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What sets you apart from the rest who don't have their act together is how you handle boring moments. Do they get the best of you and cause you to whine and complain like a little girl or do you hunker down and push through them? Do you handle them like a winner or a loser? Rock stars have hours and hours of boring moments in the studio, on tour, during interviews, etc. and sometimes it's so boring that it doesn't seem worth the money. Professional athletes have boring moments when they have to constantly train, practice, and travel. We think Navy SEALs and Special Forces teams are always doing cool things like shooting guns and blowing things up but we don't realize they only do that 10% of the time. The rest of the time they're sitting in classrooms, training, and doing what most of us would consider extremely boring. Internet marketers who make millions sit behind a computer for hours and hours a day doing a bunch of boring things. Aircraft mechanics don't only fix aircraft, they have to spend hours and hours cleaning thousands of tiny spaces where metal and trash could be. It's boring as hell and it sucks. It doesn't matter what job you have or how successful you are, there will, undoubtedly, be boring moments. You just have to suck it up, stop crying about it, and power through them. Boring moments are a part of life. The more you handle the boring things, the easier it gets and, eventually, doing the boring things no longer bothers you as much. Drug courts work. Seventy-five percent of those who complete the adult court program are never arrested again. The first drug court was started in 1989 in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and there are now close to three thousand drug courts nationally--but far fewer than needed to serve the estimated 1.2 million drug-addicted individuals caught up in our criminal justice system, just another instance of the persistence of correctional-system approaches to addiction despite more effective and humane alternatives. With addictions, and chronic diseases of all sorts, staying with treatment and building a healthier lifestyle is hard work. With substances, relapse is to be expected, prevented when possible, and always responded to with support, vigor, and hope.

While we know that great numbers of people with substance use disorders recover, we are not good at predicting when. That calls for staying the course, dusting ourselves off, and having a go at it again as soon as possible when relapse darkens the door. Everyone needs to believe that recovery is possible. Everyone needs to work to keep hope alive. Addiction spares no one because of age, gender, race, privilege, or social status. In a pair of interviews in Glamour magazine and the Today show, Christina Huffington, the daughter of prominent spokesperson and now former Huffington Post editor in chief Arianna Huffington, told the all-too-familiar story of the progression of the disease of addiction until she was living on the knife's edge of life. For Christina Huffington, her road to addiction began at age twelve, with surreptitious use of alcohol. By the time she began boarding at an East Coast prep school, she was drinking compulsively and showing signs of, in her words, "binge eating"--another compulsive behavior that led to admission to an eating-disorder program and a return to living closer to home. Then, at age sixteen, came that moment that people with addiction so frequently describe: the experience of using a substance and then feeling as they never had before, a feeling that seemed to demand repeating, and repeating and repeating. This characteristic can help define whether someone is a casual or a habitual procrastinator. Remember Stan, the casual procrastinator, and Charlie, the habitual procrastinator, from Chapter Two? Every now and then, Stan intentionally puts off acting on a task while he pursues less urgent things, like taking a nap on a weekend afternoon, or catching a ball game on television. However, if the ball game has been rained out on a Sunday afternoon, that's the time when inspiration strikes him. It's the moment when he asks himself if there's anything he's been putting off. It hardly matters what was put off, because as Stan would say, "Now's the time." And, even if he doesn't have something in particular to do, Stan will search around his home and find something that needs attention. Our friend Charlie began putting things off years ago, in the false belief that he was waiting for when things "felt right," because it seemed to follow that if he felt sufficiently inspired, then his results "just had to be better." The only problem with this line of thinking is that Charlie never "feels like" doing much of anything--so the longer that he waits for the "right time" to come along, the longer nothing gets done. At any given time the average habitual procrastinator typically has several tasks that he has put off which usually comprise a mix of high-priority tasks and intermediate-level or less urgent tasks. One such procrastinator is Jerry, who has a large assortment of tasks requiring attention. When asked to identify the one task that was clearly his highest priority, Jerry mentioned that his car's inspection sticker would expire in a few days' time. Then, without missing a beat, he added that the reason why he hadn't dealt with it was because other high-priority tasks had prevented him.

You see, Jerry's apartment was a complete mess, and then his old high school buddy Matt, who lives in Canada, had unexpectedly called with news that he and his girlfriend Cathy were about to take a long-distance drive. Matt wondered if they could stay overnight at Jerry's place, which was tomorrow. Suddenly, housecleaning had jumped from somewhere near the bottom of Jerry's mental "to-do list" to "high-priority." Jerry seethed in self-anger for allowing himself to wind up in this situation "for the zillionth time," and complained that he "kept getting himself into the same old situations, but with different people each time." According to brain imaging research supporting the psychic pain hypothesis, depressed people show greater activation of those brain regions that have also been linked to pain perception. Many of the symptoms found in depression, including disrupted sleeping and eating patterns, loss of pleasure, and impaired motor functioning, are also found in chronic pain patients. While severe depression can be viewed as a more extreme form of responding to psychic pain, mild depression can be an effective strategy under the right circumstances. Though trying to explain different forms of mental illness in terms of evolution is still controversial, the possible role of depression as a way of adapting to stress can help us understand why it appears so universal. It may also help explain why depression can often take different forms, depending on the kind of life circumstances people may face, the inner resources they have available to them, and the help they can receive from the family members and friends who care for them. It's hardly surprising that people who survive a traumatic experience are often going to develop posttraumatic symptoms afterward. As we have seen in Question 8, many people affected by natural or man-made disasters may lose confidence in their ability to cope effectively. Whether this traumatic event is something that happens only once (such as a natural disaster) or repeatedly (such as with victims of domestic abuse), the despair that can occur due to this belief in their own helplessness can be extremely hard to overcome. And as new traumatic events occur, this sense of helplessness becomes progressively worse. But this kind of learned helplessness doesn't just affect people who are directly exposed to traumatic events. Family members or friends of trauma victims can also experience these symptoms when they hear about these first-hand experiences and try to provide emotional support. This is known as secondary traumatic stress, and it can take a toll as well. Build more movement into your daily routine: take the stairs, have a meeting while going for a walk and park as far away from the supermarket entrance as possible. The obvious tip here would be to start biking to work, or school, or anywhere. However, your city may not be ready for cycles, so getting your local city council to start investing in infrastructure for people, not cars, could be the first step on a long road. However, there are also some short-term solutions. The reason why Danes exercise more than everybody in the EU is that they don't see it as exercise. They see it as transportation.

A small dose of fitness becomes part of your normal life instead of something you do in the gym. This runs against the fact that we have built overly convenient societies - we sit still at work, we stand still on the escalator, we walk through doors that open automatically, we take the lift, we drive to the gym to train on the Stairmaster for an hour. So, I think the key lesson from the Danish way of living when it comes to health is to build movement into your daily routine. The Happiness Research Institute is located by the lakes of central Copenhagen. On our side, there is no traffic and thus no noise, which allows me to walk by the lakes when I need to make a long phone call, and even to convert some meetings into walk'n'talks - for instance, my employees and I have monthly conversations instead of yearly reviews, and these are done while we walk. Moreover, when I ask our barista for a cup of coffee, I then walk five floors up to the top of the building and back down again, and the coffee is ready. It doesn't take any more time and, as I drink four cups a day, it means I climb the stairs of a hundred-storey building every week. Similarly, every two hours in front of the computer `costs' twenty-five push-ups. Do I get embarrassed when colleagues catch me doing this? Totally. Do I believe it is worth the embarrassment? I do. If your biggest and most time-consuming goals are too intimidating, break them down into manageable sizes. This process doesn't make you lazy, incompetent, or weak - it makes you smarter, more efficient, and more effective. It's easy to get intimidated writing a 80,000+ word book, like this one, but it's easier to do if you take it one page at a time, like I am. I hate to keep going back to the subject but when I was an aircraft mechanic and had to load my 1,000 pound toolbox onto a truck and drop it off at a new facility, I did it myself by removing each drawer, lifting one side of the box at a time onto the truck, loading the drawers onto the truck, and then re-installing them back into the box. If the facility didn't have a forklift and no one around to help unload it, I repeated the process in reverse. It took a little longer, but I was able to break a large goal down into more manageable sizes. Also, when I had very large repairs to accomplish that required hundreds of hours, thousands of rivets, hi-loks, screws, nuts, and bolts, and dozens of steps, I did the same thing. Instead of looking at the thousands of fasteners and hundreds of hours, and dozens of steps as one giant and intimidating goal, I broke it down into smaller times, sizes, and steps by analyzing what needed to happen, making a to-do list, shutting my mind off, and just getting to it.

If I was removing the damage, I determined how many hours it would take and broke it down into smaller and more specific steps. Then, I'd pull out my "remove damage" focus box and work from there. I did each step one at a time until the damage was removed and simplified and repeated this process over and over for each step until the entire repair was finished. Anything that takes a lot of time and effort, break it into smaller pieces. Cocaine became her drug of choice, an expression in the addiction community that describes the one drug that a drug-dependent person prefers more than any other. She denied having a problem (another feature of the disease, especially early on and with no treatment) and stopped after she was caught at home. But she did not stop being an addict; she just stopped using for the moment. She worked hard at school, getting into Yale, and was clean for three years until she took the next snort. It was as if not a moment had passed; she was again as compulsive, and secretive, a user as she had been. Going from zero to sixty right away is also characteristic of addiction. Everything else gives way to using. She developed tolerance and a host of physical problems from her daily drug abuse. Finally, she got scared and told her mother. That is the first step in recovery: admitting you have a problem. The next step was rehab, the beginning of a journey of recovery, which demands exploration of why the person was using the drug in the first place. Rehab is also the beginning of turning to others for support, and not only to stay sober--though that is essential. Many people in recovery, though not all, follow the 12-step approach familiar to many from AA, NA, and Al-Anon. Rehab can help patients learn to live a drug-free life, one in which love, work, and purpose serve as the natural highs we all need. For sure, the first time in rehab is not the one that works for many people. It can take a number of tries at being clean and sober, at living a life of recovery, before the process fully takes hold.