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

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notKosmic

notKosmic's 90 Days

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Day 4

Today, I completed the last module in Respawn.  It is awesome!  Tackling a problem like this--that I've been too embarrassed to even talk about, I'd rather talk about pornography--a problem I've been ashamed of for so long, and then also getting to comprehensively take steps towards a new life... awesome set-up!  I really enjoyed it, and in the days to come, I will be journaling as I process making these steps apart of my life.

I guess I am still working through the first step: deleting video games.

I disenchanted all of my hearthstone cards.  That took about a half hour or so.  Worth it.  Then, I started to look up how I could have Blizzard just delete my account.  I looked it up and it is part of their "privacy" department.  I emailed them the following.  On their website, it said they will contact me back within 30 days.

Blizzard,

Please delete my personal information.  I know I will lose my account.  That is exactly what I want.  Thank you so much!
 
Kosmic
(I included my email so they know what account I am speaking of).

 

Fears:

A fear came to mind.  I remember in the past quitting video games when they were taking control of my life.  Around that time another escape reared its ugly head again.  Then I just began to surf the net and try not to look up things I don't want to look up.  

I guess my fear, this time, is that I won't merely conquer one addictive behavior and replace it with another.  I want to change my life!  And, I want this change to last for a very long time.  I want to keep maturing as a man.  I want to be a good father, husband, friend, follower of Jesus, and pastor.  

I'm glad there are more steps than merely deleting the games and tactics to not play them.  This is really helpful.  Very grateful for this whole process. 

Edited by notKosmic

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I am impressed by your courageous step towards a new life! I couldn't bear to delete my blizzard account yet.

You said, that you are a pastor. What I thought about the last days is, how religion and faith can help in a situation like this. In the bible, there is obviously no hint about gaming addiction, so I asked myself, how would Jesus have dealt with this problem? Do you have any ideas?
 
 

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I am impressed by your courageous step towards a new life! I couldn't bear to delete my blizzard account yet.

You said, that you are a pastor. What I thought about the last days is, how religion and faith can help in a situation like this. In the bible, there is obviously no hint about gaming addiction, so I asked myself, how would Jesus have dealt with this problem? Do you have any ideas?
 
 

 

Whether we were alive 2,000 years ago or today, we are all human.  We have desires... good desires!  Like Cam said, we desire an escape, we desire connections socially, we desire competitive instant gratification.  I think these things were available a few thousand years ago.  They weren't as easily accessible and available 24/7 like they are now, but they were there.  King Herod built lots of theaters, palaces, and other places for entertainment.  He was a great builder.  Yet, the four witness accounts about Jesus (the Gospels) don't really mention these.  So, did Jesus ignore these things?  Yes, I think so.  But, more importantly, he focused and helped people focus on the priorities.  For Jesus, his priority was a Kingdom that he was heralding.  He said we worry, live frivolously, but if we focus first on his kingdom then these other things will fall into place and be taken care of.  I like how Cam is teaching similarly about focusing on what really matters and not letting the things that sucked the life out of us continue to do just that.  I'm trying to focus on the important things in life and grow in those.  I'm thankful for this group.

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Day 5

Today, I now need to fill the void!  Over the last several days I've had no problem doing just that.  On Monday, I got so much done around my house!  I seemed to accomplish one DIY project after another.  I tried a chainsaw I bought months ago and cut down branches at my house and at the church.  I fixed some tile grout.  I did weeding in our front yard... etc.  It felt great!  These things didn't feel like a burden like they usually do.  I actually enjoyed the moment like a lot more.  I wasn't merely trying to get it done so my wife wouldn't remind me about it and so I could get back to youtube or video games.

Here are the new activities I'm using to fill the void:  

Active: walking for 30 minutes in the morning, working out, and playing with my kids.

Mentally engaging: learning a language.  I've been working on Ancient Greek for years--it is now a part of my morning routine again.  I'm also learning how to speak Hebrew.

When I'm tired: Read a book a week. (Run with Horses by Eugene Peterson.  Next is Resilience by a navy seal.)

Bored: play French horn.  I was a music major in college.

Stressed: workout for 7 minutes.

Backups: DIY Projects and yardwork, chess over a board or a book.

Environments: climb a mountain, pray at a church, a coffee shop, library, Todd's Restaurant.

 

I've been using HabitRPG to track these things over the last few days.  I think it is called Habitca now.  I've got habits, dailies, and a to-do list on there.  I like how those three things are on there and I have only to check my google calendar too.

Tiring day today... definitely wanted to watch TV or something when I got home.  I talked to my wife instead and did some good habits instead.  Thankful.

 

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Hey there. Welcome to our little community. You have a real nice set up and I am excited to see your life improve. Feel free to ask for advice or drop your fears and sorrows here. We are happy to listen and give advice if we are able too.

Awesome that you tackle These ancient languages. It surely will be interesting to read the bible in more original versions at some time in the future.

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Day 6

Today was rough.  I don't have "that attitude" today.  I would like to just put on a game and blank it all out...

I'm thinking about going for a dual-career. I've been thinking about it for some time.  I'm a pastor.  I'm in a rural community with lots of poverty.  Lately, I'm not sure how we are going to pay the bills and pay salaries.  It's not that the church isn't full of people, hope isn't being offered, folks aren't excited about their lives changing... no, the church hasn't been fuller, hasn't had more people being baptized, and what not... No, times are tough, and things are tight--especially finances.  Folks that used to give a lot aren't around anymore.  They've passed on.  It only takes a few families like that to make a big difference.  

I have a bachelor's degree in music.  I could become a music teacher at the schools out here.  I would need to take some coursework for about a year or two to get certified at a community college.  I'm praying and thinking through my options.  If I go this route I would be a full-time teacher and a part-time pastor.  I think more of my time would go to working, but I think with the changes I am making now in my life... I may be able to carry more of a load.

I want to provide for my family.  I want to work hard.  I don't want to send my wife to work and my kids to day-care.  I was raised in day-care, off babysitters, and after-school programs and little league.  I want something better for them.  They are getting a great thing... mom at home with them 24/7.  I love coming home and seeing them together like that.  I love seeing all they do together.  I even love that they are arguing and fighting in my house... at least it isn't at some pre-school, getting bit by someone else's kid.

It will be a big transition for me and the church if I go this route.  I need to take it one day at a time and really think it through.  It will definitely change the way we operate.  But, it may be for the better.  It may give people more of an opportunity to step up, help people, and lead.  I think this could actually be a good thing!

I'm hopeful.  I'm also pretty tired.  

No video games. No youtube.  Getting things done.  And, trying not to obsess too much about a long transition--one day at a time!

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Day 7

I woke up early this morning.  I did some reading and went on a long walk.  I started to listen to Resilience as I walked.  What a better way to wake up then to drink coffee and watch youtube in oblivion for an hour... which I used to justify due to stress or being tired.  

Later on, I want to think through the why and purpose behind the daily habits I'm trying to build back into my life.  A video by Cam talked about that.  I think that will be a good way to dive deeper into this step of the journey.  More on that later...

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Awesome start to the day!

I'd agree that the why and purpose beneath the daily habits and quitting gaming is important. For me it was about becoming the person I wanted to become, quitting gaming was just the first step.

It's great you're getting so much accomplished, keep it up man! :D

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Day 8

I've done this before... set too many new goals for myself with too many tasks and too many habits.  In a week I would crash and burn and head right back to gaming.  I'm starting to prune it back a bit this time.  If you want a plant to yield fruit, you need to cut off the branches that don't need to be there.

A few days ago I did the same thing.  Laundry list of activities: french horn, learn Hebrew and Greek, journal, memorize scripture, read the Bible, pray, exercise, read a book a week, eat a primal blueprint diet, play chess from a book and teach my daughter, good family times, DIY projects around the house, and keep up with my job of working 50-60 hours a week and look into adding another career on top... then the negatives: no youtube or video games.  Time to prune it back.  I will do that by seeing the purpose behind each activity and see what sticks.

French horn: good activity that doesn't require much and is enjoyable, takes daily dedication to get anywhere, good model for my children who are learning their instruments, will be able to play with my kids someday when they get older, can play at church or other community groups, offers measurable growth through etude books/solo repertoire/orchestral excerpts, I used to love playing my instrument eight hours a day for years!, used to make money doing side gigs and subbing in the orchestra... potential for that someday again.
Action steps: begin to track the amount of time on the instrument and slowly build up, contact my horn professor about how to do this as an amateur (instead of aspiring professional), begin to play at church each Sunday, find music I can play with my family at home.

Greek/Hebrew: learn the culture and language of the times of the Bible, be able to read the Bible in the original languages, don't have to rely so heavily on others' interpretations if I understand the language myself, cons: tough!  I need to spend a lot more time on this for it to improve, not naturally gifted with languages, Maybe this should be added in later after getting other priorities in order.
Action steps: place on hold for now. Could be added in later or replace something else?

Gratitude journal: proven to be good for you, helpful in facing the day with a different mindset, can go shallow or deep (many things thankful for and thinking through one thing at a time I'm thankful for), teaches my children the same, influences others with a better attitude, reduces stress and anxiety, 
Action steps: continue to journal on gamequitters, on Tuesday and Friday write for some time about one thing I'm thankful for and why, think of 10 things I'm thankful for

Memorize scripture: working on the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7), what we meditate and think about changes how we think and act, helps me to be a better man and follower of Jesus, takes some mental toughness on days I don't feel like it, challenging but shows how hard you've committed to the long process, helpful when preaching or teaching to have thought about it much and be able to just say it without looking it up and reading it...
Actions steps: continue the sermon on the mount daily, however I feel... see if this is helpful int he long run... I've quit this process too easily in the past. Do this when I change environments (go to the church office).

Read the Bible in the morning: Helps me to focus on the history of what God has done in different times, God speaks through that text to me, much wisdom in there, launching point for prayer, good habit if I want to follow Jesus, 
Action steps: continue and try to focus on the reading when tired in the mornings and see why and what my mind is wandering towards, keep a notepad next to me to write down thoughts or things I need to get done while reading so I don't stop as much.

Prayer: like meditation (probably) one of the most helpful things I can do in a day and morning, Not sure why I don't do it more often, listen to God in scripture and "inside" then speak my anxious, anger, fears, everything out to him.  Seek peace and trust, realize how I can be involved in his mission and not just my own stuff, pray for others and their problems, prayer leads to actions that make a difference.
Action steps: kneel and pray for 5 minutes 3x a day, find an hour or two (get to half a day at some point) to go and pray on a mountain or somewhere.

Exercise: feel good!  healthy, going on walks I can think clearly for some time, 
Action steps: walk 30 minutes each day, do bodyweight exercises every other day.

Read a book a week: Feels great to read a book and complete it. I'm bad at this, I start books, read them a few days and set them down, This would be a great big hairy monster goal! Need to read 40 pages a day to do it, if I don't get this done early in the day I won't do this later! Better than tv or internet. Awesome, lots of wisdom and ideas. Can learn from the wisest and smartest folks who ever lived.
Action steps: Right after I read some scripture and pray, read book for 40 pages until finished.  Wake up earlier, go to bed earlier.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julien-smith/how-to-read-a-book-a-week_b_4905909.html
http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/how-to-read-52-books-in-52-weeks-and-save-yourself-21000.html

Eat Primal Blueprint diet: healthier (less carbs and sugars), eat 50-100 carbs a day in fruits, already losing weight and fat, feeling better, more energy, won't get diabetes.
Keep doing this!

Play chess with daughter and from a book: I was taking my daughter to chess club weekly, but she is only 5.  She's not ready for that.  Keep playing and coaching her.  It is good daddy-daughter time. Don't become a chess coach or club leader (not right now!). Don't try to become a tournament player! (not right now, more important priorities and habits).  Too many goals to add this one in of studying chess... just enjoy with my daughter and others.
Action: for fun! for time with kids.  Put this aside for now mostly. (I was going to a coach for a few months until my mom died last April).

Family times: (more important than my job, career, the church) minister to your family first! meals are sacred, wrestle with them, read them stories, pray with them, DIY projects include them, take them out to spend quality time with them. I don't want my kids to grow up with an absent (or absent-minded) father.

DIY Projects: good!  See completion! Learn things.  Feel more like a man. Helps my kids to be more self-sufficient. saves money, become more skilled.
Action: keep list of projects, when on errands buy things for the next projects, schedule time weekly to work on a project, even do somethings when bored or stressed on off and odd days.

New career: I want to have a career like everyone else and then be a pastor as a role in the church.  People look at me like I'm available 24/7 for everything and anything.  They look to me to do all the ministry.  My job is to equip them to serve and use their gifts to help heal this area... they look to me too much to just do it for them.  If I have a full-time career... it isn't a possibility.  This may be a tangible thing to do to shift that mindset in myself and in others.  I will also be able to relate more with people at church who work normal jobs but I will also spend time with people who don't agree with me on religion and spirituality.  This is good!  I want to be around people that don't think like I do.  Like it says in the sermon on the mount: be salt and light (to paraphrase).. I need to be around people that aren't just church goers to live a full life...
Action: call my step-mom about this (she's in HR at a big company), talk to a music teacher, study the NES Test for Music knowledge (don't go further unless you can pass this test!) to become a music teacher.
 

Take aways: X out chess study and Greek/Hebrew study in order to let the other things blossom first.
Do different things at different places:

morning: scripture, prayer, read, exercise, journal.
Breaks: french horn for 5-10 minutes throughout day. (Bring horn with you!)
Memorize: right when I get to church start my time with this (before just getting into the churn of tasks)
evening: time with family, chess with Lily, music with family, DIY projects
Day of rest: DIY projects at home, more time to relax with family, go do fun things!

 

 

 

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Day 8

I've done this before... set too many new goals for myself with too many tasks and too many habits.

Hello notKosmic, just a suggestion: why don't you try to set lower goals? Set them so low so you will beat them a 100%. This helped me A LOT, because it gives me a sense of winning and thus creating much more drive to keep achieving.

Great to see a fellow Christian. I was misled by evil my whole life, then a year ago I came across the Gnostic teachings of Jesus Christ. It completely changed my life and outlook into the world. Reading scripture is a powerful thing, and it's very impressive when ppl know it by heart!

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Day 8

I've done this before... set too many new goals for myself with too many tasks and too many habits.

Hello notKosmic, just a suggestion: why don't you try to set lower goals? Set them so low so you will beat them a 100%. This helped me A LOT, because it gives me a sense of winning and thus creating much more drive to keep achieving.

Great to see a fellow Christian. I was misled by evil my whole life, then a year ago I came across the Gnostic teachings of Jesus Christ. It completely changed my life and outlook into the world. Reading scripture is a powerful thing, and it's very impressive when ppl know it by heart!

Great to see you too!  Yeah, I'm going to have to keep pruning it back more and more.  I recently set a goal to read 40 pages a day (one book a week).  This morning I tried to do that!  I read about 22 pages in one hour.  I said, "Wow, this has been great! Why don't I start with 20 pages instead of 40!?"  

Day 9

Great morning!  I'm mad right now for some reason though.  Just one of those frustration times and mood swings.  Trying to stay off of the internet and facebook.  I'm getting a lot of chores done today.

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Day 10

Thanks Cam! 
My mood continued into the evening.  Then, I binged on like two hours of Youtube (Penn & Teller, Comedy).  I didn't watch any streamers or video games, but I was still seeking that kind of void fulfillment.  I think that was a relapse of sorts.  I didn't do the kinds of things I want to do.  I'm thinking I need to add Youtube to my detox.  I really need to train myself to respond differently.

From some reading this morning:
"I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
to you, O LORD, I will make music.
I will ponder the way that is blameless.
Oh when will you come to me?
I will talk with integrity of heart within my house;
I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless...
"
Psalm 101:1-3

A good prayer to begin the day with after a night like last night.  Even if I fail I can begin again with renewed purpose and strength that this is important.  I don't want to give into mindless consumption.  

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Day 15

We had our new baby boy on Sunday!  We got home late Tuesday.  It has been an adjustment, but the little guy is wonderful to have out of "Mama's tummy" and finally with us.

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Day 15

We had our new baby boy on Sunday!  We got home late Tuesday.  It has been an adjustment, but the little guy is wonderful to have out of "Mama's tummy" and finally with us.

Congratulations!

Day 10

Thanks Cam! 
My mood continued into the evening.  Then, I binged on like two hours of Youtube (Penn & Teller, Comedy).  I didn't watch any streamers or video games, but I was still seeking that kind of void fulfillment.  I think that was a relapse of sorts.  I didn't do the kinds of things I want to do.  I'm thinking I need to add Youtube to my detox.  I really need to train myself to respond differently.

Well, just like Cameron once said "we have to face three-headed dragon"

But I'll say what these heads are. First is wrenched from context sexual pleasure, second is gaming, third is Internet.

We can't weaken one of heads to strenghten the other.

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Day 16, or Day 1?

Well, just like Cameron once said "we have to face three-headed dragon"

But I'll say what these heads are. First is wrenched from context sexual pleasure, second is gaming, third is Internet.

We can't weaken one of heads to strenghten the other.

Thank you, Hycniejsy and Cam.  I think I need to detox from the full-three-headed dragon.  For me, that dragon is: pornography, gaming (streams and Youtube included), and the "internet" (meaning, scrolling Facebook, watching other mind-numbing content on Youtube, ESPN, or a news network.

Reason: when I starve one of these for a few days, quickly, another "pet" comes over for attention.  I begin to feed that bad habit, and my mind and person is in the same place it was just in days ago.  Sure, these things don't trigger me like pornography or gaming... but they are a sad replacement... and, they are not the things I want to be pursuing.

So, yes, 90 days to face the "three-headed dragon" commences now (last night really).  

Instead, I will pursue reading, learning Hebrew, shooting trap and skeet at the local club down the road, exercise, and playing my French Horn.  

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Day 17

I just got off vacation and went back to work today.  Like no other time as right now do I feel the desire to watch some Youtube or play a game.  "Hey, I earned it!"  

I am choosing to take a nap and work on my good habits instead.  I don't really feel like it, but feelings aren't going to control me and my habits and form my identity anymore.

In the book Resilience, the author says we usually justify our actions through our feelings:
Feelings--->Actions--->Identity.  When we aren't feeling "awesome" people usually care a bit about that... they ask, "How are you feeling?"  But, it is the wrong question.  Our feelings shouldn't govern our life and control everything.  They are important, but they aren't everything.

Instead, Identity---->Actions----->Feelings .  I'm still governed so much by how I feel.  It is easy to live like this and make excuses constantly.  Instead, I want to be a man of integrity, honor, respect, and a leader.  I want to serve my family and community with humility, grace, and excellence.  So, my identity as a man will spur my actions and then my feelings will eventually change as I transform into a different kind of man--not controlled by feelings, formless, void, just ready for the hardest impression to form me into whoever something else wants me to be--but controlled intead by calling, purpose, and identity.  Fully human.

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