The daily stoic of today, seeing our addictions, hit a raw nerve in me:
What we consider to be harmless indulgences can easily become full-blown addictions. We start with coffee in the morning, and soon enough we can’t start the day without it. We check our email because it’s part of our job, and soon enough we feel the phantom buzz of the phone in our pocket every few seconds. — Ryan Holiday. “The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations for Clarity, Effectiveness, and Serenity.”
I consider myself a healthy guy.
I go to the gym 4-5 times a week, and have never smoked or tried a drug. Heck, I don’t even eat sugar and only drink on social occasions (like a beer with friends or a glass of wine during a romantic dinner).
However, we’re all addict to something. Obviously, not in the sense of pure “addiction” to a substance, but to things we become dependent upon.
Seeing Our Addictions By Numbers
Coffee. I am definitely addict to coffee. Is that wrong? Certainly not if I have enough coffee. 🙂
However, every time I have tried to quit, I have developed a headache. Eventually, I have returned to my caffeine shot at least twice a day.
Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big drama: “Come on, you drink coffee, so what, there are people with real problems you know…”. Nevertheless, the fact that it makes me feel so good, and conversely can make me feel grumpy if I haven’t had my coffee, is kind of scary.
Similarly, checking email, internet and social media… are part of our daily addictions nowadays.
I have written about quitting social media before. This is also related to the concept of deep work. In fact, I only use social media to post stuff and occasionally answer a direct message.
However, I acknowledge it’s not easy to escape the constant buzzing inside our pockets. I plan on writing at least two more posts on the subject.
Addiction As An Emotional Anchor
Additionally, there’s “addiction” as an emotional anchor, something we need to feel ourselves better. It might be the approval of others, the feeling of power, success or fame, the need to feel better than the rest…
I think those are the most difficult addictions to overcome. And the hardest one to spot in the first place.
Today’s Daily Stoic deals with addictions, and our ability to identify them. Seeing our addictions may seem simple for things like drugs, coffee or alcohol, but the most important addictions are part of ourselves. Those are the addictions that can actually cause or provoke the former ones.
I am decided to get rid of most addictions this year… However, I think I will keep on drinking coffee… I am just not able to be that perfect, you know. ☺️