Why I’m quitting porn, caffeine, and YouTube.

Quite a combo right? These three things are the three main addictions that I identified in myself. And now I’m quitting all of them.

Porn

Porn (and masturbation) was the first culprit. I probably started masturbating around age 12. Pretty weird to think about but that’s the way it played out. And from what I’ve heard, most kids usually start around this age or earlier. It just happens, and we’ve come to accept it as natural for the most part. Doctors online say it’s healthy. Maybe your parents accept it too. Your friends talk about porn freely. But despite the widespread acceptance of porn and masturbation in western culture, it can really cause some serious problems. I’m not saying masturbation or even porn is inherently evil. If you’re only doing it once a week or less and don’t have any outside problems caused by it like social anxiety, tiredness, or lack of motivation, then you’re probably fine.

But after not having masturbated for 25 days (as of May 15, 2017), I’ve noticed some very potent benefits. I’m much more motivated now and have much more energy in general. However, the main reason I am serious about quitting this time is due to two reasons: (1) I don’t want to waste time on it (2) I want to fix my problems, not run away from them. For 1, this should be obvious, but I didn’t rally realize how much time this habit took out of my day until I started Junior year of high school. Whenever I had a big project or a lot of homework due, I would often procrastinate by watching porn and masturbating, and this often led to all-nighters. Which after a while just stopped being as fun as they used to be. And 2, this is the big one. After abstaining, I really notice that I get the urge to masturbate whenever I feel frustrated, stressed, or depressed. It’s been a way of running away from my emotions and problems. Instead of taking my problems head on and making real progress in my goals, I honestly feel like I’ve wasted the last 5 years of my life just masturbating (or watching YouTube) whenever things get hard. I am making the decision to no longer live this way. If you want to join me in this, visit reddit.com/r/nofap It’s a great community.

Caffeine

Honestly, this one’s not that big of a deal for me. I’m definitely not addicted, and I regularly go a week or two without any. But recently I went through a stressful week and I drank coffee every day. Long story short it caused me headaches, stress, and anxiety. Also whenever I’m on caffeine, I start to plan stuff out like crazy. Planning my life, my gym schedule, my schoolwork, my business ideas, and all of my goals. it becomes very stressful to think about and all I end up with are a bunch of plans that I will probably never use. I want one plan that I follow, that’s it. Also, being on caffein gets me “overly motivated”, you might say. I get so psyched up that I feel like I can do anything (that’s where all the planning comes in). But with all of this, I still end up doing very very little actual work, and I actually get depressed because I know that the extreme motivation is coming from a drug and not from the inside. I know it’s not the sustainable type of motivation that gets shit done, and that eats at me. Also, with caffeine, I can never sleep early enough and that does not fit in with the lifestyle I’m trying to live.

YouTube (and Internet)

I can’t say that I’ve completely quit the Internet, and I will continue to use it as a tool. However some websites, YouTube and Reddit in particular, have sucked up so much time from my life that it is actually painful to think about. After reflecting, I’ve realized that besides going to the gym, I usually spend my entire weekend watching YouTube videos and browsing Reddit. Sounds pathetic, I know, but it’s just been how I’ve been living since I was a kid. Before YouTube it was TV. Until now I had always looked down upon people who watch TV or Netflix 6 hours a day, or play video games, or go out and party all weekend. But I’ve realized that what I’ve been doing for years isn’t any better. I’ve justified the addiction by mostly watching personal development videos and such, but looking back, I almost never put any of the ideas into action at all. I take in so much information, that it’s as if I’m taking in no information at all. I’ve become bloated with information that I’ve never used. YouTube and other distracting sites literally take pretty much all of my free time, and I’m just not okay with that anymore.

So this summer I’m taking a different approach. Even before I try to go off frantically running towards my huge goals, I am deciding to cut out all the bad habits that have kept me from doing the work in the past. Hopefully this encourages some of you to consider quitting some of your “addictions” too. Instead of trying to do more and more this summer, I’m going to start by doing less of the useless shit.

Stay strong guys.


Originally published at medium.com on May 16, 2017.