So I committed to this whole “blogging every single day for the entire month of January” thing, and for the past 2 hours I’ve been staring at my computer screen with the words “Word Count: 0” staring back at me. (Well, that’s not totally true, I spent a little time writing back to emails and reading Chris Guillebeau’s new blog about Adderall).
After reading and commenting on Chris’s Adderall post, I started thinking about addiction and couldn’t get it out of my mind. So clearly this is what I need to write about today.
Whether or not you consider yourself to be “an addict,” the truth is, some people just seem to be more likely to have addictive tendencies. Have you noticed that? I honestly have no idea why this is. Is it genetic? Something about brain chemistry? I don’t know, but I’ve personally always been on the more “extreme” end of the spectrum.
If you can relate, I imagine you might feel this personality trait has given you a few setbacks. But just because you relate to always going to the extreme or having addictive tendencies doesn’t mean it has to be a negative thing in your life. It can actually make you AWESOME, wildly productive and make your life feel more exciting. You just have to channel that extreme personality of yours in positive, life-enhancing ways. How the heck do you think I created this website and more importantly, this LIFE!? Exactly.
One thing I’ve learned over the past 7 years about addiction or having an “addictive personality” is this — our energy is POWERFUL – and it can be used to create or destroy.
The cool thing about this is – you can use it to enhance your own life dramatically, AND change the world too. Isn’t that exciting? Bahhh! It is to me.
Today I feel insanely LUCKY that I’ve got this awesome addictive personality. It’s one of my favorite things about myself. Now that I’ve learned to use it for good, it’s fun. Majorly fun. Having a tendency to go to “extremes” has allowed me to dive deeply into health, wellness and personal development and make huge changes — and really feel the difference it makes.
If you relate to having an addictive personality or addictive tendencies, here are 4 reasons it’s actually something to CELEBRATE (and how to use it for good).
1) You’re probably AWESOME at taking on challenges – so take on some healthy ones. People with addictive personalities or a tendency towards the extreme do GREAT with challenges. Pick something to train for. A half marathon, a triathlon, a bike ride, maybe a local 10k. Or maybe decide to completely give up an unhealthy vice that’s holding you back, or do a hydration challenge. Pick something health-enhancing or life-enhancing that’s challenging for you and focus on it every day. I know a lot of people who don’t get excited in the least about participating in any type of challenge, so if this kind of thing excites you and makes your heart beat faster, you know who you are. Having a healthy challenge to work towards and having a purpose can help you channel that addictive energy into something that can make your life feel SO GOOD!!
2) I bet you’re WILDY creative (and deep down you probably already know that). Often, blocked creative energy or blocked self expression can manifest as addictive tendencies, and when that energy is expressed in a creative venture, “addicty people” can be some of the MOST CREATIVE people! If you’re not sure what kind of creative passion to channel your energy into, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron (this book is adored by people in addiction recovery for a reason), recommends an exercise called Morning Pages that I’ve used on and off for years. It helps immensely to make creativity and self-expression a daily habit – and that feels good. All you do is wake up and write in your journal every single day. You can use it as a brain dump, a place to brainstorm, a place to reflect – whatever you want. Just write every day. This practice can help you get all the crap out of your brain so you have space to create. You’ll be amazed at how much mental energy it frees up for you.
3) You’d be GREAT at experimenting with new forms of exercise, new travel adventures, or new healthy foods. Something a lot of “extreme” people thrive on is needing constant new, fresh, exciting experiences – so use that energy to get out of your comfort zone and add cool new physical activities, travel adventures, or foods you’ve never tried into your life. Stagnant energy is just fuel for your less-healthy addictive tendencies, so keep moving and keep experimenting – you might be surprised to see yourself thriving in a new fitness activity, falling in love with a new city, or getting immense pleasure from filling your meals with exciting, health-enhancing foods.
4) You could be INSANELY powerful when you decide to put that energy towards a bigger cause. Imagine how great it could be if you used the energy that’s currently going towards less-than-healthy addictive habits, and you used it for helping other people? Or starting a business? Maybe it sounds cliche, but having something bigger than you to contribute to and commit to can be the most rewarding way to channel that energy – and ANY cause or business would be lucky to have your powerful energy behind it!!
So if your “addictive personality” has been something you’re ashamed of, or you feel like it’s holding you back, it’s time to re-consider and celebrate. You’re a very powerful being — and you can change your own life and the world! All you have to do is decide you’re going to live a better story…and begin.
Cheering you on.