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The Dope Addiction

This isn’t any actual drug I’m talking about being addicted to today, this is a feeling.

I’m going to run a marathon this year.

I’m launching a startup.

I’m planning on traveling to Europe this year.

You’ve heard those phrases before. You have actually probably stated a phrase like that before - a big-idea phrase - one that will attract some attention to you. Those phrases where you share an idea you have or a goal you have to someone else, you know those? Could be as simple as “I wake up at 5:30AM” all the way to “I’m going to run in the Boston Marathon”, but everyone has at some point in their life declared their big plan.

And then we get hit with it - that small hit of dopamine.

Somehow, in proclaiming our big plan, we get a high. A high that tells us “yes, that is a good thing.” Every January I am faced with this struggle - I oftentimes keep my goals and resolutions personal and secret because I don’t want to become somebody who said they would do something and failed. But, sharing it is addicting.

Just by uttering a phrase, we can release dopamine into our brain that makes us feel good.

So what happens when something makes us feel good? Well, we want to do it again and again and again. Now, I’m not psychologist or psychiatrist or any doctor of any sort, no where close, but sometimes I worry others may be too addicted to this rush. You may recognize it in some of your peers - the ones who always have the big ideas but never seem to go anywhere. The ones who share plans of what they want to do but then the next time you see them, they have a totally different idea. They share a new idea with you that they are going to do. Then, a couple hours later over some drinks, they share another idea of what they are going to do. Like I said, I’m not a doctor, but it would seem like there may exist an addiction - an addiction to sharing an idea and then the sequential dopamine hit.

So what’s the cure then?


In the words of Jocko Willink - get after it. Otherwise, you may spend more of your life talking the talk but not walking the walk.