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My Journal - Alex

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I'm similar to Jay. It's not that gaming is bad, but I have different priorities. If I was still gaming over the past few years instead of moving on, I wouldn't have traveled to 22 countries, started my own business (which gives me a lot of freedom and flexibility, instead of having to work a normal job), I wouldn't have shared my story on TEDx, Game Quitters wouldn't exist, I wouldn't have lived in Los Angeles or Colorado, gone surfing in Bali, California and Panama, met a woman I fell in love with in Vancouver, etc etc.

For me it's similar to what you said, I had tried gaming, I spent 10+ years putting all of my efforts into it, and it was fun and all that but at the end of the day, after 10+ years of gaming, I had played some games and had some fun killing bosses, but I still felt depressed, had very few friends, was unemployed living in my parents basement and didn't have a girlfriend. So 10+ years of gaming got me those results.

So were those the results I really wanted? NO.

So I tried a different path, one without gaming and instead focused my efforts on personal development and I'm in year 6 of that... and my results are much different. Are they the results I wanted? YES. And I'm still learning and growing.

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Hey Alex, I'm always glad to help! You could bug your brother into developing a game, or at least getting into programming if he already isn't. One could watch all the movies in the world, or play all the games in the world, but that doesn't make you a good director or developer. 

Whenever I am thinking about something too much, or something is monopolizing my time I try and get some exercises in, I find that if something it bugging you nothing helps you get over it more than a decent workout. Maybe that is just me, but hopefully that will help you.

Jay and Cam have already weighed in and have said it really well. But I'll come in anyways and say as well that deep down inside me I knew that my life as a gamer no longer had any meaning. Not only that, but that the video games were playing me and not the other way around. When I ask myself what I want to be in the future, no where in that equation is "on a couch playing video games". I want to be speaking Portuguese on a beach in my girlfriends city in Brazil, or teaching English in a classroom in South Korea somewhere, or working on my PH.D somewhere, on something important to me. There are many things I want to do in my life, for my own enjoyment and hopefully to the benefit of others.
I have the feeling that I cannot be that person while playing video games for 6 hours everyday, or playing video games until 6 am from the night before and waking up at 4pm with a headache and no desire to get work done. Even if I only played for 1-2 hours a day, that is an hour I could have spent studying Portuguese, that's 2 hours I could have spent studying for school and raising my mark so I can get into a masters program, that's 6 hours I could have spent working and saving money so I can go to my girlfriends city. That is an evening I could have spent with my girlfriend, or a night out (or in) with real friends who have opinions of depth on things other than video games (and accept me for who I am).

Jay had it right when he challenge you to create some goals, so now anytime you feel like you want to play video games, tell yourself it's one more hour, one more MINUTE of time you can instead spend on improving yourself, and moving 1 minute, 1 hour, 1 day closer to your goals.

 

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If anybody can pitch in some related ideas on why quitting is better in the long/short term I would really appreciate it!g

Hi Alex, I think that quitting video games (or any other addiction) means you are again the master of your own life. Without video games, you are forced to find the meaning in your own life. That can be a long process, and maybe in the end you find that you do want to play video games now and then again, but then it will be out of your own decision, not because it has become a habit. You want control back in your life and setting your own goals.

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 I cannot speak for you of course but the main reason that I want to quit video games is because I KNOW in my heart of hearts that I will die full of regret if I don't. Whenever I start playing video games, everything else in my life takes a back seat. It can be easy to question the decision early on when we start to think about the video games we've played and get lost in nostalgia, so that's why we need a very powerful reason, a goal that we're working towards that doesn't leave room for something as time consuming as video games.

Some days it's going to be a slog but as long as you have that reason, you can always pick yourself up and get back on track! :)

Cheers Jay, that's a very good point.

Likewise when I play games, studying, spending time with family, chores and most daily tasks become a lot more challenging mentally, and 'takes a back seat' in priority as you mentioned. I don't want to be that type of person, and I know that if I was consistently feeling guilty of playing games, there was good reason for me to stop. I even purposely messing up save files to stop myself from playing, I definitely was not in control of my habits, the game had control of me.

I keep thinking of what lifelong goals I want to have, and something I know for certain that I want to be helping people every day as that is something which I find fulfillment in. I would want to play to my strengths for a career but I will find my purpose in time.

Something I heard from a podcast from 'The Art of Charm' this afternoon is to forgive yourself for when you do something wrong and just pick up from where you left off with the attitude to do better. I will make sure to put this perspective to use when going through those days that are a slog.

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Posted

I'm similar to Jay. It's not that gaming is bad, but I have different priorities. If I was still gaming over the past few years instead of moving on, I wouldn't have traveled to 22 countries, started my own business (which gives me a lot of freedom and flexibility, instead of having to work a normal job), I wouldn't have shared my story on TEDx, Game Quitters wouldn't exist, I wouldn't have lived in Los Angeles or Colorado, gone surfing in Bali, California and Panama, met a woman I fell in love with in Vancouver, etc etc.

For me it's similar to what you said, I had tried gaming, I spent 10+ years putting all of my efforts into it, and it was fun and all that but at the end of the day, after 10+ years of gaming, I had played some games and had some fun killing bosses, but I still felt depressed, had very few friends, was unemployed living in my parents basement and didn't have a girlfriend. So 10+ years of gaming got me those results.

So were those the results I really wanted? NO.

So I tried a different path, one without gaming and instead focused my efforts on personal development and I'm in year 6 of that... and my results are much different. Are they the results I wanted? YES. And I'm still learning and growing.

Thank you Cam, that was very good food for thought.

It is true that I have much better priorities outside of gaming, bad habits can make gaming top priority despite having little positive impact on living.

I need to make sure that I give quitting games and improving myself a shot for at least 90 days straight so that I can feel the positive impact of good habits. I don't know what things I could do in the future, but it is guaranteed to be a heck of a lot better without gaming.

Thank you for your continued support!

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Hey Alex, I'm always glad to help! You could bug your brother into developing a game, or at least getting into programming if he already isn't. One could watch all the movies in the world, or play all the games in the world, but that doesn't make you a good director or developer. 

Whenever I am thinking about something too much, or something is monopolizing my time I try and get some exercises in, I find that if something it bugging you nothing helps you get over it more than a decent workout. Maybe that is just me, but hopefully that will help you.

Jay and Cam have already weighed in and have said it really well. But I'll come in anyways and say as well that deep down inside me I knew that my life as a gamer no longer had any meaning. Not only that, but that the video games were playing me and not the other way around. When I ask myself what I want to be in the future, no where in that equation is "on a couch playing video games". I want to be speaking Portuguese on a beach in my girlfriends city in Brazil, or teaching English in a classroom in South Korea somewhere, or working on my PH.D somewhere, on something important to me. There are many things I want to do in my life, for my own enjoyment and hopefully to the benefit of others.
I have the feeling that I cannot be that person while playing video games for 6 hours everyday, or playing video games until 6 am from the night before and waking up at 4pm with a headache and no desire to get work done. Even if I only played for 1-2 hours a day, that is an hour I could have spent studying Portuguese, that's 2 hours I could have spent studying for school and raising my mark so I can get into a masters program, that's 6 hours I could have spent working and saving money so I can go to my girlfriends city. That is an evening I could have spent with my girlfriend, or a night out (or in) with real friends who have opinions of depth on things other than video games (and accept me for who I am).

Jay had it right when he challenge you to create some goals, so now anytime you feel like you want to play video games, tell yourself it's one more hour, one more MINUTE of time you can instead spend on improving yourself, and moving 1 minute, 1 hour, 1 day closer to your goals.

 

Thank you Elegwa for the advice, I can relate with you on multiple levels.

I too find that exercise is a great activity for clearing my head, as well as energising me for working or studying. I need to make such breaks more frequent though, my morning run is not enough to keep me going the whole day.

I can relate to the time lost and lack of purpose you describe when gaming. I felt I had a purpose when gaming, but at the end of the day the activities I pursue for this purpose doesn't help anybody in real life, not even myself. I certainly don't want to be playing video games in the future, and don't want anybody to have to go through this experience. I suppose that the best time to work towards that aspect of my future goal is to stop gaming now.

I agree that I need to make some solid goals, but long term goals might be hard for me at the moment as I haven't discovered my purpose yet. For now it might revolve around improving my skills in talents I have stopped pursuing such as programming, playing guitar and photography.

If I haven't started posting photographs by the 25th of November, please make sure to give me a prod.

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Posted

 

If anybody can pitch in some related ideas on why quitting is better in the long/short term I would really appreciate it!g

Hi Alex, I think that quitting video games (or any other addiction) means you are again the master of your own life. Without video games, you are forced to find the meaning in your own life. That can be a long process, and maybe in the end you find that you do want to play video games now and then again, but then it will be out of your own decision, not because it has become a habit. You want control back in your life and setting your own goals.

Thank you Florian, well spoken and concise.

When I play video games I understand I am not in control of my own life, I even get to the point of deleting my saves for fear of wasting even more time on the game. I will continue looking into finding my purpose, but I am sure it will crop up eventually.

I will make sure I'm in control of my life from now on.

Thank you again for your insight :)

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Attempt II Day 5

I not only met my running goal today, I smashed it! Although it wasn't in the morning, I made up for it by doing a 35 minute run delivering fliers.

I have been of clearer mind today, the support to quit I have received has almost been overwhelming, I thank you all for your generous time. I have been listening to Waking Up with Sam Harris and Art of Charm this morning and this afternoon on the bus. It has actually been the most productive reflective thinking I have had in a while, I will make sure to listen to more from them!

One thing I'd like to get into the habit of is working out. I started this in about April or May and continued for about a month, but I dropped off after a month because I didn't work out much at all during the school holidays. I will make sure to do a full 30 or so minutes tomorrow at the gym, I know I really felt on top of things after working out.

I have done a good deal of reflection, and have decided that there is much more reason to quit gaming than to play again. There is an incredible amount of potential that I can achieve with the time that I would spend gaming, and gaming is detrimental to my self improvement anyhow.

I'll download some more podcasts to listen to tomorrow.

I'm grateful for the technology we have today, it enables us unlimited choice for what we want to do in our lives.

I'm grateful for the Art of Charm crew, they made a really great podcast about leadership and habits.

I'm grateful to have the choice to improve myself.

I'll add a positive experience I've had in the last 24 hours as part of my daily journal:

Simple conversation with a friend in the morning at the bus stop made a great start to the day, especially since I hadn't talked to her in a while. It seems that the things that bring a smile to my face the most involve social interaction about 90% of the time, that means I should invest more time in this area.

Goals for tomorrow:

  • Do 30+ minutes at the gym
  • Do a run in the MORNING
  • make at least one new friend

 

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Posted

 I cannot speak for you of course but the main reason that I want to quit video games is because I KNOW in my heart of hearts that I will die full of regret if I don't. Whenever I start playing video games, everything else in my life takes a back seat. It can be easy to question the decision early on when we start to think about the video games we've played and get lost in nostalgia, so that's why we need a very powerful reason, a goal that we're working towards that doesn't leave room for something as time consuming as video games.

Some days it's going to be a slog but as long as you have that reason, you can always pick yourself up and get back on track! :)

Cheers Jay, that's a very good point.

Likewise when I play games, studying, spending time with family, chores and most daily tasks become a lot more challenging mentally, and 'takes a back seat' in priority as you mentioned. I don't want to be that type of person, and I know that if I was consistently feeling guilty of playing games, there was good reason for me to stop. I even purposely messing up save files to stop myself from playing, I definitely was not in control of my habits, the game had control of me.

I keep thinking of what lifelong goals I want to have, and something I know for certain that I want to be helping people every day as that is something which I find fulfillment in. I would want to play to my strengths for a career but I will find my purpose in time.

Something I heard from a podcast from 'The Art of Charm' this afternoon is to forgive yourself for when you do something wrong and just pick up from where you left off with the attitude to do better. I will make sure to put this perspective to use when going through those days that are a slog.

It's definitely important to forgive yourself and pick yourself back up when you fall down. Otherwise you will start to develop negative feelings about yourself and just as the slight edge talks about, these can compound over time and bring you back to the state of misery you may have been in before.

I'm similar to Jay. It's not that gaming is bad, but I have different priorities. If I was still gaming over the past few years instead of moving on, I wouldn't have traveled to 22 countries, started my own business (which gives me a lot of freedom and flexibility, instead of having to work a normal job), I wouldn't have shared my story on TEDx, Game Quitters wouldn't exist, I wouldn't have lived in Los Angeles or Colorado, gone surfing in Bali, California and Panama, met a woman I fell in love with in Vancouver, etc etc.

For me it's similar to what you said, I had tried gaming, I spent 10+ years putting all of my efforts into it, and it was fun and all that but at the end of the day, after 10+ years of gaming, I had played some games and had some fun killing bosses, but I still felt depressed, had very few friends, was unemployed living in my parents basement and didn't have a girlfriend. So 10+ years of gaming got me those results.

So were those the results I really wanted? NO.

So I tried a different path, one without gaming and instead focused my efforts on personal development and I'm in year 6 of that... and my results are much different. Are they the results I wanted? YES. And I'm still learning and growing.

Thank you Cam, that was very good food for thought.

It is true that I have much better priorities outside of gaming, bad habits can make gaming top priority despite having little positive impact on living.

I need to make sure that I give quitting games and improving myself a shot for at least 90 days straight so that I can feel the positive impact of good habits. I don't know what things I could do in the future, but it is guaranteed to be a heck of a lot better without gaming.

Thank you for your continued support!

Alex I'd like to challenge you to read the slight edge again and really make it a point to internalize the concepts the book talks about. I personally am finding that everything the book talks about makes a ton of sense, that little actions and choices we make every single day build up to something big later on. Read it again and see if that changes anything for you, but do it purposefully. Read it with intent and with the goal that you want to make meaningful and lasting changes to your habits. I suspect that it will help you quite a bit. :)

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snip

Thank you Elegwa for the advice, I can relate with you on multiple levels.

I too find that exercise is a great activity for clearing my head, as well as energising me for working or studying. I need to make such breaks more frequent though, my morning run is not enough to keep me going the whole day.

I can relate to the time lost and lack of purpose you describe when gaming. I felt I had a purpose when gaming, but at the end of the day the activities I pursue for this purpose doesn't help anybody in real life, not even myself. I certainly don't want to be playing video games in the future, and don't want anybody to have to go through this experience. I suppose that the best time to work towards that aspect of my future goal is to stop gaming now.

I agree that I need to make some solid goals, but long term goals might be hard for me at the moment as I haven't discovered my purpose yet. For now it might revolve around improving my skills in talents I have stopped pursuing such as programming, playing guitar and photography.

If I haven't started posting photographs by the 25th of November, please make sure to give me a prod.


I understand that feeling, it's hard to be motivated about the long term when you have no idea what you want to do. Make sure you try as much as possible so you can really find what you enjoy. The two new things I have pledge to start but have not yet too are to start doing architectural drawings like I did in high school, and to practice my cursive writing skills. I would commit to posting a drawing or sketch by November 25th, but I'm worried about my workload at University. 

On second thought, I will make it a due date and see what I have time to do. If I haven't posted an architectural drawing or sketch by November 25th, please give me a prod too! I've put it in my Google Calendar, you'll be reminded!

Attempt II Day 5

I not only met my running goal today, I smashed it! Although it wasn't in the morning, I made up for it by doing a 35 minute run delivering fliers.

I have been of clearer mind today, the support to quit I have received has almost been overwhelming, I thank you all for your generous time. I have been listening to Waking Up with Sam Harris and Art of Charm this morning and this afternoon on the bus. It has actually been the most productive reflective thinking I have had in a while, I will make sure to listen to more from them!

One thing I'd like to get into the habit of is working out. I started this in about April or May and continued for about a month, but I dropped off after a month because I didn't work out much at all during the school holidays. I will make sure to do a full 30 or so minutes tomorrow at the gym, I know I really felt on top of things after working out.

I have done a good deal of reflection, and have decided that there is much more reason to quit gaming than to play again. There is an incredible amount of potential that I can achieve with the time that I would spend gaming, and gaming is detrimental to my self improvement anyhow.

I'll download some more podcasts to listen to tomorrow.

I'm grateful for the technology we have today, it enables us unlimited choice for what we want to do in our lives.

I'm grateful for the Art of Charm crew, they made a really great podcast about leadership and habits.

I'm grateful to have the choice to improve myself.

I'll add a positive experience I've had in the last 24 hours as part of my daily journal:

Simple conversation with a friend in the morning at the bus stop made a great start to the day, especially since I hadn't talked to her in a while. It seems that the things that bring a smile to my face the most involve social interaction about 90% of the time, that means I should invest more time in this area.

Goals for tomorrow:

  • Do 30+ minutes at the gym
  • Do a run in the MORNING
  • make at least one new friend

 

I started listening to Waking Up with Sam Harris yesterday evening and I agree with you, it's generated some really productive thought for me as well! 

Keep up the good work Alex! You, Jay, Tom, Cam, Florian, Me, & everyone else here, we've all got this! Our future is ours ;)

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Great job! Happy you are enjoying Waking Up and the Art of Charm. Did you know I have an episode as well? ;)

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Great job! Happy you are enjoying Waking Up and the Art of Charm. Did you know I have an episode as well? ;)

Downloaded and listening, thanks for letting me know. You appear to be in contact with many people!

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Attempt II Day 6

I met 1.5 out of 3 of my goals today, but perhaps I'm just making up excuses.

I certainly did my morning run, and ran much further than I'd been doing recently. Goal met.

I brought my gym gear to school, but didn't make a schedule for myself during the day so studying and hanging out with friends took priority. It was a good start to bring my gear to school at least, I just need to go to the gym next time! Goal not met.

I did interact with somebody I didn't know today, but didn't get their name. I suppose that I need to converse enough to comfortably ask their name and give mine, so I need to fully commit to that next time I try to make a new friend. Goal half met.

Had a bunch of fireworks tonight, it was fun to celebrate spending family time together.

Listened to some more podcasts today, but I feel that listening to podcasts on the buses could be detrimental to my discipline to do work whenever I can. I'll just see how it goes for a week or so.

I signed up for the 100 club, and will start on the 24th of November (when my exams finish). I plan to spend 10 minutes at least on each of these activities: guitar playing, programming, and running daily.

I didn't have many thoughts towards gaming today. My main drive to play is to complete a world conquest on EU4 as the Inca empire, as it is a challenging game that is very engaging. Despite this urge I know that it would require an immense amount of time, I can't play as I don't have a steam account any more, and I can invest my time much more effectively. Even small victories of improving myself in real life is worth more than all the glory of the world in a virtual world.

Goals for tomorrow:

  • Get at least 6 x 50 minutes of study done
  • Do at least 20 minutes of running
  • Do 15 minutes of python programming and at least 10 minutes of guitar practice

Although it felt like I was confused in regards to my gaming for a long time, it only took a few days to make up my mind this time around, whereas it took me about 2 weeks to start building new habits and acting toward goals when I first quit. This means I understand my position and consequences of gaming better this time around.

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Great job! Happy you are enjoying Waking Up and the Art of Charm. Did you know I have an episode as well? ;)

Downloaded and listening, thanks for letting me know. You appear to be in contact with many people!

Haha yes. I've worked hard to connect with awesome people over the years. :)

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I'm loving that you're right back on track!  You're tenacity is quite inspiring!  I can only hope that I would be able to do it as quickly as you if I ever had to.

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