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SlackRamen's Journal


SlackRamen
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Quote I’m contemplating:

 
“I always say that I’ll go first… That means if I’m checking out at the store, I’ll say hello first. If I’m coming across somebody and make eye contact, I’ll smile first. I wish people would experiment with that in their life a little bit: Be first, because - not all times, but most times - it comes in your favour. The response is pretty amazing…” - Gabby Reece
 

Great quote! And very true. Going first, taking initiative, being assertive - that's what LEADERSHIP is all about. 

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Oh the sleep in, how I miss ye ^_^

But there is too much to get done in the mornings mate! Prime time to be maximising cognitive tasks.

I did enjoy that quote as well, though I never understood why people don't want to go first. It's the herd mentality. They're too afraid to do something wrong and be laughed at/ostracized from the tribe. I think there is less pressure when you do go first, because you have freedom to make mistakes and not have to copy someone else! 

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@giblets I know what you mean about maximising the morning mate! On this occasion I decided listening to my body was more important. Burning out is what I'm most focused on avoiding. Very true about the reduced pressure from going first. People almost always seem to forgive you for making mistakes when you go first. 

Day 7
 
Quote I’m contemplating:
 
“Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long term: it’s who you become, as you overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals, that can give you the deepest sense and most long-lasting sense of fulfilment”  - Tony Robbins
 
(I wanted to try and vary the sources and topics of quotes I selected, but when I saw this one from Tony Robbins I couldn’t get it out of my head. So relevant to this forum and where I’m at right now. No more Tony Robbins for a while now.)
 
Status check:
 
I’m feeling anxious about an audition coming up in less than two weeks. I’m not nearly prepared enough, and I know it’s because of the time gaming had been taking up. Now one week in I feel happy with the progress I’ve made and amazed at the amount of time I’ve recovered from each day. Despite this, the date is fast approaching, and I’m feeling the pressure. Taking a minute to check in with my body, I feel as if I’m struggling to stay within the now. It’s tempting to be anxious about the future and depressed about the past, especially since in this case they’re easily linked. It feels like the tornado @zeke365 was talking about.
 
Three things I’m grateful for:
  1. I’m grateful for the abundance of books dad has stockpiled in our shelves for years, and the power they have to shape my knowledge and perception.
  2. I’m grateful for my commitment towards meditation and the positive effects that are already surmounting because of a short 10 minutes every day.
  3. I’m grateful that I've chosen not to give up.
Three amazing things that happened today:
  1. I pulled myself out of the house and did some training in the park, followed by some study and forum activity in the library. Shedding the boundaries of being in my room always feels amazing. Making note.
  2. I got pooped on at the park. Come again? Why, yes. Taking a step back and realising that the bird who pooped on my head was but a speck in the sky when I looked up, I can’t help but be a little amazed. What are the chances that, even if the bird was an asshole who was aiming for my head, it actually hit the target? Note: Patient seems to be showing symptoms of deliriousness. He thinks a bird excreting on him is a good sign. Not good.
  3. I spent some time scheduling in events for my calendar, including an interesting art performance I normally wouldn’t consider going to. It felt amazing to see the calendar get a little more full. This includes a slackline meetup tomorrow!
How I could have made today better:
 
I’m going to get a little meta here for a second and talk about me trying to answer this question. I’ve been sitting here thinking about it for longer than normal. Something is up, and I figure writing might help get to the bottom of it. 
 
Why is this so hard for me to answer today? Possibly because I feel so much went wrong. I felt swamped by the above mentioned stress. As a result I kept filling my face with food. Thinking about that deeper, I may have actually been not eating enough. I’m doing a lot of physical activity at the moment, and probably underestimate just how much I need to be eating. So my body gives in and I snack. Even if this is the case, I know in the past I’ve using food to make me feel more comfortable when facing high-stress situations like assessment deadlines. This is something I would love to tackle in the stages after I’ve successfully removed gaming from my life.
 
Just a reminder to myself: I meditated today and felt like I was finally starting to ‘get’ the visualisation part of it. I also didn’t end up gaming. I just have to put this here, because while it’s easy to feel disappointed by the day, I have to remember that my goal is rock-solid consistency in small steps. And as far as I’m concerned, today was a win.
 
Thoughts:
 
It’s days like this that I’m really impressed by the power of the above journal points. Beginning, I thought today was a pretty slow day where I struggled to get anywhere. After forcing myself to think of three things that I’m both grateful for and believe were amazing, suddenly my mood is elevated. I’m thinking actually today wasn’t that bad after all. It felt like I was trying to push a brick wall down the street and going nowhere, but that’s because I was just looking at the wall the whole time. I didn’t pay any attention to where the wall was actually sitting after all that pushing.  
Edited by SlackRamen
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That is true, sometimes you need to do what your body tells you. I have to remind myself of that when I need to rest from running, because if I don't listen to my body then I just make matters worse. It would be the same as sleeping in versus pushing for a productive morning, you might end up not achieving anything at all which would make matters worse.

For your stress, try to break it down into smaller elements. Just lumping things as 'stressful' doesn't really help you find the root cause of why it is a problem. Why are you stressed? Is it actually just your anxiety feelings about the audition? I would ask you - what do you have to lose? If you don't have anything to lose if the audition doesn't go well, then just relax! I know easier said than done but use some of the meditation time to think about this. Anxiety is our fight or flight mechanism getting out of control, and if you have more to lose by not attempting the audition at all rather than not doing well, then I would say push on and relax.

I always used to feel the same with 'stress', I would fail to define it so I never knew how to deal with it. Now I have shifted to trying to solve the same challenge with frustration.

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Quote I’m contemplating:

 
“I always say that I’ll go first… That means if I’m checking out at the store, I’ll say hello first. If I’m coming across somebody and make eye contact, I’ll smile first. I wish people would experiment with that in their life a little bit: Be first, because - not all times, but most times - it comes in your favour. The response is pretty amazing…” - Gabby Reece 

Thanks for this quote mate. I needed to hear it. Just today I almost got a bit pissed because it feels like I'm always the one "having" to go up and introduce myself to people and start conversation, no one just comes up and talks to me, everyone is just in their own world minding their own business, shy, or whatever. German culture. Travelling Asia meeting international, interesting and highly outgoing people was a different experience. But this is a bit childish. I will take pride in stepping up, showing up, being different, going first.

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Why is this so hard for me to answer today? Possibly because I feel so much went wrong. I felt swamped by the above mentioned stress. As a result I kept filling my face with food. Thinking about that deeper, I may have actually been not eating enough. I’m doing a lot of physical activity at the moment, and probably underestimate just how much I need to be eating. So my body gives in and I snack. Even if this is the case, I know in the past I’ve using food to make me feel more comfortable when facing high-stress situations like assessment deadlines. This is something I would love to tackle in the stages after I’ve successfully removed gaming from my life.

 

Yep food cravings always arise in the presence of some kind of suffering - boredom, stress, agitation, regret and the list goes on. It can be really subtle, almost subconscious even. If you're having a craving, then something's not quite right. You're not satisfied with current experience. But it's hard, and we've all been there and will be there again. But on the times I do manage to sit with, embrace and investigate the suffering instead of indulging, I give myself MASSIVE props and positive reinforcement. Because that shit's hard.

Just a reminder to myself: I meditated today and felt like I was finally starting to ‘get’ the visualisation part of it.

Yo what visualisation part is that? Meditation is really about surrendering to what is, and simply, mindfully observing phenomena arise and pass away, not creating it.

 

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Thanks for the tips @giblets. I really enjoyed having your perspective on it. I think I’ll try and get to the bottom of exactly what the stress is about, defining it more accurately, then I’ll report back. In the meantime I realised you're right. I have more to lose from not attempting the audition at all than by not doing well. 

You’re very welcome @thehondasc00py. There’s something encouraging in remembering that we’re all human and always have something to improve on. I’m going to try sit with my cravings when they next appear. I’ll be absolutely stoked if I manage to simply take 3 deep breaths. It would be heading in the right direction. 

Yo what visualisation part is that? Meditation is really about surrendering to what is, and simply, mindfully observing phenomena arise and pass away, not creating it.

I've been following along with the stress package from Headspace. While I don't necessarily think guided meditations are any better or worse than just being mindful, what I do appreciate is having a mentor and a guide who I can learn things I otherwise may have never discovered from. The visualisation he gets you to do in this case is to image liquid sunlight flowing into you and slowly filling your body. You imagine the liquid to have a spacious, relaxing and warm quality. Eventually it fills you all up and you sit with the feeling. It was strange at first, but I'm honestly starting to feel this profound spaciousness, as if the boundaries of my skin cease to exist. Granted it's only for a few seconds at a time before I lose it, but it's pretty cool.

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Day 8
 
Quote I’m contemplating:
 
“There is no way to happiness - happiness is the way” - Thich Nhat Hanh
 
What I’m watching (10 minutes):
 
 
“We tend to think that misery loves company,
That venting will help get rid of our negative emotions, 
That we’ll feel better if we just talk about how terrible our day was… 
But we forget to talk about the good stuff. 
And yet that’s exactly where our minds need the most practice.” 
 
This is exactly what I needed to hear, delivered loud and clear. Listening to what Alison had to say also brought some clarity to yesterday’s thoughts. Working through my journal seems to be improving my ability to switch from a negative frame to a positive frame. Awesome!
 
What I’m reading:
 
The Paleovedic Diet by Akil Palanisamy - From what I’ve read so far, this is far more than just a diet book. It might still be on sale if anybody’s interested.
 
Status check:
 
I feel great. It’s almost as if the panic from yesterday doesn’t exist any more. I don’t know whether I needed to get some space by sleeping on it, whether it was the journalling practice that helped. There’s a sense of calm though. My body feels satisfyingly tired. I feel like I’ll sleep good tonight.
 
Three things I’m grateful for:
  1. I’m grateful for TED talks, the ideas they share, and how accessible they are.
  2. I’m grateful for my girlfriend’s laughter and the happiness it brings me.
  3. I’m grateful for dark chocolate and its delicious intensity.
Three amazing things that happened today:
  1. I decided to reconfigure my Chrome browser and accidentally lost all my data in the process. "How convenient" I thought. I get to start fresh without the clutter from my gaming days. I spent a bit of time setting up extensions, including downloading Momentum, which is such a nice page to open up to. As my focus task I put “enjoy slacklining."
  2. I went to the slacklining meetup that I had committed myself to going to. I had a great time, met some cool people, did some balancing, had some laughs. Apparently there weren’t nearly as many people as there normally are because of a festival that’s on in Victoria. Conveniently that made it easier for me to mingle with the people who did turn up. 
  3. I came home to find a letter from my girlfriend! She had surprised me with the most beautifully crafter letter I’ve ever received (letting her artistic talent shine). What an amazing way to end the day.
How I could have made today better:
 
By working out something I could do when I get home and I’m exhausted, instead of trying to push through the exhaustion and get more done. A short nap? Listening to some chill music? A cold shower? Some ideas of things I might try.  
 
Thoughts:
 
I’ve been mediating on the idea that everything we do is updating our minds in some way, as if we are editing the code our operating system. Naturally, we try and optimise each update towards efficiency, or in other words: laziness. 
 
It got me thinking, every time I set myself a task to commit to, but give in to the temptation to not follow through, I’m programming myself to be a person who doesn’t follow through with their commitments. Whether it’s waking up early, meditating, going to the gym, meeting up with a friend or writing down 5 things to do today. Giving up on even the smallest commitment sets me back by miles. 
 
So how would I approach this? By fundamentally rewiring the essence of who I am. I’m going to start knowing myself as someone who doesn’t give in to the voice inside my head trying to talk me out of following through. As someone who stays 100% true to their commitments. And knowing that a small spec of snow can become the size of a boulder by the time it reaches the bottom of a mountain, I’m going to take it one step at a time. 
 
I’m only 8 days in, but that’s 192 hours of commitment to being gaming-free and having a daily meditation practice (and unofficially, journalling practice as well) that I’ve stuck to, and the first 8 steps to becoming very powerful.
 
ACTION STEP: I’m going to put this to practice by giving myself ridiculously easy commitments to make following through a habit. 
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Yo what visualisation part is that? Meditation is really about surrendering to what is, and simply, mindfully observing phenomena arise and pass away, not creating it.

I've been following along with the stress package from Headspace. While I don't necessarily think guided meditations are any better or worse than just being mindful, what I do appreciate is having a mentor and a guide who I can learn things I otherwise may have never discovered from. The visualisation he gets you to do in this case is to image liquid sunlight flowing into you and slowly filling your body. You imagine the liquid to have a spacious, relaxing and warm quality. Eventually it fills you all up and you sit with the feeling. It was strange at first, but I'm honestly starting to feel this profound spaciousness, as if the boundaries of my skin cease to exist. Granted it's only for a few seconds at a time before I lose it, but it's pretty cool.

Ahh yeah I'm familiar with this technique. Cool, if it's working keep doing it.

It got me thinking, every time I set myself a task to commit to, but give in to the temptation to not follow through, I’m programming myself to be a person who doesn’t follow through with their commitments. Whether it’s waking up early, meditating, going to the gym, meeting up with a friend or writing down 5 things to do today. Giving up on even the smallest commitment sets me back by miles. 

Yup. I strongly believe self-integrity is the highest virtue. My word needs to be iron. I want to be someone that, when they say they do something, they do it. I'll show up and get that shit done when others can't. "Damn, we got this problem that really needs to get done by x. Whoever could we call?""Call him, Sir. Call Hondasc00py. They call him the problem solver." That's who I want to be. Furthermore, my word with myself needs to be iron. This is a game with consequences, every time I break my word and chicken out of something I said I would do, I lose a little self-worth, my word weakens.

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I got some of the same thoughts about beeing consequent. It is really hard for me because I usually make a lot of plans and can't hold myself to it always. I think it is important to make realistic plans and then make it possible to stick to them. I feel like this is of an equal importance then beeing disciplined.

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@thehondasc00py@WorkInProgress - Definitely a value I hold highly. I have the same problem with setting too much for myself. I follow through on almost everything, but because I set the bar too high, I inevitably fall short. That last 5% that gets left unfinished isn't too bad by itself, but when it happens again and again it begins to become a habit. It's a balancing act setting big and bold dreams while still keeping them achievable. As Bill Gates says, “most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

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Day 9
 
Quote I’m contemplating:
 
“You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world’s happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.” - Dale Carnegie
 
Video I’m watching:
 
 
“There's an emptiness gnawing away at people,and you don't have to be clinically depressed to feel it. 
Sooner or later, I think we all wonder: Is this all there is? 
And according to the research, what predicts this despair is not a lack of happiness. 
It's a lack of something else, a lack of having meaning in life.” 
 
What I’m reading:
 
 
Status check:
 
I’m tired, feeling like these journals are getting pushed back a little later every day. Responding to other journals on the forum is something that gives me joy, but has been feeling difficult to squeeze into the day. I feel like I should try and write my journal earlier tomorrow and then respond to journals after. Other than that, my eyelids in particular are feeling tired, and my shoulders. The shoulders would be from being a monkey in the tree yesterday; eyelids from looking at the computer screen too much in the last few days. I’m also excited though. Lots and nothing got done today!
 
Three things I’m grateful for:
  1. I’m grateful for music’s ability to sooth the soul.
  2. I’m grateful for the act of journalling, and the way it seems to kick me in the ass just right.
  3. I’m grateful for my worn out shoes and how they nurture my feet while I travel around.
Three amazing things that happened today:
  1. Inspired by what I was reading about eating more seafood, I reached into the cupboard and grabbed out a can of sardines that had been sitting there since the dawn of time. Double checking the expiry date (and realising these things last forever) I opened it up and incorporated it into a tomato-base vegetable scrambled egg. It turned out to not only taste amazingly delicious, but also boost my mental clarity. It was like someone only just realised the room had a light switch, and decided to turn it on. Amazing!
  2. I dedicated the day to finding a job. Quite recently out of work, I was in a bit of a slump, but decided to finally get my shit together. Still in the first stages, but if felt amazing to give myself permission to rise again.
  3. I got to spend some time with mum, and she was asking for advice for tackling difficult issues. It was amazing to finally have a deep conversation about all the little things I’ve been obsessing over. Talking about how important journalling has been sent shivers through my body - a sign that I was onto something real and true. I love those very tactile experiences.
How I could have made today better:
 
I’m going to be honest. I could’ve done without that bar of chocolate I ate after my long day at the library. I worked hard, so of course I deserved a reward. Were there better rewards I could've given myself? Yes. The instant satisfaction of the chocolate only made me feel terrible afterwords. Was it worth it? Nope.
 
Thoughts:
 
This journal is getting quite long now isn’t it? Some of the above points probably don’t need to be fleshed out as much. By the time I get to my thoughts, I almost feel like I’ve used them all up. Then again it’s much easier to expand on my thoughts as they come to me. In that regard, I’m happy with how it’s turning out. 
 
My recent addition of what I’m watching is an experiment with two main goals:
  1. I’m finding it inspiring to listen to different perspectives on topics of interest. This is something I’d love to be make a daily habit, beginning with short 10 minute videos.
  2. With great feedback the quotes I’m mulling over, I thought providing another launch point for people reading to find themselves in the right place at the right time wouldn’t be bad. I love that moment when things finally click for people.
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Put your journal first. Everything in life (including work), should only ever be #2, behind yourself and your wellbeing. I try to keep the routine of doing my journal as soon as I wake up, as that is when you are at your best mentally, then if I still have time afterwards I will read some others. At the end of the day if I have got a lot of work done or completed my studies I will have another look again. That way, if you're having a busy day or not having a good day, at least you got your journal completed, and the community understands that you can't comment or help every day.

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@thehondasc00py - The other Chrome extensions I'm using right now are:

  • Clip to Evernote - I fell in love with Evernote and use it liberally. Their extension compliments it beautifully.
  • 1Password - Managing all passwords with a single mother password! Hallelujah!
  • AdBlock Plus - Once you use it, there's no going back... 
  • News Feed Eradicator for Facebook - Really great. I've deleted all my social media in the past, but I've found this to be a good replacement. It takes away all the mindless scrolling of Facebook and only leaves the good bits like events and messages.
  • Google Calendar Extension

For blocking sites I've downloaded K9, which isn't an extension, but it opens up in your browser. I'm happy with it so far.

@giblets - You have a good point. I wanted to use my online journal as a tool to reflect on each day, so I've decided to put it before bed. I do a bit of free association journalling in the mornings, and am enjoying that. You're right about putting my journal first though. I'm sure I'm inspiring others who read my journal, so I shouldn't worry about not helping the community out as much. Journal first, everything else second. Thanks for telling me what I needed to hear.

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Day 10
 
Quote I’m contemplating:
 
“People always think you gain trust first and then you’re vulnerable with people. But the truth is, you can’t really earn trust over time with people without being somewhat vulnerable first.” - Brené Brown
 
Video I’m watching:
 
 
“Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”
 
What I’m reading:
 
The Paleovedic Diet by Akil Palanisamy - I didn't find time to read today. Aiming to finish this over the weekend.
 
Status check:
 
I’m feeling a mix of things, all squished and bundled together. Excitingly, I’ve gone and applied for a lot of work. I feel amazing for having done that for myself. At the same time though, I’m playing the waiting game to know whether any of it will amount to anything. Waiting sucks. It feels like I’m in a void, passing between worlds. I’m also feeling a little lonely, as the past two days I didn’t have anything social planned. I’m happy that my friend’s birthday party is tomorrow though. Something to look forward to!
 
Three things I’m grateful for:
  1. I’m grateful for my camera.
  2. I’m grateful for the time I have on this earth.
  3. I’m grateful for the smiles I receive in response to mine.
Three amazing things that happened today:
  1. I did my workout for the day.
  2. I picked up my camera that I haven’t touched in a few months and a sketchbook and set off into the unknown for the evening. 
  3. While sitting in the park, a dog came up to me and we locked eyes. It stayed just out of reach and just stared. At least a good few minutes must have passed before it decided to walk off, without a word. What an amazing feeling it is to look into another’s soul.
How I could have made today better:
 
By not stressing and obsessing over the NYE tickets my girlfriend wanted me to buy online. Sitting there and spamming refresh for an hour before giving it a break wasn’t the best idea. In the end the site still hadn’t recovered from the crash, so I lost out in every sense.
 
Thoughts:
 
Today I got some pretty major cravings early on to game. I was sitting down for breakfast and had such a strong urge to grab my phone to game. I’ve clearly made this a habit in the past. Then the cravings came back while trying to book NYE tickets. The act of mindlessly refreshing made me want to game hard, but I resisted. 
 
In other news, I’ve been reading through Tom’s Journal and finding lots of inspiration to get out and meet more people. I think it needs to be pretty high up on my list of priorities, as I’m feeling the need for more connection. 
 
Another thing on my mind is just how slow this is feeling, which is both good and bad. Normally life seems to pass by at incredible speeds. Before I know it, the year is over. But the past 10 days have been playing in slow motion. My thoughts are that this is due to a combination of reflection, which I did almost none of, and the empty space gaming used to fill. 
 
It feels like my brain is all mushed up right now, and like nothing is making sense. Sleep time. 
Edited by SlackRamen
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Half a day delayed, the post you've all been waiting for. I think this is my shortest journal so far, but I'm thinking of spending my day 12 (the start of October) doing some reflection and planning for the month. Expect a juicy next entry!

Day 11
 
Quote I’m contemplating:
 
“In a blink of an eye, we’ll all be gone. 100 years compared to infinity is nothing. I talk to my sister all the time… I say, ‘girl, you better start having some fun. We’re gonna be gone in a minute. You’re gonna look back and say, "shit, I should have been laughing, and now I’m dead”’” - Jamie Foxx
 
(That quote quickly got three quotes deep…)
 
Video I’m watching (12 mins):
 
 
What I’m reading:
 
 
Status check:
 
I’m checking in quickly after a late night out. I don’t remember the last time I let myself stay up this late. It’s past midnight! What a boring old fart I have become. I feel good though. Very happy I went.
 
Three things I’m grateful for:
  1. I’m grateful for the chance to party the night away.
  2. I’m grateful for my desk that I’m typing this on.
  3. I’m grateful for my friend turning 22.
Three amazing things that happened today:
  1. Partying.
  2. I didn’t feel uncomfortable for almost the entire night out. This was something I wanted to focus on - loosening up - as I normally find loud social events quite stressful. I much prefer smaller more intimate encounters.
  3. I had some killer garlic prawns for lunch.
How I could have made today better:
 
I decided since it was the weekend to give myself a relaxing day. What I noticed was that without having a clear goal, the day vanished into thin air. It actually felt very unsatisfying. On the one hand I did kind of want that, but on the other hand, I didn’t get to digest the book I had hoped to, or go through my photos, or go for a walk. The day just kind of vanished in the procrastination of relaxation. What?
 
Thoughts:
 
No thoughts, just sleep. 
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Nice journal layout :D Looks like things are going well for you, keep it up man! 

Sounds like you had a good night out, and even better you could loosen up. Don't let it bother you if you can't do that all the time though, not everyone is suited to partying all the time :)

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