Here we stand, my friends. At the edge of a precipice. The 90 days have been slain, and now lies before us its legacy. And yet, what are we to do?
My reboot process was challenging, enlightening, wondrous, and ultimately, only a beginning.
For 3 years I had struggled with the vice. Before then I had simply accepted it, nurtured it even. When it came time to dig out the rot the process was incredibly painful. Many nights I wept at the futility of it. How can I be so weak and pathetic? These words would echo through my mind.
Many times, when I found myself on an excellent streak, I would say to myself things like “medically it makes sense to fap!” and then assassinate myself again. Other times I would go out with a girl and end the night without her company but left with great expectations, and out of frustration I would take matters into my own hands.
Tragic loss after tragic loss. A great moment of turnaround arrived for me when I discovered Mark Queppet. In one of my darkest moments I turned and found his words there, lighting a path of hope towards a brighter future. That night I sat and watched five of his super long videos, and came out with an iron determination. My task was perfect celibacy for 90 days. In this I failed. But I was able to avoid masturbation and porn for this whole time.
From the 25th of October to the 23rd of January I went through a process of self-discovery. During this time I joined Andrew Kirby’s procrastination course as well, which proved to be a monumental help in developing positive habits.
A quick list of what I changed:
- Went from playing video games every day to not playing at all
- I went on a 10-day Vipassana (a journey so amazing it deserves a post of its own)
- Began and continue to maintain a daily 2-hour vipassana meditation habit (1 hour in the morning and 1 in the evening)
- Developed a pretty rigid exercise routine. Now exercising for 3 days and taking 1-day break in one cycle.
- Trying to go out once a day to walk in nearby forests.
- Doing daily work on coding challenges
- Quit all substances including alcohol.
These are habitual changes, and contrary to much of the advice about introducing each change slowly I found the time in which I was able to implement these behaviours fairly fast. The reason for this I believe was the eradication of my ability to do the negative habits. To achieve this for example I reformatted my computer with Linux and not installed Steam. This coupled with my declining interest in things like games made my days’ time abundant.
Despite this, I still felt like I didn’t have enough time to do everything I wanted, because my aspirations were so much higher than they’d ever been before. This was because I had firmly chosen a true-life purpose.
Having a goal like this makes it very easy to see what behaviours are good or bad for me, because I can see whether or not they contribute towards the goal.
Of course, many of these behaviours probably sound quite radical, but keep in mind all of this change was preceded by 3 years of feeling depressed, hating myself, and feeling like I wasn’t fulfilling my potential.
This led me to spend ages reading dozens of books on how to be more productive etc. You likely know what I mean. This process was not a waste of time however. I learned amazing life skills in this process, and absorbed habits of mind from those inspiring authors.
I will now list the things that I think gave me the most traction in that process:
- The Tim Ferris show:
This podcast is dope af. Every episode is great, but some are greater than others. The one which I found led me to the most value was the interview with Derek Sivers which leads me to my next point:
- Derek Sivers
Derek Sivers is an incredible human. You should absolutely check out sivers.org and his reading list there, and his posts. They are filled with good ideas and wisdom.
- Awareness by Anthony De Mello
This book really changed my perspective on a lot of things, and the whole time I was reading it was a profoundly joyful few days for me. This book puts into wonderful words the value of what some might call spirituality. Personally, I still don’t really understand what that words means, but really this book is about coming back to what’s real, and to cut away much of the BS that is wearing down our minds each day.
- Vipassana meditation
This is for the hardcore among you. A 10-day vipassana retreat is no joke, but I was not an experienced meditator when I went. If you truly want to make a change within yourself, I can think of no better way than to find a vipassana meditation centre near you, and to go for it. The experience is literally free (funded by donations that you can give afterwards). I went from occasionally meditating for 10-15 minutes to meditating for 2 hours a day because of what I learned there. Life has become a better experience for me because of this. The 10 days itself was the most profound experience of my life.
I hope that some of you found these words useful. I have found a great deal of value and support in this community over the years, and I hope that this post can do something for you too.
The struggle is definitely not over for me yet. I struggle with urges still after my reboot, but I now find pornography pretty repulsive. Desires for girls I’m interested in are super intense and hard to deal with, but whatever happens, the new identity which I am building for myself will support me.
At the end of the day, the most important thing for me was the desire to keep learning, improving and applying the principles of the Slight Edge (worth reading). This is the only thing which matters. So, keep reading, and keep trying to make good judgements. There are great mentors out there.
You don’t need me to wish you luck, I know you’ll make your own.