“Because no matter how much I game, the void was never filled, I was never happy. In fact, I became more miserable than ever.”
I can vividly remember sitting in front of my triple-monitor setup, contemplating my whole life at the end of summer break, wondering why am I still miserable while having the coolest video games, the most advanced gaming equipment and the “cool” identity of being a gamer?
Ever since I started gaming (7 years old), I noticed something within myself. A sense of dissatisfaction, a hole that needed to be filled.
But as a kid, I didn’t really have many ideas about how to go about filling up this sense of void… So I did the only thing I could: play more video games! Well, everyone else is doing it, and they all seemed to be happy and joyous, also it can’t possibly lead me down the wrong track in life, right??
As I was attempting to fill up the hole with more gaming, my constructed identity: “Gamer” grew bigger and bigger.
It got to a point where I stopped seeing myself as a good student so I neglected school work. I stopped seeing myself as a social person so I neglected my social life. I stopped seeing myself as a nice and caring son so I neglected family.
Most importantly, I stopped seeing my authentic self.
All those things added up into a lifestyle of “living for gaming’s sake.” One of my favorite activities was to come back home on Friday night, neglecting all my homework and assignments, and hop onto my PlayStation and play Battlefield Hardline with my buddy Andy.
Sure, the lower part of myself was very excited by all the stimulation provided by gaming, but my higher self sensed something was else. It acknowledged that perhaps something isn’t really working… Because no matter how much I game, the void was never filled, I was never happy. In fact, I became more miserable than ever.
Not only was the void not filled, but also my confidence eroded, my higher values squandered, my passions and the love for my life waned. But the lower self is still too unconscious and close-minded, so I continued to buy more games, pursue better rankings, wishing that someday the void will be finally filled…
My Turning Point:
This story happened back in mid 2015, the two-week summer break. I spent the entire holiday gaming 6-8 hours a day and lived life as a legitimate “gamer.”
I drank soda, ate a lot of junk food, didn’t come out of my bedroom for dinner, and didn’t attempt to attend any social events. The process was very stimulating and exciting in the first week, but as that enthusiasm wore off, a scary truth started to uncover itself…
The truth that no matter how hard I try, there is no way out, and gaming will never bring me fulfillment and happiness and the ultimate satisfaction that I was lusting after this entire time.
It got to a point where all I did was continuing going through the motions of gaming without really enjoying any of it, because my mind was controlled by video games like a puppeteer, and me myself, the puppet.
I remember sitting in front of the glowing screens, viewing my life objectively with brutal honesty for the first time.
I asked myself: “Is this all there is? Is this what my authentic self wants to be like? Is there another way? Am I diluting myself?”
I was tired of all this non-sense, tired of being controlled by this puppet master since I was a kid, tired of not finding something that truly fulfills me, tired of being shy and having low self-esteem, tired of not having a passion to follow and most importantly, tired of living this identity of a “gamer”.
Right on the spot, I made a bold decision: I’m going to quit playing video games.
Instantly, a new horizon opened up for me as I made the decision. I saw a more passionate, a more loving, a more confident, a more self-actualized human being waiting for me on the other side of the barrier.
Interestingly enough, the day after I decided to quit, my friend Mark asked me if I wanted to sell my PlayStation 4. My original intention was to keep my PlayStation and to game in moderation, but my intuition told me that selling the console is probably the best decision there is.
So that’s exactly what I did: I packed everything up and sold that pile of equipment which symbolized misery, dissatisfaction, hopelessness, low self-esteem and most importantly: my identity as a gamer…
How My Life Changed:
Sure, the withdrawals were tough. But my cold turkey approach and the compelling vision I created pulled me through the entire 90 day detox. Also Cam’s videos helped me out a great bunch, too. (Thanks, Cam.)
After the 90 days, I felt like a radically different person.
I started defining my authentic values, I became really passionate about my education and transformed myself into a top-performing student; I became so much more confident and social, and I found my passion for practical psychology and started my podcast.
Listen to my interview with Cam: How to break your gaming addiction.
Most importantly, I finally experienced the bliss from living my life to the fullest. Today my commitment is to a life-long study of personal development, and to live the most extraordinary life possible.
What is your commitment? What do you want out of life? Share your answer in the comments: