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12 minutes ago, Ikar said:

Blaming and excuses never get us anywhere.

That is true. Even though I have to say that at some point, I blamed sugar as well as games for my bad situation. So maybe this is just something that humans do. But I think, if it hinders us to take action and to get into a stage of "there is nothing I can do since X has control" it is a problem.

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Self- control

Lately, I have been thinking a lot abou the idea of self- control and control in general. I think that it is something, which is very relevant for people like me, who had and have struggling with addiction. It is not only a very nice skill people in our society like to have and show to others, it is one of the main themes in many journals here at GQ, at least in mine: Diet, working out, procrastination, gaming, going out and being social a lot of that has some kind of topic wrapped around the idea to self control. If we would have perfect self control, we would just do it. But there are many things, which are quite tempting, so tempting that it gets hard for us. If we happen to have the right narrative, mindset or identity, however you want to frame it, you can let go. For instance, in my mind, games are not tempting whatsover. I never think about them, they don't mean anything to me. I just don't care. They add nothing to my life. So that is easy. But if there is a chance that there are things, which are somehow tempting to us, but we want to resist them and practice our self-control there is only one thing that results: A conflict inside of us. And I think that this is a huge problem. This conflict will not just resolve itself. It will grow, it will get bigger and bigger. Until it eventually explodes and will cause some kind of relapse regarding our diet, gaming, working behavior, procrastination and watching videos or porn. So I have never seem an alternative to this path. As long as this conflict exists, we will fail. Everytime. There is only one scenario, where we don't fail or don't relapse - if there is no conflict. I could look at a piece of muffin for hours, nothing really happens. I am not conflicted. With porn, it is different. As long as masturbation or pornography are in some way "meaningful" to us, we can try this no fap pseudoscience all day long, it will not work. As long as watching gaming videos or youtube videos gives us a good feeling and creates a certain mood inside of us, forcing us not to do it will almost certainly create an emptiness inside of us, which eventually needs to be filled.

I think that this can be a great observation, because it indicates that certain attempts to tackle addictions. If it is something, we enjoy, trying not to do it will not work. Instead, I started to accept those things. My porn addiction? Whatever man. Sometimes eating too much? I don't care. I have started to spend my energy to running against brick walls, I just do, whatever I am capable to do. My work ethic is amazing. It is easy for me. I could work all day long. But the moment, where I get tired, I just stop. Why bother, if I know that me forcing myself to work through this tiredness will make me relapse into procrastination the next day? Eventually, it is all about just doing, what I am capable at this specific moment. It is crazy, how much more energy I have by not forcing myself to do things. Just letting it happen. This is very different from opinions, I had months ago, where I would work diehard through certain periods of being tired. And it burned a whole in me. Now I just do, what I can do. Fuck those Elon Musks and self development coaches, who have no solid scientific background (Elon does I think), and who only want your money and use neuroscience bullshit as "proofs" for their claims. Ofc, there are obviosuly exceptions. But many of them do that and some of their advices made my life more miserable. Making a list of all my goals and deadlines, when to do them? Terrible. Waking up every morning at 5 and ignore sleep, because I can sleep, when I am dead? Bullshit. I certainly benefit when I wake up a little earlier, have some structure in my routines and get some shit done. But why spend energy to "force" myself out of bed and start the day like that, when I can also start it with some relaxed mindset. Crazy, how different my ideas are now. I am more at peace with myself. Self acceptance is coming to mind. But I still have a long way to go. Let's see, how I can use this stuff regarding my social life, once Corona is over.

 

 

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I agree that pushing yourself too far beyond your limits, seriously slows you down longer term. But shouldn’t we push outselves a bit over our limits occasionally? You do that in the gym I suppose.

You know how they say, if you want a task well done , put it on a guy that has a lot to do? I can say from practice, when this happened to me, all of the crap shyness went away, I pressed so hard to get it out of the way that people helped me with my needs when they typically wouldn’t have. I cut out all the unnecessary shitty steps.

If I have just one task in the day, I will ( true for over 15 years) delay it a lot and waste energy before even getting to the main thing. 

Results and more importantly goals moderate what I am doing, how much I am doing of it, why I am doing it. You said this too.

What I really want to learn is how to have a consistent/sustained rise in the level of your strength, focusing ability, confidence and wiser time allocation.

 

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I agree regarding that. @Amphibian220

But I see a difference between pushing yourself and pushing yourself.

If I push myself regarding a thing, which is not part of my natural routines, some kind of illusion, what I like to do that is a waste of energy.

I think even in those situations, where you have a lot of tasks, it is still within your capabilities and limitations. I think that is the sweet spot: We are committed, but at the same time, have enough energy to get shit done. We don't overdo it. That is the thing, I am aiming at. But before, I often aimed for illusion and ridiculous schedules, which were just not representing myself.

Example: I would wake up at 5 work for hours in the mourning, basically eat and sleep and then around 5 pm, which is my personal low point of the day, I would still force myself. This is pushing myself. Is it smart pushing? No

Another example: I wake up around 7, feel quite awake due to enough sleep, then work for hours, have a good break and do other stuff in between. Around 5 pm, I don't work, because it is a waste of my energy, but then at 8 pm, I have another burst and push me a bit to read some more stuff. That is also pushing. Is it smarter pushing, which will lead to more results and longer sustainability? Hell yeah.

 

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Alex,

not everything is expressable in words

The first part of your post, when bad habits can be meaningful to us- I think that happens due to fear of becoming great. 

I can’t explain that in more detail, but next time that I’m under discomfort, I will tell myself to stay strong because I never know what’s around the corner.

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1 hour ago, Amphibian220 said:

not everything is expressable in words

I can't help it. xD As future psychologist it is kind of my job to try to look for meaning and make as much expressable as possible. The fascinating thing that I have observed in myself and also in others is the fact that the stories and narratives, we tell ourselves and belive in are very important to our success. In this journal, I am just collecting my ideas and thoughts. I cannot be sure and would be arrogant to say that everything is true. 

1 hour ago, Amphibian220 said:

but next time that I’m under discomfort, I will tell myself to stay strong because I never know what’s around the corner.

That is an awesome mindset. But I have have seen in myself that this thing has two aspects. One the one hand, I never managed to sustain staying "strong" for longer periods of time. Eventually, I would fall back into my "standard". Getting stronger in relation "to my standard" is my current goal. A bit more balanced than before. I think I made some mistakes in that regard. One the other hand, staying strong showed me that sometimes, what I thought is my limitation, is not actually the limit and that I can go further, which helped me grow. So it is a bit of a tricky pony. How much can or should I go in order to "grow and become better"? When am I going too far so that it will backfire? I think this is what I am trying to understand now for me personally.

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On 4/2/2020 at 7:38 PM, Alexanderle said:

As long as masturbation or pornography are in some way "meaningful" to us, we can try this no fap pseudoscience all day long, it will not work. As long as watching gaming videos or youtube videos gives us a good feeling and creates a certain mood inside of us, forcing us not to do it will almost certainly create an emptiness inside of us, which eventually needs to be filled.

I think the idea here is that sexual release is indispensable and the only real question here is how I want to do it, not if I want to do it. It's the same with eating or drinking. Not drinking anything is bad. Drinking two liters of soda is fine. Drinking two liters of water is even better. I'd argue there is not a lot of these basic categories that everyone needs to get done, but they are extremely hard to set straight once they somehow got "contaminated".

On 4/2/2020 at 7:38 PM, Alexanderle said:

Making a list of all my goals and deadlines, when to do them? Terrible.

I believe some people might enjoy it, but it's hard to be realistic with goal setting, check-boxes and whatnot. Perhaps I can get my daily tasks done in 4 hours and feel miserable, but I can also get them done in 6 hours and feel great that I took them on slower. I think it's more important to watch the whole "vision" or big picture of my life.

Some goals might even have a random factor thrown in. I can work out every day for the next year, if I really want to. Whether I can find a girlfriend or make a million dollars is not that 100% anymore, but it's generally better to still put some efforts towards these goals and to search for opportunities.

On 4/2/2020 at 7:38 PM, Alexanderle said:

I certainly benefit when I wake up a little earlier, have some structure in my routines and get some shit done. But why spend energy to "force" myself out of bed and start the day like that, when I can also start it with some relaxed mindset. Crazy, how different my ideas are now. I am more at peace with myself. Self acceptance is coming to mind. But I still have a long way to go. Let's see, how I can use this stuff regarding my social life, once Corona is over.

While I do have a schedule, I mostly write there what I did rather than what I plan to do. I also prefer slower starts to my days, picking up the pace during the afternoon.

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1 hour ago, Ikar said:

Drinking two liters of soda is fine. Drinking two liters of water is even better.

That is an interesting point whether those categories are more gradual or "black and white". The thing is that there is not a right answer I fear. It depends on your belief system. For me, drinking two liters of soda is not fine, because it contains so much sugar. I litterally never drink it ever. I only drink water, tea and coffee. Now two litres of coffee are fine for me. Another person might argue that this is a bad thing. Or I say that masturbation is fine, while it is not fine for some people, because they what to achieve something with that abstinence. In the same notion, we could say that two hours of gaming is fine, while two hours of reading a book might be better. It is impossible to come up with categories, which are "right or wrong".

1 hour ago, Ikar said:

I think it's more important to watch the whole "vision" or big picture of my life.

100 percent agree with this.

 

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23 minutes ago, Alexanderle said:

That is an interesting point whether those categories are more gradual or "black and white". The thing is that there is not a right answer I fear. It depends on your belief system. For me, drinking two liters of soda is not fine, because it contains so much sugar. I litterally never drink it ever. I only drink water, tea and coffee. Now two litres of coffee are fine for me. Another person might argue that this is a bad thing. Or I say that masturbation is fine, while it is not fine for some people, because they what to achieve something with that abstinence. In the same notion, we could say that two hours of gaming is fine, while two hours of reading a book might be better. It is impossible to come up with categories, which are "right or wrong".

Before it's about "right or wrong", it's about "compulsory or voluntary". We can quit gaming altogether and survive. But we can't quit eating, drinking or breathing altogether and survive. I like to put sexuality there as well, but notice I didn't write "masturbation" per se; I think there are ways to express that energy other than masturbation itself, but I don't think it can be completely replaced.

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34 minutes ago, Ikar said:

"compulsory or voluntary"

But aren't we ultimately than make distinctions again about right and wrong? If something is compulsory, we make distictions about what is "right" to drink and what is not? Or if something is voluntary, we only voluntarily do that thing, which seems to be "right" in that moment?

37 minutes ago, Ikar said:

I like to put sexuality there as well,

Abraham Maslow does the same with his hierarchy of needs. I think sex is as important for us as breathing, eating or drinking. An evolutionist would argue that we want to spread our genes as an innate need. But I think, it is even more complicated than that. There is a reason, why pornography is so successfull, why dating apps are popular and why a movement such as no fap is so successfull, because trying to control such a powerful need seems to be tempting.

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Passion vs multipotentialitism

So, this is a very important thing, I have been thinking for quite a while. And I still have not come to an agreement with myself. Gaming has always been my "passion". So that I would do it as often as possible. I surely was a professional in that sense - I can only guess the number of hours. And something, which is very honourable in our society is the idea that someone finds his passion, or that sometimes, the passion finds you by heart. Guys like Lang Lang, a genius piano player, Lebron James, probably the best basketball player of the 2000s so far or Charles Darwin. He has spend more than 20 years on his main project regarding evolution theory. So, it seems that some people are quite able to find this one passion. 

For me, besides my "passion" or better addiction of gaming, this has always been a struggle. Recently, I read something about multipotentiates - people who accept the fact that not a single passion passed by and therefore engage in several of them. I kinda see myself in this ideal. I always was a person, who started a netflix series and would quit after one season. Even my most beloved series of all time, Game of thrones and breaking bad - I quit them both in between at first. The same with studies, courses or "hobbies". I tried quite a lot of things whether it is music, art, bottle gardens, programming, language learning, running, ... this list is longer than you could ever imagine. So why I always had this sense of failing and incapability to finish something, the concept of multipotentialite gives me a way out in the sense that I might not only have failed: A multipotentialite is not someone, who finishes the book for the sake of finishing the book, but rather to read the book UNTIL he has found, what he was looking for, from entertainment, knowledge to meaning.

While I don't see myself as a multipotentialite in the long run,  it is an interesting worldview as a contrasting pole to the idea that you need to have a passion. I think we don't like to be mediocre. Being mediocre scares us. It is fine to be very bad at it, so that we can say with certainty that we dislike it. Or we are very good and feel like a champion. Being neither nor is not very alluring. But that is just an idea. I have no proof for that. Now here is the deal: the concept of multipotentialitism seems to ignore that we sometimes are not finishing something, just because we are not capable, or we are not strong enough regarding will power. But maybe this could also be put into the same category with being bored. So I just leave it at that.

But here is someone, who would totally disagree with the idea of multipotentialites: Bill Gates. He is known to read many books. And he finishes every single book, even if he does not like it and disagrees with it. So while this seems admirable or even a bit insane, it might reflect his character, his wisdom and a reason, why he is so successful. He is very smart in many different areas and really suggests that we should adept the habit of finishing things, something I always have failed to establish properly. I tend to agree with him intuitively, but I also like the comforting message of the multipotentialites that I should do, whatever I am seeking without really focus on finishing things. It is a tricky pony and in a sense I think that Bill Gates should be more trusted, since he in some way is a morph between the dimensions of passion and multipotentiatism, because he has a variety of passions, not just superficially, but quite elaborated, as far as I am aware of.

I really don't know, what it the right way to go here. Maybe it is totally subjective. What works for Bill Gates, might not work for another person. Anyways, for now, I am more focusing on the Gates way of finishing things. If I am successful with that, maybe I will be able to evaluate this topic at a later point in time. Maybe I then try to go for the multipotentialite way, which is certainly comforting, but for now not attractive enough for me. That's it for now.

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6 hours ago, Alexanderle said:

Passion vs multipotentialitism

So, this is a very important thing, I have been thinking for quite a while. And I still have not come to an agreement with myself. Gaming has always been my "passion". So that I would do it as often as possible. I surely was a professional in that sense - I can only guess the number of hours. And something, which is very honourable in our society is the idea that someone finds his passion, or that sometimes, the passion finds you by heart. Guys like Lang Lang, a genius piano player, Lebron James, probably the best basketball player of the 2000s so far or Charles Darwin. He has spend more than 20 years on his main project regarding evolution theory. So, it seems that some people are quite able to find this one passion. 

For me, besides my "passion" or better addiction of gaming, this has always been a struggle. Recently, I read something about multipotentiates - people who accept the fact that not a single passion passed by and therefore engage in several of them. I kinda see myself in this ideal. I always was a person, who started a netflix series and would quit after one season. Even my most beloved series of all time, Game of thrones and breaking bad - I quit them both in between at first. The same with studies, courses or "hobbies". I tried quite a lot of things whether it is music, art, bottle gardens, programming, language learning, running, ... this list is longer than you could ever imagine. So why I always had this sense of failing and incapability to finish something, the concept of multipotentialite gives me a way out in the sense that I might not only have failed: A multipotentialite is not someone, who finishes the book for the sake of finishing the book, but rather to read the book UNTIL he has found, what he was looking for, from entertainment, knowledge to meaning.

While I don't see myself as a multipotentialite in the long run,  it is an interesting worldview as a contrasting pole to the idea that you need to have a passion. I think we don't like to be mediocre. Being mediocre scares us. It is fine to be very bad at it, so that we can say with certainty that we dislike it. Or we are very good and feel like a champion. Being neither nor is not very alluring. But that is just an idea. I have no proof for that. Now here is the deal: the concept of multipotentialitism seems to ignore that we sometimes are not finishing something, just because we are not capable, or we are not strong enough regarding will power. But maybe this could also be put into the same category with being bored. So I just leave it at that.

But here is someone, who would totally disagree with the idea of multipotentialites: Bill Gates. He is known to read many books. And he finishes every single book, even if he does not like it and disagrees with it. So while this seems admirable or even a bit insane, it might reflect his character, his wisdom and a reason, why he is so successful. He is very smart in many different areas and really suggests that we should adept the habit of finishing things, something I always have failed to establish properly. I tend to agree with him intuitively, but I also like the comforting message of the multipotentialites that I should do, whatever I am seeking without really focus on finishing things. It is a tricky pony and in a sense I think that Bill Gates should be more trusted, since he in some way is a morph between the dimensions of passion and multipotentiatism, because he has a variety of passions, not just superficially, but quite elaborated, as far as I am aware of.

I really don't know, what it the right way to go here. Maybe it is totally subjective. What works for Bill Gates, might not work for another person. Anyways, for now, I am more focusing on the Gates way of finishing things. If I am successful with that, maybe I will be able to evaluate this topic at a later point in time. Maybe I then try to go for the multipotentialite way, which is certainly comforting, but for now not attractive enough for me. That's it for now.

I think you're experiencing something we've all experienced and most likely will experience again. I've struggled immensely with it. I used to be a pro gamer for almost a decade and now I'm just an average person. There are so many different things that lead us to passions. I think we can find passion through two methods (there are more, but I've found success with these two):

  1. Method 1: Finding an interest, slowly building it, being patient, finding enjoyment, building confidence, continue enjoying, find success, find passion.
  2. Method 2: Fueling a current passion through new outlets

My two passions are comedy and hockey. I like art, but haven't been passionate about it because I don't like creating beautiful things. I like to create funny things. I tried learning how to paint, but it was expensive and stressful. I tried drawing, but that was boring for me. I'm great with software so I've been experimenting with 3d modeling. 

My Method 1:

I liked modeling, but it stressed me out because all I did was tutorials. Tutorials are long, cumbersome, stressful, and not very fun to be honest. I lost all my motivation to 3d model. My new passion was gone before I did anything. I recently went back to 3d model and had success this week after 3 months off from it. I'm now getting fun ideas for it and I'm starting to develop a passion for it. I'm becoming confident and enjoying it. Once I'm comfortable with the software I'll be able to think of funny or creative ideas and just get to work on it instead of freaking out that I need to learn before doing.

My Method 2:

Hockey is canceled so I can't fuel my passion for it, but I know it's there. I enjoy rock climbing, but I'm not passionate about it yet because of my lack of confidence and I can't practice it with the pandemic. I am passionate about music, but don't play an instrument. I absolutely love listening to it though. I enjoy dancing, singing, headbanging, etc. I think playing the drums might fuel my passion. I might struggle with the drums while learning, but if I can play an instrument along with my favorite songs, it might heighten my passion for it.

Engineering. I've always loved building things and designing them. I enjoy how structural engineering and physics work. It intrigues me and I want to create stuff. I became a structural engineer and now practice it a minimum of 8 hours a day at work. Yes, it's stressful as fuck, but I'm also designing bridges and buildings around the country so it's pretty exciting. Working has given me new opportunities to grow my passion for design and allowed me to be compensated for it.

Good luck. It's different for all of us. My advice might be totally wrong for you, but right for me. Just like how you mentioned different people in your post. Just experiment, research yourself, and see what happens. I think you'll find some passions.

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@BooksandTrees I think your two methods are a good description of something, of which I was aware of, but I never phrased that way. Makes a lot of sense. I think I have examples for both of them. Right now, I think psychology, what I studying as well as working out are huge passions. And I think, I always felt that if there is something, which I kinda have to force myself to do in order to see, if it is a passion, if was not really a passion. But then I also slowly build up my habit for working out and it was not always easy or something I enjoy. Probably once again has to do with our mindset, our identity and belief systems, but yeah, I guess your message is to just be patient and keep going. Will do so. Thanks!

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The issue with the all-out lifestyle focused just on one thing is that once that thing goes away, the chance that it's going to drastically change your current lifestyle is very high. In that case, it doesn't even matter if it's something we love or hate. Going to work or to school or gaming for some 30-50 hours a week is quite an investment of time and identity.

More than a year ago, I think about 90% of my identity could've been defined by my relationship with my ex and gaming. I think nowadays there isn't a single thing that I do that would define me from more than 20% or that I would consistently invest 20% of my waking hours into. I don't think I even want to though, I like how diversified my personality is nowadays.

8 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

I used to be a pro gamer for almost a decade and now I'm just an average person.

One of the things I miss is that borderline insane relentlessness to just finish a secondary task and go back to the primary one (gaming) immediately without delay. I think we have to give ourselves credit for what we do though. In my case, I wouldn't say I am "average", I just do a bunch of different things and I wouldn't know which one to start writing about 😄

As for things I like doing, I found out life has mysterious ways in getting me into them regardless. I can't reason myself into doing something new, it's intuitive for me. Either by randomly pondering about it for a couple of times or as a logical continuation of what I'm doing at the moment already.

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1 hour ago, Alexanderle said:

I have never written stuff like in this post before. I hope that whoever reads this, treats it confidentially. I am glad that noone really knows my true identity here. And I think that eventually, I might delete it at a certain time, when it has no power over me again. But for now, I need to get it out to get rid of this "thing" inside me, which controls me.

So I have two big things in my mind now, which today made me think a lot. First about those two things and "realizations" then a short description of my day.

1. Finishing

So I made a commitment to myself to actually finish things. I have for  instance this weird habit to start a series and then stop in the middle. One could say that it is just not an enjoyable series for me then. But like I said already: One of my most beloved series turned me off at first and then I rewatched it and I got hooked (breaking bad). This tells me that my feelings of quitting something cannot me trusted. It is more like a temporary moodswing, which makes me stop. And I know that this habit is not just affecting series and movies, but also pretty much everything else. So now I want to go with the "Bill Gates way" for a while: He finishes every book, regardless what happens, regardless whether he enjoys it. This is more like an experiment to see, how it makes me feel, to develop this "finishing habit". I really have nothing to lose here, since the habit of not finishing really makes me feel bad.

2. Quitting porn

This is a tough one. I had a pretty good stretch from november until the time of january, where I had this one night stand. Who thought that a one night stand can be so bad for you. The thing itself was quite enjoyable at the time. There is this issue that I did not use a condome. She said that it is fine, because she is preventing, so I am not afraid regarding pregnancy bullshit, but more in terms of std's. Once this corona stuff is over, I am gonna get myself checked out. The chance of having something is quit unlikely, but I am a bit hypochondriac in this regard. If I would have some hiv shit becaue of that, I would be pretty pissed at myself. Again, very unlikely, but you never know. Another thing is the fact that I just don't feel good about myself regarding my own responsibility. I should be smarter. And I will be smarter in the future. The next thing is that I just don't feel good about myself in general. In the movies, these one night stand are just so funny and enjoyable for the characters. The reality is different. Ever since that, I am not interested in casualities anymore. It is crazy, how fast we have to realize that something, we kinda dreamed about is so different in reality. 😕  I am still kinda glad to have these bad thoughts out of my mind and on "paper". Might be helpful to deal with it easier.

Anyways, the problem is that it made me go back to pornography as this safe haven, where I kinda do, whatever I want without any negative consequences. Without any responsibility for myself or other people. All about my primal desires. But the problem is that it makes me feel bad. So this will stop now!

I was listening to some interesting things by Dr. Jordan Peterson, who I think is a very smart guy. He kinda made me realize something, which is close to what booksandtrees already said that I just don't have anything else to replace the porn habit with: He said that it is not about quitting porn, but trying to have a better life. How could my life look like, if I would take care of myself, like I would take care of a person I personally care for. And Peterson also indicated that it is smart to write down, how my life would be in a positive way AND in a negative way, so if I would have not taken care of myself. And this is so true. It is the solution. It worked for me to quit sugar. Regarding sugar, I am always pointing out towards the benefits of muscles, sixpack and appreciation by other people (even though this is an illusion) and on the flipside becoming fat and ugly. This is so powerful -  this narrative alone makes me so strong and resistant against sugar that you could put every sweet in the world right in front of me: I would still ignore it. So yeah, let's do this now with porn. Once and for all. Let's get this story down and add it to my identity. I know that I am capable to turn the switch around. No porn ever!

Positive: If I stop porn, I will feel good about myself. The same confidence, I also get when I don't eat sweats... for porn it will be twice as much. It will give me a lot more willpower, but also valuable time, which I don't have to spend on finding the "right" video. I will feel good about my sexuality, I have nothing to hide in my browser history and I will feel free! I will just come one step closer to my true desired identity and will be more at ease with myself. I am a strong, responsible person, no need for this crap. Also I am no longer willing to accept that I am helping an industry, which treats its "actors", both males and females (even though probably more the females) like complete shit. I am reading something about ethics and morality in university, but are still supporting this? This is not right. It has to stop. It is not real on my screen, but very real for those actors. When I feel like crap after just this single one night stand, how most they feel after years? 😮 

Negative: If everything stays like that, I will get erection problems again. You have no idea, what kind of power pornography had. Now think about, how my life looked back in the days, where sugar, procrastination, fast food, games as well as porn all together controlled me! I was a zombie. Literally! I was not myself, captured in a dreamworld. A bad dream that is. I don't want to go back. But porn is always a gateway back to those old times. If everything stays, porn will humiliate me. I humiliate myself. I am serious with that.

I now write down some of the porn things, I watched. Only once, never again. But this should be enough, to finally gain control. To not feel embarrassed and ashamed. Please be confidential with that. You should understand, how it made me feel, when I looked for humiliation videos, of people giving me instructions, spitting on me, beating me or kicking me. Those hentai videos, where monsters were literally raping me. Some of them actually gaming characters. How ironic! Gangbang shit, 3d stuff. Awful. I have a very normal sexuality, I like girls obviously, but this porn stuff is nothing like that. It is a deep black hole, which sucks you in. And I can't even blame the actors, who also are sucked in in this hole and have to pretend, how much they like it. This is a bad industry. And if everything stays like it is, I am not only a victim of this industry, but a vital part of it. No more!

That's it!

How was today?

How was the rest of my day? Awesome - learning pretty much the whole day and working out. I am at my complete peak. Corona has no power over me. Other students are demotivated. For me, this situation is absolutly normal. I am used to stay home all day. My goal will be to become more social and get out more, once this is over. But, for the first time ever, it is not me being too late to the dinner party. Everyone is late. Everyone wants to go back to the dinner. I am one of many. But in this "corona-environment" we, the ex-gamers, should feel like kings. Who could adept better to this situation than us?

So yeah, I am the best most hard working student of my class. Not a single person has the abilities to come even close to my capabilities. I am in charge now. 😉 

I think this is a good post and very advantageous. I'll echo the same advice you gave about being too hard on myself back to you. 

Sometimes being afraid and almost falling reminds us of the path we're on. The 1 night stand was like real life porn and not safe because you were unprotected. That scared you into getting a better sense of the situation. That's a good learning experience for you. 

That same method is what Peterson mentions with imagining the negative and staying on porn. Simulating life on your current trajectory. Probably no girlfriend, continued generalized depression and anxiety, frustration with yourself, humility, shame, going nowhere. Sometimes you gotta see rock bottom and other times you need to hit rock bottom. 

 

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2 minutes ago, BooksandTrees said:

I'll echo the same advice you gave about being too hard on myself back to you

I guess that you are right. Why I am not trying some new approaches, I should also take this insight into consideration. Thanks.

3 minutes ago, BooksandTrees said:

Sometimes you gotta see rock bottom and other times you need to hit rock bottom. 

So true. But man, it really sucks!

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6 minutes ago, BooksandTrees said:

Probably no girlfriend, continued generalized depression and anxiety, frustration with yourself, humility, shame, going nowhere.

I don't know, whether it is a generalized depression. I think, before I slowly started to chance my life, I was pretty close and yeah sometimes it feels like it. I hope, over time all of that will go away together with the negative habits.

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20 hours ago, Alexanderle said:

I should be smarter. And I will be smarter in the future. The next thing is that I just don't feel good about myself in general. In the movies, these one night stand are just so funny and enjoyable for the characters. The reality is different. Ever since that, I am not interested in casualities anymore.

I'm currently reading a book about this. It says something along the lines that attractive (for women it is initially more focused on their physical appearance, for men it is more about how competent they seem in what they do) people tend to be more promiscuous than unattractive ones who cling to loyalty/single partner out of fear of having to find someone and going through the ordeal again. The good news is that these two categories are not necessarily given for life.

I think historically game addicts (averagely young males) are planted firmly into the unattractive category, so it makes sense for them/formerly us to proclaim "loyalty at all costs/ONSs are horrible".

But I am beginning to see the point of having more options. Having the option to have an ONS, but also knowing that there is something greater than that. I wonder that perhaps you needed just that experience to realize that.

I think the golden middle-ground here is "loyalty - AND hard earned". And that starts with the individual. Do you want a girl that exercises regularly and keeps in shape? Make sure you exercise regularly and keep yourself in shape. Be someone you would like to date and don't sell yourself short.

20 hours ago, Alexanderle said:

And Peterson also indicated that it is smart to write down, how my life would be in a positive way AND in a negative way, so if I would have not taken care of myself.

Peterson's great. His words at the beginning helped me to get where I am at now.

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18 hours ago, Ikar said:

I'm currently reading a book about this.

What is the title of that book?

18 hours ago, Ikar said:

I think the golden middle-ground here is "loyalty - AND hard earned".

That is a killer statement pal. There is so much truth in that!

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1 hour ago, Alexanderle said:

What is the title of that book?

It's "Taktika a strategie v lásce" by Miroslav Plzák, so I am afraid you have to start learning Czech 🙂

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Gamification as the real threat?

I always kinda knew that, but this is the biggest realization for me yet! Lately, I have seen many posts on the forum, especially from new people, whether they could do something, whether they could pursue some kind of game. They were not sure, if it is actually a game. I saw examples of card games or even chess. I personally always thought that it is all about those "addictive mechanisms" by those evil developers. So, when I have a piece of chess software on steam, it is addictive and falls into the gaming category, which we are trying to avoid. And I thought that playing chess in real life with real people is not considered to be a problem. If that is the case than I would have to say that monopoly is perfectly fine as a table top game, but once I put it on steam, add a leaderboard, an elo system and a shop to customize by queen with some awesome cloths, it becomes an addictive game, which I have to avoid? That does not add up. So this made me think. What is considered an addictive game? Because according to this logic, it is not about the content of the game at all, but rather the mechanisms themselves. Why not just call it "gamification disorder" then?

But this is another issue: If I completely would remove the content of the game and the only things left would be the mechanics - leaderboard, elo-system etc. then this alone should create an addiction! And this is kinda the idea of "serious gaming". I participated in a course called "serious gaming" at the university a couple of months back. The idea is to use those game mechanisms to build games with a serious purpose, where they can be used for a actual useful thing, from education until saving the climate... "Serious gaming" is starting to become a thing lately. The gaming industry is so big that by now, they could actually organize the olympic games several times at once. But I am wondering: How many people of us are actually addicted to serious games? We are not! We are not addicted to those kinds of math games, where we train our brain in a playful way. So even if we would be addicted to those things, who would argue against that? Our parents would be proud for us to be little nerds, practicing our math skills. We would start to brag with our newly gathered geography skills due to the geography monopoly version type of thing, we played. 

So, what about the content of the game itself? Sure, the story of some RPG's are quite compelling. Combined with great game mechanics they can become addictive. But the story alone is not the addictive element either. If it would be, then just purely reading the story in a book would also be addictive. There would be no difference between playing the witcher three and reading the books! And there are many games, which have no story or "content" whatsover - consider candycrush or tetris. Overall, it is not the story, not the content, not the combination of the two and not our preferences, because we all became addicted to different things. People are addicted to games ranging from heartstone to league of legends, cigarettes, porn, stamps or sports. Kinda EVERYTHING!

I was unable to solve this problem, until I read a blog post by Erin Hoffman. You can read it here: https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/ErinHoffman/20090916/85505/Life_Addictive_Game_Mechanics_And_The_Truth_Hiding_In_Bejeweled.php

There was one sentence, which is so great that I have to put it in here and make it visible, so that I can always remember it: "Addiction is not about what you DO, but what you DON'T DO because of the replacement of the addictive behavior."

This solves the issue entirely. If neither, the game, the story, the mechanics or even the type of behavior itself can explain addiction, there has to be something else. Instead of looking at the action itself, Hoffman looks at the individual and what the individual is "supposed" to do. The reason, why gamification is not working as great in companies as well as in steam games, is because addiction cannot be applied for those things, which we are "supposed" to do. And if we love those things so much that we are "addictive" about them, no one calls it addiction. It will be called passion, inspiration, hard work, self control etc. We might argue that Albert Einstein was addicted to physics and Bill Gates to reading. But no psychologist ever attempted to help them get away from those things, because they kinda considered to things, they "supposedly have to do".

So, what are we "supposed" to do? That is very much an ethical, individual and philosophical question, I am not interested in for now. But I know this: It is irrelevant, which kind of games you are playing, which kind of game mechanics they have or which story they offer. It is also irrelevant, which kind of addiction you suffer from, as long as it keeps you away from something, you want or have to do, ranging from university stuff to healthy behaviors. That is actually the point in time, where it becomes a problem. 

So, you can play candycrush, chess or card games as long as you prefer, but it they are interfering with your life and cause problems, you should start to ask yourself: What to do about that? The only thing that works, is to focus on SOMETHING else, which is not only fun and keeps you away from games, but also something that helps you to work towards, what you are "supposed" to do. 

Still, quite theoretical and not a one and done solution, but it points towards the importance to adopt new behaviors and indicates, why it is such a smart strategy by gamequitters to have a list of different behaviors to do INSTEAD of gaming, rather than to focus on blocking and not doing it at all. However, gamequitters should start to understand that counting the days of not gaming is completely useless - only as a matter of achievement, something you can show ourself that you are once again the master of your own ship. So, in that sense, maybe it actually has a purpose. Regardless, once I understood and applied my new behaviors, gaming became irrelevant. There was no difference between day one and day 90. Therefore, instead of counting your days, focus on, what you feel that you should do. And do it! And if that is not possible yet, do something which is similar. 

 

So lets apply this idea for real life examples: When I am addicted to junk food, what is the actual addiction? It is the fact that I put unhealthy food in my body? Sure, but the problem is not that there are some unhealthy things, which create an addiction cycle and overweight. Rather, it hinders me, to act in accordance, to what I am "supposed" to do - for instance to stay healthy, to stay fit. Why is that something, I am "supposed" to do? I will discuss this at another point. We kinda all know that it is something, we should do, even though the majority of people are not doing it, which then can be considered to be a problem in our society: People get fat, our health system suffers, people die because of it, they become unattractive etc and then feel depressed. There are many facets about that. But the end result is that I am doing something, which I should not do, because it makes it harder or impossible for me to do something else; something "better". Now, what can I do? I just do anything else, which is "better". Therefore, a little bit less sugar is better, a little bit more working out is better. According to James Clear, just going to the gym, working out for just 5 minutes and then go home is better than chilling on your couch and eating chips. He does not only consider this 5 minute approach from a perspective of better or worse behaviors, but also because we have to make it part of our identity and a regular behavior - a habit! Let's ignore the psychological perspective for a second and only focus on the theoretical perspective, what I should do.

Let's apply it to the almighty porn example. I often thought that instead of watching porn, which takes away the "supposedly" right behavior of expressing my sexual behavior in a healthy way, whatever this means, that I should instead masturbate. Or have one night stands. Or have a relationship. I argued only from my perspective alone, but I hereby admit that doing "no fap" might also be ok. Not in terms of doing something sexually, but only in thriving towards your "supposed" behavior. For me, it might still be to do something sexual, for another person, it might be something completely different. Because clearly, this supposedly right behavior can vary from person to person. What, if my better half and I have a very "healthy" sex life and regularly watch porn together? Some couples do that. I actually once or twice did it in a previous relationship. I never told my ex- girlfriend back then, that I actually knew the porn actress, Lexi Belle of that DVD, we were watching. I was pretending that I never saw this person in my life, because I was already addicted to porn back then and did not want to admit it. XD
Anyways, is porn still the problem now? Can I consider it "good" or supposedly right, if I am in a healthy relationship and it is just fun for us? According to the new model, only when it not interferes with my lifestyle in a way of hindering me from doing something meaningful, supposedly benefitial or "right" thing.

 

Long story short, we can summarize it like that: Once something, what you are doing is causing a problem, which forces you to not doing something, which you want or should do than it is an addiction. This creates a new perspective for the discussion, whether playing chess or card games are considered part of the addiction, why we are here.

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1 minute ago, Ikar said:

It's "Taktika a strategie v lásce" by Miroslav Plzák, so I am afraid you have to start learning Czech 🙂

Dayum that might be a problem. xD But if there are valuable things in that book, which you consider meaningful, don't hesitate to share them with us. 

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7 hours ago, Alexanderle said:

So, what are we "supposed" to do? That is very much an ethical, individual and philosophical question, I am not interested in for now. But I know this: It is irrelevant, which kind of games you are playing, which kind of game mechanics they have or which story they offer. It is also irrelevant, which kind of addiction you suffer from, as long as it keeps you away from something, you want or have to do, ranging from university stuff to healthy behaviors. That is actually the point in time, where it becomes a problem. 

Wow, that's powerful and you nailed it! Evaluation needs to depend on where you aspire to be in life, on what is right for you. It doesn't matter how many days you are in because if it works it works and you should double down on it. 

Keep going. You have done enough introspection to know why you should quit porn and act differently. You have realised that watching porn doesn't align with who you are deep inside. 

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