About James Good

This article on “How to Develop Self-Discipline” has been adapted from Episode 14 of our Life Unlocked podcast. If you’d rather listen than read, check it out here:


In the world of self-improvement, people go on at length about the importance of discipline, but why? Surely they should talk about motivation, willpower, habits and everything else crucial to success.

It just so happens that at their core, these all stem from discipline.

I hate to break it to you, but when you say that you don’t have the motivation to work or the willpower to stick to something what you’re really saying is:

I can’t be bothered to build self-discipline so I’m just going to accept that I’m lazy and not bother changing.

you, probably

For those of you that want to make real, genuine change in your life, developing self-discipline is one of the most important things you can do.

What Is Self-Discipline

Self-discipline is simply the ability to do something when you don’t want to.

This might involve delaying a reward until you get your work done, ignoring the notification that just came up on your phone, flossing your teeth, or whatever else in your life requires effort.

However, the idea of building self-discipline may seem like an impossible pipe dream for most of you.

How many times have you tried to add a new habit to your routine only to give up after a week, despite being spurred on by a huge burst of motivation at the beginning?

Or perhaps you have a big project due soon and tell yourself you’re going to spend 2 hours every day working on it. When it actually comes to getting it done you come up with some excuse or tell yourself “oh I’ll just do it later or tomorrow.” However, by the time later comes around, you’ve spent the last 3 hours playing video games or spending time with your friends.

Another way of looking at self-discipline is being able to prioritize the right tasks. From there, it’s a case of taking the necessary action to complete them without getting sidelined by distractions.

It means being able to suffer short-term discomfort for long-term gains.

man productivity self-discipline

Why Is Self-Discipline Important

So why is it important that you develop self-discipline? Make sure you read this section carefully and really take the time to internalize it.

If you don’t have discipline you will never be able to change your life. It’s as simple as that.

You’ll constantly go through ebbs and flows of productivity. Every 3 months you’ll start a new project or hobby or side hustle simply because you got bored of your current one.

In reality, you didn’t have the discipline to stick with it. You couldn’t be bothered to get through the difficult first stages in order to reap the rewards later on.

You might think I’m being quite direct, but that’s the point.

I really want to stress the importance of building self-discipline when it comes to improving your life. It’s arguably the biggest factor in determining success in whatever you do.

Read: “How to Develop a Growth Mindset

How People Become Successful

The number one trait of successful people is the ability to make consistent improvements and take daily action.

Someone that improves 1% every day for 2 years is going to be more successful than someone who goes through 3-month cycles of wavering productivity.

I’ve been there. It sucks.

I routinely went through this for over 3 years. I’d get invested into a new skill, such as photography, and I’d feel motivated to become the best damn photographer I could be. Fast forward a few months and I’d be back in limbo. Wondering why I ever bothered in the first place. Then, after another few months of drudgery, something else would catch my attention. On and on it went.

When you do this over a long enough period you start to realize that you’re not just hurting your productivity, you’re actively sabotaging it.

You’re taking 2 steps forward and 3 steps back. The longer it goes on the more you’ll have to catch up when you finally get your act together.

However, developing discipline isn’t easy. It’s a long journey filled with failure, setbacks, obstacles and challenges. You’re going to have to stare them in the face, break them down, and move on to the next one. Over and over again until you finally make it through.

It’ll probably be one of the most difficult things you ever do.

How to Develop Self-Discipline

What you need to realise about self-discipline is that it’s a muscle.

The sooner you can think of it in this way the sooner you can start training it.

Muscles don’t grow because you’re lifting weights. They grow because they get broken down and torn apart, and when your body repairs itself it thinks “oh hm, that kinda sucked, I should probably make them a bit stronger next time”. Rinse and repeat.

The same holds true for discipline.

The only way you can improve it is to force yourself into situations fraught with discomfort. You need to break yourself down in order to bounce back stronger. Exactly like a muscle.

Unfortunately, this also means there’s no magical shortcut you can take for this. Even if you take steroids you still have to put the work in at the gym.

I would, however, recommend starting small. I’ll give you a few things I did when starting off to instil the practice of building discipline in order to make it as easy as possible at the beginning.

break up with your phone for self-discipline

It’s Time to Ditch the Phone

You don’t have to throw it away. But, in the modern world people are giving up more and more control to their devices. If you need any chance of building discipline you’re going to have to look at your technology use.

I recently discovered that my phone has a digital wellbeing section.

I want you to get your phone out and check how many times you open your phone each day or how much time you spend on it.

Yesterday I spent a total of 3 hours on my phone and opened it 70 times. Which is so much higher than I thought it’d be. A lot of it came from messaging apps like Telegram, Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram.

Can you imagine what kind of effect that’s having on my brain?

It’s going to have a huge impact on my ability to concentrate on important tasks, as the more I do it, the more likely I’ll be to get distracted by my phone. It’s a never-ending cycle.

So how do you stop using your phone less? For me, it starts with little things.

I make sure I don’t pick it up within the first hour of waking up. During the day I put it out of sight in my bag and turn off notifications. I impose restrictions on the amount of time that I can use it, e.g. half an hour at lunch. Finally,I make sure that I don’t use it within 2 hours before bed.

Don’t Take on Too Much at Once

Start with not using your phone first thing in the morning. That alone will completely change your day. Get a dedicated alarm clock so you’re even less tempted to use your phone, and force yourself to not pick it up for an hour. Wake up, go exercise, take a walk in the sun, get hydrated, shower and so on.

Read: “How to Create a Morning Routine

Then over time, you can start to impose greater restrictions such as using blocking apps like Block Site, StayFocusd or AppBlock (for mobile).

It’s all about shifting the control from your phone back over to you.

Remove Distractions from Your Home

If you know something is a big weakness for you, for example, every time you eat dinner you automatically reach for the ice cream, get rid of that damn ice cream.

This applies to everything from TV, food, video games, smartphones and whatever else you find distracting.

If you want to eat less junk food, throw away every food item in your house that’s unhealthy. You won’t be able to indulge in bags of crisps if it’s not there to eat.

The same goes for video games or Netflix. If you have a tendency to come in from work or college, and you know you need to get some work done in the evening, you might consider relaxing for a bit by watching films or playing games.

Which is perfectly natural.

However, how many times does it go from a relaxing break into wasting the entire evening?

Now, if you have a block installed on these for specific times, or better yet get rid of them completely (you don’t actually need Netflix or video games by the way), you’ll be much more inclined to come in and get the work done.

Eventually, when you make this a habit, you can start using those forms of entertainment as a reward.

wasting your time gaming

How to Use Rewards Effectively to Build Self-Discipline

The majority of people are terrible at rewarding themselves. Either they’ll use the wrong reward or they do it too often to have any benefit.

The best way to use rewards is to remove them when you’re just starting out. Why? You need to give yourself time to adjust to having less stimulation.

You’ve been so used to getting instant gratification whether it’s from your phone, video games, or junk food.

Then, after a week or two of working on your discipline, you can start to introduce rewards back into your life.

But that doesn’t mean you can say “I did 1 hour of work today I’m going to have half a cheesecake”.

The best rewards are ones that are going to enrich you.

For example, if I do 8 hours of solid work and get a bunch of tasks done, I’ll let myself spend a couple hours playing music without the pressure of having to worry about working. Or, I’ll go and spend some time with my friends.

You Need to Reset Your Brain

It might seem like these rewards are quite harsh. Seeing friends and working on hobbies should be a part of everyday life. I agree.

However, your brain has become so warped by constant distractions and stimulation that you need to spend time getting it back to normal.

Have a think about what a good reward would be for you.

Something like binging on junk food or getting drunk or spending the day watching Netflix. If you actually take some time to consider them, do they really sound like good rewards?

In the long term, they’re going to do more harm than good, and won’t actually do anything to bring you closer to building discipline.

 

What to Do When it All Goes Wrong

I briefly touched on it earlier, but it’s important to become comfortable with failure and learning how to forgive yourself.

Even with our best intentions, we fall short. It happens. However, it’s important that you always move forward.

If you stumble or hit an obstacle, take some time to acknowledge what caused it and move on.

Learn from your missteps and forgive yourself. Then you can remind yourself why you’re doing this in the first place, refocus your goals, and get back to building self-discipline and really transforming your life for the better.

 

You’ve got this.

Trying to explain the concept of live streaming to anyone that didn’t grow up in this generation is a struggle. I’ve had family members bring up the question of “what is twitch?” in casual conversation.

They likely came across the website on a news story or social media, and every time it happens they have no concept that something like Twitch exists.

Why in the world would anyone spend hours watching someone else play a video game that they can play themselves? Not only that, but when you tell them people donate thousands of dollars to complete strangers on the internet it makes their eyes water.

Whether you’re a complete beginner to live streaming and just want to know more about the website or you’re a seasoned Twitch veteran hoping to find information about something specific, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll go in-depth into everything live streaming. I’ll even be talking about my experience as a streamer in 2018 and why to this day I still have a love-hate relationship with streaming.

Let’s get started.

What is Twitch?

twitch logo transparentTwitch is what’s known as a live streaming website.

Similar to how news crews upload live footage to your TV, people are uploading live footage of them doing everything from playing video games to painting and even eating food.

The website was created in 2011, and since then has rapidly been increasing in popularity.

In October 2013 Twitch garnered 45 million unique viewers 1 1. The ESPN Of Video Games × . Compare that to May 2018, just 5 years later, and the site sees over 15 million daily active users 2 2. Twitch Stats and Facts × .

Twitch has seen a number of iterations and integrations in its lifetime, especially since its acquisition by Amazon in 2014 for just under $1 billion 3 3. Amazon Buys Twitch For $US970 Million In Cash × . This has enabled Twitch to make use of Amazon’s massive infrastructure and services such as Amazon Payments, Prime, and Blacksmith. Although Blacksmith was discontinued in 2018 due to lack of profitability.

Although it was initially touted as a video game streaming service, Twitch eventually diversified their content to include the hugely popular creative category. Twitch Creative is a place for people to showcase their talents in music, art, programming, design and pretty much anything else you can think of.

It would also go on to add IRL (In Real Life) streaming to great success, allowing streamers to bring a new level of personality and connection to their audience.

Twitch Statistics – How Many People Watch Live Streams?

Twitch is pretty popular. But exactly how popular is it, and what kind of people watch live streams? Here’s a list of Twitch statistics gathered from various reports.

Top Games on Twitch 2019

Roughly 40% of gamers are female, however, it’s a very different story on Twitch.

Twitch Demographics
  • Twitch Advertising reports 81.5% of website users are male.
  • 55% of Twitch users are between 18-34, 73% between 18-49.
Twitch Viewership
  • Between 2-3 million broadcasters on the site.
  • 355 billion minutes watched in 2017.
  • The average user spends almost 100 minutes a day on Twitch.
  • 150 million unique viewers each month.
Top Games on Twitch

The latest report by Newzoo listed the most popular games in Q3 of 2019, and it’s quite surprising.

  • Fortnite and League of Legends top the list for the most-watched games on the platform.
  • Taking the #3 spot is World of Warcraft, no doubt due to the release of WoW Classic.

My Experience As a Twitch Streamer

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the article, I thought I’d talk about something I haven’t really discussed a lot on Game Quitters. I’ve mentioned my story in the past, but the few months I spent as a (moderately) successful streamer has been left out.

Back in 2018, I found myself getting hooked on a new rogue-like card-based strategy game. It’s almost impossible to imagine someone speedrunning the game, which is exactly what drew me to it.

I’d never done a speedrun before, but I posted a video on Reddit of me completing the game in around 18 minutes and it exploded in popularity. Soon after, a community of people had appeared around the game, and we were regularly testing tactics, routes, and strategies in order to speed up the game.

That’s when I decided to get into live streaming on Twitch.

Within a month of starting my account, I was regularly getting about 50+ viewers, and I was earning money from subscriptions, bits and donations. If you’re experienced with Twitch you’ll know that getting to that point usually takes years of constant griding. I got very lucky.

You might be wondering why I stopped. Being a Twitch streamer is high on the list of people’s goals.

What I usually leave out of the story was how I had to stay up until 5am to get the American viewers. How my mental health reached an all-time low as I spent 12 hours in front of a screen every day constantly keeping up a facade. I felt like I had a standard to uphold to my viewers, and it was draining.

Not to mention it was also at a time in my life where I was struggling with money and health, it was the perfect storm to put a sour taste in my mouth whenever I think about those 3 months I spent streaming.

However, I strangely miss it. Despite quitting video games earlier this year, I still miss the sense of community and camaraderie that I’d built up. Having people cheer me on and rooting for me. Seeing dozens of people tune in to watch me every time I booted up the stream. I won’t lie, it felt good. Really good.

If I was going to do it again I’d be a lot more mindful about how I spent my time and looked after my daily responsibilities. Streaming became an escape for me, and I think it’s important to not allow yourself to become dependent on the platform. Also, I’d eat a lot less takeaway food.

I’ll write a bit more about becoming a Twitch streamer later on the article, so if that’s something that interests you make sure you read the whole thing.

There’s always one question that crops up whenever I talk about my streaming journey and that’s about why people tune in to watch me play. Which brings me to the next section.

audience watching stream

Why Do People Watch Others Play Games?

48% of gamers say they spend more time watching gaming videos on YouTube than playing games 4 4. The People Who Watch Video Games, but Never Play Them × .

Gamers are no longer people who only play video games, and they spend just as much time, if not more, watching other gamers play on websites like Twitch and YouTube.

To many, this may come as a surprise, but to gamers, it has been a natural evolution and speaks not only to the underlying reasons why people love video games but how they are managing to turn their passion into a legitimate career.

To understand live-streaming you must first understand that gaming is as much a sense of community as it is to play video games. It’s where gamers feel like they belong. Where they feel understood. Streaming takes that to another level providing not only a community to belong to (ex: fans of Ninja, fans of Fortnite), but a live social experience as well 5 5. Streaming on Twitch: Fostering Participatory Communities of Play Within Live Mixed Media × .

For many broadcasters, the game they are playing is just the activity happening in the background, but while they play they are engaged in commentary and interaction with their fans. It’s the same psychology that has driven the social media era with apps like Instagram and Twitter, and why millions of viewers tuned in each week to watch ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’, the reality show that propelled the Kardashian’s to superstardom. Fans want to experience the behind-the-scenes, they want to engage, and be a part of the experience. Live-streaming on Twitch does all of that… and more.

Watching other gamers play is fun and passive entertainment. We all have a desire to relax and watching streams is no different than watching the NFL, or tuning into The Handmaid’s Tale on Wednesday nights. We each have our preference and for gamers, that’s streaming.

Finally, a gamer might also watch to learn and improve, as many streamers are professional eSports players and very skilled. You can discover new strategies and tactics by watching them play, and that in turn can help you succeed as you strive to become a pro gamer yourself.

Most Popular Twitch Streamers in 2019

Honourable Mention – Ninja

At one point, Ninja was by far the most popular streamer on Twitch. He was earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a month, and he even played Fortnite with Drake.

However, the reason why he doesn’t top out list anymore is that in August 2019 Microsoft paid the streamer a crazy amount of money for exclusivity rights on their streaming platform, Mixer. Ninja moving to Mixer was an attempt to bring people over to their new platform, and it worked.

ninja twitch mixer

Since then, another incredibly popular streamer has also made the switch.

Honourable mention – Shroud

Known for being one of the best CS:GO players in the world, Shroud has been among the most popular Twitch streamers for years. With over 7 million followers, it came as a shock to the industry when Shroud announced he was taking the same direction as Ninja and making the switch to Mixer.

It’s impossible to tell how their success on Twitch has transferred over, but it’s safe to say neither of these two streamers is hurting for money. Microsoft is willing to invest a huge amount into making Mixer the best streaming platform on the internet, and the acquisition of Ninja and Shroud is likely just the tip of the iceberg.

shroud esports

#1 – tfue

Tfue, aka Tenney, exploded in popularity after he transitioned to Fortnite and quickly became known as one of the best players in the world. He would go onto win multiple tournaments in a short time, and soon amassed huge numbers of subscribers on his YouTube and Twitch accounts.

Sitting at around 7.2 million Twitch followers he’s currently the most followed active channel on the website.

However, Tenney has been involved in a number of controversies which have included suspensions from both Twitch and Fortnite. Also, more recently he has been caught up in a lawsuit involving his eSports team FaZe.

#2 – myth

Yet another Fortnite streamer to add to our list. Myth, or Ali Kabanni, started streaming on Twitch in 2016 with the game Paragon. It wasn’t until he swapped over to Fortnite during the rise of its popularity did he rise to the level of success that he sees now.

As captain of TSM (Team Solo Mid), one of the most notable eSports teams in the world, it’s easy to see why he has so many followers. A little over 5.5 million of them, to be precise.

#3 – dakotaz

A bit more of a Twitch veteran than most people on our list, having been a streamer on the platform since 2012, Brett Hoffman is known for his relaxed streams and YouTube videos focusing on Fortnite updates and montage videos.

He was a member of Team Solo Mid for a while, before eventually leaving in 2019 to see how things go.

Brett now regularly streams to around 14,000 viewers and has amassed over 4.1 million followers on Twitch.

#4 – timthetatman

Despite not being as much of a household name as streamers like Ninja, it’s difficult to find someone with a more dedicated following than timthetatman. Noted for his charismatic and infectious personality, and working tirelessly for the last 7 years to attract over 4 million followers on the platform, after watching his streams for just a short amount of time you can understand why he’s so popular.

timthetatman streaming

#5 – summit1g

Last but not least on our list is 42-year-old Jaryd Lazar, aka summit1g. Jaryd is a former professional CS:GO player who was a part of the teams A51 and Mythic.

Regularly bringing in over 20,000 viewers to his streams, summit has remained one of the most popular and relevant streamers on Twitch for years. Having started streaming in 2012, he has gone on to attract 4 million followers without selling his soul to Fortnite. Jaryd is known as a variety streamer, similar to Timthetatman, and it goes to show how dedicated his following is when they tune in to watch regardless of what he’s playing.

Can You Make Money As a Streamer?

With millions of broadcasters worldwide, has streaming become a legitimate career choice? That answer is more complex than you think.

Although streamers like Ninja, Nightblue3, Lirik, summit1g, Imaqtpie, Phantomlord, Markiplier, Jacksepticeye, PewDiePie and others make millions of dollars, the average streamer will make very little as competition for subscribers is fierce, and it takes years of dedication to build up a fanbase. Are you willing to dedicate yourself to this full-time for years for the slight chance you might make it? I won’t be the judge of that, but you have to know the odds.

If you did want to pursue becoming a professional Twitch streamer, there are a variety of ways to earn income, including from subscriptions, Twitch bits, donations, affiliate marketing, partnerships, sponsorships, and personalized merchandise, amongst others. On YouTube you can also earn money from advertising revenue. Although being a professional streamer on Twitch or YouTube is now possible, it should only be pursued with immense caution and focus.

Regardless of the difficulty in becoming a pro streamer, gaming is no longer just about the act of playing video games, it’s about the industry at large. From professional gaming (eSports) to live-streaming, to festivals and cosplays, gaming continues to expand quickly, entering the mainstream and is on the cusp of taking over the world.

The Future of Live Streaming

future of live streaming

By 2021, it’s estimated that live streaming is going to be a $70 billion industry 6 6. Importance of Live Streaming × . While this number includes services such as YouTube, Netflix, Instagram along with other big names, Twitch will undoubtedly play a huge part of the industry. It’s currently the 13th most popular website in the United States 7 7. Twitch Statistics in 2019 × .

I believe we’re only just scraping the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential of live streaming. The rapidly changing world of technology is opening the doors to integrations that would have been impossible to conceive of in the past. Most notably, the introduction of virtual and augmented reality will bring about huge revelations in the industry.

I’m both excited and concerned for the future of streaming, as there’s no doubt going to be issues raised regarding the mental and physical healh concerns that might come about from young people spending an increasing number of hours sitting in front of screens.

You can read more about these risks in our article: “What is eSports“.

What is instant gratification and why is it a problem? Continue reading or skip ahead with the table of contents.

Instant gratification has a number of definitions, but I prefer the one from entrepeneur.com:

Instant gratification is the desire to experience pleasure or fulfillment without delay.

In today’s world, we’re obsessed with constantly needing stimulation.

Whether it comes from social media, watching Netflix or just playing video games. They’re all part of the same problem.

If you think about it, this is the first time in history we’ve had instant access to dopamine delivery systems as potent as our smartphones. In the past, you had to put in a lot more work before you got your reward.

People were bored, and out of this boredom grew creativity and passion and hard work. Now it’s so easy for people to escape boredom whenever they want that it has completely changed the way we operate.

Gone are the days of searching for solutions. Everything we need is right there in our pockets.

Social connection? Check.

The answer to every question? Check.

Have food brought to our door? Check.

Escapism? Check.

Even something as basic and primal as sex can be fulfilled to some extent in the form of an endless wealth of pornography.

By the way, if you’d like to listen to the podcast episode for this article while you read, you’re in luck. Use this handy player to keep reading uninterrupted:

Why Is Instant Gratification a Problem?

There’re a number of issues that arise as a result of prioritising instant over delayed gratification – we’ll get into delayed later on – but we’ll try to cover the main ones.

Problem #1: Decreased Attention Span

I don’t know about you but this is something I’ve noticed in myself ever since smartphones became popular a decade ago. Even something as basic as reading a short article or watching a 10-second ad has become much more difficult.

As a society we’ve trained ourselves to want everything instantly, and anything that challenges that causes problems.

You see it all the time with YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. If you scroll through your feed and a video doesn’t capture your attention within the first 5 seconds, you’re not going to pay it any notice.

When a short ad pops up in the middle of a Facebook video, my first instinct is to close it. I’d rather miss the rest of the video than watch an advert, no matter how short it is.

It’s not just the fault of smartphones, however. My years of gaming have definitely played a part.

The barrier to entry is very low in video games. You can pick one up and within hours you’ve got a pretty good grasp of how it works.

You’ve been trained to become an expert in something with as little work as possible. When in reality, as we know, it takes discipline and hard work to become adept at a skill.

Problem #2: Lack of Focus

lack of focus

This ties into what I mentioned earlier. When you’ve been accustomed to getting big results with minimal exertion, focusing on a new skill becomes much more difficult.

When people quit gaming, we recommend they take up new hobbies to fill the time. However, almost 100% of them struggle to focus on these hobbies for long.

The fact of the matter is, your brain hates being a beginner. It’s so hard starting from square one.

When you try to focus intently on a hobby or skill, and you don’t get anything in return, your brain is going to start screaming at you.

Just go back to gaming. You’re good at that. What was the point in quitting in the first place…

your brain, probably

Problem #3: Losing Interest In Your Passions

Within the space of 1 year at university, I’d gone from a musician playing festivals and recording an album to not touching my guitar for 3 years.

I was a passionate photographer, and I didn’t pick up my camera for over 2 years.

You might be seeing a common theme running through these problems – your brain.

Everything you do is controlled by your brain, and if your brain finds gaming more interesting than your hobbies it’s going to prioritise that.

From its perspective, why wouldn’t it? It doesn’t care about the mental and physical toll of spending your waking hours devoted to gaming. Your brain isn’t interested in learning a language or playing an instrument. The thrill of earning achievements on a video game and being able to play a new game is exactly the same to your brain.

However, the difference is that one of them requires much more effort. Naturally, then, it’s going to choose the easiest path.

As a result, your old passions become pointless. Gaming fulfills every need and more. Why should it diverge from something so perfect?

How to Break-Free from Instant Gratification

If you’ve never done anything like it before, going from 0 to 100 is near impossible.

It takes a long time for your brain to reset itself and function at a normal level of pleasure and to seek reward in a healthy way.

Something we stress a lot at Game Quitters is that without the proper awareness you won’t be able to achieve long-term success.

I want you to do something for me.

The next time you feel the urge to get some instant gratification from your phone or computer, try to catch yourself and take a few moments to think about how you’re feeling.

Why exactly are you trying to escape from?

Are you bored? Did you get a notification? Worried you’re going to miss out on something important?

Once you can train yourself to become more aware, you can start working out why you can’t resist that quick fix.

Then it’s just a matter of finding new activities to fulfil those same needs.

After you do this, you’ve made it through the simple part.

The next problem is learning how to build the discipline to see you through.

How to Be More Disciplined

It’s all well and good choosing some activities. However, when you go to take them up you are going to be bored out of your skin.

You’re not going to want to do any of them to start with. It really is going to suck.

If you’re doing the 90-day gaming detox, you really need to push yourself to pursue these activities with the same passion and determination that you put into gaming. The same focus. The same mindset of constantly challenging yourself, growing, and finding new avenues and opportunities to learn.

Related: How to Develop a Growth Mindset

The harsh truth, when discipline is concerned, is that it’s all on you.

No one else can do it for you. You can’t take a magic discipline pill and make everything normal.

Discipline is something you either are or you aren’t.

I’d recommend listening to Jocko Willink’s podcast for more on this. The idea that something is 1 or 0. There’s no in-between.

However, let’s see what you can do in the meantime until you develop an iron mind like Jocko.

How to Put Your Phone

put down the phone gratification

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make this journey a little easier.

I’d recommend taking a break from social media. Just make a post saying you’re taking 30 days off, and then delete all the apps on your phone.

It’s as simple as that.

You’re not going to miss much while you’re gone, and you can still have people get in touch with you via WhatsApp.

Once you’ve done that, you should put a blocker on your phone and laptop. My personal favourite is Block Site on Chrome, as it syncs to your mobile.

Block every app that could make you want to open a tab and waste your entire evening.

In my case, these apps/websites were:

  • Reddit
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Steam
  • Twitch

I now use a number of these for business, but during that initial detox period while you wait for your brain to reset, getting rid of all distractions is key.

How to Create SMART Goals

You don’t have to think too big to start with. As long as you have some concrete goals in place, you’ll be 10x better off than without them.

SMART simply stands for:

Specific.

Measurable.

Attainable.

Realistic.

Time-sensitive.

It’s a common method of goal-setting that will really help you follow through on what you want to achieve.

For example, you might want to start playing the piano when you quit gaming in college.

But, having the goal to “play piano” won’t be taken as seriously as “within 3 months I will be able to play Clair de Lune by Debussy.”

See the difference?

“I want to learn Spanish” VS “I will take 2 Spanish lessons every week and pass the B1 conversational level test within 6 months”.

Use this framework to set some goals of your own. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do since you were a kid, this is the place to put it into writing.

If you have absolutely no idea what you want to do, that’s OK. Take some time off to have a think. Start small. What’s a project you could launch? What’s a new skill you’ve always wanted to learn?

Action Step: Spend some time writing down what you want to achieve after you finish this detox using the SMART goal formula.

This step might take the most time out of all of them. But, as we said, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

In a months time, you might even find yourself wanting to do something completely different.

All that matters is you hit the ground running. The easier you make the start of this journey for yourself, the more successful you will be.

A failure to plan is a plan to fail.

If you start without any clear directions of what to do, you’ll spend your time watching YouTube or mindlessly browsing the internet.

Now’s the time to shape your future.

How to Find New Hobbies

No more half-assing. Okay?

From this day forward you’re going to devote 100% of your passion into whatever skills you decide to take up.

If you don’t feel like picking up your guitar and learning chords – tough. You’re going to force yourself to do whatever you set out to do.

You’ve set these goals so you’re going to follow through with them until they’re done.

Then once you achieve them? You’re going to set new goals and repeat the process. Building that mindset of constant growth is the single most important part of this journey.

If you’re not growing, you’re either stagnant or shrinking.

That’s not to say you can’t take days off. I don’t subscribe to the 16 hours a day hustle mindset. However, you do need to force yourself to never be content with who you are.

If you can improve yourself 1% every day, within a few years you’ll be exactly where you deserve to be.

Change Up Your Environment

Last but not least, I want to talk about how important your environment is in shaping your success.

This includes everything from the friends you talk to, the places you spend your time, and your living environment.

Whenever someone comes to Game Quitters complaining of cravings, the first thing we tell them is to change location. If you’re in a place that makes it impossible to indulge, then it’s impossible for you to do it.

This is much more applicable to gaming, where you can remove yourself from wherever your games are. But, how do you this when you can’t get off your phone?

It’s simple really. Leave your phone at home.

Unless you’re going somewhere you’ll need it, then try going out for a walk without your phone every once in a while.

Chances are, you’re not going to need your phone on a 20-minute walk.

(However, I wouldn’t recommend doing it every time you go out for obvious reasons.)

It’ll give you some time to reflect, build awareness, and think about exactly why you were about to reinstall Instagram.

you got this instant gratification

Now it’s over to you.

You’ve got the knowledge and a solid foundation with which to start taking back control.

Instant gratification affects everyone. Especially in the modern world.

But, if you can learn to overcome it you’ll be putting yourself miles above 99% of the world.

You’ll have intense focus, deep passions, and iron discipline that Jocko would be proud of.

If you’re looking for the perfect place to start, check out our Respawn program. It’s designed for people exactly like you. People that want to change their life, and want to build themselves into something they can be proud of.

As always, thanks for reading. Until next time.

Peace.

What are the most addicting games in the world? Here is our a list of the top 9:

Some video games are more addicting than others.

I couldn’t see myself spending more than a few hours on something like Solitaire, but if you put me in front of Dark Souls then it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

At Game Quitters, we see the same names pop up over and over again when people are talking about the most addicting games. There’s a list of 9 games that cause more problems for gamers than anything else.

When you see the list you’ll understand why.

Modern video games are a far cry from the games of old. They’re no longer just intended to provide a few hours of entertainment. Gaming companies know exactly how to keep you hooked.

They understand how often to reward you, how to tailor their game to specific people, and how to extract as much money as possible from their players.

Video games of today are quite literally designed to be addictive.

They fulfil so many of our basic human needs such as social connection, escape, growth and challenge. Nothing else in the world accomplishes this as effectively as gaming.

In our list of the most addictive games, we’re also showing you which needs you’re fulfilling in them. This should help anyone that wants to be less reliant on gaming to help them overcome their problems.

So, if you know that you struggle with a video game addiction but don’t want to quit entirely then make sure you stay away from these 9 addicting games.

List of Most Addicting Games

list of most addicting games

Fortnite

Type of game: social, challenge, competition, free

Going from unknown to worldwide sensation within a year cements this game at the top spot on our list. Children are so addicted to Fortnite that it’s causing panic in a generation of parents that have no idea how to cope.

Related: Parent’s Guide to Fortnite Addiction

People are losing thousands of dollars to oblivious kids, children are wetting themselves to keep playing, and throwing tantrums if they can’t play their beloved Fortnite.

With over 250 million players worldwide, $200 million monthly revenue, and a booming eSports scene it’s safe to say this game isn’t going anywhere soon.

Although, there are signs that fewer people are playing the infamous Battle Royale. Perhaps a Fortnite-free future isn’t as far away as we think?

League of Legends

Type of game: social, challenge, growth, competition, free

Ah, League of Legends. No other game has quite the same effect on me as this one. I can go from loving it to wanting to emigrate to a remote island in a heartbeat; just to escape its toxic community and incessantly addictive gameplay.

So much so I wrote a guide on how to quit League of Legends. We have a lot of people at Game Quitters who decide to continue playing games, but find their quality of life improve 10x just by cutting out LoL.

But what makes League of Legends so addictive?

After seeing countless people talking about it, I think I’ve finally come up with a pretty good answer to this question.

When you start playing the game, you’re terrible. The idea of last-hitting and ganking hasn’t even approached your radar yet. But, as you slowly learn the mechanics and becoming familiar with each champion something starts to change.

Gradually, after hours of practice, you start to enjoy it. Maybe you landed a game-winning skillshot or successfully defended your base against a 5-man push and earnt a pentakill…

Whatever is, you start to see yourself grow. Within months your skill level has improves dramatically, and you start pushing your way through competitive ranked matches. You might start up a team with your friends, or join one online. All of a sudden you’re not socially connected to the game. After 6 months or so you’re hooked.

It’s a deadly combination, that has turned League of Legends into the most popular game in the entire world. The only reason it’s not top of our list is that Fortnite has taken over an entire generation of children in 1 year. Which is, although worrying, inarguably impressive.

Despite this, you can’t deny the game is incredibly toxic. It’s bad for your mental health, and I firmly believe that unless you’re able to limit the time you spend playing it, then you shouldn’t be playing it at all.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)

pubg addiction

Type of game:social, challenge, growth, exciting

When PUBG got released back in 2017, it took the world by storm. It quickly became the most popular game of all time while it was still in beta, and still sees huge numbers of people logging in to play every day.

However, it wasn’t until the release of PUBG Mobile that the brand got taken to new heights.

Being one of the most-played games in Asia, the popular app is bringing in almost $5 million dollars a day. That number is only going up.

When you start up PUBG, it’s difficult to see why this game is so addictive. The controls are clunky, the graphics are okay, and to top it off it costs more than every other game on the list.

But, similar to League of Legends, the game starts to shine as you get better and play with friends. Some of the most hilarious moments I’ve had in my gaming career have come about in PUBG. The oftentimes buggy nature of the game just adds to this. It’s also the reason why I got banned by my friends for driving a motorbike in the game. If you play you know what I mean.

Related: Parent’s Guide to PUBG Addiction

The game also comes with its fair share of adrenaline-filled, heart-pumping moments. Hearing an enemies footsteps as they’re scouting out your building. Or, you’re down to the final encounter, a 2vs2 in a field as the play area starts to close in around you. You finish the game and you feel physically drained. You might even be sweating.

Without hesitating, you and your friends throw yourself straight back into the action.

It’s really something you have to experience yourself to fully understand.

That being said, it’s crazy addictive. The social aspect combined with competition and growth comes together to create a game that’s sometimes impossible to put down.

PUBG addiction is a very real thing, especially in Asia. We hear stories every week of people losing their lives, and has become so bad that many countries are choosing to ban PUBG outright.

There’s no doubt it deserves a spot on our list of most addicting games.

World of Warcraft

Type of game: social, escapism, immersive, growth

I don’t think any game on our list has had quite the same impact on gaming as World of Warcraft. The only reason it isn’t higher up is because it no longer pulls in the same number of players as it did in its heyday. Although, with the recent release of WoW classic they saw a huge surge of returning gamers.

World of Warcraft provided an entirely new experience when it hit the scene in 2004. It allowed levels of immersion, social connection, and constant growth that had never really been attempted before. It truly defined the MMO genre.

Even today in 2019, WoW is used as a benchmark to compare new MMO’s to.

The founder of Game Quitters, Cam Adair, struggled with World of Warcraft addiction more than any other game. You can listen to his story here:

With over 12 million regular players in its prime, and however many millions coming back for the return, World of Warcraft remains one of the most popular online games even today.

Minecraft

Type of game: social, immersive, growth, creativity, accessible

Yet another industry-changing video game for our list – are you seeing a trend? Minecraft may be single-handedly responsible for a new generation of engineers and architects.

This game allowed tens of millions of people to unlock their creativity, and explore the far reaches of their imagination on an unprecedented scale.

The game has gone through a number of peaks and troughs in terms of popularity. With the rise of YouTubers such as Sky and BlueXephos skyrocketing to worldwide fame early on in the game’s release, we’re now seeing the game reach new heights 10 years on with people like PewDiePie creating a new wave of Minecraft fans.

As of writing, it’s currently the best-selling game of all time with over 175 million copies sold. One reason for this is the game’s accessibility and appeal to both younger and older audiences. The game can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be, and it’s incredibly easy to get started.

That doesn’t mean it escapes the label of being addicting for so many players around the world. The combination of social connection, immersion, and its ability to capture the attention of young people so easily makes it a breeding ground for addiction.

Young people are particularly vulnerable to the over-stimulating nature of video games. When you realise that the game is being used in classrooms, this concern starts to become more valid. I think gaming can have a place in education, it just needs to be done in a safe and responsible way.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Type of game: immersive, escapism, endless, growth

Games such as Skyrim were particularly addictive for someone like me. The greatest need I fulfilled through gaming was the need for escape. I wanted to get away from the struggles I faced in my real life, and Skyrim was the perfect place to do that.

When it was released in 2011, it completely changed my life. The graphics, world, and story was like nothing I’d experienced before. I think I racked up 24 hours of playtime in the first 32 hours of its release. Which, looking back, is staggering to me. Years later, when I was struggling with depression in university, Skyrim became my go-to game.

With more mods than I could handle, the level of immersion and realism I could achieve allowed my Skyrim addiction to reach new heights. It’s one of the most cited games in our community and in the StopGaming subreddit for the cause of people’s relapse, and it’s easy to see why.

When you can get lost in games such as Skyrim, it allows you to create an entirely new life for yourself. You’re in control, you have total power, and nothing can go wrong. It’s no wonder then that people who have a tendency to run from their problems, whether it be lack of social life, confidence, or passion, find an easy escape in Skyrim.

Related: How to Quit Playing Skyrim

Clash of Clans

Type of game: free, social, mobile, growth

I can almost hear the collective groans from here in Thailand. It also isn’t the only mobile game in our list, if you’re one of the people that refuses to acknowledge mobile gaming as real gaming.

However, with the massive explosion of smartphones and their integration into our everyday life, it was only a matter of time before people found themselves addicted to games on the small screen.

While mobile gaming can be great for wasting a half hour or so on your commute, the current state of mobile games is in shambles.

The industry has transformed from fun minigames to developers seeing how far they can milk their players for as much money as possible. There really is no justification for the sheer number of tactics the industry is using to keep people playing for longer, except to get more money.

It’s hard to point a finger at video games and say “you’re addictive”, but we can firmly say that it’s the opposite when mobile gaming gets involved.

There’s an endless number of stories from people who have lost thousands of dollars on microtransactions. Whether you’re 4 or 40 doesn’t matter – Big Gaming doesn’t discriminate.

They even go as far as having specific names for people that spend a lot of money in their apps. Want to have a guess what it is?

Whales.

All you are is a big fish on a hook, and their only concern is how they can keep you biting for more.

If you haven’t seen it yet you should definitely watch this video at a mobile game developer conference to learn all about ‘whaling’:

It really is eye-opening.

This turned into a rant about mobile gaming, instead of actually talking about Clash of Clans. But, you get the idea. Here are some facts to finish off with:

  • Total earnt since 2012: $6.4 billion
  • Over 600 million players since its launch
  • Earns over $2 million a day
  • Most money spent in-game by one player: $1m+

Path of Exile

poe addiction

Type of game: social, endless, escape, growth, challenge, free

I might start sounding like a broken record soon, but Path of Exile is my personal poison when it comes to addicting games.

When I first discovered this game I hated it. I thought it was clunky, boring, and pointless. Fast forward a couple of years and it soon became my most-played game of all time.

What makes this game addictive is its use of seasons, or leagues. This isn’t an uncommon mechanic, Fortnite is another game that makes great use of it. However, for those of you unaware as to how PoE works, the game is impossible to complete in those 3 months.

Being an MMO, the majority of your time is spent in the ‘endgame’. The actual story takes around 6-10 hours to complete. Inside this engame, there are multiple completion goals you can aim for, such as defeating specific bosses, or you can just explore the league mechanics.

On top of this, the game features the most ridiculous skill tree you’ve ever seen (no seriously just look at this) and offers an endless number of class combinations and customization available to you.

Everything resets after these 3 months; your gear, your money, your characters. Everything. So you’re forced to go through exactly the same thing every time a new league comes around. But it never gets boring.

A quick Google search for Path of Exile addiction shows that it’s not an uncommon problem. On top of this, the game features an extensive microtransaction store as well as a number of loot boxes. This has caused some players to request their account have purchases disabled due to their addiction to gambling and collecting getting out of control.

PokemonGO

Type of game: free, social, mobile, accessible

The last game on our list, but no less deserving of a spot than any of the others. I don’t think anyone expected PokemonGO to be quite as popular as it is.

Despite only being 3 years old, it’s now the most-played mobile game of all time. On top of this, it also set the record for the highest-grossing first month in mobile gaming history, generating over $200 million for its creator Niantic.

What made Pokemon Go so popular?

It was due to a number of factors, but most importantly it was a free-to-play game that made use of the already massively popular world of Pokémon. If you grew up with Pokemon games, then there’s no doubt you’ve dream about becoming a trainer or living in the Pokemon universe.

This game turned that dream into a reality.

You can explore the real world with your friends, catching and training Pokemon, and subsequently battling them with each other.

While the game has been very successful in getting otherwise inactive people to get outside more (players have walked over 20 billion km in total), it hasn’t been without its share of criticism.

For example, one source states that almost 300 crimes in the UK were linked to Pokemon GO in its first month of release. Its been a point of concern for children that might have a tendency to wander off and get lost or find themselves in dangerous places. However, is that really much different to what it was like growing up before the 2000s? We were out all the time without a problem.

Regardless, what may seem like a harmless game has been the cause of a number of stories of addiction. Someone has even written a book about Pokémon GO addiction!

Whichever side you choose to argue on, there’s no denying that Pokemon GO’s massive popularity and addicting nature lends itself a spot on this list.

Are You Addicted to Gaming?

Video game addiction may seem ridiculous – why don’t people just stop playing?

In reality, for some people, it’s impossible to put them down. When they stop playing they’ll suffer the same withdrawal symptoms, both physical and mental, that you see in more traditional addictions.

The reality is that video game addiction, or gaming disorder, is very real. It was fully realised by the World Health Organization as a disease in 2019. Here’s their exact definition:

Gaming disorder is defined in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as a pattern of gaming behavior (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

But, how do you know if you’re addicted or just playing too much? Fortunately, we’ve created a quiz for gamers to determine whether or not they have a video game addiction.

Take the video game addiction test

Generally, the red flags you should be looking for are:

Being irritable or moody when you can’t play
Constantly needing to play more and more (“it’s never enough”)
Losing interest in other activities (e.g. sports, exercise)
Being deceptive (e.g. stealing money to buy things in-game)
Jeopardizing school, work, and/or relationships (in order to game)

If you’ve noticed some of these warning signs in your own life, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

If you’re serious about changing your life, a structured guide created by experts is the way to go.

The people that try to hunt for shortcuts, like most gamers, don’t do anywhere near as well as those that take the long way.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint

marathon runners finish line

The first thing you need to internalize is that trying to quit gaming is a journey. It’s a journey full of hurdles, barriers, and difficulties that you’re going to need to overcome.

You can’t stop playing video games and expect it to be plain sailing for the rest of your life.

You’ll have cravings, social pressure, boredom, and a whole host of issues to deal with.

For example, I first quit gaming about 5 years ago. Sometime during my second year of university. However, it wouldn’t be until this year that I finally quit for the last time. I went through countless relapses, bouts of depression, and failures before I overcame it.

Related: How to Quit Gaming in College: The Ultimate Guide

That’s not to say that your experience will be the same.

Some people stop gaming easily, and others will find it nearly impossible.

The majority of the time, it’s down to having a poor mindset.

If you want to learn how to build a winning mindset, level up your life, and take back control then our Respawn guide is for you.

It features over 70 pages of amazing advice as well as worksheets, videos, and interviews. All for less than the price of a new game.

What Is a Morning Routine?

A morning routine is quite simply what it says. It’s a set of habits or motions that you go through when you wake up. It helps to set your day up in the right way and can have some drastic effects on your focus and productivity.

You could do anything from exercising and journaling to reading and meditating. Or, alternatively, you could hit snooze 5 times and scroll through Instagram for 30 minutes.

All of these examples are part of a morning routine, but one is quite clearly worse than the others. That’s why most people are surprised to find out they already have a morning routine, even if they’ve never heard of the phrase before.

It’s more than likely you already have a set of habits in place that you do without even thinking. Your brain has become so used to receiving that dopamine hit when waking up, that it has become normalised into a routine.

You probably don’t realise the effect it has on the rest of your day, which is why I wrote this article. If you can set up a powerful morning routine that you’re able to stick to, it can transform your life completely.

However, it’s not easy. Only people serious about self-improvement should try to create one.

By the way, if you prefer to listen instead of read, make sure you listen to the podcast episode too from Life Unlocked. You can even listen without interrupting the article!

What Is the Best Morning Routine?

best morning routine

It’s pretty obvious that some morning routines are going to be better than others.

There are certain things you probably should and shouldn’t do. However, you might be surprised to hear that there’s no one best morning routine.

The best morning routine is one that works for you and you’re able to carry out every day.

If you wake up, drink water, and do some pushups for 90 days, it’s going to be much more effective than someone who runs 3 miles, meditates, reads, journals, stretches and whatever else for 3 days then gives up for  2 weeks.

It’s all about forming a routine that you enjoy and sticking to it. Forever.

Okay, maybe you don’t need to be that dramatic. But if you can find things that you like to do, and make your mornings enjoyable as opposed to your routine being something you need to do, you’ll be much better off.

So, how exactly do you do that? Keep reading to find out.

How to Create a Morning Routine

create a morning routine

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty of creating a routine, I want to introduce a couple of key concepts to you. If you work on learning the underlying knowledge at the beginning, it’ll make the whole process go much more smoothly.

Read: The Miracle Morning for Addiction Recovery

Keystone Habits

A keystone habit can also be referred to as an anchor.

It’s something you do every single day that acts as the foundation with which you can lay everything else on top.

For example, it could be as simple as drinking a glass of water, or it could be a heavy session in the gym.

Habit Chaining

Somewhat related to keystone habits, chaining is where you make it incredibly easy to go from one habit to another.

I use this to great effect in my morning routine. Before I go to bed I make sure to put my phone, water, and gym clothes in the same spot on the other side of the room.

Therefore, when it comes to waking up, I’m forced to get up and moving in order to shut my alarm off. Then, because I don’t need to go out of my way to get a glass of water, I can do it there and then. Similarly with my gym clothes. I’m much less likely to get up and active if I have to go searching through the closet to find a clean outfit.

daily planner morning routine

Chaining is incredibly effective once you start adding more habits into your daily routine.

You might be reading this article and get hit with a spur of motivation to create an amazing routine. But, there’s still one last thing you need to realise.

This is a marathon, not a sprint.

When deciding what you want to include in your routine, you can’t just throw a bunch of things together and expect it to work.

You need to add one habit at a time and be deliberate in each of your choices.

You should have a specific reason why you want to add a habit. Ideally, it will fulfil a particular need or add a great deal of value to your day.

It’s better to have a few high-importance habits than a load of meaningless things to occupy your time with.

You should feel like your routine serves a purpose – not that you’re doing a morning routine because you feel like you should.

Planning Your Morning Rituals

morning routines

You can’t do something if you have no idea what you want to do. Duh.

That’s why I like to plan my morning routine around 4 key pillars:

  1. health; exercise, water
  2. learning; reading, watching
  3. relaxing; meditation, stretching
  4. reflection; journaling, planning

What I want you to do is choose something that is both incredibly simple and serves a purpose.

If your current morning routine is to spend 20 minutes on your phone, you need to find a way to prevent that from happening.

My suggestion is to drink a glass of water. Personally, I prefer a pint. But that might be because I’m British.

Put your phone, if you use it for an alarm, and the glass of water on the other side of the room. Then when you wake up, make sure you drink the water and then go about doing whatever else you want to do.

That’s it.

Your entire morning routine is getting out of bed and drinking a glass of water.

All we want to do at this point is work on forming a habit. Once it’s solidifed we can start chaining habits together.

Once you’ve chosen your habit; water, pushups, journaling, meditating, whatever… You need to commit to following through the routine for at least a week.

Right now, as far as you’re concerned, if you complete that one single thing then your entire day is a success.

Adding to Your Daily Routine

reflecting

Once you’ve successfully drank a glass of water for a week, you should try to reflect on any differences you’ve noticed.

Are you more productive? Less? Exactly the same? Do you feel better throughout the day or have higher/lower energy levels?

Depending on what the answer is you’ll need to do one of three things:

  • keep going with one habit for another week
  • change to a new habit
  • add in another habit

If you’re less productive, change the habit. If you’re not noticing a huge change I’d recommend continuing for a few more days.

However, if you’re an abundant ball of bouncing energy then you can start building on your success.

With one habit.

Don’t get carried away, no matter how well you think you’re doing.

Remember what I talked about earlier with habit chaining? That’s the first place you should look when deciding what habit to add to your morning routine.

What’s something you can transition to from your current habit without any difficulties ?

If you’re drinking a glass of water, consider putting out your gym clothes. If you’re meditating you can try putting a journal near you to write down your thoughts afterwards.

Whatever it is, remember the most important thing.

Choose a habit that will add value to your morning. When you decide on an activity, ask yourself if it will make a big difference in your life or if it will keep you stagnant.

Awareness Is Key

woman doing yoga in the morning

After a few weeks of experimenting, adjusting, adding and subtracting you should be in a pretty good spot.

But, only you can determine when and how to proceed.

I’ve laid out the guidelines, it’s up to you to take some initiative and take action. If you’re not sure how to proceed, try to become aware of what’s going on.

Become aware of how you’re feeling, how do you want to feel, what could be done differently and so on. It might be that you’re finished. Your morning routine couldn’t be improved no matter how hard you try.

In that case, congratulations. You’ve won. Now go out and conquer the world.

For the rest of you, there’s a long road ahead of you. A road full of trial and error, ups and downs, and a whole load of failure.

Don’t let that put you off, though. The prize at the end is more than worth it.

You’ll see when you get there.

List of Habits to Add to Your Morning Routine

I thought I’d include a section at the end to give you some inspiration of things to do when you when wake up. Hope it helps!

  1. reading
  2. drinking watermorning routine ideas
  3. coffee
  4. running
  5. pushups
  6. journaling
  7. meditation
  8. yoga
  9. planning the day
  10. playing chess
  11. walking outside
  12. cold shower
  13. brush your teeth
  14. stretching
  15. listen to a podcast; preferably Gaming the System or Life Unlocked
  16. gratitude journal
  17. healthy breakfast
  18. make your bed (one of our favourites)
  19. breathing exercises
  20. write down 5 ideas

There we have it. 20 ideas for you to start implementing into your morning routine! You can also check out our list of 60+ hobby ideas to find some more inspiration for the rest of your day.

As always, thanks for reading. Until next time.

Peace.

Has anyone ever told you that you have a fixed mindset? Or that you can’t be successful until you build a growth mindset?

No? Then let me be the first.

You need to develop a growth mindset if you want to succeed.

If you have no idea what that means, don’t worry. In this article, we’re going cover:

  • the difference between a fixed and a growth mindset
  • how to create a new mindset
  • why you need to take responsibility for your actions

The last one might seem unrelated, but it’s arguably the most important. It might offend some of you and if so, you need to work harder on your growth mindset.

Let’s get started.

 

how to develop a growth mindset

 

Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset

 

Aside from stating the obvious that with the one you grow and the other you stay fixed…

 

A fixed mindset tells you that where you are is where you are, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

A growth mindset says that you can change, learn, adapt, and ultimately grow through your actions alone.

 

If you aren’t feeling happy, you can research how to be happier. If you don’t have a lot of energy, you can learn how to have more energy.

It’s really that simple.

Someone in a fixed mindset who finds themselves not knowing how to make friends might blame it on their personality or introversion.

In reality, these problems can be solved by a few lifestyle changes. A growth mindset will tell you that you becoming sociable is a skill that you can practice. You make friends by getting out of your comfort zone and actively trying to make friends.

It’s about shifting your focus away from accepting you’re a victim of your circumstances, to taking responsibility for getting yourself into these circumstances and finding ways to escape.

A fixed mindset has become so common, that you probably don’t even notice it.

The path that a lot of people follow, myself included, tends to go something like this:

  • work hard to get good grades
  • get into a great college
  • graduate with a good degree
  • get a high paying job and start a family
  • retire

While this isn’t necessarily a bad idea, you shouldn’t take it too literally.

What I mean is people who don’t hit these particular milestones automatically think that’s just how it’s supposed to be.

“Oh, I wasn’t smart enough to get a degree” or “I’m not meant to be successful”.

They might think the only way for them to improve is to work harder, or to get another job or to go back to college. Instead of fixing the underlying problems and shifting their mindset, they’re trying to slot themselves back into the system hoping they’ll fit.

So, how do you make the change from one to the other? Let’s find out.

 

How to Develop a Growth Mindset

 

Unfortunately, you can’t just flick a switch and instantly have a growth mindset.

You can definitely have ‘aha!’ moment where certain things become clearer. But, to develop a powerful mindset takes time, and more importantly, experience.

It’s one thing knowing the fundamentals, it’s another putting them into practice.

For me, the journey started back in 2014 when I came across a YouTube advert from Tai Lopez. It was my first-ever glimpse into the entrepreneurship lifestyle and I’ve never been the same since.

That was my eureka moment, but it has taken countless failures and I’ve had to overcome so many different struggles I’ve lost count.

That’s part of having a growth mindset, though. Knowing that no matter what happens there’s always a way out of your situation.

There’s always an opportunity to grow from every failed opportunity.

The day that you fail is the day that you stop trying to succeed.

develop growth mindset pinterest

What does that eureka moment look like for you? It’s impossible to tell.

It could be a certain book, course, or a video that you happen to see online. Heck, it could even be this article!

Whatever it is, the important thing is to act at that moment. Use it to spur yourself into action and make yourself aware that this an opportunity for growth.

Once you become aware you can start investing in yourself and creating real change.

However, it’s not as simple as just buying a few books and you’re done.

The mastery over your mindset comes once you make that switch from being comfortable with your situation to wanting to become more.

You have to want for a better life. You need to have a purpose to improve and take action to take you to that place. This is how you open yourself up to new opportunities and ways of thinking.

 

You need to go from problem-focused to solution-focused.

If you’re a skinny guy, sure you could blame it on your genetics or a fast metabolism. Or, you can use this as a chance to learn.

You’re not the only skinny dude in history. Other people have made the transformation, so what did they do differently? Once you start researching other people you might come across the idea of macronutrients and calorie-counting. Again, this opens up even more pathways for you to explore like protein intake, strength training programs for skinny guys and so on.

There’s always more to learn, and there’s always room to grow. But you’re the only one who can make that switch.

That’s when you really start to develop a growth mindset, and it all starts with you taking responsibility.

 

mindset vision journey growth

 

Your Life is Your Fault – It’s Time to Take Responsibility

 

Take a few moments to reflect on the following sentence:

Where you are in your life is a direct result of every choice you’ve made up until this point.

Your first reaction might be to lash out and say I have no idea what your life is like. No, you’re right. But, no matter what happens to you, you always have a choice.

Every day you make dozens of choices that, over time, have put you in the exact spot you’re in right now.

Whether or not you agree with that statement, it’s the truth. How you’ve reacted to every problem, every difficulty, it all adds up.

These decisions compound over time. So, the negative choices will keep building up and building up and eventually reaching a point where you can’t see any way out.

It’s not all doom and gloom.

Positive choices, as well as negative ones, also compound. The sooner you shift your mindset and start being proactive as opposed to reactive, the sooner you can counter all of the choices you’ve made and start changing your life for the better.

Try to imagine what your life will look like in five or ten years if you continue doing what you’re doing now.

You wake up and do the same thing every morning. You go to the same job and talk to the same people. Then you go home and do the same things and play the same video games.

Realistically, how will your life change in five years? You might get a promotion, you might make more friends or visit a few more places, but will you ultimately be happy with where you are?

If so, great! More power to you.

But if you look to the future and are seeking more fulfilment, richer experiences and a deeper purpose… Then you might be disappointed.

Your actions got you to where you are now and it’s your actions that will get you to where you want to be.

But remember, without the right mindset you won’t be able to do any of that in the first place.

 


As always, thanks for reading. Make sure to check out the podcast here and leave a review, it really helps us out!

 

Until next time.

Peace.

 

Over the last few years, the law of attraction has started gaining more traction.

Starting with The Secret back in 2006 to progressing into a global movement.

The power to see what you want and manifest it in your life sounds like something out of a Marvel comic…

Now, millions of people around the world are claiming LoA changed their life and you can find endless law of attraction stories online.

But, is there some truth to it?

In this article, we’ll dive deep into the law of attraction, visualization, manifestation or whatever you want to call it.

You’ll get an idea of what it’s all about, and the number one mistake people make with the law of attraction.

Ready? Let’s jump in.

holding cocktails on a beach loa

 

What is the Law of Attraction?

 

There’s a lot of different LoA meanings on the internet, but here’s my favourite way to describe it:

 

Whatever you think, and whatever you put out into the world, is what you attract.

 

I don’t think anyone would argue that if you smile more, then more people will smile back. If you help more people, more people are going to help you.

However, most people who follow the law of attraction lifestyle seem to think something completely different.

They believe that if they imagine themselves drinking cocktails on a beach living their dream life, then that will magically happen.

I’ve had someone tell me they were going to imagine themselves winning the lottery as their plan to make money.

Surprisingly, it doesn’t work like that. Who’d have thought it?

So, how does it work? If I can’t use it to make things appear then what’s the point of it?

 

The Number One Law of Attraction Mistake

 

At its core, the law of attraction is just a fancy word for visualization.

But, as I pointed out simply visualizing the end goal isn’t going to get you very far. It’s what you do once you have these goals in place that determined your success.

The law of attraction, while a powerful concept, is only a tool to help you on your journey.

The people who succeed with LoA use these visions to manifest that desire and passion to take action every day. The thought of one day achieving their goals is enough to make them act upon their goals.

So, using our example of someone wanting to spend their day on a beach drinking cocktails.

One person will see this goal of being on a beach and think that to get to that point they have to imagine themselves on the beach every day.

Another person will know that in order to get to a point where I can lie on the beach, I need to have a certain amount of money or freedom that will enable me to do so.

They know that they need to develop certain skills or build a business and consistently take action on these goals until they get to their dream lifestyle.

Which of these two imaginary cocktail-lovers do you think will be further ahead in 3 years?

 

A Quick Lesson in Physics

No, there won’t be any homework.

One of the key principles in physics is that energy can’t be created out of thin air. Energy can only be transferred from one form into another.

By this statement alone, it should be clear that you can’t put energy into thinking about something and expect that thing to appear.

You have to give something first to get the rewards. In this case, it’s action.

It’s determination and passion and holding onto the idea that one day, somewhere down the road, you’ll be where you want to be.

Aspirations are realised through action.

Until you firmly plant that idea into your mind, the law of attraction is never going to help you.

Class dismissed.

 

law of attraction money vision

 

How to Use the Law of Attraction to Make Your Dreams A Reality

 

We’ve covered how you should be using the law of attraction, but how do you actually implement it into your life.

It’s one thing to say “you need to set goals and take action” – but what does that process look like?

Here’s a quick step-by-step process you can use to get started.

 

Step 1: Depth is More Important than Width

When trying to come up with a clear vision of where you want to be in the future, you need to get specific.

It’s no good saying you want to be a lawyer with a PhD in medicine that travels the world with an online business that teaches people about fitness.

Although that’d be one heck of a resume…

Instead, you need to choose one thing and stick to it. Don’t change it after 3 months because you don’t think it’s achievable.

You need to have laser-guided focus and never lose sight of the end, no matter how difficult it becomes.

 

Step 2: Starting at the End

This might seem counter-intuitive at first, but starting at your goal and working backwards is the best way to create a clear path to follow.

Now that you have a vision of where you want to be in life, you need to work out how you’re going to get there.

This can be done in any number of ways. But I’d start off by working out exactly what it would take for you to be living the life you dream of.

Is it earning $20k a month through an online business, or is it $3,000 a month and having the freedom to do whatever you want? Or, is it having a high-paying job in an office and being able to afford amazing holidays a couple of times a year?

Whatever it is, you need to spend a bit of time coming up with a specific goal that, when reached, lets you live this lifestyle.

Personally, I value freedom at the moment. I’ve always placed freedom higher than wealth, and coincidentally I’m now working as a freelancer in Thailand. I’ll let you decide whether or not that’s a coincidence…

 

what is the law of attraction

 

Step 3: Making Your Goals A Reality

Once you have a specific goal, you can start taking action and getting to work.

The way the world is shifting, my number one piece of advice I give to people is to learn a profitable skill.

I won’t go into detail here, you can check out the podcast episode I did all about how to thrive in a skill-based economy if you want to learn more.

In my case, I started with web design and coding. Then, I transitioned into writing, and now I’m doing marketing. The trick is to find something you like and become amazing at it.

You need to become so good at it that people are willing to pay you for your skill. This doesn’t actually take as long as you think, and you’re probably much closer to making it a reality than you think.

Once you find something, it’s just a case of learning how to turn it into a career. There’s a huge amount of information on the internet. Do a search on “how to make money doing X online” or “how to become a better X”.

Take courses, watch videos, read articles, learn from industry experts and most importantly – don’t stop growing. Developing a growth mindset is perhaps the most important thing you can do.

Read: “How to develop a growth mindset”

That takes us into the fourth and final step…

 

Step 4: Take Action and Learn to Love Failure

You probably saw this one coming. But, I can’t stress enough how important it is that you become an action-taker.

Don’t be someone that spends all their time learning and consuming content, never thinking they know enough.

The best way to learn is through experience. The easiest way to experience is to try and to fail.

I failed more times in the last 5 years than I’d care to admit. Most entrepreneurs fail 4 times before finding success.

It’s a normal part of the process. By breaking your self down and constantly building yourself up stronger each time, you’re always going to learn and grow and eventually you’ll reach your goals.

Now, I’m not going to sugar coat it. The journey is damn hard. There will days you want to give up and go back to the life you were leading before. You’ll think your dream of living in a beachfront villa is stupid and that you’re a fool for ever thinking it would come true.

This happens to everyone.

Your brain is designed to seek safety and comfort. When you do something that puts you outside that comfort zone it’s a natural reaction to get you to stop.

If you can make it through those difficult times, stay consistent, and keep taking action – I guarantee you’ll become an entirely new person by the end.

how to dream big visualization

 

The Rest is On You…

 

Remember, the law of attraction is a tool to make you passionate enough to pursue this path and achieve your goals.

Hopefully, I’ve made it clear enough in this article that a vision board isn’t going to change your life by itself.

Keep that vision in your head of where you want to be. Keep focused on that end goal, but use it to fuel the fire inside of you. Use it to take action.

Now, it’s over to you.

 


As always, thank you for reading. Don’t forget to listen to the podcast episode if you haven’t already and be sure to leave us a review if you enjoyed. It really helps us out!

 

Until next time.

Peace.

If you’ve spent any amount of time in the self-improvement space on the internet, you’ve probably heard people mention that you should find a mentor.

You’re told that you can’t become a better person without one, and you need one to achieve your goals.

Now, it sounds great on paper. Having someone guide you through the pitfalls in your life, and knowing how to get you to where you want to be.

But if you’re like I was 5 years ago, with no knowledge of mentors, then this article is for you.

What we’ll be discussing:

  • what is a mentor
  • should you get a mentor
  • why the internet is your most valuable tool
  • how to find a mentor for free

Let’s jump in.


 

Oh, and if you prefer to listen instead of reading, check out the Life Unlocked podcast episode that goes along with the post!


 

What Is a Mentor?

Aside from stating the obvious that they’re someone who mentors you.

A mentor is someone that provides coaching or advice on anything from business and mindset to motivation, fitness, health or money.

There’s no end to the number of things you can be mentored in.

It’s just about finding whichever one is the right one for you based on where you’re at the moment.

For example, it could be an online chess teacher reviewing your games or it could be a freelance writer you meet for coffee once a week.

That’s all there is to it.

Now that you know what a mentor is, it begs the question…

 

Should You Get a Mentor?

 

how to get a mentor

 

It’s difficult to give an answer to this question that isn’t just – it depends.

Usually, you’ll know if you need to seek out a mentor. You might encounter a specific problem that needs the right guidance. Or you just want advice on how to proceed with a difficult situation.

It’s entirely up to you.

I’ll give a few examples of situations where you may want to consider finding a mentor:

You need guidance for your business: This will only apply to a small minority of people, but if you’re in that position then it’s very to get advice from someone who has been down the same road you’re on. Usually, it comes from someone who is a key figure in the industry you work in.

You want very specific coaching on a skill: This is very popular in sports. Every top athlete has a mentor, although they’re usually known as a coach, to keep on the right track. However, it can be applied to any number of skills, depending on what you want to make progress in. Due to it being more niche, it’s generally higher in price.

You want to improve your mindset: This has become a lot more common over the years. Mentors will often help you to see things in a different way, offer clarity on particular problems, or help you make an important decision. Mindset is a big part of self-improvement, and you’ll often find other mentors helping you build up your mindset to go along with their coaching. Despite this, it’s still possible to find dedicated mindset coaches.

Now, you might be wondering – what if I’m a complete beginner and want to begin improving myself as fast as possible?

Before you start thinking that you need a mentor in order to get anywhere, you’ll be much better off in the long run if you try to work through your problems alone. At least in the beginning.

Fortunately, there’s an amazing wealth of knowledge available to you; especially in the modern era.

Introducing, the internet!

 

How to Become Your Own Mentor Using the Internet

 

The internet has become an amazing place over the last 30 years. You can find the answer to any question you have. You can connect with anyone in the world no matter where you are.

This is what makes it the perfect tool to start your journey into personal development.

You can get invaluable advice from:

  • Books
  • YouTube
  • Google
  • Courses (free and paid)
  • Social media

You’re only limited by your imagination.

Now, one thing that’s important to note. There’s definitely a right and a wrong way to go about using these tools. The majority of people use them for entertainment, instead of helping them to become a better person.

Instead of watching videos on mindset and business, you mindlessly browse the internet.

You choose to follow ‘influencers’ and celebrities instead of experts, entrepreneurs, and people who are giving out amazing advice.

You can gain insights into the minds of billionaires. Yet most people would rather read fiction books and escape the real world.

Now, there’s definitely a place for all of the things I’ve mentioned. I’m not saying you abstain from everything you enjoy. Who doesn’t love a good fantasy book?

But, it ties into the mindset portion I mentioned earlier.

The first stages of personal development are about evolving your mind. Learning to go from a fixed to a growth mindset. Finding the right people to follow, and removing any boundaries you might have put on yourself in the past.

With the power of the internet, the sky isn’t even the limit anymore.

It took me a long time to realise that the people I was following online were actually acting as mentors. However, once I opened myself to the possibility that not every mentor needs to know I exist, I noticed a big shift in my mindset.

Suddenly, they were no longer people I was just taking advice from. They were people I could study and model my life after. I could follow in their footsteps, and learn how to fast track my way towards building a business.

What we consume determines the lives that we live.

how to find a mentor

I’m always reminded of this quote when I find myself wasting a couple of hours on some mindless activity.

I know that if I continue down that path I’m not going to make any progress.

However, if I become mindful of what I consume then it will have a knock-on effect on the rest of my life. I’ll be more likely to stick to my habits, I’ll be more productive, and I’ll get to where I want to be much quicker.

So to summarise, the internet has an unlimited amount of potential to help you create the life of your dreams. Just make sure you don’t consume the wrong material too often, or you’ll find yourself taking 2 steps forward and 2 steps back.

 

With that being said, what if you feel like you’ve exhausted the free resources available to you? How do you go about approaching someone to mentor you, and how much should you pay them?

Let’s find out.

 

How to Find a Mentor for Free

 

By this point, you’ve probably found some people in your industry that you would love to learn more from.

But how do you go about approaching them?

There’s definitely a right way and a wrong way – and it’s all down to creating value.

You have to remember, the ones at the top of their industry didn’t get there by building poor relationships and wasting their time.

When you’re considering someone to be your mentor, think about how you can offer something to them in return.

The most straightforward way you can do this is by offering your skills.

If you haven’t got any skills, you’re setting yourself up to fail. Click here to learn why.

If there’s something you can offer that will allow them to get more out of their business, they’re going to be much more receptive to you asking for help.

For example, maybe you’re skilled in marketing and have seen a way that they can optimize a huge part of their sales funnel. Or you might be a graphic designer that wants to help them create social media templates and improve their branding.

That doesn’t mean you should send them a message straight away saying “hey I’ll improve your website if you mentor me”.

Lead with value and focus on building a relationship.

lead with value find a mentor

So instead of saying what I just mentioned, you could send them something like:

“Hey, I really enjoyed your book on A, and it really helped me develop my skills in B. Especially where you talked about C. Speaking of which, I’d love to be able to give back to you in some way, and I think my knowledge in B would be very beneficial to you – especially when it comes to designing your adverts. I think by doing ‘so and so’ you could really get a lot more out of it. I’d handle the whole process, at no cost to you at all. Let me know if you’d be interested in exploring it further and we can jump on a call and get things moving.”

Right, there’s a lot to that message. So let’s try and break it down.

You start by letting them you know you’re a fan of their work, and bonus points if you can point to something specific from them. If they don’t have a book it could be an e-mail they sent, a course they’ve created or something else.

You don’t want to waste words, so don’t spend ages gushing about how much of a fan you are. It doesn’t look good.

Then you mention how you can be valuable to them. Emphasise the fact that you care about their time, and again, don’t waste words. Give them a specific way that you can improve their current situation with as little effort from them as possible.

Notice how at no point did we mention we want them to mentor you?

Like I said earlier, you just want to add value in the beginning, without expecting anything in return.

More than likely they’ll know what they’re doing, but one thing I’ve noticed about people in that position – they love to share their knowledge and help people.

They’re usually some of the most giving people you can find, and if you can build a relationship with them in the long-term you’ll get so much more value out of it than you put in.

Finally, it should go without saying, but don’t just copy what I wrote. Adapt it to suit you and your situation.

Just remember the three key principles:

  • lead with value
  • don’t waste words
  • give more than you take

And before you know it you’ll be well on your way to success.

What If I Want to Pay?

Of course, you can also go the route of paying for someone’s time. If you want to speed up the process and have the capital to invest in yourself, feel free to go that route.

Again, just contact the person, and see if they offer coaching services. If not, see if you can pitch them on a 1-hour call each week for $X. Just make sure you put the advice they give you into action.

The teacher can only be as good as the student wants to be.

So don’t waste their time. Come prepared for each session with questions, struggles, and solutions. Otherwise, you’re just wasting money – and nobody wants to do that.

 

Mentors can be an invaluable, and almost necessary, resource to catapult you towards success. You just need to know when and how to make use of them.

The rest is up to you.

 


 

Hopefully, this article has given you the information you were looking for. If not, let us know and we’ll see what we can do to help!

Remember to listen to the podcast episode and leave a review if you enjoyed it. It really helps us out!

 

As always, thanks for reading.

Until next time.

how to find a mentor things you should know

How many of you have ever taken up a new activity, only to find yourself lacking motivation and discipline after a few weeks?

You’re definitely not alone.

It’s perfectly normal and is even a necessary part of the journey to overcome gaming addiction.

That doesn’t make it any less annoying to deal with.

But why is it that you can go 6, 10, or 18 hours straight on a video game without breaking focus for a few minutes?

That sounds like the opposite of laziness to me.

In this post, I want to share with you how I channelled my obsessive energy from gaming into pursuing my passions.

Hopefully, by the end of the article, you’ll have a better understanding of why you feel unmotivated to pursue new activities. As well as learning how to focus your energy into meaningful tasks, and really take yourself to the next level.

 


Be sure to check out the accompanying podcast episode on Gaming the System. Listen as you read!


 

Gaming Has Numbed Your Emotions

 

It’s very hard for people to find that same energy and passion they have for games and apply them to other activities.

I’ve experienced it a lot, especially as someone who loves learning as many skills as possible.

However, I always find myself burning out after just a couple of months. It doesn’t sound too bad, I’m pretty knowledgeable in a lot of different things.

But, I know that if I want to be successful I need to focus on one thing and become as good at it as I can.

So, why is this happening?

You have to remember that you’ve been playing video games for a long time.

Most people I know started playing video games when their age was in single figures. In my case, it was around 4 or 5 years old.

When you consider how addictive video games are, and how stimulating they are compared to anything else, you can see how it would have a major effect on the way your brain functions.

While it might seem complex, your brain is actually pretty simple.

busy work productivity

At the end of the day, human beings are animals. Which means we have an animal brain.

This brain has been trained to seek out enjoyment through whatever means possible. In the past, think back thousands of years ago, this hit of dopamine would have come from hunting all day and securing a meal for your family.

Now, you can just turn on your console or whip out your phone and it’s like you’ve been injected with 200 CCs of straight dopamine into your bloodstream.

After continued gaming, your brain becomes hardwired to expect this kind of rush from anything you do.

Therefore, when you take up a new activity and it’s not as fun as you’d like it to be, your brain feels starved.

It’s longing for that hit of dopamine from gaming because literally nothing else can compare to it (apart from perhaps drugs but that’s a different story).

That’s also why we recommend people try to take 90 days off gaming when they want to overcome their addiction. This gives your brain time to reset back to normal levels of dopamine and allows to finally start enjoying things again.

Ultimately, it becomes a battle of how much of a fight you can put up against your own brain. Will you give in to the boredom? Or, will you use your ‘passion’ for gaming and channel it into something productive?

 

Understanding Why You Play Video Games

 

We covered this in detail on our recent article about how to quit gaming in college.

To put it simply, the reason why you play video games so much is that it fulfils specific needs. Not just that, but it does so extremely well.

These needs are:

  • Temporary escape
  • Social connection
  • Constant measurable growth
  • To be challenged

It’s pretty difficult to think of a video game that doesn’t fulfil at least 3 out 4 of those needs.

Now, can you think of any activities you do in real life that come to close to that?

You might be able to hit 2 or 3 of them if you’re lucky, and even all 4 in some rare cases. But the path to getting the same dopamine hit from say, running a marathon, compared to beating a boss in a video game is much longer.

Your brain is always going to take the path of least resistance.

So, what you need to do is identify the main reasons why you’re playing video games.

In my case, it was the need to escape.

I wanted to escape from my problems and struggles in my real life, such as my university work.

For you, it could just be that you’re lonely and when you’re online you feel part of a group.

Just take a few minutes – or thirty – to come up with the specific needs you’re fulfilling with gaming, and then when you’re ready, move on to the next step.

 

Finding the Right Activity For You

 

You might have already come to this conclusion by now, but the answer to this question isn’t as easy as you’d probably hoped for.

There isn’t one magic activity that will be the perfect mix of socialising, challenge, growth or escape (except for maybe chessboxing, no seriously have you seen this?).

Ultimately, it comes down to one simple thing:

The right activity for you is the activity you choose to do

That’s it.

The truth is, no matter which activity you choose, you’re probably not going to enjoy it at the start.

It’s a matter of sticking with it through the struggles, so you can get to the point where it turns in a passion.

But, it’s not all bad news…

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to speed the process up a bit.

It’s a process I’ve used in the past to become a full-time web developer within 5 months of learning to print “Hello World” in HTML and got my first photography gig within 3 months of picking up a DSLR.

I explained this in a bit more detail over on episode 6 of the Life Unlocked podcast, which you can listen to here.

Basically, it all stems from using the same obsession that allows me to play games for 12 hours straight and channelling it into a particular skill.

It will vary from person to person, but it generally looks like this:

4 things gaming addiction superpower

 

  1. Become interested in a new skill
  2. Learn a bit more about it by reading and watching content online
  3. Start picturing what it would look like to be an expert
  4. Become obsessed with learning as much as I can in the shortest space of time (courses, books, articles, videos etc.)

Also, if you just want to take something up as a hobby for a couple of hours a week – like learning a language – this probably isn’t the best approach.

This article is about using the same passion you have for gaming and putting it into something else.

So, let’s quickly break down each step one-by-one:

 

Become Interested In a Skill

For me, the desire to learn a specific skill happens seemingly at random.

I might see something online that catches my eye, and end up going down a rabbit hole of guides and videos. Before you know it I’ve got 3 books about how to forage wild mushrooms getting delivered to my house.

Perhaps you’ve wanted to pursue a particular activity or skill for a while. It could something you’ve wanted to do since you were a kid, or maybe someone you know has become interested in it recently.

You can also check out our list of 60+ hobby ideas if you’re struggling.

Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that will be productive and fulfils a specific need. Watching Netflix isn’t a hobby…

Learn More About It

I like to call this the tutorial phase.

You’re basically trying to understand the mechanics and logistics of learning a skill.

It might seem amazing on the surface, but if it turns out you’ll have to dedicate an entire floor of your house to it then it’s probably not feasible. An extreme example, but you get the idea.

The best way to learn more about a skill is through a combination of the following:

  • books
  • videos
  • articles
  • workshops

If it exists, there’s more than likely a book or video about it. Spend a bit of time learning and then you’ll get a better idea of whether or not it’s a good fit for you.

Again, even if you’re someone who’s creative and are interested in learning high-level calculus, don’t get put off just because you ‘think’ you’re only limited to creative pursuits like art and music. You might be surprised what you learn about if you push your comfort zone.

 

Picture Yourself as an Expert

This one’s pretty simple.

I’ve talked before about the importance of visualization, and this is no different. I’m always finding myself imagining what it would be like if I was fluent in Japanese or a guitar wizard.

As a result, I get an intense desire to pursue the skill further. Knowing what’s possible and seeing myself achieving it makes a huge difference to whether or not I stick to the activity over the long-term.

 

It’s Time to Get Obsessed

This is where you start taking it seriously.

Not only are you learning through a few articles or videos, but you’re also learning from courses and might even hire someone to help you.

There a ton of free or paid courses on the internet, so make sure to do your research. Reddit is a great resource, as well as Udemy and Skillshare.

Once you’ve found your path, it’s just a matter of walking it.

Dedicate some time every day devoted to learning and practising your skill. It’s important to get real-world experience as fast as possible.

Even if you only have an hour a day to spare, use that hour. Take some lessons out of Deep Work, and make that hour the most productive hour of your day.

As long as you keep this up consistently, and practise properly, you’ll find yourself becoming a pro in no time.

outdoor photography hobby

 

Next Steps – What To Do When It Gets Hard

 

Look, it’s going to be hard.

There will definitely be times where you want to give up on your skill and just try something else.

But you have to avoid this at all costs.

The best way to do it is by building your awareness.

The next time you feel the urge to go back to gaming or quit learning your hobby, try to stop yourself in the moment and think for a second.

Why exactly do you want to quit?

Are you bored? Is it too hard?

What needs are you missing out on?

Perhaps you’ve been so focused on solo skills, and haven’t made any new friends. Or, maybe it’s not challenging enough and you want something more difficult.

Whatever it is, try to become aware of your feelings and desires in the moment. Then it’s just a case of looking for ways to change it.

Just remember to try and remind yourself it’s about the long term.

Really focus on wanting to become the best version of yourself and make it your priority. Make it impossible for you not to become that person.

Eventually, as you phase out gaming for new skills, you’ll see what you were really missing out on in your life. All the missed opportunities and experiences.

After a while you’ll become so in love with the new life you’ve created, you’re probably not going to go back to gaming.

But if you do, just go back to what I said about thinking in the moment. Process your emotions and eventually, you’ll become unstoppable.

 

As always, thanks for reading.

Until next time.

 

What is Busy Work?

Busy work is where you trick yourself into thinking you’re being productive.

But, in reality, you’re accomplishing meaningless tasks that aren’t getting you any closer to completing your goals.

Compare that to deep work.

Deep work consists of focused, intentional sessions of work on high-impact tasks.

For example, I’ve recently made a shift towards starting my own digital marketing business.

Every single day I’m having to face a decision about which tasks will bring actual results which tasks make me think I’m being productive.

Sure, I could fine-tune my website or send some tweets.

However, in reality, I’m going to get a lot more benefit if I cold-email 50 people and land one client.

That’s not to say some of the tasks that count as busywork aren’t necessary for a business.

But at the end of the day, you have to consider what the most optimal route is that you can take from where you are now to achieving your biggest goals.

 


If you’d rather listen to your articles than read them, don’t worry! You can check out the podcast episode all about escaping busy work and using deep work to transform your life.

Listen here!


How do I Know What Counts as Busy Work or Deep Work?

 

More simply, how do I know which tasks I should be avoiding?

In my case, I’ve got a list of goals of where I want to be three months from now.

It could be something like getting X amount of clients or making a certain amount of money.

Then I work out how to achieve those metrics.

I’ve worked backwards from back-to-front to create a step-by-step process to take me to those goals.

So what does that process look like?

It all starts with a master to-do list.

These are the end goals that you want to complete within 3 or 6 months.

Then ask yourself the question: “What are the exact steps I need to take to achieve these goals?”.

If you want to get 1,000 monthly visitors to your website, what does that look like?

It doesn’t need to be too detailed at this point, just come up with basic steps.

Are you going to post more content, optimize your website and social media, run promotions, paid advertising?

Then it’s just a case of breaking it down into shorter objectives or goals that you can achieve every day.

Following on with the traffic example, your daily task list could look something like this:

 

Busy work productivity schedule

This took around 15 minutes to make, and I now have an exact task list that I can work on every single day.

 

A failure to plan is a plan to fail.

That being said, there is still a time and a place for ‘busy work’ in your daily routine.

You still need to do admin work, reply to e-mails, or send some Tweets. However, you should try and schedule time in your day where you’re usually at your least productive to complete these tasks.

Personally, I always hit a slump in the afternoon and am at my most productive in the morning and evening.

Therefore, around 3PM is the perfect time for me to indulge in some busy work and go and hit the gym.

Do what’s best for you though, and if you have no idea what works – try a bunch of things!

Keep testing until you discover your optimum working routine, then it’s just a matter of getting into a deep work state and smashing your goals every day.

 

Deep Work – A Quick-Start Guide

 

Deep work can mostly be summed up by one word: Intention.

When you work with a deep intention to be focused and wholly devoted to the task in hand, you’re going to find yourself in a state of deep work.

However, saying it’s about intention isn’t very helpful.

motivational quote game quitters

Fortunately for you, I’ve done the leg-work and read through the amazing book by Cal Newport devoted to this idea of deep work.

Have you ever heard someone tell you to work smart instead of hard?

Well once you start implementing deep work into your daily routine you’ll be the smartest damn worker around.

Just don’t expect it to work straight away. Think of it like a muscle.

The only way you can build it up is by repeatedly training and improving with consistency. You may only be able to hit 30 minutes to start with, but within a few months, you could easily hit 2 hours.

 

The 4 Key Principles of Deep Work

 

Single-Tasking

You’ll never get anything done if you’re trying to complete half a dozen tasks at once.

Stop jumping between multiple things, and stop thinking having 20 tabs open is productive.

Yeah, I’m looking at you.

You need to dedicate yourself to focus on one task and one task only.

No ifs, ands, or buts.

 

Remove Distractions

Have you ever had your phone next to you while working, only for the screen to light up?

“It’s just a harmless text message, I’ll reply real quick then get back to work.”

Then, before you know it, you get a notification from Twitter and after 20 minutes of scrolling, you accidentally close the app and realise what in the world you were doing.

My personal pre-work routine is:

  • Make sure I have some water
  • Noise-cancelling headphones with non-intrusive music
  • Turn on Do Not Disturb on my e-mails and on Windows
  • Put my phone on silent and zip it away in my bag
  • Review my task list and then get to work

Your mileage may vary, but the most important thing is to make sure your phone is out of sight.

You need to get rid of any and all temptations.

 

Less Social Media

On the topic of smartphones, social media is another thing you need to clamp down on.

Not only is it an incredibly addicting time-sink, but you’re killing your attention span.

It’s already going to be hard enough for you to focus for extended periods of time, don’t make it any harder for yourself.

Try setting up app timers or locks to ensure you don’t spend more than 30-60 minutes a day on social media. Also, don’t use it at all after a certain time.

You need to wind down at the end of the day, and that involves getting yourself away from needless stimulants like your phone and your TV.

I like to set an “Amish Time” alarm on my phone to remind me when to settle down with a good book and start relaxing.

deep work productivity

Creating Routines

We’ve got a great guide on how to build routines in our recent article on how to quit gaming in college.

But, in Deep Work, Newport outlines a few ways you can introduce the deep work philosophy into your routine without it being obtrusive.

These are as follows:

Monastic Philosophy. Cut out your distractions completely like you would if you were a monk.

Bimodal Philosophy. Alternating between a normal and monastic life. You may have a specific place you go for extended periods such as a remote cabin with limited infrastructure. Carl Jung was a famous example of someone who lived the Bimodal Philosophy.

Rhythmic Philosophy. My personal favourite. This is where you create a fixed time for deep work every day, or on specific days of the week. I like to work between 11am and 4pm, then from 7pm to 11pm.

Journalistic Philosophy. Cal’s favourite. You do deep work whenever you get a chance. Works especially well if you have a busy or unpredictable schedule e.g. journalist.

 

Lastly, I haven’t included it in the list but a good thing to do is put on a timer.

I like to put one for 90 minutes, and then focus the entirety of those 90 minutes working on a task.

Then you can see how much work you can actually get done, and compare it to how much time you think it takes you.

These are usually vastly different!

 

Now you’re ready to take on the world.

Well, not quite. But, you can certainly implement the principles in this article in order to create massive change very quickly.

It’s something I’ve used to great effect in my day-to-day life, and I’m sure you’ll get a huge amount of value too.

Don’t forget to check out the podcast episode on deep work here, and let us know what you think. Are you going to implement deep work into your routine? (I hope so)

 

As always, thanks for reading.

Until next time.