We can all become consumed by tasks from time to time. That's not unique. These folks were continually obsessed with their one skill. Every single one of the greats spent a lifetime achieving dominance step-by-step. They sacrificed huge amounts of their average childhood to excel at a young age. The word obsession isn't a stretch either. Actors can always be found watching movies, going through scripts, finding all sorts of opportunities to act and work on their own material. Tom Cruise, arguably one of the best action stars of our time, has publicly stated that he watches a movie every single day, no matter what. They maybe did or didn't love me along the way, but they didn't know how to love me or how to do it in a healthy way. I found forgiveness for me and for them. But that doesn't mean I have to live with or marry them. Perhaps you have entered into a relationship with someone who has the same addiction as your parent, but because you were so young when your parent was in the early stages of addiction you have no distinct recall of it. People often don't realize there are early, middle, and late stages to addictive disorders. Because of this, women often don't see the similarities between a partner's addiction and a parent's addiction because they were in different stages. Or maybe, like many women, you are so focused on making sure you don't end up with a partner like your alcoholic or drug-addicted father, that you are ever vigilant to look for someone who appears to drink responsibly or who doesn't drink or use drugs at all, that you end up ignoring the signs of other addictive behavior. My father was a raging alcoholic. No one in my family ever spoke up to him; I was hungry for his attention, hungry for his approval. Finding Flow In his seminal article The Rise of Superman, Steven Kotler explores how getting into a fully focused, totally engaged flow state accelerates learning and cultivates progress.

Some of the principles Kotler introduces for getting into a flow state preclude the use of technology, including eliminating distractions, focusing fully on what you're doing, and immersing yourself in an environment that's complex, unpredictable, and ever-changing. Simply put, you have to feel to flow. And yet one developing area of technology offers some promise in this area. We've looked at the benefits of using electrical stimulation for recovery, but what if you could also stimulate certain areas of your brain to put you in a flow state? That's what Dr Daniel Chao, founder of Halo Neuroscience, is hoping to do through neuropriming. Neuropriming uses a small electrical current (which the makers swear is safe) to stimulate the motor cortex of the brain, which plays a big part in movement and the kinesthetic learning that comes with it. Chao's company is introducing neuropriming to the masses with the Halo headphones, which you wear for a few minutes before you perform your activity of choice. According to the company's website, neurotechnology helped the military accelerate pilot and sniper training by 50 percent, while athletes training at Michael Johnson Performance's HQ increased explosiveness by 12 percent, versus 3 percent increases for the control group. Athletes all started with a knack for the sport, but the great ones were obsessed with it. While most kids who played tennis only practiced a couple times per week, because it was fun, the great ones worked out in the mornings before school, played for three hours after school and did the same thing every day for a decade. The great ones watched tennis matches of Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal all the time. They would dedicate their time to, not only watch for enjoyment, but to take notes and practice what the great ones were doing. They would film themselves and critique each movement in their game. They would actively participate in tournaments and, likely, do nothing else with their lives except school, tennis and sleep. All of these polarizing figures in our lifetime said this at one point: You know what. I can make something out of this skill. I'm pretty good at it and I'd like to give it my all! I'm going to remove any alternative options and commit to making it in ______ (fill in the blank). And it was the setup for a perfect match for the sex addict, really any kind of addict. But I was so busy making sure it was not someone who looked out of control, like my father with his drinking and rage, so I was looking for the class president and in doing so, not realizing I was simply a magnet for another kind of addiction.

I was the perfect match for the high-achieving, professionally visible sex addict. For over thirty-four years I was obsessed with my husband's behavior. My whole existence was in attempting to know the details of where he was, when, and with whom. In that time I managed to raise three children, and today my middle daughter is repeating my marriage exactly. I shouldn't be surprised at this, as I had repeated my mother's marriage, with a slight variation, and as I look at my family history, I see that she repeated her mother's marriage. This repetition has long been recognized as expressed in the following quote: The gods visit the sins of the fathers upon the children. Much of my recovery work has taken me back to my childhood. I have had to repeatedly work through the core belief that I am not good enough. If you could turn up primed and ready to learn every day, my job as a coach would be a lot easier and you'd get more out of each session. There might be some downside that we don't know about yet, so proceed cautiously if you decide to try neuropriming. The Unplugged Road Map Earlier in the article, we shared multiple examples of how you can use technology in a limited capacity to elevate feeling, identify problems, and correct them. The ability to do so varies according to your level of experience and the degree to which you've come to rely on technology. You might consider yourself to be an intermediate or even advanced athlete, but you might still be at a novice level when it comes to awareness of your body and how it's interacting with your environment. This doesn't mean you're any less of a human being; Awareness is not a fast-food restaurant drive-through; I think we'd be doing you a disservice if we didn't provide you with some concrete guidance at this point. That's why we've come up with the Unplugged program, which seeks to encapsulate some of the main principles in this article in an easily applicable protocol that you can start using, whether you're a pro athlete, weekend warrior, or anything in between. Well, at least I'll have found something better or I'll have died trying. They talked about being one of the best, and they meant it.

They walked the talk better than all of their peers who also wanted to be the best. Elon Musk, the real life Tony Stark, talks about this kind of dedication and hard work. Elon instructs: Work like hell. I mean you just have to put in 80 to 100 hour weeks every week. If other people are putting in 40 hour work weeks and you're putting in 100 hour work weeks, then even if you're doing the same thing you know that you will achieve in 4 months what it takes them a year to achieve. Expectations vs. You are not Elon Musk, though. I was the reason my parents got married; To compound the situation, I was supposed to be a boy to take over the family business. I carried an anti-female stigma with me most of my life. Even my gender wasn't good enough. Both of my parents were work addicts. My dad was rarely home, leaving before I woke up and home long after I went to bed. When he was home, either he was raging and belittling my sister and me or eerily quiet. My mother seemed to have little time for nurturing. On the outside we were a typical religious family and strictly admonished to ensure the world believed that. Clearly we operated with the theme: Don't talk. One of the key goals should be to improve your level of self-awareness and engagement as you progress, while simultaneously decreasing your dependence on technology. Although the Unplugged program covers only four weeks, use these four weeks to guide your next four, the following four, and so on, until you're ready for the next level.

Depending on what level you're at--novice, competitor, or pro--you'll need to utilize technology to a different extent as you work through the program in this article (or the personalized version of it that you come up with later). The Conconi Test: Establishing a Baseline To help establish some useful baselines that will provide guidance for the Unplugged program, you need to first take a modified version of the Conconi test. This assessment, which measures your anaerobic and aerobic threshold heart rates, is something I've worked on extensively with Florida A&M University exercise physiologist Dr Brian Hickey. He has pioneered a ton of work on things a lot of people do not know about, and as well as being a mad scientist who is a ton of fun to talk with and learn from, he also holds more national titles than anyone I know. The Conconi test looks for four stress responses. It works in a linear fashion, which means the stress response--heart rate increase--should also be linear. If we see a normal jump in your heart rate of five beats for two to three rounds and then there's an eight-beat jump, we know you just had a larger stress response and there's an issue that might need some ironing out, such as improving your pulmonary function. You didn't come to the United States as an immigrant, work in life-threatening jobs, frequently pull all-nighters and have the discipline to work your ass off ingrained in you. You don't have the mindset that's birthed from great poverty and life challenges, to propel you to create more than four of the most innovative companies to date (Paypal, Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity, etc). Oh yeah, he's also not even 50 years old. I don't know who you are or what you've done with your life so far, but my best guess is that if you picked up a article titled, Pathetically Apathetic, you are likely reading or listening to improve your life. While there are lots of amazing self-help articles out there, you decided that the word apathy struck a chord with you. But, to be honest, your life probably isn't that terrible. I'm making assumptions, but go with me here. You may be late in one or two bills, but you're not bankrupt or on the streets. You have a family, but, if you're honest, you've got a problem child, and if your spouse does that one thing ONE MORE TIME, I SWEAR. Give yourself a pat on the back for once! Don't talk about any problems or feelings you might have. If you can't say anything nice, don't say it at all.