Here’s what I notice. Whenever I speak with my son about his addiction issues, I discover that pretty much every question I ask him is one that also applies to me. For instance.
What kind of person do you want to be? (What result do you want?) I guess I understand way too well how difficult it is to postpone gratification when the object of your gratification is within reach. It’s like my brain doesn’t work the same way while I’m being drawn to the object as it does after I have imbibed and now get to deal with the fallout and consequences. Sounds very familiar when you think about drugs. But it also applies to food. There must be something more compelling than the food item if I am to find a way through the immediate temptation.
As Tony Robbins teaches, there is a huge difference in the efficacy of push motivation vs pull motivation. Push motivation has to do with pushing ourselves away from something; implementing willpower; trying really hard not to do something. Pull motivation focuses on what we want; what we would like to experience or feel or be. Figuring out what result I want is the very best kind of pull motivation because that result draws me to itself.
As much as I believe this idea would be incredibly helpful for drug addicts, I also see how valuable it is for food addicts. And gambling addicts. And shopping addicts. I don’t know why rehab centers all over the world aren’t doing this already!
Once I figure out what result I want, the next step is to figure out why I want that result. It is truly the why that is the compelling piece. And the why must be articulated in positive terms. Not, “I’ll stop eating sugar because I don’t want to get sick.” It must be positive. “I will choose healthy foods that contribute to my overall feelings of health and wellness, as well as my actual health and wellness.” The more I can get in touch with what it’s like to feel heathy and well, the more pull motivation I have from that result.
So simple, yet so profound. As far as being the mother of a drug addict, I know that I want to be someone who is supportive, compassionate, honest, and loving. I want to be a person who asks wise questions which allow my son to find his own solutions, as I truly do believe he has the solutions within himself, even if he needs some support right now to find them. I want to be someone who is examining myself in relationship to how I parent, how I live and how I love. Always being willing to keep trying, and willing to try new things that maybe aren’t comfortable.
By the way, thank you to all of you who read my posts and especially to those who comment. I want to be a blogger who has an impact!