I first found NoFap about three years ago (I’m 30 now). As many can attest to, reading YBOP and this sub was really an ‘a-ha!’ moment for me.
To put aside the science and theories behind porn addiction (which I do not dispute), the simple fact was that I was spending too much time and energy on PMO, to the detriment of other aspects of my life. This post will have more resonance for older Fapstronauts, but I hope younger guys can glean some wisdom from it and apply it to their own lives, so they don’t have to suffer years of struggle as I did. (Un)Fortunately, experience is always the best teacher.
I fought for the better part of a year to get to my reset. I remember now all of the work, the good and bad feelings. I remember feeling on top of the world, like there was nothing on Earth that could stop me. I also remember feeling like I was ‘broken’, that I was not strong enough, that I would always be weak. Somewhere along the way, through enough trying and trying and trying, I got there. For anyone looking for advice, all I have to give is: just keep trying. You will fail until you succeed. Failure is a prerequisite of success. No one goes through life, or any journey of self-improvement, undefeated. It gets easier every time, and you get stronger every time. For me, there was no ‘magic bullet’ or special habit that made the difference. Patience and dedication are all that you have, and all that you need.
After my reset (which I choose to define as the point that my sexual desires were more aligned with where they were before I found high speed porn and also the point where PMO was not a desire anymore), I became obsessive about self-improvement. I think this speaks to the ‘superpower’ phenomenon. Again, removing the science and theories behind it, if you change your habits from PMOing frequently to not at all, you at the least have significantly more time and energy. Further, you have just ‘defeated/overcome’ a very powerful desire/urge that at times you were unsure you were capable of doing. This results in confidence, because you have demonstrably achieved something difficult, and which will objectively improve your life (simply due to having more free time and more energy).
So I was confident (which I had always struggled with since I started PMO. I don’t know why, and I don’t care if its science or a placebo or a flying spaghetti monster), energetic, and had significantly more time on my hands. Video games, television, mindless internet surfing, arguing about mundane topics… all of these things felt so unproductive and a waste of valuable time. I began reading for enjoyment as well as practical knowledge. I got in the best physical shape of my life: being formerly skinny and weak, I was now big and strong. I began excelling at work more than at any point in my life that I could remember. My mind was clear and did not waver into bullshit topics. I could focus. I quit my ADHD drugs (which I used to believe I literally could not function without). I went back to school to get my MBA. Despite being focused on myself and my own development, the outside validation I was getting was impossible to ignore. Family, friends, women, even random acquaintances would remark how good I look, how happy I seem, and how pleasant I am to be around. My social circle grew and I was meeting awesome women constantly. Life was good.
Was the success I achieved brought about by NoFap/my ‘reset’? Yes and no. I think it is faulty to assume that, ‘I will be happier/more confident/work out more/read more/whatever when I do NoFap/when I reset.’ This is being a passive participant in life. Life must be lived affirmatively and actively. You must choose what you want out of life, who you want to be, and pursue those goals fearlessly and at times relentlessly.
A man chooses. A slave obeys.
I needed to remove ‘have to’ ‘need to’ or ‘going to’ from my life. Everything I do in my life is based on my values and my choices. I don’t have to quit PMO because I am worthless, diseased, damaged, etc. if I don’t quit. I choose to quit PMO because it hampers my path towards the life I want to live and the man I want to be. I don’t need to workout because otherwise I’ll be fat and weak and I will be less physically attractive. I choose to workout because it helps me to maintain a strong and fit body, which I value and I desire for myself.
I choose to not waste my time and energy on unproductive behaviors and habits. I choose to use my time more effectively, and to work to be a better, more complete person, because I acknowledge that life is short, there are no do-overs, and that I need to work hard for whatever I want in life. I am responsible for my own growth and happiness, and I am responsible for the results of either following or not following this path.
Say the above, and mean it. Be angry if you are not doing the things you need to do to be the man you want to be and live the life you want to lead. Use that anger as fuel, motivation for the hours that you will need to put in. When you are weak, picture your life lived in fear. Picture where you will be 5, 10, 20 years from now if you do not fight for yourself, if you take the easy way out, if you choose safety and comfort over strength and achievement. Become obsessed with the fact that if you do not work long, hard and diligently, this is your fate. Become angry at yourself that your laziness, weakness, lack of focus may make this fate more likely. Repeat: No one is responsible for what happens to me, except me. There are countless examples of individuals overcoming astronomical odds (frankly, more difficult than anyone on this message board has experienced or will ever experience, myself included) to obtain wealth, success, happiness, serenity. There is no reason that you can not live a life that will make you happy. There is no reason that you can not be a man that you are proud of. You are responsible for everything that happens to you in your life.
Now, picture the life you want to live, your perfect life. The perfect house, the perfect location, the perfect job, the perfect wife (or no wife), perfect kids (or no kids), most importantly: The perfect version of YOU (and YOU decide what the perfect version of you is – not your wife, parents, teacher or boss). Fight for this life. It is worth it, YOU are worth it. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be content. You deserve to live the life you want and be the man you want to be. It may be unlikely for you to achieve everything that you want in life. That’s OK. Few get everything they want. While its very unlikely that things will turn out exactly as you may envision them, if you don’t work for it, you will get none of it.
To the point of an earlier paragraph – “Will life improvements come about as a result of being a Fapstronaut/having a reset?” Basically, no. It will, however, provide you with more energy, more free time, and more confidence. If you cultivate these new found gifts (and make no mistake about it – these are gifts which we all should be very grateful for), and apply them towards self improvement and growth, I guarantee your life will significantly improve.
Compulsive, obsessive PMO is a childish habit. Its what a little boy does. A boy can not control his sexual desires (or any desire for short term gratification, mostly). A man is required to exercise self-control and discipline. Be a real man, today.
A man chooses. A slave obeys.
LINK – This is the First Step