There’s a reason why I grew a multi-million dollar company through content marketing. I’m good at content because I’ve consumed a ton of content in my life—starting out as a child where I spent all day every day in front of a TV.
I was basically raised by a TV. From the moment I came back to school to the time I went to bed, I was in front of the TV. And while I barely watch TV anymore—I’ve simply replaced the TV with other forms of media consumption. Podcasts, YouTube, Netflix, etc etc.
In this episode, I talk about my addiction to consuming content and using it to distract myself from thoughts and feelings I want to avoid. It’s a conversation I’ve had in the first half of December 2020, and at that time, I had for the first time in my life not mindlessly consumed any content for 30 days straight.
202012090000 – 30 Days No Mindless Content Consumpion Milestone FINAL
[00:00:00] Do you know how many times I asked myself, what would it take to set a 30 day challenge for myself to not consume any content for 30 days? Just go on a content fast it’s going on content fast. It’s like 30 days. No podcasts, no YouTube, no Netflix, no shows, no documentaries.
Nothing, no blog posts, nothing. I can read a book, nothing else. And every time there’s probably a thousand times where I’ve asked myself this question, I’ve written it down as like, this would be good for you. And every time I looked at this challenge there was a part of me that was. Almost chuckling ed, this cannot be taken seriously at this moment.
This is not a challenge that I’m up to, at all, I have nothing, the willpower to even attempt as seriously, funny enough, like this, this was my thing where I was like, this is not even a real thing. Like I I’m thinking it may be one day, but right now there’s no chance I [00:01:00] would do this.
There’s no way I would do this. And now I’ve done it without setting a challenge. Like I didn’t set a challenge. I just said, I want to spend time with myself. And as I started spending more time with myself, I realized I have zero desire to consume any of this shit. I just don’t. I want to read books.
I want to listen to music. I want to go on walks. They want to meditate. These are things I have desires for, but at no point, and this is crazy. There’s no point doing these 30 days was I like today, just watch one video or something. Like we had an urge. I had a more difficult time. I have more difficult time with sugar.
I don’t eat a lot of sugar. I’m like I gotten back to eating healthy. because the fucking first to the last month in Germany, like October in Germany, the first two weeks in Austin, I was eating like a black pizza almost every day, like eating like a pig. And I was like, all right, I want to eat clean again.
And glass would be this I’ve eaten predict pretty clean, but I would say once [00:02:00] a week, I had a weak moment where. When sugar was readily available, like in a hotel room where there’s a minibar, I was like, fuck it right now. I feel like a Kit-Kat I’ll have one shut the fuck up. Right. So I had moments of the, an urge.
I want sugar in my life, and I am surprised that I did not have a single urge of thinking, Oh, let me listen to a podcast on this walk. I don’t even like on my walks. I don’t even want to listen to music. When I walk, I want to listen to nothing. Sleeving headphones, phone, everything. You know what I carry with me.
Okay. I give you just one guest guests, an item that you will have never seen on me that I’m carrying with me on my walks, an item I’ve never seen on, you know, let’s see me. Hold never see me. Have an item like this could not imagine me valuing this type of item in my life. Oh, I don’t know. A stone, a stone, a stone.
Okay. [00:03:00] what’s the story of the stone? I don’t know. I, you know, it’s a, I mean, it’s an amazing stone. I have to say, it’s a beautiful piece of art and it’s my stone. I stole it from hotel room, but it was just like the kind of like nice looking big, chunky, heavy stone that you would find in a high class design suite hotel on top of like a really cool design book.
And it was just for decoration, I guess. I don’t know. And when I picked it up, I was like, wow, I can’t believe how good this feels. This don’t feel as amazing in my hand. And then I was like, when I go on my walk today, I will take the stone with me. Just to have something to feel something in my poem while I walk.
I don’t know why, just because I don’t know. I just feel like it, and on my walk, I was like, well, stone, I’m stealing you your mind. Like, I’m not going to, I’m [00:04:00] taking this with me. I don’t care. this just feels great. And. Now I go on these walks and I just walk with this. I don’t know, just walk with the stone.
It just feels good to have that stone in my hand. And I switch it from times at, sometimes I play with it. Like I’m turning it around as I walk. It’s kind of a, it has a nice feel, really nice feel. And it puts me in this state of mind of like, feeling. Sort of a physical reminder, this stone, I cannot read stories on it.
Doesn’t play audio. I cannot write a message. I cannot be reached via this stone. Right. There’s nothing I can do with this, but it does feel good. It just, it’s all purpose. As far as I can tell and determined is that it feels good in my hand. Nice. And that’s it. And so I go on these walks with my fucking stone stone stones.
I don’t know. I was thinking when I, when I do my next feature about probably [00:05:00] gonna like, have a moment where I look at it, I’m just getting lost on this stone. Maybe a walk on it is it’s a plant or something, but I’ve not, I’ve been sober as far as I know, I’ve been very sober walking around with this stone.
and. At no point, have I yearn for consuming content? especially like video audio that will passive consumption of content or, you know how significant this is for me, like, think about this I’m 38 years old and I’ve never had. The only weeks where I had like no consumption of content or very little were weeks where I literally was on a boat on the ocean sailing.
It was just not opportune to like watch anything. But beyond that in 30 days, I’ve never had a month like this never, ever in my life. It’s crazy. I’ve asked myself like my waste of like escaping my. State and how I really feel. And what’s really going on is the, the television, [00:06:00] right? It’s like consume passive consumption of content and why?
Because that’s how I grew up. The television was never off in our house, in our apartment. Never. Literally I would come home from school at 1:00 PM and for 1:00 PM till 10:00 PM, when I had to go to sleep. Television was always on always I was raised by the television. And so I realized that. Okay. So just what makes a great case for raising your kids on TV?
Yeah, I mean, I, I, it worked out better than you would think. but maybe not as good as I thought. or people have suspected, but there is a, there is, that’s a very deep conditioning felt like it, it was a very, like the I’m not comfortable. My next thought is watch something or I’m tired. Watch something while I don’t know what I want right now, watch something like, it was like the go-to in my mind, very deeply [00:07:00] conditioned to.
That’s when I was thinking let’s do it fast. I was like, yeah, but not now. Like, I don’t know how to like 30 days, this is not realistic. Like, I don’t know. I don’t have the willpower. This is not important enough to me to do right now. Like I don’t. and now I don’t, I mean, I don’t know, it’s going to be interesting to see how this is going to continue.
how long into it now? Has it been a month? It’s been a month. It’s been four weeks for sure. Yeah. You know, the first two weeks when I arrived in the back of the, and I wasn’t asked, I told you that I was in this intense state of inner turmoil and tension, and it was consuming the zillion hours of documentaries about world war two or whatever the fuck I was watching.
And I knew I had to face something, but it was not ready, but it was like on timeout. That was the, that was kind of like going a very bad direction with consumption of content. And eventually I don’t even know what it happened. Eventually it just snapped. And I was like, all right, motherfucker.
You know what you have to do. You’re in a [00:08:00] silent room now, face yourself. Yep. Now let’s feel, how do we feel right now? What the fuck is going? What, what are we thinking? What is going on let’s let’s face it, can’t run away from it forever. It’s go. And that led to kind of a nice day. And then I was like, Oh, I’m going to read tonight.
and then it was sort of, it just kind of happened. Like every, my goal, I didn’t set out to not watch any YouTube money consuming content anymore podcasts or something. I didn’t set the goal to do it for 30 days or nothing. My only goal was. Now I’m going to spend time in presence with myself and see, what do I feel?
Who am I right now? What do I want right now? What is going on with me? And as I was doing that, I just never thought, you know, what I really want right now is to watch a documentary on YouTube or to listen to a podcast. I’ve just never thought that I’ve just. Thought, Oh, I want to just chill or meditate or go on a walk or [00:09:00] read my book and it kind of just happened.
Yeah, that’s kinda, this is interesting. Sometimes humans have, but this is, The one windmill. If you had asked me what I go viral, this is it. This is, I don’t have vices. I’m not even sure. Like the amount of bad food that I consume over 12 months. It’s like nothing. I eat very healthy. Usually I, It’s that it’s like when I’m in a bad mood, I would just always default to passive consumption of content mindless.
And it never like very rarely has that brought me joy or really enriched my life. It’s always, there has been moments. There’s been a movie here, a documentary there, but if I would put a percentage on it, Yeah. In like a percent, 2%. Yeah. Most of it is just drowning out unpleasant. That’s it? That’s all. It’s like, I don’t want to feel right.
I don’t want to feel my feeling right now and I don’t want to hear [00:10:00] my thoughts. So this is going to drive it up. And it doesn’t feel good. It’s just like a zombie, like Putting that discomfort in the background by increasing the noise in front of me, I like drowning it out. but it, it hasn’t really like made my life rich.
And it’s also the one thing I always assumed would have been the most surprising to people. when, you know, Me publicly. You would not imagine me, me having this vice because it’s a very, like, I am a very practice action oriented guy. This is a very passive couch, potato submitting, wanting to become a zombie kind of an activity.
It’s not like a go getter. It is the one thing that doesn’t fit at all into my life. It doesn’t fit into anything else I do. And it’s the one thing that’s, it’s also the one thing that I did as a child and growing up that I know was shit that I maintained my entire life. [00:11:00] It’s the only thing I killed.
It killed all my dragons, all my bad habits. I’ve grown to being a completely other human beings. Right. And. Live a pretty disciplined life, pretty productive life. except for this one thing, an important thing though, and because I never, I never talked about it. It’s an, it’s not some sort of like if it was heroin, it would have been a topic.
It would, people would have intervened. Like it would have been, I could not have maintained like a 30 year old addiction to heroin and everybody around me is okay with it. Right. But. Because it’s this it’s never been a thing nobody ever had to intervene. I’m such a, I’m a totally functional human being. I wouldn’t even say it’s an addiction because it wasn’t, it wasn’t addicted to it.
Maybe not. Maybe it’s an a, I dunno, it’s a coping mechanism. It’s an unhelpful, unhealthy coping mechanism. But it is a coping because that doesn’t fit [00:12:00] anything else. My life philosophy, how I make all these other decisions will kind of alive, have built everything I teach and stand for as a person.
That is the one thing that it could point with. It’s like it doesn’t fit at all. There’s a completely different human that’s doing this, but I could not let go of it. I’m wondering if it’d be, it’d be really cool if it’s now gone. That’d be surprising. Not that I will never watch a podcast. I’ll never watch a movie or something, but not, but like I’m watching a movie once a week.
I listened to a podcast once every other week, not every day, like every day I consume hours of content, or every night to relax or whatever. that would be amazing that funnily enough, as I say it, If you tell me, are you going to watch it see today? I’m like, no fuck though. Tomorrow probably not.
And have I have full confidence. Will I consume any content this week? Probably not like are broken already. Probably not. I’m not sure, but I don’t think so, but when I just thought, what if this is now? I never do this again. It’s like, in my past there was a little bit of a. I [00:13:00] feeling that popped up, that was nervous.
Part of it was like, that’s a big statement. What if I revert back to old behavior? I’m surely will have bad times. Maybe then I will use the coping mechanism again. There was like this doubt, nervousness, like this is, it felt like it’s a big statement. Which is funny because it’s such a nothingness, but you have nothing sauce.
It’s nothing. Right. I decided this is the, and I like my, I like the last 30 days much more than I did the third one. Just prior to that. Much more. Yeah. So why can’t I just save, this is now that I’ve now let this, this is not part of my past. I will never revisit this again. I mean, I am saying it, but it’s interesting to me that there’s a part of me that is has a, like a fear reaction that, Ooh, that’s a big fucking statement.
Maybe we should not, maybe we should just like, shut the fuck up and see what happens, you know? Um, I don’t know. Cuba. Let, let, let’s see. Let’s see. Honestly don’t know why I [00:14:00] would revisit this. I think I’m done with it.
One day. There’s going to be like podcast anonymous. Like I was good for 11 months and then I. I thought, Oh, let’s check out what your role has been up to spend the last 36 hours.
You know, the, the thing, the thing with this is that, I mean, this is such obvious obvious sauce. Um, but the funny thing is that this stuff is not that addictive. It’s only when you’re running away from things where these things, they fit nicely into what you’re looking for, which is distraction. They’re very, very distractive, but when you’re.
Present with yourself, somewhat in touch. You know, you feel you’re a certain calmness, you’re a certain presence yet. A good present day. There’s no nervousness. And you, there’s no feeling of loneliness, of fear, [00:15:00] of anger. There’s no feeling you’re trying to run away from that. Nothing that you’re like unsure of, Oh, I should do these three things, but I don’t really feel like doing them.
What should I do right now when you’re not, when you don’t have these kinds of emotions, then like you could watch something and go like, I actually, I thought about watching a scifi movie once. And I was like, you know, blade runner is this thing. Everybody loves, it’s a classic, I’ve never watched blade runner.
And I was like, maybe I should watch blade runner tonight. Let’s try. And it played for. Two minutes as the movie was starting, I was like, Nope, I just slows it. I’m like, I actually don’t feel like it at all. Like, it sounded like a cool idea for a moment. But now that I have like, no, I really don’t want to watch a movie right now.
I just don’t feel like it. And I wouldn’t have felt like a failure watching a scifi movie. Like that could be nice. It’s also different, you know, the thing with like books. And movies that’s different [00:16:00] from TV shows or podcasts or anything that is there’s ways that it doesn’t have a beginning and an end.
So it lends itself to mindlessly go for one to the next, to the next, to the next, to the next to the next, I can start with one YouTube video and spent the next. 30 days watching YouTube right easily. It’s not that easy to watch a three hour movie and then instantly know the next three hour movie. And then instant that’s much harder work.
Actually you have to work a lot harder to make that work, right. Uh, or a book like you finish a book and it’s not even an audio book. It’s a very different experience than a podcasting episode.
I think it’s because they, the, those are like, those things are designed with a start middle and end, versus these other things. That design is a never ending series of. New content. Like, it’s [00:17:00] just a very different thing. Um, but anyways, like I think that when we are, same thing is true for food, right?
I mean, even with the Kit-Kat that I ate, I didn’t finish it, which for me is unheard of when I rarely eat sugar. But when I eat, I eat fast. All I destroyed. Hmm. I never start in. Don’t finish. And I ate one of the four pieces and I was like, huh, this is not as nice as I thought it would be. I’m not feeling like this.
I put it to the side again. This is, to me. These are signs of,
yes. Okay. I didn’t want to say it, but now that you agree to it, I will say these are early signs of enlightenment,
. uh, 30 days, 30 days clean. [00:18:00]
Podcast addicts anonymous PA know the name of our podcast. It could be, podcast anonymous. I still love love. Joe button’s first pass gassing name, which was, I will name this podcast later. So love it still to me, this is still great. I dunno why I just love it. I hate that they changed it eventually.