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Daily Journal - Miguel


Miguel
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Yep, day one!

 

Let's start with the letter:

 

I was blindly living my life, which made me very unhappy. There were days that the calls to get up and go to work were nothing compared to the urge to play or watch series. I was feeling like everyone around me were evolving, were progressing in life, but me. I felt stuck in life, living in a eternal pause while everything and everyone else was on fast forward. You might be thinking, it sounds like a victim's talk, and you might be right, but that doesn't change the way I was feeling

 

The thing is, I had a lot of pressure, but I was poorly able to respond to it. I was supposed to be happy, but I wasn't. In the eyes of my friends and family back home, I was very successful. I managed to finish the university and I came to Germany to do a PhD. Sometimes it was very painful to me to know that at the same time that  back home they were thinking I was progressing, in reality I was here struggling with all the compulsions I have, video games being one of them. 

 

I was unhappy with my life, in all aspects. For the social side, I am really bad in socializing, and every time I tried to socialize in the last two years I felt I was not able to and in the end it only gave me more motivations to play. From the work side, I am currently working in science, but it was never planned. Actually I never had a plan, by the time I had to do a move, I would always go where I saw an open door. And perhaps it was the fact that I did not have a plan that exacerbated the feeling that I wasn't moving forward. To be honest, today I question my self if I really want to continue doing what I am doing right now, something that I need work on to figure it out.

It’s important to me to move from games because I think it was both, the cause and the consequence of the way I was feeling. It was a safe place to scape from all the bad feelings I had in life. I just needed to turn on the video game in order to turn off life. But turning off life only made me feel more stuck and more incapable. I had many ideas of things to do or to try, but it was easier to play than to take action on any of this. Reading Cam’s articles and videos made me realize that I could in fact use my free time in an more productive way and put energy towards something that I like and that make me feel good and proud of myself. It gave me the light on the end of the tunnel that I needed. Now I believe I can live a better, more conscious, more fulfilling life, and that is why I want to make this change.

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Day 1 - part 2

 

 

The way people perceive you:

 

That is a quite hard question. I think how people perceive me depends on to who you are asking. Points of view change between people, and as a result the way they perceive you will also change. I have the impression you might have opposite answers if you ask to two different people.  But in general, at least back home, the feedback that I have is that they probably perceive me as a hard work guy, brave, creative and intelligent. They will also perceive as a sociable guy, which knows many people. Here, I think some also thinks the same. But I think others perceive me as unreliable, maybe superficial, socially incapable and very closed guy. I also think some also see me as a soft guy who will bend to stronger forces.

 

The way I want to be perceived by others:

 

First, I have to say that at the same time I like that some people perceive me as a hard working, brave, intelligent guy, it also makes a lot of pressure. I have a feeling that I am not keeping to that and this leads me to struggle.

I would like to be perceived as a  friendly guy, a guy that has good social skills, an engaged guy, a curious guy, a knowledgeable guy, a guy that has a dream and works towards it.

 

 

Three behaviors I would like to change:

 

1 - I think the top behavior I would like to change is to live a more conscious life. I want to be more aware of what is happening now and also to be more able to respond to it. I want to be present in the moment I am living and not to be dragged by thoughts to somewhere else. I want my actions to be more a result of a conscious choice. 

 

2 - I want to have a better self-knowledge. I think that having a good self knowledge helps one to know where one wants to go and what one needs to improve in order to get there. This is exactly what I need right now.

 

3 - I want to live a more risky life. Put in an other way, I want to live a life where I am not afraid of getting out of my comfort zone.

Edited by Miguel
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Day 2 -

 

My goals:

 

 

1 - To improve my German

 

 

2 - To improve my cooking skills

 

 

3 - To learn how to work with digital content

 

 

Possible projects:

 

 

1 - To create a blog or a youtube channel where I would teach the basics of German through my perspective. Other possibility is to be a volunteer in a German organization, so I would be helping people and in addition I would be improving my German.

 

 

2 - I could select one or two special recipes to cook every week and then I would photograph the final result and publish it on social media. Actually I I could even combine this one with the first one by choosing only recipes in German. 

 

3 - I would create and design a calendar based on the photos that I took through the year. I could then use it as a souvenir for relatives. 

 

 

I chose the project number 3 to work on over the next 30 days. I had this idea since the beginning of the year, and I think this is the perfect opportunity to act on it. What will I need to do in order to complete this project?

 

1 - I have to chose the pictures I want to use from the ones I have (More than three thousand)

2 - To learn how to do photo editing

3 - To edit the photos that need editing

4 - To design the calendar

5 - To print it

 

The main milestone is to have the concept done until beginning of December so I can print before I go for holidays.

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Hey Miguel, welcome to the forum. I think your story will certainly resonate with many of the people here.

I just needed to turn on the video game in order to turn off life.

In particular, this struck me as kind of profound. It is very true. And conversely we can only live life fully again by turning off video games. You seem like you're motivated and off to a quick start. I wish you all the best!

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Hi Travis!

Thanks for the message! It is nice to be part of this supportive community where everyone have the same goal, to grow together!

Hey Miguel, welcome to the forum. I think your story will certainly resonate with many of the people here.

I just needed to turn on the video game in order to turn off life.

In particular, this struck me as kind of profound. It is very true. And conversely we can only live life fully again by turning off video games. You seem like you're motivated and off to a quick start. I wish you all the best!

 

In my case it took me sometime to realize that I was not fully living my life . Even after I figured it out, I still could not make the move. I even thought this problem could not be solved. The game quitters gave me the motivation I needed to pursue the change. It is nice to have your support!

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Bonus - the impossible list:

 

Fitness -

 

1 - Run a half marathon

 

Travel -

 

2 - Travel to japan during spring - cherry blossoming

 

2 - Visit St. Petersburg during the white nights

 

3 - Back packing in Scotland

 

4 - Live 3 months during summer in the Alpes

 

5 - Make a one week cruise in Greece or in Scandinavia

 

6 - See the Northern lights

 

7 - Go whale watching

 

Creative work -

 

8 - Write a fantasy book

 

9 - Start a blog

 

10 - Learn how to play violin

 

Adrenaline -

 

11 - Paragliding over the Sugar Loaf in Rio de Janeiro

 

Skills -

 

12 - Learn a programming language (python)

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In my case it took sometime, to realize that I was not fully living my life . Even after I figured it out, I still could not make the move. I even thought this problem could not be solved. The game quitters game the motivation I needed to pursue the change. It is nice to have your support!

Yeah, that's a good point... I think I'm just now realizing how much I'm not living a full life. I guess I always looked at myself and wondered why I was unhappy. It was easy to think that I had some unresolved psychological issues or something, or that the answers were something I had to figure out inside myself. But it's becoming increasingly clear to me that I just had an empty life in a lot of ways. I'm only beginning to grasp how much bigger and more full and exciting life can be, after 50+ days of quitting.

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 Yeah, that's a good point... I think I'm just now realizing how much I'm not living a full life. I guess I always looked at myself and wondered why I was unhappy. It was easy to think that I had some unresolved psychological issues or something, or that the answers were something I had to figure out inside myself. But it's becoming increasingly clear to me that I just had an empty life in a lot of ways. I'm only beginning to grasp how much bigger and more full and exciting life can be, after 50+ days of quitting.

 

That totally resonates with me. I often also thought I had some unresolved psychological issue, a problem that the therapists could not find but I was sure I had it. I needed a name to my problems. But  even if I really had something, just the name would not solve anything. It would only give me a excuse to justify my situation. What I really needed wasn't a name, it was action. Can see now that changes don't happen without effort!

It is nice to see that in the end you managed to figure out the name of your problem, that is unfulfilling life. But it is even nicer that you are taking action! Congrats on your 50+ days of quitting! Keep strong! ;)

 

 

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Day three -

 

I have to say that I liked all the challenges so far, although I am just starting. Really curious to see how it will play out. But let take one day at a time and here I am, third day of the challenge.

First I want to say that I really like the idea of reading books. Books can help us to think and grow. I somehow always knew how powerful a book can be. I even remember promoting the act of reading to my friends. The funny thing is, I promoted it but didn't manage to do it myself. Do as I say, not as I do ;) . I have read one book here, another book there, but never managed to really create the habit of reading. For example, this year I think I finished one book or so. Actually I did started a lot of books this year but never manage to finish them. I start one, read for one week, stop for one month and then start reading something else. In the end I am only jumping from one to the other but in the end I actually don't read any of them. And if I think that I could have been doing it for years now make me a bit sad, even more when I realize I am over 30 now. Well, I can’t change that. But I do want to try to create this habit. Who knows, maybe my 60 years old self will thanks me for that ;) 

 

About the slight edge, I just finished the first chapter. To be honest I am still a lit bit skeptic of it. Coming from a science background, I always doubt what seems too good to be true. But I am curious to see what the book has to offer. I will keep you updated on that one.

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I'm curious - what are you skeptical about from the slight edge? I have a science background as well (educationally at least) but the slight edge still appealed to me. I think I can see where you're coming from though - I think that the slight edge and other books require a bit of an intuitive leap from the reader to really be able to grasp it. It's something that can't be laid out clearly and rigorously in a way that is irrefutable. I think in general I've found that in personal development a strict scientific mindset can actually hinder you in some ways. I love advocating for science in general, but I think if you use rationality as a shield to prevent yourself from trying things that 'don't make sense', you'll actually do yourself a disservice. Many of the benefits I've gained in my life from a personal development standpoint require that you put in the work and gain experience before you can understand subjectively why they work.

If your main issue is that it seems too good to be true, I guess I would say that it is good - but it also takes a lot of work. It's not a silver bullet that is promising to cure fix your life instantly. It's just a system for creating changes in your life - but it still takes effort. :)

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I have to say that I liked all the challenges so far, although I am just starting. Really curious to see how it will play out. But let take one day at a time and here I am, third day of the challenge.

Happy to hear that! :)

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Hi Travis,

Just want to say that I posted my first opinion about the slight edge only based on the first chapter. Under this term, what I posted was basically all based in impressions, only that. Not very scientific on my side to be honest. ;) The thing is, the first chapter was too abstract to my taste and I was having a hard time grasping it. And things didn't get better when he started talking about philosophy adding a further layer of subjectivity to the mix. I was definitely missing some objectivity.

I just finished chapter three and now things are starting to make sense as he begins to actually explain the main idea behind slight edge, that is the compound effect. A simple but useful idea. An idea that, as you said, is not about magic, is about work, consistent work! Hopefully he will give more objective details in the further chapters. One way or another, I will make sure I keep reading it! ;)

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Day 4 -

 

Creating a morning success routine.

 

I couldn't agree more with the topic of today’s challenge. I do believe the morning is the key to your day, and I was able to see it for my self in the last 62 days since I quite gaming. When I quite I decided I want to arrive always on time at work. Besides that, I also wanted to include a routine. Since June I was trying to fit meditation in my day life. But I was not taking it seriously, some days I would manage to do it, others not. Even though I was doing it not in a regular basis I was able to see the effect it had on me. So at the same time I committed myself to stop playing I also committed my self to meditate one hour daily. Since then I wake up every day at 6.30 and do an one hour long meditation session. Since I have added it to my routine I am more motivated and I have seen improvements in my focus and even in my self control. It is probably the main reason I have been able to stay clean for all those 62 days. I can’t recommend it enough. It’s definitely worth a trying.

To complete my morning routine, for the last four days, I have added half an hour of reading, so I would be able to read the challenge every day early morning. To be able to do it I wake up half an hour earlier, at 6.00, meditate for one hour and then read for half an hour. After that I have my breakfast and take a shower, which then complete my Morning Success Routine.

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Day five - basic skills done - ready to dive in!

The two concepts presented today are not new to me. Not that I have used them, but I have read or seen something about it. I remember reading about visualization in Charles Duhigg's book, The power of habit, and I was pretty much surprised about it as he explained how Phelps used it in his training routine. On the other hand, the gratitude journal I saw in a youtube video from a friend of mine. Both very interesting concepts to add to a solid base, which we developed in the last five days. I am starting to see that the philosophy of the challenge was built on the slight edge. Every day we grow a bit, and by the end of the 30 days our pennies will be many!! 

I started my vision board, but did not finished it yet. I will post it here once I do!

Edited by Miguel
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Day 6 - Courage,

 

 

I want to start by making a comment. When I was reading the bonus texts from today’s mission I found a sentence that made me think - If you don't ask, the answer is always no. It made me think because I don't like asking and I avoid doing it as much as possible. That is my way of dealing with rejection, and I have been doing that why for as long as I can remember. But avoiding it did not make me feel any better. And actually it can’t make me feel better. That is exactly what I realized while reading the sentence I mentioned above. If I don't ask because I am afraid to get a no as an answer, that is exactly the only answer I can get, nothing else. On the other hand, to get a yes, one has to take the risk. It is like a two sided coin. If you throw it you can either get head or tail. But if you don't throw it, you are stuck with one side from the beginning. 

 

 

Talking about risks, the mission today was not easy. I spent 1-2 minutes in front o the coffee shop hesitating. I checked the coffee options, made my mind and entered. The barista was friendly, which made the process a bit easier. However, I got uncomfortable when he said the price of the coffee - 1.50 EUR, which was quite cheap because it was „to go“. I was committed to the mission, so I ended up asking for the discount anyway. At first he couldn't understand, then he wanted to charge me 2.00 EUR. Instead of a discount of 10% I was managing to get an increase of more than 30%. :o I told him, I didn't  wanna pay 2.00 EUR, I wanted to pay 1.35 EUR instead. He said he couldn't do that and explained to me that the coffee was already cheap. Seeing that there was no room for negotiation, I payed the 1.50 bill and got out of the shop unable to believe I was able to do it, but I did! :) 

 




 

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Remember, it's just a "fun" way to experience rejection to help you realize that it isn't as bad as you thought. Only our thinking makes it so.

 Thanks for the advise Cam! I am keeping that in mind! 




 

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Day 7 - Courage!

 

 

 

 

Today I stayed at home most of the time, but I did managed to have a productive day. I had my morning routine followed by reading, cleaning, cooking. After that it was time to get out of the house to complete today's mission. The challenge today is a cool idea, but man, I needed a lot of will power to go to the action! I printed the sings and decided to try my luck around my neighborhood. I did not see that much people on the streets, and even when I saw someone I was not sure if that one should be the first. Finally I saw a girl coming my way and I decided to go to her. It was funny because when I started talking with her I realized that the girl behind all the jackets, scarfs and bonnet was not strange to me, it was someone I knew. Due to this fact, I could not ask her, otherwise it would be cheating… ;)  I thanked her and kept waiting to see if anyone else would come, but the streets were deserted. 

 

In that way, I decided to move to the city center because I was sure I would be able to find someone there. I started on the main street but that was a bad decision. There were too many people there, and with all that stimulus I was not able to stop anyone, it was too much to take action. I moved to another place nearby, one that was much calmer but not deserted. The first approach was the hardest. You always need more energy, willpower so to say, to break the inertia. I stopped someone on the street, tried German, tried English, but nothing worked. I said thanks and moved on. After this one, I approached two more, but both of them rejected my request. Finally I approached a guy that was just having a hamburger on the way. I was expecting a no but surprisingly I got a yes. Picture is below!

 

P.S. You can notice how nervous I was just by looking on the sign, if you can see it anyway… ;)

 




 

12246847_978174675580727_7560951604462760503_n.jpg

Edited by Miguel
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Hi guys,

 

today it was supposed to be the 8th day, but I failed to complete the challenge. Now that I got home I was even ashamed to share it, but seeing a TED talk from Brené Brown, the one about shame, changed my mind so I want to tell you guys what happened, why I think I didn't manage to complete the challenge and what are my plans for tomorrow.

When reading today’s challenge in the morning I was excited, I pretty much liked the idea. I was even more excited when seen Brené’s talk about vulnerability. So I went to work with that in mind. All that I needed to do was to find a girl, find something I liked on her, go there and tell her that. It sounds simple but in my mind it was too complicated and then I couldn't stop thinking about it and every time I thought about it I felt anxious. I was freaking out.

 

One reason for that it might be I am a bit rusty. I haven't approached a girl for sometime and to be honest, for a long time I was not feeling attracted to anyone. I know it sounds strange but I was just not in the mood. It is getting better but not to the point that I approach someone. The other reason is that I do avoid being vulnerable. I do avoid telling people what is happening with me, or what I am feeling. The idea of opening myself was overwhelming. 

 

So I ended up being anxious all day long and did not manage to do what I was supposed to do. But I wont give up, I will try this one again tomorrow. I just need to calm myself and realize that in the end is not a big deal. I do want to get it done. I will try it out tomorrow again.  

 

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