Article first published as The Adrenaline Lifestyle on Technorati.
Adrenaline is a lifestyle for most people. It’s an acceptable—often expected—addiction we call being driven, overscheduled, intense, or Type “A.” While adrenaline is cheap to trigger, about $1.38 for a cup of coffee, the lifestyle is mighty expensive; it can cost you meaningful relationships and even your life.
5 Signs of an adrenaline lifestyle
- You feel pressure to perform all the time.
- You’re usually late.
- You procrastinate and then rush to deliver.
- You have many projects underway and none are finished.
- You expect immediate results and delays upset you greatly.
Our bodies haven’t changed since the time of our great-great grandparents yet the demands on them sure have. Technology creates a feeling of endless possibility but carries with it a paradox. In pursuit of the right choice, are you making any choice? Trying to keep up, we’ll reach for the quickest source of energy, adrenaline. The rush is effective and seductive for good reasons, mainly because it works. Adrenaline is great for plowing through difficulties or avoiding the realities of an unsatisfying life.
We desensitize ourselves to avoid feeling overwhelmed. The louder your world becomes the less you notice what’s actually going on. Ironic isn’t it? It boils down to a lifestyle created by overwhelm that turns into a lifestyle that supports overwhelm and adrenaline addiction.
Offered in the spirit of awareness, not psychological treatment.
Step 1: Identify current sources
Energy is everywhere: food, exercise, conflict, nature, drama, giving, accomplishment, and love are just a few. Identify your most common sources and then figure out how expensive they might be. Conflict generates energy but often requires a long recovery while creativity usually gives you a big return on your investment.
Step 2: Reduce consumption
Unmet needs are expensive. If you aren’t appreciated, you’ll divert energy doing things for which you’ll be appreciated. Upgrade your environments and get your needs met once and for all. Simplify life and reduce the noise around you by dropping most of your unfinished projects and replacing your To-Do list with an Ignore list; a list of things that you’ll no longer allow to distract and drain your energy.
Step 3: Upgrade your supply
Being needed is good but needy people have little to give back. Replace motivation with inspiration. Conflict requires energy to fuel. While caffeine might take you 2,000 feet, it won’t get you to 50,000 feet. Without something powerful to call you up, the push from below can only take you so far.
Lifestyle vs. Life
Create space for a fulfilling life by reducing the numbing noise and cleaning up your energy sources. With the confidence of a clear mind, the right choices become obvious and easier to make and you’ll find yourself naturally positioned for greater happiness with much less effort.
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