Positive Addiction Strengthens Us - Or Does It?


Positive addiction - Do you have one you would like to share with us?

Roughly twenty five years ago prior to me becomming a Las Vegas massage professional, I was looking for something to read. I've always loved to read; didn't really matter what the book was, if it looked interesting I'd pick it up and see if it tickled my fancy.

My folks had a pretty good selection of books available and I was always looking for something different. My father was in Education and had several books on the shelf in regards to working with troubled children, special education, etc., etc. (This was his area of expertise.) Now-a-days, as a Las Vegas massage professional, I'm still the same.

I found several books by William Glasser, M.D. Some of the titles were, Reality Therapy, Schools Without Failure and Positive Addiction. To make a longer story shorter, I read all of Glasser’s work, and now own all his books myself.

Now, as a Las Vegas massage professional, I have my own little library, and in the process of digging out a book looking for a specific topic, I ran across Glasser's books. I pulled out Positive Addiction, as it seems the thing to do at the time and began reading it again.

This book, Positive Addiction, is a bit dated, published in 1976. I haven't done any web searches in regards to positive addiction, but I'm sure that in the last thirty years there have been some advances in what this book is about. I'm not here to talk about the book, but some ideas presented within.

I'd like to put forth some ideas and concepts the author mentions, and start a topic based on these ideas and concepts.

The first thought that came to mind when I first saw this book was from the title, "Addiction." Of course myself, and most people I suppose, view the word addiction in a negative light. "Addiction is bad!" But what the heck is 'Positive Addiction?'

A positive addiction is one that strengthens us and makes our lives more satisfying. This would be in sharp contrast to a negative addiction, which weakens us, and may even destroy us.

Positive addiction increases our mental strength and is the opposite of a negative addiction, which seems to sap the strength from every part of our life except in the area of the addiction.

For example, a drug addict is strong in his or her quest for drugs but weak in his or her desire for anything else. Negative addicts are totally involved with their addiction, having long since given up on finding love and worth.

The addict enjoys his or her addiction but it does not dominate his or her life. From it s/he gains mental strength which s/he uses to help himself or herself accomplish whatever s/he tries to do more successfully.

Dr. Glasser says, "An addiction can be anything at all that a person chooses to do as long as it fulfills the following six criteria: (1) It is something noncompetitive that you choose to do and you can devote an hour (approximately) a day to it. (2) It is possible for you to do it easily and it doesn't take a great deal of mental effort to do it well. (3) You can do it alone or rarely with others but it does not depend upon others to do it. (4) You believe that it has some value (physical, mental, or spiritual) for you. (5) You believe that if you persist at it you will improve, but this is completely subjective - you need to be the only one who measures that improvement. (6) The activity must have the quality that you can do it without criticizing yourself. If you can't accept yourself during this time the activity will not be addicting."

The author mentions several examples, from running to meditation to chanting.

I'm sure we've all heard of a 'runners high.' This 'high' or 'being in the zone' seems to be a key component as well.

It's as if our thinking mind takes a backseat and our unconscious (or whatever) grabs hold and we are 'one' with everything. This seems to me to be where the 'addiction' part comes in; we crave this natural state of being one with the universe, thus, if we skip this activity we feel guilty or punk in some manner.

For myself, I can think of several addictions.

When I was younger I was an avid weight-lifter. I'd work out on a daily basis. Of course I wanted to be in shape, have a nice body, etc., etc. But what I noticed is that it was this 'high' that I craved. I've also had a few negative addictions that seemed to just suck the life-force right out of me.

As a Las Vegas Massage Professional I'm addicted to massage continuing education. Hey, I just can't get enough of it!

Has anyone else experienced this? Did you find value in your activity? Is it an indulgence to be 'addicted' in such a manner, even if it's positive?

Let me be quiet now, yet I'd love to hear some different angles in regards to positive addiction from others.

Las Vegas Massage Professional Kris Kelley

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