I wrote this one a few years ago, but I really want to return to this world for a short story… The Souls of Trees The buyers stared at the last of the acorns enclosed in the pen. Rising from each was a wispy, humanoid figure veiled in green light. They flickered as they danced […]
Woordsnoer: van reënbuie, paddas, bygelowe en rituele. Ek het vanoggend weer douvoordag ontwaak met ’n klomp snaterende wildeganse op die grasdak reg bo my bed. In die lig van die maan wat bleek glim uit eteriese hoogte, het hulle gelyk soos ’n wafferse impi wat ’n oorlogsdans uitvoer in hulle oproerige aandrang op hulle ontbyt…
With entertainment and distractions literally at our fingertips, we are spending more and more time on social media, watching Netflix and playing video games. Whenever we feel bored for a minute, we grab our smartphone and distract ourselves. Or what about grabbing a nice sugary or high-fat snack in order to fill the gap of boredom?
The question is, why do we do these kinds of things even though we know it isn’t good for us? The answer can be found in your brain.
Want Some Dopamine, Bro?
You see, every time you scroll through Instagram, watch something on YouTube or Netflix, receive likes on your Facebook post, play some Call of Duty, masturbate to porn or take a bite of a nice juicy hamburger, your brain produces a strong hit of the neurochemical dopamine. Essentially, your brain is addicted to dopamine and it feels really good whenever dopamine is produced. Therefore, your brain will try to stimulate the repetition of the behaviour that produced the dopamine in the first place. And that’s where things go wrong for us nowadays.
In other words, you scroll through Instagram once and your brain produces dopamine. Before you know it, your brain is signalling you to go back to Instagram because it knows it will get a new hit of dopamine again. All of a sudden you find yourself fighting an uphill battle against your brain — and that’s not an easy fight.
The problem is that a lot of the things that we consider normal in our daily life are not normal at all. It’s normal simply because we have developed a mild (and sometimes strong) addiction for some things on a large, global scale.
Yet, these things are usually the obstacles that prevent you from focusing on your main goals in life. They distract you from doing deep work, your mind is being occupied so that you don’t have to think about what’s wrong in your life, and you are being pushed towards procrastinative behaviour instead of sitting down and doing the work you need to do. All in all, it can have a huge impact on the way you think and behave. And that’s why I decided to do a 24-Hour dopamine fast.
Note: Dopamine is not per se something bad. It’s a very complex neurochemical that is also responsible for motivation, our attention and our decision making. So dopamine isn’t the bad guy here.. It’s the fact that certain man-made pleasures abuse dopamine in unnatural ways that is the real problem here.
The Rules of The Dopamine Fast
For 24 hours, I had to follow these strict rules:
- No electronics (no phone, Netflix, laptop or video games etc.)
- No reading of books or magazines
- No sex or masturbation
- No food
- No talking
- No music or podcasts
- No coffee or other stimulants
The only things I practically could do were:
- Write (with pen and paper)
- Go for walks
- Do deep thinking
- Drink water
It may seem crazy to follow these strict rules, and I have to admit that I kinda felt like a monk doing this dopamine fast. However, keep in mind that it’s only 24 hours of your entire life. If you can’t follow these rules for 24 hours, you know you have a serious addiction to dopamine and all the other stimulants of daily life. Even though this is our standard nowadays, it’s unhealthy.
Why Did I Do This?
We are overstimulated with impulses from every direction and overloaded with information everywhere we go. The benchmark of what is fun and entertaining keeps shifting upwards, as we’re quickly getting bored by the things that don’t stimulate us enough anymore. Our ability to focus and pay attention is decreasing faster and faster. Heck, most of us can’t even sit still and read a book for 30 minutes in a row without feeling the need to check social media or do something that gives us more dopamine hits. This is a real, real issue.
So many people in my environment talk about how overwhelmed, stressed or stuck they are in life. But then what do they do? They numb their mind by watching another episode of Narcos or Game of Thrones. They don’t give their mind the necessary space, time and stimulant-free environment to come up with insights and solutions for their problems. They continue to drown in a sea of information, entertainment and distractions, while their real problems remain unresolved. And I’m not even blaming them (only a little bit), because most of the modern-day distractions are designed in a way to keep us all addicted (read the book ‘Hooked’ by Nir Eyal for example).
That’s why I decided to do this dopamine fast. I wanted to see what it would be like if I pressed the mental ‘reset button’ and be without external stimuli for a full day. I wanted to see what my mind would do.
Would I go crazy? Would I come up with valuable new insights? Would I be bored? Would I get my next breakthrough? That’s what I wanted to find out.
Here’s What Happened…
My 24-hour dopamine fast, which is now two days ago, was a truly fascinating experience. And to be honest, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. In fact, I gained so many valuable benefits from it that I’ll likely do this dopamine fast every six months or so.
My Mind Was Silent, Yet Highly Focused
Never in my entire life did I have a day in which my mind was so incredibly still and focused. It was truly amazing to witness and it made me realize how our mind and thoughts are essentially being polluted by all the external stimuli that hit us throughout the day.
Especially during my two meditation session of that day, I could notice how calm my mind was. Normally when I’m meditating, it can take some time for my mind to calm down. Sometimes it simply jumps from thought to thought and it can’t seem to be quiet for the entire session.
This time it was different…
From the second I started my meditation, my mind was completely silent. The only thought that would pop up every 10–15 seconds was ‘Damn, is it really this silent right now??’.
Yet, at the same time, my mind was incredibly focused. During the day, I could direct my thoughts very consciously towards one topic that I wanted to do deep thinking for: my business. Normally when I want to do deep thinking, I can have trouble keeping my mind focused on the topic or problem at hand. This time, however, it was a breeze. It was like I finally had my full mental resources available to think about this one topic, and that led to some great new insights…
I Gained Valuable New Insights About My Business
Before starting my dopamine fast, I set the intention to use this day as a moment to think critically about my business. What was I doing well? What are the best next steps? What changes should I be making soon? That kind of stuff.
And finally, because my mind wasn’t busy with processing the past 16 Instagram posts or the latest funny cat video, I could use all of its power and direct it towards thinking deeply about my business. Throughout the day, ideas would pop up, new insights emerged and I was able to gain full clarity on what I was doing well and what my next steps should be.
It felt like my brain was operating in a higher gear. Almost as if I could use more of my brainpower than I normally could (just like in the movie Limitless). Of course, this is because my brain’s working memory had fewer data to process because of the limited amount of inputs it has been getting throughout my dopamine fast. Therefore, more was available for keeping my focus on thinking deeply about one topic.
My Thoughts Finally Felt Like My Own
On those days where I’m very busy or where I simply flood myself with Netflix, video games and social media, my mind can get very busy. It feels like I have no control over my thoughts anymore. On those days, it’s not uncommon for me to experience stressful, negative and (lots of) random thoughts.
But during my dopamine fast, this was different. It finally felt like my thoughts were my own. There were fewer sources that could condition my thinking, and therefore my thoughts felt more in control, calmer and more authentic. And that’s a pretty good feeling to have 🙂
My Brain Craved The Dopamine Hit of Sugar & Fat (Yet, I Wasn’t Hungry)
Beforehand, I thought that not eating for 24 hours was going to be the hardest part of this entire challenge — but I was completely wrong. In fact, I hardly experienced the feeling of being hungry. Only about 5–6 times I experienced a wave of 30 seconds in which I experienced the feeling of hunger.
What was interesting to note, however, was that my brain craved the taste (and probably the dopamine hits) of food — especially sugary snacks and high transfat foods like hamburgers and pizza.
Even though I normally eat relatively healthy, I could clearly notice the difference in how my body didn’t need to process any food during my dopamine fast. Throughout the day, I had consistent levels of energy and my body felt very light. There was no crash in energy and no sluggish feeling, which does happen every now and then on my ‘normal’ days.
I Realized We Are Wasting So Much Time
One of the insights I got during my dopamine fast was that we are wasting so much time. Nearly all of us. No matter how good we already think we’re doing. This is what I wrote in my journal during my dopamine fast:
“We have so much time in a day to do amazing things and make real progress. If only we didn’t numb, distract and choke ourselves by the weapons of mass distractions. We are addicted to fake pleasures that take our focus away from the things we really desire.”
All the time we waste away on social media, watching Netflix or playing video games is insane. And don’t get me wrong here, I definitely think there is a time and place for doing these type of activities — but not for hours and hours a day. Try to trade in one hour of entertainment for one hour of reading, following courses, creating new things or simply reflecting on your life and goals. Start with just one hour per day. That alone has the power to massively change your life over the course of a year.
Now Do It Yourself
As I’ve written in my journal during my dopamine fast:
“What this dopamine fast does is give you the necessary space to reflect, plan, strategize and think deeply. It creates clarity and should be done by anyone who is unhappy, overwhelmed, stressed or stuck in life. Heck, it should be done by anyone just to see what comes up! This day will shine a light on your next steps and the things that are off in your life”.
This is the exact reason why I’d recommend the 24-hour dopamine fast to anyone. Feel free to adjust some of the rules if they intimidate you. Maybe trade the ‘no eating’ rule for ‘eating strictly organic foods’ to make it more accessible for you. Nevertheless, I highly encourage you to try it for yourself and see what you come up with.
Let me know in the comments if you plan on doing a dopamine fast yourself (and if you already did, let me know how it went!).
To Your Personal Growth,
Founder Personal Growth Lab
This is my gospel, my good news. It is not story of the permanent triumph of life over death, but of the eternal interconnectedness of life and death, of joy and defeat, of loss and fulfillment. This is the gospel of compost.
I am so proud of my little heap of compost that this really hit home for me. Don’t let the pagan thing put you off, everyone can apply this.
Wow! It’s been a while since I’ve put any effort into any of my build but this is just insanely good. Most of what you see in these pictures is not the standard sim kit you’ll find in game. This was time consuming work folks. It doesn’t matter if you understand what’s going on here or never even played the sims, just go drop a like at the bottom of her post just for the effort she put into this.
Well done Madam!
And we have a winner of our casting call! The sim was kindly donated by Suretha (SSSue1106). Please welcome Marley Grimmes – a geeky bookstore clerk, blogger, cosplayer and The Walking Dead fan. She might be a little on the shy side, but her wits are unmatched. Will she survive? Name: Marley Grimmes Traits: Neurotic, […]
I am such a proud geeky mommy right now!!! My dear Marley made it. Now let’s hope the girl can survive this doomsday countdown. Marley is a sims made sim meaning her father and mother are both sims and I had no hand in her look. Pure sim genetics. Oddly enough, Marley was born while I was doing the zombie apocalypse challenge and when it was over, I liked her look so much that I saved her. So I’d like to think her start in life will give her some advantage.
It’s ridiculous how invested one can become. It’s like writing. You create characters and a story and then it all just flows. I’ve always wanted someone to use one of my creations in their own story so this is a big whoopwhoop!! for me.
Thank you Mia!!
It’s a lovely day for fishing and bathing in the sun. The is nothing like a vacation on a cruise ship to get a sim’s blood pumping or muscles relaxed. One sim is having the time of his life when he spots a cute sim reading a book. She glances up and smiles at him but before he can make his move, the ship is engulfed in a mysterious fog. The wind starts to howl and whip the waves into mountainous swell that crash over the boat. In the distance a giant rises from the sea, fire bursting into red molten liquid and suddenly it all goes dark…
Two sims survive and find themselves on a small island in the shadow of a large volcano. There are abandoned buildings and no other sims. What might have been a flourishing community at one point, seems to have disappeared and all that is left is a single sign that reads:
“Do not displease The Player or you will swim in the red pool.”
Then, one night, the two survivors hear strange shrieks from the jungle. At first, the two survivors can’t make heads or tails of what’s going on but then, figures shuffle out of the darkness and the survivors suddenly realize what happened to all the sims on the island…they want braaaaaaaaines.
It is said that one day, two Sims will reach the island and build a glorious new community that honours The Player and follows the old ways. With offerings and rituals to appease The Player, sims here live a longer life then most and will be blessed with peace and harmony… or so you hope.
GOAL: Build a community of sims reaching generation 6 or more. The challenge fails if all Sims are dead so keep them alive!
WHAT YOU NEED:
- A pair of dice (6er) If you do not own a pair of dice, check your app/play store on your smartphone
- Mods: MC Command Center, Sim Torments, Extreme Violance, Zombie apocolypse (it’s devastating so be warned) http://www.sacrificialmods.com, Wicked Whims. You can still do this challange without any of the mods, it just makes it more fun if you have it.
- 2 Sims
- One Island Lot
1 Male and 1 Female YA. Dress them in clothing to match the whole castaway theme. Your sims much each have 1 positive traits, 1 neutral trait and 1 negative traits. (See lists below). This is to ensure that your sims are “normal” and not some super survivor Bear Grylls sim. You must have 1 sim with the bro/active trait as only sims with those traits can light the fire and your female sim must have the family oriented trait or she will die in childbirth. This goes for any future female sims. (Explained under Rules)
|Positive: 2||Neutral: 1||Negative: 2|
|Child of the Island||Dance Machine||Gloomy|
|Child of the Ocean||Dog Lover||Glutton|
The Island Lot:
You’ll need to salt your world a bit just to make life easier. Put trees on your open lots. Change the lot trait on your lot to “off the grid”.
Setup and Arrangement of Necessary Start Objects:
- 1 “Anything goes party bush” so your sims can relieve their bladders
- 2 beach towels
- 1 campfire and 1 bbq pit. One is for cooking and one is for looking (the campfire has to burn all night. See below)
Every other usable object has to be crafted during game play. The crafting system will be explained down below. I would advise you to download a few medieval or castaway cc as it really adds to the game.
How To Start:
- Set age span to long
- Turn phone off
- Set to high free will
- Bills are payment to the island gremlins. Do not miss a payment or the gremlins will take your hard earned stuff.
- *** Note: As most EA Sim players are aware, the game will generate other Sims. There is no way to turn these things off, so for the purposes of the game, just ignore them or treat them as a hallucination or figment of your Sims imagination.
As a god, you have mighty powers and have to use them right away from the start.
Use CTRL+SHIFT+C to activate your powers:
- testingcheatsenabled true
If you reload the game, you have to redo this procedure. We don’t want your godly powers to get rusty, do we?
Spells You Can Use If The Dice Tell You Too:
Make Sims Happy:
- SHIFT click on the mailbox and click “make needs static” (remember to go back and turn it off again once all needs are filled)
- Or just use MC Command Centre. Is so much easier.
How To Play:
Your Sims are cut off from civilization completely. No jobs, no luxury items, no electricity! Your Sims are alone on this island now. Stranded. Exhausted. But with hope! You as their godly helper will ensure they make it till the final ritual. The Sims have to work with what they have. Which is not much! But hey, at least the sun is always shining and nature has a lot to give. What your Sims will mainly do is tend crops, fish, work on their skills and craft objects that will make life on the island more comfortable. Crafting is one of the key aspects during this challenge. The Sims can create some furniture pieces or decor. (More about it down below under “crafting.”) Every day the gods will intervene and will change the fate of your Sims. Roll the dices to know what they have in store for them! (More down below.) Make sure to take good care of all of your Sims. You as their god can control them and point them to the right direction. Have fun and good luck!!
The Dice Roll – The Will of the Gods:
Always have your dice on hand,. They are the ying and the yang of this challenge and whatever they say HAS TO BE EXECUTED!
You have to roll the dice every Sim day at 6am. The dice will tell you what The Player has in store for your Sims. You have to execute the will right away. Pause the game/go to build mode and do as The Player says. Don’t miss to roll the dice! If you forget a day, The Player gets angry and they will kill a Sim*! *(Perform will 12 from down below)
What Happens If You Roll…:
- (2) The Player shines it’s light of happiness and fertility on the island. A Female sim becomes pregnant. Every Sim is suddenly feeling better and draws more hope out of this miracle. [make all Sims happy from spells list]
- (3) Wow! What is this thing? What does it do? A new skill object gets washed ashore! You won’t believe what mysterious and odd objects can reach this island..amazing! [every skill object except electronic items is allowed, choose 1]
- (4) 1 of your sims has caught an illness. At the end of the day they must die somehow
- (5) 10 bundles of wood, shells, trash, 2 pack veggies or 2 skill book! (You can go to the store to buy new veggies to plant or eat) Sims rejoice in this bounty. [make all Sims happy from spells list]
- (6) The tide is declining and a new Sim gets washed ashore! Who is this? Where did this Sim come from? Only The Player knows… [If you already have 8 Sims in the household you can ignore this will. We assume the Sim died on its exhausting journey to the island. Place a skeleton if you’d like it to look realistic] or add a pet if you don’t want a sim! You can also move the new sim to another lot and use them later for the gladiator games. (testingcheatsenabled true, click on one of the random sims running around on the island and add them so the new sim is fully random or create one using story mode or download one for the gallery)
- (7) 5 bundles of wood, shells, trash, 1 pack veggies or 1 skill book!
- (8) There’s a food shortage, get rid of 2 plants and all the food in your sims inventory (9 New items washed ashore, go collect them! Buy 2 new items, whatever you want! (10) Tsunami! Get rid of everything thing! Beds, harvestable plants, cooking appliances, pluming, skill objects, everything but your buildings
- (11) Oh wow! This is exactly what we always wanted! Your Sims are so glad The Player has heard their prayers and sent them a new object to the island. [go shopping, go wild, you can choose whatever you like no matter costs in build/buy mode]
- (12) The Player is absolutely furious! Sacrifice a Sim in the volcano to calm him! Preferably a virgin. [Send one sim to the edge of the volcano and kill them using one of the mods] Once the sacrifice is complete, nothing bad can happen for ONE sim WEEK so ignore any dice roll that is bad for one week.
With food shortage or tsunami, you can sacrifice a sim to appease the player and not lose your stuff. For one week nothing bad can happen but you can only offer a sim once a week.
- Fire Rules = Only sims with the brave trait can light the fire for meals/night time. Must be relit during the night. This is to protect family/group from wild animals and provide warmth. Children born later without this trait CAN NOT touch the fire, cannot relight/put it out
-if the fire goes out during the night – you must wake up your bro/active sim and have them relight it.
Family sims must sleep within close proximity of the fire.
2.Only female sims with family oriented trait will survive childbirth. If a female sim without these traits give birth…you must kill her. (Use MC Woohooer or Wicked Whims and make all woohoo risky.)
- If zombies spawn and come in contact with one of your sims, you can fight or run. How to fight: roll the dice, even number means you win and get things like a shirt or new shoes or 2 veggies or a teddy (small things you would find in a backpack). Uneven number means you lose and your sims dies before sunrise. If a sim comes in contact by accident, they die before sunrise.
- No electronics allowed (remember, this is an uncharted island)
Your sim can not change their clothes, buy rugs/curtains (later) blankets for beds (later) WITHOUT acquiring trash.
So beachcombing and cleaning the ocean is very important.
Trash contains things like driftwood, nets and even pieces of material:
1 bag = size of small rugs, small curtains, baby clothes, baby crib blanket (inside crib) etc..
2 bags = medium size (1 small tent) or small furniture like bookcases, small tables ect.
4 bags = large (carpets/blankets for double beds/large rugs/ large tents or 2 small tents etc) 6 blocks of fences.
To make food on the bbq pit, you must have the ingredients like fish or pineapple. Later when you get power and a fridge, you still won’t be able to make just any meal you like.
What this simply means is – you cannot make these meals without having the ingredients, and you can only get the ingredients by “harvesting” them.
And you cannot make skins/leather/fur items (anything soft or necessary to complete an item) before acquiring it via trash. A bed cannot be made without (wood + 1-2 size equivalent trash)
Keep track somewhere each time you harvested your item and how much.
BUILDING RULES: Sims CAN NOT build anything WITHOUT acquiring either the materials AND the skills necessary.
What this means is:
Trees planted – once fully grown your planted trees can be used to either harvest from OR chopped down for materials (wood) One fully grown tree = 1 bundle of firewood. (if you have the bundled wood decorations these are perfect. Delete a tree (or sell it) and give yourself 1 bundle of wood from your deco to help you keep track.
Easy mode: 1 fruit tree = 2 bundles of wood
1 wild tree = 4 bundles of wood or more depending on size (wild trees are trees on other lots)
Since your sims are on the beach, it would make sense that grounding up sea shell and mixing it with sand would make a paste you could build with.
5 sea shells = 1 paste that is the same as 1 bundle of wood.
1 bundle of wood = small sized objects (1 chair/1 building arch/1 baby crib or two blocks of wall etc)
2 bundles = 2 chairs/small table/shelves 2 or more/ etc)
In order to build a worthy sim must level up his fitness. The level of the fitness will determine how much your sims can build in 1 day, and the material they use determines what object your sim will build from. Why fitness and not handiness? You can gain fitness just by swimming around so no objects needed
Examples = Fitness level 2 + 2 bundle of harvested wood = 2 chairs or 1 small wood table, or 1 small baby crib or 2 wood arches
Get the idea? Use your best judgement to determine how much each item would require in order to make the item.
A bed would probably require 2-3 bundles of wood depending on the style/difficultly (is it a double bed? Is it a single or double bed) etc. and at least level 3-4 fitness
You must replant trees in order to chop them down to use for materials. You can cut down (delete) trees on other lots.
Stairs and fences are made of drift wood found in trash (as stated above)
Once your sim (of any generation) reaches fitness or handiness level 10 and you have enough wood and fur, you can created a boat.
How To End:
Generation 2 should start work on a place of worship for The Player. One sim must have max level handiness before building starts. Every Friday is worship day. Sims must bring a offering for The Player. This generation will also construct a jail. When other sims find their way onto your island, you can ignore them or kill them(delete them). Roll the dice, even number means you win and get what is in that sims backpack, uneven and your sims goes to jail. Hygiene means nothing for a criminal so don’t worry about that, just give them a beach towel, a toilet and a guitar. Every morning you should put a few fruits or veggies in their inventory so they can eat when hungry. Other than that, do not interact or control them. The sentence is up to you but you might want to keep them for a offering should you land on dreaded 12. You can also put sims in jail for starting fights. The first thing you should build at the temple is an arena. Every 4th Friday there will be gladiator games. Even roll, no one dies. Uneven roll, one sim dies. This generation does not attend school. Use the cheats below to keep their grades up so social services doesn’t come.
Careers.promote Highschool [Teen]
Careers.promote Gradeschool [Child]
Careers Available: Gardner, Law Enforcement (but you can’t go with your sim), Painter, Scouts, Criminal, Athlete.
Generation 3, one of your sims should max out logic and “restore” electricity and “build a school”. (send kids to school)
Careers Available: Doctor (but you can’t go with your sim), Writer, Tech Guru, Freelance, Conservation.
Generation 4, max level science and charisma before building a town hall and science lab.
Careers Available: Science, Military, Politics, Secret Agent, Business, Vet.
Generation 5, max level painting or writing and cooking before building a theatre and eatery. You can now open a retail store as well and can join your sims at work.
Careers Available: Acting, Entertainment, Culinary.
No social media jobs will be available. Friday worship and gladiator games must continue till the end.
When you have 6 generations of Sims, you can start the ritual! Sims should have finished the place of worship by now. All sims must gather for a great feast, dancing and offerings. Roll the dice one last time. High numbers (7-12) and you activate THE END (whatever way you want to kill ALL sims). Low numbers (1-6) and all sims life happily ever after. Conceive a child that will be the chosen one and continue your happy little cult.
I took bits and pieces from my favoured challenges and made this one. All credit goes to these great simmers. I take no credit for this challenge, I only tweaked what they started.
CHALLENGE by Simproved
SIMS 3 SURVIVAL ISLAND CHALLENGE by starburstcece
Castaway/Island challenge with a diff. twist by Ephy
Sims 3 Castaway Survivor Challenge (Parts One and Two) by freidapearl
My Island/Shipwrecked Challenge by DuckSimmer101