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An examined life is a life worth living


UndRt0w
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Have you ever thought about thinking about the meaning of life? That stuff is confusing as hell! I'm often spending time thinking about how I should live my life and think about what's trully important. I don't like dogma. I always disliked the idea of going to school, find a normal job, get married, get children, die. What even troubles me the most is that a lot of people don't even challenge these idea's. This is also one of the reasons why gaming attracted me, I can live several lives at once and it's not the 'normal' life .. it's exciting! The only problem was that my most important life started lagging behind a bit and I didn't want that. I'm 51 days away from gaming now and I feel it's time to change focus and think about deeper things.

Anyway. My personal believe is life has no meaning at all. This may sound depressing but I think it's the most awesome thing to realise. It takes a lot of pressure away, I can live it the way I think it's supposed to be lived and there is no real wrong answer. For me, life is a gift or even a game. Just think about it, you have to power to make a lot of decision every day about how you want to live your life. You can constantly search for new things, learn new stuff, meet new people,... in a way we all have the power the shape our life as close as possible to whatever we want it to be. This is not an equivalent to having fun or even being happy, it's just whatever you want it to be.

It all comes down to living a life worth living whatever that general statement may mean. It means everything and nothing .. it's a bit like the meaning of life, everything ... and nothing.

Ok time to get on track. Since this is my journey towards my life worth living I guess I should write about that as well. My first goal is enjoying my life, being truly happy and proud about the choices I make and also making sure I make the best possible choice I can at any given time. This sounds like a huge burden? Well, it is .. and it isn't. In a weird way everybody makes the best possible choice at any given time in my opinion. Even when choices look bad in hindsight, if you regret it, it means you don't agree with your past self which means you are now smarter and you should not blame the person you once were. We change everyday. In a way were the same person that's never the same person. 

Yes .. I am the derail champion!

I am reading an awesome book on goal-setting (Succeed: How We Can Reach Our GoalsBook by Heidi Grant- Halvorson) and I've decided I want to work on 3 big area's in my life which are described as basic human needs:

- Autonomy: Feeling you can make you own decisions/ lead you own life

- Competence: Being to do certain stuff, being smart, something that gives you a good sense of self-worth I guess

- Relatedness: 

I will go further into this in future posts. I don't want to make this opening post too long though. The search, examination, journey has begun. I hope you, my readers follow me in this journey. This is not just about me, it's about us, all of us. So why don't you join in so we can learn from eachother.

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I didn't read that book yet. But I think I heard of it and I know the conclussion. If the book is about what I think it's about it's something that really impacted my life tremendously already so I really want to read the full version. I like to switch producvtivity and mind-provoking books so I will read this book next and after that one the 'willpower' book of WorkInProgress

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Man, you actually sound like me. A year back, I had an argument with my dad when I told him, I don't want to lie to my children about Santa (if I had them) because it's a waste of time and they should not follow the dogma of society which they can spend more time in learning and experiencing. (Note: I would still celebrate Christmas with presents etc) 

You're correct, there is no meaning, we are just a small spec of sand in the universe and it sucks. But, you have a story, and a story will always have chapters to follow. No matter how small it is!

Go watch the video below man. I'm going to follow this thread :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qc6cMHUyblg

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Great find Sirjk! I liked it a lot. An important part of my Master Disseration years ago was about identity. Well it was about narrative research challenged with the idea's of the philosopher Deleuze. But narratives and identity was obviously one of the most important things I discussed in the dissertation. It was about how humans see the red line while Deleuze's ideas would actually challenge that (at least in my interpretation).

So super interesting stuff. Also just being a small spec of sand, for me, is actually liberating. It also shows you how stupid it is to be ashamed about small things. For example if you rip a fart in public, you would be super embarrased, but probably (almost) no one will remember it a couple weeks later so... Farts are always great examples :D

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I didn't read that book yet. But I think I heard of it and I know the conclussion. If the book is about what I think it's about it's something that really impacted my life tremendously already so I really want to read the full version. I like to switch producvtivity and mind-provoking books so I will read this book next and after that one the 'willpower' book of WorkInProgress

You'll love it! Short read too.

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Also just being a small spec of sand, for me, is actually liberating. It also shows you how stupid it is to be ashamed about small things.

For example if you rip a fart in public, you would be super embarrased, but probably (almost) no one will remember it a couple weeks later so... Farts are always great examples :D

It was hard for me to realise everyone has a story. Everyone has as much as a complex story as me and you. Gandhi to Hitler. Bill Gates to a Homeless.  Cam to someone who plays 12+ hours of Dota a day. Life is a BIG game, some people are good at it, some people are not. Our lives is a big open world game without loading screens. Farting in public is in your story, and probarly mine too xD  but it is almost instantly that people forget. They have a bigger quest to follow and complete. 

Btw, check out this video LMFAO https://youtu.be/tnvRWlRQOUM?t=3 

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Autonomy

So autonomy for me is a really important part of my life. I really think having discipline is awesome and I used to be a champ at having self-control and discipline. However this is also something that has a lot of ups and downs in my life. It's something I can switch on and off or sometimes it turns off and it's hard to switch on again. Sometimes I consciously decide not to be as strict anymore (on diet, meditation, reading, habits,...) and before I know I lose all control. This is a common thing with many people.

In the book this is described as periods where you really need to refocus on the WHY .. why did I start doing those habits in the first place? Are they still important? Is the WHY still important to me? Sometimes the answer is no, that's ok. Sometimes the answer is yes and I need to refocus. Sometimes I don't even think about the WHY. I often lose balance in my life by setting goals and making them bigger to fast .. my 5-minute meditation will be a 30-minute meditation within a month and I will lose interest when I miss a couple of sessions.

Another big area for me in autonomy is being able to move the way I want to, feel flexible and be healthy. This obviously refers to being fit and doing sports. Last year I worked out 6 times a week for 2 hours and I weighed around 30 pounds less (I was pretty skinny, had a sixpack and veins on my abs). Then I lost interest and control. My WHY didn't really matter to me (it was purely aesthetic and based on self-control at the time) and I lost interest after fighting it I stopped working out. Also I never really liked working out in the gym too much. I did care about being strong and muscular though.

These are the 2 most-important things right now .. habits that come to mind at this moment are:

- Doing sports

- Meditation

So that's it for now regarding autonomy.  Obviously I still have other autonomy goals, but these 2 are by far the more important goals regarding autonomy. 

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I dig your new Journal. Agree with the sense of life thingy ( cute language to overcome the issues with my inferior english skills)

Thanks man

I also do the thingy thingy a lot 

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It's been a while since I posted here. First of all today is the 62nd day of the detox. I started with 30 days in mind and quickly changed that goal to 90 days. 60 days in I have to say I'm still considering gaming and even sometimes watching twitch. But for now I'll just don't play since I'm still not feeling sure about what I should do.

Anyway I started a new book!

Even though I didn't finish 'Succeed'yet, I discovered this book by Cal Newport called 'Deep Work': rules for focused succes in a distracted world'.  There are tons of reasons why this book spoke to me:

- It's about concentration, deep work and being extremely productive

- It's about distractions, internet and social media play a huge role in this book

- It also talks about stuff like priorities, resting the brain,...

- My boss actually sent us an article about it, which wass a little extra  motivation.

- I can use this book to restructure the way I do my job and my life. 

I read around 200 pages in 2 days which is a lot for me. I'll probably finish it today. Next week I want to finish Succeed as well, After that I want to put both books in practice and I will reflect on it here. After finishing both books I will probably also make a decision about gaming.

So no deep reflecting this time. Just a small update.

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So I've identified my goals. I still have to make a plan around them though:

  • Slim down: exercise and nutrition
  • Temprament and stress control: meditation
  • Guitar for entertaining people and writing music
  • Reading for personal development
  • Being more social with friends
  • Finding a girlfriend , probably will become important when I move to my new house

Big decision:

I feel I can control my gaming problem now. It went fairly easy. I will start gaming again but not as much as before. Given my goals I still have time left on non-working days. Gaming doesn't really seem like a big problem if I can control it. Twitch stays off limits. To make this work I will definitely need clear rules:

  • No gaming on workdays
  • Max 2h on days where I'm allowed to game
  • Only on free places in my schedule (I will start scheduling everything and give myself a clear structure)

If this doesn't work I will decide to quit gaming completely

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If this doesn't work I will decide to quit gaming completely

Only you know the truth of this. Proceed with caution.

True!

I have set  an additional rule:

- No multiplayer games (they don't really have an end and are competitive = addicting)

Yesterday I could play since I don't have to work for several weeks. I didn't even play 2 hours.It was fun, but to be completely honest I have much more fun doing other things like playing guitar. Due to a wrist injury I can't play much guitar though, that's where gaming comes in handy. The use of games is relaxing, shouldn't be too challenging. The game I played was 'Stardew Valley'. I'm actually considering growing some of my own crops and keep a couple of animals when I move into my new house in a couple of months.

I also started and finished 'The Alchemist' by Paula Coelho .. what an inspiring book!!! Makes you think about gaming a lot to be honest! I will make a post about this in a couple of days!


For today:

- Woke up early (awesome!)

- Went to the store (don't ever do this, so great that I did this time!) 

- Played guitar (and broke my first string on my new stratocaster)

- Went to me new house to work , worked for about 4 hours in the hot sun. It's 4 pm now and I'm pretty tired.

There's nothing really to do for today so I'll game for a bit. After that I may do some additional 'work' .. start the book Cam recommended me, change my guitar strings and maybe even finish my plan about the goals I have.

 

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GOALS: WHY's , PLANS , IF-THEN

I'm gonna write down my biggest goals again but I'm gonna start with WHY, then unfold my PLANS, and some IF-THEN rules in case something goes wrong.I'll write a goal down every day.

Being healthy, fit, energetic

WHY?

I want to look good, feel strong and confident. I don't have to be a bodybuilder or a powerlifter, just look good and be kinda athletic. Also being more in shape will give me some great energy again! I really miss the energy I used to have (even though it's pretty good at the moment .. once you get that awesome energy boost from sports, you'll miss it).

 

PLANS

*Workout 3x a week --> Saterday and Sunday  and Wednesday

I'm gonna start with a full body workout in my homegym (Squats, Bench press, Bent over rows, Overhead press, Romanian deadlift, Pull-ups, Arms, Forearms, Calves - 3 setes of each between 8-12 reps with 2 reps left in the tank)

*Cardio 1x a week --> Tuesday

A jog 15-30 minutes or riding my bike for 30 minutes

*Times are planned in. In the weekends it's in the morning, on the weekdays it's either the first thing after work OR before work.

 

IF-THEN

If for some reason I would miss a workout because of external causes, I will do it the next day, no excuses!

If it rains (cardio) I can do cardio on my stationary bike

If I'm really really reaaaaaallly tired I'll still go and do whatever I can. I will still do all the exercises and do all the sets however if I really can't perform, going lighter is ok. This does never result in a really short training session though. 

 

-----------

About the gaming, today is the first day I actually games 'a lot'. I think I may have surpassed the 2 hour mark a bit. The other days I didn't play more than 1 hour. I feel like I can control it, but it's not that easy. Also I'm not convinced I'll stick at gaming. I'll probably try starting a side-business again instead.

In other news: Going for a new style. Following some blogs on style, time to mature a bit. More news to come about this. Already ordered some clothes online.

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Temper and Stress

I am actually a really stressy person with quite a temper. Even though I'm polite overal I can get angryt pretty easily at home. This is probably because it's really time to live on my own but because of financial situation (single and a cheap house in Belgium costs around 180-200k) I couldn't move out. Besides that I'm also really stressy at work. It's getting a lot better, but there's still room for improvement.

WHY?

I want to be more Zen. I really love people that are extremely positive, down to earth, chill, objective,... It reminds me of buddhists or some athletes.

PLANS?

Meditate daily. I was doing this before but I quit doing it because I couldn't really find a good time to do it. That's why I should meditate daily and in the morning, even if it's just for 10 minutes. I'll also use alarms as reminders throughout the day. I'll set a reminder at 12:00pm and 4pm

IF-THEN

If I wake up too late I will not meditate in the morning but I will try to be mindfull on the train ride towards work and do my meditation around 4-5pm right after work OR before bed.

If I'm really tired I will try to meditate anyway even though I'm risking falling asleep. Also I can drink a good coffee and wash my face with really cold water.

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It's 0:50am I read some stuff of Cal Newport and Scott H. Young, I just watched a virtual summit and I decided I do not want to return to video games after all. I tried it for 6 days (started on my birthday). It was kinda fun, not what I expected it to be. I can use my time in better ways.

I'm gonna invest the time in social and side-business instead.

Starting tomorrow I will also do a time log for a week to see exactly what I'm spending time on and for how long.

Schedule tomorrow:

- 8am wake up and eat

- 9am guitar

- 10 am meditate

- 10.30 am start doing necessary steps towards side business, make a plan

- 12pm eat

- 12.30 pm revise the 'deep work' book and make action steps

- 1pm train

- 2.30 pm side business

- 4 pm eat and shower

- 5pm Guitar

- 6pm get to friends

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Very good question @WorkInProgress

Why I suddenly decided to stop gaming was:

I discovered the last few days I would game to fill a void. I didn't need relaxation or anything at the time I was gaming, I was just a bit bored and it was easy to use those 2 hours to bridge that gap.

This also means those 2 hours were really empty and meaningless. I'm not saying everything has to have a meaning, but thinking about it it was rather sad that I gamed, didn't even enjoy it that much and it led to nothing. For the last 3-4 days I actually didn't feel comfortable or convinced by gaming. On it's own I don't like gaming, it was the whole community and Twitch that actually makes it very tempting for me. I also never really been a binge gamer. I would game- watch twitch - game - watch twitch- mindless browsing - watch twitch. So I would only game a few hours a day, but I would spend tons of time learning stuff about the game outside the game.

If I'"m really bored I'd rather take a walk or go to a bar of do something new. More good things and suprise can come out of doing stuff like that, then gaming on my room.

So to answer your question: It was more about wanting to do other things and not feeling comfortable gaming. Realising it was o nly a replacement for boredom it made me feel really empty and bad about the time I spent gaming. I had 2 options: find another game or quit it .. I chose the latter (because I don't actually want to like gaming as I discovered).

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Hello!

Very good question @WorkInProgress

Why I suddenly decided to stop gaming was:

I discovered the last few days I would game to fill a void. I didn't need relaxation or anything at the time I was gaming, I was just a bit bored and it was easy to use those 2 hours to bridge that gap.

You're a really good observer. Not everyone possess this skill, and thanks to the fact you have it, you can easily learn from your behaviour, even those subconscious. :)

 

If I'"m really bored I'd rather take a walk or go to a bar of do something new. More good things and suprise can come out of doing stuff like that, then gaming on my room.

So to answer your question: It was more about wanting to do other things and not feeling comfortable gaming. Realising it was o nly a replacement for boredom it made me feel really empty and bad about the time I spent gaming. I had 2 options: find another game or quit it .. I chose the latter (because I don't actually want to like gaming as I discovered).

Great attitude man! :)

I really like it, because now you have opportunity in your life to break the comfort zone and expand it.

Have you tried cold showers? Or maybe meeting new people? What kind of activities have you planned instead of finding another game? ;)

Greetings, Mad Pharmacist

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Thanks for the kind words @hycniejsy and also very good questions!

I will use most of my time to start an online sidebusiness. In a year or so I want to have a blog and sell an information product. A bit like Cam is doing. About 1,5 year ago I bought the course Zero To Launch from Ramit Sethi (www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com  - www.growthlab.com) After starting a blog and doing a couple of guest posts I felt completely burned out, I stopped working on it and I started gaming. I still want to do it however and after a break of a year I feel ready againy!

Zero to launch is a high end course. If I would add up all the costs I put in the course + costs for the website and everything I definitely spent over $2000. I learned a lot of important lessons but now I'm not doing anything with it anymore! So I really wanted to restart building my online business. The cool thing is, that this time it's not about the money, it's about being able to do it and overcome a lot of big barriers!

I will definitely share my progress here and also the habits I will use to be able to do it. Meeting new people (online and in real life) will definitely be an important part of it! It will be one great journey!

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