After all, big men are not supposed to be depressed. Addictive behavior--whether it's satiation, arousal, or fantasy--can be a cover to depression. In our society, it is far more acceptable for a man to get treatment for addiction than to be diagnosed with and treated for depression. It is considered unmanly to be depressed. In our culture, girls and women are socialized to internalize pain; Boys and men are socialized to externalize pain and are more likely to discharge distress through action. A man is running from the pain and emptiness he has felt for years, engaging compulsively in work, financial goals, and sex. Money, prowess, and prestige become the drugs that sustain him and take the place of authentic relationships. What's more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes. In fact, we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink. If we can't wash the dishes, the chances are we won't be able to drink our tea either. While drinking the cup of tea, we will only be thinking of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus we are sucked way into the future and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life. Mindfulness helps you not only to focus on the now but also to be less reactive. For me, it helps mitigate some of my impulses to impatience or anger because I recognize the onset symptoms before they completely sabotage my thought process or boil over into some interpersonal interaction where everything goes south quickly. Consistency is more important than duration. Meditating every day for ten minutes over a ten-day period is much more impactful for me than if I meditate for twenty minutes every other day over a five-day period. Get out and enjoy nature for its own sake without any technology. He spent years upon years doing this. You could say that this was just the way he lived his life.

Now, you may look at a guy like Andrew Carnegie and say, This is a once in a lifetime kind of man. You expect me to become Andrew Carnegie? You're missing the point here. I don't care about what kind of end-goals you have in mind. I care about the character traits and attitudes that you find in everyone who makes a difference, no matter how large the impact may be. Whether it's someone who owns a local mom and pop bakery or someone who's a hedge fund manager, we all can still save our worlds. But, let's just think, how do most people in their early years and 20-somethings live their life? There are obvious stereotypes that we could speculate about. He has trouble being intimate with others because he can't be intimate with himself. His sexual acting out is an attempt to escape the sense of unworthiness and emotional impoverishment that has haunted him throughout much of his life. To relieve the threat of depression, the addictive substance or process in this case works to transform the emotional state from feelings of worthlessness to feelings of extraordinary worth. As Terrence Real so eloquently says in I Don't Want To Talk About It, the depressed man frequently buries himself in work, wraps his internal discomfort in anger, and numbs his discontent with alcohol, other drugs, and sex. As a society we have more respect for the walking wounded, those who persist, deny their pain and difficulties. They are expected to engage in risk-taking but are to avoid being vulnerable or owning or showing those feelings. Pain is something they are to rise above. As a consequence, an addict's untreated depression sabotages his recovery. I went to AA because my wife threatened to leave me due to my drinking. She knew about some of my sexual acting out but thought it only happened because of my drinking. I think being outside is our natural state, and the more we override it or deny our natural inclinations, the more difficult life tends to be. I feel like we should exercise traits or abilities that we've made many evolutionary trade-offs to develop.

When I do that, I am a calmer, happier, more effective human being. Don't use as much technology as you can handle. Use the least amount necessary. Steven Kotler's Guide to Focusing on Flow In his landmark article The Rise of Superman, Steven Kotler explores how the world's best extreme-sports athletes have torn up the rule and record articles, broken through boundaries, and propelled their disciplines to heights that were unimaginable even ten years ago by hacking flow: the elevated consciousness that not only propels action-sports stars into the physical and cognitive stratosphere but also has the potential to launch you far beyond your perceived limitations. In addition, Kotler has worked with top entrepreneurs like his Abundance coauthor Peter Diamandis, elite special forces groups, and tech innovators like Elon Musk in a wide-ranging study of peak states, which you can read more about in his outstanding article Stealing Fire. Kotler also collaborates with some of the brightest minds in the scientific, athletic, and artistic communities as he and his colleagues at the Flow Genome Project dive deeper into how we can map, trigger, and prolong flow. Here are some of Kotler's top tips for jump-starting your personal performance and well-being revolution and changing how you view the world for the better. Who cares about stereotypes and speculations, though? We want to know facts! Well, the Bureau of Labor Statistics actually put together demographic research on the average 29 year-old. The quotes I'm pulling are from a piece done by The Atlantic. Here's their conclusion on what the average 29 year-old looks like: The average 29-year-old did not graduate from a four-year university, but she did start college; Let's go through some of the researched facts, and pick out some key insights. Education: The average 29-year-old did not graduate from a four-year university, but she did start college. There's a growing number of people who started to gain an education past high school, but failed to complete the education. It's even worse for black and Hispanic communities, where four out of five college attendees didn't finish college. The truth was I drank more in response to the shame I felt about my acting out. But who really knew that?

So I went to AA to save my marriage. I was also tired of all the drinking and I couldn't seem to stop. But when I went to AA, I left half of me outside the door. Then in time, with recovery from alcoholism, I found food to be the solace that alcohol once was to hide my sexual shame. So I had this odd fight going on of esteem building in AA, yet I had this secretive sex life. Finally my growing esteem took me to Overeaters Anonymous (OA). Now where were my fixes? I couldn't hide from myself, and my sexual acting out was leaking everywhere. Spend less time in your office to get more done. I told somebody the other day that I spend a minimum of three and a half months of the year outside, between hiking, walking my dogs, skiing, mountain biking, and surfing. They were just flabbergasted and asked, But how do you work? I replied, That's how I work. That's how I can run two companies and write a article every year and a half and do everything else I do. The more flow I get outside, the more flow I bring into my office in the morning when I'm writing. The more flow you have, the more flow you can get. It's a focusing skill that involves carving neural pathways. In McKinsey's ten-year study, top executives reported being 500 percent more productive in flow. We know from the DARPA studies that learning goes up 470 percent in flow. White kids have better statistics, but still, only one out of three Caucasian students finish their degrees. Work: held several jobs, including more than two in the last three years.

Work is very non-committal these days. The former fantasy of finding a great company and sticking with them for decades practically doesn't exist with these 29 year-olds. The majority of them have held more than seven jobs prior to turning 29. On top of that, in the past couple years of their life (25 - 28 years old), the average 29 year-old held more than two jobs. Now, what about kids who dropped out of high school? It's quite rough, with the typical 18 to 28 year-old only holding a job for approximately six months. In the same research, it's also cited that the typical annual salary for 29 year-olds is $35,000. Marriage: is not as likely to be married as her parents at this age, but is still likely to be living with somebody. My dishonesty was challenged by the principles of the twelve-step programs. That was when I finally got help for my sex addiction, and soon after I was in full-blown depression. Current research confirms that a vulnerability to depression is genetically inherited. Any person, given the right mix of chromosomes, will have a susceptibility to this disease. Major depression and bipolar disorder are the two forms of depression most likely linked to biology--a genetic history. Bipolar disorder is characterized not only by depressive symptoms, but by a switching between what are referred to as the poles of manic and depressive episodes. These episodes can vary in duration and intensity, depending on the person. Bipolar disorder has a specific link to sex addiction because one of the symptoms of bipolar disorder can be hypersexuality. Hypersexuality is the increased need, even pressure, for sexual gratification driven in part by the physical activation, heightened sensory and sexual interest, and risk-taking that are often symptoms of mania for a person with bipolar disorder. With the exception of bipolar disorder, in the majority of cases, biological vulnerability alone is not enough to bring about depression. Motivation goes through the freaking roof, and we also know that creativity, accelerated learning, and creative problem-solving spike. Set aside the tech if you want to find flow.