I finally bought a new phone mount, meaning that driving videos are going to start rolling out again. Good news!

In the meantime, I’ve still been keeping up with some guys in other ways, like email and Discord. I noticed a recurrent issue that some men were having, which I’ve also experienced myself.

Men are often successful in reducing the frequency of porn use, but fail to quit completely. You might get it down to once a month, for instance, but be unsuccessful in going further than that.

The common line of thinking is that you need to have some epiphany or learn some new technique or profound truth to finish the job and kill your addiction for good.

In this video, I am not offering a special technique, or deeper knowledge, or any kind of cure for a stubborn porn habit.

In this video, I simply give my thoughts on the idea that you’re missing something you need in order to quit porn, and how to stop that idea from holding you back.

 

 

Toward the beginning of the video, I mentioned I’m participating in a program created by Hunter Drew, called 31 Days To Masculinity. You can find the book on Amazon here.

-Ezekiel

 

 

A few weeks ago, I decided that I needed to re-caulk the bathroom sink. The silicone around the edge of the porcelain had deteriorated, and so it needed to be scraped out and replaced.

It was actually my second time doing this, so it should have been no big deal (the first time, it didn’t set long enough before being exposed to water). I already had the caulk, I knew how to do the job, and I knew that it would take about five minutes.

Even though it would have been easy to knock it out and be done with it, I put it off for more than a week. I just felt like I was too busy.

Granted, I was busy. I have a number of different things I’m working on, and a few more on the waiting list. But there was no reason I couldn’t take five minutes and just be done with this. After all, I was more than happy to spend five minutes checking Twitter.

This situation is not unique to me. From time to time, it seems like almost everyone gets stuck on simple tasks that would be so easy to do, and yet don’t get done. We just feel too busy to stop, focus on this one thing, and knock it out.

So these little, unfinished tasks stay in our heads and nag at us every so often. They take up valuable mental space, and add their own weight to the feeling of being too busy.

Before long, you can start to feel overwhelmed. You might even start to feel “too busy” to get anything done. Your mind starts to look like a traffic jam, with so much going on that no progress is made anywhere. I’ve been there too many times to count.

And all the while, we’re aware that we can’t stay like this. We know that we still have to get everything done.

At this point, most will use things like TV, the internet, junk food, or games to fill the brain with enough feel-good chemicals to dull this sense of responsibility, and stop it from becoming too urgent.

And unfortunately, it often works, at least to some extent. So important tasks keep piling up, our brains become more and more congested, and real life feels more and more overwhelming.

And meanwhile, the nasty silicone around the bathroom sink is deteriorating more and more every day.

So what do you do?

You kill the nags. All those little things that are easy to do. Anything you can knock out quickly.

Forget about anything else. Pick one task and eliminate it. Congratulate yourself and move on to the next one.

Chances are, it’ll feel good and you’ll start picking up momentum. Each task you complete takes a little bit of weight off of your mind, and frees up a little more mental energy for the next thing. You start to feel sharper, and the next monster on the list shrinks and starts to look more manageable.

The traffic in your mind starts flowing again.

You work on the next task, then the next one, then the next one. You’re not overwhelmed anymore. You feel good about what you’ve done, and you go to bed feeling good about what you’re going to do tomorrow. You feel better about real life, and you don’t feel such a strong need to drown it out with the easy feel-good activities so much.

Last Saturday, I decided to just go ahead and caulk the sink. No need to think about it anymore. Saturday wasn’t a better day to do it. It was just the day I made up my mind to start killing the nags.

So I did it, and it was done. My mind was clearer. I felt more energetic, and I could focus more easily on the rest of my work.

I learned that, just because you’re not thinking about something this second, doesn’t mean it’s not taking up mental energy. In some strange way, it is draining you, even if you don’t realize it.

These little tasks will keep nagging at you and stealing your focus until you kill them. And when you do, the noise will quiet down. You’ll be able to think. And your energy will be freed up for the big stuff that you really want to do.

So wherever you are, whatever you have to do, however much work you have piled up, start by killing the nags.

See what happens.

-Ezekiel

 

In September of 2017, I quit my job at an auto repair shop to pursue my own businesses.

I had a good chunk of money saved up, but no steady clients or income streams. I just jumped ship and went to see what I could do.

The experience has been challenging, rewarding, stressful, educational, and a host of other adjectives I won’t list.

In this video, I give an account of my first eight months or so living like this.

 

 

For those interested, here are a few of the books I’ve read that have helped me along this path:

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie: https://amzn.to/2yc4Vsc
Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin: https://amzn.to/2Mt6t3X
Gorilla Mindset by Mike Cernovich: https://amzn.to/2yomntF
Choose Yourself by James Altucher: https://amzn.to/2la8Yvz
The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday: https://amzn.to/2MvPjmv

-Ezekiel

 

 

From time to time, I’ll speak with men who have reached a discouraging point in their battle against some vice, like porn.

I’ve been at this same discouraging point myself at times.

It’s best described as, “feeling guilty for not feeling guilty.”

We fail. Over. And over. And over again.

At first, we feel guilt for our failures. And it is fitting that we do.

After all, we’ve betrayed God. Right in front of His face, no less.

We have—even if in secret—let down the people who look up to us.

We’ve failed our current or future spouses.

We sabotage ourselves, and slowly kill off the person we were created to be.

And so we feel guilt.

But, eventually, we grow numb. We get used to the sting of failure. And our feelings of guilt cease.

This can be alarming and discouraging. For some of us, guilt was a key driving force behind our efforts to change. What will we do without it?

The video below explains how to handle this situation, as well as the overall role of feelings (like guilt) in your life as a man.

 

-Ezekiel

 

In my latest video, I talk about a key principle for getting free from porn addiction.

Sometimes it’s easy to feel like future relapses are a certainty. That you can’t really quit porn for good until you go through a certain amount of learning and failure.

This is not true. We should always be learning, but we should remember that in every battle, victory is just one choice away.

Check out the short video below as I dive into this topic.

 

-Ezekiel

 

If you knew a person who broke his promises to you as often as you break your promises to yourself, how would you view that person? Is he dependable and honest? Or is he full of empty words and failed commitments?

How long would you tolerate it?

Most people let themselves down more than they would ever allow someone else to. We love to give ourselves a free pass.

Don’t.

You must hold yourself to a higher standard than you hold anyone else to.

You control your own actions, and no one else’s. How can you expect others to do the work necessary to keep their promises to you, if you won’t even do the work necessary to keep your own promises?

Other people have their own lives to worry about. How can you demand more from them than you demand from yourself?

When other people break their promises to you, they’re teaching you something about themselves. They’re teaching you that their words are empty. That they don’t have follow-through. That you don’t really matter that much to them.

And when you break your promises to yourself, you’re teaching yourself the same thing.

I wish you all a happy new year. But 2018 is here now. It really is time to stop wishing for a happy new year, and start creating one. Some of you have made resolutions, some of you haven’t. In any case, we’ve all got work to do.

When the excitement wears off, when the work gets tough, and when you think about giving yourself a free pass for giving up, remember what you’re teaching yourself by your actions. Are you going to prove yourself steadfast and dependable? Or are you going to be fickle and inconsistent? What would you think about someone else if they quit on you now?

Stay committed. Prove to yourself that you’re the real deal. That you are who you say you are, and that you do what you say you’ll do.

-Ezekiel

 

Quitting porn is tough. It sounds simple—after all, how hard can be to not do something? But for a lot of guys, it’s one of the most difficult things they’ve ever done, or ever will do.

One of the reasons for this is the fact that porn hijacks one of our most powerful motivators: our sex drive. When you combine that with modern pornography’s unending variety, 24/7 availability, relative secrecy, and the fact that most of it is completely free, it becomes one of the most compelling habits imaginable.

The most common approach to quitting is to persuade yourself that you don’t really want porn as much as you want to quit. Many temptations can be overcome by thinking about the benefits of abstaining, or by reminding yourself of the consequences of relapsing. Most of the time, this is an excellent way to go about it. Focusing on setting yourself up for a better future creates a very positive and forward-moving attitude.

But anyone who has tried and failed to quit porn in the past knows that, no matter what, there will come a time when temptation is so strong that nothing else seems to matter. No matter how strong your desire to stay clean, there will be instances where your desire for porn is even stronger.

At this point, the above strategy breaks down. You can still try to convince yourself that you don’t really want porn, but this is relatively ineffective. Sometimes it can even lead to absurd subconscious rationalizations that result in failure anyway. “Of course I don’t want to watch porn! But I do want to visit this one website, which normally leads to watching porn. But it won’t lead to watching porn this time, because I don’t want to watch porn anyway!” By pretending that we’re “over” temptation when we’re practically drowning in it, we open ourselves up to being tricked and lured into an ambush.

An entirely different attitude is needed for these situations. I call that attitude “denied gratification.”

You’re already familiar with the idea of delayed gratification. In a way, that’s what we do when we convince ourselves we don’t want to watch porn. “Yeah, I would enjoy giving in to this temptation right now, but I’m going to enjoy my porn-free future even more. No thanks.”

Denied gratification is much different. It wastes no time trying to change or refocus your desires. Instead, it simply breaks the connection between your appetite and your actions. It says, “I admit I really want to watch porn. But it doesn’t matter. I’m going to deliberately do the opposite of what I want to do right now.”

Choosing denied gratification is embracing and enduring the feeling of hunger, instead of indulging in a slice of poisoned cake. It’s tying up your selfish desires in the trunk and giving the driver’s seat to something greater. It removes “what do I want?” from the discussion, so you can focus on “what’s the right thing to do?”

This means you throw out everything else. And I do mean everything. When I use denied gratification, I even refuse to think about any of the benefits of staying off porn. Why? Because that only shifts the focus back to what I want.

This isn’t simply about ignoring the temptation, or feeling really, really, REALLY determined. It’s about getting your “self” out of the way completely, so you can focus on what you need to do.

It’s about taking a moment to liberate yourself from your own desires.

Most people tend to assume that freedom means doing whatever you want to do. In reality, there is very real risk of becoming a miserable slave to your own wants. To be truly free, you must be able to cast aside your momentary desires whenever they get in the way of your wellbeing, your goals, or your purpose.

True freedom includes freedom from being ruled by your own appetites. It’s the freedom to pursue what really matters.

-Ezekiel

 

Over the past few years, I’ve been involved in a number of different discussions and communities focused on the subject of quitting pornography. One of the most common themes I’ve found is a sense of hopelessness after repeated failures. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen messages like:

“I can’t do this.”

“I’m out of control.”

“I’m too far gone.”

From an emotional standpoint, it sucks to be in this kind of mood. Hopelessness is one of the most negative states of mind one can experience. But it’s consequences extend far beyond how you feel.

On one hand, it’s good when someone takes this fight seriously enough to become emotionally invested in the outcome. Disappointment, sadness, and—in my opinion—even anger, are sometimes appropriate as immediate, short-term responses to a lost battle. But hopelessness is not.

Hopelessness is in an entirely different category. Hopelessness doesn’t just make you feel bad; it disarms you. More than any other feeling, it destroys the will to get back up and keep fighting.

To be absolutely clear: hopelessness is not merely undesirable. It is your mortal enemy. It is one the most dangerous mindframes you can possibly fall into. One of the necessary ingredients for success in this battle is the kind of indomitable will that keeps you fighting no matter what. The drive to get up and go again when you’re at your wits’ end and victory seems almost unimaginable.

Your enemy is relentless. You must be more so.

And therefore you must completely reject feelings of hopelessness whenever they try to creep up.

Buick 3300 Engine Rebuild In Progress
The “hopeless” engine in my car, as of November 2014. I refused to give up on it, and now it’s my daily driver.

I had a series of relapses during 2017, after my nearly-two-year clean streak (during which I thought I had finally quit porn for good). This was enormously discouraging. These battles were vastly different than the ones I was used to, and I was having very little success in getting back on track.

I had no idea how I was going to win. Hopelessness began its grumbling.

At this point I had a choice. I could choose to hear out the arguments put forth by Hopelessness. I could settle for doing the best I knew how while ignoring the rest, consoling myself with the idea that there was nothing I could do to win completely. After all, I had tried everything I knew. And besides, I was still doing better than most people, right?

That would be a reasonable, level-headed choice.

But it would also be a loser’s choice. Fortunately, there is an alternative.

Hopelessness has an arch-rival named stubbornness. Or bull-headedness. Or steadfastness. Whatever you want to call it.

Previously in one of my YouTube videos, I had talked about using stubbornness as an attitude for resisting individual temptations. Now I used it in a different context. I stubbornly refused to accept hopelessness. I decided that no matter what, I would win. I still didn’t know how I was going to do it. But I refused to even entertain the idea that I would not emerge victorious. I chose this mindset and stuck with it from then on.

I failed many times after that. Sometimes I became discouraged again and Hopelessness would try to stick its foot in the door, but I continued to reject it. All the while, I kept on analyzing the battles, adjusting my strategy, and growing in my mindset and discipline.

And sure enough, I eventually got completely back on track.

That stubborn, indomitable fighting spirit is crucial to victory. There is no chance in hell that I would have won if I had listened to Hopelessness.

And there is no chance in hell that you will win either, unless you completely kick hopelessness out of your mind, and determine that you will keep learning, growing, and fighting until you are victorious.

Go get it.

-Ezekiel

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
– James 1:2-4 (ESV)