You can achieve growth through discomfort. Recently, I decided to test this theory by conducting three stoic experiments; no television, no YouTube, no takeaway food for a month. The objective of these tests wasn’t to focus on what I was giving up but on how I may grow as a person. How will my life be different by letting go of these things? Will it be better or worse? The result: life got better.

No Television

I couldn’t escape the small screen while visiting family and friends, but I kept it switched off while at home. No television enabled me to focus on two things I value; my health and my writing. I was more engaged at the gym as there was no pressure to rush home to watch the box. I also spent more time during the week writing which is something I only did on weekends. I have now said goodbye to the television as I see the benefits of living without it.

No YouTube

I was not as victorious with YouTube as I was with television. This defeat was due to me having to watch YouTube for an online writing course I am doing. Secondly, I did watch the odd video while scrolling through Facebook (not sure if this counts). Despite this hurdle, I did reduce my time on YouTube, and like television, this enabled me to focus on my health and my writing.

Unlike television, I have not ended my relationship with YouTube as I see entertainment and personal benefits of it. However, I am aware that this bond can have challenges as YouTube can distract me from my health and my writing. To overcome this, I have now set limits on the amount of time I spend on YouTube. This agreement will ensure a healthier relationship with YouTube and keep me focused on my values.

No Takeaway Food

Despite my desire for hot chips, I bet the temptation and didn’t have takeaway food. I enjoyed cooking meals and trying new restaurants. The best part is I lost about 2 kilograms. I now reduce the amount of takeaway food I eat which is helping me to maintain my weight.

While the results weren’t 100% perfect, completing these experiments enabled me to review the role television, YouTube, and takeaway food played in my life. In doing so, I eliminated the stuff that wasn’t adding value (television) and set suitable limits on things I enjoy (YouTube and takeaway food). Through making these adjustments, I am now more focused on living my life in line with my values. I now encourage you to complete a stoic experiment to see how your life may change.

Updated 22 December 2017