Ben Does Life., Compulsion vs. Commitment.

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There’s a messageboard where people come together to talk about the bloggers they read. A lot of the messages are snarky and sometimes the things they write can sting (or downright hurt), but sometimes the stuff they say can strike a chord in a productive, self-reflective way. 

A user today was talking about me and said something that made me stop:

 “he doesn’t know the difference between commitment and compulsion.”

It made me stop because it’s something I’ve known about myself since I was 10 or 11 years old. I don’t do moderation. I don’t do halfway. 

For decades I’ve known only all or nothing. Two speeds: 100 or zero. It’s a fair assessment, to be sure, and brings up a point that bears remembering. The whole moderation thing. 

It’s something I’ve really focused on in the last year. Slowing down. Zooming out. Focusing on life in the macro scale rather than close up. When I think of my life it’s always in eras that have very dark, distinct borders sectioned off from the rest of the eras. The video game years, the gambling years, the golf years, the Do Life years. 

In some ways I respect and admire the way of life. I thrive when I’m all in 100%. I get no greater satisfaction than going hard at something and becoming good, if not great, at it. Climbing the leaderboards. But I’m self-aware enough to realize that it’s not an altogether wholesome way to go through life.

Me and my Diablo team hitting #1 in North America after three months of 12-18 hour days. As embarrassing as it is, this is one of my proudest achievements. 

I’ve spent a good part of the last six months figuring out ways to live a balanced life. I eat healthy, but I don’t compulsively count every calorie. I run but not 100 miles per week. I golf just occasionally, not 40 times a month. I’m 29 and still learning, which excites me. 

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Aww, shucks, y’all are making me blush. 

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