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Addiction is not something that only those who are enslaved to drugs and alcohol face. Each of us is prone to addictive behavior. When our minds are constantly on one specific thing, we may be addicted to it. When we can’t spend an hour without looking at a social media site, we may be addicted. When we can’t let our lives play out in certain ways, we may be addicted to control. When we eat even if we aren’t hungry, we may be addicted. When you spend every night of the week doing the same thing, it’s addiction (unless it’s serving others).
We need to be able to point out our areas of possible addiction. And after we have realized what they can be, what can we do to keep from becoming addicted?
- Intermingle your activities. Don’t go to a show every night or a sporting event. Rather, intersperse it with exercise or service projects or spending time with friends. A truly healthful life has balance and if you are heavily weighted in one area, you will begin to be so focused on something that you lose sight of what is really important in life.
- Tell yourself no. Give yourself a fast of some kind. Whether it’s no TV for a week or no facebook for a month or cutting sugar out of your diet. It’s healthy to work on your self-control. Maybe it’s waking up early for a period of time to exercise. Pushing yourself to change is a huge mental exercise and should be done often in your life. You may fail at the beginning but keep at it, because nothing worth anything comes without a cost.
- Spend a few moments each week assessing yourself. What are you doing to reach your goals? What are you sacrificing? How much do you focus on yourself and how much do you focus on others? If there is something constantly flooding your thoughts- music, sports, work, money- then that is what you hold dear. And if it’s not the One who created you, then it may quickly become an idol. It’s also important to try to see a clearer image of how others view you. Maybe you have no idea that you are inconveniencing others or that you are expecting more of them than they can give. Sadly, some people who tend to get ahead in a business sense care nothing about those they must barrel over to achieve their dreams. I’ve seen this in various people and their inability to truly see reality. They have no concept that others do not share the fervor for their vision but continue to believe the world turns in their general direction. May we all work to see a clearer version of ourselves and make corrections where necessary.