Around 60: The Power of Incremental Change and It Is Only a Failure If You Quit

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Deleted Account, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. Background:
    - 33 year-old male, single
    - masturbation since ~9-10 years old; memory and magazines first, then pics on the internet, videos and high-speed porn.
    - long history of anxiety and added depression about 6 years ago
    - two serious relationships (6 and 2 years) utterly destroyed by porn and masturbation addiction as well as computer gaming addiction and alcohol
    - I'm on around my 60th day, after 4 years of observing NoFap and several unsuccessful attempts.

    I've had enough and am really serious about making changes in my life and reach my goals: to learn how to drive, get out of debt, buy a house and start a family with a beautiful and caring girl (in random order). I say absolutely no way to porn, masturbation and alcohol and working on reducing the time spent on other unproductive activities. I take small steps every day and don't beat myself down too much if I slip. The following activities are helping me stay on the course.

    At first I didn't run, I walked. I chose a distance of about 5 miles, 2.5 miles each way. It was an unbearable torture and a massive chore to finish one length. I stopped and walked five times during the 2.5 mile run and at the end had to rest for 15 minutes and then walked back. Now, two months later, I run 2.5 miles without stopping and only a short break before running back.
    Running works extremely well for me because you only need some comfortable trainers to start doing it, it is a fight against my own weaknesses, the progress I'm making is very tangible, plus it is good for my physical and mental health. It also shows me that I can achieve things by making a small progress every day. Running is becoming a habit now and habits are easier to stick to.
    Music also helped immensely while running, especially uplifting EDM and Drum and Bass. Here are some tracks that I like:
    - J Majik - Give It Up
    - J Majik&Wickaman - Lift Me Up
    - Subfocus - X RAY (Metrik remix)
    - Zeds Dead&Jauz - Lights Go Down
    - Delta Heavy - Nobody But You
    - Biometrix - Fire
    - Kavinsky - First Blood
    - Tantrum Desire - Reach VIP

    Touch Typing:
    This is something that is not difficult to learn and you make progress every day. Essential if you want to get into coding. Also, the practice drills help you focus and take your mind off things. In a way it is similar to meditation once you get into a nice rhythm. I can comfortably write with the speed of 50-60 words per minute now.
    I am also starting to learn coding and the fast typing skill makes you feel like a pro from the start.
    Typist by Takeshi Ogihara is an excellent app to teach you how to type without looking at the keyboard.

    I am a big fan of reading books, both fiction and nonfiction. Started to read a lot of self-help books recently. It is very important thought not to take everything you read for granted and analyse it properly. Trying the new ways of behaving with people is extremely fun and rewarding because you begin to see outcomes you would never expect possible should you have stayed in your old routines.
    Some books I recommend:
    Caroline Webb - How to Have a Good Day
    Robert Albert - Your Perfect Right
    Ryan Holiday - The Daily Stoic, The Obstacle is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy
    Charles Duhigg - The Power of Habit
    Stephen R. Covey - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
    Thubten Chodron - Buddhism for Beginners
    S N Goenka - The Art of Living
    David Schwartz - The Magic of Thinking Big
    Dale Carnegie - How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, How to Win Friends and Influence People
    Dalai Lama - The Art of Happiness

    No Social Media
    Deleted all social media. Created a secret facebook account just for a few friends and family members because I live abroad. Unfollowed everyone and only go there if I have a message on Messenger. No Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr or others - I don't need to make myself feel worse by watching other people's perfect (so it seems) life and by comparing myself to others.

    Getting Out Of Comfort Zone
    I try a little every day to try behaviours that I never thought of before or do things I've never done and it is very empowering to observe the outcomes. I almost started to treat it like an RPG game where I start at lvl 1 and slowly but surely build my character (myself) to power (but in real life!). It is so much more rewarding than sitting at home masturbating to porn, watching youtube videos and slaying another monster in a game.

    I do understand that my abstinence of around 60 days is just the beginning of a live long journey. No one is perfect and I have worse days and I still let myself down with certain things such as tidiness, procrastination, junk food etc. But now I see a light at the end of the tunnel and know that with a little persistence anything can be achieved. And I wish the same to all of you.


    PS: Last Sunday I visited a local art gallery and met this very cute girl that works there. I chatted with her for a while about the exhibition and left but I am going back there this Sunday to ask her out. The worst that can happen is she says no and I am where I started. But if she says yes it can be a beginning of a new chapter in my life. Wish me luck.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2018
  2. Rocky11234

    Rocky11234 Fapstronaut

  3. MeoG

    MeoG Fapstronaut

    Inspiring story, @Aradesh Love your book list. Congratulations on your 60 days and good luck with the girl!!! Please do let us know how it went :)
    Deleted Account likes this.
  4. Little kitty

    Little kitty Fapstronaut

    I will pray for your success man. . . I love your idea to quiting social media. . .yeah that's true,seeing other people bullshit or drama can can greatly affect our lives and our way of thinking
    Deleted Account likes this.
  5. Thanks man! What's even more interesting is that apparently the creators of various social media (or other addictive products, such as smartphones or tablets) won't let their children go anywhere near them. They can be beneficial if you use them for something productive (eg. marketing, ideas, research) but I believe they're extremely detrimental if you have various mental problems, especially anxiety or depression.

    Thanks guys! Will defo let you know! Sunday is almost there :)
    PowerMe likes this.
  6. Heyy, she was not there today unfortunately but I talked to the receptionist and left a message for her. But the best part is that I've felt the best in a long time today. I was composed, confident and spoke clearly to the guy. I feel really upbeat and happy - and it's only been 2 months of no PMO and no alcohol. Daily exercise also helps. So, even if she doesn't reply or doesn't want to go out with me it is fine, no big deal. But obviously fingers crossed that she does :)
  7. SkyFallBack

    SkyFallBack Fapstronaut

    Hey man great work! I especially like your thought process because incremental increase is the key here.

    The problem is how to quantify small increase. Do you feel happy when you talk to one more stranger per day?
    Deleted Account likes this.
  8. chancer17

    chancer17 Fapstronaut

    Inspiring story man!! It sounds like you are in a really good place right now!! Keep it up!! I relapsed yesterday and found today really tough. Everytime I think I nearly have this addiction sorted it rears its ugly head again. But I won't give up. Stories like yours inspire that one day I will be clean and clear of all this.
    Tonytone and Deleted Account like this.
  9. Thanks and an excellent question. I suppose it makes me happy when I find myself gradually doing things I wouldn't do before. The increases kind of happen automatically - so, for example, with running I try do go every other day but I don't think like, ok, yesterday I did 5 miles in 30mins so today I have to do it in 29. At this stage, mere 'forcing myself to go' is enough to keep me happy and the progress happens automatically without thinking. Maybe in the future I'll start a more planned approach to things because it gets them done faster.

    Same with your example - I don't impose on myself that I have to talk to so many people today and so many the next day - I go with the flow, keeping in the back of my mind that it would be nice to behave differently. Like when I went to that art gallery. Back in the days I wouldn't probably even acknowledge the girl first or make any effort to talk to her (my mind producing countless obstacles). Or I probably wouldn't even go to an art gallery. But I thought "well that could be fun and interesting" and then "let's try doing what I wouldn't do before and see what happens". So I said a simple "hi, so what do I do here? :)" and then it went. When I finished watching the exhibition, encouraged by the fact that I've spoken to her before and she didn't put me down (it helped that she was an employee there I suppose so they have to be nice haha), I made myself go over to her again and share my views of the exhibition. We talked for a while, she asked if I liked it and what I liked and such. I didn't want to overdo it at this point and sound cheesy so I left. But then, later, I thought - "f**k it, let's go back next week and ask her out, what's the worst that could happen?"

    Hope this helps, that is what is working for me at the moment but I think everyone has to find their own way. Don't give up man!
    Tonytone likes this.
  10. Thank you and sorry to hear about your relapse. I've been there many times. Dust yourself off and start again and don't give up!
  11. SkyFallBack

    SkyFallBack Fapstronaut

    So go with the flow? Act what you think I guess. The power of letting go is intoxicating. Keep me updated with your progress because I'd like to know more about how people keep the momentum going.

    Deleted Account likes this.
  12. Innervision

    Innervision Fapstronaut

    Very inspiring words, friend!

    It's fantastic how this approach of little and constant increments seems to be a universal truth, in almost everything we can try to learn or develop in our lives. At the same time, the kind of societies we live in today drag us to exact the opposite principle of it: instant gratification (happiness, success, pleasure, recognition, fame and so on) with almost none or very little effort. It's the era of simple solutions with rapid results about all aspects of life, from health, career and relationships to our very ideas, values and thoughts processes. Fortunately, this isn't a rule craved into stone and we can fight against this immediacy culture. I firmly believe only this way we can learn to build more healthy habits and lifestyles, that can lead to unexpected growth and development through different aspects of one's live.

    All the basis that support a successful recovery about the NoPMO idea, I believe, lies on understanding some basic principles, such as you eloquently expressed about the "power of incremental change". I don't know if you already read it, but an amazing book on this very topic is "The Slight Edge", by Jeff Olson. It's totally worthy and potentially life changing.

    Keep the amazing work and all the best luck!
    Deleted Account likes this.
  13. @SkyFallBack The power of letting go, doing your own thing and not worrying what others think, is indeed intoxicating. Do some research on different ways of thinking and behaving (there are tons of great books/videos etc.), then try to implement the ones you like in your life and see what happens. The results can stagger you.

    @Innervision I completely agree - instant gratification might be destroying our society. High-speed internet porn, apps, notifications, credit cards, everything available on your smartphone whenever you fancy it - once you see over the facade you begin to understand the dangers. I shall add your book suggestion to my notepad and read it after I'm finished with the backlog of books on my kindle (again, too easy to buy and then you don't fully read half of them:)). Or I might read it tomorrow, who knows :) Chaos can be beautiful too.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2018
    SkyFallBack and Innervision like this.
  14. workHard

    workHard Fapstronaut

    Wow, that is a lot of progress man! You really are becoming the best version of yourself everyday. Good job.
    Deleted Account likes this.
  15. Hi everyone!

    I've just come back from my jogging session. I pushed myself a little today and did around 5 miles with just a short 30 sec break halfway through. But what made this jog especially fun is that I added a new variable to it. I challenged myself to smile and say 'good morning' to every person I was passing by. I think there were about 20 people altogether. There were fellow runners, a guy walking his dog, a young couple, a woman with a cigarette, two ladies with headscarves on, a grumpy looking big guy, an elderly couple and some others. I think I only failed with the scary looking, grumpy fella but still 19 out of 20 is quite a good result in my book. Most of those people said 'good morning' back or just smiled back. A couple of them ignored me but so what :)

    So rather than being on the 'defensive' and into my own thoughts, I tried to be in the 'discovery' phase - try something new and see what happens. To find out more about the defensive vs discovery approaches, head to the book How to Have a Good Day by Caroline Webb.

    Altogether a great experience!

    PS: I think it is valuable to observe elderly people because I found them doing things like that the most. A lot of them will just start talking to you about something or say Hello without any reservations. And why shouldn't they? Why shouldn't we, young people, be as comfortable in our own skin?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2018
    Protagonist, leah88 and workHard like this.
  16. Thnxx sir ur experience helps us a lot
    Deleted Account likes this.
  17. workHard

    workHard Fapstronaut

    I also run but I don't do that because it makes me run out of breathe alittle. I usually just give people a slight nod if they are looking at me or wave hello. Maybe you could try that, idk but either way I hope my input helped :).
    Deleted Account likes this.
  18. Hi, just a small update on the girl story. She texted me back, but said she completely doesn't remember me and that she is not interested in meeting me. I didn't push it and thanked her for her time. Feeling a little bit disappointed but life goes on and there will be plenty of more playful girls :)
  19. Destroyporn

    Destroyporn Fapstronaut

    All the best man, very inspiring. Life keeps on moving and I am sure the perfect girl will come soon and you are prepared to meet her.
    DjAng0 and Deleted Account like this.
  20. DjAng0

    DjAng0 Fapstronaut

    What about a girl who don't play? Whaddaya say to that one?

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