I had played video games in all forms and all genres for 20 years before I decided to quit. I had to—it was simply taking too much time away from me while I was neglecting everything else in life. Trying to moderate my play time never worked. I had to go cold turkey.

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Quitting wasn’t easy. I failed few times before I finally sold my custom-made PC for a cheap netbook to liberate myself. There’s nothing inherently wrong with video games, but in the end, I can safely say that it was the best decision I ever made in my life. It was was my big first step towards becoming a better man.

I know there are many men who are perfectly happy playing games while leading a balanced life, but if you are one of those individuals going through the same agonizing feeling of emptiness that I did and want to experience a fuller life, here are 20 things (one for every year I wasted) you can do instead of playing video games:

1. Read, Read, And Read More

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Never before in human history has so much information been available for us. Reading non-fiction is especially important. History and biography books will enable you to learn about great men from the past while philosophy, psychology, and sciences will expand your mind.

2. Learn A New Language

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Learning a new language is a great challenge that takes dedication and discipline, but the rewards are great as it opens up new opportunities for you to explore the world and meet new people.

3. Go For A Walk

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Walking can provide you with the serenity to relax your mind and contemplate the world. It’s far better than staring at a screen all day.

4. Work Out

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I seriously hope there aren’t any readers of ROK who don’t work out. If you are one of those who abstain or don’t work out on a consistent basis, you need to get off your ass now.

5. Play A Team Sport

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Instead of slouching on your couch to play sports on your console, go out and play the real thing. You’ll meet new people and get exercise out of it.

6. Go Hunting

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You like shooting at targets? Go get a real gun and shoot at real things.

7. Learn To Play A Musical Instrument

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Playing a musical instrument is an artistic skill that requires dexterity that can only come with long hours of practice. There are many gamers out there wasting their potential talent by fiddling controllers all day.

8. Cultivate Friendship With Other Men

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In today’s increasingly individualistic society, many men seem to think that they’re too Alpha to be friends with other men, opting to go the way of lone wolf instead. What they fail to realize is that, in the wild, when a wolf breaks off from his original group to go his own path, it is so that he could start his own gang.

Take time to connect with other like-minded men. Men are supposed to operate in groups. The reason why feminists run wild today is precisely because our world is bereft of male-bonding and brotherhood.

9. Learn To Cook

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Unless you have a nice housewife, maid, or an overindulgent mother, you should learn to cook so that you can feed yourself decent food instead of junk.

10. Learn To Fix Things

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Get down and dirty and learn to fix things on your own. It’s a useful skill and you gain a greater appreciation for how things work.

11. Write

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Yes, there actually is a game about being a writer.

Writing just might be the highest art form. Almost anyone can write, but only a few can write great. The only way to become better at writing is by writing daily, over and over again.

12. Go Visit An Art Gallery Or A Museum

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Go appreciate history and human creativity throughout the ages. Be in touch with your cultural and ethnic roots. You just might develop a renewed sense of identity.

13. Learn To Sketch Or Paint

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Besides simply viewing art, you can get few tools and start to create your own. You don’t have to be good at it, it’s all about appreciating the process of creation.

14. Go Outdoors To Appreciate Nature

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It’s a tragedy that the vast majority of men today are so alienated from nature. Get out of your house and get out of the concrete jungle to take time to appreciate the natural world. You’ll feel refreshed.

15. Build Something

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One of the most defining feature of a man is that he is a builder. Go get some tools and materials and start making something using your hands.

16. Practice Debating And Public Speaking Skills

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Oratory is another lost art form in our modern world where people prefer to message each other short lines of texts instead. Make yourself stand out by joining a debating society or the Toastmasters to develop your oratory skills. You’ll also gain a lot of confidence, charisma, and leadership skill along the way.

17. Learn Martial Arts

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Can you call yourself a man when you can’t even defend yourself? Learn how to fight by taking martial arts classes. But make sure you sign up for ones where they let you spar with full contact. Otherwise you might as well take Tai-chi.

18. Learn To Dance

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Level up your charm by learning some moves. Salsa and tango classes are good places to meet women.

19. Practice Meditation

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As many have said before, meditation is a workout for your mind. Gain greater focus, discipline, and awareness through meditation. Even just 20 minutes a day can make all the difference in your life.

20. Game Women

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“The true man wants two things: danger and play. For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous plaything.” —Friedrich Nietzsche

Go out and meet women to hone your game instead of staying home and playing with your joystick by yourself. It’s far more challenging than video games, but much more rewarding.

Conclusion

I live my life without regrets, but I know for a fact that my life would be much better now had I spent all the time, money, and effort I put into games doing the above things that I mentioned. It’s okay to have mindless fun once in a while, but men, especially young men, should invest much of their precious time into things that bring value to their lives.

Life is short, and often much shorter than you might think. Don’t squander it.

Read More: Video Games Are Limiting Men’s Potential