My long list of addictions …

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My long list of addictions …

Early addictions Shaina and her daughter Sorsha

Addictions, oh dear, I seem to have a long list of them and to my delight after reading “The Power of Positive Addictions” most are positive. Notice I do say ‘most’. These days with my ‘buying Arabian horses addiction’ cured I know I’ll have to now work on the ‘buying clothes addiction’ next. My reading addiction can never be cured and why would I want it to be? My writing addiction is probably more like an obsession but my addiction to nature, daydreaming and my constant curious, pondering about people and the world around me will never disappear. I was honest about my long list of addictions and as I roll my eyes I have to admit the above addictions are the ones that popped into my mind immediately! With this in mind I couldn’t resist starting this week with Phillip Humbert’s latest TIPS … What are your positive addictions?

My forever positive addiction – reading


The Power of Positive Addictions

This week, a friend of mine went skydiving for the first time. He did it to celebrate his 50th birthday and it reminded me that a few years ago, George Bush, the elder (President 41, as he’s called), jumped out of an airplane to celebrate his 85th birthday. I thought that was remarkable and appreciated his comment that he did it to remind all of us to keep doing new and interesting things. I like that, and it made me wonder what new things I might try in the next five years. How about you?

What will you achieve, learn, start (or stop) in the next five years?

There’s an old quote that, “five years from now you’ll be exactly who you are, and where you are today, except for the people you meet and the books you read.” I always like to add that there are also many other ways to grow, but the point is well taken. Getting older is automatic; growth is a choice.

Many years ago, William Glasser wrote a wonderful little book called, “Positive Addiction.” Glasser wrote many books and my impression is that this one sold fewer copies than his others, and that’s a shame. Positive addictions are wonderful things! Glasser talked about being addicted to exercise and fitness, or to the joys of relationships and creativity. I want to propose that personal development fits in that category. It’s a good thing and like most addictions, it begins with a few clumsy or uncomfortable experiences, and gradually becomes a core part of who we are.

Why not choose to be addicted to positive things?

I know people who are positively addicted to saving and investment. They get a thrill from adding to their savings account every pay check. They watch their investment balances go up and up. To relax on Saturdays, they look at investment properties or read annual reports, looking for the next opportunity.

Now, obviously, any positive addiction can go over-the-top and become a destructive obsession. Many years ago I loved running to the point that I gave myself a stress fracture–broke my leg–from running in spite of pain! That’s not good!

But here are some positive addictions I encourage you to consider:

1. Reading. Books open the world to us. Through books we get to know the most famous, creative, powerful and interesting people who ever lived. We can travel to other galaxies, expose ourselves to the past, and the future. We can experience other cultures and learn skills. We can “try on” ideas–and lives–we will never experience any other way. Read!

2. Exercise. I’m talking about fitness and health and movement and fun, not Olympic championships. For most of us, exercise is about play and being alive. It’s about tennis or golf with friends, or basketball with our kids. It’s about climbing a mountain, hiking on a beach, or a bike ride on Saturday morning. Exercise may add years to our lives; it definitely adds life to our years.

3. Ponder. Long ago a philosopher said, “the unobserved life is not worth living.” I’m not sure I would go that far, but taking time to observe, to wonder, to contemplate and take notes definitely makes things better. Keep a journal. Pray or meditate. Enjoy moments of solitude, or respectfully debate the important things of life with a trusted companion. A great life doesn’t happen by accident. It’s the result of careful, thoughtful choices.

4. Save money. Brian Tracy once said that “if you cannot save money, greatness is not in you.” Again, that might be a bit extreme, but money is a representation of our lives. It’s the result of the work and skill and contribution we make in the world. Saving creates opportunities and opens doors. It’s insurance against misfortune and a source of self-respect. An addiction to saving definitely beats an addiction to spending!

5. Be curious. One of the most important traits of high achievers is that they are eager for new ideas and new skills. They are always “beginners” in at least one important area of life–willing to be clumsy while they learn new things. I’ll go so far as to say if you aren’t willing to be a beginner, you are refusing to grow and that’s a terrible thing. Try stuff!

You don’t have to jump out of airplanes to prove your positive addiction to growth. It’s just one way to do it! Practice your addiction to exploring life. Whatever calls you, explore it! Whatever challenges or excites you, pursue it and see where it leads. Jim Rohn observed that the importance of goals is not what we get from achieving them, but what we become by pursuing them. Choose your addictions wisely, then invest in them and see where they take you.

Quote of the Week

“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if
you don’t try.”
— Beverley Sills

Copyright (c) 2013, all rights reserved.
U.S. Library of Congress ISSN: 1529-059X
You may copy, forward or distribute TIP’s if this
copyright notice and full information for contacting
Dr Philip E. Humbert are included. Contact him at: or email

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