Obsession has a negative stigma tied to it. It's included in many clinical disorders, the most commonly known being obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). People look in disgust at the straight A student who complains about a 96 on their exam. They see someone who constantly slaves over their work, and they say to themselves, Man, I do NOT envy her job. They see the guy who's a stickler for the details, and they'll ask him to relax and take a chill pill. They see another woman jogging in the morning as they're dragging themselves out of bed. They think, Who the hell does this woman think she is? Running outside at 7 am. It would become my answer--my solution--and I would get blithering numb. Then I found masturbation and pornography, and they took me to another realm. For a moment all I knew was my escape from feeling unwanted and unloved. Now I needed no one. Masturbation was a form of escape and solace when I was just a young boy. I'd often take myself to an open lot down the alley from our house and spend my time alone, fantasizing and masturbating. It was actually in that lot where I found my first pornography. The sexual pleasure of pornography and masturbating made a powerful tie when I was anxious, stressed, and scared. My mother was very domineering and volatile. She disciplined in anger, physically, with belts. How many times per hour? Can we just make a point to check them once every hour or every two hours instead of every time we hear the notification bell?

Consider keeping your phone away from your bed, and plan a time after which you don't look at your phone. Maybe one to two hours prior to bedtime will be electronics free. If you use your phone as an alarm, get a different alarm. We have many resources in our treasure chest. Those resources are our fuel and help us balance our bodies when they are being depleted by stress. Resources are in our foods, such as amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, phytonutrients, and spices. Other resources come from nourishing good gut bacteria and stimulating detox and anti-inflammation pathways with sleep, sunlight, meditation, and exercise--and much more. Over the centuries, there has been a surge in the prevalence of many illnesses, such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune disease. Is there a line where it's too far in the obsession for success? You know what, I'd say so. You'll find that the leaders of many top companies and organizations are wrapped in controversy. Donald Trump's entire life is wrapped in controversy. Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, Jack Welch, Mark Zuckerburg, Andrew Carnegie and many of the greats all have negative public stories for their careers. These stories include ruined marriages, estranged children, financial fraud, bad experiences from previous employees and many, MANY lawsuits! Obsession and success does have their consequences. For the celebrities who make a living out of their name, they work adamantly to keep their name in a positive light. You can think of people like Lebron James or Kobe Bryant or Ellen DeGeneres or Jimmy Fallon or Kevin Hart. They all, at one time, dealt with negative stories written about them, or some mistake they made, and now, no one even cares. Dad took the path of least resistance. He left us kids to take the explosion.

He was very demanding, though, with high expectations. He pushed us hard in sports and academics. Because we were physically small, he pushed us even harder to be the best. I'd use masturbation to wake up in the morning, as an eye opener. It got me up and moving. It was a way for me to calm myself and to go to sleep when I was anxious. As I got older, I'd also use sex as a reward. I would tell myself I was entitled, that my behavior didn't hurt anyone else. We are seeing more heart attacks in younger people; One could argue that we see more of these diseases now because people are living longer and getting more age-related diseases. But we have to consider, as well, that in the current day, there are many more toxins and stresses our bodies are exposed to, triggering more illnesses. Today in medicine we have become quite advanced and have learned to treat many of these illnesses. We have learned to treat cancers with chemotherapy and radiation. We have learned to treat high blood pressure with pills. We have learned to treat clogged heart arteries with pills and then stents. If the heart becomes weak, we have learned how to put in mechanical hearts and do heart transplants. If the joints go bad from excess weight, we replace the joints. We have become a society that focuses on fixing messes instead of preventing them. Who doesn't like Kevin Hart? There's another consequence to being obsessed.

You can't be obsessed about too many things if you want to be truly excellent. Think about it. No, he's creating something funny. Humor is his obsession. He's now doing movies, TV shows, clothing lines and other business ventures. And he'll never ditch comedy. Lebron James was obsessed with his goal to be one of the greatest there ever was in basketball. It was not until he reached his #1 player status that he began to look at other ventures in business and acting. Pretty crazy thinking, but it had become a predominant source of reward, way to relax, and a boost of esteem. It quickly became my answer to fear. I was just this overgrown, scared, terrified little boy inside. Strongly influenced by his childhood history, an addict uses his sexuality to meet different needs. Pleasurable feelings of sexuality were perhaps the only relief he ever knew during childhood. Sex was his escape, a mood-altering experience. As he grew up, sex continued to be a means of coping with stress. Early on, the addict learned to use fantasy and arousal to stabilize his mood temporarily or to avoid anxiety. Later, as he discovered sexual pleasure, fantasy served an even more powerful and distracting role, and the addict began to lose himself in it in a way that characterizes sexual acting out. When an addict begins to feel something painful, he uses sex as a way to medicate that pain. We install new joints before we discuss weight loss and building muscle. We perform gastric bypass (weight-loss) surgery before we educate people on what they can eat to lower their risk of obesity.

We prescribe cholesterol-lowering agents and blood pressure medicines before we teach people about sodium and cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fat. Our insurance covers antidepressants before it covers psychotherapy. We do not focus on root causes of illness, such as stress and inflammation-induced imbalances, but only the end result. With all of the advancements in health and technology, are we any better? Are we healthier? As patients, we, too, look for magic pills to cure whatever ails us. We want pills that cause us to lose weight. We ask our doctors to prescribe pills to give us energy and ease pain in our joints. When he was 23 years old, he didn't know squat about which companies to invest his fortunes in. He was still laser-focused on dominating the sport of basketball. Another consequence of this laser-focus obsession? You become an unstoppable force, and you do whatever is in your power to keep it that way. That means, you eliminate any people who will keep you from your end goal. You know how misery loves company? I can tell you that those who are successful almost express the opposite sentiment. Kevin Hart discussed once, on the Joe Rogan Experience, that he needed to cut people out of his circle numerous times. I'd argue that people like Kevin Hart have needed to kick out more friendships and family members than they like to brag about. As Steve Jobs has said about saying no, Even fantasizing without personal physical contact can be soothing to a sex addict. When stressed by any difficult situation (whether it is work, family, money, or loneliness), addicts turn to using an external substance or engaging in an addictive behavior to distract them from what feels like an uncontrollable internal experience.