published on in an advent of extreme ownership

An Advent of Extreme Ownership - Dopamine Fasting

Losing track is a bad feeling. It’s like watching a train crash in slow motion. I sit as a passive observer to my own life, helpless as the wheels of progress slowly peel off the tracks of discipline and the body of the train endears itself to the ground, thrashing into oblivion, barreling off the proper path in a magnificent twirling motion, throwing those within through the air like the pulp in freshly pressed, pulp-filled orange juice shaken to properly distribute the contents. Life flashes by at 1 frame per second and the slug inside me wins out - he stops me from pressing the stop button, and keeps me in the shit-filled swamp of laziness.

How has this inner slug gained power? How can he so monopolize my life? Should it not be an easy task to win over him (or win him over), such that my higher self regains governing power? Who has hijacked the parliamentary elections my multiple incarnations hold to choose their ruler? It feels like some external power has come and robbed me of sovereignty, has imposed foreign rule, and made me an observing member of my own congress, has disbarred me from my own supreme court. What is this external power? Who controls it? Why am I subservient to it, and how have I invited it it?

I suppose there are many names to give it - culture, society, religion, media, government, propaganda - the concepts that stand behind these names are all just modes of control. Those modes of control are all made up of people devoted to the furtherment of their cause, people blinded by naive trust, who have been fooled into putting their faith into something other than themselves and pursuit of their highest form (what might be called God. In order to save the world, we’ve got to start by actualizing ourselves, and spurring thousands of others to do the same.

The question now is how. How can one shield oneself from bad external influences and regain sovereignty? I’ve been doing some research, and I think dopamine fasting may be an option. The concept of dopamine fasting has really intrigued me lately, and it’s something I’d like to practice and document before the advent is over (and before I forget to do it).

Before I talk any more about this, I should note that it’s mostly agreed upon that “dopamine fasting” isn’t really a thing. A more accurate term would be “stimulation fasting”. However, the benefits are real.

What intrigues me about this concept, more than the “taking time off” aspect of it, is the chance such abstention offers for better metering the inputs to my life. I think it’s true that we are composed of, to a great extent, what we consume. To stop consumption for some time, on a regular basis, is a kind of elimination diet. The hope is that abstaining from the consumption of any kind of information, and then slowly reintroducing the kinds of information that I believe to be most beneficial, will allow me to pinpoint what information is best for me.

I have the answers to this puzzle already, I’m sure. Books are better than mindless news articles, beautiful music is better than the brainless pop in the top 40, conversing with friends and family is better than spending time on social media, and so on. That said, it’s hard for me to simply replace my braindead behaviors with good ones, piece by piece. To be successful at something, I’ve learned I need to be radical. What could be more radical t