Livin’ the High Life
Estimated Lesson Time: 4 minutes
I can honestly say that as a 43-year-old man, by my own free will, I have never in my life taken a puff of a cigarette, tried any illegal drug or narcotic, or drunk an alcoholic beverage or even a cup of coffee. The fact that I had quite an active social life in both high school and college, yet never took a sip of alcohol in those eight years is almost Oprah-worthy. There are many reasons for this such as upbringing, health, and self-esteem. But my main reason for abstaining from such depressants and stimulants is the natural high I already have just going through life. Before you say “Oh, please.... give me a break,” read on.
Life is full of natural highs that are brought on both internally and externally. Unlike natural highs, artificial highs brought on by drugs (including alcohol and caffeine) come with equal or greater unnatural lows. Read that last line again. You can control your natural highs and lows, but you cannot control artificial or unnatural ones—they control you. I have learned to spend most of my time in a naturally high state. Trust me, if I could bottle this, I would put the liquor stores and drug lords out of business (and probably be assassinated). It is this concept of not being in control of my feelings that has kept me away from drugs all my adolescent and adult life and will no doubt continue to keep me away.
In addition to the enormous list of side effects that come with the use of drugs, there is one major side effect that seems to be ignored—tolerance. The body has the ability to build a tolerance to foreign substances. This is very similar to inflation where you keep paying more and more for the same item. Your mind begins to “tolerate” the stimulant or depressant, and you require more of it to give you the same high your mind and body now desire. Do you know people who start their day craving several cups of coffee, go through their day with several “coffee breaks” then end their day with “unwinding” alcoholic beverages, while smoking several packs of cigarettes throughout the day? I would be willing to wager they were not always like this. That kind of “daily fix” takes time to build up. Despite the same mental effect, the negative effects on health are far greater.
There is no negative tolerance build up to a natural high. Natural highs are brought on by positive events that don’t have negative side effects and have no equal or greater low that ultimately follows. A tolerance, if one exists, will cause you to just do more of a positive thing to bring on the high. Here is a partial list of my “drugs” that keep me high on life. Yours may be different.
- creating something of value
- helping others
- being enthusiastic
- being motivated
- having fun
- making love (which includes all of the above as well)
- creating wealth
- spending quality time with my family
- having appreciation and gratitude
Herein lies another “secret” of success. The body and mind crave and need highs. If you deny them artificial highs, you will be forced to do the positive things needed to create natural highs. Buying a high that you can drink, snort, or inject is easier than spending the energy it takes to create a natural high. Successful individuals do what’s best not what’s easiest.
Best of all, natural highs are completely legal and mostly free! Being in control of your body, emotions, and feelings will allow you to experience natural highs that work for the achievement of success, not against it, and you will reach your goals in life faster and more consistently.
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Some discussion questions (some may not apply to this lesson):
- Have you implemented this idea in your life? How has it been working for you?
- Do you have any interesting stories related to this lesson? Do tell!
- What do you admire most about this person? (success biography days)