because I'm a ways out from the 90 day detox and don't have cravings much anymore and am overall doing well - none of that means that I'm done. It still makes sense for me to be here and post and process because I'm still affected by my history of gaming and I still have more steps and stages to go through. As an example - in the early stages of quitting Cam advises people to try new things out so that you can find activities to replace gaming. Great, excellent. But this is only the beginning. I feel like i'm just now getting to the point where I've tried a lot of stuff and I can finally select the activities that give me the most value from all that experimentation. I'm choosing where my focus will be and doubling down on those things to get the greatest benefit out of life. 

If you'll allow me a slightly cheesy metaphor, compare your growth as a person to that of a tree. Trees grow slowly, and day to day it's difficult to see the difference in the size of the tree. But the accumulation of growth, maybe 1mm per day or whatever, over months and years, can lead to enormous, hulking, gnarled and impressive trunks with branches like a canopy. It's like the slight edge - small growth each day add up to huge gains over time. Also, the roots also stretch out underground even wider and more impressive than the branches above, yet we don't see them because they're below ground. When you quit gaming and do this sort of work on yourself, there are results that others see above ground, but really, the greatest results are all internal, invisible to other people.

tree.jpg

Have a good day, everyone.

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I've started counting my days according to how many days in a row I've successfully practiced all the helpful habits I've set for myself. Similarly, if you'd like a new day counter, perhaps focus on something(s) you'd like to do every day but need a 'success streak' for encouragement. 

That's a great metaphor!

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You don't necessarily need to attach the counter to the number of days since you quit gaming. It can be something else completely - # of days since you committed to a new chapter in your life. For instance, no matter what, I know that April 20th 2013 was a day that changed the course of my life forever - it was the first day I arrived in Boulder, CO (and officially moved to the U.S.) Whether I count the days or not, I know that day had a huge impact on my life.

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Day 240

I had a great weekend. Friday I had a lunch date and a dinner date, and also met up with Cam for a bit, so I was plenty busy. Saturday I got my oil changed, did laundry, went to a family birthday party thing, recorded a video thing for Cam, and then went swing dancing with friends. It was a really busy day, too. Sunday I drove two hours into the mountains for my friend's birthday and we climbed to the top of Mount Wright (some 5 hours of hiking roundtrip). It was awesome and a sorely needed change of pace for me. We ate lunch at the peak. According to my fitbit I climbed around 3000 ft, and took 20,000 steps. :D Then, I came home and had dinner and hottubbed with other friends :).

Things fizzled with one of the girls I was dating. It's fine though, it kind of ran its course, and I learned enough about her to know that we aren't really compatible. It's weird how we can sometimes want something to work with someone even if they're not right for us, but I'm at the point now where I can see the incompatibility and realize that no, I don't want this to "work" anyway, because it would be miserable if it did, if that makes sense. I'm grateful for the learning experience; onward to new things!

Actually, I have a feeling that things with the other girl I'm dating may fizzle as well, and I'll just be totally single again, which would be nice haha. I put in a lot of effort into dating for the past 1.5 months but it's kept me very busy and I haven't had enough time for myself at all. Learning to find balance is a valuable skill. I think I need at least 2 nights a week, or one solid day, per week of alone time, which I haven't had for a while now.

I feel like I have a lot going on in my life right now and I'm kind of ready for it to slow down and let me rest. In any case, I will keep working to find the sustainable balance that allows me to keep growing.

 

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Day 241

Routines

I met up with Cam yesterday and had a particularly good coaching session. I think it was good because I thought ahead about it more than I usually do, and brought a list of specific things to talk about.

I have not been great about my foundation habits lately. By this I mean: sleep, meditation, food, exercise. I have been okay at them, but that's not enough. I've not been sleeping well enough, so I'm tired during the day. I'm not meditating consistently enough, so I'm not getting any compounding effects from it. I'm eating okay, but eating out too often, so I'm spending too much. I'm exercising, but not as often as I have in the past. I'm having to relearn lessons about these things over and over again, in a variety of contexts. Hopefully, eventually, they will stick. Until then I have to keep learning.

In contrast to foundation habits, I also have projects I am working on. I'm thinking of these as things I do 1/week or so for a limited period of time (a few months to a year maybe), in contrast to foundation habits, which are things I do usually daily, and for a lifetime. The main project I have right now is my podcast. In a sense this journal is also a project since I'm not going to do it forever and ever, probably ;).

Knowing that I need to recommit to my habits to get momentum again, and double down on things that are working in my life, I sat down last night to sketch out my daily routines and clarify what's working, identify what I can experiment with, etc. Cam and I talked about experimenting, which is basically the idea of just making small changes here or there in your life or routine and notice what works. This can take many forms. Here's a simple example I made this morning:

My morning routine looked like this up until today:

  1. Wake up
  2. Snooze 10-30 minutes (yikes)
  3. 5 Minute Journal (groggily)
  4. Meditate 
  5. Shower
  6. Dress
  7. Breakfast
  8. Drive to work, frequently late

There were a number of problems here. The most important issue had nothing to do with the morning routine itself, but actually with my sleep hygiene the night before. I was way too nonchalant about when I got to bed, and looked at screens to much before bed; I frequently had trouble falling asleep and thus would wake up groggy and snooze too much. Last night I was very good about turning off devices 1hr beforehand, winding down for a while, and reading fiction in the last 20-30 minutes before sleep. Fiction reading in particular is actually really effective for me because it shuts off the analytical parts of my brain before bed, making it easier to drift off. One mindset shift I made was also that it wasn't my job to fall asleep by a certain time (I can't control this, only influence it), but just that I had to do my routine and get in bed and read by a certain time (something I can control). This way I avoid feeling stressed or guilty about not being asleep. One final hack I've implemented recently is wearing a sleep mask when I go to bed. This blocks out ambient light that can affect your melatonin production and keep you up. Unless you have a pitch black room already, a sleep mask can help if you struggle with this.

These changes worked, and meant that I slept better and didn't have to snooze this morning, which kept me on track. But I made a couple other important changes to my routine. To avoid trying to journal and meditate while I was still just waking up and not thinking clearly, I reordered my schedule so that I showered first, which gave me time to wake up more fully and get more benefit from the journaling/meditation. I also added a step for making my bed, so that I had could come home to a tidy bedroom instead of one in disarray. Cam also pointed out that if you have a messy bed, a messy room 'matches' it, so you're likely to leave both messy. If you have a tidy bed, but your room is messy, you're going to notice the contrast and want to start cleaning your room up, too. My new schedule looks like this:

  1. Get in bed on time the night before, turning off screens and reading fiction before bed. Sleep mask as needed.
  2. Sleep 8 hours
  3. Wake up, no snooze necessary
  4. Shower
  5. 5 Minute Journal (awake)
  6. Meditate 
  7. Dress
  8. Breakfast
  9. Make bed
  10. Drive to work, early or on time.

These routines are something I've been tweaking for a while now. It takes a while to figure out what works for you. But I present this to you as a case study in experimenting and also in the importance of morning and evening routines. Sleep is CRITICAL for your health and optimal physical and mental functioning in EVERYTHING ELSE YOU DO in life during the day, so an evening routine is very important and often overlooked in my experience. Starting the day off on the right foot can make the difference in your mindset and what you accomplish that day, so it's also critical for setting yourself up for success each morning. Your routines may not look like mine, but you will almost certainly benefit from experimenting and finding what works for you.

 

Framework

That was a lot. But, I have a second topic for today as well. Back to foundation habits and projects. A Tim Ferriss question that's been stuck in my head lately because of how brilliant it is: "What would this look like if it were easy?" For me, easy often means simple. It's very easy to overcomplicate things in our lives, which makes them unsustainableLast night I sketched a simple framework for tracking habits and projects that I'm working on in my life right now. This is itself an experiment for me. Here's what I have:

Foundation StandardGoal
Sleep8 hours / nightWaking up feeling rested with enough energy for the whole day
MeditationEverydayBeing focused and present throughout the day
ExerciseBJJ 3x / weekGet my first White Belt stripe, stay in shape, build confidence
FoodEat Slow-carbFeeling healthy, cooking rather than eating out

The Foundation is what you're working on. The Goal is what you want to experience in life. The Standard is what you have to commit to and apply to get to the goal. The Standard is the part that needs to be as simple as possible, and it should be measurable and easy enough that it's sustainable. As an example, keeping sleep to a simple 8 hours a night is simple because it's just 8 hours, no exceptions. Not, "7-8 hours" - that results in me getting 6 hours 45 minutes and saying "close enough" when it's definitely insufficient for me. Even though I actually sometimes need 9 hours, it's difficult for me to consistently do that, so I'll aim for 8, which is sustainable for me and works with my schedule.

For meditation, it's even simpler. My measurement is a simply a binary pass/fail. Did I do it? Pass. Did I not do it? Fail. Not, "meditate for 20 minutes everyday in the morning" or fail. That's my ideal, but even though I make meditation a part of my morning routine, sometimes I will wake up late despite my best efforts and not have time to meditate then. So, I'll find time at lunch or in the evening, and I can still feel like I'm succeeding - which I am, if I do it. It's more difficult to sustain a habit if you feel like you're failing at it, and feeling that you're failing because you're not consistently measuring up to what's ideal for you is going to set you up to fail, in my opinion. Thus dialing back your standard to what is truly, actually "good enough" or realistic is a good way to build momentum and feel like you're winning the day. You might ask, what about depth? Like, according to this I could meditate for 1 minute a day and still succeed. True. While meditating for longer periods is obviously beneficial, I think that this naturally happens once you get the habit happening consistently. You don't need to force yourself to meditate for X minutes - too much work, too much forcing yourself to do stuff with willpower. Exhausting. Just do the thing and don't stress about the details too much. You'll enjoy it more and naturally do longer sessions as you notice benefits. You'll do more because you want to, not because you think you have to. 

Finally, this same framework will work for projects; examples:

ProjectStandardGoal
PodcastingCreate 1 episode/weekCreative expression, community feedback, personal growth, enjoyment
Coaching with CamMeet with Cam 1/week

Continuous personal development, with specific subgoals

 

Phew. That's all I have for now. Have a great day everyone.

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Framework

That was a lot. But, I have a second topic for today as well. Back to foundation habits and projects. A Tim Ferriss question that's been stuck in my head lately because of how brilliant it is: "What would this look like if it were easy?" For me, easy often means simple. It's very easy to overcomplicate things in our lives, which makes them unsustainableLast night I sketched a simple framework for tracking habits and projects that I'm working on in my life right now. This is itself an experiment for me. Here's what I have:

Foundation StandardGoal
Sleep8 hours / nightWaking up feeling rested with enough energy for the whole day
MeditationEverydayBeing focused and present throughout the day
ExerciseBJJ 3x / weekGet my first White Belt stripe, stay in shape, build confidence
FoodEat Slow-carbFeeling healthy, cooking rather than eating out

The Foundation is what you're working on. The Goal is what you want to experience in life. The Standard is what you have to commit to and apply to get to the goal. The Standard is the part that needs to be as simple as possible, and it should be measurable and easy enough that it's sustainable. As an example, keeping sleep to a simple 8 hours a night is simple because it's just 8 hours, no exceptions. Not, "7-8 hours" - that results in me getting 6 hours 45 minutes and saying "close enough" when it's definitely insufficient for me. Even though I actually sometimes need 9 hours, it's difficult for me to consistently do that, so I'll aim for 8, which is sustainable for me and works with my schedule.

For meditation, it's even simpler. My measurement is a simply a binary pass/fail. Did I do it? Pass. Did I not do it? Fail. Not, "meditate for 20 minutes everyday in the morning" or fail. That's my ideal, but even though I make meditation a part of my morning routine, sometimes I will wake up late despite my best efforts and not have time to meditate then. So, I'll find time at lunch or in the evening, and I can still feel like I'm succeeding - which I am, if I do it. It's more difficult to sustain a habit if you feel like you're failing at it, and feeling that you're failing because you're not consistently measuring up to what's ideal for you is going to set you up to fail, in my opinion. Thus dialing back your standard to what is truly, actually "good enough" or realistic is a good way to build momentum and feel like you're winning the day. You might ask, what about depth? Like, according to this I could meditate for 1 minute a day and still succeed. True. While meditating for longer periods is obviously beneficial, I think that this naturally happens once you get the habit happening consistently. You don't need to force yourself to meditate for X minutes - too much work, too much forcing yourself to do stuff with willpower. Exhausting. Just do the thing and don't stress about the details too much. You'll enjoy it more and naturally do longer sessions as you notice benefits. You'll do more because you want to, not because you think you have to. 

Finally, this same framework will work for projects; examples:

ProjectStandardGoal
PodcastingCreate 1 episode/weekCreative expression, community feedback, personal growth, enjoyment
Coaching with CamMeet with Cam 1/week

Continuous personal development, with specific subgoals

 

Phew. That's all I have for now. Have a great day everyone.

I just wanted to say that this really struck a chord with me. During this detox some of the simple targets I have set for myself, at least that's what they appeared to be, where in actual fact lacking clarity. I might have to nab this framework for myself! :P

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Day 242

 I might have to nab this framework for myself! :P

Please do! :P

I've noticed that part of the reason I've been feeling stressed recently is because I haven't been paying any attention to money. I've been spending without thinking and don't keep track of my budget. This is partially because I know I'm making more than I'm spending, so I know I'm doing okay. And I don't tend to spend money in a frivolous way. Nonetheless, I've gotten sloppy and been spending more than I should, particularly on food. So it's time for me to return to keep track of this stuff better so that I feel more in control and aware of what's going on in that part of my life. I feel like this has been a background part of my anxiety that I just haven't given enough attention to.

I'm making a renewed effort to meditate consistently. It's been only 3 days now, but already I feel more focused and present. The world seems clearer, and I don't feel as trapped by anxiety. I've used Headspace in the past, but now I'm trying the Calm app, and I'm enjoying it. Just using the free parts so far, but even the paid version is cheaper than Headspace (not to knock Headspace, it's great).

I'm getting on top of stuff at work more this week. There are a lot of things I've been putting off that I'm tackling again, which feels great. It's not always easy but I'm gaining momentum. Suddenly things are feeling more manageable.

I also had my first BJJ session in over a week yesterday. I took last week off. But it was really good to be back. I was only doing 1x/week before, now ramping up to 3x/week. 2-3x per week is necessary if I want to advance; 1x just doesn't cut it. I was kind of feeling it out before, but now I'm ready to go deeper. 

Using the framework I explained yesterday, I wanted to list out all of my current foundations/projects in my life:

 Foundation/Project Standard/CommitmentGoal/Purpose
1Sleep8 hours / nightWaking up feeling rested with enough energy for the whole day
2MeditationEverydayBeing focused and present throughout the day
3ExerciseBJJ 3x / weekGet my first White Belt stripe, stay in shape, learn self-defense, build confidence
4FoodEat Slow-carbFeeling healthy, cooking rather than eating out
5MoneyTrack spending with Personal Capital 1/weekGet spending under control, save more money (50% of income is ideal)
6Personal Time2 nights / weekMaintain balance, create space for introverted recharging and reflection
7Podcasting Create 1 episode/weekCreative expression, community feedback, personal growth, enjoyment
8Coaching with CamMeet with Cam 1/weekContinuous personal development, with specific subgoals
9MeetupHost 1 event/monthDevelop community and stay socially engaged
10Massage Therapy1 session/weekManage/reverse symptoms of RSI from computer use

11            Journaling                      Writing Daily                   Process experience & grow

This is basically for my own benefit to lay everything out. There may be smaller items that I missed. Many of these are not hard - indeed, that's kind of the point. But it's the accumulation of all of them that combines into a life that works for me.

Have a great day everyone.

 

EDIT:

I have more thoughts to share. Now that I'm journaling more regularly, they come to mind more readily. At this point, I have quit games. I didn't know if I could or not, but I did it. In some ways it feels like I've done the impossible. Where does that leave me? I'm in a good place in my life in a lot of ways. I can't complain about much. So what do I work on next? I could be more fulfilled in my job. I could continue to build more fulfilling relationships with friends, family, and women. These are huge and small things at the same time - fundamental parts of life we all contend with, that never really get finished, I would imagine. The question of "how" here is the very challenging and complex. How do I get more fulfillment?

I think there are several key components here, several key skills and mindsets that I've been learning recently but haven't articulated to myself until now. This is just a rough draft of what's coming to mind for me:

  1. Experimentation - trying new things, even if you're not sure it'll work, even if you may not want to do it really. Playing around to see if you can make things work better. Getting as much data as possible so you can optimize your life for how you want it. Not being afraid to fail.
  2. Asking the right questions - directing your thoughts and energy in the right way to get what you need. There is power in good questions. If you're stuck on a problem and not sure how to fix it because it seems so annoyingly difficult, ask "What would this look like if it were easy?". This will change the way you approach it. If you're in a situation you don't enjoy, rather than making yourself miserable thinking about that, ask yourself, "What can I learn from this?" This will shift you to enjoying what you're gaining from the situation, and may even teach you something about yourself.
  3. Being Honest with Yourself - a big one for me lately. It's surprisingly easy to pursue things that you tell yourself you want that you actually don't. Being honest with yourself about what will truly make you happy and then choosing to pursue that instead of whatever else you're currently doing will do a lot to make your life more fulfilling.
  4. Critical Thinking - Taking the time to really examine where you are and what's going on in your life, and putting in that effort to think for yourself about how you should move forward, rather than relying soley on advice from others. I have a bad habit of searching for advice elsewhere to give me the answer, but deciding for yourself what the answer needs to be can be empowering. Sometimes you'll be wrong, but that's valuable as a learning experience.
  5. Being Dedicated - not giving up, putting in a good effort, consistently striving for what you want. Showing up consistently to your commitments.
  6. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone on a regular basis - this is really important for growth. It is difficult as hell, but you gain so much experience by doing it, and it can help you learn what works and what doesn't. This is related to experimentation and being dedicated.
  7. Continuous Learning - Always be learning. The more information you have, the better decisions you can make. And frequently you'll learn about new options for yourself that you couldn't have worked towards before when you didn't know they existed. If I notice I can't make a decision and end up mentally spinning my wheels, it's usually a sign I need to gain more experience/learn more before I will have enough information to make a decision.
  8. Checking in with yourself - Regularly be mindful of where you're at emotionally and mentally, and if the path you're on is the right one. This can serve as a rudder to steer your effort.
  9. EDIT: Working towards what fulfills you. Even if you're not where you want to be yet, if you consciously work towards it and get on the path to it, you will feel good about yourself because you're working on the things that are most important to you. This is key for me.

Some of these are vague and may not make sense to everyone. But now that I'm thinking about it, these are the key skills I've been developing the past few months, and that I want to keep developing.

Edited by kortheo

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Another thing that I need to start doing is recognizing myself for the effort and work I put in. I'm very bad at this. I will accomplish something and spend no time at all appreciating my work or feeling proud. It's just on to the next thing. So I'm going to start to make that a daily practice in my journal. This will be hard. Just 3 things.

  1. I recognize myself for taking the time to put together 2 long and thoughtful journal entries these past 2 days.
  2. I recognize myself for working hard on my personal development this week.
  3. I recognize myself for dealing with a stressful situation at work today head-on instead of ignoring it or putting it off.

Maybe some of you could also benefit from this practice. :)  

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Day 243

My mind has lacked a certain spark recently that I feel coming back today. I came into work today and just had a certain clarity of thought on how to approach a problem that's been missing for a while. I'm not specifically sure why it's back, but it could be a few things - sleeping better, meditating regularly again (4 day streak right now, hoping to make that muuuch longer), being back at BJJ, or also possibly this journal. Writing this is practice for thinking clearly and well. Realistically it's probably all of these things.

The work problem is specific in nature. For those of you who don't know, I work in IT. I've noticed that when I'm dealing with a problem that is purely technical, and that when troubleshooting won't impact anyone, then I'm very comfortable with it. I am very competent at researching and solving such technical problems. But when I have to affect someone else or inconvenience them, interrupt them in order to do my job, etc (which is frequently in IT) then I procrastinate like all hell. I hate having to interrupt or inconvenience people. I dread the interaction. It feels awkward. Sometimes I'll be asking people for things and they don't even really understand what I'm trying to do, so it feels very one-sided. As an example, I need to track down a group of people and enroll their work phones in our mobile device management software. I know who the people are. I have a list. But I've been putting it off. Because first I have to track the person down, then I have to explain what I'm doing (which they likely won't get because they're like 50+ a lot of the time and don't work in IT), and ask them to input their password at key moments while we wait there for 20 minutes for the phone to chug along and do its thing. And half the time I can't find them because they don't have a set desk all the time, and then I end up wasting my time. So, going back to my journal from yesterday and applying a key idea - asking the right questions. I asked myself "What would this look like if it were easy?" (this is also Experimenting as well because I'm trying a different approach). Well, I would email them instead of trying to call them or track them down in person. This one was easy. Actually, I did this already, but it didn't work as a mass email, so I'm going to email them individually and see if that works. Second, I'll write a script so that this email is automated and I can send it out to all of them at once. Third, instead of me worrying about their schedule, I'll just ask them to come find me on their own time. Fourth, I can explain in the email what it's all about so they understand. Fifth, when they come to me to have me help them, I can try to make small talk so it's less awkward as opposed to trying to talk to them about the phone thing, which they probably won't find all that interesting anyway.

So in general, I prefer work that doesn't involve interaction, at least when it's people I don't know well. If I have a team I work with on a regular basis and know well, that's different. This leads me to a broader question - does it make more sense to find a job that requires less interaction where I can hone my technical chops, or does it make sense to work on the social side - my weak area - and be better able to deal with situations I find uncomfortable? I'm honestly not sure. I guess for the short term, I'll work on the uncomfortable, since I'm in it. And I'll grow from it. For a long time I've felt like I could never possibly get everything done at work that I need to. But now I'm starting to think maybe I can if I experiment and approach things a little differently.

I feel myself gaining momentum again. I'm doing all the right things and cutting out the fat. It's very important I think to realize that when you're feeling stressed, unmotivated, etc, that the solution usually isn't to try harder, but to try something different, OR to do all the Right Things that will make you feel more engaged and able to take on the day. Which usually means taking care of yourself, going back to your foundations, etc.

Self Recognition

  1. I recognize myself for getting into work 2 minutes early today.
  2. I recognize myself for scheduling personal time for myself this week.
  3. I recognize myself for sticking to decaf this morning. :)

 

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Day 245

Hey guys! I thought I'd try something a little different today. My hands are bugging me so rather than type, I'm using speech to text in Evernote on my phone it's going pretty well. Actually extremely well. I really ought to make more use of this it would save my hands a lot of work. All I have to do is some formatting clean up when I'm done.

Anyway, lately I've been thinking about career development, and I'm not sure which way to go yet. I thought about continuing in network / system administration, but after exploring some certification avenues none of them really feel like something I'm passionate about. I've been interested in programming for a long time but never really dived into it completely. I'm playing around with some of Udacity's offerings and liking it so far, so I'm going to keep exploring and get a better feel for the options out there. The most important thing is that I do this consistently. I've committed to doing at least one hour a day, 6 days a week. They have 'nanodegree' programs that require hundreds of hours of effort, but with at least 6 hours a week I could finish in a little over a year, and a lot shorter if I tried.

Another thing I'm thinking about doing is cutting down on mindless browsing by replacing it with mindfulness. Mindless browsing on my computer or phone does very little to add value to my life. So I'm going to use it as a trigger for present moment mindfulness. If I notice that I mindlessly browsing, I will stop immediately and just focus on my breath, or sensations, or sounds to bring me into the moment. This will have three effects for me personally:

1 It will reduce an activity that doesn't add value to my life

2 It will strengthen a useful skill mindfulness

3 it will save my hands from excess computer use, helping to control my RSI symptoms.

Those are my thoughts for this morning - it was nice that I typed almost none of this! Speech recognition has come a long way even from a couple years ago when I last tried this. I may start doing all my journals this way - or record short audio journals, or a mix thereof. This definitely reads differently than a normal journal but I can work on that over time. I put the text into Evernote on my phone and then it gets automatically synced to my desktop where I can clean it up and edit it and then copy paste it to you guys :-) Bonus - this was actually faster than typing all of this out, no joke.

Self-Recognition

1 experimenting with something new - speech-to-text for writing journals!

2 recognizing that I need to take more breaks with computer use and allowing myself that

3 committing myself to professional development again and exploring what interests me, rather than settling settling for something that I could do but might not enjoy.

Have a good day everyone!

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Day 246

Yesterday I got a haircut that didn't turn out so great. I usually just get cheap haircuts at like a Supercuts - today I think I'm going to go find better of a place to get it fixed, and hopefully start getting better haircuts in the future. I haven't changed my general hairstyle in years. I think it might be time for a slight change. Right now at least I'd like to have something a little shorter and easier to manage. I generally like having longer hair but it's getting boring.

Lately I've been thinking about refreshing some of my wardrobe and appearance. It's been awhile since I've had a new shoes, and I'm considering contacts for a few reasons. Notably, contacts would be very convenient while doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - currently I have to take on and put up my glasses several times during the session. It's hard to practice with glasses on sometimes because they can come flying off, but it's important to have them on while watching instruction so I can actually see what's being taught. Also I guess my current sense of style and look was something I came up with maybe four years ago when I first graduated from college. I'm a pretty different person now, so it's probably time for me to rethink some things.

Today is going to be a great day. I'm getting coffee with a friend, going to work on Udacity coding work, getting my hair fixed, cleaning out my wardrobe and maybe going clothes shopping, and hanging out with friends later tonight. I'm also going to Brazilian jiu-jitsu for the third time this week which is something I've never done before. It's starting to become more enjoyable for me as I'm getting more comfortable with it and choosing to dedicate more time to it. I'm also going to make a podcast episode today, so it should be pretty full schedule for me.

Update: I wrote this this morning... I'll maybe get half of this actually done today. I was too ambitious :D Good thing I have plenty of time tomorrow.

Self recognition

1 I recognize myself for waking up at a decent time today

2 I recognize myself for choosing to own my appearance

3 recognize myself for committing to work on Udacity stuff today.

 

Have a great day everyone.

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Day 247

Not much of a journal today - choose to prioritize other things. But I'll be back tomorrow.

HOWEVER, I have a new podcast episode that I think you'll enjoy. This week I cover my experience quitting video games in a fair amount of detail. Hope you enjoy.

Episode 3 - Quitting Video Games

https://soundcloud.com/travis-kirk-992919435/episode-3-quitting-video-games

TIL that editing 1+ hour of audio takes many hours :). Suddenly I respect the effort that goes into creating my favorite podcasts out there.

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TIL that editing 1+ hour of audio takes many hours :). Suddenly I respect the effort that goes into creating my favorite podcasts out there.

Lol. Exactly.

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Short update today. I went to the beach yesterday and it was beautiful and the water was perfect. Growing up I didn't like the beach much, but it's growing on me. I am totally spoiled that I live in San Diego with some of the best beaches in the world, and take it for granted...

Feeling a bit lonely today. There is a board game meetup group that I went to last week, and it was pretty fun. They're meeting again today. Part of me doesn't feel like going, but I probably should... it's at a game shop I haven't been to before, so it will be a slightly new experience. Plus, I have to go multiple times to really make any sort of meaningful connections with people. There is another general 20/30-something social meetup group with a trivia event Wednesday that I plan on going to, to see what that's like. Also, they're having a Halloween party at the end of the month that looks fun but I don't know anyone yet ha. So, I'd like to go to that but also feeling pretty socially nervous about the thought. I don't even like costumes, but I just want to meet people. Or go to a party. It's been a while since I've been to a real party.

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Day 248

Lately I've been noticing a new phrase more and more - "make the time" vs "have the time".

Some people talk about their time as something they control, while others talk about it like it's something that just happens.

If people say things like "I didn't have the time" or "I'd would have liked to do that but it was just so busy this weekend" it implies something about the way they experience their reality. They don't take responsibility for how they spend their time - life just happens to them. They aren't very good at choosing how to allocate time to various things. You don't have control over your day, you are reactive instead of proactive.

When people talk about "making the time" it implies a more active engagement with how they live their life. It implies that they view time as a valuable, finite resource that must be spent wisely. It implies that they acknowledge that if they want to do some fun thing, they have to find a way to fit it into their life, and that may mean giving up something else. From this mindset, you always have the time - everyone has the same 24 hours. It's all about how you choose to spend and allocate time. And that's something you have full control over.

I have recently made the shift from "having" to "making" and it is pretty empowering. I encourage you to do the same. You will begin to notice how other people talk about time, and it's a subtle but clear signal about their mindset as a person.

Self-recognition

  1. I recognize myself for following my morning schedule and getting to work on time.
  2. I recognize myself for doing my podcast this weekend. It was a lot of work.
  3. I recognize myself for learning what a good limit on alcohol is for me during social situations and sticking to it.
Edited by kortheo

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Day 249

Today, I wanted to do a short post on schedules. Yesterday I talked about making the time for things. In order to do that, you have to plan and keep a schedule. This post won't be entirely new to you if you've seen Cam's stuff, but I wanted to share my thoughts on the topic.

Before I quit games I didn't have a schedule really. I woke up, went to work, came home, and if I got anything productive done it was pretty much by accident.

After quitting games I worked up to scheduling certain activities as I was getting better at finding new hobbies. These days my week is pretty meticulously scheduled.

This was my schedule for last week:

(Sunday wasn't actually blank, by the way. I spent the entire day in the mountains with friends).

Capture.thumb.PNG.5aee167f9b0fd214855450

I find that if I schedule something, it usually gets done. If I leave it up to chance or how I'm feeling in the moment, it gets put off. "What gets measured gets improved", and scheduling your activities is akin to measuring how you want to spend your time.

Self Recognition

  1. I recognize myself for adding to my bucketlist.
  2. I recognize myself for getting to work on time/slightly early.
  3. I recognize myself for not succumbing to the temptation to get breakfast at Starbucks and waste $5 :P.


Have a great day, everyone.

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