The entire month of September will recognize those in recovery while raising awareness about mental and substance use disorders.
After years of addiction, you haven’t just damaged your body and mind. You’ve also damaged relationships. People no longer trust you.They may still love you, but they don’t believe what you say. After all, you’ve lied to them too many times. Why should they trust you now?
And although you’re now in recovery, you can’t magically repair a romantic relationship with the wave of a wand. Your life isn’t a Hollywood movie where all problems are neatly wrapped up by the end of the story. It may take years to rebuild the trust you enjoyed before you became an addict. Read on for ways you can rebuild your relationship with the person you love.
The people closest to the addict are the ones who suffer the most. It’s terrifying to see someone you care about enslaved by drugs and alcohol. You worry when or if the addict will even come home after a night of binge drinking or taking drugs. You’re obsessed with the idea that your loved one will overdose on drugs or die in a car accident because of driving drunk or drugged. You hide your valuables and money because you know the addict will steal them in order to buy more drugs or alcohol.
But stealing and possibly dying from an overdose isn’t the only things an addict will do. Addicts exhibit countless negative behaviors. They lie, can’t keep a job, become violent, and break the law. They may be verbally abusive to the people closest to them. No wonder it’s an almost insurmountable challenge for a former addict to win back the trust from a romantic partner.
So what are you supposed to do if you’re in recovery and your partner is afraid to let you back into his or her life? The first step is to offer a sincere apology. Your partner may not be willing to accept it, but it’s important that you acknowledge your wrongdoing and say you’re deeply sorry. This is especially true if you were unfaithful to your partner. Swift River says “Infidelity is traumatizing. It causes the wronged party to question you, your relationship, and themselves.” Forgiving a partner after infidelity is extremely difficult and may completely destroy the possibility of a future together.
Some relationships may be too damaged to repair. You can’t control whether or not your romantic partner wants to stay with you after all the turmoil he or she has endured by your side. If there is still hope for your relationship, you’ll have to be patient. Recommit to your relationship, realizing that things may never be the same but they can gradually be repaired.
Reconciliation won’t happen overnight. Forgiveness takes time. Although your partner never stopped loving you, that doesn’t mean they can readily forget the past. The wounds afflicted by your addiction are still raw, and the memories of your negative behaviors are still fresh in your partner’s mind.
You probably used a professional counselor or drug rehab center to help you kick your addiction. Consider visiting a therapist or counselor to help you repair your romantic relationship as well. The counseling professional will help you and your partner each discuss your wants and needs in a relationship. This guidance will allow you to slowly build a stronger relationship with your loved one.
Addiction destroys relationships. It creates distrust, sadness, fear, and anger in the people who love you the most. As a recovering addict, it’s up to you take the first step in reforming a relationship with your romantic partner. By offering a sincere apology, demonstrating patience and realizing that forgiveness won’t happen overnight, you can gradually begin the process of winning your partner’s trust once again.
We as humans have a major advantage over all other living beings:
The power of imagination
We can image the future and possible outcomes and go through multiple scenarios of any given action. That is quite amazing and some of us are specialists in that.
What has this to do with making decisions you might ask? Let me explain:
Imagine yourself preparing for a date. You’ve just met this guy or girl and you don’t really know what she or he likes. You want to choose a place for the first date and you are searching the web for the perfect local restaurants. Your search returns about 20 restaurants at your price level. How would you choose the right one?
You don’t really know much about your date, so whatever you choose might be right or wrong.
There is just no good way to find out.
You want to come over as a confident person, so asking your date to make a choice is out of the question.
In the end, you decide on one restaurant and you hope it’s the right one.
So how do we normally make decisions?
If you are aware of it or not, our brain scans through all possible scenarios based on the data it has available and we select the one which feels as the one with the best possible outcome.
Let’s say you want to really impress with the choice you’ve made, you might choose a restaurant with great entertainment. If it is not going so well, at least you both have a good time because of the entertainment.
If you are more the romantic type, you might choose one that is quieter and private in its nature, so you can play your act to the fullest without being disturbed.
However, your decision will always be based on your prediction of the best possible outcome and you might be right or wrong.
If this is only one of many dates, you might not put so much weight on your choice, because if it does not work, the next date will come.
But what if there is more pressure on you to make this date work?
Would that change your choice?
For many this kind of decisions makes them get stuck in an endless loop. Because they see the choice of restaurant as such an important factor for their success and they just haven’t got enough data to make that one decision.
Let’s change the scenario.
Let’s say you live in a smaller town and there is only one good restaurant. Would you still think about the right choice of restaurant? Of course, not, there is only one possibility and there is no point in thinking about it. Your brain will take that restaurant as a fact and play its scenarios with the given details. Of course, there can still be good or bad outcomes, but the choice of the restaurant has nothing to do with it.
Based on my studies most successful people have a very good process dealing with this kind of situations. They understand that choice is a distractor from what you want to achieve. Reducing the choices to the most important ones is key in this process. Does the outcome of your date really depend on the restaurant you choose?
So how can you make the right decisions?
First of all, have a clear idea of the expected outcome.
Next play the scenario backward. It’s like playing a video in reverse. This will reduce it to only a few possible scenarios.
Select maximum 3 ways to get to the expected outcome and choose one.
The number 3 is the key here. Keep everything within that range. If you need to decide on a restaurant, choose out of three, not more.
If you need to decide on a dress or shirt, choose out of three.
Our brain has the least problem to come to a quick decision if only 3 options are involved.
Now you have a good starting point in finding your personal way of making good decisions.
At the end of the month, do you habitually ask yourself where all the money has gone? You have steady, if unspectacular, income, and you don’t really spend a lot on frills. Surprisingly, it might only take a few small tweaks to improve your personal finances. Here are some tips:
Create a Budget
It’s very hard to improve your finances if you don’t know how much you’re earning and spending. One of things you learn from tracking your budget is that little expenses add up, a fact that many people choose to ignore.
Yes, budgets can direct your spending on the important items, but they can also reveal bad spending habits that are holding you back. If you find you can’t stop from spending “mad money” each month, then at least budget for it. It’s a great way to learn fiscal discipline, to take control of your financial life in order to improve it.
Personal finance software, such as Quicken and Mint, is ridiculously cheap compared to the functionality it provides. In case you are unfamiliar with these programs, they allow you to automatically record the activity in all your financial accounts, create and track budgets, let you pay bills online, and even point out unusual spending patterns. Because they are available as mobile apps, you can always know your financial status, tempering spontaneous decisions such as whether you can afford dinner at an expensive restaurant.
Making More Than the Minimum Payments on Debt
Minimum payments mean you’ll shell out maximum interest. It can take years, even decades, to pay off your credit cards if you pay only the minimum amount each month. You will improve your finances by paying down your debt, starting with your highest-interest accounts.
If you have several credit cards, first pay down the one with the highest annual percentage rate (APR), even if that means making minimum payments on your other cards. This will reduce your monthly interest expenses, and will, once you’ve repaid the balance, free up money to attack your remaining debt. If your cards all charge about the same APRs, pay down the one with the lowest balance first.
Boost Your Credit Scores
Paying down your debt by making higher-than-minimum payments will, over time, improve your credit scores. That’s important, because it allows you to replace high-APR credit sources with better, cheaper ones. If you have poor credit, you might be paying 29.9 percent on your credit cards. Raise you score to average, and you’ll likely cut your interest rate in half.
The more you improve your scores, the less interest you’ll pay, and the more access you’ll have to new credit, such as a car loan or a mortgage. Moreover, by improving your credit score you will put yourself in a better position to refinance your debt to lower interest rates. Did you know that most common types of consumer debt (ex. Credit cards, student loans, auto loans) can be refinanced to lower interest rates? You can put a dent in your debt faster, creating a positive feedback loop to a financially free life.
Beyond paying down your debt, improving your credit score requires that you make all your payments on time, avoid collections, foreclosure or bankruptcy, and remove any mistakes on your credit reports. You can order your reports from the three major credit bureaus at Annual Credit Report.com. If you notice errors that hurt your credit score, you can communicate with the credit bureaus and the creditor to resolve or remove the problem, immediately sending your credit scores higher.
Pay with Cash
If you find that credit cards make it too easy to overspend, take them out of your wallet and use cash (or checks or a debit card) for your spending. Nothing concentrates the mind like staring at a low bank balance, but doing so helps you pay attention to the difference between required and discretionary spending. Besides, it’s hard to pay off your debt if you are constantly creating it anew. Using cash exclusively might seem Draconian, but it works, and it helps teach the value of a dollar.
Buy in Bulk
The big bulk stores, like Costco and Sam’s Warehouse, can save you a pretty penny on huge packages of life’s necessities: paper products, detergent, cheese, and thousands of other items. Buying in bulk saves you money and can be fun, as long as you have a place to store all those paper towels and toilet paper rolls.
Learn to Negotiate
Many people spend too much on their cell phones and cable TV contracts, because they fail to negotiate better deals. Providers would rather cut you a deal than lose you to a competitor, whereas you don’t need to be loyal to any particular provider.
You can use this asymmetry against providers by pointing to better deals in the marketplace. For example, a cable company might have a monopoly in your area, but you can choose to use a dish network instead. That’s a bargaining chip in your favor.
Cellular networks are constantly offering new and better deals, including ones in which another network buys out your contract, protecting you from departure penalties. The savings are there, it’s up to you to grab them.
Multitasking has become a new fashion word. It’s praised as the most efficient way of getting things done. But is it?
Multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time (Steve Uzzell)
The word multitasking comes from the computer development world and was meant to describe multiple tasks sharing the same resource (the CPU). But this has turned around and is translated today as multiple tasks being done simultaneously by one resource (a person).
This is very misleading as even computer CPUs can only do one piece of code at a time. It just does it so fast, it appears that many tasks are done simultaneously. But it’s just an illusion.
Our society loves the idea of multitasking. You can find it in peoples CV as a great skill and many are proud to be real multitaskers. It’s seen as a great advantage if you can multitask, like driving a car and texting at the same time!
But hold on, that’s not what we meant, right? What do we mean?
Most of us can do multiple things at the same time. We can walk and have a conversation at the same time. We can shave or apply makeup while listening to music on the radio. No problem with that. Where it becomes more difficult is when we try to focus on two things at the same time. That’s when we realize, we can’t. Have you ever spoken to someone who was looking at his phone and you suddenly realized that he stopped listening to you? That happens when the attention was taken by something happening on his phone and he started focusing on it.
The only way we can create the illusion of multitasking is by rapidly switching focus from one thing to another and back. Have you ever tried that? The result will always be a small percentage of the result you could achieve if you fully focus on it.
In the real world and especially in working environments we are constantly bombarded by attention seeking distractions around us. There is the loud conversation in the hall or the ringing phone. Emails are announced via notification systems in regular intervals. It’s really hard today to get some uninterrupted time to focus on one thing. This all becomes even harder if we’re faced with tasks that require our full attention. It’s exhausting. We believe we manage to multitask, but we’re just driving ourselves crazy.
Instead of being proud to be a great multitasker, we should be proud to find ways to fully concentrate on one thing and get it done right. I am sure you’ve heard about good listeners. Why do you think they’re good listeners? Because they focus on you alone and cut everything else out. Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than talking to someone who is constantly looking at his phone, right?
If you’re a person who’s always looking for ways to improve and be the best you can at anything you do, you need to learn to focus on one thing only and to shut everything else out. That’s the skill that should be on your CV:
“Able to fully concentrate on the task ahead while shutting out and reducing distractions that would cause a lesser quality of work and result!“.
How does that sound?
Be a focused single tasker and you’ll be the best you can ever be!
Over the last 20 years, the idea of being happy has slowly become a real movement. It doesn’t matter in which area of life you look, we have to be happy. I guess because everybody is pursuing it so much that most people must be really unhappy. Unhappy with their work, their partner and themselves.
What has changed over the last 20 years that this subject has become such a magnet?
I’ve heard about many different theories trying to explain this phenomenon, but none really give the answer or explain what we could do about it.
For some happiness is something they have to find and others believe that it is already in us.
If happiness is already in us, it must be based on either something we have done in the past or on something we’re doing right now. If it isn’t in us, it must be something we thrive too, something that requires some action to get where it is. I also heard the theory that happiness is being thankful for what you have, also called gratitude.
Happiness has been identified as a feeling and like any feeling exists only during a very short timespan. Feelings come and go and what some perceive as happiness is for others the exact opposite.
If you dig deeper you’ll find that happiness is a form of relaxed contentment. Being for a moment in a state where nothing really matters, where everything is just alright.
It’s a very positive feeling and I can understand why we’re all trying so hard to repeat these moments.
The only explanation I found that works in all cases is to understand that feelings arise in waves. It’s a basic requirement of nature that for something to exist the opposite must exist too. That means we need to accept the bad things to get to the good things. It also means that everything must move forward. As soon as it stands still the wave can no longer exist and it all collapses to a flat line.
If we look at the different points made here, I can see the following result:
“Gratitude” is what has happened or what we have achieved in the past. It’s meant to ground us, define our current position and our value.
“Happiness in you” is the possibility to create happiness at any given time. For example helping someone in need, being intimate with your partner, flirting, reading or listening to inspiring content, going for a run or doing any other challenging sport. All of this can create instant happiness. It’s usually only for a very short period of time after which gratitude might extend the period for a bit longer.
“Thriving for happiness” is the opportunity to set yourself a desirable goal where the thought of achieving it alone gives you a tint of happiness but also drives you towards it. As you get nearer any negative feeling is perceived as a happy feeling as long as the drive to achieve the goal is strong enough. This works well until you’ve achieved your goal. Again that’s when gratitude comes in to extend that feeling for just a bit longer.
I’ve come to the conclusion that happiness is all of it. Happiness is in us, behind us and in front of us.
If you show gratitude for the things you’ve achieved in the past and are thankful for your current position and if you do things that make you happy at any possible moment while walking towards a desirable and inspiring goal, you create a constant flow of happiness.
They all support each other and if put into daily practice you will generate a much happier life.
It is solemnly on you to be happy in your life.
No need to search, it’s already here.
What do you do to be happy?
I love dystopian novels because they challenge me to consider whether I would be confident enough in my own identity to survive in a world in which my existence is perceived a threat to the status quo. The Divergent series is especially interesting because the conflict centers on people who cannot fit into one of the five virtue-based factions of society.
Our society is void of government enforced factions, but there are those of us who have difficulty defining themselves by one core passion. We know these divergent personalities as multipotentialites.
Jack-of-all-trades and master, too
Multipotentiality is a concept within the field of psychology that describes individuals who are exceptionally gifted in many disciplines. At various times known as a Renaissance Man, polymath, or jack-of-all-trades, the in vogue term, multipotentialite, became popular due to the work of Emilie Wapnick.
A misunderstood yet powerful minority
Indicators of multipotentiality include intense curiosity, highly creative and visionary thinking, advanced intellect, rapid mastery of new skills before moving on to something new due to boredom, and the ability to understand multiple perspectives. Some of the most dynamic men and women throughout history were multi-passionate thinkers who advanced society by thinking outside of the box.
We can all breathe freely knowing that people with multiple gifts and interests won’t be dragged away by an oppressive regime as in the Divergent series, but modern society hasn’t made it easy for the multipotentialite to thrive. The tide appears to be changing as researchers recognize the value of these innovative thinkers who defy the message to specialize for success.
Credit: Tiffany Ingle
Embracing your gifts
Multipotentiality is a mixed blessing. You can choose to explore the depths of your incredible abilities and change the world. Or you can choose to succumb to analysis paralysis and get stuck in a prison of inactivity.
It is possible to lead a productive life while exploring the fullness of your potential. Here are five strategies to maximize your abilities.
1) Reflect on your options and make a choice
It is impossible to move forward in life without taking the first step. You don’t have to tie yourself down to a single identity or interest, but you do need to choose a direction to go in. An excellent method of gaining clarity is the classic SWOT analysis. SWOT is a classic decision-making tool used by businesses. Similar tools include SOAR, PEST, and SCOPE. Use one of these methods to perform an inventory of your strengths. Determine where your best opportunities lie then take action.
2) Give yourself permission to be yourself
Few things are as detestable to a multipotentialite than having no options. This is the reason it is so hard to make those initial decisions that lead to progress. As you begin work on a goal, the path will shift and opportunities to explore other facets will appear. Learn to listen to your inner voice and go with the flow when it is time to veer off the path a bit. Until that happens, know that you aren’t saying no to your desires by sticking with a task for awhile. You are saying, “not yet”. You are gaining valuable skills that will prepare you for the time when you can pursue a new project.
3) Learn to love the fractal path and document the journey
A linear path goes against your core personality. Be comfortable with a pattern of progress that may seem jumbled at first. Trust that it will make sense as your journey unfolds. Embrace the concept of work cycles. Lost interest in something? Move on, but don’t abandon it for good. The breadth of experience you have will serve you well down the line. Accept that you will always want to explore the possibilities. Develop the discipline of journaling so you have a record of where you’ve been to reflect upon. You will be aware of your progress when you can see your accomplishments written down.
4) Carve out your own destiny
Instead of picking a career, make room in the world for your unique gifts by starting your own business. Entrepreneurship gives you the freedom to combine your interests into profitable and fulfilling work. If you prefer to be an employee, consider what changes would lead to greater satisfaction. Brainstorm ideas and pitch the best ones to your boss. Use your unusual intellect to win that autonomy you crave in the workplace. Companies love talented individuals who propel their brands forward with bold, creative solutions.
5) Create a Life Map
Keep the big picture in mind with a personal vision that you have represented with words or visuals. Dream big about how you would like to craft your life. Set mini goals over smaller periods of time to bring you closer to fulfilling your purposes. Decide on your goals for this year, then break those goals into smaller tasks to complete each month. You can achieve every goal you desire as long as you are consistent even if you take a few rabbit trails along the way.
It’s time for the divergent among us to stop feeling guilty. Your interdisciplinary approach to life can benefit your workplace, your community, and beyond. Commit to creating a new standard for your own success and harness your power. What changes will you make to forge your own way?