We all need a compelling reason for why we do what we do. The key point being compelling.
It has to make us want to do even the most uncomfortable actions.
And when you are rebooting, every withdrawal urge your resist is an uncomfortable action.
Why a vision?
The value of a compelling vision is hard to spot in the modern world.
We get up in the morning and go to school because we have to, at least until a certain age.
After moving into the workforce we find a job to go to because we need to bring bread to the table.
A little later many become parents and the children put them through a whole new set of “have-to’s”.
The modern society allows us to crawl through life never having motivation of our own and always acting in reaction to external forces.
It’s always the fear of consequences that move us, not genuine inspiration.
Yet we admire those with clear personal visions. The last decade has made entrepreneurs into superstars, which made everyone and their mother try to become the next rags to riches story.
I mention entrepreneurship as the example of someone with a strong WHY, because it is a requirement in that line of work.
The grueling reality of long hours, pressure and stress has to be backed up by an equally strong vision. Going to work is easy. Working without being accountable for it to anyone is where it gets hard.
A vision allows you to succeed
I mentioned entrepreneurship because it is the business world’s equivalent of rebooting.
You wish to achieve something that most likely many (if not all) others will not believe in. Some may even belittle your efforts.
Yet you see it as important and beneficial to your life despite the extreme personal challenge if presents.
You will face with many tough days where you are accountable only to yourself, but you push through because you know the end result to be worth it.
And in the business world, only those entrepreneurs with a strong vision and belief in what they are doing end up succeeding. When saying that over 90% of businesses fail in the first year, five years, ten years, this is indirectly what they are talking about.
Because nobody needs a vision when going the easy road, but it becomes a necessity when taking the tough one.
Flipping the script
How many times have you heard an inspirational story of someones turning point? A tale of the specific moment when they made the decision to turn their life around and ended up following through with it.
One story that has for some reason stuck with me is about a man who smoked. The man had a family, and knew he should quit both for his health and for the sake of his child.
But the turning point came when his 6 year old daughter, crying, pleaded him to stop smoking so he could be there to walk her down the isle when she gets married.
Now that really tugged at his heartstrings. That very same day the smokes went out the door and he never smoked again.
Tony Robbins calls this type of moment the moment where a should becomes a must.
I am sure that the man still felt the withdrawal effects from quitting his habit.
Yet they didn’t deter him because he now had a strong reason to push through them. The script had changed from him having to stop smoking to him wanting to stop smoking.
A vision for recovery
I know what you are going to say: that you already want to reboot.
So what we need is to create a vision of the future for which we not only want to recover from porn, where we have to recover from porn. One where there is no other fucking choice than to recover from porn.
A compelling vision creates a situation with no other even remotely acceptable result than recovering from porn addiction.
Just as nothing else is, this won’t be a magic pill either. It will in fact be the exact opposite of a magic pill.
Having no other acceptable result than a successful recovery means you put your everything into recovering. You do it as smartly as you possibly can and take every beneficial action in the book.
In poker terms, you go all in. Hell, you’ll be ready to camp in the woods for three months if that’s what it takes.
And that’s exactly the attitude we are going for: whatever it takes.
Find what matters to you
Before, I said “create” and not “find” for a specific purpose. You can search deep within yourself for what matters to you. Forming a compelling vision from those “raw materials” takes conscious effort.
But let’s start with finding the things that matter to you. The first thing to realize is that as long as it matters to you, it won’t even need to be tethered to reality.
It doesn’t need to be real at the moment. Instead it can be a future you want for yourself. Go back to the top of this page and take a look at the thumbnail picture for this article. Starting to make more sense, right?
Frankly, imagined futures can be much more powerful than any current reality. Life is messy, but a possible future can be colored to your specifics. All colors, no shadows.
The question to ask yourself is: what do you truly want?
Ask that question without any qualifying remarks. Your current situation doesn’t matter, any perceived obstacles don’t matter, even money doesn’t matter. Don’t get stuck on the reasons why it can’t happen.
If anything were possible, what would you do? Where and how would you live?
Quite soon after finding the community, I knew I wanted to create this website to help people. But I knew that I was nobody to help anyone unless I rebooted myself. I’m sure it would have made zero sense to anyone else, but this was my dream and I had to reboot to make it happen.
So you vision doesn’t have to be strictly related to your recovery. Basically anything you want out of life can be used as indirect motivation to reboot.
Porn addiction is an debilitating situation which robs you off energy, focus and happiness. If that’s the case, you can’t live your dreams while being hooked on porn, can you?
Crafting a compelling vision
Now that you have some sense of what really matters to you in life, let’s work that into a vision.
But what’s the difference?
Your knowledge of what matters to you is just a fact. Sure, the idea of it is somewhat intrinsically motivating, but it lacks the real power we are going for.
A vision is three dimensional. It is a mental picture so strong that you can not only see the concept in your mind, but engage your other senses too.
Are the colors in your mental picture bright and vivid? What does it smell like? The smell of autumn leaves right after a rain? What sounds do you hear? Birds, the wind or laughter?
Most importantly, how does it feel? What emotions are behind it? Love, peacefulness, happiness?
Emotion is what gives a vision its power. It’s what makes it tangible and worth pursuing through our struggles.
If what you are thinking doesn’t make you passionate or put a feeling of excitement to the pit of your stomach, it is not powerful enough.
A powerful vision puts a fire in your heart.
Write it down
Now that you have that vision in your mind, write it down.
Thoughts are fleeting and in the beginning it takes effort to piece together your vision. That is not exactly helpful when you are in a tight spot.
By putting pen on paper we can easily refer back to the previously thought out vision to remind ourselves as to exactly what we are recovering for.
If you can, write it down on a separate piece of paper which you can put in your wallet or pocket to keep with you throughout your day.
It may also be helpful to write multiple copies and have them available at those locations where relapses easily occur for you.
- Brainstorm on your dream life, what do you want out of life?
- Focus on all the senses of your vision and the feeling in it
- Write that vision down with as much detail as possible
- Have your vision at an accessible location or keep it with your for easy reminders