There are two types of passion: obsessive and harmonious.
- Obsessive passion happens when an individual feels controlled or pressured to do something. When obsessively passionate, your self-image is tied to the activity. This activity is done in unhealthy ways and creates conflict in the other areas of your life.
- Harmonious passion is an activity that you do not feel pressured to do, except pressure you may autonomously place on yourself. Your self-image is not tied to the activity. This activity is done in a healthy way that is “harmonious” and beneficial to all of the other areas of your life.
Obsessive passion generally leads to addiction, whereas harmonious passion does not.
If there’s something in your life that you do compulsively, it’s probably an obsessive and unhealthy passion, or even a complete addiction.
If you have to do this behavior secretively, then it’s an unhealthy passion or addiction.
But you’ve reached a breaking point. You let life get out of control so you could finally regain control.
You’re ready now to get back to alignment. To get back to purpose and productivity and the long-term vision.
How do you know you’re finally ready?
You’ll Begin Seeking Out Information Showing The Negative Consequences Of Your Behavior
“What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact.”
— Warren Buffett
Most people seek to confirm their own bias. Rather than getting the facts or facing the truth, people prefer to justify their own mediocrity.
The most successful people, on the other hard, act as scientists toward life. They want the truth. They want data. Rather than seeking to confirm their bias, they are continually seeking to disrupt and disconfirm their bias.
You’ll know you are ready to make a change in your life when you stop seeking information and relationships that justify your negative behavior.
When you start studying (with an open mind and heart) the negative consequences of your behavior, you’re getting on the right track.
When you start reflecting on the negative impact your behavior is having on the other areas of your life, including the lives of your loved ones, you’re on the right track.
When you begin to sincerely think about what you’re truly missing out on — as a person, you’re on the right track. Because the truth is, any negative habit or addiction is short-term thinking. It’s dopamine-dependent. And in such a state, you’re willing to throw-away some of the most important things in your life. You’re not thinking straight.
You’ll Admit To Key People That You Have A Problem
“You’re as sick as your secrets.”
— Joe Polish
The first of 12 Alcoholic’s Anonymous steps is:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
If you cannot admit you have a problem, you’re not ready to make the change. If you still don’t believe you have a problem, then the negative consequences of your behavior haven’t become real enough for you. If you continue going against your gut, eventually things will become so chaotic — whether in your physical health, emotional well-being, family, or work — that you’ll be forced to address the problem.
Don’t let it get to that point. Put your ego aside and own up to where you’re at.
Instead of judgement, you’ll generally get compassion and a desire to help.
You need to face the truth, and begin telling certain people in your life about your problem. Specifically, you need to tell your family. If you’re married, you need to tell your spouse.
You then need to get help. The opposite of addiction is connection. Overcoming a bad habit or addiction through willpower is without question, the worst possible approach. As addiction expert, Arnold M. Washton, Ph.D. said,
“Many people think that what the addict needs is willpower, but nothing could be further from the truth.”
Willpower is trying to fight a silent battle. It’s trying to be perfect before you tell people you have a problem. It’s focused on suppression rather than actually moving forward. It’s fixated on the one challenge and misses the holistic picture.
You’ll Begin Thinking Much Longer-Term About Your Choices
In the book, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, Dan Buettner details the lifestyle habits of people who have lived to over 100 years old.
There are many important themes in the lives of these people. A few among them are:
- Eat wholesome and real foods — especially plants and nuts. Plant-based eating with moderate meat is solid. Said Tony Robbins, “Nothing tastes as good as looking good feels.”
- Don’t consume stimulants regularly — caffeine for example, is the most widely used psychoactive drug on the planet, and is indeed addictive. People who live the longest focus on long-term sustainability rather than dependance and short-term stimulation.
- Exercise daily — but not too much. Many of the people interviewed in the book walk around 5–8 miles per day. This is all the cardiovascular exercise you need to remain healthy, especially if you’re getting healthy sleep and eating wholesome foods. Intensive weight-lifting a 1–2 times per week has also been shown to help longevity.
- Family first — According to Buettner, this is perhaps the most powerful thing you can do to change your lifestyle for the better: Surround yourself with family members and close friends who share your values.
- Have some form of religion or spiritual practice — to be a part of community and have higher ideals.
- Never retire — Living a long life requires a strong sense of purpose, something the natives of Okinawa, Japan (Okinawans) call “ikigai.” Having a powerful reason to live can be a strong antidote to early death. Hence, Buettner says the year people retire is one of the most dangerous years of their lives. The word “retirement” isn’t even a word in the Okinawan language. 85-year-old Warren Buffett says he tap dances to work every day and plans never to retire — investing is his ikigai.
You’ll Feel Optimism Again For Your Big Picture Dreams And Goals
“What I like most about change is that it’s a synonym for “hope.” If you are taking a risk, what you are really saying is, “I believe in tomorrow and I will be part of it.”
— Linda Ellerbee
When you know you’re ready to make a powerful shift, the floodgates will open. You’ll feel optimism and power again about your big picture dreams and goals.
While in your addictive and negative pattern, your thinking became more narrow. You fixated on the short-term with more regularity than you focused on your WHY, your values, and your true goals.
In an obsessive state, you begin to justify away what you truly want from life. Yet, in a moment of clarity — of seeing life without your unhealthy passion — you feel immense hope and joy again for the life you seek to create.
You’ll Immediately Begin Living To A Much Higher Level
When you finally make a big change that’s been gnawing at you for a long-time, you immediately feel empowered in all other areas of your life.
Those other areas have been crippled due to your over-focus and obsession with your addictive behavior.
When you can’t stop thinking about your obsessive passion, that subverts your mind from the other core areas of your life. It keeps you from being present with your loved ones. It stops you from really being healthy — mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It has you seeking short-term wins at the expense of long-term, sincere, and sustainable growth.
Yet, once you free your mind of that crater-of-the-mind, you’ll stunned by how much mental and emotional capacity you actually have. It’s quite stunning really, how paralyzed you allowed yourself to be for that one obsessive and bad habit.
Immediately, your eating starts to line up. Your “willpower” seems to shoot through the roof. Although this is simply a reflection of being aligned and congruent.
You’re more caring and interested in your relationships.
The people around you seem more empowered as well. And indeed they are. Because your energy levels have spiked dramatically — and thus are not bogging down the invisible energetic environment around you.
You’ll Create An Environment That Facilitates Your Commitment
“The amount and type of food we eat is usually less a function of feeling full and more a matter of what’s around us. We overeat because of circumstances — friends, family, packages, plates, names, numbers, labels, lights, colors, candles, shapes, smells, distractions, cupboards, and containers.”
— Dan Buettner
When you’re ready to change, and have begun making powerful steps, you’ll immediately begin creating a more harmonious environment.
- You’ll reach out to friends and tell them about your struggles and seek support.
- You’ll complete projects you’ve been procrastinating.
- You’ll cancel commitments you should have never had in the first place.
- You’ll eat healthy foods.
- You’ll listen to more uplifting and powerful music.
- You’ll clean your house.
You’ll begin living more holistically in general. You can’t separate yourself from your environment. And no that you’ve heightened your standards, you’re anxious and excited about upgrading all areas of your life. You’re desirous to be a steward of what you have. And to cultivate the garden of your life.
It’s available to you, right now. Amazing energy and clarity. But you have to get yourself out of the fog of your short-term dopamine you’ve gotta obsessively conflicted about.
You’ll Track Your Progress
In THE 4-HOUR BODY, Tim Ferriss provides a very compelling and effective method for eating better: Take a picture of everything — EVERYTHING — you put in your mouth.
The very act of having to pull out your phone is enough time to really think to yourself, “Do I really want to eat this?”
Taking the idea one step further, when you have accountability, you’ll want to share your progress (or pictures!) with an important person your tracking metrics.
When you really care about progress, you start tracking and measuring how you’re doing. You have accountability. This is the essence of “Deliberate Practice.” It means you take seriously your metrics. You take seriously how well you’re sleeping. How well you’re eating.
You take everything into account, and try to maximize your performance.
You’ll know you’re serious about growing in a positive direction when you begin tracking your progress again. That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially.
When you give up your obsessive passion, and get harmonious again, you’ll accept and even be grateful for where you actually are. Even if you have a really long ways to go. You’ll embrace where you are and you’ll embrace the reality of what you must do to get there. You’ll get serious about working again, instead of trying to cut corners and seek short-term boosts. You’re back to the long-game.
You’ll Get Organized
It can be quite easy letting life get disorganized when caught up in an obsessive or addictive state.
Small things lead to big things.
Everything physical is energy — and has an impact on your psychology. In a disorganized environment, with disorganized and scattered communication — life starts getting a little out of control.
It’s impossible to move forward swiftly without being organized.
But now that you have the renewed energy of mind and body, you are capable to get things organized. And when things become organized, clarity and productivity are automatic.
You’ll Begin Crushing It At The “Fundamentals” Again
“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals.”
— Jim Rohn
The fundamentals are what helped you succeed in the first place. Then they stopped becoming as powerful to you. Sure, you may have been going through the motions. But they lacked powerful and sincerity. You were to fixated on that one thing that was pulling your attention away.
Yet, now that you’ve stepped out of the fog, the simple basics are back in full sway. Their electric power is back in your skin. You can feel it. It’s so natural and simple. And you knew all along, yet you would not know.
You’ll Enjoy The Small Moments And Be Far More Present
“Every moment in our lives is a miracle we should enjoy instead of ignoring.”
— Yoko Ono
When obsessed or incongruent due to a pressing bad habit, it’s very difficult to be present to the moment. Sure, you’re there every once and a while. But it can fade fast.
Yet, now, now that you’re feeling much more aligned. Now that you’re getting your confidence back. Now that you are no longer sacrificing what truly matters — you can embrace THIS moment. You create moments. You make small things meaningful.
You appreciate the little things in those you love. And you tell them so. You’re far more sincere and kind and thoughtful. Because you have the mental and emotional bandwidth to think beyond your fixation and regret.
You’ll Begin Making Huge Progress In Your Life Again
Finally, now that you’re aligned, you can get more done in a day than what you were getting done in a week or month.
Your activity is focused. Your direction is much clearer. There’s no regret.
You’re aligned and moving. And flow is back in your life. Therefore, progress — extreme progress — becomes your new normal… all over again. And thus, big progress is your future. Big leaps. Deep connections.