Is Your Brain Getting Off, but You're Getting Nowhere?
How to Break the Addiction
Right about now, you're either laughing and nodding in recognition or you are completely offended.
I can't remember the first time I used this term, but I actually thought I made it up. It perfectly describes a state I used to get into (and still sometimes do) with friends where we spend ridiculous amounts of time analyzing ourselves, the world, our thought patterns and trying to 'figure out our lives', hoping to have some big revelation that will solve everything.
As I sat down to write this article, I googled "mental masturbation" and guess what -- it's in the Urban Dictionary!
There are about 10 definitions, but this is the perfect one for the purposes of this article: (for more amusement, go read the other definitions esp. the sample conversations)
Mental Masturbation "The act of engaging in useless yet intellectually stimulating conversation, usually as an excuse to avoid taking constructive action in your life."
Here's the part that's really interesting to me "usually as an excuse to avoid taking constructive action in your life."
That was the revelation I had a few years ago. I was spending hours on the phone with friends talking about my life, my business, projects I was really attracted to and what was holding me back from my ideal scene. We shared quotes from books we were reading, knowledge picked up from gurus and we came up with insights about what it would take to have a major breakthrough.
I would finally press "end call", hundreds of minutes later, my ear burning red and hot, letting out a deep, exhausted but deliciously satisfied 'ahhhhhh' and think, "That was great, I'm so excited about all of these new ideas and I can't wait to get started on them."
Just then, my husband would walk in the door or it was time to go pick up the kids from school, my "work day" was over and what had I really accomplished?
Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zip.
That's right. I spent countless hours having these amazing, intellectually stimulating conversations but I wasn't taking any action. Mental masturbation.
Here's my theory:
You can become addicted to the "a-ha!" moment. When the light bulb goes off as you find the perfect website that promises to answer all of your questions, sit in a seminar with the latest guru, listen to an audio program or read a new book - it's like an orgasm. It feels soooooo good. You've figured "it" out, the missing link, the nugget of knowledge that will make everything fall into place, your life will make sense, the world will finally recognize your greatness and your bank account will triple. Ahhhhhhh, that feels good.
When you put the book down, return to your office or try to get back to your life's work, it feels boring. You don't feel that same energy, the high is gone. So you go in search of the next "a-ha" moment, the next intellectual orgasm.
You can break out of this cycle. You can stop sabotaging yourself when you realize that it's just your brain, doing it's busy, monkey-mind stuff that keeps you searching for the next high.
I'd like to make a distinction here: let's differentiate Masterminding, what Napoleon Hill refers to as two or more gathered together working toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony- which is an amazing tool to increase your results and add rocket fuel to your business and your life from mental masturbation. You'll know you're addicted to the intellectual high, if you're having lots of great, stimulating conversations but your business isn't growing or your life seems strangely unsatisfying.
Here's what to do:
If you can plug into the ideas and projects that are right in front of you today, create your own urgency and excitement instead of waiting for your brain to get turned on. If you can turn yourself on about your life right now, that's when you'll find your magic G-spot. (G= Greatness, Gorgeous & Grateful)
I've got some tips for you next time on how to break your addiction to mental masturbation, stop avoiding taking constructive action and turn yourself ON in your business and your life. Grrrrrrrrrrr, baby!
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