June 10, 2009

{Lesson 2: Addiction Comes in Different Forms}

The Free Dictionary by Farlex defines addiction as:

ad•dic•tion (-dkshn) n.

1. Compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance;

2. The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or involved in something.

Anytime we read the definition of addiction, we right away think of alcohol, drugs, or even food to be the driver of the addiction. But do we ever look at work or corporate life as an addiction? Most of us do not. If a friend of mine confides in me that he is addicted to drugs, I would jump in and intervene. Such behavior is always looked at negatively and deserves remedial action. Unlike drug addictions, if the same friend calls me and confides in me that he is working very hard, extra long hours, I would be proud of him. I would wait to hear about his accomplishments and use him as a role model.

Corporate life addiction is more dangerous than any other form of addiction given that society supports the act. As I think about my corporate days, I was putting 12 to 14 hours a day into work. That does not include sitting with my laptop at home to stay up to date with my emails. Life was exciting. There were new challenges every day. I never worried about where this was leading me. I just did what I needed to do as I needed to do it.

As I was writing Raising a Father, I asked myself over and over... "Why did I not balance my life and work? Why did I not spend half that time with my family?" Then again, a drug addict does not say, "I will not use drugs every day." Instead they use drugs every chance they get, and without intervention, drug usage increases with every possible chance.

For sure, addiction comes in different forms.

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