Hang around the self-improvement community for even a little and you’ll start to audit your life on an almost unconscious basis. You’ll realize which behaviors are helpful, which are self-destructive, and you’ll think almost incessantly how to cultivate the former and stop the latter.
It takes a bit more time to learn this is not as easy as it looks. You may have little trouble eliminating one bad habit, only to find another instantly takes its place.
It’s whack-a-mole with your sins. Defeat alcohol indulgence one week only to find porn returns the next. Beat porn to become addicted to social media.
It is, after all, a drug addiction — and an addiction the most powerful drug of all: dopamine.
Curious name isn’t it, doping? You’d almost think they were linked. But doping comes from a dutch word, “dope,” which means “heavy liquid.”
Anyway, I digress.
People love their dope. And they get it anyway they can.
The truth is you were wired for this dopamine addiction. It’s not your fault, in a sense. The problem is the world, that has made cheap dope ubiquitous.
Understand, your body wants dope — just not easy dope. In fact, your body hates reward without work. It knows when you’re lying — they have even done brain scans with people in VR to prove it, the hypothalamus is dead… but like you need these studies to know.
You can feel it.
Most of us have damaged neurotransmitters due to all the cheap dope. They are overstimulated and thus depleted. They can be reset — to what degree is up to debate — but it takes time, and in the meanwhile you’re going to be jittery, looking for your fix.
Without further ado here are three tips:
- L-Tyrosine — This is your low-hanging fruit, the magic pill. Beware: if you stop here you’re going to be back at stage one in no time, but I’m not going to claim it doesn’t help. L-Tyrosine is an essential ingredient in dopamine production, and the one your body simply doesn’t have enough of. Give your body this and watch your mood and concentration rise.
- Don’t Dope Until Later — Like a malnourished body craves junk food in spite of itself, an underdoped brain fixates on cheap dopamine fixes. I cannot express enough how important it is to avoid these in the early part of the day. When you wake up, your brain has healed somewhat from the prior day’s doping abuses. It is ready to think; to engage in real work. The more of this you do, the more your brain will get its fix early. This is a win-win, as you can have that wine or check out social media later without the same sense of escapism.
Just beware: when you’re feeling better, it’s easy to overdo doping since the immediate sense of addiction is lessened. Don’t squander that balanced brain in an act of self-sabotage. Momentum is real; it’s always harder to restart.
- Find A New Addiction — This is the real hack. People dope because they have no way to achieve that hit otherwise. This is why drug addicts consist of the despondent and the entitled. Rather than play a video game, turn your life into one. It might take a little but the rewards from this are much deeper. Exercise is perhaps the healthiest one with the most return. But even going out to meet women, improving with them can do the same thing. The game is a game, and the dopamine rewards are just as sweet.
I know this email was a bit more serious and off the beaten-path. But I hope it was helpful all the same.
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Enjoy your Friday,
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