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

seriousjay

Jay's Epic Journey

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I think I'm actually gonna start using this as a gratitude journal, starting today. Seems like a good habit to build. I'll list 3 random things I'm grateful for each day.

- my job
- health care
- mindfulness

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It didn't really hit home for me just how much I need to create my own momentum for myself until today.

Gratitude journal:

- awareness, I can't imagine how many people go through a life of misery not even realizing just how much control they have over their lives
- meditation, it's hard to pinpoint exactly where the benefits of it have manifested in my life but I definitely feel it has helped a lot
- spring time!

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So I installed Galactic Civilizations 3 today and started playing it, but I quickly realized that whatever reasonable motives I had for doing so were quickly superseded by the realization that it was just not worth potentially ending up back where I was. So, I uninstalled and requested a refund. Too bad. I think video games would make excellent research material for the things I'd want to write about, the potential cost is just not worth it though.

If I had to be honest though, I did have another motive that wasn't entirely productive. With me removing Netflix from my life due to it consuming too much of my time, I realized I just don't have any hobbies to fall back on that are truly relaxing for me. Just something to unwind with. Guess I'll need to keep looking.

Edited by seriousjay

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1 minute ago, Molter said:

Hi, 

Thanks for sharing your journal for so long, is really good see someone from quite some time here.

 

No problem. Hope it was of help to you!

Gratitude journal:

- my self control

To be honest I find it really hard to find 3 things to be grateful for every day.. lol. Is that bad?

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Bad? No. But combined with boredom from free time not spent on doing anything, you're maybe walking on the line of relapse? Change things up!

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2 hours ago, fawn_xoxo said:

Bad? No. But combined with boredom from free time not spent on doing anything, you're maybe walking on the line of relapse? Change things up!

As far as the gratitude stuff, even the things I've listed so far don't exactly make me jump for joy. In fact, nothing really makes me super excited or anything like that. I know I have a lot to be grateful for, it just doesn't register that way for me. I guess I just don't know how to be grateful, or happy even.

I think you misunderstand about the free time stuff. I wouldn't say I'm necessarily bored. Between maintaining the house, work, my little siblings, my friends, and my personal stuff, I don't really have much free time. I've just been cutting out some of the things, like Netflix, that have felt completely like a waste of time, and have on occasion even affected my life negatively. The next thing to go will be Yahoo fantasy sports.

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So I think it's finally sunk in for me that I need to start taking life less seriously. Let's see how that goes!

OK, gratitude journal. Is it wrong to list the same things again and again?

- my sister
- meditation
- working out

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I think you should focus on not forcing this feeling. If nothing comes up to your head, no matter. If you don't want to repeat yourself, perhaps you could look at your previous posts and see if there's anything you're grateful for in those, but it's up to you. But if you don't mind listing same things multiple times, who am I to tell you to do otherwise.

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Hey Jay, after reading your post on gratitude and finding things to be grateful for I wanted to share a few tips which really help me if your looking to get more of an emotional response out of being grateful. First is to understand, hedonistic adaptation, which is the idea that we as humans become adapt to what we have in our life, good or bad, maybe you get a new a car! Whoo! Hurrah! A 2 years later, this car which was once the focus of your attention for months, probably doesn't give you same emotional reward as it once did. 

To counter this normal human pheromone, the Roman Stoics would practice Negative Visualization, essentially take a brief second of out of your day to envision losing something that you really care about, I have a younger brother and often, I feel have adapted to this idea, thinking that hes gonna be young and stick around forever, so when I want to balance myself, I imagine what it would be like if something happened to him and he was no longer in my life, not to make myself depressed or sad, but help me really appreciate all the beautiful things he brings into my life, and recognize that everything I need to be grateful for is right in front of me.  I think this is super powerful technique which really charges up my gratitude for anything I focus on almost instantly, and it can be applied to everything, the other day, I found myself extremely grateful for having hands, and taste buds, imagine never being able to hold the hands of the people you love, or to make your favorite dish, never being able to create art and so on...  I think in this way we realize we can be grateful for anything and everything in our lives, thank you air, thank you water, thank you deodorant, and doesn't have to be a challenge but a daily process of appreciation and reflection! 

If you try it out do let me know how it goes! Happy Gratituding!

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Thanks for the posts guys! I'm working through some stuff right now and am hoping for some input.

What is an effective way to distract yourself from coffee? I'm having a hard time even figuring out the cue that causes me to desire coffee. There's definitely a time of day element - I have been getting a coffee at the same time every day during work, so it's become a habit. However, I'll often get coffee cravings just while driving around, regardless of time of day, and end up getting said coffee. I'm trying to frame this out in a habit loop, cue, routine, reward. The routine and reward are obvious. I guess I'm just trying to figure out what kind of routine I can replace my current one with to get the same reward in a healthier way, that reward being the same sweet taste I guess.

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OK, so for the last couple of weeks, I've been video gaming off and on (mostly on the last week or so). This happened partly because I allowed it to happen after a particular board game session a few weeks back, but the worst of it was due to me completely panicking over how bad I perceived my writing to be. I allowed myself to be overwhelmed by a lot of negativity, thoughts such as "There's no way other successful writers started as bad as me", "It's going to take so long to get to where I want to be with this", "Am I ever going to be good enough?" and "I have good high level ideas but I'll never get good at making my stories flow through those ideas". I pretty much had a mental breakdown over this and retreated to about the only thing that I knew I was good at.

Today I made the decision to allow myself to suck for 30 days, and I'm going to try different outlets to express and expand my creativity, such as re-writing song lyrics.. and I'm going to do all of that with my editing filter OFF. I won't criticize my work, I won't make attempts to scrutinize it excessively. I'll just do what I do and allow it to be good enough for now.

Additionally, I'm going to make a much more concerted effort to do something about this inner critic I've got. I've still got what seems to be a deeply rooted victim mentality, and this idea that I'm not good enough and I'll never be good enough. Whenever the inner critic decides to rear its head, I'm going to flip the script by consciously re-phrasing what he's saying. I know there is some truth to my inner critic's words, but I'm going to re-frame those ideas in a much more positive and compassionate way. "I'm not good enough and I'll never be good enough" will turn into "I'm not good enough right now, but someday I absolutely will be".

Third, I'm going to take visualization practice much more seriously. I will make it part of my morning routine.

Finally, I've been reading more about practicing gratitude and I've come to the conclusion that gratitude is more about intention and action than feeling something specific. Even on days when we feel shitty and like nothing is going right, it's still possible to practice gratitude. I'm also going to make it a lot simpler for myself to think of something by thinking of something that happened on each specific day to be grateful for.

So, for today:

- giving myself permission to suck for 30 days!
- waking up in the morning
- American Idol/X-Factor videos

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OK I forgot to make a post yesterday for my gratitude journal so here it is:

- Hit snooze instead of turning my alarm clock off. I almost always just turn it off and end up getting back in bed.
- I had a pretty good writing session for my novel.
- Went to the gym despite feeling pretty damn tired.

Today:

- I turned off my alarm clock instead of hitting snooze, but I still managed to get most of my morning routine in despite sleeping in for over an hour.
- Got my how to write sci-fi/fantasy books! Started reading one of them.
- Spent the night just watching a hockey game. It was a nice, relaxing change, even though my team lost.

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- Got up mostly on time today!
- Didn't allow some unexpected circumstances at work to get me down.
- Managed to get out to the gym on my own for the first time in over a week.

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- It wasn't much of an urge but I nevertheless fought off getting a second coffee today.
- Giving my employees a day off tomorrow felt strangely satisfying. Probably has to do with the fact that it's going to get very busy soon.. lol.
- Took Damian to his volleyball game. I'm not really one to go crazy with cheering but it was a great time.

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OK after a few days off..

- Even though I got upset at my dad over something stupid at work today, I got over it rather quickly and thanked him for his helping me earlier in the day. That felt pretty good.
- Did amazing on my calorie budget today.
- Planning something to do with my friends on Sunday!

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- I had a surprisingly good time dealing with government employees today. I was expecting something much different, so that was good.
- Greek yogurt!
- Kicked ass at the gym today.

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- Got a LOT of paperwork stuff done today at work!
- Finally figured out the employee situation at work! I think we'll be good.
- Got my deadlifts and squats both up over 300 pounds for 5 reps this week.

Edited by seriousjay
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