Addiction, Healthy Habits, and Happiness

Around my years of middle school I was addicted to playing video games, specifically, Call of Duty, day in and out I would play. I put unbelievable amounts of time into the game that I basically dedicated my life at the time to getting a better ranking and winning.

Why did I do this, you may ask? Well, every time I won a match or did something extraordinary in the game I would get a dopamine rush due to the sense of achievement, and I was addicted to this feeling so I kept chasing after it. However, there were many consequences following this addiction, my energy levels plummeted and my interactions with the real world decreased significantly.. Ultimately, I felt irritable when I was not playing, since it was a means for escape and feeling good about myself, this addiction was psychological, like many other types of addictions are. I was blind to my fate and this addiction, as I was young (still am) and my judgement was less developed so I was totally enthralled with this game and oblivious to the fact that it took over my life at the time.

Now, lets think about time and how to invest time into things that will push you forward, instead of bringing you back. In my case, I had put in all my time into playing Call of Duty and I had created great amounts of development in the game, but all the progress I made was merely virtual, so it was not real. In terms of real development, I made none, in fact, it brought be backwards, as I sacrificed sports, education, my social life, health, the list goes on and on. So, basically all my time was invested into a nonexistent realm, and time is a very valuable thing you should not take for granted.

So allow me to introduce a principle Mark Manson had introduced me to a while back about how to invest your time effectively. (Check out Mark Manson’s website here)
This is the 80/20 Principle, a very well known business concept and way of living for productivity where you get 80% of your outputs through 20% of your inputs.
So you can apply this to your lifestyle by finding the 20% of activities that create 80% of your happiness, meanwhile avoiding the 80% of activities that produce little satisfaction for you. For example, I played video games 80% of the time but only got 20% of my happiness through it, so I would eliminate playing video games from my life.
Other examples 
Spend time with 20% of all the people you spend time with that give the most enjoyment or help to you, instead of people that make bad company or influences on you
-Spending your money on 20% of the things you buy that produce a healthier or improved lifestyle for you, instead of things that are not beneficial to you in the long run.

This principle can be applied in many ways, but it takes will-power and persistency to execute it appropriately.

Plain and simply, focus on the things that create the best outcomes for you, so you can live a happier and more valuable life.
I know many people try to find happiness in their own comfort and can’t handle being uncomfortable, but let me tell you, comfort is not happiness. Comfort is easy it takes no effort at all, while happiness takes effort, action, being uncomfortable, confronting problems, and facing your fears. As a teenager in an american high school, many kids perpetually avoid their problems and have a lack of faith in themselves to change. (Do you really have Faith?)
In addition, these days it is very common for people to be working a job for long hours and get little to no enjoyment out of it, people do this either for a better paying job or they allow fear of following their passions to hold them back (click here for How to Overcome Fears). Well let me give you a hypothetical, would you rather work a job you hate that gets you great income or a job you love that gets you average income.
I imagine most of you would pick the second option, because material possession cannot create your happiness, but following your passions certainly can. With this said, take a step back and think about your life. Do you like your current situation? What can you do to change for the better?

You decide…

  1. Glad to see you’ve used this principal to prioritize what really matters. Mark Manson has some great ideas!

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