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DaBest

DaBest's Journey For Self-Discipline

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Huh, that's interesting about the sleep. I can relate in a way, but in fact I feel the opposite. If I wake up too late (past say, 9 on a day that I have off) I will feel like I'm missing out, because I like to get up in the morning and be productive and get things done. One of my favorite things is to go to a coffee shop in the morning and read or write. I like being up with people who are also up at that time. If I sleep in and miss that then I feel like I've missed out, and that the other people who were up have experienced several hours of stuff that I didn't. I usually go to bed between 9-10pm.

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Very interesting. There is the FOMO commonality just at opposite ends of the day. Hopefully I can switch that around.

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Day 32

Past couple of days have been a mixed bag. Sorry I haven't updated.

Met up with some friends, went to work, and had an impromptu phone interview which seemingly went well. 

Unfortunately, I've gone off on a bit of a binge since the day I met up with my friends. Not only did I effectively relapse in my recovery effort from electronics (in general), but also in NoFap too. I was approximately 125ish days in. 

I got complacent. I got overwhelmed. I think I started beating myself up a bit, especially over my work habits. I wanted to tune out. 

I tune out to numb myself. Whether I use gaming, the Internet, sports, political news, music, whatever...it doesn't matter. The effect is the same and for the same intent. 

I've been reading Eric Greitens's Resilience and have been reminded of Aristotle and the concept that virtues are a practice and are developed and that feeling doesn't need to precede action; it can be the other way around. Furthermore (and I'm paraphrasing a bit here), there's the ancient concept that a virtuous life was considered  necessary to live "the good life." I am practicing my virtues, and failing. I will get up again though, and I will do better. It's a fact, I know it will happen. It is happening.

I've been charting my NoFap and StopScreenNumbness journeys on spreadsheets and the numbers are reassuring. In NoFap there is a solid downward trendline with an R^2=.5. So yeah, I slipped up there the other day, but I did a really good job in the 4 months up to that point. In addition, with this journey, I have halved my internet abuses from July (R^2~0.85), and had month-over-month decreases in abuses in every month but December. I also started this month with 5 clean days within the first week. It usually takes me a whole month to have five clean days. Some of my slip up might have simply been a yo-yoing of sorts. To be honest, it felt painful at times, and my old tendencies just kept calling. They will die with time though, and my virtues will flourish. 

I can get through this. I will get through this. I control myself and my future. Or as my fortune cookie said the other day, I shit you not, "Only you can change your life. No one can do it for you." Pertinent. 

So yeah, I get it fortune cookie, YOU WIN. I'll play by your rules and I will find a way. 

 

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*points to signature*

 

Glad to see you posting again. It seems like you're doing pretty good really. 125 days of NoFap is a tremendous show of self-control and dedication. I'm sure you'll do just as well with games.

I would encourage you not to beat yourself up too much over this relapse. Sometimes the damage caused by feeling like we've failed is actually worse than the impact of the failing itself. Like you say, you just have to keep trying - practice your virtues, fail, and then keep practicing. It's just the nature of the process, and failing doesn't mean you're a failure in any way.

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Great to have you post with your update. Make sure you acknowledge yourself for being vulnerable and posting here. It could have been easy to continue numbing yourself and avoid this forum all together. It shows you're on the right path and you have the right attitude. Stoked you're a part of our community. :)

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Thank you very much guys. 

@kortheo

Yeah, it's true. When I beat myself up it puts me so much farther from who I want to be as a person. Thankfully, tomorrow is a new day, and today was better. I'll heed your advice--in reality, I've only been practicing discipline for a month, so I'm bound to mess up. It happens. And so it goes. 

Also, your sig is badass. Truth. 

@Cam Adair

Yeah, it's definitely vulnerable. If someone else resonates with what I'm going through and if it helps them, then that would make me very happy. Ultimately, this journal is for me, but it is as much for others too. Actually, I read an article from Brain Pickings the other day (I forgot what the exact premise of the article) and at one point the article talked about John Steinbeck's journal when he wrote The Grapes of Wrath. Just from reading some of the quotes of the journal, I thought, "Woah, John Steinbeck sounds like me." He really struggled with putting himself to the work, and also questioning the quality of his work (which won a Nobel Prize, haha). Now, I'm thinking about going to my library and seeing if they have a copy. So yeah, thanks John, your book was one of my all time favorites AND it provides me a model to pull myself out of where I am now. Props. 

And who knows, maybe one day I'll get famous and I'll turn these posts into a book and rake in $$$$$. :D 

And I'll stop avoiding the forum, even if it's past my use time. If I NEED to use it past 11, I'm gonna use it past 11. It's worth it. I get it now.

--- 

Day 33

Another mixed bag day.

Best news: I got an in-person interview scheduled! I really want this to work!

Meh news: I didn't do much when I got home from work-work. I got some stuff done, but none of it was really job hunt or personal development stuff. Fake email productivity. Discipline was meh today.

One of the things I've been beating myself up over the past few days is how woefully productive I am once I'm home. The way I see it, I get home at 5-5:30. I have 6-7 hours to do stuff, and I feel like I accomplish so little given that time. This guilt, in turn, drives me from working, which then makes me feel worse. YAY, another vicious cycle identified! Time to crush it! And on a side note I really need to do a time audit...

In addition, I notice my "vision remembering" throughout the day has been up and down this week. Some days it's been really good, but to no effect. Others it's just low, which doesn't help anything. Writing that makes me think about my goals though. So that's good. 

So overall, today I exhibited low self-discipline. I did get a cold shower in this morning on reduced sleep, which is something I never do, to help train me with this. Also, I will be in bed shortly after 12 on a Friday night. This too is discipline for me. 

Tomorrow morning I have one goal: write and edit a new cover letter to send out by noon for another phone interview upcoming. That's it. 

Alright, now I'm gonna read some posts and peace for the night. 

 

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Day 34

It's late so I'll keep it quick. 

Today was productive. I woke up not too late. Cold shower. Got the letter and resume sent early. Did some political volunteering I'd been reluctant to do for months. Picked up a shift for someone at work (and had a good heart-to-heart with someone who I think appreciated it). Came home. Ate burger. Kinda vegged a bit before finally deciding to write this. 

Once again today I broke my political news boundaries. Admittedly, when I did it in the morning it was okay because it was important to make sure I was informed and up-to-date on everything, but at night it was after my window and I had no excuse. I rationalized it with "Oh I was working during my window." That is unacceptable and I will try to be cognizant of it in the future. However, I am not beating myself up over this.

I also read a bit more from my book, and one of the ideas I came across was literally playing the role of someone I wanted to be. The idea was that by even acting out the role that you want to be, you will actually DO the stuff that your ideal self does, and it will actually feel fun. The idea is that you might not have the corresponding feelings that go with the actions, but over time it will come into being. Normally, people feel that feelings precede actions, which is true. However, actions can precede feelings as well. 

I gave this a whirl pretending to be confident, not taking any lies from myself, good talking with strangers, and disciplined. When I was focusing on acting the role, I kept to it and it was true, it was FUN. It was motivating as it was also a glimpse of who I could be. Obviously when I got home I wasn't thinking about this and I obviously reverted back. I will try this again tomorrow. This could be a great tool in practicing my virtues. 

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I also read a bit more from my book, and one of the ideas I came across was literally playing the role of someone I wanted to be. The idea was that by even acting out the role that you want to be, you will actually DO the stuff that your ideal self does, and it will actually feel fun. The idea is that you might not have the corresponding feelings that go with the actions, but over time it will come into being. Normally, people feel that feelings precede actions, which is true. However, actions can precede feelings as well.

Think of it this way: The Future is created Now. So the more you can embody who you want to be in the future, NOW, the more likely you will be that person in the future. :)

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Day 35

Overall semi-productive Sunday. I'm ok with it. Lots of odds and ends done today. In the future I'd like to get these things done faster.

I kept with the acting my ideal self today. I kind of went in and out of it a bit--also, now that I think of it, it must be hard for method actors to stay in character 24/7. It paid off with a limited amount of outside news (some warranted for volunteering, some not) and with me going to the gym. Part of my ideal self is to simply be a better man than I am now, which includes going to the gym and taking better care of my health. It was the first time back since the summer, when I had a bit of a medical emergency. I could've gotten back much sooner, so that's why today's visit was a victory. 

Tonight I want to study up on the history of the company I'm interviewing with. Tomorrow, I want to review technical literature related to the job itself. I ABSOLUTELY have to do this. I want to spend at least 3 hours doing so. I will do so tomorrow from 6-9. Again, I am making this public for accountability. 

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It will get better and easier over time. At first with a new character I'm sure actors have a hard time staying in it, but they keep working at it and embody the character more, and then they can stay in it for a long time.

Good luck in your interview.

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@Cam Adair Thanks! With any luck, this will help me embody the role of a worker in a technical role, haha!

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Day 36

Today has been hard.

Like recently, I have had huge news cravings. I've been failing early in the day, which I then proceed to go "Ah f--- it." and just keep going throughout the day. I've been doing this in my car when I get to work early. Instead, tomorrow I will bring my book with me, and I will read from that. Today I avoided going straight to the news once I got home...I took a nap, haha. Today at work was exhausting and frustrating. I needed the nap. 

I did get my 3 hours of work in today. At first I did some after dinner. Then I got distracted for a couple of hours watching TV. THANKFULLY, I turned it off at 11 once I remembered my vision...funny how that works. I basically asked myself, "How am I going to do great things by not working right now and watching TV?" I knew I had to finish that 3 hour commitment. I've actually done this pattern several times before, without breaking out of it, and watching TV til 1 or 2 even on a worknight. This is the first time that I can remember that even at this late hour I was compelled to work another 90 minutes. I was also very happy I recognized my laziness and did away with it. And I did it without having to pump myself up by writing it down first!

Tomorrow I must get ready to travel for my interview and continue to prepare for the interview itself. However, my MAIN GOAL FOR TOMORROW is to just avoid the news until my news window. That's it. I need to start rewiring that neural pathway/habit via practice. No gimmies. 

In short, some small victories today. I'm savoring it. 

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Day 37

I DID IT. I DID NOT BREAK MY NEWS WINDOW TODAY. BOOMSHAKALAKA.

I feel relieved. Maybe I can start stringing these days together. Let's hope.

Overall today has gone very well. I did not bring my book to work today, so instead of reading news, I read a long article in a personal development blog, that dealt with news consumption. Actually, I didn't search out this particular topic, it was just the most recent post. I was very happy for reading it though. It laid down the thesis that 90% of the news we consume is really just entertainment and doesn't have much day-to-day use. Some of the points in the article were good, others I found myself disagreeing with a bit but would have to mull over, but I took the concept of "news=entertainment" home with me today. Literally. I made a semi-mantra out of it on my car ride home today.

As a result, when I got home, I had a snack and dinner, read a chapter of Resilience, and afterwards I WORKED. I kept the news to 40 minutes of my hour long window. I feel pretty good right now about that. That is more of the person I want to be. Hard-working and responsible.

And speaking of responsibility, that was what the chapter was about. It was quite pertinent as recently I have been thinking about my lack of personal responsibility. I am in my situation by decisions all of my own. Thankfully, I am learning from the bad decisions and learning how important responsibility is, having seen the consequences of a lack thereof. In addition, there was one part where they discussed that excuses are really life-crushing in a way, as you just can't live a full life with excuses. By taking excuses, we are permanently fixed and at the mercy of our surroundings. This is nice for the ego, as one doesn't need to challenge whether or not they have been living up to their full potential. 

It is my hope that I will take less excuses in the future and take more action to better my situation, even at risk of failure. That is part of the image of myself I'd like to embody. 

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@Cam Adair, damn that's hilarious! Definitely represents how I felt, and currently feel because...

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Day 40

I GOT THE JOB! 

I feel so relieved and affirmed. Being un/underemployed for so long is just the worst. I am also very grateful for this opportunity. I cannot fuck this up. I must make it my absolute imperative to make the most out of this I can. 

This job specifically requires I have a huge amount of personal accountability, responsibility, and integrity. I must leave my old life behind, no longer can I be a man child. Now, it's all on me to act the adult. 

I will do this. I have to, it's not even a want to. I'm very excited, if not a little bit scared. My ego fears change. But I want to change, so that's what matters most. 

Tomorrow, I'm likely going to be snowed in. I am aiming for zero internet abuses tomorrow. Over the past few days, I've been breaking my news window. Just little bits during breaks and whatnot. I need to be busy tomorrow and avoid this. I need to be improving tomorrow. 

So let me be responsible and go to bed early on a Friday for a change! :D 

--- 

And a big thank you to GameQuitters for helping me back to the straight and narrow path over the past 40 days. I do feel that my overall discipline has improved since the start and that really turned out big, especially over the last few days. I wasn't perfect, but I prepared better than I would've in the past. I'm nowhere near where I want to be in terms of my discipline yet, but with your help I know I'll get there!

 

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I GOT THE JOB! 

Ok everyone... it's dance party time...

tumblr_mjglqu1OHf1rhmu6co1_500.gif

HA!

Congrats though man, that's awesome. Having a job was a gamechanger for me after I quit because it gave me some structure and the confidence that came from making money also helped. 

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@Cam Adair

Well there was no dancing, but I did do a lot of fist pumping. I woohooed so loud the person on the other end of the call hung up briefly, lol. :/

I totally agree with you though. Even with my measly odd job, I felt immensely better for having taken it. Additionally, it REALLY helped me in my interview, which was very ironic. There were a lot of parallels between the two jobs even though the industries are completely unrelated.

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Day 41

Responsible me went to bed last night at 1. Good job, me. However, I had to wake up at 6:45 today because there was significant risk my house would flood.  Thankfully it didn't, but there was a whole couple of hours of moving up EVERYTHING out of the basement, shoveling tons of snow, and then putting everything BACK DOWN into the basement when it was clear the biggest threat had past. I'm wiped, but I feel good since I really pushed myself to help my folks as much as possible. This has happened before, but I'm usually away when it does happen. I wanted to take some responsibility and help my family and make it easy for them. That said, I got a great full body workout today.

In the middle of this I did break my news window. I kept screen entertainment to less than 2 hours though and before my 10 PM curfew, so the damage is minimal. Especially since today racked up fewer abuses than my monthly average so far, this is a victory. I was very tired and did not feel like reading, which I planned to do to overcome the urges. Fortunately, I had sort of a "vision/goal remembering" again, and put a decent amount of time into figuring out the housing market of where I'm moving to. I need to get this done ASAP. At one point I was lying down after dinner and thought, "Am I being responsible right now?", realized I wasn't, and then proceeded to search. Not a very difficult task, true, but I feel proud I spent the time doing it on a Saturday night.

To improve tomorrow, I'll be aiming again for zero screentime abuses, so what I'll do tonight is meditate, write, and focus on "News urge=read a book." That way, tomorrow I will have this more on my mind and decrease my chances of slipping up. 

 

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Thanks, @SpiNips!

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Day 42

I am so close to being clean of screentime abuses for today. I just need to go to bed. Not sure if I'm skyping with a friend soon though, which is the last thing I'd have to worry about. I've had urges throughout the day but I headed them off by listening to a podcast, going out of the house, and working. I believe it also helped I got a full 11 hours of sleep last night :D 

I have not yet read my book to head off urges today. I kept it very much in mind though today, and it helped me side-step all the urges with better actions. 

Yeah, pretty disciplined today for the most part. Just want to keep working hard tomorrow, find a home. 

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Hey @DaBest, seems we're  kind of in a similar place with screen time being the tough thing atm(day 40 myself, maybe its a midle of the road challenge?). Glad to see you're doing well and you're parents are thankful I'm sure!

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Hey, @Laney! Yeah, screen time has been a tricky battle to fight. I've found that when I cut something out in one area--for example, back after my LoL relapse this summer--I find I have the tendency to move that to something else--in the same example, political news. It's a weird, kind of persistent issue. 

And believe me, while my parents don't really know about this, you bet they're happy I'm moving out, which is definitely a factor of this!

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Day 43

I finished yesterday clean. That is day SEVEN this month. My record in a month is 9, but 4 of those days I was on vacation, and another 2 I was perpetually drinking with friends :D --doesn't really feel like 9. Today I am also clean. It was not easy as I was tired. The best thing I did was go to the gym. However, because I went to the gym and then used my news window, I haven't really gotten much work done at home. I'm thinking about just going to bed early and setting myself up better for tomorrow. I was upset with myself today for staying up late last night as it affected my performance at work today, and at my new job there is zero room for screwups, so I must get adequate sleep every day. This is a feeling of guilt, and not shame, and I will definitely do better. 

On the bright side though, despite my urges today, I realized the intensity of them and was proud for overcoming them. Every urge I overcome makes a stronger neural pathway in the positive direction. 

Overall, a disciplined day. I'm happy with it. 

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Day 44

Well, last night marked day EIGHT clean this month. Tonight, would be nine if I can hold true.

Today has been interesting. I got up, went to work, came home, worked some more, yet I feel like I still haven't gotten enough done. I've been focusing on my paperwork I need to get filed to finalize my offer, but I haven't started any housing search today. I did use my news hour, which was really most of the only break I've had today, so it's not like I just messed around all day. Maybe I need to cut back further O_O. Too early to make a decision on that.

Also interestingly enough, I find that I usually will use to the last second of my time reading news once I've started. It's always one more link, then another, then another, then another, until 20 tabs are open and I motor through them. I feel like I almost am just condensing my issue, like I'm not getting at the source of this. It's nice as I'm not doing this for 12 hours a day like I did wasting away this summer, but it doesn't feel...right. 

Clearly I have some stuff to meditate on for tomorrow. 

OH, and also I brought my book with me today for my break at work! I finally remembered! I read all of 2 pages in between texting and answering emails. It was nice though, as for a brief moment it got me thinking about practicing excellence, versus whatever random thing I'd be thinking about at the time. 

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Day 51

Very busy, want to check in. Not dead.

Moving has been a real pain in the butt. I'm running all over like a maniac. Job starts Monday. 

I've also fallen a bit off the wagon. I'm hoping this quick post will get me back on the right track. Political news has really roped me in recently from all the stuff going on in America. I need to figure a way to better deal with this, especially as the news is only going to get more and more intense over the next few months. I just need to remember that it is 99% entertainment and I can't keep pretending I'm a shut-in 10-year-old who relies on staying inside watching TV to stay preoccupied. I'm an adult now, and I need to do things or suffer the consequences.

Tomorrow I just need to finish packing

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Good to hear from you. I like politics but I don't read it until AFTER my day is done. So basically only for an hour or so before I go to bed. That way I get my priorities taken care of and then deal with it later.

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Day 63

Not dead again! I finally have Internet access again! I really don't feel like posting via my phone for two reasons: 1) typing a post on my phone would really destroy my thumbs, and 2) I totally blew through my data plan while waiting for the Internet to get hooked up in my apartment :D

I want to keep this short and sweet so I can get a full night's sleep, which is kind of important, since at my new job I can quite literally kill someone if I mess up. No pressure.

I really am enjoying the new job though. Not really in the thick of things yet, but I will be soon. I am much prouder of myself, now that I think of it. My self-talk over the past two weeks have been much more positive.

With regards to the screenwatching, the lack of Internet and TV (no cable in my apartment by design) did not stop me recently from bingeing. I have been making the same old excuses time and time again. The biggest issue so far (and I actually have not been tracking ANYTHING over these past two weeks) is probably the news still. Like I mentioned in the last post, political stuff is big right now so I'm all over that. Tomorrow is a reset of my news habit though, so hopefully that will go better. Tomorrow, I also want to put up vision signs in my apartment everywhere I go so I can get in the habit of constantly thinking about it. I do think part of my lapse recently was achieving that short-term vision and kind of forgetting about the next steps. I know it's stupid I keep coming back here and admitting I keep making the same mistakes, but fuck it, it's the truth. I will get better cause I want to.

And tomorrow I also want to figure out what the most valuable skills are for my job that I can develop and put some time towards that skill. 

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Day 64

Quickie post since it's getting late.

I think I'm screentime abuse-free today. It's close, I didn't catch the start of my news window but I think it was around a hour. Volunteering after work was a help with that, but I still need dinner :( 

I posted some little vision notes on a couple of the doors in my apartment as careful reminders in places where I usually will forget my vision. Note to self: take these down before people come over, and put them back up afterwards. My place doesn't need to seem to be like someone's uber-motivational Instagram.

Also put some time to developing my list of skills I can pursue. Did not yet decide on one, as I realized I should really talk to the couple of the people where I work to see what's needed.

Keep up the good work, y'all. Peace.

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