Addicted to Addiction

Today is day 3 of 10 for the Digital Book Club over at talk.desk.pm. We are reading Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield.

Today’s reading continues yesterday’s discussion of addiction.

[Addictions] are a metaphor for our best selves, the coded version of our higher aspirations.

The question we need to ask of a shadow career or an addiction is the same question the psychotherapist asks of a dream. “What is our unconscious trying to tell us?”

Steven’s list of “garden-variety” addictions continues to highlight the significance of being addicted to the seemingly innocuous. But, these are addictions that “cripple, malform, and destroy our lives.

Of his list, Addiction to Failure and Addiction to Distraction resonate with me.

My failures are seemingly constant, and my excuses endless. And, the “payoff is incapacity.” I feel stuck, unable to move forward, to complete a project. I collect projects and am burdened by the weight of broken promises and disappointments.

I struggle with and avoid answering the questions:

Who am I? Why am I here? What do I want?

And I am constantly distracted. My mind wanders and others ask “where are you?”

Resistance wants to keep us shallow and unfocused. So it makes the superficial and the vain intoxicating. Have you checked your e-mail in the last half hour?

The ideas of focus and being present are a recurring theme. These would be the habits of a professional. I am trying an experiment to help identify my less obvious amateur, and professional habits. Each time I become aware of an action or behavior that I would classify as amateur or professional I make a journal entry tagged with #amateur or #professional, respectively.

I am hoping that over the course of a few weeks that selecting and reviewing #amateur tagged entries will help me to identify my amateur habits. Similarly, with #professional tagged entries, since I think knowing my professional habits is valuable in order to reinforce them.

Tomorrow then.