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Jay's Epic Journey

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I feel like your path in recovery is similar to mine.  That's so awesome that you enjoyed the Slight Edge as much as I did!  One thing I've done since I read it is formed a few small habits to always remind me of how I want to live a slight edge life.  For example, when I see a penny on the ground, I pick it up and think about how the small easy choices are crucial to success.  I know that it would take a ton of pennies just to buy...anything, but it's just a symbolic action I perform to keep the slight edge on my mind.

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I feel like your path in recovery is similar to mine.  That's so awesome that you enjoyed the Slight Edge as much as I did!  One thing I've done since I read it is formed a few small habits to always remind me of how I want to live a slight edge life.  For example, when I see a penny on the ground, I pick it up and think about how the small easy choices are crucial to success.  I know that it would take a ton of pennies just to buy...anything, but it's just a symbolic action I perform to keep the slight edge on my mind.

Hey, every little action counts.

To be quite honest, my recovery started a long time ago. July of last year, when I joined Primerica. That was pretty much what got me on the road to changing my ways. I've relapsed several times since then, but I never gave up on it or myself. I am happy to be reaping the rewards right now. :)

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For example, when I see a penny on the ground, I pick it up and think about how the small easy choices are crucial to success.  I know that it would take a ton of pennies just to buy...anything, but it's just a symbolic action I perform to keep the slight edge on my mind.

YES. I wonder if we could compile a list of these sorts of things. I do a few as well, I'm trying to remember them right now. They'll come back to me.

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Day 10:

Just a quick recap of last night: I went to another euchre night hosted on one of the meetups and it was great! I yet again met some awesome people and generally had a great time. I did run into a small issue where I took the game a bit too seriously and got a bit upset at something that happened, but nothing much really came of it, thankfully. I apologized to the guy later and it was all good. It really is amazing what asking for forgiveness can do, really takes a burden off that you don't have to carry around! Lesson learned as well!

As for today, man today was awesome! I went for another hike and quite a bit happened during that time. First of all, the hike leader brought his kids along for it and they weren't having a great time. I tried to cheer them up but right up until the very end when they finally started laughing and smiling, it didn't seem to have much effect. Which is fine. I was proud of myself that I put forth the effort to do that!

Also, we kind of became a much smaller group later on because people needed to go and I was able to share my video game addiction story with 3 of the people that were there. Unsurprisingly, the two mothers both had children who played video games more than the mothers would have liked. I tried to do my best to help them understand what was going on and even got one excited about Game Quitters. She really seemed to be excited about the possibility of getting her hands on some information to help out her son, so I was REALLY happy about that.

I also mustered up the courage to ask the other girl that was with us if she wanted to grab a coffee after the hike. Surprisingly, I didn't find that terribly difficult. She declined but that's OK. If you don't ask, you'll never know, right?

Afterwards, I went to a board game meetup which went pretty well overall. Met a few really cool guys there! We played Settlers of Catan and a card game called Citadels. While we were playing I started getting those feelings of relapse, not too much of it but it was definitely there, so I think I will need to make sure I don't go to too many of these.

Yeah, overall just a pretty sweet day. Tomorrow is gonna be a bit different since I am going to work, but that's OK!

 

Edited by jaylajkosz

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Day 11

Today started off not as planned. Wanted to wake up at 6:30 but ended up getting up at 7:45. However, not a big deal, I managed to deal with it!

During work today I kind of started to question why I am continuing on this path. If I want to be able to accomplish my goals, I need to talk to my cousin about modifying my work schedule so I work full time instead of just nights.. and also into late afternoon as well, about 10 hours a day. This isn't particularly appealing to me, but as I started to ponder it, I realized that I could keep going as I am and "hope" things work out, or I could take 100% control of my situation and make the necessary sacrifices to pursue my vision. It was not a difficult decision.

I know that if I continue as I am, I will be asking myself the same questions 10 years from now, regretting not having taken action earlier, being miserable about my circumstances, only with even LESS of an opportunity to do something about it. It is through trial and tribulation that our true mettle is tested, and I intend to stand strong.

All that being said, I think I can start to see the slight edge working for me now. They say that people who do the right things day by day just have things fall into place for them, and I think I am starting to understand what that means. When I went home, I had every intention to cook dinner for myself, but I found that something was already prepared when I got home - and still hot, too! That was quite a relief, as I didn't have a whole lot of energy left. Also saw that my mom went and bought some stuff I was going to go and buy tomorrow as well, so saves me a trip to the grocery store. :)

Things overall are going pretty well, but I'm starting to get to the point where I need to find some close friends in real life that I can rely on for help and encouragement as things start to get tougher. You guys are absolutely amazing but there is no replacement for real life friends.

I'll also start to jot down things I am grateful for:

  • My work. My dad's business affords me an opportunity a lot of people would love to have, so I need to take advantage of it!
  • Myself. At this point I have no regrets about how things have gone so far, and am really looking forward to the future!
  • The Slight Edge. This book has really got me going on the right path!

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Day 12

Not a whole lot going on today. One notable thing is that when I went on my walk this morning, I got a strong urge to just knock on someone's door just to say hi. I spent the next 20 minutes or so convincing myself whether or not I should do it. It seemed so irrational and ridiculous. What's so hard about knocking on someone's door and just saying hello? I eventually did it and it turned out to be as uneventful as I thought it would be, but I felt good about it afterwards. I knew if I didn't do it, I would have beat myself up over it.

Reading The Slight Edge today has also made me quite uncomfortable, specifically, chapter 13, the chapter on mentorship. I am absolutely behind the idea of fixing my daily habits with respect to eating, how I use my time, making responsible decisions to achieve my goals, etc. Where I get stuck on and where a lot of fear starts setting in is when it starts talking about hanging around other successful people to learn from them, and modeling yourself after them. Logically, I definitely agree with the concept, but I start to wonder if I'm going to lose a lot of the things that I value if I do this.

When I think about the future, I don't see myself as someone who spends a crapload of time with people that aren't my family. The exact opposite actually, I see myself as spending the majority of time with my family, because that's what's important to me. Sure, I'll have friends who I speak to and hang out with on a regular basis, but generally I'd likely be keeping to myself.

I do think this somewhat conflicts with the values of a person who has a growth mindset. I think the main reason why people who take personal growth seriously become entrepreneurs is precisely because running a business forces you to be in growth mode all the time. You always have to improve to keep your business moving forward. If you're doing just the day to day things that the majority do, chances are you won't grow much. I suppose the way to grow while just working a regular job is to learn how to do a lot of things on your own time that you don't know how to do, like rock climbing, learning a new language, etc. Maybe even your job offers opportunity for growth, through promotions and such.

I also think people who have a growth mindset do spend a lot of time with lots of different people as well, and The Slight Edge reinforces this point, because one of the core points in the book is to help the lives of others with what you do in your life. To be honest, that chapter is probably where I started to feel uncomfortable, and I'm not really sure why, because I do really enjoy helping people.

One of the other really big points, and this was in chapter 12 I believe, was distancing yourself from people who bring you down. My mother and brother bring me down. I wish it were not so, but it's true. While I understand that getting away from them is probably necessary for my continued growth, that thought pains me because I wish I could just help them become positive, growth oriented people, but nothing I've ever said or done has done anything to change their minds. The thought of "it's a lost cause" is just dreadful to me, because I don't want them to die with regret and misery, but I may have to accept that there isn't much I can about it. Can't help anyone who doesn't want to help themselves.

Maybe this fear and uncomfortable feeling is just a natural part of this process. I am starting to burst out of my comfort zone and for many people, that's a scary thing. Many people do NOT go through with change simply because it IS terrifying and uncomfortable to do it. It often means you'll leave behind dear friends and relatives who you love simply because they don't promote an environment conducive to your growth, and so many people are simply unwilling to do that.

I KNOW if I want to change for the better, it may very well be something I need to do. Leave behind these people I love as well as some of the things I enjoy. But man oh man, when they say it isn't easy, they aren't kidding at all.

Oh, and 3 things I'm grateful for, just to leave this on a positive note:

  • My health. I've done a lot to abuse my body in my life so I'm very glad that it has held up to this point.
  • Lena from work. She gave me a beautiful bag yesterday with positive sayings on it that I'll be happy to use as my lunch bag.
  • My consciousness.. I guess? I'm just so freaking happy that I have even become aware of the idea of being one of the 5 percenters. The idea of just being a part of the masses, a part of the culture of negativity, blame and regret is terrifying to me.

EDIT: Also, to the point I made about losing things I value: I value sincerity, integrity, honesty, kindness, compassion, inclusion, etc. These are my personal traits that I value above all else. My biggest fear is losing some or all of them in the process of this change.

Edited by jaylajkosz

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Hey man! Working a few more hours is definitely a great idea. Plus it will take up some more of your time, which does two things:

1) You have less time to fill and thus, less time to potentially be bored, etc.
2) Because you have less time, you're more motivated when you do have time to make the most of it.

Just remember that the best thing you might be doing for your brother and mother is creating a bit more distance. First of all, if they aren't open to your ideas of personal growth, you're likely annoying them with your ideas - and that's causing rapport within your relationship to falter. Next, if you do want to help them, being the best example of what you speak of is step one. Be the role model for them. I've seen that within my own family - as I've taken my diet more seriously, so have they. As I've gone after my dreams more, so have they. Because I'm leading by example, not preaching a gospel I'm not living myself.

Also, it's awesome to hear how passionate you are about your family. Just remember that you get to define what "family" is. I have many people in my life who are family, who are not "blood." In life we use these different words, and many times these words come with social conditioning we've had growing up. An example is "successful." To many that means having a nicer car, a nicer house, nicer clothes, etc. Because that's what we've been conditioned to think the word means. When in reality, successful can mean anything we want it to mean - we get to define it for ourselves.

BUT

If we don't define it, then it has an influence in our life we may not have chosen or be aware of. For instance, if we don't consciously define the word successful, we will live the definition society set for us. So we must consciously define these words and what they mean to ourselves.

ALSO

Just because in the future when you do have a family you may not be more available for other people, and rightly so, that doesn't mean you neglect to form these relationships and bonds with people on your journey to that destination. Maybe these relationships you have in the meantime are important for you to get to that destination.

Finally, I have an "uncle" (again, not blood) who has been very important to me in my life, he's the closest person to me outside of my parents. He was a friend of my parents when I was born and he's always stayed in touch and been in my life. To me, he's my uncle. I have "blood uncles" who I have never even spoken to on the phone. They've had very little to do with my life. Whereas this "uncle" has always been there for me, spent countless hours on the phone with me during depressions or breakups, etc. He's family as much as anybody I've ever known. And he truly will be there for the rest of my life (and his.) There's no doubt about that.

So I'm thankful my parents had friends that they had good relationships with and although 90% of those I have never spoken to or known (relationships drift over time, especially as family's are developed)... some do remain and those will be important over the long-term. So don't discount the importance of having these quality relationships now (for the health of your journey towards starting a family) and for the potential health of expanding your "family" as life evolves.

 

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Hey man! Working a few more hours is definitely a great idea. Plus it will take up some more of your time, which does two things:

1) You have less time to fill and thus, less time to potentially be bored, etc.
2) Because you have less time, you're more motivated when you do have time to make the most of it.

Just remember that the best thing you might be doing for your brother and mother is creating a bit more distance. First of all, if they aren't open to your ideas of personal growth, you're likely annoying them with your ideas - and that's causing rapport within your relationship to falter. Next, if you do want to help them, being the best example of what you speak of is step one. Be the role model for them. I've seen that within my own family - as I've taken my diet more seriously, so have they. As I've gone after my dreams more, so have they. Because I'm leading by example, not preaching a gospel I'm not living myself.

Also, it's awesome to hear how passionate you are about your family. Just remember that you get to define what "family" is. I have many people in my life who are family, who are not "blood." In life we use these different words, and many times these words come with social conditioning we've had growing up. An example is "successful." To many that means having a nicer car, a nicer house, nicer clothes, etc. Because that's what we've been conditioned to think the word means. When in reality, successful can mean anything we want it to mean - we get to define it for ourselves.

BUT

If we don't define it, then it has an influence in our life we may not have chosen or be aware of. For instance, if we don't consciously define the word successful, we will live the definition society set for us. So we must consciously define these words and what they mean to ourselves.

ALSO

Just because in the future when you do have a family you may not be more available for other people, and rightly so, that doesn't mean you neglect to form these relationships and bonds with people on your journey to that destination. Maybe these relationships you have in the meantime are important for you to get to that destination.

Finally, I have an "uncle" (again, not blood) who has been very important to me in my life, he's the closest person to me outside of my parents. He was a friend of my parents when I was born and he's always stayed in touch and been in my life. To me, he's my uncle. I have "blood uncles" who I have never even spoken to on the phone. They've had very little to do with my life. Whereas this "uncle" has always been there for me, spent countless hours on the phone with me during depressions or breakups, etc. He's family as much as anybody I've ever known. And he truly will be there for the rest of my life (and his.) There's no doubt about that.

So I'm thankful my parents had friends that they had good relationships with and although 90% of those I have never spoken to or known (relationships drift over time, especially as family's are developed)... some do remain and those will be important over the long-term. So don't discount the importance of having these quality relationships now (for the health of your journey towards starting a family) and for the potential health of expanding your "family" as life evolves.

Hey Cam, as usual you come with the sage advice. Lots of good points there. You're right that we have to define what success means to us. I still don't know. I'll have to figure that out as I go. As far as relationships with people, to be honest, I really don't have any close relationships in real life, at least in terms of people I'd trust enough to have a conversation with about really personal stuff. There is one guy and perhaps I should make more of an effort to strengthen my friendship with him.

And just as an update, I did run into a bit of a stumbling block tonight at work. I got a massive craving for pizza and ended up ordering one (I actually got over the craving but by then I had convinced myself I was going to get it), and then I ended up watching a video game stream on Youtube for about 1.5 hours. I didn't actually end up finishing watching it and just turned off the computer.

I will make up for this tomorrow by reading an extra chapter from a book.

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Nice job on turning off the computer! While it's easy to cave, it's not so easy to "uncave" in the same night. You could have watched the entire stream and then stayed until 6 am doing nothing special(If this is something you use to do). You might feel bad that you caved, and that's okay but celebrate the fact that you crawled out of the cave after a short time. 

Keep it up!

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Nice job on turning off the computer! While it's easy to cave, it's not so easy to "uncave" in the same night. You could have watched the entire stream and then stayed until 6 am doing nothing special(If this is something you use to do). You might feel bad that you caved, and that's okay but celebrate the fact that you crawled out of the cave after a short time. 

Keep it up!

Thanks! I actually didn't find the "uncaving" part all that difficult. I just started to remind myself why I am doing what I'm doing and I suppose that gave me the courage to resist falling further into the hole. :)

Day 13

Almost at two weeks! Woohoo! I'm not really sure yet what I can do to "reward" myself for achievements but I do need to think of something. One important value I hold is that rewarding myself for accomplishments is very important and very necessary to keeping a healthy mind. I actually thought of this particular idea for a reward for dropping my caffeine addiction so I might just do it tomorrow to celebrate two weeks in: going to my favorite indian restaurant and getting what might be my favorite food dish of all time, chicken rogan josh. It actually isn't even too expensive so it won't break the bank either. :)

So today I did a lot of self reflection. I believe I have discovered my greatest fear during this process is the fear of the person that I will eventually become. This may be the case because I have not yet identified what success is to me, but I have this image of myself in the future of this path as a millionaire businessman. It probably very much is because of what Cam said, being a "success" as far as society is concerned often is associated with being successful financially.

I don't see anything wrong with becoming a financial success, but I do see a LOT wrong with what I view as the typical financially successful person: a person who doesn't care about others, doesn't care enough about his family, and makes money the biggest and often only priority in life. I am TERRIFIED of becoming that type of person. Obviously there are quite a few examples of financially successful people that aren't any of those things, but in the media we don't really hear much about them.. and there's also the old adage of not judging a book by its' cover, ie. what those financially successful people who claim to care about others show on the outside may not necessarily reflect their true ideals.

I know that if I continue this path of self improvement, I am going to change. Some of that change I will not be able to control because of the material I am using for self improvement, and I am very afraid of losing the values that I hold dearest.to me. I definitely want to drop the lazy, irresponsible, undisciplined parts of me, but the honesty, integrity, compassion, empathy, all that stuff I do not want to lose under any circumstances. However, just stopping this and going back to the way things were is absolutely not an option. It may be easy now, but going back would be like committing suicide very slowly by poking myself with a spoon. It may not hurt much now, but eventually that spoon will start to carve out flesh, and by then it may just be too late to start making changes again because I may not have enough time left to do it. And if I am NOT on the path of improvement, then eventually I will start to fall back to the way things were - there is no middle ground.

The conclusion I came to during this time is a lot like the conclusion I came to yesterday: trust in the process and whatever happens, happens. Whatever I eventually become cannot be any worse than what I would become if I went back to my old ways. The reassuring thing is that, as the slight edge says, I AM in control of this process and I can simply make sure that I filter the input that I get to ensure that I only take in the things I want. As Cam implied, there is nothing that says I need to internalize absolutely everything I read in books or hear in videos.

One example is the ultimate guide to social skills. I went through the first couple of sections and wasn't too thrilled with the material. They made some good points, but I think the idea of forcing your social skills to change by developing them with intent doesn't really sit well with me. It feels like you end up just putting on this facade and aren't really letting your real self come out. As Michael Ellsberg said in one of the videos, instead of trying to talk with more confidence, just become more confident. I think that comes with self improvement. The way you speak to other people will change naturally, and how that happens will depend largely on the input that you take in for self improvement. I'm not saying developing your social skills with intent is bad, it's just not the way I would choose to go about things, and that's OK! :)

If you guys have your own opinions and ideas about this stuff, feel free to post them! I'd love to read about everyone else's perspectives! :)

Oops, and forgot once again, 3 things to be grateful for:

  • The rain. So many people hate rain, but I love it. Not only does rain sustain us by filling our world with water, but to me it has a calming, soothing effect, especially the sound and smell.
  • My vitality. Being able to simply go for a walk every day is a great opportunity for reflection as well as exercise.
  • My cat. Whenever I pet her or play with her, it always puts a smile on my face and helps with de-stressing.
Edited by jaylajkosz

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I'm most definitely with you about remaining true to your values! For example I value honesty and respect towards others. Those are values that I don't want to give up no matter what. 

As for the social skills I agree that confidence is a key factor, but I still believe that there are ways of improving your social skills without striking through your personality. For example learning a few things about body language helped me to be more confident and better understood.

Great thinking Jay! :) 

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I'm most definitely with you about remaining true to your values! For example I value honesty and respect towards others. Those are values that I don't want to give up no matter what. 

As for the social skills I agree that confidence is a key factor, but I still believe that there are ways of improving your social skills without striking through your personality. For example learning a few things about body language helped me to be more confident and better understood.

Great thinking Jay! :) 

Absolutely, there are definitely things with respect to social skills that you can integrate into the way you speak to people without compromising yourself. It's when it gets to things like "OK, here's how to keep a conversation going, and here's 5 cookie cutter scripts you can practice to get better at it" where I just don't agree with the process. Honestly, you cannot be friends with everyone. Some people are just far too different from you for you to be able to get along with them for long, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

I will admit that when it comes to business conversations, sure, you might need to employ some "tactics" to keep people interested in you so you can make your sales or whatever, but that just isn't for me, I think. I like to be real, and let my personality come out. If someone doesn't get along with me, or no matter what, I just can't seem to keep a conversation going with some people, that's fine! There are enough people in the world that I will "click" with just fine, or even better than fine, that I won't lose sleep over those that I don't. :)

Edited by jaylajkosz

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I don't see anything wrong with becoming a financial success, but I do see a LOT wrong with what I view as the typical financially successful person: a person who doesn't care about others, doesn't care enough about his family, and makes money the biggest and often only priority in life. I am TERRIFIED of becoming that type of person. Obviously there are quite a few examples of financially successful people that aren't any of those things, but in the media we don't really hear much about them.. and there's also the old adage of not judging a book by its' cover, ie. what those financially successful people who claim to care about others show on the outside may not necessarily reflect their true ideals.

If you want to have any sort of financial success, you're going to have to take a critical look at your attitude towards money.

Is your current attitude towards money driving you towards your goals? 

Or is it giving you a convenient excuse to give up before you even start?

Do you see anything wrong with providing something of value and in return being rewarded for it?  For example if someone provides a valuable service such as linen cleaning shouldn't they expect to receive money for their service?

 

While some people who get rich do it by ripping people off, they are going to be over-represented in the media.  There's a couple of reasons for this.  First being that an honest trader, making an honest living, just doesn't have much drama.  At least not when compared to a story about someone who tricks old people into giving up their life savings.

 

Secondly, in general the media is aimed at the lowest common denominator ie. lazy, unambitious people. 

Which message do you think a lazy person would rather hear

1. "People get rich by cheating other people, therefore you're a good person if you're poor"

or

2. "It's up to you to put the hard work in, if you're poor, it's your responsibility to fix it". 

Hard work is not something that sells well.  How many fitness products are advertised as quick or easy...The average couch potato doesn't want their TV telling them that they have the power to do something about it.  That would require effort.  They would rather be told that it's not their fault, that way they can continue blaming other people for their situation.

 

Thirdly, don't trust the media too much.  They don't give balanced accounts of what really happens.  They often have an agenda.  Stories appear totally different when they leave certain details out.  Or they misrepresent statistics.  Or even just outright lie, as they've been shown to do with a few high profile cases over the last year.

 

It sounds like you're heading in the right direction.  But it would be a good idea to take a critical look at some of your attitudes, where they came from and why.  And ask yourself if they're still valid.  And more importantly, ask yourself if those attitudes are driving you to where you want to be.

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I don't see anything wrong with becoming a financial success, but I do see a LOT wrong with what I view as the typical financially successful person: a person who doesn't care about others, doesn't care enough about his family, and makes money the biggest and often only priority in life. I am TERRIFIED of becoming that type of person. Obviously there are quite a few examples of financially successful people that aren't any of those things, but in the media we don't really hear much about them.. and there's also the old adage of not judging a book by its' cover, ie. what those financially successful people who claim to care about others show on the outside may not necessarily reflect their true ideals.

If you want to have any sort of financial success, you're going to have to take a critical look at your attitude towards money.

Is your current attitude towards money driving you towards your goals? 

Or is it giving you a convenient excuse to give up before you even start?

Do you see anything wrong with providing something of value and in return being rewarded for it?  For example if someone provides a valuable service such as linen cleaning shouldn't they expect to receive money for their service?

 

While some people who get rich do it by ripping people off, they are going to be over-represented in the media.  There's a couple of reasons for this.  First being that an honest trader, making an honest living, just doesn't have much drama.  At least not when compared to a story about someone who tricks old people into giving up their life savings.

 

Secondly, in general the media is aimed at the lowest common denominator ie. lazy, unambitious people. 

Which message do you think a lazy person would rather hear

1. "People get rich by cheating other people, therefore you're a good person if you're poor"

or

2. "It's up to you to put the hard work in, if you're poor, it's your responsibility to fix it". 

Hard work is not something that sells well.  How many fitness products are advertised as quick or easy...The average couch potato doesn't want their TV telling them that they have the power to do something about it.  That would require effort.  They would rather be told that it's not their fault, that way they can continue blaming other people for their situation.

 

Thirdly, don't trust the media too much.  They don't give balanced accounts of what really happens.  They often have an agenda.  Stories appear totally different when they leave certain details out.  Or they misrepresent statistics.  Or even just outright lie, as they've been shown to do with a few high profile cases over the last year.

 

It sounds like you're heading in the right direction.  But it would be a good idea to take a critical look at some of your attitudes, where they came from and why.  And ask yourself if they're still valid.  And more importantly, ask yourself if those attitudes are driving you to where you want to be.

Really good points here.

My attitude towards money is that someone who puts in the time and the effort to create a product that adds value to a person who purchases it absolutely deserves to be rewarded for it. There's absolutely nothing wrong with having millions of dollars, if that's what people think your product is worth. That's the type of person I'd love to be. If I can create something that genuinely helps people, then I absolutely believe I should be rewarded for it.

I also do not believe in "get rich quick", "overnight quantum leaps", shit like that.. it doesn't exist. If you want to be a millionaire, then you've got to put in the effort to become a millionaire. If you want to be successful at ANYTHING, then you've got to put in the effort to be successful. I also believe that your rewards will be proportional to the effort you put in. And lastly, you've got to be patient as well. The only type of work you can do that I know of where you get paid immediately just for showing up is minimum wage work, and even then, you've still got to put in the effort to create your resume, submit your applications, go to the interview, etc.

I will admit I do have fears about starting a business of my own.. mainly because I do not have any ideas that I believe have enough value to them to actually make a reasonable living off of. I also believe that there are many financially successful people who started out the same way. So that's definitely something that I will need to overcome, and I believe that I will, in time. :)

Just a quick update, I need to fix up my eating habits a bit. They are largely fine, but this is the second night in a row that I ordered some crap I don't need, this time at a restaurant. French fries and a dessert. My goal is for the next week to not eat ANYTHING unhealthy at all. Obviously I'd like to stretch it beyond that, but that's my goal for now.

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By quitting games, quitting fatty foods, distancing yourself from people that bring you down, and getting out of your comfort zone, you will be unlikely to lose your values such as honesty and respect. If you have a closer look, the successful people are the ones that are honest with themselves and have respect for the right solution... Do you see a connection just with the Game Quitters? We have all needed to be honest with ourselves to understand our initial situation, and respect advice provided by other Game Quitters to improve. This is necessary to move forward in the long run, and likewise you will find that many successful people you meet will be honest and respectful too. No loss of your values in sight.

You're not going to become an entirely different person by moving along the path you've taken, if anything you would gain better values through the process, like appreciation for hard work and commitment. I have never heard of a person that turned out for the worse by trying to improve themselves, so if I were you I'd just look forward to the prospect of becoming a better person.

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By quitting games, quitting fatty foods, distancing yourself from people that bring you down, and getting out of your comfort zone, you will be unlikely to lose your values such as honesty and respect. If you have a closer look, the successful people are the ones that are honest with themselves and have respect for the right solution... Do you see a connection just with the Game Quitters? We have all needed to be honest with ourselves to understand our initial situation, and respect advice provided by other Game Quitters to improve. This is necessary to move forward in the long run, and likewise you will find that many successful people you meet will be honest and respectful too. No loss of your values in sight.

You're not going to become an entirely different person by moving along the path you've taken, if anything you would gain better values through the process, like appreciation for hard work and commitment. I have never heard of a person that turned out for the worse by trying to improve themselves, so if I were you I'd just look forward to the prospect of becoming a better person.

You make a good point at the end there, Alex. It would be rather strange to go on a path of self improvement and somehow come out at the other end worse than when I began. :)

Day 14

Woohoo! Two weeks! Getting here didn't actually end up being as much of a challenge as I thought it might be! I guess that's what happens when you're on your 4th or 5th attempt to finally quit something, haha!

Admittedly, lately I've been getting some of those nostalgic feelings about video games. I've largely been able to just ride them out but it gets a bit harder each time. I did read in another person's thread that they had a planned relapse to achieve a goal in League of Legends, but I don't think that will be for me. I don't want to risk losing all the progress I've made up to this point just for a video game. My feelings have largely gravitated towards Tales of Xillia 2, which I started and never completed (if I had a planned relapse, this would be the game I would play), and Fallout 4, which I had a strong desire to play but I won't lose sleep over not seeing any gameplay of it, ever. I suppose the only thing I can really do is keep reminding myself why I am quitting video games in the first place - it may not hurt that much right now to relapse, but ten years down the road, when my responsibilities are much greater (in all likelihood, at least), it will hurt a lot more and it will also be a lot harder to change my life for the better.

In other news, I finished reading The Slight Edge today! For me that's a pretty big deal because I keep picking up books but never finishing them. I am looking forward to reading other personal development material as well, I find it helps so much.

I was going to go to a coffee and conversation meetup tonight since I felt it was going to be a nice way to get to know some new people, but I have decided instead to go on a hike. Part of the reason is that I don't want to be in a situation where I can make a bad choice about eating again. Another part is that I met a nice girl last night and she agreed to go on the hike as well. :) Plus, it's also exercise! Looking forward to that!

I have also noticed that writing these daily journal entries has a calming effect on my mind. Just putting my feelings of nostalgia down here has helped to sort of calm that emotion for me.

Anyways, good day today so far!

Three things I'm grateful for:

  • My journal. It works to calm my emotions and help sort through my thoughts.
  • Water. That's all I drink and that's all I'll ever drink!
  • Friends. It's nice to know that people have got your back when you hit a rough spot.

One thing I want to add. These are the 7 daily disciplines I have committed to as part of the last exercise in The Slight Edge. I'm putting them here as an accountability thing.

  • For health, my plan to start is walking 15-30 minutes a day, and doing at least 10 push ups upon returning home. My daily discipline is to stick to this plan.
  • For happiness, my daily "not to do" is eating junk food, and my daily "to do" is doing something, anything to make someone else's day better.. even if it's just exchanging a smile and a hello.
  • For relationships, it kind of relates to the above, talking to at least one new person every day. I can integrate this into my walk, and not allow myself to come home until I talk to at least one person I've never met before. Even just exchanging greetings is good enough.
  • For personal development, getting up no later than 7:30 AM every day, though I want to get up at 6 on days that I am working in the morning so I have time in the morning to get in some of my daily routine.
  • For finances, it is paying at least $30 a day towards my credit card debt.
  • For my career, it is spending at least 15 minutes a day reading business building material.
  • For my impact on the world, it is making at least one positive, uplifting post in someone else's journal on this website.

These will probably evolve over time but this is my list for now. In each journal entry I make from this point forward, I will explain how I managed to reach these daily milestones, or not. I am not sure what I will do as a "punishment" if I do not reach one. Maybe for each one that I miss, I double my efforts on it the following day.

Edited by jaylajkosz

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By quitting games, quitting fatty foods, distancing yourself from people that bring you down, and getting out of your comfort zone, you will be unlikely to lose your values such as honesty and respect. If you have a closer look, the successful people are the ones that are honest with themselves and have respect for the right solution... Do you see a connection just with the Game Quitters? We have all needed to be honest with ourselves to understand our initial situation, and respect advice provided by other Game Quitters to improve. This is necessary to move forward in the long run, and likewise you will find that many successful people you meet will be honest and respectful too. No loss of your values in sight.

You're not going to become an entirely different person by moving along the path you've taken, if anything you would gain better values through the process, like appreciation for hard work and commitment. I have never heard of a person that turned out for the worse by trying to improve themselves, so if I were you I'd just look forward to the prospect of becoming a better person.

Great post! Remember Jay, personal development is about becoming the best version of yourself... so you already have certain good qualities - being honest, having integrity, etc - so as you dive deeper into your personal development you'll only amplify the good parts and learn about the others as well.

 

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By quitting games, quitting fatty foods, distancing yourself from people that bring you down, and getting out of your comfort zone, you will be unlikely to lose your values such as honesty and respect. If you have a closer look, the successful people are the ones that are honest with themselves and have respect for the right solution... Do you see a connection just with the Game Quitters? We have all needed to be honest with ourselves to understand our initial situation, and respect advice provided by other Game Quitters to improve. This is necessary to move forward in the long run, and likewise you will find that many successful people you meet will be honest and respectful too. No loss of your values in sight.

You're not going to become an entirely different person by moving along the path you've taken, if anything you would gain better values through the process, like appreciation for hard work and commitment. I have never heard of a person that turned out for the worse by trying to improve themselves, so if I were you I'd just look forward to the prospect of becoming a better person.

Great post! Remember Jay, personal development is about becoming the best version of yourself... so you already have certain good qualities - being honest, having integrity, etc - so as you dive deeper into your personal development you'll only amplify the good parts and learn about the others as well.

Thanks Cam, love all the support I'm getting from you guys!

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Day 15

Woohoo, 1/6th of the way to 90!

Today was the last day of professional counseling for me, at least for the foreseeable future. I felt confident enough to tell her that I am ready to tackle this without the sessions. I definitely feel the sessions helped and that's a big deal because I wasn't convinced of that at first.

The day didn't start off as planned though. I ended up getting up at 9:20 AM (although I actually woke up at 7:30 AM, when I wanted to), and scrambled a bit because my appointment with my counselor was at 10:00 AM. Furthermore, I had to drive to the bank after the session to get money to pay her because my credit card was getting rejected. Oh well, I don't plan to use it anymore anyways, unless I have no choice. I ended up getting home around 1:00 PM, and I managed to do everything else I wanted to do during the day with respect to my daily routine, so even though it didn't quite go as planned, I still got to where I wanted to be!

I started reading Think and Grow Rich today, and Napolean Hill makes a big deal about the idea of the secret becoming known to you if you are ready for it. I really have no idea what that means, and I did have the thought of just googling the secret, but I quickly quashed that. I will trust in Hill's words, and I figure even if the secret IS spelled out to me, if I am not ready to receive it, then chances are I won't act on it. So I will go through the book and see what happens.

That did get me thinking about the accumulation of wealth. I have no real problem with that at all, as I believe the way the wealth is used is far more important than the actual accumulation of it, but I do have some nagging anxieties about it. They include, how my family would react to me accumulating great wealth (I imagine some or many would become resentful), how I would handle becoming wealthy and the notoriety and recognition that comes with it, and what my lifestyle would be like if I accumulate a lot of wealth. I think this is something I'm just going to have to overcome at some point, as I strongly believe that if you do provide a product or service that genuinely enhances peoples' lives, you deserve to get paid for it, and the customers can decide how much that's worth to them. If that means becoming very wealthy, then that's fine! I am not as concerned about money as I am about enhancing peoples' lives, although I do have a goal to become financially independent.

3 things I'm grateful for:

  • My counselor. She kind of gave me the kick in the butt I needed 2 Thursdays ago to get to where I am now.
  • Game Quitters. I am proud to be a Patreon of Game Quitters and am looking forward to a great future for it!
  • The mild weather this time of year! Usually it's much colder!

7 daily disciplines:

  • Did about 20 minutes of walking and 10 pushups.
  • I exchanged greetings with a number of people today.
  • Including some people I don't know!
  • I did not meet my goal of getting up at no later than 7:30.
  • I paid $30 towards my credit card.
  • Made a post in Alex's journal.

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Day 16

Once again I got up at 9:30. I don't know why I am having such a hard time getting up when I wake up. I am able to wake up exactly when I want to, but I always just end up going back to bed. Part of it is the temperature I guess, it's getting rather cold in the mornings. Another part of it is that I may be investing too much energy into how I "feel" in the morning. In one of the inspirational videos I watch, the guy says that nobody really cares to get up in the morning based on how they're feeling. That a lot of people don't reach their goals and dreams simply because they put way too much stock into their feelings. How true that is! If you always listen to your feelings, you won't get anywhere. We all do things on a daily basis that we don't necessarily like to do, but because we've made a commitment, we do them. That has nothing to do with feelings and everything to do with values. I suppose that's the approach I need to take when waking up. I committed to getting up at this time, so I gotta do it.

Napolean Hill's "Think and Grow Rich" is a hard hitting and powerful book. Reading it brings about a lot of uncomfortable feelings for me so far. I've only read the first two chapters, and he talks a lot about having a burning desire to acquire riches, that in order to acquire riches, you must become obsessed with that idea. This is exactly the kind of attitude I'm not sure I want to have because it's so easy to get lost in the pursuit of riches and then completely forget everything else that's important. Yet he says, nobody can acquire riches without having a burning desire, backed by faith to acquire said riches. I'm just really torn by this.

I want to be financially independent, and for me that's going to require at least $250,000 of annual income, just for me. I don't know why I picked that number other than I can't possibly imagine being able to spend that much money in a single year with my current values. I'd prefer to own a modest home, a modest car, have a modest lifestyle, maybe go on 2-3 vacations a year, but other than that, I have no real need for any money aside from what I'd need for essential stuff. The vast majority of my energy I want to focus on my family, and to do that, I don't want to be forced into working 60+ hours a week making someone else's dream come true while getting paid far less than I think I am worth. My timeline for this is to have this by January 2022.

So in order to accomplish that, I know I need to either start a business or take up the reins of my dad's business. That being said, I have no idea what kind of business I'd start. I believe the reason for this is that I spent so many years of my life engrossed in video games and almost literally ignoring the rest of the world around me that I haven't taken the time to truly dive into anything else. I also don't really have any clue how to go about coming up with ideas that could become profitable. For now I am simply trusting that the path I am currently on will eventually lead me to that.

Napolean Hill says that if I want that, I need a burning desire backed by faith that it can be done. I simply just don't want to lose myself in that process, and that idea is scary. I suppose I don't have much of a choice other than to trust that things will work out in the best possible way as long as I stay true to myself and stay the course.

3 things I'm grateful for:

  • Grocery stores. It's really convenient to be able to buy just about any food you could possibly want so easily!
  • My books. Although they may make me feel uneasy at times, I definitely appreciate that they are challenging my fundamental beliefs about life.
  • My spontaneity (?). Specifically, with respect to my nutrition. I don't need a rigid plan for what to eat every day, and I think that's been pretty helpful for me. I kind of just decide what I want and go and do it!

7 daily disciplines:

  • My health: This time I ran for a bit as well! That felt quite good. :) Did 11 push ups today as well. The standards are increasing!
  • My happiness and relationships: Exchanged greetings with a number of people I don't know today! I probably need to change the happiness part to make it a little more unique.
  • I fell short in personal development once again. This area needs to be tidied up.
  • My finances: I made a $30 payment towards my credit card.
  • My career: I did not mention this yesterday, nor did I do what I committed to yesterday, so I will do about 45 minutes today.
  • My impact on the world: Posted in Elegwa's journal.

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Yo! I had the same problem with waking up as well. A big obstacle for me was my phone. I instinctively checked my messages and after that it just went on and on until I found myself browsing reddit for instance. I was able to overcome this by setting up a morning routine (which is basically triggered by getting up, if you've read Duhigg's the Power of Habit). If I'm sleepy I'll just stick to the bed and see if I can sleep more. In the end lying in the bed can be quite boring on it's own. Many of the activities you can do on the bed you can also do after you've gotten up.

Great post once again! Interested to read Think and Grow rich soon as well. B|

 

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Yo! I had the same problem with waking up as well. A big obstacle for me was my phone. I instinctively checked my messages and after that it just went on and on until I found myself browsing reddit for instance. I was able to overcome this by setting up a morning routine (which is basically triggered by getting up, if you've read Duhigg's the Power of Habit). If I'm sleepy I'll just stick to the bed and see if I can sleep more. In the end lying in the bed can be quite boring on it's own. Many of the activities you can do on the bed you can also do after you've gotten up.

Great post once again! Interested to read Think and Grow rich soon as well. B|

A morning routine would certainly help for sure! That, for me, isn't really the issue. I don't even allow myself to check my phone or anything else on the internet until I've completed my daily discipline stuff. It's more that I just feel really groggy and sleep still. I don't think the issue is the time I go to bed either - I'm usually in bed by 11:00 PM.

I guess it's just going to be something I force myself to do!

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So after a pretty good day I had a rather unproductive evening. My exhaustion tonight probably had a lot to do with my lack of motivation to do anything. There's also that I am getting tired of just reading and watching stuff. I want to actually do something! How did video games ever trick us into thinking that we were actually doing anything at all? We were just sitting there pressing buttons.

I'm going to have to go through the 60 hobby list and just pick something to do. Or maybe figure something else out. Just anything to get myself moving.

Having a business idea to work on would probably also work, but I am short on those. :(

EDIT: I applied to volunteer at CityKidz and Bruce Trails. Hopefully it works out!

Edited by jaylajkosz

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