Developing a positive addiction could make this one of the most powerful blog posts you ever read, as it highlights the choices that form a negative addiction.
I’ve been in the business of helping driven people make lifestyle changes for a long time, and what I’m about to share with you will for perhaps the first time, make the idea of “lifestyle changes” seem doable.
One of the reasons why people don’t make “lifestyle changes” is because they thing the can’t stick with it, it’s just too big. And when it comes to change, few people have a solid track record of success. The changes most people attempt to make are a) too big, b) based on the wrong fundamentals and therefore not likely to succeed, c) not within their abilities, d) not something they are motivated to do or e) they simply don’t have the strength for.
Now, if I left this discussion right here you would have learned 5 solid reasons for why people fail to change, but that’s not where this stops. This is where we start. Because according to William Glasser, author of the book Positive Addiction, as summarized in Brian Johnson’s Philosopher Notes with even greater detail; there are three (3) choices that we make at the point of making a change that can really keep you stuck for a significant period of time.
BEAKING A NEGATIVE ADDICTION STARTS WITH THE PSYCHOLOGY OF STRENGTH & WEAKNESS
“Very few of us realize how much we choose the misery in our lives. Even when we do, we still go ahead with the disastrous choice because we are convinced that we don’t have the strength
to choose better… I will first describe in detail how weakness is the cause of almost all the unfortunate choices we make. Then I will argue that anyone who wishes to become stronger,
seriously consider trying to become an addict.”
JAM Note: In this case, to become a positive addict rather than a negative addict.
GIVING UP – THE FIRST CHOICE OF THE WEAK
“Since the obvious purpose of pain, misery, and suffering is to tell you something is wrong, fix it, change it, reform, improve, get help; if you don’t have the strength to do it, you are stuck with
the pain.” *ALL* the great teachers tell us to master ourselves and many refer to pain as nothing more than a sign we have purifying to do. As Glasser tells us here, pain is there to let us know what’s wrong. If we don’t have the strength to deal with the pain and take action to relieve it by improving ourselves, we’re going to still have the pain. Right? Then what? According to Glasser: “If we haven’t enough strength we attempt to reduce our suffering by partially giving up.” So, if we aren’t strong enough to deal with the pain by taking effective action, we give up. That
“giving up” is the first of three choices of the weak. (Which, of course, ALL of us are at times.)
For example, let’s say you hate your job. The purpose of your misery is to get you to seek something (a new/altered job in this case) that will make you happier. If you ignore the pain and
don’t take the action (altering your current job so it’s more groovy, looking for a new job, starting your own business you’ve always wanted to create, etc.), you make the first choice in the negative addiction process: you’re GIVING UP.
That leads to:
THE SYMPTOMS CATEGORIES – THE SECOND CHOICE OF THE WEAK
“Although like all those who make a second choice he is totally unaware that it is a choice, he chose depression.” Now, importantly, when you choose to give up, the pain didn’t go away. It’s still there. So, we move into the second choice: symptoms appear. These symptoms might be as subtle as a headache or as drastic as suicidal depression. In any case, they are SYMPTOMS of a deeper issue—the fact that you CHOSE to give up. Now, of course, we aren’t strong enough to acknowledge the fact that we gave up, so we hide behind our symptoms and complain to whoever will listen. (Again, we’ve *all* done this at times!) Then what?
NEGATIVE ADDICTION – THE THIRD CHOICE OF THE WEAK
“Each choice—from the initial decision to give up trying to find more love or worth, the second choice to take on one or more symptoms, and the final choice of becoming addicted—is a pain-reducing step. The reason addiction is powerful and difficult to break is that it alone of all the choices consistently both completely relieves the pain of failure, and provides an intensely pleasurable experience.”
JAM Note: That is indeed strong!
Brian Johnson. “So, we’ve had the introduction of pain into our lives, Choice #1 of giving up (and not facing our pain head-on), Choice #2 of symptoms (tension, headaches, depression, etc.) and then Choice #3 of behavior to reduce the pain that leads to a negative addiction (alcohol, drugs, gambling, whatever).”
JAM Note: So, the moral of this story is this. When we don’t have the strength (which is the ability, know-how, motivation, approach, energy, courage, etc) but at the end of the day, the “Strength” to face a reality, we are susceptible to making the choice to give up or partially give up, that leads to to a negative addiction, that stall our needs getting met and our dreams, and prevents our value and self-worth from spiraling up. Instead, it spirals down.
These three choices are the “lynch” pin to understanding and avoiding a path that’s all too easy to get stuck in, with the opportunities for negative addictions all around us and more than enough cultural/marketing stories to justify such behavior from people who have a vested interest in you staying stuck. And the answer is starting a positive addiction.
See How to Create a Positive Addiction in Part II of this series.
If you want to move beyond stuck, no matter what the problem, then learn more about this from Optimize Book Summary and or call me.
FREE CONFIDENTIAL CALL with JAM– Let’s set a time and talk to each other about where you are and how I can help. It’s completely confidential. This call is the best way to get started, so your willingness to change meets expert support and guidance. You can call me right now at 862-216-7959 or choose a time for our call here using my online calendar>>>
John Allen Mollenhauer “JAM” is an expert at helping driven entrepreneurs and business professionals achieve more through a balanced and healthy, high-performance lifestyle; those who feel distracted and held back in their business, maybe even their life, because they don’t have the zest and zeal they used to, the support, and clarity they need to succeed in the way or at the level they want. They’ve gone from program to program each of which promises the solution to perform better, better achieving their ambitious goals and living the lifestyle they envision, but something is missing, something they just can’t quite put their finger on, and they’re ALL-IN to resolve it once and for all.