Terrible doctors treat symptoms, good doctors treat diseases, and great doctors treat people holistically. You can look at that from a data perspective as well. People who become slaves to their metrics without really thinking about the consequences of or intentions behind the data can end up chasing a number that, in isolation, means very little. At worst it can be counterproductive or even damaging, as when people chase a certain body fat percentage, assuming that lower is always better. That's simply not the case in many instances. Change only one variable at a time so you don't mistake correlation for causation. If you've tried four new things at once, try to identify which one has the most plausibly explainable mechanism to create the positive change. Or try to isolate what actually was the causal factor by removing variables one at a time and seeing if the problem comes back. Andrew Carnegie had a rough childhood, though. He started working as young as 12 years old for only about $35/week in today's dollars. He was working in a cotton mill for 12 hours a day, 6 days per week. His parents weren't wealthy, either. They tried and tried to sell garments and crops, but his father was never able to maintain himself as the breadwinner of the house. In those early years for Carnegie, there was one blessing given to him that granted him the opportunity to become one of the wealthiest individuals in America: philanthropy. That's right. The only reason he had the opportunity to be educated was due to the Free School of Dunfermline. This school was gifted to the town Carnegie grew up in by Adam Roland, a prominent judge in Scotland at the time. It was because of this charitable act that Carnegie was able to start his education and become a heavy reader. But slowly I got myself back into my old behaviors. I was crazy in a sense because I knew what I was doing and knew I wasn't being honest with my recovery friends, my sponsor, or my wife.

I was increasingly out of control. Shortly after my tenth sober anniversary I got help for my sexual acting out because I also knew I was close to drinking again. Addiction exists in layers. Some are more deeply embedded than others. Sometimes the various forms of addiction are ritualized together such as sex and alcohol or sex and other drugs (a form of speed such as cocaine or crystal methamphetamine is the most common). For example, an addict's ritual could be using crystal methamphetamine or cocaine as a part of his pattern of sexual acting out. Combining speed with sex is a way that addicts try to find an even greater high. After acting out, an addict will often use alcohol or marijuana to induce a greater sense of calmness in coming down from the previous high. Choose the right vehicle for your goals. If you have a purely recreational priority, ask yourself, How much do I enjoy this? Maybe you don't want to do high-intensity interval training. Instead, you want to have a leisurely game of tennis with a childhood friend for an hour, three times a week. That's totally fine. If your priority is pure performance, ask yourself, How much does this improve me? I prefer to have a clear goal, whether that's optimizing for maximal strength, relative strength, or some type of metabolic conditioning that can be measured. Sometimes I'm working toward something that is less physical, like a article launch, and I'm in a holding pattern with my workouts. I'm very judicious and strategic about where I apply tracking. Write your emotional responses to experiences in a journal to improve your self-awareness. In fact, while he worked in his labor-intensive jobs, he was so well-known to be an avid reader that James Anderson, a colonel in Pennsylvania opened up his 400 volume personal library to Carnegie each Saturday evening. Carnegie kept digesting knowledge as quickly as he could and kept working hard in his job.

Soon enough, he would be steadily promoted to new positions of income and responsibility. He started working for only $1. Then he would move to a very strenuous job at $2. After working in labor-intensive production plants for years, he would move to working as a messenger and telegraph boy at $2. Then, at 18 years old, he would work for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company for $4. This company was in a growing industry, where Carnegie saw more prospects for a career. On top of this, the Pennsylvania Railroad Company was one of the largest companies in railroad work. For six years, he diligently continued this work, until he was given responsibility over a division of the company, which propelled him to earn a salary of approximately $1500/year ($43,000/year in 2019). Typically, this means that a person does not engage with one addictive behavior without engaging in another addictive behavior. Work, rage, drugs, alcohol, sex, spending, gambling--it doesn't matter what the behavior or substance is, if it has the ability to (falsely) empower, to medicate or soothe, to help you avoid, and/or to move you from a feeling of less than to better than, then it can be addictive. A man in recovery from addiction told me, I was an addiction binger and trader. I started a paper route when I was just a kid and found that work was a source of pride and solace. It got me out of the house and distracted me from all my fears. The money I made gave me independence. I became quite the entrepreneur and soon had other kids working for me. Reading was another source of solace and a way for me to disconnect from the pain and confusion of my life. I was really very angry with my father during that time, and my paper route and withdrawing into reading and numbers (I loved overseeing my bank account) gave me a sense of well-being and confidence that ultimately fueled a strong work and gambling addiction. Then I began to drink, and it too gave me a sense of well-being. You could use a physical notearticle or an app like Five Minute Journal or Morning articles. Journaling daily gives you a kind of semantic, instinctual feedback that type A personalities like me learn to mute subconsciously.

We prefer to live through goals and spreadsheets and not feelings, which can be a handicap for life. That's why I find it valuable to write about things that happened in my day and how I felt about them. I don't necessarily mean writing I was angry or I was impatient but rather noticing the physical feeling. What was your actual kinesthetic experience when someone said something, you were waiting for something, or you were doing a certain activity? Another way to increase your awareness is to engage in some type of partner or group exercise that requires physical contact. For me, that's AcroYoga and jiujitsu. But it could be any combat sport, dance, or any number of other activities. Look at chimpanzees and you'll see they're in constant contact with each other. Steadily and surely, he would continue to advance in his discipline, wealth and opportunities, to later own the Keystone Bridge Company and ride the wave of the great Industrial Revolution. The rest is history. We could continue down his biography, but what I care about is the beginning stages of development. Did you notice something about his early years? There's a trend you'll find that's very important for anyone who wants to save the world. Carnegie worked his ass off. He worked for 6 days per week continually for several years, starting at 12 years old. It took Andrew Carnegie nine years of this intensive labor to advance from hell jobs to managerial responsibilities, where he earned a decent living. And, because he developed this intense work ethic, it became easier for him to continue to work hard and take more responsibility. His realm of influence could successfully expand because he consistently proved his worth in the earlier years. Adding sex to that made it become one big, powerful cocktail. Problems and behaviors that are often overlooked include raging behaviors, compulsive spending, and work obsession.

Work obsession and distorted thinking about money are culturally supported, and rageful behavior is often hidden and a last vestige of recovery. Rage, alcohol, marijuana, work, and sex--all were my validation. They also became my form of power. After I got sober, my sexual behavior went underground and my rage became sporadic, but my work addiction flared. I was on a seesaw, professing recovery. Finally I decided to do some therapy around my childhood. It was then that a clinician confronted me about my sexual behavior. This led to my issues with rage and work addiction being addressed in my recovery. I think that is the medicine for a lot of what ails us: be more animal-like and less human-like, however you have constructed that to be different from other species. Do different types of workouts for different purposes. For me, it's all about separating exercise and physical recreation with others. I have my bitter medicine sessions, which may involve heavy dead lifts with long rest intervals in between, during which I'm writing down what I'm doing and listening to music. I have other workouts that are slow-cadence weight lifting of some type or another, where I'm doing five to ten seconds up, five to ten seconds down. Both types of sessions are exercise, pure and simple. There's no recreational component intended, designed, or wanted. Then I have days when I am playing with other people, such as in partner acrobatics. It's very much playful while simultaneously involving very difficult moves: maneuvering a partner, manipulating them with your feet, spinning them around. It's very focused on kinesthetic awareness and spatial awareness. He developed a dominant work ethic that very few could match. But, it wasn't simply working hard that got him to the top.