Last week I was listening to and episode of the “Waking Up” podcast by Sam Harris. He was speaking with with New York Times bestselling author, Johann Hari about the challenges of addiction and depression, and the increased use of prescribed anti-depressants, opioids, and illegal drug use.
They discussed why people are so easily angry online. Specifically, how they attack others in ways that they’d most likely never do if they were face-to-face. The rhetorical question was, “Why do people act more horribly online than in person?” Hari quoted James Baldwin as a form of response,
'The reason they're so angry is because if they weren't they'd have to feel their pain."
In the moment of drama, we are not progressing.
We are being reactive to something that’s taking us away from being our best selves, from spending time working on something meaningful, or spending quality time with people we love to be with. In drama mode we are not expressing our core values.
Listen to the accompanying episode of The Living OUT Podcast: How Purging Connects with Your Core Values – LOP034.
If you want to remove yourself these types of situations, I have a solution.
How purging reduces or eliminates drama
Purging will help you let go of what’s holding you back in life, so that you can focus on what’s most important, and spend more of your time and energy working on what you want to accomplish.
My approach with purging is that you fix yourself first. Not to presume you are broken. Instead, we need to take care of ourselves first, to become better people, to increase our well-being, and to have a positive influence on people we care about.
What is purging?
It’s a process that helps to increase your,
- Ability to focus, thus making better use of your time. The more easily you can remain focused, without distraction, the easier it is to accomplish “deep work” and slide into flow state.
- Personal motivation. When you have focus and clarity, and nothing is holding you back, you will be motivated (and excited) to work on the things you want.
- Physical and emotional energy. If you are dragged down by things like anger, resentment, overwhelm, and other people, you won’t be able to function at your best because you won’t feel well.
“If you know how to pay attention, boredom is not a problem." – Sam Harris
Ever heard someone say they’re bored?
Boredom can be a result of so much distraction that you no longer have the clarity to know what you want. If you don’t know what’s important to you and what you want to accomplish, you’ll try to fill in that gap with mindless entertainment, scrolling newsfeeds, playing candy crush, or whatever distracts you from the fact that you don’t know what you want!
Talk about a vicious cycle!
The basics of the purging process
First you start with an assessment your physical, information, and emotional environments.
Look at what’s around you in your physical space. What’s pulling your eyes away; what sounds are catching your attention?
What information are you allowing into your consciousness via social media, apps, the news, subscriptions, and so on, that are pulling you out of focus?
In your emotional environment, who are you around? Who are you in communication with? Are they supporting or harming your well-being?
Once you’ve done this assessment, then you question what stuff in your life is essential, and whether or not it needs to be purged. Whatever you chose to get rid of can be permanent or temporary.
But if something is not serving you, if it’s taking away your time, or your physical and emotional energy, fucking get rid of it!
Why would you want to keep doing something or maintain a relationship if it’s making you feel sick, unhappy, overwhelmed, or worse if it’s holding you back from accomplishing your goals and dreams?
If it’s holding you back or not a priority in your life, it is NOT helping you move your life forward. It’s also NOT in alignment with your core values.
It’s human nature
Unfortunately, how we act in this regard is part of our human nature. From a neuroscience perspective, our mammalian brain is looking for comfort. Even if it’s something that’s not serving us in the present moment, that action or habit may have served us in the past to feel safe or comfortable.
This is why we may continue to repeat a behaviour that doesn’t serve us, because we’re not consciously aware of our past conditioning. Until we become conscious of those habits, people, or time-sucks that hold us back, we won’t know what to do. This is how a process like purging can help you to get clarity on what to get rid of or to change.
When you discover what’s holding you back, and take action to purge those things out of your life, you’ll realize how your actions were not in alignment with your core values.
Purging leads to greater happiness
Purging is the second steps in my ADD Coaching Methodology. Purging allows you to prioritize your self-care first, so that you can spend more time doing what you love, and with whom you love.
Purging reinforces your intrinsic values, as opposed to extrinsic motivators that cause more unhappiness and loneliness like:
- Excessive social media use;
- Comparing yourself to others;
- The need for external validation, and;
- Mob/group think, bullying and shouting online, etc.
Imagine starting fresh, like having a brand new white board on your wall. What’s the first thing you would add to that clean slate that would add to the quality of your life? What’s the first thing you would do in your day to set yourself up to win, and to feel ready to take action?