Are You Addicted?

By: Dan Kennedy on: April 15th, 2011 6 Comments

On a Sunday morning ‘Today Show’, I watched a woman interviewed (and, incredibly, taken seriously), describing her trauma as a ‘psychic addict’ and her use of her own Tarot cards as a ‘nicotine patch.’ Apparently, she has spent a lot of money visiting and calling psychics, thus she is an ‘addict’.

If this addiction gets a name assigned to it by psychiatrists, she’ll qualify for disability money from Social Security.

If a person gambles and loses his paycheck, he’s a gambling addict.

A few attempts have been made, so far unsuccessfully, to get eating too much fast food classed as an addiction that the food companies can be held liable for causing.

To the psychic addict: nobody suggests that the person spending every Sunday morning and three nights a week at Joel O’Steen’s mega church or their local Catholic parish is a religion addict.

We are selective and judgemental, aren’t we?

In any case, we are far too willing to say that ‘choice’ is ‘addiction’. We let people act irresponsibly and hand them the excuse. Of course I recognize there are real addicts. But I am convinced, for every addict, there are a hundred excuse-makers happily accepting the addict label.

A zebra ain’t a horse, but an excuse is an excuse is an excuse. And I’ll bet I’ve heard 1,000, all positioned as something other than choice.

For example, I hear “I’m not a good reader” or “I’m a slow reader” a lot. As if that was some genetic handicap that ought to qualify somebody for disability payments or somebody provided by the government to read to them.

No, that’s being blind. Not a ‘slow reader.’ Pfui. Pathetic.

Here’s a thought: read faster. That’ll cure that disability. Take a course, hire a coach, go to a class. You are what you choose to be.

In the Eden Ryl film ‘Pack Your Own Chute’ I used to show in seminars, she interviews people about their biggest problem with their job. Most said: getting there on time.

Each had a different “disability” that prevented them from getting to work on time. When I was young, I would turn off my alarm clock and keep sleeping. I cured my genetic disability by buying five alarm clocks, putting each under large coffee cans, each ten feet further away from the bed, the last one in the bathroom.

You have to be your own Excuse Watchdog. Catch yourself too easily letting yourself off the hook, accepting your own b.s., accepting an “I’m not…” or “I can’t…” explanation when truth is “I choose not to….”

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    6 Responses

    1. Steve Minton says:

      Thank you Dan, Thank you for handling truth head on. Dan for President!

    2. val says:

      living is a choice.the choices we make either make us or mar us.i chosed not to make excuses for my weaknesses a long time ago.cheers

    3. Marc says:

      Hahaha… if this coffee cans story about your “genetic disability” is true… that’s awesome.

    4. Darren says:

      Interesting. While I think that addiction can be a real and serious issue, I agree that in many cases we as people make choices that lead to unwanted consequences.

      To a certain extent, we’re all responsible for our lives and the decisions we make, which create our future.

      Stephen Covey talks about being proactive and enlarging our own circle of influence. Whether it’s quitting smoking, eliminating fast food from your diet, or reading faster, I believe there are actions we can take that will bring us closer to the “success” we’re looking for.

    5. Paul Wowk says:

      This reminds me of a ex-fiancee to my brother.

      Her life was always a mess. Bills overdue, getting sick, late for work, failing a class, emergency room, etc. Every time her life got better or stable, she started freaking out and something would go wrong. For example, she knew that if she drank non-diet coke, she’d get a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). I don’t know how many times I saw her with a coke in her hand (and I can’t remember how many UTIs she got).

      She was a classic example of someone addicted to their struggle. In a subconscious way, she actually ENJOYED living a life in a mess.

      That “psychic addict” was addicted to her feeling of being the victim helped by psychics.

    6. James z says:

      I love that idea. Instead of claiming I am addicted to sleeping, maybe I should set up five alarm clocks to get me out of bed by 7am (one alarm is not enough)

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