Are you “Addicted” or are you living your life the way you should be?

Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

Addiction is associated with all sorts of things that are perceived bad by people, like gambling, drugs, sex, video gaming…

I was educated to stay away from any kind of “addiction” so that I do not ruin my life.

But what is “Addiction” really?

There are many cases where I was given a concept and a lesson or a conclusion and I just took it with me in my life journey without really understanding it, let along doubting it or testing it.

This is also one of them.

I never seriously pursue the real meaning of the word “Addiction”, though I do sometimes ask myself: if I do what I like a lot a lot, is that considered addiction?

On one hand, I spend a lot of time in doing what I like a lot, which means I wont spend as much time as I should in things I should be doing, like studying.

On the other hand, I really enjoy spending time in those things. If this is addition, isn’t addiction the only way to enjoy life and shouldn’t we all pursue it?

These thoughts all flash through my mind without getting my attention.

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

Until recently, I read about a definition about “Addiction”, which makes perfect sense to me.

Addiction is when our “Want” is bigger than our “Like”.

You might think how the two are different?

We want to do something because we like it. The fact that we like something will lead us to want to do it.

Apparently, these two can be very different in certain cases.

“Want”: we pursue something and the success will make us feel satisfied. This is the reward of our actions.

“Like”: we enjoy the thing itself, which makes us happy.

Furthermore, they are controlled by two entirely different parts of our brain. So physically, there is room for them to be unlinked.

Photo by Carl Raw on Unsplash

Take gaming for example.

I picked up gaming in high school when I let a friend copy my answers in the exam, in exchange for playing with his computer.

I still remember the game was “Beach Head”. I was immediately hooked.

After entering university, without any supervision, I totally indulged myself in gaming.

I played every shooting games I could find. I could literally forget about time, hunger and even myself while gaming.

And I really enjoyed the experiences and the improvement in moving, aiming, shooting and studying the maps.

This lasted for a long time.

I think that was when my “Want” and “Like” was highly aligned. I really managed to waste my life on things I enjoyed, which, according to some, was the only way to spend our lives.

Then it came a time when I was more interested in installing the games and fixing whatever technical problems I might encounter, than playing the games themselves.

Sometimes, I would also lost patience to solve the game and looked for cheats. Or I just wanted to play through a game so that I could mark it as played.

I think that was when I had got “Addicted”.

I “Want” to do something that I do not really “Like”.

It surely sounds like I have lost my “independence” and am manipulated by something else. And it is not within my control!

Therefore, “Addiction” does not bring happiness. It only brings suffering.

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Addiction is still hard to cure, even with the latest scientific achievements.

We should focus on what we really “Like” in life, instead of achieving many “Wants”.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store

Top-tier consultants seeking life purpose and self-realization