I’ve been studying quite a bit on the concept of dopamine addiction. Basically, dopamine is the (hypothetical) chemical in your brain that is released when you do something that gives you “pleasure”.
I say hypothetical because there is really no way to measure dopamine levels (or serotonin for that matter).
Dopamine secretion is a very evolutionary idea. It comes from simply the brain attempting to coerce the body into doing things that will result in a net “positive” to a situation.
Let’s go back 200 years. You’re a settler in the U.S. You have to farm, hunt and do other things to survive. In this case, surviving is the “net positive” for the brain. So, you would go do something that would actually take a lot of time and effort, such as planting a field, killing and skinning a rabbit, creating some clothing or something of that type of survival nature. You’re rewarded with a well-deserved dopamine drip.
Fast forward to now. The technocratic era. Your brain works in 1’s and 0’s. 1 = dopamine drip and 0 = no dopamine.
It is phenomenally easy to get that dopamine now. You watch porn...instead of finding a mate (which takes time). You eat fast food which of course is engineered to release “happy hormones” like dopamine. You click on facebook and see you have a “like” on your post...dopamine drizzle incoming.
We are obviously a world for the most part that is dopamine overloaded. This is a way of giving away energy to whatever it is we are using for the “dopamine drip”.
So how does this transfer over to “doing the things you love”?
Because nothing that you truly love and strive for in life, whether it be a thriving business, family, or community of some sort...comes easy and fast.
Unlike the dopamine “instant drip” that we get from things like social media, smartphones in general, masturbation (the ultimate drip! No pun intended), fast food, etc.
And when your brain gets used to these things (called addictions) then doing worthwhile things in life becomes arduous and people can end up lazy and wondering why they have no motivation.
Its because your brain works only in 1’s and 0’s and so doing hard work that takes time does not deliver the dopamine as quick as the easy road.
Fast food is easier than finding ingredients and preparing a meal.
Social media stalking and “like watching” is easier than creating a useful peace of information, writing or art...which takes time.
Porn is easier than finding a girl (or guy), creating a relationship that may end up with sex.
And all of this is creating nothing but useless holes in your life, not really helping you advance as a person or grow in anyway, but instead stagnate and even decline.
In short, you’re giving your energy to these mindless activities and taking energy away from the meaningful things in life that make you happy in the long term.
And this is what I mean about harnessing energy inwards for better focus. Focus requires internal energy.
We all know how we feel after doing all of these mindless activities. We don’t have focus, we get brain fog, lethargic, tired even and basically turned into a zombie...which of course is exactly what the people that designed all of those above activities want because it creates a new customer for their drivel: you.
So the solution, and one I am currently in the middle of (with pretty good results thus far) is a “dopamine fast”.
What’s that you say? Well its pretty simple. Don’t do all of these dopamine drip activities...as well as you can, for an extended period of time. See what happens to your natural energy levels and focus. Mine have skyrocketed...with absolute zero use of one huge dopamine drip that I forgot to mention above: caffeine.
I don’t drink much coffee anyway, I prefer an herbal tea product that I use and sell (shameless plug). It has natural caffeine...but doesn’t have the crash like coffee.
Anyway, cutting out these things are hard. There are so many dopamine-inducing items that many people may not even be aware of...basically anything that is a fast track to happiness I guess is the best way to put it. Coffee, alcohol, cigarettes to name a few popular ones. So I have cut out all alcohol, coffee, useless social media scrolling (I still use it for work, but I’m in and out...no looking at hot chicks on IG!). Netflix, tons of youtube videos...all of it has to go.
And, like any addiction, you will have withdrawals, but I assure you if you stick with it a few days something miraculous will happen: you will start to get motivated to do the things that are important and move you forward in life.
The reason is that your brain will still be looking for that dopamine.
And, with the absence of all the other useless junk listed above, your body will quite literally be coerced into doing things that need to be done...to get that fix. That drip.
So I noticed after a few days (and it can be hard to stick with but well worth it) that I was more motivated than ever to work, write, talk to and find clients...all of that. Before it seemed like I was just never “in the mood” to do it. But now I actually look forward to these things and I expect it to get better as I go longer and longer without the addictions and continue to cut more and more out of my life.
You harness the energy inward by removing the dopamine drippers...then you get a dopamine BOMB when you actually complete something useful. This becomes a feedback loop as your brain becomes trained to want to work and do meaningful things. It’s quite literally rewiring the brain for success.
So I hope this might help some people if they are feeling unmotivated constantly and wondering why they don’t have that urge to work and progress.
Remember, these addictions are built in place by people that are relying on this dopamine addiction. They are designed to do that to you. So don’t feel worthless or anything like that. Just understand the system and the machinations underlying it and then use that knowledge to change your life!
Namaste healthy friends!