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How to harness the power of our addictive genes

How to harness the power of our addictive genes

The other side of addictions

In the past week I have been experiencing happiness by osmosis from Pax and his new friend Lana, our neighbour’s new puppy. Every day they have been getting together for a backyard play session, and watching them having fun has been my favourite thing to do.

I think I am addicted to taking pictures and videos of them playing. I have been having a hard time restraining myself from filling my phone and camera memory to the brim. Watching two puppies play is also a great antidote to the 2020 news!

Let’s not talk COVID-19 for a change

I’ll be frank, I am tired of COVID-19 or coronavirus news. It is difficult not to get sucked into the black hole of negativity, but staying focused on work, learning, being active, and Pax seem to do the trick most of the time.

Besides being addicted to taking pics of puppies, learning is my other addiction. I love getting lost listening to podcasts and audiobooks by inspiring people. They charge me up and give me hope, which leaves little space to feel depressed in the wake of 2020 events.

In principle, I disagree with the mostly negative definition of the word ADDICTION I found in the dictionary:

Dictionary definition of the word addiction

The reason addictions have such a bad rap, is that we hear of them in connection with drugs, gambling, or alcohol.

I used to perceive the word addiction as being negative. I saw how hard it was for my mother to stop smoking cigarettes, and when she finally did, it was a big relief. She is 85 now, and I doubt she would be alive today if she had not stopped when she did.

I also come from a country with the highest consumption of beer per capita, and saw many men sporting their beer induced potbellies, looking like they were in the last trimester of pregnancy. 

But seeing the negative side of addictions made me also wonder why evolution didn’t weed addictions out of the human gene pool. They must be good for something!?🤔

Nature is never wrong, and it appears it has not been wrong in giving the “addictive” genes a green light in the course of evolution. In fact, the success of our species has been greatly influenced by what I call ‘the good addictions.’  

I have no doubt Da Vinci was addicted to creating art and indulging in sci-fi inventions of the renaissance era, such as flying machines. I bet that Einstein was no less addicted to thinking and pondering over his Theory of Relativity. The modern era has brought us Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, who have been addicted to changing the world of computers, phones, rockets, and electric cars.

In other words, good addictions are essential to progress despite their clear duality. In fact, most aspects of life can be both good and bad. 

  • Atoms can be harnessed and used for generating electricity, or for making a bomb.

  • Water is essential to life, and it can also be the most destructive force of nature.

  • A sports car can be a lot of fun, but it can turn into a killing machine if mishandled.

  • The internet, computers, and smartphones can be amazing tools, but they can also be dangerous and destructive weapons of misinformation. Also, spending too much time on our phones and computers will lead to fewer and shorter dog walks, and a lack of connection with others in the real world.


Harnessing the power of our addictive genes

Perhaps the secret to creating a meaningful and depression-free, happy life, is to focus on forming “good addictions” and learn how to turn them on and off so that we don’t lose ourselves in them completely. 

Our addictive genes can be harnessed the same way we harness the potentially destructive forces of wind, water, and atoms to generate power. 


Bad addiction detox 

Good addictions also help us push out the bad ones in the same way that healthy minerals in GreenMin and the natural vitamins in SoulFood push out toxins from our dog’s body during the detox process. Craving cookies from your kitchen pantry? Make a preconceived plan to reach for an apple when the urge comes! 🎉🍏

Reaching for the remote to kill some time watching TV? Instead, find a helpful audiobook on a topic that would solve a problem you deal with!

Replacing ‘bad addictions’ to drugs, gambling, sugar, or alcohol, with ‘good addictions’ to healthy foods, sports, yoga, and learning something new, is actually easier than it seems. The mistake that people often make is that they try to stop themselves from eating a cookie but do not have a plan in place for what to eat instead. 

The last note I want to make is this: Even good addictions can be harmful. The same life-giving water can cause a flood, so make sure that your good addictions come with an on/off button. 

I guess it is time for me to stop writing and take Pax for a walk! 😉


About the author

Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM is an Integrative veterinarian, nutritionist and creator of natural supplements for dogs and people. Helping you and your dog prevent disease, treat nutritional deficiencies, and enjoy happier, healthier, and longer lives together.

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