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Journal - My Renaissance Journey

Just for clarification, the point 2: do you mean to stop nicotine addition will improve self-esteem?

100%. All things that make you ashamed of yourself are like a cap over your self esteem.

selffriend has reacted to this post.


I appreciate the feedback, everyone.

Okay, I went over everyone's feedback and advice. I'm still processing it a bit, but I'm getting a better idea of my place in the world.

I just read over "Growth mindset" in ultimate power. I can relate to the lesson.
I am aware of when I've been envious, and jealous. I was envious of a co-worker for having social skills, social dominance, friends, and a social life.
I am also aware of feeling burdened by my mistakes and short-comings as a nurse. The negative results and potential negatives bear a weight on my chest, feelings of guilt.

The big picture I see is that I have parts of me that stem from my lesser nature:

  • smoking cigarettes
  • smoking pot
  • playing dota 2 (video game - over 7,000 hours)
  • avoidance of studying nursing knowledge/skills
  • avoiding development of social life (friendships and sexual relationships)

I can be overwhelmed and be paralyzed by life's open-endedness. The infinite options, mixed with fear and anxiety leads to defaulting to my usual habits of pleasure. I am not very good at leading myself yet. I can be uncertain of myself, although I am improving.
My way around this for now, my anchor in the storm, is to start with what is obviously in need of attention.

I understand my predicament as follows: I have certain responsibilities I have, given my situation in life. And I feel a paradoxical repulsion by the idea of pursuing them, as they have a NEGATIVE VALENCE due to inertia. It's "Resistance" according to Steven Pressfield. And I default to my poor short-term, pleasurable habits to ease the tension. I smoke pot and play video games, as they have a POSITIVE VALENCE in the immediate. The rewards are more "real", since they are in the short-term.

Here's where I am at:

I haven't smoked cigarettes in the last 7 days. Although, I smoked pot the last 3 days. And I would prefer it if I didn't.

  • Lucio, you mentioned to focus my learning. And to break down my goal, if it is overwhelming me.
  • Matthew, you mentioned listening to Atomic Habits.
  • John, from what you mentioned, I can work on all of the 5 (self esteem/self-love, nicotine addiction, social skills/life, developing growth mindset)

So moving forward, my development in the next few days would look something like this, if I were to prioritize on what I think is "right" :

  1. cut out 100% of all my smoking
    this would reduce my guilt/shame, and raise my level of long-term positive emotions and reduce current negative ones
    it will free up time and mental resources to address my responsibilities
  2. invest more effective and productive time in developing and honing my nursing skills and knowledge
    this is the biggest issue I can see. other than the question of "is this really what I want to do in my life?". that one is bigger, but currently too vague for me. I currently don't have the answer to that question. I've been thinking of it for some time. But it hasn't produced any fruit. So the next best thing I know, is to start with what I'm avoiding.

    Potential pitfalls:

  • I might end up getting bored, tempted on my time off to have fun, and how I usually do this is to smoke pot and play dota 2 video game
  • Not starting studying nursing skills and knowledge because it is currently, negatively valanced for me.
  • Being hit with thoughts of self-doubt and uncertainty
  • Taking on too much, being spread out thin
  • Internally rebelling due to too much structure, and perhaps acting out due to repressing my impulses.


  • Journal everyday here
  • Keep in touch with my close friend Alex (name changed for privacy)
  • Care for myself during the process, by exercising a bit at a time, eating on time and eating home-cooked meals, drink lots of water.
  • Write in this journal when I fail to meet my goals, and practice the growth mindset. Remind myself that the outcome doesn't define who I am, and that struggling and failing doesn't mean I'm being bad, it means I'm getting good.
  • Consider listening to Atomic Habits (I am weary it might be another self-help purchase I leave sitting not getting the most out of)

Questions I want to ask all of you, I will attempt my own answers, in good practice:

  • Previously Lucio advised me to quit one thing at a time, I started with cigarettes. Now that I am 7 days off of it, how do I know I am ready to take on more goals?
    Give it 4 weeks, before you put the added pressure of quitting pot as well.
    You'll never be ready, just start. If you end up relapsing, it's feedback that it was too soon.
    Find out what was too soon, by keeping track of yourself. Monitor it. If you relapse, use this as a barometer. Consider extending the timeline longer, before taking on more goals. 
  • Responsibility or endeavors in the long-term often have a negative valence to them, how does on get around this seeming paradox to take consistent action?
    Start small, and break down the goal into smaller parts until you can manage to take action.
    Then, once you have started taking action, systematically increase the intensity of pursuit of your goal to the degree that it is more likely to be successful over the longest period of time.
  • Do I try to find my passion, or do I pursue meeting my responsibilities?
    I don't want my autonomy taken away on this question, however, other people's experience might help me find an answer.
    I will know what my passion is, when work doesn't feel like work. [But doesn't all work start with some kind of resistance?]
    Perhaps, try something new every month. Make it social related, since that area needs development. Start with anything. Start with brain storming with a list of what could potentially be fun








April 1, 2021

Alright, so far I'm sticking to the plan. Day 8 of stopping cigarettes. I studied ED/career-related material, for 30 minutes yesterday. I was debating on whether or not to begin extending my goal to stopping pot, and I think I'll hold off on that.

I received news that I got through to the final screening process for a sponsorship into critical care yesterday, so I will be investing a couple years into this. There's no pay raise, just paid education and working in the ICU - a way to give back, while I figure out what I truly want.

On another note, I updated my wardrobe a bit yesterday. A quick trip to the thrift shop, got me Nudie jeans (normally around $200), for $20. A quick wash and I tailored it to my length. It's interesting, some people just throw away quality goods. Then, I sorted through my clothes and will be donating 50% to some family back home - or just donating it here.

That's it for today,




John Freeman and selffriend have reacted to this post.
John Freemanselffriend

Great job with the cigarettes! Way to go. In a couple of weeks the physical sensation will disappear. From there it will be much easier! I agree with you to tackle one substance at a time and starting with cigarettes.

Working in the ICU is a great investment. You will learn tons and will be able to have more opportunities in your future. Applicable knowledge that you can transform into skills that can help you achieve your personal and professional goals is invaluable.

Have you considered setting yearly goals?

Goals for 2021:

  1. Quit smoking cigarettes (already in progress)
  2. Quit smoking pot, STOP DATE June 1, 2021
  3. Finish ICU course and be a confident, competent, quality nurse (pending final acceptance, and determining the start-end date of their course)
  4. Complete Power University by July 30, 2021 (expectation is to be well versed and skilled, and not just finish reading)

There's other very important things in my mind:

  • cultivating an abundant social life (friendships and sexual life)
  • discovering what I'm passionate about.

The social life goal is important to me. I think it impacts other parts of my life, like my self esteem and confidence. If I had more social relationships, it would lead to me being less stressed and happier overall.

My life is also very routine. I go to work, I come home. I go to work, I come home. And in between, there isn't much life. The reason why I didn't put these as a goal this year, is due to the pandemic. Which seems to be never ending. Last 1-2 year, I was able to alleviate this dullness with solo travelling to Bali, Colombia, etc... since I didn't have many friends, I decided to take matters into my own hands - and that was the most alive I've ever felt. Unfortunately, that's not a thing right now.



John Freeman and selffriend have reacted to this post.
John Freemanselffriend

Hey JM,

JM: Last 1-2 year, I was able to alleviate this dullness with solo travelling to Bali, Colombia, etc... since I didn't have many friends, I decided to take matters into my own hands - and that was the most alive I've ever felt.

You did receive the vaccine early as a healthcare worker, right?

There are plenty of open countries.

The reason I went to Costa Rica first is because that was one of the few -only?- country that:

  1. Didn't require a test before going in
  2. Didn't require quarantine
  3. Was in a relatively good spot in terms of Covid spread
JM has reacted to this post.
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

+1 on the ICU course.  My gf is a nursing teacher.  It's well regarded to get into teaching if you want to get into that later on.

JM has reacted to this post.

I appreciate the feedback guys.
Yes, I received my vaccine shots. I don't intend on travelling right now to be honest, maybe I could have worded that better.
I have a few colleagues that teach. I don't think it's for me, but it's definitely less stressful than the frontlines.


Do you want a feed-back from me on your yearly goals?