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Barry has some strategies for major problems but he seems to let the smaller things go by. Maybe that's a strategy too. Would his life be better if he used strategies for those smaller things? Everywhere you turn in society, there is seduction that reinforces our insufficiency. There is always the promise of an answer residing in an external solution that will solve all immediate human problems. These problems might be tension, anxiety, stress, depression, headaches, loss of hair, erectile dysfunction, constipation, augmented breasts or genitals, poor self-image, sex drive, rejection by peers, or finding your soul mate online. The advertising that bombards us tells us that there is an answer! You can buy it, feel better, and get relief. Instead of telling people what to do, facilitate open-ended discussion. People will be more willing to engage with you and possibly come to reasonable decisions. Be open to exploring others' ideas instead of setting yourself up as the director. Be willing to explore other people's feelings through open-ended questions and reflection. Identify your behavioral responses. Now think about what our sages have advised and what each might tell you to do differently in the case you selected. For example, what would Epictetus tell you to do differently if you become focused on your audience instead of your speech? Create your plan of action. Based on these insights, brainstorm another creative list of the things you would do differently. This new list will be your plan of action! Anxiety is a sign that we are "off-balance." If our left hemisphere swings up too high, we tend to run around distracting ourselves from our feelings. We complain about how busy we are, but we may fail to realize that this busyness serves a purpose.

It stops us from reflecting on our internal life and acknowledging unmet needs, painful memories, or negative thoughts. In this event, our anxiety is the result of too many unacknowledged physical, emotional, relational, and/or spiritual needs that never get properly articulated, much less met. Addictions by definition are self-destructive. They erode self-esteem and cause gradual health problems; they cause social impairments, and can destroy occupational, physical, emotional, and interpersonal functioning. In a sense, all addictions are displays of the underlying XXXXXXXXXXX. Our society condones and reinforces addictive behaviors, until it becomes front-page news. What is your mission in this life? Not necessarily your profession, but what you are on this earth to do? The big picture. Some of us are fortunate that our mission and our profession are the same. For example, my mother was a high school history teacher but was frequently voted most popular teacher of the year because she was known to help raise the self-esteem of her students. So, I would say that her mission was to help raise the self-esteem of her students while she happened to teach them history. Teaching history was her vocation, but not her mission. Some of us have yet to discover our mission in this life; if this applies to you and you have no idea how to answer this question, then think of what the people who you respect have told you. What have they pointed out to you about yourself that you have ignored? Some people have a lot of money and power but are still playing it small because they haven't done what they know needs to be done for the good of all, and they know they could do it. What is your mission in this life? Many of ushave trouble finishing things: the term paper, the cabinets we're building, the house cleaning, even the book we're writing. Barry says it's his biggest problem. Daffy says it's not much of a problem for him.

For me, it's in-between. I do sometimes start a project and then get stalled, but I usually get it done eventually. But not always. I got stalled on the guitar courses. There were some projects I started and then realized they were dead-end time wasters and stopped. That's different though; it`s good that I didn't finish those. The human capacity to control the external world, in particular other people's actions or the conditions under which they act, is limited and imperfect. Focusing on controlling your actions, not the actions of others, tends to bring peace of mind. It's not awful to not be perfectly in control! Expectation perfectionists demand perfection, or near-perfection, of others in general or certain others with whom they have a relationship, imposing rigid, perfectionistic standards on their children, employees, teachers, students, friends, significant others, service providers, and more. When they think these standards have not been, or may not be, satisfied and their emotional responses tend to be exaggerated. By contrast, if our right hemisphere is on the high end of the seesaw, we tend to get stuck ruminating about our experience. We turn things over and over in our heads but feel eternally conflicted about the right answer. In this condition, anxiety tends to result because we are so focused on what's going on inside us that we can't formulate an effective response to our external circumstances. In this situation, we tend to feel powerless and trapped and may talk endlessly about our problems (both in our heads and to others) but struggle to actually do anything practical to address those problems. So much of the social fabric of everything we do involves the acceptance of addictive behavior that they become like smog, we accept it and are unaware of it. Why Do You Become Addicted? Over the years, a series of different theories have developed concerning the origin of addictive behavior. The most traditional one suggests that the individual lacks willpower and is unable to control his behavior. The second theory presents addiction as an illness.

This theory removes the moral, judgmental stigma previously associated with addictive behavior. It releases the addicted person from personal responsibility and enables him to seek treatment without embarrassment or humiliation. How do you sabotage yourself from fulfilling your life's mission? Explain the ways that your inner terrorist sabotages your life's mission. List some of its tactics that you have witnessed again and again. You can now put your paper away for a day or so and come back to it later for part II of the exercise, or continue on now if you wish and have the time. Why would I have trouble finishing something? I start something, usually with great enthusiasm. I get into it and then the new is gone. I've got it down and it's not a challenge anymore and there's a bunch of new challenges calling for my attention. Maybe there's not a heavy deadline built in and setting my own deadline for myself is not very powerful. Maybe I run into a hard part and it just seems too difficult or too much effort. Maybe I'm not sure I can actually do it. Some of the problem is perfectionism; I may fear that it's not going to turn out well, so I'm afraid of finishing and finding out that I was right. How do you respond emotionally when others do not live up to your performance expectations for them? In your journal, jot down your most common responses. I know of many parents who expect their children to perform perfectly or near-perfectly in school, sports, or other activities. One mom became a regular at her daughter's school, leveling complaints about teachers for unfairly grading her daughter. They were "terrible teachers," she proclaimed, and were "singling out" her daughter; that's why her little A-student was getting B's! As mother grilled and drilled daughter in preparation for upcoming exams and made sure all assignments and homework were impeccably accurate and in good form, both experienced intense, relentless anxiety.

What a way to live! The second layer of our experience is self-talk, the internal conversation that answers the question, "What does this even mean to me or say about the kind of person that I, and other people, think I am?" Karen interpreted Julia's failure to text her back as a sign that she had annoyed Julia, and that Karen "is just a pest who drives people away." The third layer of experience is the memories triggered by the present event. As Karen reflected on the question, "What experiences taught me to think this way (that I am a pest who drives people away)?" she became more aware of different life experiences in her past that taught her to think of herself in this negative manner. The third or biological theory regards addiction as evolving from a genetic (DNA), metabolic, or biochemical disorder. From this perspective all addictions are viewed as physiologically based. The fourth theory proposes that addiction is a behavioral issue. Addictions are perceived as learned behaviors, are the result of past experiences and current circumstances combined. This theory presumes that everyone has power over his own destiny, and suggests that each person can control his behavior if he learns how to modify it. There are an abundance of case studies that justify each theory. Examining the microbiology reveals the connection. The body secretes natural substances that create a feeling of euphoria. This euphoric feeling can become addictive. Whether it is naturally induced or chemically induced, the result is the same, relief from anxiety, and a temporary experience of complete and total euphoria. This feeling is what most addicts are seeking. How do you define happiness? You have defined what happiness is for you. Read and reread this definition. Keep this definition in plain sight--on your wall or in your wallet or handbag. Keep it in the forefront of your mind and, throughout the course of your days, determine if your actions support or deter your happiness. Also, share what makes you happy with your family and significant other.