Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Refreshing Take on Addiction and Recovery

Most of us know someone who struggles with an addiction. Often it’s alcohol or drug abuse. But other types also cause trouble— like gambling, food, sex, shopping, internet surfing or even the need for approval from others.

Steve Chandler’s Death Wish: The Path through Addiction to a Glorious Life is a must-read for anyone who has an addiction or cares about someone who does.

What’s most significant about this book is the way Steve invites you to THINK about addiction.

You won’t find advice or how-to steps.

No research data or footnotes.

Just a fellow human being sharing his own journey through masterful writing and story-telling. A skilled coach and guide who shows how you can evolve and even THRIVE in life.

I’ve read 10 other Steve Chandler books, and in each one I’ve been impressed by the way he’s guided me to change the way I think about – and then change my behavior around – a specific topic.

Whether it’s fear/courage (Fearless) or money (Wealth Warrior) or time management (Time Warrior) or personality (Reinventing Yourself), I’ve discovered insights about my beliefs and feelings that are rooted in the thoughts I’ve repeated to myself over time.

I almost never read Steve’s books just once. They’re packed with so much wisdom that it takes a second or third reading to absorb all the nuances woven into his narrative. Death Wish is no different.

And it’s not because he uses convoluted language that requires time to decipher. Just the opposite. His writing is engaging and deceptively simple, sprinkled generously with personal stories that touch my heart, mind and spirit.

I love Steve’s creative revision to the serenity prayer because the word “acceptance” conjured up a defeated, fatalistic feeling for him (changes in bold):

"God, grant me the serenity to explore (and enjoy) the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to love the difference."

This subject of addiction is serious stuff. Yet Steve skillfully injects humor to remind us about the value of bringing a sense of lightheartedness and fun to any situation because “heavy thoughts don’t solve problems.”

You don’t have to be addicted to a substance like drugs or alcohol to benefit from this book. If you’re preoccupied with any behaviors that reduce the quality of your life – e.g., food, gambling or even trying to please others – you’ll find ideas that can lead to a more peaceful, happy life.

“The problem in life starts when you think you have to add something to the present moment to make it better.” – Steve Chandler

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