Possibility Addiction Disorder: Coaching and What Lies Beneath

Charles Smith April 18, 2012 0
Possibility Addiction Disorder: Coaching and What Lies Beneath

Philip has Possibility Addiction Disorder. He first realized this four years ago when he and his friend Donald wrote an article they called Possibility Deficit Disorder. The article was about people, groups and companies who couldn’t find new possibilities even when they needed them. They were almost always stuck often without knowing it. The article was funny and serious at the same time, and a lot of people identified with it.

While writing the paper, Philip realized that Possibility Deficit was not his problem. His problem was opposite. He was a Possibility Addict. As children will move from one shiny object to another, he had been moving from one possibility to another for fifty years. Jobs, diets, relationships, ideas, spiritual practices, places to live, schools, dreams of fame and fortune, books, teachers, multiple wives, and paths to glory, Still he hadn’t hit rock bottom. Rock bottom would leave no possibility of another possibility. As he grew older, he knew that he was tired a lot of the time and he’d become an expert in creating possibilities for himself and others, but increasingly didn’t  really want to do anything with the possibility that was created.

He was moth to the flame, hopeless.

At the same time, he had complained for years, “I can never get enough what I don’t want.”  He thought that what he didn’t want was addicted to him. He came to realize that if he didn’t get what he didn’t want he would have lost the possibility of not getting it…. and that was more upsetting that the fact of not getting what he wanted. He realized how twisted and convoluted this was but the insight made no difference.

Philip always got a big payoff from mainlining Possibility. With a new possibility came a physical rush, s safety from being in control, feeling free to choose anything anytime. He made money with creative ideas and challenging projects. And there were always new and interesting relationships in foreign countries. He also paid a price. Except when working, he wasn’t able to focus on what was actually happening. He couldn’t stop thinking and looking for something else. He was like an archaeologist always scraping rocks with a toothbrush looking for more possibilities.

He rarely had the satisfaction of finishing a project.  His lists of things to do kept increasing and there was no sense of ever being done. He became a master list maker. Long, short, current, long-term, important and trivial lists. His I-Pad was a wealth of countless things to do. He made a life of avoiding any kind of implementation, from washing the car to doing taxes unless circumstances forced it. By degrees, People who implemented anything annoyed him, sooner or later. Over time, he became annoyed with content itself. In Possibilities, he thought, there is no content, there’s nothing to shake up or rattle, nothing heavy to carry.

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