EPISODE 27: Improving productivity can help you quit porn

Mar 23, 2020

Artwork for podcast Overcome Pornography: The Self Mastery Podcast



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You are listening to the Self-Mastery Podcast, where we break through barriers holding you back from becoming who you wanna be, whether you're struggling with pornography, overeating, social media addiction, or just wanna get better at succeeding at life. This podcast is for you. Now, your host, Zach Spafford.

Hey everybody, and welcome to another beautiful Mastery Monday. This is your host, Zach Spafford on the Self-Mastery Podcast. So this has been a pretty trying week for a lot of people. This has been a week where everything has just gone crazy in the United States, in the world, really. My mission president, who is the current temple president for the Rome temple, has shut down operations there and has headed home, which I could not have ever imagined the temple being closed because of a virus.

The coronavirus is keeping people at home in a way that is really. Completely new to everyone. Like I've never seen this in my whole life. In fact, I was telling my kids that even during the Gulf Wars, and even when I lived in Germany during the first Gulf War, when we really thought this was gonna be a major conflict, it was nothing like this.

We, we didn't have to stay home. We didn't have to do. , all this social distancing. This is a very new thing. I've never seen anything like it. And as well, my kids call me Poppy and as poppy to eight children. I've been regularly faced with a significant load in trying to connect with my kids.

I think it's, I think anybody who has kids realizes that. , it's not easy to always be connected to your children. They sometimes are frustrating, sometimes they're easier to deal with than others, but there is a lot that happens in life and there's a lot of living that 10 people do in one house. So there's constantly something to wash, clean, pick up, put back, get out, fix, make, build, take apart, and leave alone.

The other day, my oldest was actually really upset. That he was having to participate in the chores around the house because he felt that it was unfair. He didn't create any of that mess and now he was really being asked to clean it up. And any of you who have children know that they are not always willing to clean up after other people.

That's just how kids work, right? . So with this coronavirus, I think a lot of that is being magnified in your household. In my household, and this is probably the part where a lot of us would've gotten mad at him, I would've gotten mad at my son. He's complaining that he just has to do his chores.

We're all cooped up in this house. We really have been trying to, stay away from the world. And this is where I would've escalated what we'll call a discussion, right? And I would've started, and I would've told him off for. Being so ungrateful and I would have let him know that he was acting entitle and I would've told him that life isn't fair, so stop whining about it and just get it done.

For me, my children's behavior has often been a point of both pride and a source of deep frustration, which I think is pretty normal for most. Parents, it has meant that, either I was a good parent or a bad one. It has really meant that I was doing it right or that I was failing miserably when they're doing well.

When they're doing what they're supposed to. I'm a good parent when they're not doing what they're supposed to. I'm failing miserably. We actually used to go out a lot with our four kids, or, Little bit less when we had six kids. We don't really go out all that much now with eight partly because they are all at such different stages of life and the older ones have activities and things like that.

But people would stop us. People would literally, they would stop by our table if we were eating out. They would stop us in the grocery store and they would literally say, How well behaved our children were. They were observing us. They were amazed at how good our kids were being. This is partly because when we lived in California, we lived in a place called Thousand Oaks, and I don't think anybody there had ever seen a family of six ever.

When we would go to the Costco there in Westlake Village, people would literally count us. They would point at us and they would count heads as though they were completely incapable of counting inside their own head. It was hilarious, but we would often go out and sitting at dinner in a restaurant or, grocery shopping was usually a pretty high point in our day because our kids.

They behaved extremely well in public. They did what we were asking them to do. They sat nicely, they even had conversations with us, and we all enjoyed being out together. These days, as we're all quarantined and all of us are getting a lot more time with our children because of school closures and work from home or work shutdowns.

We're getting an extra dose of our kids. A lot of us are getting an extra dose of our kids. I'm even getting a extra dose for my kids because for us, even though I work from home and we homeschool our kids, our lives have shifted dramatically from going to sports activities and church activities and seminary at 5:40 AM and our oldest going to work and our littles playing with the neighborhood kids and all the normal stuff that you do when you have a large family of highly social people.

We're not getting a lot of that. We now stay home more. Our kids interact with outside people a lot less. In fact, practically not at all. In fact, we see a lot more of the inside of our home and of each other. All of this leads up to the moment. Two nights ago, I guess it was three nights ago now, when my oldest was what I would call excessively upset over being asked to clean up a mess that he didn't make.

And as I stood there, Tired from the day, tired of, hanging out with all these people. And let's be honest, not everybody wants to be around their kids all the time. And I'm standing there with a tube of CU in my hands because I was putting it on the baseboards that I had just replaced on the entire main floor.

So I'm busy working and I'm asking my son to help, maintain the house while I'm doing something else to make our hou lives better. I looked at my son and I had this anger and I had this frustration welling up on me, and I wanted him to just help. Just to get it done, just to stop complaining about the work that was obviously gonna need to be done by someone.

I often ask my kids, who's the magic fair that's gonna come along and take care of this? And I didn't understand why he was acting like this and why did I have to deal with his bad attitude? So on his end, he's like, why do I have to clean up and on my end? I'm saying why do I have to deal with you being a grump?

Because this just needs to be done and I could feel myself getting warm, and I was seeing red, and I was just getting angry. And at that moment I realized something that I had been trying to do for a few months now. I was trying to see my children and everyone around me the way I wanted to be seen. I was trying to eliminate.

what I felt was like near constant bickering among my kids when they're at home. And I realized nearly a hundred percent of that R lies in my own responses to the way that my kids respond to what they're being asked to do. And I realized in that one moment where I could change this whole situation, I realized that love was the one thing that I needed to bring to the equation.

So I stopped and I. I stopped applying caulk, even though, there's kind of a time crunch when it comes to caulk, right? Like you have to get it done quickly before it dries and gets crusty when you don't want it to be crusty, that sort of thing. And I looked at my baby boy who's now the size of a grown man, and I said, it's okay.

I just said it's okay to him. and I said, I'll do it when I finish this. You don't have to do it. And I said it in that tone, and that was my way of telling him, I love you. I'm not gonna fight with you about this. I don't care so much about having the house picked up as I do about you. And then I put my hand on his shoulder and I tried to have love in my eyes, and I just went back to what I was doing.

In that moment. I had peace. . I knew that I might have to go back and clean it up, but it was totally okay. I was like, it's fine. I realized that no fight was worth that cleanup. No amount of obedience was worth the conflict that I had been creating to try and get my kids to do the things that I needed them to do in our household.

And so I looked at that pile and I looked at my son and I said, I love you. And I moved on and I went and I did the caulking. And what's interesting, and this is , this was a great moment. This was a moment where your kid has matured and you're like, oh, this is exciting. He went back and he just said, you know what?

I'm just gonna clean this up and I'm not gonna worry about it. He didn't fight me anymore and I didn't fight him anymore. So all of this to say, a lot of us are getting stressed out. A lot of us are dealing with the effects of the coronavirus. We're dealing with the effects of losses in terms of income and maybe even job prospects.

We're dealing with a lot of things that are going on in the world. Many of us are frustrated, many of us are . Really stressed out. You read the news and man there is very little good that comes out of it. And as you sit at home with your kids for the next two or three weeks or maybe even months, One of the things that I am going to work on, one of the things that I think all of us could work on to really make sure that our lives do not devolve into the chaos and frustration that really is going to separate us, is I'm gonna work on making sure that my interactions are about love.

I know that might sound corny. I, some of you dad's out there, you're like, oh, well I need my kids to do things and they should be obedient and all those things. I get it. I know where you're coming from. I don't disagree with you to a certain extent, but what I'm telling you is that when we bring love into the equation, and that is the primary motivator for all of our interactions with our kids and with our spouse and with ourselves.

Then we're gonna have a much better time of it, I promise you. So as you think about the coronavirus, as you think about your interactions with your kids, as you think about your work and the lack thereof, or the abundance thereof, because you are a medical professional, whatever it is, take some time to consciously and conscientiously bring love into the equation.

Because when you do, I can guarantee you that the outcome will be better than you could have planned. and you will be happier for it, and your family will be better off because of it. That's the key to being a, the master of self, is putting conscious effort into the emotions that you want to feel and the interactions that you have with your friends and your family and all the people around you.

Thank you guys for listening. I always enjoy putting these podcasts together. I would love it if you would go to iTunes and give us a review or whatever podcast broadcaster you use to listen to this podcast. It makes a huge difference. Spotify is where a lot of my audience comes from, so please go on, leave us a review, and then.

Shoot me an [email protected] and I will reply to you and I will tell you thank you personally. I really appreciate all of the emails that I get from everybody. I'm really enjoying all the mini sessions that I'm doing with the new clients that I've got. This has been an extraordinary week. We have so many people that need help and want help, and I'm working with so many of them and I'm grateful for all of you out there who are sharing this with your friends, sharing this with people who need some help.

It is making a huge difference to me, and I really appreciate it. Thank you so much. Have a great week. We'll talk to you next week. Hey, thanks for listening to the Self-Mastery Podcast. Every day I get requests from people who are looking to change something in their life. If that is you, if you need help overcoming your addictive behavior like pornography use, sign up for a free mini session at That's I'll put a link in show notes for you to follow. Also, it would mean the world to me if you were to leave a review for us. Wherever you get your podcast, it'll go a long way to helping others find us. Thanks again.


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