Early morning a friend of mine said something that made me ask him if he was drunk or high on coke. He responded jokingly - coke is so last century..
I wonder what the drug of choice is these days for over achievers like him.
Interestingly, that very morning I had read an article by a Hongkong banker where he anonymously shares his story of ease of access to cocaine and women in Hongkong. This article came on the heels of the double murder committed allegedly by another banker in HongKong who was supposedly under the influence of drugs.
What is it that drives these people to ruin their lives for a few hours of high? I have personally met quite a few extremely bright people who are addicted to all sorts of highs. These could be alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, dangerous sex, fast cars, dangerous sports or sometimes just pushing themselves to work till their bodies can take no more.
What is it that we are all looking for? According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs once our basic needs of safety, food, sex and shelter are taken care of we climb higher towards acknowledgement and acceptance of our peers and then eventually seek self-actualization.
Most of the people that I met who were taking recreational drugs were pretty much on top of the financial and career ladder and were pretty up in their game. They were hardly wanting financially or physically, but there was obviously a void that they were trying to fill via drugs or alcohol.
Superficially all seemed to be in control in their lives and were the envy of many but once I got to know them I heard about their pains. Their pains were as varied as they were. Some had work pressure, some had relationship issues, some were struggling with parental expectations, but almost all were struggling with self-acceptance. Even though most had achieved a lot in their lives they felt they needed to achieve more. They felt a sense of emptiness which they could not explain. Unfortunately this emptiness sometimes translated into broken relationships but often it translated into obsessive compulsive behavior towards recreational drugs, sex, sports, alcohol or work.
I had never thought about these common trends that I had observed amongst some of the over achievers till yesterday, when I received a call from a friend who was at the brink of a break up. She called me in tears and told me that she and her husband of 15 years were splitting up and the children might end up with her husband’s parents as both she and her husband were addicted to cocaine and she was afraid that her children may end up paying the price of their addiction.
Well, the children are already paying the price. . Their parents are splitting up and they are being sent to their grandparent’s house. They are being uprooted from their home and school and being sent to another country. How traumatic is this going to be for them? In this particular case there is plenty of acrimony so this may be the best scenario at this stage but wouldn't it be better if we could nip these problems in the bud? All addictions ruin lives and often addiction just sneaks up on you. No one takes drugs or alcohol thinking they want to become addicts but one day it's too late.
So instead of painting a doom and gloom scenario let's see what we can do to prevent ourselves from going down that route.
As I mentioned before, the reason we look for outside stimulation is because we fill unfulfilled. We feel a lack that we want to fill up. Unfortunately no amount of money, sex, drugs, alcohol, recognition, acceptance or acknowledgement will ever fill that void. That void can only be filled by self-acceptance and finally self-actualization.
Self-acceptance is a state where we are grateful for who we are. Not necessarily for what we have done or achieved. Just being grateful for who we are and for our presence on this planet. Once we accept ourselves it becomes easier to accept others for who they are. Instead of trying to change the world we become an intrinsic part of the world that is.
Self-actualization happens when our presence becomes meaningful and purposeful. The void that we think we can fill with drugs or other stimulants only gets filled when we find meaning and become of benefit to others. We are all intrinsically linked, therefore till the time we become selfless we will keep searching.
The key to happiness and highs is not in cocaine or Dom. It lies in becoming of service to others. Think about a time when you did or said something to another which made them feel good. How did you feel then? Did you feel empty or fulfilled? Just a small gesture of kindness made you and someone else feel good, then why look for that feeling in cocaine. The body is capable of making its own feel good drug. It's called dopamine - Deliver only purposeful and meaningful intentions nearly every time
So yes, cocaine is soooooo last century. The new drug of choice is LEKSA – love, empathy, kindness, self-acceptance and appreciation.
But watch out, these could get addictive and lead to withdrawals.
Love and happiness.
Written byShveitta Sethi Sharma
A student of Vedanta and positive psychology, wants to live in a world where people celebrate life for the sake of life itself. Chief Happiness Officer and Founder of School of Happiness, a sought after speaker, coach and facilitator. An expert on interpersonal relationships, she has been credited with an amazing gift of making people feel good about themselves.
She has been spotlighted on Tedx, HKUST, RTHK-radio television Hongkong, selfgrowth.com, Buddhist Door publication and Ted Tuesday.
When not traveling around the Globe sharing happiness tips she can be found on the golf course; caddying for her daughter, or at the beach or in bed listening to jazz.
Check out; www.happinessisaskill.blogspot.com