The Journey Within

309 posts in this topic

Posted

Thanks @tirEdOrange for the welcome and the encouragement! Any ambition I have comes from my greatest fear being that I do not want to waste my life, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to become the person in which that fear does not exist. I've already learned a ton from you guys and I know I'll learn much more, that's why I really appreciate it when you all make posts here.

My main, new resting activities are exercise, reading for fun, and social dancing; they've proven to be really effective, but the trial by fire will be next week when school starts back. If you rock climb and play D&D as two of your rest activities you're definitely doing it right, and I saw in your journal that you're reading has picked up a lot too, so it looks like you have hobbies that develop you physically, socially, and mentally. It's good that you're developing yourself in a well-rounded way.

As for friends, it's taken me over a year, but I have built a new group from the ground up so I'm doing really well. Finding a group that is already built an activity was very instrumental here, and that's why my college's ballroom dancing club really saved me from isolation. More on going to the library below.

Day 8

I usually wake up at 6am without a problem, but I slept in again today because of the lingering effects from Saturday night, so today was a bit subpar as well. It took me a very long time to push myself to walk to the library down the street, but I got a decent amount of reading done when I did. On the bright side, a book arrived for me on the holdshelf there today, Bushido: the Soul of Japan, so I'm pretty psyched to finish this time-management book and get to that before the week is over. Running and meditating went off without a hitch as well, though I'm going to start playing music while doing the latter to increase focus. My main dilemma is getting all of the miscellaneous tasks done that I want to this week, and properly preparing myself for the start of the semester. I'm taking almost solely science courses from here on out, so I'll be out of my element, and this needs to be my turning point for my grades. Tensions rise, but I know that I can excel at this.

Out of the night that covers me, 
      Black as the pit from pole to pole, 
I thank whatever gods may be 
      For my unconquerable soul. 
 
In the fell clutch of circumstance 
      I have not winced nor cried aloud. 
Under the bludgeonings of chance 
      My head is bloody, but unbowed. 
 
Beyond this place of wrath and tears 
      Looms but the Horror of the shade, 
And yet the menace of the years 
      Finds and shall find me unafraid. 
 
It matters not how strait the gate, 
      How charged with punishments the scroll, 
I am the master of my fate, 
      I am the captain of my soul. 

 

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Awesome that you've taken up social dancing. Is that something new for you?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Have you ever read the book "It's Kind Of A Funny Story"? It's one of my favorites, and since you're big on books I thought I'd recommend it to you and might be able to help (but honestly, I doubt it will help as much as the other titles you read).I notice you're into Self Help books. A genre I also really enjoy. Which book would be your favorite?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Awesome that you've taken up social dancing. Is that something new for you?

@Cam Adair I've been fortunate enough to have some good habits going for me coming into this, and that's one of them. Due to losing the standard amount of friends one usually loses between freshman and sophomore year of college, social dancing has been the lion's-share of my social life. I just started last fall and have been going out almost every weekend to different dance studios, and have even competed in two competitions so far (only bronze level so far). Dancing has by far been one of the greatest boons to my social skills, ability to interact with the other gender, and my overall confidence. I think I remember hearing in one of your videos that you do a little bit of salsa and maybe even some swing; that's awesome man, and I highly recommend that you keep that up because it's a ton of fun.

Have you ever read the book "It's Kind Of A Funny Story"? It's one of my favorites, and since you're big on books I thought I'd recommend it to you and might be able to help (but honestly, I doubt it will help as much as the other titles you read).I notice you're into Self Help books. A genre I also really enjoy. Which book would be your favorite?

@TheBroMoe I've definitely seen bits and pieces of the movie version, and I just read the wikipedia version of the book's plot. Looks pretty interesting, thanks for the rec. My all time favorite book right now would be Seneca's On the Shortness of Life, but over the course of life it would the Lord of the Rings trilogy (yeah I know it's three books, but I feel it's sacrilege to separate them, haha). If you have any self-help book suggestions I'm always open to suggestions, and I'm glad to hear that you are into that genre as well. Hearing that makes me tempted to take a peak at your journal even more than before, to see what kind of wisdom you've been doling out there.

Day 9

Much more productive day. Woke up on time, good meditation session, did some clothes shopping (got my first ever bow-ties and suspenders), and I finished the time management book I was reading way faster than I thought (I guess that proves the book's advice works). I promised a friend that I would finish Terry Pratchett's book, Guards! Guards! before the summer is over, so I've been working through that as well and it's pretty hilarious. Lastly, I've been noticing that I've been started a routine of watching a lot of TV with my parents at night (Band of Brothers and Walking Dead tonight) over the past few weeks, which is a mixed bag because I really enjoy spending time with them but don't like the amount of time I spend just sitting there in front of a screen. I hope to kick myself off of that habit when school is back. Still, I've been building up a lot of willpower all summer, and I've read more books in these past few months than I ever have in my life, so I still feel confident.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Hi there, Patchets guard series is awesome.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Still, I've been building up a lot of willpower all summer, and I've read more books in these past few months than I ever have in my life, so I still feel confident.

You're in a better position to break those habits now than you were before, and that's the key to making progress over time! :)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

 Remember that games ARE REALLY fun. They're design to be, life isn't. 

This sentence directs my thinking to the following statement. Games are fun, it's true. But to be a slave for having fun......

It is not truely a pleasure if your "master" consistently oblige you to "work"

Life is not a game. Game is part of life. However, certains elements of life can be addictive. (Many examples are art, music, and books) 

Shall we consider gaming as a passion? 

Heavens, no! 

Gaming is a S0ul stealer, a energy thief, an destructive Devil....

Edited by TheLightOI
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Hi there, Patchets guard series is awesome.

@WorkInProgress That it is, though it was a bit of a slow read at first; I'm definitely enjoying it as my first Pratchett book.

@Cam Adair definitely true. Linear progress will pay the biggest dividends in the long-haul.

@TheLightOI I feel a guilty irony that I'm about to quote a video game to agree with your point, but in the words of Andrew Ryan, "A man chooses; a slave obeys!" I'm with you, I choose to be a man.

Day 10

Met an old friend I haven't seen in a year, read some of my Genetics textbook, and am thoroughly enjoying the book on Bushido. Also, I have a 350 foot hill near my house that I walk down half of, jog down the other half, then run up it as hard as my body will let me and then repeat. Today I was able to do 7 laps, which is one more than I've been able to do over the past few weeks, so I've definitely been increasing my cardio and pain threshold. I plan on going back to weight training this Friday.

I'm at an incredibly good point in my life, and I try really hard to not take that for granted. With that said, a bout of loneliness hit me tonight, so I've been trying to work through that. Talked with my dad for a bit, which helped, but ultimately I don't know what caused it. I don't think it's a lack of sleep, because I pretty religiously get 8 hours, and my diet is great. I think that focusing on mindfulness and controlling my emotions will be the key, so I'll try to make a conscious effort of that in the future.

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

The key is that you noticed the loneliness and took a bit of action to contact your dad. Sometimes we will have emotions come in, including loneliness, but how we choose to respond to them will make the difference. Great job. :)

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

The key is that you noticed the loneliness and took a bit of action to contact your dad. Sometimes we will have emotions come in, including loneliness, but how we choose to respond to them will make the difference. Great job. :)

@Cam Adair Thanks! Also, your stoicism is showing xD

Day 11

Not a super eventful day, but I read a few chapters of my genetics textbook and took notes. The next three days are going to be quite busy, with an officer meeting for the ballroom club I'm in happening tomorrow (not to mention starting back with weight training), I'm going out to teach a couple friends more on how to swing dance that night, and then I'm going to be at a major ballroom camp for most of the weekend. There are few better ways to spend the end of my summer than lots of dancing, so I'm pretty psyched about that, but I still can't push off an underlying feeling of nervousness about school starting back. Up to this point I've just been scraping by in my science courses, and from the very start that's been painful for me. I know that's not me, because I place an immense value on excellence in my life, but when I try to study for something that doesn't click my mind begins to shut down and I seek distraction. I've tried countless times to stop myself, but it hasn't been working. I suspect the answer is in finding some facet of the subject I can enjoy, but that isn't always possible (i.e. in math or chemistry when it's just rote equations). I definitely know this detox will help, because I switch to video games or youtube when this intense pain from mental resistance kicks in, but its hard to guess about whether it will be enough.

I get the feeling that there's still some element of mental toughness, of being able to hold my feet to the fire when I need to get hard work done, that I'm still missing, but I don't know where to find it. I've read lots of books, checked out many blog posts, ask lots of different people about what their advice on the matter over the past few years, but I'm still so far from where I need to be. We'll find out Monday, but I really hope that I found this last piece of the puzzle and I just haven't seen the results yet. I remain optimistic, but still quite starkly realistic.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

At some point it is just doing it. Everyday a (little) bit more. Studying annoying topics is trainable by just forcing yourself over and over again. What helped me to do it over and over again was to schedule a time everyday and use the pomodorro technique. Basically habbit building. Sometimes it gets unproductive but if you stick to it you get rewarded with higher willpower and better ability to stay focussed. Sounds simple and boring, but in my opinion it is all about training and gradually put up the bar until you reach the Level you desire. Meditating regulary is reported to be another great tool to build focus. But I personally never saw enough instant beneftits here and stopped this good habbit.

It is not something you learn or find. It is something you do!

Edited by WorkInProgress
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

@WorkInProgress That's some really solid advice. I've tried to Pomodoro quite a few times and it definitely has merit, but I am by no means comfortable with it yet. As for meditating, I try 20 minutes every day, but I honestly feel pretty awful at it at this point. More on this topic below.

Day 12

I got on campus early and got a lot of logistical stuff done. I think my fear of failure is definitely healthy, for me at least, because usually I am so unafraid of consequences that I settle for mediocrity at times in school. I liken this fear to the scene in the Dark Knight Rises when Bruce Wayne decides to climb out of the pit Bane places him in without the rope; he let his fear, "of dying here while my city burns" be the impetus that brought about success. One last important aspect of that scene: once he climbs to the top of the pit he throws a rope down so that everyone else can follow in his example and find their way to freedom. 

Through my fear I was able to set a study schedule (nothing impressive yet because planning comes naturally to me), and I really feel confident about it. I also started on my organic chemistry homework, because I found a way to get to it early before the semester started. The path to success here is taking action, gaining momentum, and staying two steps ahead of my work/the material. 

One last thing: I went out dancing tonight, and as usual, it was the best feeling in the world. I think the reason I like dancing so much is it represents the opposite of video games. Instead of being painfully numb you are full of emotion and life. Instead of being alone you are in a room full of people with a woman in your arms, and there is no accomplishment in gaming that can be likened to seeing a smile form on her face when you really hit that move right together. You no longer feel like a slob who isn't going anywhere, you feel like a man full of vitality and confidence. When you turn off the console, your progress is gone, but when you step off the dance floor there is something incredible that you get to take with you throughout the next week. You were alive. I can't be thankful enough for having discovered it as a hobby, and for friends who are willing to  go out every week and have a great time. 

It's going to be a good semester.

5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It's going to be a good semester.

Yes it is! :D

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Good luck on your semester. Honestly you're a lot like me when it comes to a mentality of failure (love the Dark Knight analogy). Also when did you start dancing? It's really fascinating to me.  

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

@Cam Adair Can't get enough of the positivity; thanks again.

@TheBroMoe Yeah, I honestly would rather have our mentality than the flip side which is being stressed all the time, but bordering on apathy is no fun either. If you ever have advice on the matter, it would always be appreciated here. As for dancing, it's been one year (I'm fortunate enough to have my college offer a course on it and have a whole club dedicated to it), and I highly recommend giving it a try if you're looking for hobbies that will get you more socially involved and will develop your confidence.

Day 13

I honestly don't want to say too much about today, because I'm exhausted and there were many more low points than high points as far as interactions with other people are concerned. I think I just need some sleep I think. Anyway, I think the prognosis for today and really every day in the future, is that  I should use mindfulness more. By living in the moment and being careful about when wants take root in you, one can better safeguard his joy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now