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DaBest

DaBest's Journey For Self-Discipline

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Awesome to hear Brené Brown's work has resonated with you. It's been a game-changer for me. Listen to her podcast on the Tim Ferriss Show, you'll love it.

Yessir it has. After this past Summer of Shame, I don't know how I couldn't haha. I love podcasts so I will be really looking forward to that one--I'll give it a listen tonight or tomorrow. 

I agree with Cam that her Tim Ferriss podcast is excellent.  I read Daring Greatly and loved it.  Her other two books are on my list.  She really reinforced the idea that being a badass is tough, but worth it.  You'll be knocked down, beat up, and ridiculed.  The thing is that you'll be alive and life will be a great adventure.  That's what I want for myself.  I'd rather aim for greatness and have an adventure trying to get there than just sit on the sidelines and snicker at those who are actually living.

Then it looks like I'll be reading Daring Greatly in the near future then! I agree with you, I too would love to be an all-round badass. I realize though right now I have lacked the discipline, vision, and drive to follow through with anything that would go to further me to these goals, which I have had for a while. I messed up, but I know I can fix it. I just have to accept my past as part of the adventure. I hope that in the future, I can be grateful for this period for realizing what it REALLY takes to be great.

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Day 12 

Skipped yesterday because Christmas Eve, but tonight I have a bit of time to knock out an update.

I love love love love my book habit combined with my news window habit. Today I was on from 9:07-10:04, and while that broke the window by four minutes on the backend, that is SO MUCH BETTER THAN USUAL!!! It's stuff like that which will keep me on information binges that can last all day or keep me up late, and subsequently make me feel like crap for doing so. Getting rid of that will be one less hurdle in my days. Though it's not been the easiest, I caught myself punching news.google.com into my phone a couple of times earlier, and once I pulled it up and I instantly went "OH SHIT!" and turned it off; crisis averted. Discip-WIN! [Note: I don't consider writing this post at the after my 10 PM Internet window an abuse, as I could easily do so in my paper journal and I get great value from writing these posts and being around people who want to better themselves. I have few such in-person allies. So thank you!]

I did overdo screentime yesterday though, but it wasn't a horrible day, I scored a 5, which for a day off isn't bad at all. Today will likely be a 2 (for breaking my Internet curfew + 1 bonus abuse for the first one of the day. I do think I need to put restrictions on Game Quitters though so I don't use it as a consistent excuse to go past it. Maybe limit that to 11 PM?). 

In addition, I'm getting better with my vision habit. I don't always catch my triggers, but I'm doing so with more frequency, and that also means I'm thinking about it more outside of it. Even before I started writing this post I thought, "I could work now" which is a huge deal. In the past, I would feel guilty about working because I knew I was working so hard and thus FOMOing hard. Then the guilt would make me anxious and I'd drown my feelings with the Internet, TV, and games. This time I decided to write my post and either read or do personal development instead and leave my next big task for tomorrow morning by getting up early (on a day off!, lol), but at least I am now turning to better choices. 

And seeing family was good too. Good Christmas. Merry Christmas to all y'all too!

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Day 13

Urges. Suck.

Today I have been struck with urges several times. Big ones. Once in the morning and especially in the evening. I was surprisingly tired, so that may have been a factor. The one in the evening was weird. After I got back from another trip to see family, I was once again struck with the urge to veg out on the Internet and consume as much news as possible once I got home. It almost felt like I was in physical pain. Apparently, I didn't do a great job of hiding this and my folks asked me what was up. "Uhhhh...I'm just...tired." I did not do my book habit once I got home as I just hung out with my family and had dinner pretty much right away. I did it in the morning though and once again deflected the urge to go on my computer, though I did watch 30 minutes of soccer as background noise during lunch, which is okay.

After dinner I was wiped out, and I went back to my room and pretty much just slept until 9, when I went on my news stampede from 9:00-10:02. I knew I was going over those two minutes and that's okay. I was trying to check a columnist's column, but my computer was running really slow and it didn't finally load until 10:00. If it had loaded like normal I would have been well within my boundaries, as that was the last thing I intended on reading. As such I won't consider that an abuse. 

I also listened to Brene Brown's Tim Ferris podcast today while driving. I regret doing it while driving as I don't think I fully absorbed the whole interview nor did I fully enjoy it (as a result of driving). The part I think I was most interested in was the part where Brene and Tim were discussing the whole concept of "If you're going to live in the arena, the only thing you can be sure of is getting knocked on your ass," or something along those lines. Thinking about that is something that I must be prepared for in the future if I am truly meant to make a big difference in the world. I can't let my failures get to me and prevent me from doing more and improving as a result of it. After dropping out of grad school, I felt a lot of shame and I felt like a failure. Objectively speaking my grades were stellar but I did not do a good enough job as a researcher. There were areas of my life and work where I could have improved and possibly done well enough to find more funding. Keeping funding would have been very difficult--I would've basically had to turn into a superstar in the matter of three months--but perhaps I would've had a shot. However, I let this get to me and I wallowed in the failure (and the Internet) instead of developing the drive and hustle one truly needs to be great. Grad school is quite the arena, and going forward I hope to have learned my lesson and develop better habits and better responsibility for my own outcomes as a result of competing in that arena. 

Goals for tomorrow: Tomorrow is Sunday which means football, which means I want to watch none of it so I can work and improve myself instead of experiencing vicarious victories through athletes. I want to be dedicated to improving my overall position in life tomorrow.

Peace.

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Hey. How are your urges now? Have they subsided at all? I do find my urges are worse if I'm tired. Sleep is crucial for me. 

Glad you enjoyed the interview. The good news is, you can listen to it again and again to absorb more of it. I just listened to her new book, Rising Strong, on audio while I was working out at the gym. Being kinder to myself has been crucial for my development over the years. 

I'm also skipping football today to work on myself instead. :)

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Hey. How are your urges now? Have they subsided at all? I do find my urges are worse if I'm tired. Sleep is crucial for me. 

Glad you enjoyed the interview. The good news is, you can listen to it again and again to absorb more of it. I just listened to her new book, Rising Strong, on audio while I was working out at the gym. Being kinder to myself has been crucial for my development over the years. 

I'm also skipping football today to work on myself instead. :)

Hey Cam. My urges have been really intense today. I'm not tired today, but I agree sleep is crucial with me too. I am all up on that HALTS brigade ;) 

Definitely agree about relistening, I'm going to listen to the first 30 minutes or so in the near future. 

And yes! I'm not the only one!!! Haha. 

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Day 14 

I’m currently holed up in my room. My dad is “watching” football in the living room, and because of that I can’t stay in that room (I won't bother him since he's been real busy recently and he deserves to chill). I am stressed the fuck out. 

Today I have so far avoided all Internet abuses. Yesterday I had a really stupid 2 when I decided to listen to music from Pandora after 10 PM. I would’ve considered letting it slide while I was snacking, but once I was done I kept going for 30 minutes. It would’ve been the first weekend day ever—or at least in a long time—without any screen abuses.

Today has been super difficult. I kept to my news window and turned off the news early. I did not watch football. Hearing the game on is driving me nuts as if I weren’t already. Almost all day I have had pain in the front of my head and what feels like the area around my brainstem. I usually get these feelings when I have urges and am resisting. I feel like my head is being crushed and lit on fire at the same time. Even going on the news today did nothing to placate this, as it has in the past. The last time I felt this bad was when I was re-getting over LoL this past summer and when I first started NoFap.

Today was not as work productive as I hoped. I finished the book I was reading in about a 5 hour chunk today. This was partially to procrastinate, partially because the book was really good. Also, I am having severe second thoughts on my job search, which is not helpful. Self-doubt/is this the right path/will I be screwing myself in the future if I fail again/is this really what I want/which skillsets do I want to use and develop/etc. 

In reality, I just need to apply to everything and provide for myself first, and try to develop a passion, current passions be damned. 

As my sleep schedule got really messed up last night, I’ll likely work more after this is done. 

The only two positive threads of today I’m hanging onto are that I’m currently abuse-free today and that I took a walk. I’m not trying to feel ashamed about myself. 

If I can just send out one email after and type one header and footer of a cover letter, I will be happy at this point. The main victory I will take from today is the lack of Internet abuses, and I will have to savor that big time. 

I’m all over the place, I know. My brain is fried right now.

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Once you have a job you can always upgrade it to a better one. Remember that. :) But the positive benefits of having a job (structure, money, being productive) are all good for your life and things like your happiness, confidence, etc.

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Once you have a job you can always upgrade it to a better one. Remember that. :) But the positive benefits of having a job (structure, money, being productive) are all good for your life and things like your happiness, confidence, etc.

Very true. I long to get my head doing some engineering right now. I'm definitely being far less picky than when I started my search.

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Day 15

I DID IT! I DID IT! IIIIII DIDDDDD ITTTTT! WOOOOOOOOO!

ZERO SCREEN ABUSES YESTERDAY!!! ON A SUNDAY!!! A DAY OFF!!!

NADA, ZILCH, ZIPPO! 

It was cool, lol. 

Honestly, I am really proud of myself. Last weekend was without a doubt the best weekend I had with regards to internet/screen abuses without being constantly distracted by friends. It took an insane amount of willpower to get through it. I will say that without my new reading habit, I would NOT done as well as I did this weekend. With time I hope to feel like I need less willpower to do so, and I know that will come with time. I also hope to be more present and accepting of discomfort and less accepting of feeling numb, and that will come with time too. 

In addition, I sent out my email last night and wrote the header and footer of my next cover letter. A minimal amount of tangible work, but I avoided a zero for the day, so that's good.

Currently I am feeling stress about writing my letter due to the consistent rejections I've been getting. I need to push through and know that if I get this job, I can learn everything and I can do well at this job. With hard work, I know I can do well. If I do this work I will feel really accomplished and way better than if I mess around all night. 

Okay, I'm zen, let's go. 

 

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Thanks Cam!

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Day 16

Last night I went past 10 PM (I was working until 11, and I relaxed until 12ish) with my relaxing Internet time, so I had to tally 2 screentime abuses, which is below average. That’s nice, but I hope to get the past 10 PM time non-existent. There have been a bunch of nights where that is the only thing that I mess up with, which is frustrating since I could be seeing lots of zeros that I can be prouder of. Also, staying up late on the computer is when I binge the most. No one’s around, there’s nothing to do—why not go on the computer?! It’s a choice with a low energy barrier.  I don’t want to make a new habit to deal with it directly right now as I feel like I’m starting to spread myself thin. Also, I hope that an ounce of improved self-discipline can do the trick instead.

Today I killed it at work. I came home and I went for my walk, read my book, had dinner, and read some personal development stuff. So far so good.

Now I need to:

a) avoid any Internet abuses.

b) edit my letter I drafted last night.

c) work hard and not get anxious.

A solid day so far; I just need to follow through.

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Today I killed it at work. I came home and I went for my walk, read my book, had dinner, and read some personal development stuff. So far so good.

If you can do it one day, you can do it many days.

What one man can do, another man can do. ~ Charles Morse

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Today I killed it at work. I came home and I went for my walk, read my book, had dinner, and read some personal development stuff. So far so good.

If you can do it one day, you can do it many days.

What one man can do, another man can do. ~ Charles Morse

And guess what...I did it today too. Booyah. 

That's a great quote. That mindset is what maybe single-handedly saved me from impostor syndrome while in undergrad. 

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Day 17

Well, I usually draft my posts on Word before I put it up, but today I wrote a damn tome. I hate TL;DRs, but man, it was bad (though very worthwhile). Here's the abridged version:

Basically, I really tried to focus on why I always seek numbness. I realized that 90% of it is a combination of shame, ingrained habit, and using it as a coping mechanism. Introspection really sucks when I don't think of myself in a positive manner, or (especially in the past) when people didn't think of me in a positive manner and proceeded to let me know it. I'm simply amazed with shame now and how it keeps coming up in my efforts to ditch my dependence on the Internet, as if anyone couldn't tell over the past few days...this blog was supposed to be about self-discipline, not shame, right ;) ???

I really shouldn't feel bad about feeling pain towards myself and what I've done. I need to embrace it and change that pain from shame to guilt. Pain can be a positive or a negative, it's my choice. 

Last night I once again overdid my screentime past curfew. I listened to 2 podcasts post 10 PM. I allow myself to listen to one podcast post 10 PM and if it's the first one I listened to that day since it's usually personal development content or I will use it as a deterrent to going on the Internet later. The first one was while I was snacking and relaxing, the other was just so I didn't have to hear my own thoughts basically (I hate silence for that reason, it's something else I'm working on.) Tonight I need to keep busy and work.

What kind of work do I have to do? Well:

a) respond to an email

b) do a once over of the letter and send it. I did edit it last night, but I did some edits that were kind of a big change from past letters. I think I really like the outcome, but I just wanted to look at it fresh again to make sure. I only have once chance to make a first impression.

c) (if I have time) start planning on how to start networking "cold," without prior or mutual connections. I initially avoided this as a) I am still tentative about cold approaching people in general and b) because someone initially told me not to. Recently, I was talking about my job hunt with someone else and they said that it was totally okay if I did so, just in the right way. I need a plan so I don't do something stupid and so I can get my self ready to push that comfort zone. 

d) (tomorrow) see if I can get my hands on a Brene Brown ebook from my library. 

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Basically, I really tried to focus on why I always seek numbness. I realized that 90% of it is a combination of shame, ingrained habit, and using it as a coping mechanism. Introspection really sucks when I don't think of myself in a positive manner, or (especially in the past) when people didn't think of me in a positive manner and proceeded to let me know it. I'm simply amazed with shame now and how it keeps coming up in my efforts to ditch my dependence on the Internet, as if anyone couldn't tell over the past few days...this blog was supposed to be about self-discipline, not shame, right ;) ???

Shame/guilt and other negative emotions can be the trigger to change behaviors (I believe Cam has a differing opinion on this).  But I don't believe they are a healthy to use as a continuous motivation.  It's more useful in the context of a single event where you do something stupid, feel shame, learn from it, change your behavior and most importantly move on.  Yes, the move on part is easier said than done.  In these situations you need to pay close attention to what you say to yourself.

For example it is better to tell yourself something like "I did something stupid, that's not like me, next time I encounter this situation I will *positive action*"

vs "I'm so stupid, I always do this"

 

I'm sure you have your faults, as we all do.  It is a good thing to combat some of them.  But are you spending the same amount of time telling yourself about your positive traits?  We all have our positives too.  Don't forget to acknowledge them.

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Basically, I really tried to focus on why I always seek numbness. I realized that 90% of it is a combination of shame, ingrained habit, and using it as a coping mechanism. Introspection really sucks when I don't think of myself in a positive manner, or (especially in the past) when people didn't think of me in a positive manner and proceeded to let me know it. I'm simply amazed with shame now and how it keeps coming up in my efforts to ditch my dependence on the Internet, as if anyone couldn't tell over the past few days...this blog was supposed to be about self-discipline, not shame, right ;) ???

Shame/guilt and other negative emotions can be the trigger to change behaviors (I believe Cam has a differing opinion on this).

I agree with you that shame/guilt and other negative emotions can cause the initial epiphany that you need to make a change. Tony Robbins talks about how in order to make a change you have to reach a point where the pain of the continuing your life the way it is outweighs the pain of the unknown.

What I don't believe in (or believe works) is using shame/guilt for continuous motivation or when it's directed to others.

For instance, if you tell a gamer that he's "lazy, worthless and wasting his potential" because he plays video games... well that's not going to work so well because one of the reasons why he plays is to escape from stress and numb his emotions... so where do you think he's going to go when you make him feel bad? ----> back to games.

Parents make this mistake ALL THE TIME, especially when it comes to gaming.

I also agree that we are all very quick to acknowledge our flaws, and yet we rarely acknowledge our strengths. No wonder our self-esteem sucks! To counter this, it's crucial to acknowledge our strengths and celebrate our small wins. :)

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I'm glad you've recognised that you use internet browsing and gaming to 'numb' shame and guilt, as it is a key part to recovery. It may be worthwhile to look deeper into how you can attack your source of fears and guilt by improving the situation that is producing those feelings, rather than 'hiding behind the screen'. Good on you for making the effort to understand yourself!

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@Ed

I agree with you, negative emotions should cause change and can be used as a trigger, though not continuously. My problem is/was feeling like my problems were permanent, like I was fundamentally flawed. The dichotomy of the two monologues you talk about is my issue that I realize I need to work on big time. And I can get better at it (see what I did there :) ). Over the past couple of weeks I've been trying to catch myself doing this, especially when I have my urges and ESPECIALLY when I sit down to do the deep and difficult work that's necessary for me to pursue my goals and improve myself. That negative monologue is a big trigger for me to just stop working and putz around on the Internet. I actually have been doing a bit better in this respect.

When I post in the evening, it's before I sit down to do that work. Why? Because when I write out what I'm thinking, my rational brain has a better chance of taking over, and all the fears and shame I feel have a better chance being drowned out by the motivation of the reward, thereby helping me avoid my old bad habits. It works somewhat.

@Cam Adair

I also agree that we are all very quick to acknowledge our flaws, and yet we rarely acknowledge our strengths. No wonder our self-esteem sucks! To counter this, it's crucial to acknowledge our strengths and celebrate our small wins. :)

This focus saved my butt today. Today could've been really bad, but I kept it together.

@AlexTheGrape

That is the goal. No more hiding. Find the problem, and rip it out. 

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Day 18

Today was almost a disaster. I almost went on the Internet too early. I watched TV early. I procrastinated early. I just wanted to relax and veg and avoid my work. Today I almost watched videogame walkthroughs for game franchises I NEVER EVEN PLAYED, but I never hit start. 

On my Internet abuse scale, today almost was a 14 or so, which is about as bad as I was during my LoL relapse, which was when I binged the most this year. I ended up at a 6, which is above average, but I am very happy with. When I screw up early, I've tended to let it screw up the whole day and let it blow up. Thus, today was an enormous success even though in terms of productivity it was not anything to write home about with a whole day off to do hard work. 

I did abuse my news window, early and often, but I actually avoided it late! I didn't use my normal window as I was with family, and I did not go on after. I did not do my book habit today. I should have.

I almost did no work today, instead, I finished my editing (finally) and sent the application. I made a baby plan for my cold-contacting. I'm really going to ease into it at first; I am really pushing my comfort zone with this. I also checked the possibility of getting an ebook from my library, but it will likely take a few days as there is quite the line for Brene Brown's books. So in total, I got done what I wanted at a bare minimum. I would have like to have done more, but having done something vs. having done nothing is important. Zero progress kills me, some progress doesn't as much. I appreciate this. I also think focusing on my vision helped, while not immediately today, finally got through by the evening. 

Tomorrow I have work, I want to:

1) Get my Internet abuse spreadsheets set up for next year.

2) Find it in me to do open-ended productive stuff without me listing it here first. I want to create that internal momentum too. 

So yeah, today was goodish, and that's good. 

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Day 19

Today's been pretty baller so far. I was offered the opportunity to train for a semi-managerial position at my odd job. This would mean a small increase in pay and hours which would  be nice, and I could tout that as an accomplishment on my resume. Aside from that work went well, and I went for my walk, and I feel motivated to work. I still feel some hesitation towards the work, but it's not as bad as usual. 

I just finished tweaking my spreadsheets. I also added some things to my spreadsheet that count as screentime abuses. So far today I'm looking to start the New Year off with zero abuses. Driving home from work I just got mad. I was all "I don't need the Internet! I'd rather be living and improving myself and helping others!" It's nice because that wasn't necessarily triggered by anything, and it means my focus is improving. 

When I'm done on Game Quitters tonight, I want to work til 12 and go to bed. Tomorrow I'd like to get a full night's rest, and putting at least 4 hours to hard job hunt work and avoiding any screentime abuses. If I can pull off the latter, the former will be a very low bar to make. 

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Day 20

It's a Saturday and a day off. And wait a sec I'm still clean today! This is kind of bizarre honestly. I'm used to bingeing on my weekends...not doing work and stuff. My book habit, my focus on my vision, and catching myself when a negative shame-thought threatens to make me avoid all work has been really key. I am very grateful for this. Feeling like I actually pushed myself further on a Saturday--through the sole motivation of bettering myself--is a great feeling I haven't felt in a while. I didn't get as much done as I'd like, but I can improve. 

What did I do today? I got a haircut, went to the library, put another payment to my student loans (YEAH BABY), put 4 hours of work to various tasks (mostly the job hunt), got my full night's rest, and still have a little bit more to do. Again, the average Saturday of recent has been: feel like crap because you don't work and watch TV, and cycling it with not working and watching TV because I feel like crap. Night and day, really. 

I did watch some sports, but it was in my allotted time and I stopped when it was up. 

Tomorrow I have work for a couple of hours, which will be nice as it helps get me out of the house. I'd like to get another 4 hours of job hunting in on top of that, at least.

This is so weird. All of a sudden I feel more focused, clear, and ready, and I would wholeheartedly approve if I can string more days like this together.

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Day 21

Three weeks of this journal and I can say it looks like things are getting very bright. I finished yesterday clean of abuses, as I thought was the likely outcome when I wrote my last post. I had to be careful of not listening to music and watching sports past 10, which I almost did by accident on separate occasions. Instead, I read some of my new book until I was tired. 

Today has been similarly going well, Work wasn't crazy or anything. I came home and watched 15 minutes of sports to relax (an old habit I know), and once I realized that I wasn't getting anything out of it, I turned it off and read my book some more. Once I'm done with this it's off to where I left off with the job hunt last night, and I hope to do that until 10 or 11. Tomorrow's goals are pretty much the same as today's: stay clean, and work hard at work and at home. 

Also, speaking of my book that I'm reading, it's Resilience by Eric Greitens. I've barely started the book so far, but I think that this book is going to end up being very enjoyable and very fruitful, especially with regards to my past habits of collapsing after failure or pressure. Even though it's a self-help book (an admittedly, I haven't read all too many so I can't speak to if this is the norm or not), but there's a lot of philosophy and classics that are cited in it, which I feel is very cool. The book is based off of letters that the author--an ex-Navy SEAL, Rhodes Scholar, Ph.D. (wow)--wrote to one of his ex-SEAL buddies, whose life spiraled out of control and ended up in jail, in order to help getting him back on track. Unsurprisingly, the main theme of this book is a focus on resilience. I'm only up to chapter 3, but the one part that has stuck out to me the most so far is the need for having an adequate "Why?" in order to develop or maintain resilience. Resilience is very hard to muster up when there's no end goal worth fighting for. This resonated with me quite a bit. I had a "Why?", but I paid little attention to it and didn't internalize it well enough. Perhaps that was part of my problem this summer. I know that over the past few days, by focusing on this goal and musing on it, I've been more eager to do hard work. The hesitation and fear is still there though, likely from my old shame habits, but I'm working on that too and I've noticed even that has been somewhat muted recently. 

I'll end this with 2 quotes from the book, from other people, that I thought were really awesome:

"Of all the virtues we can learn, no trait is more useful, more essential for survival, and more likely to improve the quality of life than the ability to transform adversity into an enjoyable challenge." -- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

"There is only one road to true human greatness; the road through suffering." -- Albert Einstein

 

Edited by DaBest
typo

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Thanks Cam! Couldn't do it without you and everyone else in the forum!

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Day Ventidos

The past 24 hours have been interesting in a good way. Last night after I set up my new router at 11 PM, I ended up committing 5 screentime abuses between then and 1 AM. Honestly, the whole thing was silly. I wanted to test how well the new router worked so I said, okay, let me just try the gamut of all the websites I usually check and different points in the house. Good news is, this router is WAY better than the old one. Bad news is, what really should've taken no more than 5-15 minutes ended up being "one more site" then "another site" then "oh, why not just one more." In short because I did more than just actually testing the router, I broke my curfew, broke my news window, went 2 hours over my entertainment limit, and racked up my "bonus abuse." 

The thing is, this could have been way worse, but it wasn't. And that's great. I could've been up til 3 or 4, but I didn't do it. I could've tested how long it took to download LoL...yes that did cross my mind, haha...but I didn't. To me, is a victory over "old me." I need to be cognizant now considering I now have the ability to sit on my bed and surf late at night. The old router lost enough functionality where I couldn't do that anymore, so that was one less old habit I really had. Now it's back, but I'm aware of it. 

I noticed my shift in attitude about it on the way home from work today, and I was very grateful for that. There was no shame. I accepted it for what it was, a mistake, and I was able to move on. This is VERY important as the stress I can have from messing up can make me mess up even more. 

This is definitely an empowering feeling, one I'm not used to. As a result, I want to work more on getting an engineering job because I'm not as stressed and hating on myself, which is empowering in it's own right. It's really bizarre; I'm used to downward spirals, not upward

Now that I'm done with this, I'm going to use my news hour, and then work for a couple of hours and try and be in bed by 12. The trepidation is lesser now. This makes me so happy. :D 

 

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I noticed my shift in attitude about it on the way home from work today, and I was very grateful for that. There was no shame. I accepted it for what it was, a mistake, and I was able to move on. This is VERY important as the stress I can have from messing up can make me mess up even more. 

This is definitely an empowering feeling, one I'm not used to. As a result, I want to work more on getting an engineering job because I'm not as stressed and hating on myself, which is empowering in it's own right. It's really bizarre; I'm used to downward spirals, not upward

Cheering you on over here man. This is the real work that changes your life for real. It did for mine. Proud of you!

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Cam, for real, I really appreciate that. I know I've only been here for a little over three weeks now, but man, its been three weeks of amazing healing. Being around people who've gone through similar experiences and are actively trying to better themselves is something I've never had before, and it's made a huge difference. Just know that you're cheering for thousands more though, at least, because you're trailblazing a path to freedom for many more! I'm cheering for YOU, too!

---

Day 23 

Last night, zero abuses. Three days out of four with zero abuses since the start of 2016. I wasn't making a resolution out of this, per se, but it seems like I'm acting otherwise, haha. Let's hope for no two-week New Year's Resolution drop-off!

I actually ended up working until 12:30 AM, on a worknight. Not playing...WORKING. On actual job hunt stuff. Gritty stuff. This is so bizarre. I'm operating on a whole new level. 

That work paid immediate dividends today, as I had someone request that I send my resume to them! That made me feel very good. Then, a couple of hours later, I get a call for an application I sent out months ago. No guarantees yet, but the conversation went well and the position is with a company I'd love to work for. Hopefully, I can get a direct interview with the company soon!

This all feels SO much more gratifying than tuning out and playing games, reading news, or watching sports or streams. For the first time in a long time, when I come home, I want to keep working. The work has been MUCH harder, but I get now that hard work and occasional rewards of high significance are far more appealing than doing easy work/not working and getting that instant gratification of much lower significance. When I savor that feeling, it really gets me motivated and positive. And by no means am I trying to all of a sudden stop savoring the small victories, I still am, but I realize those small victories are found in the work itself on the path to the bigger rewards. 

Tonight, I need to check my emails and respond to at least one. I need to prepare a cover letter, edits and all, and send it soon. Again, despite all the changes recently, I'm still having that initial hesitation. Hence the post earlier in the evening. 

Booyah! 

 

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Day 24

Last night, zero screentime abuses. 4 out of 5 clean days in 2016! 

I was actually quite proud of myself last night. I ended up preparing my cover letter during my news viewing window. This is fine, but if I work through the window, then no news for the day! This was a little stressful, but I finished with 15 minutes of time left. I used those 15 minutes, and I felt relatively sated once done. As an information junkie, sometimes it's hard to know when I've reached my fill and should go back to working or doing something "better." I rewarded myself with listening to a podcast and going to bed earlier. 

Today I was very tired when I got home. I got about 7.5 hours of sleep last night but I may have accumulated a small sleep debt this week. This concerns me slightly as I know my inhibitions are lower when I'm tired, and I was really feeling the urges since I've been home. I ended up taking a nap...while writing this, haha. Urges are much lower now. I also might be getting sick. 

Now my news window is starting. I'll try to get through that quickly. After I want to get some work done, read some of my book, and go to bed earlier than last night. WIll today be as productive as it could have been? Probably not. But if I don't commit any screentime abuses today then I'll be okay with the end result--a half-step forward instead of a full-step, but not a backwards step. 

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Day 25

Well, unfortunately I ended up with 3 screentime abuses yesterday, all occurring after my post. At the end of my news window, there was a long interview that I wanted to listen to. It was news, but I said that if I used that as my "podcast" for the night--as most of the podcasts I listen to are interviews--there honestly wasn't much difference. However, I watched another video before I watched the interview and I still listened to a podcast. So 1 abuse for post 10 PM curfew  breaking, 1 abuse for breaking the news curfew, and 1 bonus abuse. I'm at a total of 8 over 6 days, which is fantastic. At this point in a given month, I'm usually around 30-50.

I think part of it was again not frequently reminding myself of my mission and goals. When I've done it with more consistency recently, I end up being more focused and more immune to reverting back to my old ways. If I had considered how I was spending my time last night, there was a good chance I would've stopped myself before committing my three abuses. To try and remedy this, I've just written a sticky note to put on my phone (my alarm clock) in the morning with my mission on it. If this works, the first thing I will do every morning will be reminding myself of my mission, which should put me on a slightly better direction for the rest of the day! 

Tonight I just want to read my book for a bit and get to work. Not much is new.

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Day 26

I want to start with a question I find interesting. Does anyone else feel stressed about going to bed early? 

Last night I went to bed at 12 AM, which for me is relatively early. If I go to bed any earlier I will feel lots of stress unless I have something to do early the next day (i.e., travel, appointment, etc.). It's almost like a fear of missing out. On what I don't know, since I'm living at home right now and nothing is really going on. Even when I'm very tried I will stay up for no apparent reason. 

Anyway, I'm wiped out. I've been at work for 6 days straight, and my work is relatively physical in nature, so I'm just worn out. Thankfully, this did not influence me to commit any screentime abuses last night. A total of 8 over 7 days now. I did not get much work done when I got home, though I got some purely administrative stuff done, much like today. 

I did put the sticky note on my phone this morning, and I have been more mindful of my goal throughout the day. For example, I did not sit in bed for long this morning, like I often do. So far today I have not committed any screentime abuses, though I used up more entertainment time early. I have only 30 minutes to read news now. 

I am also feeling very lazy because I am tired. Once I go off Game Quitters, I just want to spend 5 minutes doing hard job hunt work. I'll see if that gets me going anywhere. If not, at least I can say today was not a zero day. 

Anyway, yeah, not feeling very introspective today. Maybe tomorrow!

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