Obsession vs Moderation

You want to feel good about life, enjoying the good things this life has to offer, but there is no doubt that when you’ve found something that makes you feel good, you want to do it again, and again, and again… And as you do, you seek new and exciting ways to have the experience, so that you can feel even better.

Sometimes, your search for that feel-good reaction is so great, that you can begin to ignore other areas of your life that need tending to, and when you find yourself compromising your moral fiber to accommodate your need to achieve your next “feel good” your people start murmuring, using words like, “addicted,” or, “obsessive.”

This is the scary part about seeking happiness. I am a huge promoter of achieving happiness, encouraging others to get all the happiness that is available to them, because if you could have everything you’ve ever wanted out of life, what’s it worth if you weren’t able to be happy, enjoying all the good things this life has to offer.

So, I encourage people to do or be anything you want. “Do it, if it makes you feel good.” If it feels good, that’s a huge indicator that this thing – whatever it is – is good for you.

If you’re like me, right about now, you’re hearing the voice of the robot from Lost in Space insisting, “Danger! Will Robinson, Danger!” as that rational side of your brain harkens, “Too much fun can kill you!” and, like Dr. Smith, calls the robot a, “nincompoop.”

It’s like the common imagery depicting a tiny devil-you which floating over one shoulder, taunts you to seek pleasure at any cost, and the angel-you, floating over the other shoulder, gently urges you to be more responsible and safe.

When I encourage others to get all the happiness possible out of this life, what I mean is to find happiness, to do the things that make you happy.

Obsession

Feeling good is the best thing, but to focus entirely on pleasure-seeking and neglecting you’re achieving your highest and best, is the excess that leads to addiction and obsession. You could get addicted to fun.

And we have the good-lord who endowed us with dopamine to thank for that one. A lot has been aired in the press regarding dopamine and its effect on us in addiction. It’s been referred to as the pleasure and reward seeking neurotransmitter. It has a four-phase loop that it runs, that goes something, like this:

1. Recognizably pleasurable experience
2. Anticipation of the pleasurable experience
3. Elation during the pleasurable experience
4. Creates desire to re-experience the recognized pleasurable experience

There is no dopamine injected prior to your first pleasurable experience because your brain has not determined whether the experience is pleasurable yet. First-timers jump-in on phase 3, as your brain releases dopamine for the first time anchoring itself to this particular activity. Phase 4 also seeks out new and different ways to alter the experience, because doing a thing differently creates a new experience, which releases even more dopamine. Phase 4 keeps triggering you to seek more.

As you traverse your life’s journey you discover these things along the way that release dopamine in the brain, and it’s easy to lose track of other things that have an even higher sense of value and meaning. This applies to all activities that make you feel good from gambling to holding a newborn baby. Dopamine has no regard for moral cues, it sees nothing as good or bad, that’s something you do independently of your dopamine rush.

If you were to reduce yourself to an animalistic creature without any other resources, the dopamine chemical reaction would suffice in defining who you are and how you operate. Thankfully, you are far more than that. Left to your own devices, you might become the addicted, pleasure-seeking zombie, without a conscious, letting nothing get in the way of your pursuits to feel good at any cost.

Moderation

The key here is to successfully find a place of moderation. Find the things that make you feel good, find ways to responsibly integrate them into your life. Don’t let the pursuit of “feeling good” keep you from doing the things in life that add value and significance to your life.

Balance is the secret to a healthy, happy life, and moderation is an effective way to balance all the details of your life, thereby maximizing your life-long experience at a higher level of vibration.

To moderate a potentially addictive behavior takes integrating other systems to override your dopamine pleasure center. It means you’re going to have to do some work to keep it under control. And the same God that gave you dopamine, gave you all the tools you would ever need to exercise moderation. You are not a victim to your neurochemistry, you can be in the driver’s seat if you choose to do so.

You may call on your sense of dignity, raising your awareness, engaging diligently, and calling on your spiritual powers. Whatever it takes, it’s different for each of us. You need to find your own way and determine what works best for you.

Even so, proceed with caution, as your dopamine center could attach itself to your activity of moderating. You don’t want to (or need to be) obsessed with or addicted to moderation, so moderate your moderation, too, if necessary.

Motivation

For me, motivation is the main factor. I am motivated to serve and contribute. While this is a top priority, for me, it does not take over all the rest of my life (moderation here, too). I like to be happy, and following my mission, living my life’s purpose brings many opportunities to enjoy all this life has to offer and to remain in a relative state of happiness along the way.

If your motivation is to be happy, if that’s your top priority, then your purpose in life takes the back seat (and it’s never more in the back seat than in the case of a psychopath whose brain releases four-times the dopamine than a normal person, but that’s a different story).

Putting your motivation to achieve your highest and best out front allows you to do all the good things that could potentially bring joy to others while adding meaning and a sense of purpose to your life, then happiness comes as a result of you’re being true to your individual calling.

By all means, seek to be happy, but serve first.

 

How to See People as They Really Are

You know, you’ve met someone who seems to have so much in common with you, you immediately take a liking to them, only later to find you wish you could know how to see people as they really are.

You let them into your inner circle, then after a while, you see them for who they really are. This person, who seemed so transparent, open, honest and the perfect person for you to work with, or spend your quality time with; you were simpatico. Then, as you get to know them better, you discover they are not the person you thought they were.

You find that they are not even close to who you thought they were, and you’re ashamed of yourself and think,

“How could this person have deceived me, like that?”

It’s easy to jump to conclusions and assume that this person tried to pull a fast one on you to throw you for a loop, which could be true, if he or she is a psychopath or sociopath (which would be rare), while the more likely truth behind this conundrum is that the responsibility for your being “duped” lies solely on you.

It’s all your fault.

In most (if not all) cases, the only person to blame is yourself, so go ahead and give up the notion that you must blame anyone for you’re being fooled into believing that someone was not who you thought they were.

How could I have been so wrong?

Forget the inclination to try to beat yourself up for not seeing this person as they really are. Why? Because you’re a good person. So good, in fact, that you tend to see the best in people. You give them the benefit of the doubt and see them in the most positive light. You see their potential, who they could be, if they embraced all the gifts, talents and special abilities, following their own life’s path to their highest and best.

Why do I do that?

When you meet someone for the first time, you have seven to fifteen seconds to fix in your mind an image of the person you’re meeting. Your mind tries to identify people quickly so that you can posture your method of communication with this person to navigate the conversation in the best possible manner. Your brain quickly tries to identify and categorize this person, so that you can find common ground to communicate effectively, or to protect yourself and not open up, if you’ve determined that this might be a toxic person.

If you’re an expansion explorer, you tend to see things through the eyes of love, or “rose colored glasses.” That is to say you are seeing people and things in all their empowered potential, as the highest and best version possible.

My daughter, Jaycie, is like that. She is a multi-media artist who sees potential magnificence in everything, whether it’s a rock, clump of earth, piece of wood, whatever she sees, she interprets as a blank canvas, and see’s the beauty of the completed project when no one else could. To you and me, it just looks like a piece of rock, but Jaycie is like Michelangelo who saw only David in the rock.

And you, too, are just like that. You see the David in everything you see. David was the potential, but without doing the work, the intricate chiseling away of everything that was not David, we would have never seen the real David realized in his full potential.

You’re Perfect

You are the visionary. In those first few seconds, you saw this person as who they could be, if they did the work. Unfortunately, most people do not do the work, or maybe this person is not unlike you and I, and he or she is in the process of growing, changing and evolving into a higher version of his or her self.

You’re not to blame for seeing someone as the highest and best version of themselves.

People Are More Transparent than You think

While your impression of this person was interrupted by your ability to see them in their best light, more often than not, people are quite transparent about who they are.

If you review your interactions with this person, in retrospect you will notice that they give you clues about what to expect from them at the get-go.

You could have paid more attention to their lack of punctuality, truthfulness, attention to detail, selfishness, or hundreds of other indications clearly warning you about what to expect from this person, but you didn’t take heed to the warnings.

Why? Because you’re such a beautiful person that you overlooked all the warning signs to see only the best potential in this person. After some time has passed, you become more and more aware of their current condition.

This person, whoever it is, is who and where they are in this moment; a work in progress, just like you and me. Only now, it’s (possibly painfully) clear about who and where they are.

What do I do now?

Love and bless them.

He or she is not broken, good, or bad; only who and where they are in this moment. So, accept them as such, and love them just as they are.

If they are not a good fit for you in your inner circle, make the adjustments necessary to reposition them. Move their position to a safer location within your social organization, or extricate them as gently as possible. Thank them, bless them, reposition them, or send them on their way. There is no need for an apology. Things just are as they are, and we all change and grow,  but do not expect this person to change to accommodate your vision of their highest and best.

You Can’t Change Someone Else

Everyone is responsible for their own personal growth and change. It’s not up to you to change them, and you couldn’t if you tried.