Over half the population is not engaged in their workplace and, furthermore, over half of Americans can't cover a surprise $500 expense. The life expectancy of Americans has declined for three years in a row and drug use has increased to an unprecedented level. Half of all marriages end in divorce and the most attended class in all universities is a psychology class at Stanford about finding happiness. Does it really look like we're making good, committed decisions about our lives? COME ON. Let's just take an honest look at ourselves! How recently have you said you were going to do something, but then didn't do it? Even if it was just a small thing, like not working out. Sexual activity and sexual fantasy alter brain chemistry in the same way by producing profound feelings of pleasure. Sex addicts are altering their brain chemistry, and as a result, their mood, all the time. They use sex as a drug to produce a high. As his disease progresses, the sex addict cares less and less who his sexual partner is. If he can't find a partner, masturbation will give him a quick fix. His chief pursuit is the high. THE SCIENCE OF ADDICTION While a nonaddicted individual can quickly see how the addict's behavior causes problems or has the potential to do so, the addicted person continues the behaviors despite the risks. He either doesn't recognize the impact his behavior is having on his committed relationship or he is willing to risk the relationship. He may lose jobs, put himself (as well as his loved ones) at high risk for sexually transmitted diseases, and be willing to risk lawsuits or experience bankruptcy, all while downplaying these possibilities. Now they can use their newly attuned self-awareness for the rest of the session. Using coaching cues to improve self-awareness is backed up by the latest research.

A recent study divided Olympic weight lifters into two groups. The first were told what they were doing wrong and how to correct it, such as, The bar is coming out too far--keep it closer to you. The second group were told to exaggerate the thing they were doing wrong with a cue like Push the bar further away from you, without being told what exactly they were doing incorrectly. Which group improved more? Surprisingly, it was the second one. This is because by exaggerating the technique flaw, the athletes felt what they were doing wrong and were able to correct it. I have some of my athletes wear the Training Mask, a resistance breathing device, to teach better breathing patterns, and wearing a weight belt helps novices learn how to create abdominal pressure that protects their spine during squats. Digital technology that provides visual or audio feedback (such as beeps or buzzes) can help less-experienced athletes sense when they're doing something wrong, and once they're more cognizant of how they're moving, it can be removed. After this happens once, then it happens again and again and again and then, whoops! Guess I won't be getting that flat stomach I always wanted! Maybe next year. Then it gets even worse because after we consistently break the trust with ourselves, we just give up. That's what happens with these business owners. Our consulting firm eagerly wants to help these people. We give them so many reasons to buy into our proven system, but they've already committed to it never working in the first place. They settled for lackluster, which is the worst result of lost trust. They settled for a pathetically apathetic life. This is why trust is the first dysfunction. I think back about my behavior. There was so much deception, lying, working the room.

There was no turning it on or off. I really thought it was okay. I was clueless to the damage. I rationalized my first divorce not being about my behavior but that she just wanted different things. Today I am stunned at my own thinking, or lack of thinking, back then. I didn't know how to stop. It sounds so strange, but until I got help I didn't realize that it was truly an addiction for me. I was incapable of stopping on my own. The key here is that the athlete, coach, and technology are all involved, but the emphasis is on human learning and understanding. Relying on a gadget alone not only prevents you from developing self-awareness but can even result in harm if the device is inaccurate or gives faulty feedback. Dream Bigger We're often our own worst enemy. We set limits on what we believe we can do and fail to see beyond what already exists to what may be possible. We let fear of failure stop us from trying something new. But if we're able to shake off these self-imposed limitations, the sky is, literally, the limit. From the Edge of Space Many people find it useful to set defined goals--like running a sub-three-hour marathon or competing in an Ironman--and then work backwards to create smaller milestones toward those aims, so they can measure their progress over time. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, but there's always the risk that striving to achieve a certain time in a race, get on the podium, or reach a particular weight in your favorite lift can become restrictive. It's the biggest ingredient to solving our apathetic problems. We must put in the work, individually, to prove trustworthiness to ourselves.

Then, as a result of our consistent ability to rely on our own word, others can actually rely on us. Now, everybody is benefiting and trusting each other more, because it all started with our ability to trust in ourselves. It takes the raw vulnerability that was pivotal for DecisionTech's turnaround. It takes a strong discipline to prove your role in the team, as Phil Jackson saw in his eleven championship teams. A article I recommended you read in our first article was How to Win Friends and Influence People. The principles Dale Carnegie talks about are far from extraordinary. They are actually as easy as smiling more! Here are some of the basic lessons he recommends throughout the article: I needed help. Left to my own thinking, I thought I had my life in control. The twisted thinking here is that I thought I had all of my lies covered and that meant all was okay. The science of addiction indicates that the inability to recognize the impact of behavior on others or the willingness to risk what is significant in one's life appears to be connected to brain chemistry. How many times have you said or wanted to say to your partner, What are you thinking? The answer is: he is not thinking. When people use substances or engage in escape behaviors, the brain releases neurotransmitters, such as adrenaline and dopamine, that trigger the brain's pleasure/reward center; With repetitive engagement, the triggers in the brain's reward center override the cognitive, rational thinking part of the brain. Brain scans show there are reduced levels of activation in the prefrontal cortex, where rational thought should be able to override impulsive behavior. But under the influence, it doesn't. In one way, you're limiting yourself and trying to push your body just hard enough to reach this mark, and no more. Then, when you use your daily activity tracking and other kinds of monitoring to see where you're at and how close you are to where you want to be, the data can act as another barrier to the almost unlimited progress that I think we're all capable of.

One of the reasons I was so enthralled by Felix Baumgartner's 2012 jump from the edge of space was that he was redefining what was possible and showing that the term impossible is just, at its essence, an arbitrary and meaningless creation of our minds. When he made the leap into nothingness and managed to land safely--having had to stop a spin that could've killed him--I rejoiced not because he'd done it but because he'd set the bar at twenty-four miles into the stratosphere. And then, just a few months later, Google executive Alan Eustace went even higher. Felix's and Alan's stories illustrate that we've got to stop letting our own mediocre expectations and the trappings of technology limit us, because there truly are no limits except those we set for ourselves. Another example of boundless progress in action is Kai Lenny, who is constantly moving between surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, kiteboarding, and other disciplines. Kai understands that one of the keys to being a true waterman is to believe that potential is infinite if you just remain open to any and all possibilities and take the time to appreciate whatever experiences may bring your way. This is why you shouldn't be limited by your own numerical goals or those provided by your wearable. Dream bigger than that and then, like Kai, go out and make that dream reality. Smile. Don't criticize, condemn or complain. Give honest and sincere appreciation. Become genuinely interested in other people. Be a good listener and encourage people to discuss further. Talk to people in their interests, instead of purely talking about your interests. Make them feel important. Show respect for the other person's opinions. Never just say, You're wrong. Don't call out people's mistakes in public, unless it's absolutely necessary. The prefrontal cortex succumbs to the limbic system, the emotional, reactive area of the brain. In essence, addiction is a hijacked brain.