Stimulants, such as caffeine.
Over-stimulating foods containing refined sugar and other refined carbs (although this form of addiction has only intensified since the industrial revolution).
To quote famed management consultant, educator, and author, Peter Drucker:
“In a few hundred years, when the history of our time will be written from a long-term perspective, it is likely that the most important event historians will see is not technology, not the Internet, not e-commerce. It is an unprecedented change in the human condition. For the first time — literally — substantial and rapidly growing numbers of people have choices. For the first time, they will have to manage themselves. And society is totally unprepared for it.”
The very technologies that provide human beings with increasing choices are the very technologies diminishing human choice.
The future, with all of its incredible potential for joy, success, experiences, and learning — is not going to be a positive place for most people.
Every environment is optimized for something. Some environments, for example, are optimized for learning, connection, and growth.
However, the environments in which people most find themselves are optimized for dopamine. Because people can’t handle the allurements that come with all the advancements of society, they have developed unhealthy and addictive triggers around technology, information, food, work, etc.
Nearly everyone is an addict now.
And the most pervasive cultural addictions all fuel each other.
Because we are constantly plugged into our technology, we can’t sleep well. Because we can’t sleep well, we are dependent on stimulants and over-stimulating foods to get us through the day. Because we spend 70% of our time at work distracted, we’re unfulfilled, frustrated, and filled with impostor syndrome.
Because we are constantly plugged in, we never get sufficient time “off” to get clarity. Because we lack clarity, we are focused on the wrong things — always trying to keep up, fearing to miss out.
One hour of focused clarity is more productive than 30 days of non-focused clarity. As author and philosopher, Alex Epstein, has said, “You are the casualty of clarity’s absence.” And, unless you’re giving yourself plenty of time to unplug and reset, you’re probably moving the wrong direction.
As author, Stephen R. Covey said, “If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”
Are you going up the wrong ladder?
How would you know if you were?
Have you developed addictive tendencies?
How connected do you really (I mean really) feel to yourself?