How Are You Using Your Time?

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

I’m not as productive as I’d like to be. Who is?

I spend a good amount of time reading.

And I’ve been writing. Drawing. Painting.

I go for the occasional walk.

Pretty productive.

I’ve also spent quite a bit of time with my boys. That’s always good.

Not all my time is spent so wisely, though.

I spend hours sitting and thinking.

Spending too much time in the past.

It’s good to learn from the past.

But not to live there.

I need to get out and do more.

Urges are just thoughts

That’s the theory, anyway.

You think about watching porn. You to entertain the idea. The feelings follow.

What if you short-circuit the process?

Derail that train?

What if you dismiss the thought?

Move on before the feelings come?

That’s what Amy Johnson, PhD suggests in The Little Book of Big Change: The No-Willpower Approach to Breaking Any Habit.

The book is not specifically about porn or masturbation. Amy Johnson used this technique to overcome Binge-eating Disorder.

The neurons that fire together, wire together.

If you watch porn and masturbate every time you feel the urge, you strengthen the connection between the urges and the behavior.

Dismissing the urge, even once, weakens that connection. The more urges you dismiss, the weaker the connection.

I haven’t overcome my addiction yet.

I admit I haven’t tried very hard.

But I have been able to dismiss urges successfully.

I know I can beat this thing, it’s just a matter of making the effort.

Affirmations

Brainwashing.

Autosuggestion.

Self-hypnosis.

That’s basically what affirmations are.

You repeat a statement. Over and over. Day after day.

Eventually your subconscious believes it.

This reprograms your brain.

School your emotions

Emotion Clouds

Your emotions come in response to your thoughts.

Train yourself. Learn to control your thoughts.

You can’t control which thoughts come into your head. But you can choose which thoughts to entertain.

Dismiss the bad ones.

Focus on the good ones.

What you focus on expands.

Most people focus on the negative.

Changing your focus is hard. Some of us need professional help to change. That’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Leave reminders for yourself. Sticky notes. Photos. Anything that helps you remember what’s good in your life.

One thing I like to do is make a game of it. Especially when I get annoyed in traffic. I’ll ask myself what I’m grateful for, and start making a list. I try to not just list things, but to actually feel gratitude for each thing. It always helps. Sometimes I get really emotional.

I’m not perfect at this. I forget to do it.

I still get mad. I still yell at my kids.

I don’t stay mad as long, though. My kids are better off.

So am I.