I have an addiction. It has controlled my life for the last 10 years, and it’s time to come clean.
The way I think, the way I act, and the way I live are all caused by my addiction to self-improvement. I truly thrive when I’m working on ways that I can become better. Learning, training, writing, and interacting with others are all ways that I strive to continually improve.
I’ve been addicted to other things. I’ve had vices in my past. But this addiction is much stronger. It is the only reason I’ve ever been able to conquer or dispel my less than virtuous vices. My addiction to growth and desire to reach my potential have always pulled me up from the darkest places I’ve been, back towards the light.
Like any addiction, this behavior is selfish at the core. It’s all about me right?
Or is it?
Far from being purely selfish, I want to become more, to become better, so I can give more and provide better for those that I love. The better I am the more I can do to make a difference while I’ve still got time.
You see this addiction is killing me.
My days are numbered, my time is running out, and I know that. I readily accept the challenge of focusing on my own improvement each and every day. I plan on going out as a better man and leaving the world a better place.
Death is a certainty for all of us, and one of the most powerful ways to conquer the fear of it is to embrace evolving into our best selves. To manifest the highest expressions of our potential is the calling that we are all born to express.
I want to know what I can do, what I can become, and what I can create during my time on earth. No, that’s not true. I don’t want to know those things…I need to know. I must know.
I’ve squandered a lot of time in my life, and my guess is you have too. I’ve fucked up, been a bad person, and hated myself. But, there’s something empowering about all that, if I choose to create my own meaning from my past. When I make a mistake or fail, I can let that fuel my addiction — I can let it drive me to improve myself.
I can say “no” more often. I can emphatically proclaim my vow to change, to ameliorate my flaws and failures. As long as I’ve got a breath in me and blood pumping I can improve something. I don’t have to stay in the gutter, or stew in my misfortunes.
This addiction I have, and the mindset it brings, have forever changed me. There is no going back. One of the only things I fear is the thought of allowing my will to weaken, and my spirit to degrade. I’m petrified that I may decide to forgo the quest for constant and never-ending improvement.
That shit is scary.
Giving up. Determining that things in our lives are as good as they’ll ever be, or that we have no power to change our circumstances, are two of the worst choices a human can make. I simply cannot allow myself to live like that. I have to at least try. Effort is always our own, and only we know how much we are really giving each day.
I definitely don’t leap and bound effortlessly from one improvement to the next like a graceful gazelle. I routinely go for prolonged periods on plateaus, or even descend and deteriorate in some areas. But, I refuse to give up, I refuse to settle or accept the downward trajectory.
I usually find my plateaus or descents when I lose touch with myself, my dreams and what I truly desire. If I haven’t checked in with how I’m feeling, and where I am for a while — the next time I do I might not have improved very much. So, part of my addiction drives me to keep taking stock of myself and re-evaluating what I want.
Maybe my best could already be behind me. Maybe there is no better. Maybe I’m not even improving myself, and maybe I’m blind to the facts.
Fuck that. Life is too short for maybe.
To sit and postulate on the maybes, is to waste our blessed moments alive. If the only conclusion we can draw is a maybe then we might as well make a choice one way or the other. Yes or no. Grow or wither. Live or die.
Our lives are not supposed to be easy. Our paths are not straight to the top of perfections peak. The choices we make and the attitude with which we live alter our courses drastically. My life may have many more valleys mixed with its scenic vistas. I may not ever be able to know for certain that I have reached my pinnacle, and that’s exactly why I’ll keep pushing.
Life is venturing courageously into the unknown or awaiting the tales from those who do. The addiction that drives me forward, and dictates the way I live is based on being an active architect of my life’s narrative. Writing my own story.
For each of us, we leave behind a story, but very few of us take a real crack at it. We have a rough copy, an unedited and unrefined version of our lives. We assume our first version is our ultimate version. We succumb to a passive viewpoint, watching ourselves participate from a distance.
My rough copy is constantly being edited, and I firmly believe in my ability to improve my story. I think the only way to live is to be at the helm of our journey. The only way to live is to be the author, pen in hand, looking at their work with an eye for improvement. What is missing? What needs to go? What comes next?
My addiction is answering these questions and knowing that the answers are in my hands.
Thank you for reading!
This is the 79th installment of Writing Wednesday. A commitment to myself to actually pursue my dreams of becoming a writer. I have resumed this practice after almost an entire years absence.
I am a writer.
Let me know what you think, and follow my journey on Instagram/Twitter (@multitude27)