Modern Day Addictions You Oughta Know About
And ideas on how to get over them.
Let’s be honest.
We all have something that’s a little too much for our own good. And these addictions are so common that we tend to just overlook them.
I brush it off by calling it a habit, which is true without labeling it as a good or bad one. If it’s a norm, then it should be alright, or so to speak.
Smoking is a norm, is it healthy for you to smoke then?
Thinking about money
I wasn’t even sure why did this money addiction start. Maybe it’s from my parents and friends. They were always worried about money.
It just felt natural everyone “should” constantly be making money even in their free time. I was already in a day job that’s not particularly exciting, and spending the rest of my time doing gigs that I sometimes hate as well.
I would reject almost all recreational activities just because I was too busy thinking about money. I wasn’t even in bad financial shape but this addiction to money just keeps getting to me.
I started to hate my life because I was wondering if this is all there is to it.
Most people including me, have goals to make money. A lot of it. However, it wasn’t until I came across Alan Watts’ lecture that I came to realize chasing money in itself is an empty goal.
Money is a metric invented to measure wealth but it is not wealth itself — Alan Watts
- Journaling — having a daily activity to reflect on my life really helps to align my priorities(most of the time it’s not about money);
- Reminding yourself about your mortality — there are some benefits to remembering that you might die anytime. One of them is to not worry about money all the time;
- Get a hobby — You probably forgot the feeling of doing something just because you enjoy it. Try it.
Coffee is the best way to start, recharge, and end the day — typical coffee lover
This is common for anyone who loves coffee out there. We believe drinking coffee to be a way of life.
We’re convinced that to keep up with the busy lifestyle, you need to be caffeinated for that mystical mind boost.
Guess what, you’re right — until you start turning into a caffeine-zombie. The more caffeine you consume on a regular basis, the more tolerance you develop towards it.
Without realizing it, you start taking in more and more coffee that has ridiculous names (dark-roasted extra triple shot expresso with whatever origin beans), thinking it would satisfy your caffeine needs.
Nope, it won’t. And it’s only going to make it worst.
- Reduce the frequency to maybe a cup a day or once every other day;
- Have a coffee detox weekend and keep your weekday coffee fixes;
- Satisfy your cravings with decaf coffee, tea, protein shakes (anything that’s healthier);
Like coffee, self-help content is helpful in nature until you cross the line.
It feels good to have gurus like Tony Robbins pump you up but that’s pretty much it — temporarily filling your head with dopamine. And it’s only natural for you to come back for more since it felt good.
So you get more books, watch more motivational talks, subscribe to podcasts so that you can feel empowered again. However, you fail to realize that these feelings are fleeting and superficial because that’s all you do.
You’re getting your dopamine fix from external sources. You’re getting excited and pumped because someone else did something, not you. How about actually doing something for a change?
- Pick up the guitar and practice the song you suck at;
- Struggle with putting another word on Medium;
- Get your ass kicked by that 30-day workout;
Yeah, it's probably a pain to know that you suck at something. Then again, you’ll also feel motivated knowing you can get better with practice.
You putting in the reps to practice, struggle, figure things out is what’s going to make you love life.
Not another motivational talk. Or another $1000 course.
Buying shit you don’t need
Most of us are addicted to consumerism. Businesses are working hard to propagandize the idea that your wellbeing is dependent on you getting more stuff. The more you buy, the more profit they have:
- Got a car? Time for a faster and flashier one to impress neighbors that you don’t even know!
- Have a house? Upsize it for 4 extra guest rooms that you’ll never use!
- Don’t have money? We have a payment plan so you can enslave yourself for the next 12 months!
We’re brainwashed into thinking we can buy our way to happiness. And no happiness is too expensive at times when people are vulnerable. People will do whatever it takes to be happy.
The satisfaction you get from buying stuff is also fleeting. You’re excited about that new iPhone you got for say, a week, and then you’re off to chase the next “in” thing. And this goes on and on until you realize you’ve been running a hedonic treadmill. There’s no end to this buying journey.
We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like — Dave Ramsey
- Study about personal finance and capitalism— most books or podcast about personal finance talks about identifying your priorities. This gives you a baseline to think about your spending behavior. Google “Dave Ramsey”, that’s a good start;
- Get to know minimalism — Don’t worry, you’re not going to be throwing out any furniture. The main thing is to understand the core concept of minimalism, which is living an intentional life;
It’s fair to say it’s hard to NOT have social media nowadays unless you’re intentionally living under a rock. Every functional app is going to ask you to connect to your social media for sign-ups.
Almost everyone is addicted to social media. You’re scrolling the feed any time you’re not doing anything. The fact that it’s so accessible and everyone is doing it makes it worst. Even my mother is on her phone most of the time these days!
If you’re having trouble finding things to do or feeling restless whenever your phone’s charging, you’re probably addicted.
- Have a social media detox weekend or month, pick what suits you;
- Delete social media from your phone, you’d probably do fine without it;
- Leave your phone in another room when you’re trying to do work;
There’s nothing wrong with indulging in something you enjoy. After all, you worked for a living so you deserve to actually live your life.
The key is moderation. Having a system to know when to stop at something can help you manage these addictions better (check out the solutions again).
Then again, if you love your life the way it is, no one should tell you what to do.
You do you.