Being open-minded is a double-edged sword

Being open-minded is a gift. You have a thirst for knowledge and experience. You’re never satisfied with settling on the ideologies society gives you. Constantly searching, you flow like water–assuming no definite shape or form.

Highly creative people are very open. Crafting art, writing a brilliant story, or dazzling a crowd with a speech–these people are true Artists.

Unfortunately, open-minded individuals lack a concrete identity. They’re sort of Pan like–adopting every idea in a wild, unrestrained manner.

Think about it–if you’re always open to some other possibility, how can people make sense of you? You’re constantly changing and evolving uncontrollably.

This can make it difficult to hold a traditional job, relationship, or identity. It can even make it hard to be in touch with yourself.

All hope is not lost, however. If you struggle with a fluid identity by being super open…

Here’s the antidote:

Create and share ART.

Humans live to experience art. This gives you one form you can rely on. People might not fully grasp everything about you, but they can appreciate what you produce–your art.

Art isn’t just tangible things. YOU are Art. 

The world needs YOU to share YOU for the sake of the globe to continue spinning. 

Peace!

-Seth

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“Take Your Pills” Commentary. What’s Adderall REALLY like?

I just finished watching the new Netflix documentary “Take Your Pills” which discusses the rise of Adderall and amphetamines and ADHD. What’s so great about these little blue monsters?

Adderall is a powerful drug. Only one methyl group from Methamphetamine, it can cause a myriad of health problems and psychological issues. As someone who has struggled with attention problems, I will discuss my experience with Adderall in hopes that it takes away any glorification of Adderall this documentary claimed.

Adderall floods your brain with dopamine and norepinephrine. Basically, it lights up the “feel good” neurotransmitters that allow someone to focus on tasks for longer periods of time.

People with ADD and ADHD have fragmented attention spans. They are easily swayed by environmental distractions, absorbing too much stimuli. Their brain is overloaded with too much at once, resulting in the inability to get anything significant done–because their attention centers are “burned out”.

Basically, it’s a symptom of dysfunctional or low dopamine levels. The more a person switches from one source of novelty to another, the weaker attention span they have. If you have a weak attention span and can’t get much done because of it, you almost certainly have low dopamine levels.

This is a significant and rising problem: With low dopamine, you feel unfulfilled. You aren’t confident to stick with things. You give in to distraction, and give up too easily. You become susceptible to making poor decisions, seeking drugs, and becoming depressed. 

The real solution to raising dopamine is to focus on tasks for longer periods of time and eliminate distractions. A good example would be reading a book, running, or walking in a forest. These activities restore healthy neurotransmitter levels.

But why bother when you have pills, right!? That’s the mentality society has come to now. We want instant access to everything, and Adderall is no exception. Spending time diligently, and disciplining yourself is too much work. Eating wholesome foods is a hassle. Good parenting is too much work. Pills are more efficient apparently.

Negative Effects

I don’t take Adderall much anymore because I couldn’t relax on it. Here are some of the side effects I experienced:

  • Emotional blunting (when taken every day): I felt robotic, and unable to feel naturally happy.
  • Anger: People would irritate me for no reason. People were like obstacles I wanted to get out of my way. (When I’d go grocery shopping on Adderall, every person in the aisle seemed like roadblocks).
  • Stress: Inability to relax until 2am. Nonstop “let’s solve problems” thoughts. Racing mind and heart rate.
  • Lower dopamine levels when not on it

Positive Effects

  • Significantly increased conscientiousness: I followed through on every commitment I had. I cleaned my house. I connected with coworkers and friends more openly. I finished projects I kept delaying.
  • I felt more motivated to do mundane things, like dishes and cleaning.
  • Around 50-80% decrease in social anxiety.
  • Increased peripheral awareness.

Anyhow, I’ll be honest: Adderall really helped me in the short term rut of my life. As an adult with attention problems, I finally felt like I could accomplish more. However, the side effects are just too intense for me to bother taking it often. It might seem alluring, but trust me, it’s not.

I recommend having 2 or 3 strong cups of coffee before ever considering Adderall. I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. Seeing that 11% of kids are being diagnosed with ADD and ADHD (and most likely taking amphetamines) is really, really scary.

Stay sober guys.

What do you think about ADHD and amphetamine use? Leave your comments below!

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Being “Spiritual” is No Substitute for Psychiatric Evaluation…

I feel that I have to write this article to clear the air. Since most of my audience seems to be spiritually-inclined people, I feel obligated to present a counter argument to what I normally write about. 

A lot of people resort to spirituality in the midst of a life crisis. It helps them appreciate life in more subtle, holistic ways. Fantastic.

Many people learn to cope with alternative lifestyles, meditation, and healthy eating. Awesome.

Others have latent mental illnesses and resist psychiatric evaluation, thinking being spiritual is enough. Not good.

Let’s be real here: Mental illnesses are legitimate problems. Telling someone with mental health issues to “go meditate for a bit, smoke a blunt, and eat some kale” is dangerous. Instead of seeking professional help, they believe they can do it on their own. This is delusion, and it’s often difficult to fix once habituated.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health issues, do not resist seeking professional help. I’m not saying to go around searching for a diagnosis, but just be aware of the professional support that is out there and can drastically improve the quality of your life.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article.

Peace -Seth

Do We Have Free Will? The Answer is Complicated…

Yes and no.

We have free will in the day-to-day activities we engage in. I can pick the color of shirt I want to wear, which restaurant I want to dine at, and whether I want to date Susie, Sally, Sarah, or Sylvia. All at my own autonomous discretion.

However, do we always know what we want? And can we really change whatever we want about our lives?

The problem people run into is when we can’t make decisions for ourselves due to some kind of limiting obstacle. The obstacle could be in the external world, but more likely it’s within our own psyche. These are often called success barriers

Human beings are addicted to emotions. We essentially become slaves to our identities, constantly reinforcing beliefs about ourselves unconsciously. This “echo-chamber” of the mind can be extremely helpful, or extremely damaging, depending on what’s being reinforced.

For instance, if you have low self-esteem, it feels almost impossible to accomplish goals a person with high-self esteem would. Why? It’s because this person’s ego is addicted to believing a story about themselves that says “I’m not good enough to earn this because I’m [insert rationalization]…”

This neurotic, obsessive habit, when left unchecked, can plague someone’s life for years. Do the still have the free will to change it? Yes. However, it’s like digging yourself deeper in a hole. You don’t need more shovels, you need a fucking rope. But the person who has this problem (unconsciously) wants to keep digging deeper. So, in a sense, they really don’t have complete free will. They’d ignore the rope if they saw one.

There is a way to reclaim more of your free will, but it requires a combination of acceptance and applied knowledge. There is a quote that says…

“Without awareness, there is no choice.”

I don’t know where I heard this quote, but it’s ridiculously true when it comes to free will. We have to detach from what we know, and listen to what we don’t know. This is why meditation is becoming increasingly popular in Western culture. Being less reactive is a valuable skill in today’s distracted, reactive society.

Why? Because we’re stupider than we think. If we were super intelligent, we’d accomplish our goals in an extremely straightforward manner. But most people spend a lifetime trying to figure out how to play “life”. They’re too caught up dabbling around in the sidelines, reading a tutorial book on how to play hockey when they’re actually at a football game. It just doesn’t work.

Granted, there ARE people who seem to float effortlessly through life, with seemingly infinite free will, actualizing whatever goals they conjure. These people, however, are small minority, because most humans have very real problems.

“You don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are.”

This basically explains the Law of Attraction. Like attracts like. You can only hold what your cup can handle.

This may seem a little harsh, but it’s true. If you really want to change things, but just can’t seem to do so, have an honest assessment with yourself about what might be blocking your success. Is it your own thoughts?

You always have the free will to make changes in a positive direction. Just start now, ground yourself with as many positive influences as you can. The more pillars you have at the base of your building, the less likely the structure will collapse.

Stack the odds in your own favor.

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