Breaking The Most Destructive Habit Of My Life

Saturday, July 25th

Today is the day that is going to significantly change my life forever and move me from a path of slow and inconsistent growth to a path where I can rapidly accomplish my dreams and take advantage of exponential growth over time. Why you may ask? I will get to that in a minute but let me first explain the concepts behind this bold statement.

There is a concept from the book, “The One Thing” that basically states you can boil down your goals into one main thing in which you can focus on each day, week, or month to move yourself most quickly towards your goals. That “One Thing” normally has side effects which ripple into other aspects of your life and things you need to accomplish to achieve your goals. So, in short, by focusing on just that one most important thing you end up accomplishing all of the many things you need to do to reach your goals as efficiently as possible.

The other concept I am combining with the one above is simple. There is plenty of research showing it takes around 66 days to build a new habit. However, to break a habit, current research shows a much longer time of anywhere from 18 to 254 days as cited in this 2009 paper. Knowing me and the Habit I want to break which has been reinforced over a lifetime, it is going to be closer to the 254 day point.

So, what will I be doing today to significantly change the path of my life? I am going to start breaking the most destructive habit I have in my life. Consuming addictive digital content. My main focus for my life is going to be eliminating TV, video games, and the addictive sides of Social Media (scrolling). The initial goal is to go for 60 days with zero tolerance for consuming any of the things stated above. Then, once it becomes easier to live life without these things, move into the 254-day plan to minimize/eliminate them from my life.

Two weeks ago, I gave up television because I was watching anywhere from 20-40 hours of TV per week or more. When I was watching TV, the time flew by and it did not seem like it made too big of an impact on my life. Then I thought, what could I do with an extra 40 hours a week? That is literally a work week. So, I gave it up, but then I just resorted to a video game on my computer. I hadn’t played video games in years, but I needed that mind-numbing satisfaction given to my brain. When I realized I still logged 40 hours in two weeks on the game I knew I had to make a much bigger change.

So, here I am. Committing the next 254 days (until Monday, April 5th, 2021) to eliminating digital content consuming from my life. What am I going to do with that extra 20-40 hours a week? I have a pretty good feeling it is going to be put towards going to the gym, eating healthier, and working on my dreams.

The Past 6 Years to Now

              It was November 2013, my last high school varsity football game. I had had a pretty good season and was going to be going to the Texas High School Allstar game. Then half-way through the second half, the team huddled, and I called the play in. It was a rollout pass to the right-hand side of the field. I got behind my center and called the play snap. I dropped back, faked the run, then rolled out to the right-hand side of the field. No one was open, but I saw a lane to run to the first down marker and I took it. I sprinted as hard as I could to make it to the marker, but there were 3 players there to stop me. None the less I stretched out with my whole body to reach for the first down. I was totally exposed trying to spring off my right foot. Then I got hit by all three players at the same time. One landed on my right foot while the other two players hit me high, causing my body to rotate. I made it to the first down, but as the movement happened, my foot got stuck in the ground. Thus, causing my foot to be pulled sideways at a 90-degree angle. I heard and felt a few large pops in my ankle and lower right leg. It hurt a lot. I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t want to admit it. I hopped off the field and I tried to have the trainer tape me up. After he was done, I stood up and felt a couple pops in my leg. I tried to hide it from the trainer, but he could tell. I asked if he could tape the area where I felt the pop so I could go back in.

It was then he told me that, “your leg is probably broken. You are done.” It was everything I did not want to hear. I was given crutches and I crutched my way back to the locker room. I sat down in the room all by myself. Still trying to comprehend what happened. I did not realize it until a few months later, but that brief moment in my life changed everything. My whole life was turned upside down.

You see my whole life everything I did revolved around sports. I played three sports Football, Baseball, and Basketball since I was a child. The only thing I ever thought about was sports, sports, sports. So, later towards the end of my senior year of high school, I was trying to figure out where I wanted to apply to go to school. Then it hit me, I am most likely never going to play sports competitively for the rest of my life. This was hands down the most striking and debilitating realization I have had in my entire life. I was completely and utterly lost. My whole life had revolved around one thing and now it was gone forever. The next year of my life was very tough for me.

However, there was one thing my dad told me when I expressed how I was feeling. He went through the same thing I did, just as hundreds of thousands of other kids do each year. He told me that, “Sports are not the end of your life. They made you happy, but just as they made you happy you will begin to find happiness in other things.” I did not believe him at first, but as time went on, I began to slowly understand what he meant.

Fast forward to my second semester in college at the University of Central Florida. I was studying as an undecided engineering student and I realized even though I was done with sports I still wanted to be successful. So, I literally typed how to be successful into google. This led me down a rabbit hole where I eventually ended up purchasing two of the best know personal development books there was at the time. “Think and Grow Rich” and “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” Reading those books changed my life. While I was reading those books, I remember sitting in my twin size bed in my dorm room asking myself the following question. If there is anything I could do for the rest of my life, no matter how big and audacious the dream is, (including play sports) what would it be? I took me some time, but I eventually found the answer. I realized that business is the most competitive sport there is. In my nature I am a competitive person, so my big dream was to try and start my own large technology company one day.

I went from being completely lost to totally determined. I decided I wanted to be a Mechanical Engineer and later I picked up a Computer Science Minor. I rushed a Fraternity. Made some amazing friends. I served on the Executive Board as Internal Vice President. I fell in love and had my heart shattered. I tried to start a few small businesses in school, but none that worked out and I had an internship with Lockheed Martin from Sophomore to Senior year.  In college, I had so much fun and so many amazing, unforgettable, experiences.  But I never lost sight of that realization I made my freshman year. Everything I did oriented myself towards that goal of starting my own business. Sometimes I took trying to reach that goal too far by making too many sacrifices and it negatively affected my life. But life is all about learning from your mistakes and I definitely have.

So, long story short. In college, I learned a lot, grew up, made mistakes, learned from them, and figured out what I want to be. I have not started a business yet, but I am still chasing that dream. After graduating I excepted a full-time position where I was interning at Lockheed Martin. I couldn’t be happier where I ended up. However, I am still keeping the dream alive by working as hard as I can outside of work to make my dream come true. This is “The Journey” that led me to where I am now.

The Journey – Why I Am Starting This

This is the very first post in what I am going to be calling “The Journey.” The Journey is going to be a documentation of my whole life. It is going to reside here, on this website. It is where I am going to consolidate all of my content that shows how I am progressing through my life, what my thoughts are at any given time, and showcases my best (and worst) days/moments/experiences.

The Selfish Aspect

To be completely honest, I am doing this in a large part for myself. I just think it will be so amazing to one day look back on my life (when I am 30, 45, 60, or 80 years old) and be able to see/remember all of my deepest struggles and my most amazing accomplishments. As well as be able to jump back to any moment in my life and see exactly what I was thinking, working on, and going through at the time.

So, think of this like my personal digital journal that I am going to be sharing with the world.

It’s For Others Above All Else

This series of digital content is going to allow others to get a completely transparent, in-depth, and unbiased look into my life. While also allowing anyone to experience life with me, learn from my mistakes, and be able to see exactly how I got to where I am.

Most importantly, I want people like you to be able to follow this and relate to my struggles and emotional experiences. Life isn’t perfect. It never will be. Eventually, life just gets really, really, hard. I want people following this to know that I am going (or have gone) through many of the same things they are experiencing right now. Then, be able to show how they affected me, how I overcame them, and how I grew because of them.

When Looking Back

Finally, I just want to have social proof that I went through the challenges to get to wherever I end up. I am not saying I am going to be an Elon Musk, Jeff Besos, or Bill Gates (that would be super cool though). But what if they had documented their lives, their Journeys, with all of their actions, struggles, experiences, and successes in building their companies? Something like that would be priceless.

Final Thoughts

So, If you are reading this the day I post it or in 10, 20, 50, or 100 years. I hope this helps you see that things are not all perfect, that life isn’t easy, but with a little bit of hard work and dedication, it can be completely and utterly amazing. It can be something you have always dreamed of.