Motivation > Addiction = Change is below this
We need to celebrate small victories when we are struggling badly but still trying hard. For example let’s look at Danny the drinker who has made a recent commitment to quitting the booze but he knows and admits that everything is messed up right now.
After reading an article on prayer techniques he is praying fervently and is seeing some results. Then on day 3 of his latest recovery his brother calls him and reminds him about the money he owes him. Before he even has a chance to think about his actions he realizes that he is on his 3rd beer already.
He now has 2 options, #1 give up and get drunk or #2 start to pray again and consider the progress he has made. He chose option #2.
Upon choosing option 2 he also noticed that he bought a little less beer than he normally buys. He also noticed that some of his prayers have started to make his messed up marriage better. He has noticed a greater commitment to making his job work. And most importantly until 30 minutes ago he noticed a nice (although small) improvement in self-control.
Now I am not trying to downplay the disaster of going back to drinking. But if it happens you need to look at what you were doing differently and celebrate what you did right (even if it was short lived). For example: someone who has a weight problem is doing themselves no help if they sit around moping about the fact that they messed up again for the 8748th time. Instead, they should focus on the fact that this week they made a new commitment to reading 2 pages each day of a diet book and 2 pages each day of a fitness book. He knows his mind does not think right regarding food and his new goal of reading will start to change his thinking over time. Today he is focusing on what he did right and today he is renewing his focus on not doing the wrong stuff tomorrow.
By thinking about what he is doing right he is strengthening himself for the next day. There is even a chance Danny might be able to throw those remaining beers away. By realizing and focusing on the fact that his prayers/quitting techniques/support groups are working he can now make the decision to start doing more of what is working and in the future have confidence that he will have more success.
Today I am going to talk about gaming addiction. It is very similar to the other addictions I cover on this site because “gamers” only have an interest in gaming and most other activities do not interest them. So solutions to this addiction are similar to solutions for drugs, gambling etc.
Gary the gamer needs to quit gaming – he already lost one job and he is in hot water at his current job. He can’t go to bed because he can’t stop gaming. Gary does not understand it but since he habitually gamed in excess he now has a spirit of gaming. His pastor explained to him that once you develop a habit which has a spirit, it is hard to stop the activity once you start. He also explained that he needed alternate activities to keep him busy. Gary indicated that reading might be a positive option for him. Next pastor Pete recommended the following prayers: Father, take away this spirit of gaming and help me to spend time reading Christian books. #2 Father, take away this spirit of gaming and give me a spirit of self-control. #3 Father, take away my love of gaming and help me to focus on doing my job well. #4 Father take away my focus on gaming and fill me with your love.
But in real life Gary discovered that these prayers make him think about gaming and he immediately would slip back into his old routine. The next week he let his pastor know what was happening. Now his pastor recommended praying: Father, take away my lust for pleasure and help me to focus on doing my job well. #2 Father, take away my lust for excitement and help me to care about souls. #3 Father, take away my lust for winning and wanting to be the best and help me to have a love for people. #4 Father, take away my lust for pleasure and help me to have a spirit of self-control.
After a day of praying these new prayers Gary started to feel a tiny bit of self-control. Excited about his bit of success he decided to pray each of these prayers 50 times the next day. He felt like he could follow his pastors advice to “make sure you are sincere each and every time you pray each prayer”. The next day he focused on other activities including reading Christian books and had success.
The following day he also had success but he was just in a bad mood. Yeah he is sleeping now and his job is going well, but now he could not do the one thing he loves – gaming. He decides just to game a little bit, 30 minutes at the most. 9 hours later he realizes it is too late to go to bed. He gamed all night and now has to go to work with no sleep.
The next day he meets with his pastor and asks him how things went so wrong when he did everything right. His pastor asks him a question: what are you learning from the Christian book that you are reading. He perks up and says: it’s great, it is about discovering what God wants you to do in life, I really am enjoying it. The pastor then asked: what does the book say you should be doing right now, today, this week?
Well, it says to try to get started doing something to help somebody in need. It said God notices people who are in action trying to help others. Pete replied, what did you do this week to help others? I guess not much. Pete replied, your need something to do in your life that is greater than gaming. #1 Maybe it won’t be quite as exciting to you, but you need to think about something most of the time that is greater than gaming.
#2 You need to think more about the destruction gaming causes than you think about the pleasure it gives you.
Praying these prayers will get you started into a new habit of thinking about other things. 30% of the reason you pray to God is so that you focus on the changes you need to make.
This week pray your prayers even more, read the Bible even more, focus on your new goals even more and start to do something to help someone else. As you know, being a Christian is allowing Jesus/the Holy Spirit to work through you. Jesus is always doing things to help other people. If you are not at least doing some things to help others; Jesus will not be doing much in leading you into fullness of joy.
What does being clean look like?
Most People say they are happier once they are free from their addiction. But when you tell yourself that you will be happier when you quit an addiction be very specific. You will be happier for the month when you are clean but some days will be tough. I think that avoiding a couple of great parties (or any overindulgence of your addiction of choice) per month is worth it because I can be happy every day now. My new activities and passions give me less pain and more happiness over the course of the whole week than my old addictions did. One reason we can be happier is we are now starting to be free from being a slave to the cravings of our addiction. We are no longer a slave to being driven always by the addiction (which brings the stress with it). We understand that abstinence is healthier in all ways; financially, spiritually, emotionally and relationally.
Develop the habit of always looking ahead. Focus on present and future benefits.
Daily exercises you can do to fight addiction
1: Every morning and every evening say to yourself 3 ways in which abstinence is healthier for you.
2: It is best to always just avoid thinking about your addiction. But when temptation is severe you have to think about it. When you do think about it, honestly assess what will happen if you give in. When you are under severe temptation write down 3-6 negatives that will likely happen if you give in. If you are like me once you take the time to write them down you will remember just how badly you want that addiction out of your life.
3: Motivate yourself by meeting your fears head on. Many addicts believe that life will not be as exciting without their activity of choice. Work aggressively to find alternate activities to fill this excitement void.
There are two ways we can be motivated. By negative, or by positive reinforcement. The DUI costing us money is a negative motivator. But it is positive reinforcement when we make it a goal to avoid our addiction so that our finances improve. When our addiction puts a wall up between ourselves and God the emptiness is a negative. It is positive reinforcement when we decide to follow Jesus in every way so that life will start to be great.
Mahatma Gandhi said “Be the change that you want to see in the world”. Many of us want to help other people. Addiction keeps us from accomplishing what we want to do. Use your goal of helping others as motivation to quit your habits. When we set goals aligned with helping others the meaning of our life becomes greater.
Joanne Troppello from www.mustardseedmarketinggroup.com noted the following
“What would happen in your life if you started living everyday on purpose? Getting up each day with the knowledge that you could make a difference in the world-it is possible. One person can change the world… it just happens one step at a time and by helping one person at a time. That’s when the ripple effect happens. You help someone and then that person helps someone else and the wave of kindness washes over others.
Let’s start living life on purpose. Do you want victory in your life? Victory over sin… ? Success in your business… ? Restoration in broken relationships… ? It starts with a decision. That’s it, you say? Yes, that’s it. Absolutely nothing will change in your life if you don’t make a conscious decision to welcome that change into your circle of the universe. God wants to move in your life, but He also asks that we meet Him halfway with taking that first step of faith into His direction.
Are you ready to take that step? Even if you are far removed from the spiritual aspect of this conversation in regard to a relationship with God, this simple truth remains-nothing is going to change for the better in your life, until you take the first step. Don’t waste your life away over meaningless things. Life is short. Life is precious. Make every moment count. Make a difference in your life and the life of someone else today”.
The Scripture is a great motivator.
1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Verse three says that if we follow the Bibles commands whatever we do will prosper. That is good motivation.
A New Direction ©
By Tim Hofflander
When I was young I drove just for fun. One day on a snowmobile I rode. I drove off a cliff.
I am hurt. I did no wrong. I did not know the cliff was there.
Again I drive for fun. I come near the cliff. I don’t worry – I won’t fall this time. I crash off the cliff. I am frustrated to have crashed again. I yell silently because the world is out to get me.
I drive again down the same road. I see the cliff before me. I open the throttle and race right over it. I feel pain again. I see the light. I caused the crash.
I drive again. I see the cliff. I steer around it.
I drive in a new direction.