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seriousjay

Jay's Epic Journey

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OK so I better put this here.

The last couple of days haven't been so good. Didn't get anything done.

Without being able to use gaming as a crutch, the two biggest things I feel like I'm missing right now are activities to do that don't feel like chores, and some friends to hang out with. I should probably put a priority on handling those two things.

Right now I'm taking a look at how different instruments sound to see if something resonates with me. So far I'm really loving the flute, so I may look into that more.

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The flute sounds like a good idea! Not only will learning an instrument be engaging and allow you to experience fast progress, a small instrument like a flute could also help to get to know more people if you got involved in your local community or went busking. That's my take on it, not backed up by fact other than I found learning an instrument engaging.

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Hey guys, just trying to get back into this thing, here are a few things I want to be doing during the week:

- go over my 5 year plan on a daily basis
- set smart goals for the near future
- watch Alex's game addiction video

I'll be looking to check in every day to update my progress.

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OK so I just want it to be known that on Jan. 1st, I will be attempting to quit video games once again. I have come to realize that as long as video games are a part of my life in any capacity, I won't be able to live the life I want to live.

So this means a complete and utter quitting of video games in every capacity possible. No talking about games, thinking about games, interacting with games in any capacity, including youtube videos, game forums, etc.

Basically it's a complete and utter purge of video games from my life.

At some point I'm going to continue with daily journal entries but it'll be after that.. I don't necessarily have a plan in place right now for how to proceed, but at this time, as long as video games are a distraction for me I just don't think I'll be able to come up with something that works. Purge first, plan later. Maybe this doesn't make any sense, but this is what I've decided is the best course of action for me.

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OK Alex said it would be a great idea to continue journaling and I 100% agree, so here goes.

This is probably.. week 2 or 3 or something of quitting video games. I'm not even keeping track anymore because I do not believe it is video games that I am/was addicted to. While a powerful medium for escape, I think the real thing that I am addicted to is trapping myself in spectacular fantasies that I am a central character in. The same effect occurs whether it's video games I am playing or whether it's simply watching a TV show that I get emotionally invested in, like Naruto, or, more recently, Star Trek: Voyager. When I latch on to something like this, my mind starts to drift off to altered versions of said medium where I am a significant part of it. It makes me feel good because even though I know it is not real, the human brain cannot tell the difference between what's real and what isn't and so I get extremely emotionally invested in these fantasies and it is very hard to break out.

This describes what I experience 100%: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasy_prone_personality

The cause of this whole mess is pretty obvious: I am 30 years old and am barely ahead of where I was when I was 10. Not even really exaggerating that much. Same job, same relationship state, still living at home, still no real life friends that I have a strong connection with. The only difference is I have an education, and I am physically older. I suppose the most important difference is that I am now very much aware of what's going on in my mind and I am actively resisting against it.

The solution is to go out and start re-integrating with real life, start making meaningful connections and start doing things I can take pride in. That's the part where I am stuck. And I know that if I continue to do nothing, I will eventually go back to being a slave to fantasy.

I realize that it won't be easy, and it won't really be that exciting. And it won't be fast. There are no shortcuts when it comes to personal development. But I know it's something I have to get started on and commit to 100%. It's something I have to decide to do and just do it, because I know I'll never really "want" to do it. Every day that goes by, the pull to go back to my previous ways gets stronger, so I know something has to be done very soon.

Well that's where I'm at right now.

EDIT: Well after writing this down I thought to myself, well it's already kind of late so not much point in starting anything productive, but I realized I'm probably going to end up staying up for a little while longer, so why NOT do something productive?

So I ended up working on some of the self development material I have and feel pretty good about that decision now. The key for me I find is to carry that momentum forward and not allow anything to kill it.

Edited by jaylajkosz

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Alright, last week or so was spent binge gaming on Starbound. Before I started that I was feeling heavy, heavy nostalgia for several days before I finally caved. What I've come to accept is that this feeling of nostalgia and the overwhelming desire to go back to playing video games is a barrier that is always going to stand in the way of me moving on, and if I truly want to change, I'm simply going to have to overcome it. There's no real way around that fact. And it's probably going to happen again too.

It's really the same way I feel about fast food as well. Ultimately to stop eating fast food, I just have to say no every time the desire comes up to indulge in that. There's just no way around it. The desire is always going to hit me at some point and the difference between success and failure is saying no to that desire.

Ultimately willpower, self control and all that stuff only goes so far in helping to overcome these things. I think the most important thing when it comes to this is having a strong principle to hang on to as you get bombarded by such desires. Something that is so important to you that you can no longer afford to give in to your desires because losing those principles is unbearable. For me that's just recognizing that these things I've been doing are no longer viable with respect to building a life I can be proud of.

Anyways, today I started to take some more concrete steps towards that goal:

- Created a daily to do list that included some short and medium term goals. Previously I wracked my brain trying to populate such a list as much as I could but I've slowly started to appreciate that these things just can't be rushed. Do what you know to do, what you know will lead you in the right direction and trust that everything else will fall into place as long as you keep doing it.

- Went through chapter 1 of Respawn again. Even though I've been through it a few times, there's still some new insights to be had, as well as the reinforcement of things I already knew.

Two that stood out for me:

Whether this is your first “attempt” to quit or any other number, it doesn’t matter what’s happened in the past, only what you do now, in this moment, and the action you take to succeed.

The thing that matters most is what I do from here. The past is only relevant in terms of what I can learn from it

Remember, you’re going through a big change in your life and you’re stepping into the unknown, be patient and kind to yourself. Go at your own pace. Trust the process and have faith. Some days may be easier than others, but keep working at it and you will get there, I promise.

Up to this point, every time I've tried to quit, I've been so focused on what I need to do better that I failed to stop and realize that this isn't something that can be rushed. At first, it's probably going to be slow and I won't be able to figure everything out right away. It goes back to what I mentioned a bit earlier - do what you know is right and everything else should fall into place.

To that point, being kind and patient with myself is something I haven't been very good at at all and I'm going to change that. Again.. this process can't be rushed.

Anyways, those are my thoughts for the day. I'm going back to daily journaling. I think it's a really important aspect that Alex has tried to reinforce for me but I've been neglecting for far too long.

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This is my post for yesterday.

A few of the daily tasks I've committed to and the reasons I do them:

- At least 10 minutes of meditation every day. I have a very active imagination and mind and I am meditating in order to reign it in. I actually think my imagination can become a huge strength for me but I'd like to be able to control it instead of getting swept up in it.

- I've created something of a manifesto for my life, as follows:

I, <my name>, hereby commit to taking back control of my life from the forces of self-destruction that seek to undermine my success. I will no longer allow video games, made up fantasies, fast food and pornography to control the direction of my life. I recognize that these things comprise a significant portion of my existence but they no longer serve any viable purpose. I will now start with a clean slate. I choose to use this opportunity to repurpose myself and build a life I can be proud of.

I repeat these words to myself, out loud, every single day. The purpose is to reinforce and remind myself why I am doing what I am doing. This really helps to ground me and help me resist temptations that come up throughout the day.

- I've bought into the Earn1K program offered by Ramit Sethi and with it comes a "Top Performer's Agreement" which is essentially a bunch of commitments to being a top performer. This is mainly about completing the Earn1K course which is a course to help you make some money on the side. I repeat these commitments out loud every single day for the same reasons I repeat my life manifesto.

- I didn't do it today but I also watch a short motivational video every day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26U_seo0a1g&list=PLvHL2NM0-JkJfoKsHw3UkN1MUkDRtbceL&index=7. This video specifically hits on a great deal of points that I feel are quite important to me at this time. The reason I watch it essentially is to fire me up every day.

- I read and made notes on two of the e-mails I get from this positivity blog: http://www.positivityblog.com/ I do this in order to help improve my self esteem, as I feel that is one of my major weaknesses at this time. I will be doing two a day until I catch up (nearly 50 of them to catch up on). Then I will be doing them as I get them. The notes will also serve as something great to review every once in a while. Not really sure how I'll go about that, however.

There are a bunch of other things I'd like to start doing on a daily basis as well, but unlike previous times, I'm not going to be hard on myself, at least not at first, if I don't get on with them quickly, or even if I miss some of the daily things I've already committed to. Until the foundation I'm laying for my road to success is very solid, I'm going to remain as kind and compassionate to myself as I can possibly be. I feel as if this will also help my self-esteem a lot.

Obviously I'm going to need to ramp it up at some point but for now I'm cool with this. As long as I make even small, incremental steps towards success every single day, then it's a positive day. This process cannot be rushed. There is no short cut to the end. I've accepted where I'm at and I'm taking responsibility for what I need to do to get to where I want to be.

One last thing I want to mention, and this is largely for myself:

I've had times during relapse periods where I wondered how I ever was able to quit games, etc. for any period of time. At that time, it just seemed so preposterous that I could ever be that way. However, I know I can do it, but more importantly, and this is something Alex pointed out to me, I do enjoy life without them and the fantasies. I am putting this here as a reminder to myself in case things ever get to a low point again.

Edited by jaylajkosz

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Post for yesterday. Not much to say, I didn't do a whole lot. I spent a great deal of the day doing research for this hockey all time draft I'm participating in, but I did manage to get most of my daily tasks completed.

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OK.. post for today.

I managed to fall asleep around 4 AM last night, and woke up at 9 AM with a major headache coming on. I felt like doing absolutely nothing, not even getting out of bed. But I remembered from the positivity blog about what to do if you ever felt that way. Think of some positive memories, and ask yourself what you can be grateful for and what small step can you take right now to get yourself going in the right direction. I did that and managed to make a pretty good day out of one that started quite awfully. I feel like this was a major win for me. Nothing really special in a vacuum but considering where I'm at.. well, this was one of those days that would usually have seen me caving in to several temptations just to make me feel better about myself. So yeah.. big win.

With that, I managed to finish just about all the daily tasks I set out for myself and added a few new ones.

It's a little messy but it looks like this right now:

morning:
- meditate 10 minutes
- watch inspiration video
- read top performer agreement out loud
- read commitment to change out loud
- go through at least 2 positivity emails per day until caught up (and make notes)

for tomorrow: figure out all the things I'm being guilty about and list the reasons why <- relates to success triggers course

afternoon:
- daily walk (at least 10-20 minutes)

weekly:
- do one chapter of success triggers and apply it
- do one week's worth of self esteem course and apply it

I also read chapter 3 of Respawn. Not going to lie, reading it through brought up some gaming nostalgia but I want to complete the guide fully, which I actually haven't done yet.

One fun exercise I did last night was listing a number of strengths and weaknesses in various areas of my life, and then being challenged to reword the weaknesses using more balanced language. It's interesting because I think if we are to think of anything negative about ourselves, we tend to think of them in as damning a way as possible. It was a bit of a challenge thinking of ways to "sugar coat" those weaknesses and put them in a kinder way, but I think it's a very good way of modifying how we usually think of the attributes of ourselves we aren't so proud of.

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Alright well, today I got basically nothing done. When I attempted my meditation, I was horribly distracted the whole time. I knew days like this were going to happen, where powerful cravings and urges would pop up and I'm sad to say I gave in to one of them. Afterwards instead of being extremely hard on myself like I normally might have been, I just decided I'll take the rest of the day off. Just for now, I think it was the right call, but I'll expect to get back to it tomorrow.

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I realize I haven't posted here in a while but I have some huge news.

In a matter of weeks I will be moving out of my mom's house into an apartment. My dad proposed I move in with my 12 year old sister and look after her while she goes to school here, so that's what's going to happen. I'm a little bit apprehensive about this, but there's not ever going to be a better time to make such a huge change in my life. I'm going to receive all the support I could possibly want or need, so there's no logical reason not to do this. I just have to overcome my anxiety about it and that's that.

More importantly, if I don't do this now, when will I ever do this? The timing will never be just right. Opportunity doesn't care if the time is right for you, when it shows up, you just have to decide whether to take it or not, and figure out how to do it later. So that's going to be my approach here.

I realize that taking on the responsibility of a young child is a huge deal, but my dad insists that it won't be a problem as my sister is already quite independent. I suppose this will also be an opportunity for me to explore life with a teenager around.

Looking forward to good things here!

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