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André - 90 day detox


Andre2807

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Day 1...

I guess I have to start somewhere.

After having a huge success with the NoFap challenge of no PMO for 90 days (151 days and counting), I think I have what it takes to take on... possibly the strongest addiction I've ever had.

Yesterday, I spent 9 hours "playing" football manager. I was actually playing the game for 2 hours, but spent 7 hours at work, talking about it on Discord, spending time on the forums, listening to related YouTube videos... my thoughts were only on the game...

I woke up this morning, realised that something needs to change. So this is it.

Day one.

The goal is simple. 
1. Play no games, watch/listen/read nothing related to games (except Game Quitters).
2. Spend time with my wife.
3. Read a book.

Here we go. 

I'm ready.

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What book are you reading?

I'm reading Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink/Leif Babin. 

It's a brilliant book about taking ownership of everything in your life.

The downside is that reading such a book, is that whilst you're trying to take full ownership / responsibility for everything in your life, you're surrounded by people that does the opposite.

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Right now, I'm on Day 2 :)

My three MIT's (Most Important Tasks) of the day:

1. Cook dinner with added zeal
2. Clear my personal email inboxes 
3. Uninstall Steam and games

So Day 2 came and went. Success!

But of the three MIT's, I only did one. Part of the problem is that I have ADHD, and need either visual / physical reminders to do certain things - especially in the evenings, after dinner.

Tonight, I don't have to cook, so the three MIT's of today are:

1. Go for a run with my wife
2. Clear personal email inboxes
3. Uninstall Steam and games

How Day 2 went:

This is the funny thing about gaming. It occupies your brain - especially if it's a very thought provoking game. 

So for Day 1 and Day 2, I have not played any games, nor did I watch/read/listen to anything related to video games, except for Game Quitters.

Now that gaming isn't part of the plan for the day, my brain is free. What this does is truly fascinating.

1. An unoccupied brain allows one to be present.
2. It allows one to think deeper and clearer about another topic.
3. Procrastination is less attractive.

The link between procrastination and gaming:

Procrastination, at its core, is task avoidance. Gaming was the "cure" for my procrastination. Ask anyone who procrastinates... It's often linked to a pleasurable/more enjoyable task to do instead.

How does this relate to Day 1 and Day 2?

The number one cause of my procrastination, is that I still consider myself as a "gamer". Doing Day 1 and Day 2 almost forcibly removes this definition of myself. I'm no longer a "gamer". Now, I'm a husband. I'm a friend. I'm a colleague. I'm a musician. I'm a home chef. A tax consultant.

Procrastination though, needs a new friend. A new distraction. 

I'm not going to give it one.

Conclusion:

My biggest challenge for this 90 day detox, is not to replace gaming with another distraction. Then I'm simply giving procrastination a new friend.

Onto Day 3...

 

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What book are you reading?

I'm reading Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink/Leif Babin. 

It's a brilliant book about taking ownership of everything in your life.

The downside is that reading such a book, is that whilst you're trying to take full ownership / responsibility for everything in your life, you're surrounded by people that does the opposite.

AMAZING BOOK

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 My biggest challenge for this 90 day detox, is not to replace gaming with another distraction. Then I'm simply giving procrastination a new friend.

So true @Andre2807, I think that is what the majority of people do initially, is replace gaming with something like YouTube. The way I see it if you are replacing gaming with another time wasting activity then you're not really achieving much at all, it's the same outcome or end state, just a different path to get there.

It's natural to want ourselves to be distracted by the "horrors" of real life, but why not try to use a positive distraction? For example, I know quite a few people here use learning a new language through something like duolingo to be a positive distraction, I threw myself head first in my study, or something else that will work for you like personal development or fitness. Cam gives some ideas on his youtube channel or there is a PDF of hobbies in his resources section. 

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 My biggest challenge for this 90 day detox, is not to replace gaming with another distraction. Then I'm simply giving procrastination a new friend.

For example, I know quite a few people here use learning a new language through something like duolingo to be a positive distraction, I threw myself head first in my study, or something else that will work for you like personal development or fitness. Cam gives some ideas on his youtube channel or there is a PDF of hobbies in his resources section. 

Thanks for the advice Giblets.

Yeah, I've got a few hobbies/personal development things.

1. Obstacle Course Racing. I'm doing an obstacle course on 21 October 2017, and I need to train for it.
2. Music. I've got plans to learn to read and write music - it's a lot similar to learning a new language.
3. Cooking. Currently, I'm a student of the Rouxbe Online Cooking School - I hope to complete the course this year.
4. Reading. 
5. Podcasts. 

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Day 3 - Sneaky wife; happy life

Of the three MIT's I had set out to do, I managed to do 2 out of 3.

My wife was "tired" from work and the weather wasn't all that great, but I motivated her to go on a run with me. I also uninstalled Steam, Origin and related games. I signed up for an Obstacle Course Race in October. 

Then my sneaky wife asked me to sleep earlier than normal (she goes to bed fairly early; I'm a night owl).

Despite not working last night and clearing my emails as I planned to, I slept like a baby - and I feel great this morning.
 

Conclusion

Sometimes, we set out to do a number of things for the day... but when it matters, choosing to sleep earlier or to spend more time with a loved one may trump another item on your to-do list. As Stephen Covey calls it - Integrity in moment of choice.

 

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There's a post out there on How to get rid of your Steam account forever, basically messing it up by changing the mail to a disposable one and then the password to a random thing. Steam accounts being permanent is part of the trap, I did that a year ago and was what really set me up for quitting for good. 

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Day 4 - 6 - The weekend wobbles

I didn't game, but it just takes a weekend to make you realise how much gaming was a part of your life - the point being... without gaming, what do you fill your life with?

It's a rhetorical question - but does beg a time for quiet reflection and thinking:

Without our eyes glued to a screen (TV, series, video gaming, live streaming, social media) - what do you fill your life with? I'm not saying that one shouldn't enjoy a good movie or learn some guitar pieces on YouTube or follow the Game of Thrones series. What I'm saying is... when you step away from it - what then?

The weekend asked that exact question to me, and I had some difficulty answering it.

Although I didn't spend much time in quiet reflection, I did watch a good movie: The Infiltrator 

In the movie, Aunt Vicky calls on Robert Mazur (protagonist) to "do something extraordinary" - this is after he and his customs team did a minor drug bust. What followed, was the one of the greatest drug bust in history - spearheaded by same Robert Mazur. 

That is the question posed to me. 

"What is my "something extraordinary" within my abilities, my passions, my experiences and my personality?"

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Day 7 - Monday blues

Made it past Day 7. 

The day was rough though. I felt tired and lethargic at work. The night before, I went out with friends to watch Stephen King's - IT at the cinemas. 

Eventually, at around 11:00 - I got a boost of energy and blasted through the rest of the work day.

Went home, and listened to some podcasts by Rick Warren and two talks by Simon Sinek.

It's time to turn my life around. 

Onto Day 8.

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Day 8 - Much better

The butterfly effect is a well known concept which boils down to this: "small causes can have larger effects"

Combine this concept, with the Pareto Principle: "20% of our efforts produces 80% of our results" 

I tried taking on a Miracle Morning. It advocates one to do 6 (important) things before 8 am. 

1. Silence
2. Journal
3. Exercise
4. Visualisation
5. Affirmations
6. Learning

I did 3 of 6. Silence, Journal and Learning. 

So far so good. 

I'm also reading the book: The ONE thing.

Onto Day 9.

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Day 9 (Wednesday, 20 September 2017) - Ups and downs

Another Miracle Morning, got 3 out of 6 again.

I need to make small changes if I want to turn it into 6 out of 6.

The day went great, but when it was cooking time, the ground beef was frozen... I forgot to take it out of the freezer the night before.

Frustrated, I struggled to pull it together and actually get the job done. I also took some of my frustration out on my wife...

Anyway, eventually - after some struggle, the ground beef was thawed and I made the spaghetti and meatballs.

If I have to say so myself, those meatballs reminded me of the ones my grandmother used to make - they tasted amazing.

Went to bed early after that fiasco.

Lesson learnt: 
Sometimes, our greatest struggles, produces the greatest results.

Onto Day 10

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Day 10 - Confession to a friend

Yesterday, I confessed to a friend about my gaming addiction - although he could directly relate (he's not a gamer at all), he was a mentor to two other gaming addicts in our church. He referred me to them, so I can bounce ideas from them and how they dealt with it.

Day 11 - here I go!

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Day 11 - 14: Because life without purpose... is meaningless

I don't know the truth of life, but I do know this: if you don't find something outside of consumption (YouTube, gaming, Netflix, books, social media etc), you'll drift aimlessly through life - You'll hit your deathbed thinking... why was I given this life? Why did I waste it?

Victor Frankl, author of the book, Man's Search for Meaning - mentions three things necessary for a meaningful life:

1. A cause to serve.
2. Someone to love.
3. A meaning for suffering.

The answer to the question: What is the purpose of life, can only be answered by yourself.

All our various forms of consumption (listed above), are our ways of escaping our existential question - we are scared to face it. We are scared of how it might change us. 

tl:dr
I took this long weekend to ponder about the meaning of life, where to find it, and what we do to avoid those questions.

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Day 15: The beginning of many things

I'm listening to the Power of Now.

Yesterday I wondered if anyone read my journal update.

Today, (now) it's not important if anyone did read my journal update. What matters, is whether I was fully present when I made that journal update.

Yesterday was in fact, one of my best work days.

Improvement - here we go!

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Days 16 - 17: In the end, it doesn't even matter

Everything is meaningless. Utterly meaningless.

The moment that matters is now.

The past is the past, it's history. The future has not arrived yet, it never will. The future, arrives as the now.

We float, in our minds, constantly thinking about the past and about the future - so much so that we forget that now... is the only moment we experience.

Right now, I'm drinking coffee and typing this journal post. My focused attention is on the taste and smell of the coffee, and the words as I type them.

Does it matter?

No.

Everyone dies. Everyone is forgotten. Life goes on, whether we're here or not.

Why so negative? It is not negative, it is fact.

Live your life while you have it, but do not fret about what was or what's coming...

Because all you have, is today.

Now.

 

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Day 11 - 14: Because life without purpose... is meaningless

I don't know the truth of life, but I do know this: if you don't find something outside of consumption (YouTube, gaming, Netflix, books, social media etc), you'll drift aimlessly through life - You'll hit your deathbed thinking... why was I given this life? Why did I waste it?

Victor Frankl, author of the book, Man's Search for Meaning - mentions three things necessary for a meaningful life:

1. A cause to serve.
2. Someone to love.
3. A meaning for suffering.

The answer to the question: What is the purpose of life, can only be answered by yourself.

All our various forms of consumption (listed above), are our ways of escaping our existential question - we are scared to face it. We are scared of how it might change us. 

tl:dr
I took this long weekend to ponder about the meaning of life, where to find it, and what we do to avoid those questions.

Days 16 - 17: In the end, it doesn't even matter

Everything is meaningless. Utterly meaningless.

The moment that matters is now.

The past is the past, it's history. The future has not arrived yet, it never will. The future, arrives as the now.

We float, in our minds, constantly thinking about the past and about the future - so much so that we forget that now... is the only moment we experience.

Right now, I'm drinking coffee and typing this journal post. My focused attention is on the taste and smell of the coffee, and the words as I type them.

Does it matter?

No.

Everyone dies. Everyone is forgotten. Life goes on, whether we're here or not.

Why so negative? It is not negative, it is fact.

Live your life while you have it, but do not fret about what was or what's coming...

Because all you have, is today.

Now.

I agree, I also think life as a blank slate concept is meaningless by itself. Either everything has a purpose and we live in a deterministic universe or nothing does, and science has been leaning to the latter proposition. It can be scary as hell, but we also have the chance to imbue life with our own personal, abstract, arbitrary meaning. Not only as a coping mechanism, but to enhance the raw experiences we go through. Purpose makes priorities clearer: in a completely random and chaotic universe everything would have the same value and the lack of difference would make all things unappealing. I have struggled with this as well, and still do many times. 

So the best you can do is doing what you like for the satisfaction it gives you. If there's not a why, you can make it a why not.

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