Thursday, 25 February 2016

DO YOU LIKE IT OR YOU NEED TO IT?


The demands for survival in this century are harder to meet than any other we have known in the past ages. From workaholic fathers immersed in work to provide for their families, to stressed mothers meeting both work and family demands and to children growing up without a reliable figures to look up to for social, mental, spiritual and physical growth. Everyone has tasted a piece of this bitter cake but it leaves a big vacuum for fulfillment in everyone's heart.

We are in an era that is bombarded with gigantic workloads, massive economic constraints and virtually no time for one to relax. with this has come the several “quick fix” pleasures that offer a temporary relief from our many challenges and satisfy a wide range of needs. These range from drugs, smoking, internet, alcohol and gambling which are among the most addictive things in the world.

Whenever people talk of addiction, our minds generally envision a helpless “junkie” hooked on drugs in some abandoned building in the middle of nowhere. It is commonly narrowed down to drugs, but addictions spread across so many spheres of life.

In the simplest form, an addiction is a compulsive desire to recurrently partake of a certain substance, behavior or activity that may impair a person’s daily activities and health. This can be related to a number of things. It could be a behavior like smoking, a substance like soda or an activity like “facebooking” Whatever it may be, one way to know it is an addiction is realizing whether one has control over the activity or it is an obsessive compulsion that helplessly drives them into an activity even when they would prefer not to.

The neuropsychologists have a simple explanation for an addiction. The brain has a reward system on which it operates to ensure every positive occurrence in a person’s life is rewarded. Every time something good happens to a person, from a nice meal, sex or taking a drug, the brain releases a neurotransmitter called “dopamine” in the brain’s pleasure center (nucleus accumbens ) which stimulates feelings of happiness.
Human beings are conditioned to release large amounts of dopamine whenever the primary needs are satisfied. Every time dopamine is released into the nucleus accumbens, the amygdala registers the emotion and the hippocampus creates a conditioned response to the occurrence. When a person  does something pleasurable, it creates a shortcut to the brain’s pleasure center , flooding it with dopamine. With repeated use, it then starts competing with the pleasure that comes from satisfying primary needs. Eventually it stimulates the release of more dopamine from the activity than the primary needs. This is what kicks starts an addiction, at that point when some finds taking a drug a bigger priority than eating food when hungry.

Most times it takes a long drift for someone to realize they are hooked onto a behavior or substance. Unfortunately by this time, someone may have the desire to control their response towards the addictive habit but they can no longer control the compulsion




These steps can help you know whether you are on a path to an addiction.
1.     How often does it happen?
How often you engage in a particular behavior can always alert you on how important it is and it is a great indicator that you are going beyond the limits with the activity.
2.     How much time is spent on it?
We hardly spend hours trying to brush our teeth yet it is a healthy habit, that is because it is essential but we do not need to spend many hours brushing. Similarly addictive habits could be a result of over usage of something beneficial beyond the limits of its significance.
3.     Does it control or disrupt daily activities?
Taking a bottle of beer during a party over the weekend may have bearable but taking three bottles of beer on Monday morning shortly before work could have a grave bearing on a person’s career. If a person finds themselves making decisions that continuously threaten their physical, mental or social well-being because of a particular habit, it could mean they have lost control.

Photo credit (www.illkeepyouposted.typepad.com, www.users2.unimi.it and www.commons.wikimedia.org)

Friday, 22 January 2016

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 2015 AND 2016

The new year has finally settled in, it's exactly 22 days, 528 hours, 31680 minutes and 1900800 seconds lost into the new year. While the birth of a new year is an exciting time as everyone rejoices for a new era of growth and development. The heaviness of the previous year’s troubles is then overshadowed by the joy of having an extra year of life.
For some people it was the climax of a victorious year immersed in opportunities and tremendous achievements. Unfortunately, for others it was the dim light at the end of the tunnel to which they bravely strolled towards, to escape the gloom of the previous year’s challenges and setbacks.

With new year comes plans and milestones we hope to reach during the 12 months ahead of us. The year begins with personal ambitions we want to realise. Within everyone’s mind is a vast deposit of goals they want to attain, fears they wish to conquer, resolutions they intend to meet and a purpose they wish to fulfill. 
We all begin the year with unbeatable enthusiasm but along the way, “life” happens to us and we soon back down from the ring of winners we all committed to at the beginning. We seem to lose the belief we held of meeting all our plans along the way.  
What happens during the 12 months of every year that separates those who emerge as victors and those who don’t?
Statistics shows that 75% of people keep their new year resolutions up to the 1st week, 71% in the 2nd week, 64% in the 4th week and only 46% stick to them till half of the year.


Here are 5 things that make the difference between people within every year.
1.      Carrying Buggage:
The world is a very unfair place and it beats all of us down at some point. We all have a fair share of that experience. Some people let circumstances define who they are by embracing all the negativity they carry which devour their motivation for life. Everyone has bad days but if you don’t leave them in the previous year, they will surely impair this year’s plans. “the past is dead except for the life you give it”- Myles Munroe
2.      Having  no Strategic Plans and Goals.
It is said “the first stage of failure is failing to plan.” Sadly, this is a bad habit that engulfs numerous people. We start prophesying the many resolutions and goals we hope to achieve but it only goes as far as our speech ends and we forget to write anything down. With the busyness of life, we soon forget what we set out to do and end up living each day “normally” until the year ends with no goals achieved.
3.      Forming the Right Habits through Self Discipline.
Napoleon Hill says “the mind is an animal of habit.” Anything, good or bad that you continuously engage in, conditions the mind to embrace the habit, which then governs your life. It takes a lot of self-control to kick out bad habits, whether in behavior, finances or relationships. Equally, self-discipline is the foundation for attaining success at any goal one sets.
4.      Persistence with a positive Attitude.
We always expect the best but rarely prepare for the worst. Every plan or goal we set, attracts both positive and negative associations. The trick lies in embracing all the positive energy whenever it is available and using it to buffer all the negativity that comes along the way. This should be coupled up with boundless persistence during all the bad times, because they will surely come but stick to the simple truth, “the harder you work, the luckier you get.”
5.      Having a Life of Purpose
This is the most important of all because without it, the rest crumble. Everything operates in a mechanism aimed at meeting the purpose for which it was created and that applies to everyone as well. Purpose determines what goals to pursue, which habits to embrace and it is biggest driving force anyone can have when planning to succeed at something. With the knowledge of one’s purpose in life, the sky is the only limit to the success one can have.

I wish you a happy fruitful New Year.
Photo Credit: (www.history.com and www.fggam.org)