The term “positive addiction” has garnered both praise and criticism. Immersing yourself in creative pursuits such as cooking, sports, music, meditation, dancing, reading, praying, career advancement, or self-improvement can be exceptionally fulfilling without the looming specter of harm.
American psychiatrist William Glasser’s Positive Addictions (1976) laid out six criteria for an activity to be classified as a positive addiction: it should avoid intense competition, require roughly an hour of daily commitment, be done easily without undue mental strain, often be a solitary endeavor, be seen as valuable in physical, mental, or spiritual aspects, offer the potential for personal growth, and not burden you with self-criticism. These positive pursuits only become problematic when they start causing harm to you or your loved ones.
Any form of ‘addiction,’ even when it carries the “good” label, can pose a challenging path to navigate. The key lies in maintaining a well-balanced relationship with your passions. Meditation or contemplation can help you practice detachment from life’s hectic pace, distance yourself from your passion projects, and sustain a healthy equilibrium.
It’s valuable to occasionally hit the pause button and delve into the motivations behind your activities. Are you diving headlong into these pursuits as a means to escape personal issues and evade responsibilities? If you notice your engagement is sliding towards excessive dependence, it’s a warning sign—there’s a risk that they may end up causing harm, not only to you but also to those you cherish.
Idea for Impact: In moderation, take your pleasure, for balance is the key to a life well-lived.