Hey All, Really glad to be joining a budding community of men who are interested in self-improvement. The mission of this forum seems like a great framework to guide men like us. Who I Am Like many of you, I found out about this community through TRP. I’m a 31 year old man living in the East Coast of the US. I make a solid living working in accounting. It’s not the career I want for the rest of my life, but I will go into more depth on that later. I’m married with an infant son, both of whom I value to the highest degree. My immediate family is extremely small, so I have an inclination to treasure family and to grow it. I had a pretty happy childhood. Lots of friends who lived close by, stayed busy with activities, etc. My parents had their issues (mother is insanely passive and refuses to stand up for herself, dad is a closet alcoholic who was a bit neglectful in my young years but not abusive) but overall they raised me well. I don’t blame them for my issues in life. This is my life and the decisions I have made led me to where I am. Both the good and the bad. Starting in middle school, I started to become very reclusive. While I had friends/girlfriends during high school, I began to spend a lot more time by myself. This was also about the time I started smoking pot regularly, and it became my escape. Rather than making an effort to go out and make friends or improve on a skill or hobby, I would simply get high and play video games by myself. This has continued through the past year or so, and is part of the reason I’m finding the need for self-improvement. I never had a problem getting women, but I used to be a habitual “settler.” Most women who I have dated/been intimate with have been those that were openly interested in me, so I took the easy route and went with them rather than pursuing sexier women who I was intimidated by, or didn’t feel good enough to land. This is thankfully not the case with my wife, who I left a mediocre former GF for. Why I Am Here 1. I have had frequent debilitating bouts of depression and anxiety since starting college. These bouts would come and go in phases, but at their worst I would be completely useless. Too anxiety ridden to sleep. Super awkward even around my closest friends. Constant suicidal ideation. I am currently in a really dark place, similar to the months after I graduated college. That was probably the worst period of my life, and I credit getting out of that funk largely to finding a new network of friends as well as finding an SSRI that worked. I thought I was “cured” once the bad feeling abated, but I am not realizing that the anti-depressant was only working as a band-aid, and I have deeper underlying issues that I need to address. Basically, the “ideal” me is far away from the “real” me. 2. I have engaged in many forms of dopamine abuse (weed, porn, video games, Youtube, etc.) as forms of escape from my problems. I need to work on ridding myself of these distractions in order to gain the energy and confidence to pursue my self-improvement goals. 3. Humans are social animals, and my social skills suck. I’m naturally introverted, but that’s no reason I can’t become better socially and increase my status and ability to network. 4. I don’t feel like I’m good at much of anything, and I want to find hobbies/interests that I can practice and improve on. 5. I find my career in accounting boring and unfulfilling. The pay is good, but I have a hard time exceling at something that I am not passionate about. I would like to figure out what I actually like to do, and find a way to tailor my career to follow those interests. The main issues I have with this is that taking a step back financially (which would likely be necessary if I want to start over in another career) would hinder my ability to provide for my family. Goals 1. Get to 220 lbs with between 10-12% BF. Since the beginning of 2016, I have started weight lifting consistently and it has become a passion of mine. Between this consistency, eating more (and better) calories, honing my form, and taking worthwhile supplements, I have gained a respectable amount of muscle and people have recognized my transformation. Still, I don’t track my calories or my training progress. I more or less “wing it.” I need to take my fitness goals more seriously, and my first micro-goal is to get to 5 reps of 225/225/315 lbs. for bench, squat, and deadlift, respectively. 2. (Passive goal) Abstain from marijuana and porn COMPLETELY. Limit video game/TV/Youtube use drastically. 3. Expand my social circle/become more confident socially. This is one that is a bit hard to quantify or make measurable. 4. Find a side hustle. The closest thing I have to this is poker, which I use to actually make decent money playing. While I want to improve my poker skill enough to allow it to become an alternate source of income, there is too much variance in the game to make it a dependable side gig. 5. Find hobbies/interests that I can improve on and will ideally give me a greater sense of confidence. 6. Learn to respect myself and rid myself of the “Nice Guy” syndrome. I have begun reading the book “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” and this community seems like a great place to serve as a support system for ridding myself of the personality traits commonly associated with the dreaded Nice Guy Syndrome. I’m sure I will have more goals as I progress through this journey, but these are the main ones that I have in mind at the moment. Really looking forward to working with you all as we become the best versions of ourselves we can be.