Today, I have a secret that I’d like to share with everyone. I’ve realized that many guys are stuck in the same addiction and bad habit loop for years and years. Maybe getting into my 30s has opened up my eyes to how much time I wasted just going through the motions of “fixing” my life.
Many of my clients are amazed when I mention that I have been off pornography for 8 years. The closest I’ve come to porn in the past 8 years was at a party where it was played publicly and I promptly left. Interestingly, I registered nothing emotionally or mentally during the few moments when I debated what decision to take. I ultimately decided to leave, rather than play russian roulette with my formerly porn addicted brain.
As a salesman while in college, one of my favorite books was The Greatest Salesman In The World by Og Mandio. Og Mandio, himself is an interesting character. An insurance salesman turned alcoholic, he lost his family to his addiction and wandered the streets homeless, for two years.
He started spending time in public libraries while homeless as a means of avoiding bad weather and stumbled up the self help section. He began compulsively reading self help book after self help book, which led him to quit drinking, straighten his life out and eventually become a prolific and best selling self help author.
In a way, you can say that Og became addicted to self help.
One of my favorite quotes from The Greatest Salesman In the World is :
“In truth, the only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded lies in the difference of their habits. Good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure. Thus, the first law I will obey, which precedeth all others is—I will form good habits and become their slave”
During one of the lowest points in my twenties when I was a full blown porn addict- when I had completely flatlined- no motivation, no sex drive, no desire for anything, I remember the last few lines of that quote replaying in my head incessantly: “I will form good habits and become their slave”, “ I will form good habits and become their slave”. At this point, I had run out of options- NOTHING was helping. So I wrote down some of the habits I always “tried” to do but usually never followed through with . Once I had listed them out, I dedicated one week during a three month period to repeating that habit daily without fail. The next week, I would pick a second habit and add it to the first. The week after, I would pick up a third.
Now, habits cannot be “removed” or “eliminated”, they can only be replaced by another habit. That’s it. So for those of you trying to “break” you bad habits- quit trying so hard. Find a habit that you can replace your bad one with whenever you feel the urge. Better still, read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg to understand this concept better.
All in all , I racked up seven new habits over seven weeks. Now, they didn’t become habits till I repeated them for about three months, but the decision to practice each one daily for a week definitely helped. I don’t know about the whole “it takes 21 days to build a habit”. I was addicted to porn and it sure as hell doesn’t take 21 days to quit it, I gave myself 90 days to build my personal habits.
Over the years, these habits became things I could never live without.
I practice them daily.
I am obsessed with them.
In fact, I believe I am addicted to them.
My entire lifestyle has been designed to accommodate them.
People who get in the way of them cannot be a part of my life.
Some people find it eccentric or weird, but I’m careless and lost every single fuck I had to give a long time ago.
I’m going to share those addictions with you today. I believe that it is these addictions that have helped me stay away from pornography and masturbation for 8 years. 8 years!!! Damn! Sometimes, I have to mentally check myself and do a quick scan back through time to make sure I’m not bullshitting myself. But nope- it really has been 8 years.
Here we go:
Addiction # 1: Early Mornings
The latest I wake up on any morning is 4:30am. My usual wake up time is 3:00am everyday. I believe that the quiet hours of the morning are most conducive for working on myself. During my early recovery days, I dubbed this my “recovery time”. It was a time when I read material on overcoming addictions and improving relationships. These hours were also the hours where I “anchored”my day to stop it from spiraling out of control.
Addiction #2: Meditation
Its no secret that I meditate avidly. I practice a form of meditation called Insight or Mindfulness meditation. Meditation has numerous benefits all which can be found on Google, but the most important aspects of meditation for me is that it helped me see my issues for what they truly are, eliminated some of my greatest fears, and helped me overcome the periodic bouts of depression I experienced in my early twenties.
After 6 years of consistent meditation, I also find that I have less of a need to sleep ( I’m fine on 4-5 hours) and I can concentrate for frighteningly long periods of time on one specific task.
Addiction #3: Affirmation, Visualization and Self Talk
I don’t fuck around with any of these. Your brain is literally like a computer. Every bit of data you put into it is processed and comes out as a finished product. I keep a legal pad next to my bed-every morning and night, I write out all my goals. I spend 10- 30 minutes visualizing all theses goals.
Many people are skeptical about affirmations, visualizations and self talk. I understand. I was as well…until I made a few tweaks to them.
There are numerous resources for affirmations and visualizations online, but whatever you choose to use, consider adding these custom tweaks to them:
Say them out loud, without reservation
Say them in the present tense
Spend a few minutes getting into a meditative state first. Calm your mind.
Include your SENSES in your visualization- in your mind, feel, touch, smell, and see the things you want.
Most importantly- don’t visualize the end goal. Visualize the PROCESS and the end goal. Experience the struggle and experience yourself over coming it as well.
Write your self talk out before using it in daily. Have solid reasons in each statement to back it up.
Start using self talk with things you WILL not do before using it with things you aspire to do.For instance, a good self talk statement is:
“I no longer masturbate or watch porn when I feel lonely.”
A great self talk statement would be:
“I no longer masturbate or watch porn when I feel lonely because I realize that I’m more likely to watch porn when I am home alone, so I ensure that I’m never home alone.”
A excellent introduction to self- talk is “What To Say When You Talk To Yourself” by Dr. Shad Helmsetter
Addiction #4: Gratitude and Forgiveness
When I was a virgin, addicted to porn and broke, I was a hater. I hated on guys in my college who were hooking up with attractive college girls, I hated on older men who were pulling attractive college girls, I hated on people whom I perceived to be wealthy…I held a lot of grudges and all that burden eventually made me a bitter, angry person.
Most people who met me would never have guessed all the latent anger brewing inside me, but when I felt disrespected, I would rage for hours in private, replaying 100 different revenge scenarios.
My 4th addiction changed all of that. Every morning, I list out every thing I can think of that I am grateful for. From being lucky enough to live in the United States ( anyone who bitches about this country is either very poor or very rich, or just ignorant), to being healthy, to having coaching clients who aren’t assholes (shout out to all my clients), to being free from porn , to not killing myself in my teens…so many things.
Nothing will put your current problems in perspective like Gratitude will. Give it a try.
Addiction # 5: Fitness and Diet
Right after I write my goals down, I throw on my gym clothes, pick up my gym bag and head straight to the gym. My routine varies, but I hit legs heavy 3- 4 days a week, cardio- usually sprints for half an hour and calisthenics for another half hour.
Once I get back home, I put on a yoga dvd and practice yoga for 15- 20 minutes.
The most challenging of all these routines?
I’ve done some mentally hard shit in my life- sold door to door 80 hours a week in some of the worst neighborhoods in this country, meditated for 7 hours a day for 60 days, been locked up on false rape charges with a very real 8-20 year sentence hanging over my head and a few more.
Yoga- particularly hot yoga was hands down the toughest thing I ever did.
I highly recommend every man try a class out at least once.
My exercise routine is non-negotiable. I have ended many relationships with women because they felt I cared about the gym more than I did them, which is kind of true- I care about my health more than any woman.
My diet is simple- I rarely eat carbohydrates and I avoid anything processed. Men’s testosterone levels are in the toilet because of processed food. Not to mention that processed food straight up leads to cancer.
Addiction #6: Self Discipline
Self discipline, for me, is MAGIC. I was always an underachiever. I sucked in high school, sucked in college, sucked with women- lets just put it this way- I was a loser. People casually throw the word “self discipline out there casually, like its optional.
During my sales career, I learned that in order to become my best self, self discipline was not a fucking option. It was a requirement. Most men who are unhappy and depressed are not self disciplined.
They are mostly lazy guys who had no one around to tell them that discipline would make all the difference in their lives.
“But Chris, I have Aspergers”
“But Chris I was diagnosed with ADHD”
“But Chris I have a serious anxiety disorder, you don’t understand”
“But Chris, I’m depressed”
Guess what? As a child and a teenager I was diagnosed with all of the above.
You won’t hear a sympathetic peep out of me, because as you know- I keep losing all my fucks to give.
I picked each one of them and found out which was bullshit, which could be fixed and how exactly it could be done. The only thing that ever stopped me from living the life I wanted was ME and my lack of self discipline.
Look at Sean Stephenson:
That is one no excuse giving motherfucker. His book, Get Off Your But is great one.
If you are not particularly good looking, if you are broke or poor, if you are terrible with women, hooked on porn , sex, escorts, glory holes- whatever it is; injecting some self discipline in your life will make a huge difference. In fact, for most men, it will make other men look UP to you because it is the RAREST quality among men.
Addiction #7: Action.
Not just any kind of action, but MASSIVE ACTION. My rule is simple: anything that I commit to doing, I assume that it will be 10 times harder that it seems, so I make 10 times the preparation and attack it with 10 times the energy.
I have rarely gotten exactly 10 times the results.
But I have gotten 4x, 5x and on occasion more than 20x the results than if I took anything less than ten times the necessary action.
On the other hand, I’ve also had nothing happen. In that case I am absolutely sure that nothing else I would done would make a difference. That’s a dead end for sure.
You want to quit porn?
Average action will not help you. You will fail.
You want to hook up with attractive women?
Average action will actually help you, but you will end up with average, promiscuous, low quality women.
Listen. Nothing worth having is life will be obtained by mediocre, average, run of the mill levels of action.
Right now, I have some guys in the beta test of my Quit Porn Program who are, for the first times in their lives actually RECOVERING from their porn habits and addictions while building amazing action oriented lives.
I believe in having addictions, just the right ones.
Its 2016- men simply CANNOT afford to buy into the the average, mediocre way of thinking.
If you are not where you want to be in life, chances are:
You are lazy. “Don’t work too hard, life is to be lived.”
You are a trained victim. “ My parents always told me I was slow compared to my siblings.”
You are entitled. “ If you want to be successful, go to college, get a good job and marry and nice woman.”
You play it safe. “ Don’t stand out, think of your family.”
You are afraid. “ What if I get rejected?” “What if I’m really a loser?”
Its time to get ADDICTED to the things that will pull you out of your slump. Addiction got in the pit and addiction got me out. It will do the same for you.