POSITIVE ADDICTION AND WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS SAY THANKS

I've got nothing to do today but smile. Aristocrats-hat via Compfight

When I think of addiction my mind automatically starts thinking about the negative ones. Drugs, tobacco, alcohol, food (could be negative).  

I recently stumbled across a book called Positive Addiction by William Glasser and I immediately added it to my 52 in 52. The concept of the book outlines how we can become positively addicted to things that foster good will, health, optimism, and various other characteristics that promote more good in our everyday lives.  It goes on to talk about how it’s not only possible but also exactly what to do and how to even turn negative addictions into positive ones.

All in all a pretty good read. I just wanted to touch on some key take-aways from it and talk about how we can apply the concepts to achieve positive addictions.

WHAT IS POSITIVE ADDICTION?

Positive addictions have less to do with the actual thing you are addicted to but more to do with the way they make you feel. Positive addictions should make you feel confident, strong, happy, healthy, and grateful. There’s a host of other characteristics as well but I only plan on making this post so long :)

Exercise, eating healthy, volunteering, working in a field you are passionate about, art, music, are all things I think we can agree might create a sense of some of those feelings amongst us. Again, it’s not so much the act of participating in them but more so the way they make us feel. You could be addicted to spending time with your kids or other family members if it makes you more confident, happy, healthy, etc…

BECOMING AN ADDICT

Each of us faces challenges everyday. And we’re not invincible to weakness. The key is to choose positive reactions more often than we choose negative ones.

Instead of having a long rough day at work and sitting down in front of the boob-tube and putting back some beers a positive replacement might be a quick walk or jog around the block, some quality time with the kids finger painting, tossing the ball around out back, or participating in something they really love and acting like a bit of a kid yourself for a minute (jumping on the bed anyone???).

Maybe you get a bit stressed out and go to the comfort foods. Brownies, ice cream, pizza, a jar of peanut butter (not that I would know anything about that). A positive addiction might be taking time with the misses or mister and cooking up a healthy alternative for the family. Or even taking one of those comfort foods but putting a “Paleo” spin on it. Like this recipe. Or this one.

WHAT IS A NEGATIVE ADDICTION?

It would be pretty easy to say it’s the opposite qualities of those positive addictions we just discussed but that would make for a pretty sh*tty post and an awfully short one at that. The best way to put it when I think about negative addictions is the decisions we make that do not promote strength, confidence, positive personal growth, and gratefulness mostly due to us believing that we do not have enough strength to make the positive ones.

Going home, sitting down, drinking beers, and eating food that might not be the best for you is easy. There’s not much effort that you have to put forth to accomplish those tasks. But choosing to go for a quick run, taking time to connect with your family or friends, prepare a healthy meal, and maybe even read a book (like this one) takes strength.

It takes courage to turn down co-workers or buddies for happy hour, or to go to bed a bit earlier than everyone else because you have a workout to hit in the morning. It takes confidence to order salmon and steamed veggies at a restaurant when everyone else is getting lasagna the size of Texas and cheesecake. And it sure takes a lot of frick’n strength to wake up an realize you’re not living life on your terms and deciding to start doing it today.

 

DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?

William in the book makes a powerful statement that really resonated with me. “It’s hard to admit that we don’t have what it takes so we end up rationalizing it.”

For example:

  • I don’t have the time to workout.
  • I eat really well but my family makes it tough whenever we go out.
  • I’d love to start my own business but I’m “pretty happy” doing what I’m doing now.
  • I could never learn another language it’s to hard and it would take to long.
  • I’m not athletic enough to play _____________ (insert sport).

I think it’s important to admit that we don’t have the strength sometimes. But after we admit it what needs to follow is how the F*CK am I going to get it?!

The first step in that is recognizing the choices we have made, currently make, and most likely will make that have lead us to a negative addiction, keep us in it, and will lead to more of it or even worse more negative addictions in the future.

After that what needs to happen is addressing the new decisions that can be made NOW (not tomorrow, an hour from now, but right now) that lead to the positive addictions that will promote more happiness, health, confidence, and so forth…

The Danbo Brothers: Zest for Life

WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS SAY THANKS

Seriously, life gives you discomfort, pain, and displeasure for a reason. It’s telling you that something is WRONG and needs to be fixed immediatley.

When it delivers the message we sometimes develop  negative addictions.

  1. Give up
  2. Are not strong enough to admit that we don’t have what it takes so we go looking for excuses.
  3. Hide behind behaviors that validate the excuses.

The most important thing we can do to get out of this cycle is to start acting the way we want to feel. Regardless of whether we believe it or not initially. Fake it if you have to. But eventually you develop the habit and promote positive addictions.

If you want to feel healthy than imagine how a healthy person would act on a daily basis and do those same things.

  1. Would a healthy person take the stairs over an elevator?
  2. Would they prepare meals ahead of time and carry healthy snacks?
  3. Would they head home a little early to get proper rest for their workout tomorrow?
  4. Would a healthy person say they don’t have time to workout or create time?

However it is you want to feel start acting that way and go through this list of questions.

  • How would a _________ person act?
  • How would a _________ person eat?
  • How would a _________ person behave?
  • How would a _________ person talk
  • How would a _________ person walk?
  • How would a _________ person think?

FACE REALITY NOW

Gut check time, evaluate where you are right now.

Is it where you want to be, is it who you want to be, and are you headed in the direction you want to go. You might not necessarily have the first two down yet but if you are headed in the right direction those things will come in time.

Ask yourself if there is anything you are hiding from. What am I scared of? Failing? Ridicule? The idea of finding out that maybe it’s not what you wanted after all? It’s going to be too hard? Take too long?

After you address those questions start practicing. Every day. Take as little as five minutes and build up to an hour or longer if you need to but practice positive addictions.

Choose something easy to start with. If you are looking to be healthier and have not been working out than just start walking.

If you have been working out but nutrition is out of whack than start there.

If you want a new career than start looking or start building your own every night when you get home.

What positive addictions can you create for yourself?

We’ve got a bunch of new FREE GUIDES. Make sure to head on over and take full advantage!

Live limitless,

Justin

P.S.: Want to get addicted to exercise and eating right? Check out the Limitless365 Fitness Program and how it can help you build those positive addictions.

About Justin

I'm inspired by how simple changes made to your nutritional, exercise, and lifestyle choices can effect your overall well-being in such dramatic ways. More energy, improved mood, increased happiness, strength, power, and sheer enjoyment for life is what I do.

Want More Limitless?

Sign up today for your FREE How to Create Your Limitless Life (in 12 Acts) Guide, Paleo nutrition ebook and the 7 habits of the highly fit. All yours when you register below:
  • http://zenpresence.com ZenPresence.com

    I’ve found positive addictions VERY useful. My current positive addiction to the gym and paleo eating have resulted in 34 lbs lost and better “gut” health in just 7 months. I’ve replaced television with the gym and bread with salad.

    Thanks,
    Dan Garner
    ZenPresence.com

    • http://www.limitless365.com Justin

      Always some good insight Dan. Congrats on your success with the gym and Paleo. That gut health is so key as well. I’d love to chat more about this and maybe do a little interview on your story. Would you mind shooting me an email?

  • Pingback: How to be a winner all the time / Limitless365

  • K

    Some people are much more genetically inclined to addiction than others (whether positive or negative). I’ve read a lot about it because I noticed when I was quite young I’d get addicted to things much faster than others (both good and bad). Working out and eating right are definitely addictions for me. As far as creating positive addictions if you’re not programmed as an addict, affirmations really help. To quit sugar, I would carry a paper with me everywhere I went with the reasons why I had to quit it. Took me a month and I’m still carrying it around :)

    • http://www.limitless365.com Justin

      K,

      I’d love to dive in to that a bit more. What were you reading? The book “Power of Habit: Why we do what we do” by Charles Duhigg references caring around an index card so that when you feel the desire to engage in a bad habit you make a tick on the card. It’s funny how just paying attention and being aware makes such a huge difference.

      Thanks for chiming in :)

  • Pingback: Life's big truths for phenomenal living: A series of post on being a better human - Limitless365