The Journey Within

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Day 14

Pretty exhausted today, but a much more positive day than yesterday. My tiredness has usually been a tell-tale sign that I'm currently vulnerable to bad habits, and while I fell into a couple of them the damage was very minor and I stayed completely away from anything gaming related. I don't emotionally feel that impressed by that feat, but intellectually I know that there would have been an abysmally low chance (less than 10%) that I would have been able to resist gaming or watching related videos if I didn't have this journal. Knowing that makes me feel less nervous about tomorrow, because I know that if I can do what once was seemingly impossible to me in that regard, I can definitely do the same with school as well. I'm really trying to get amped up that this is the semester where I turn my grades around, and I now have (hopefully) assembled just the habits to do it.

"Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can't." -Jerry Rice

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Posted

good Job!

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"Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can't." -Jerry Rice

Amen!

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Posted

Day 15

First day back to class, and I'm very tired. It was a good start, but I can tell I'm going to be very warn out by the end of the semester. I spent the day further planning out my study routine, reading ahead in textbooks, and doing other miscellaneous chores. I also found out that my strength gains in weight-lifting dramatically decreased from switching to cardio over the last month, so I'll need to hit the weights hard over the next few weeks to get back to where I was. It was good to see people I hadn't talked to in many months, and I even got to work on a little bit of dance technique with some friends. 

I only have one class M/W/F, but I have four (including a 3-4 hour lab at the end) on T/Th, so tomorrow will be the real doozy. The bright side is that I won't have to worry about falling into old vices so much since I'll be so busy, but the darker side is that I don't know how I'll fit in routine tasks or keep my will from breaking dramatically. On top of my classes, I'm trying to start shadowing a doctor (still working on even finding one) and volunteering at a local hospital (which I've done before, but getting back into it will likely prove tedious). It would also be nice to keep in touch with all of my friends and continue with my other self-development work, but we'll see.

Overall, I know it will be tough, but if I don't give in to the pain that is pushing me back towards complacency, I have a fighting chance; honestly, probably more than ever before.

"Ad astrum per aspera", to the stars through adversity.

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Posted

What I invite you to think about is about who you need to become in order to handle the challenge of this semester with ease. It's possible. You just need to tap into that side of yourself. And go on with grace. 

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Posted

@Cam Adair Very good advice, and that's a tactic I try to use every morning. In many was I try to be mentored by the self I want to become, and that self is motivated by excellence.

Day 16

Surprising easy. My love of biology is being fueled even more by my current classes, so it's not so much work as it is fun. Biology keeps me humble, thinking of how small humanity is in the scope of the world. My Invertebrate Zoology course to proving to be especially fascinating, and the teacher is phenomenal. Organic Chem. II is the main problem child, confusing even on the first day, but I'm willing to put the work in and see it through.

I saw a friend today who is a current gaming addict and knows it. He barely stayed in touch with his friends over the summer and suffers from a constant lack of focus. I talked to him about quitting gaming today, but he really wants to keep it in moderation because he doesn't know what else to do with his time and doesn't want to try to find new things. I don't know if talking with him helped, but I really tried to encourage to try taking a break and seeing all the benefits it would bring him. Advice on this would be much appreciated.

Anyway, today was a bright ray of hope, and I am equally optimistic about tomorrow.

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Posted

Maybe point out the YouTube channel/Forum to him. If he suffers enough he will check them out and have the ressoruces to deal with it ready. Also you can offer him your experience if he wants to quit in a future time.

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Posted

With friends like that, one approach you can take is to show him the TEDx talk on porn addiction. Since it's not about gaming it can ease him into some of the detox concepts.

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Posted

He can only quit if he wants to quit. But, if he wants to quit but his brain says no, I would show him videos of Cams or Cams recommendation above.

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Thanks @WorkInProgress @Cam Adair @sirjk! I will keep your advice in mind. Yesterday when I was telling him about all of the benefits of quitting, I asked how motivated he was to quit on a scale from 1 to 10 and he said, realistically, he was at a 3. I gave him the resources (including Cam's videos), so it's up to him to seek them/me out when he get to at least a 6 or above.

Day 17

I finally realized why I've my back and leg aches and why I've had a runny nose (I thought they were due to soreness from weight training and allergies): I woke up with what is certainly a cold. I got a ride on campus instead of taking the bus and have been inseparable from a series of handkerchiefs that I've kept in my pocket throughout the day. This also meant forgoing weight training today (and very likely Friday as well), which stinks because I really want to get back to where I was at the end of July (when I switched to cardio), but this also means that I likely didn't get as weak as I though when I went down in how much I could squat and bench on Monday. For my organic chemistry class there's something called recitation, which is basically group work with a worksheet, and I was struggling with quite a bit of the sheet. I'm positive I need to go above and beyond if I want an A in that class, and need to become an absolute Organic Chemistry fanatic; gotta eat that stuff up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My meditation habits could use a lot of work as well...

On to the positive! I have been able to build some pretty awesome beneficial habits over the past five years, but I feel as if I have more willpower than I ever have before now that I have been off of video games for over two weeks. If I don't want to do something, but my body does, I am now able to stop myself; if my body is telling me that it doesn't feel like doing something, that's too bad, because I now have the power to internally motivate (very different from grinding, something I really don't think highly of) and do it anyway. Lastly, and most importantly, I now have the emotional resources to not get bummed out when people let me down. I've been single all my life and have had tons of flaky friends, and while I am on always trying to improve those areas of my life, I now don't need to self-medicate with video games. I am able to be satisfied in myself (a rudimentary version of the Stoic's virtue of Tranquility), be immensely grateful for the life I've had so far, and look daringly onwards towards the new adventures and people that await.

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Thanks @WorkInProgress @Cam Adair @sirjk! I will keep your advice in mind. Yesterday when I was telling him about all of the benefits of quitting, I asked how motivated he was to quit on a scale from 1 to 10 and he said, realistically, he was at a 3. I gave him the resources (including Cam's videos), so it's up to him to seek them/me out when he get to at least a 6 or above.

Think that's a great approach. 

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Posted (edited)

Day 18

Still fighting the cold, but I didn't let that stop me. Classes went well (though I need to prepare ahead of time even more for chemistry and genetics, because my mind wandered quite a bit during those lectures) and I even have a volunteer prospect set up with a local hospital. Moreover, I spend three hours around lunch time at my college's student life day event recruiting for the ballroom club I'm in, and it was a lot of fun sharing experiences with the freshmen and everyone that showed up. My Thursday lab got out early, because we were just checking to make sure we had the right equipment in our lab groups since it's the first day, which turned a potentially 4 hour class into 50 minutes, and that brightened the rest of my day.

I think it was from that peaceful attitude that I began to think about the universe. I frequently get eastern philosophy stuck in my stoicism, and vice versa, and so as I took the bus home early I thought (being on/waiting for a bus is always a good time to think) of how beautiful the concept of all life being linked as one is. As a biology major I further this with my geekiness, as I thought of how the objects in this universe are constantly exchanging atoms, and thus they all seem to be connected in some way. When you open the door for a stranger, theoretically that could as beneficial to "you" as if you were to find a $5 bill lying on the street; "you" very well could be defined as  all of the universe, since consciousness, from best I can tell, seems to be merely an advantageous trait that members of kingdom animalia have. If that's true, we're not all that dissimilar from plants, fungi, and other living organisms that don't have a "consciousness". From there one may even go so far as to say, we're not all that different from rocks, water, decayed organic material, etc. because they too have atoms that move and have reactions and one day become something else. Some of the atoms from a man thousands of years ago could be in that same piece of brocoli you ate for dinner last night, and in some strange turn of events those atoms could one day become part of the birth of a star. If everything is linked that way, living an existence solely centered around the whims of oneself begins to not make much sense. Definitely food for thought.

As I try to refine the answers to why I exist and how I can best use my time (if using the word "I" is even accurate), these thoughts come up. On the other hand, "A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." -Laozi. There's a lot I can learn from that man, and I guess that's why I would make a crappy Taoist (or practitioner most schools of eastern thought for that matter), but make a decent stoic, haha.

*Edit: it's also quite apparent that I've been listening to way too much Alan Watts in my free time.

Edited by Pierce
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Posted

Day 19

Pretty easy day today. Went to cell bio, sold an old textbook, met with a friend who really needed some support, and sent out quite a few emails. I had a good chunk of time free in my afternoon and got almost no work done because I allowed the internet to distract me, which was really unfortunate. As I go along this path I learn that action trumps motivation, so even if I don't feel like doing my work, just doing it will help me feel a lot better than piddling around on youtube. I'm excited about the three day weekend and catching up on school work.

A couple struggles other than the aforementioned lack or productivity arose today as well. The smaller one was that I've been battling minor craving to watch gaming videos tonight since I usually do something fun on Friday nights by going dancing, but I chose to post-pone doing so because I'm still sick and I didn't get a lot of enthusiasm from my friends when I proposed the idea earlier in the week (not that I'm at all opposed to going alone). I chose to get a big bowl of ice-cream, something I usually try to avoid, and got out my Terry Pratchett novel and used that as my mindless entertainment for the night. The larger struggle was that I've been recently hit hard by my singleness. I've been trying to apply all of the positive philosophy I know on this matter, and with some success, but it's still tough. I know that I will not be nearly as happy and productive as I could be if I don't find my happiness within, and so yearning after a certain single lady that I know when the timing is definitely not right is only going to end in both short-term and long-term pain. There's a lot more that I need to learn about relationships in general, but this much I know: to succeed in the long-term, both parties need to be fully grounded in themselves before they become grounded in one another. My school work proves to be a very jealous lady anyway, and will vengefully turn on me if she sense competition, so the path forward seems quite obvious (though one's emotions quite often enjoy conflicting with reason). 

I dislike that as a stopping point, so here's my quote for the day, "Emotion, yet peace. Ignorance, yet knowledge. Passion, yet serenity. Chaos, yet harmony. Death, yet the Force." -The Jedi Code.

Also, I would like to one day work on reducing the growing number of run-on sentences I use in my journals, haha.

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As I go along this path I learn that action trumps motivation, so even if I don't feel like doing my work, just doing it will help me feel a lot better than piddling around on youtube.

YEP!

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Love that work as a jealous lady analogy. As for your internet usage, have you considered using Stayfocusd? Its a chrome app that blocks certain websites (examples are youtube, and social media) after spending some time on them. I reccomend it if you browse the web more than you would like to admit, but considering your work acheived that may not be the case. The truth is no matter how productive and successful we as humans are, there's always a part of us that wishes to embrace lazyness. As for your relationship life, have you considered taking this "certain single lady" out for lunch, or spending more time with her? I know that's a lot to ask for since your time in a day is very limeted but, if you see her (is she in your dance sessions?) try to speak to her more. I know the timing may not be right, but also take into consideration, what is a good time to begin with. Hope that helps, I'm no ladies man, I just know how to communicate with people. Honestly though, it would appear you are superior in giving advice :). Best of luck for the next day.

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