Power of Purpose for Sex & Porn Addicts & Spouses

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Welcome to sex afflictions and porn addictions. I am your host, Craig Perra from themindfulhabit.com. I’m the founder of The Mindful Habit, a structured path to healthy sexuality and a great life. Today, I’m going to prove to you that you must learn to honor your life’s purpose. Purpose is mission critical if you want to stop jerking off to porn and stop cheating on the woman you love. In this podcast, I’m going to help you find your purpose and provide you with the framework for honoring that purpose long-term.

All right, who are we? The Mindful Habit System is entirely online. If you’re new to this podcast, we offer a full suite of products and services for one, the man who struggles with sex and porn addiction. Two, his wife who suffered from what we call betrayal trauma, and also, a program for the couple to help you, maybe, use this crisis to transform this crisis into something special. We’ve been so successful, we even trained counselors and therapists in the mindful habit system.

All right. Before we dive in, though, a warning, here’s my warning label. I’ve learned over the years that not every program is for everyone. Sex addiction, porn addiction, serious business, lives are at stake. I know mine was, and I encourage you to do what works best for you. Treat what you learn from me as a buffet, take what works and throw away the rest. And be super aware that this is not medical advice. It’s not a replacement for medical advice. If you need professional help, get it. Doesn’t have to be from me, but get it, get it, get it, get it. I don’t know your situation. I don’t have all the facts. And because of that, some of the advice that I’m actually going to give you might be harmful. All right? Just want to put that out there. Very, very, very important.

Let me talk to you a little bit about me and set up what we’re talking about today. 10 years ago, new job, moved my family cross country, full of optimism and success. Now we were moving cross country because I got fired from a previous job. I was assistant general counsel for a billion dollar company, and I was lying to my boss about something stupid. I got fired from that job. I was acting out sexually and using drugs. And while I had hoped that those behaviors would disappear, they did not. They did not. They came back. In fact a job, the stress of the job and the challenges that I had, drove me to really the darkest place, the lowest place in my life.

I was in an inpatient facility for three days. That’s the whole period when you are a danger to yourself, and I was. I had tried to kill myself snorting the synthetic chemical bath salts and I had done my three days, which was more 12 Step meetings. And just being honest with you, I didn’t connect with the concept of declaring yourself a sex addict. I am, I am, something about that really didn’t sit right with me. And also, the thought of surrendering and being powerless. There was something about that model that just didn’t sit right for me. I thought that this was my life, and it was depressing. It was depressing.

And at my low point, there were two events that collided, that changed the trajectory of my life in a massive, massive way. One is the Feed the Right Wolf story. Be real quick about that story, maybe you’ve heard it. An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy, “It is a terrible fight. And it is between two wolves. One is evil. That wolf is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego, addiction.” He continued. I added the addiction part. “The other is good. The good wolf is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

He says, “The same fight, grandson, is going on inside you and inside every person.” Inside you, listening, inside you. The grandson thought about it for a minute and asked his grandfather. He says, “Which wolf will win?” The Native American chief simply replied, “The one you feed.” Which wolf wins? The one you feed. That story intersected right at the same time where I was obsessed with learning about habits. Why was that important to me? Because I knew nothing about them, and they literally control 50 to 80% of our waking behaviors. Most of what we do, is a trained conditioned response.

And so, feed the right wolf, coincided with what I have come to learn as the golden rule of behavior modification. And the golden rule of behavior modification is to break a habit, you have to make the right habit that meets the right need. Changed my life, literally, is the foundation for the Mindful Habit System. And there were a couple of quotes that really jumped out at me. And I want to share those with you to help lay a foundation, to prove that you have to operationalize your purpose. You have to incorporate purpose into your life, or there’s no way that you’re going to be successful.

Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live for, can bear almost any how.” Here’s another one. “Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure as Freud believed, or request for power as Alfred Adler taught but a quest for meaning. The greatest task for any person, is to meaning in his or her life.” And that’s from Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning. Why is this important? This is important because there is a scientifically proven mind/body connection. And I quote, life this is from a study, “Life’s purpose was significantly associated with all cause mortality,” meaning life’s purpose is a modifiable risk factor. And as such, the role of interventions to improve life’s purpose, should be evaluated for healthy outcomes, including mortality.

To break a habit, you have to make the right habit that meets the right need. So it’s mandatory, and your negative behavior, your cheating, your strip clubs, your secrets, your secrets are meeting needs in your life. It maybe difficult to face that reality, but it is true. And it is very likely that those secrets have been evolving since childhood. Let’s face it, one of the first lies that we’re trained to keep as boys is about our sexual expression. One of the first major lies we’re trained to keep, is around our sexual expression.

What I want to do now, is I want to share with you some questions that help you find your purpose. So please get your notebooks handy and take this down. Okay? Here’s some questions. Oh, and by the way, I did some research. There’s a great website called Happify. And right now, I’m referring to five questions to help you find your purpose. And then lifehack.org, another seven questions, to help you find your purpose. And I modified these questions to, I guess, align what I teach and make them as most impactful.

First, what are you willing to struggle for? Think about that. And I believe it’s very important for you to answer these questions. And it’s important for you, not just a man, as a woman, if your husband is struggling with compulsive sexual behavior, a wound has been inflicted upon you, and that wound must be treated. And you have to be the primary treater of that wound. And having purpose, like a beacon in the light, can serve as a powerful, help you grow a ground yourself to help you realize whatever the struggle is to find joy and to find purpose and define significance and to create love in your life, and having purpose will help you do that dramatically. So this isn’t just for the men. This is for the men, and it’s for the women.

What did your eight-year-old self love doing? What consumed you when you were a child? What makes you forget to eat? Do you ever find yourself like knee deep in doing some research or engaging in a hobby, doing something that makes you forget to eat? Here’s another question to get you thinking about your life’s purpose. How are you going to save the world? What are some of the automatic instantaneous thoughts that pops into your mind? How are you going to save the world?

Here’s another question. If you knew you were going to die one year from today, I love this one, if you knew you were going to die one year from today, what would you do? What would you do? What actions would you perform and how would you want to be remembered? That’s such a powerful one. It’s not the die in a few days, right? Because maybe you’d go on the trip, right? If you knew you were dying, you’d spend the money, you’d go do something. You would treat yourself. But if it was a year from now, you would treat yourself, and you’ve got a lot of great living. What would you do?

What were you passionate about as a child? What were you passionate about as a child? What if you didn’t have a job? How would you choose to fill those hours? If you didn’t have to work, what would you do? What makes you forget about the world around you? What issues do you hold close to your heart? What’s important to you? What gives you that passion? What brings up that fire in you? What do you talk about when you’re talking to your closest friends? What’s on your bucket list? And if you had a dream, how might you make that dream come true? If you had a dream, what is it, and how might you make that dream come true?

My life is significantly easier because I am in my purpose every single day. I have found and created a business around doing what I love to do and what I do best. So what do you love to do? And what are you great at? Think about that. And I know that my life is significantly easier, not without its challenges. I’ve got a series of physical challenges that have really rocked me back. Five years ago, my neck was killing me. Back on the pain pills. And it was my purpose that helped me, that pulled me through the inevitable challenges that you’re going to face. So what do you do about it?

My purpose is helping people. It brings me incredible joy. It gives me an incredible level of significance to know that I’ve helped drive an impact that someone else hasn’t been able to. That feeds me. That feeds me, but what feeds you? After you figure out what feeds you, what do you do about it? Because how many times, maybe you and I know me, have done these powerful goal-setting exercises that help you uncover your purpose. And in that moment, it feels like your life has changed. Right?

I participated in a coaching program a few years back and when I watched the video of that program, and no names, no names, well-intentioned, well-intentioned, great program, good program. Signed a check they couldn’t cash in terms of the promises that they made. But when you look at the video promoting this coaching program, you got people with the T-shirts on and tears coming down their face, crying. Crying because they’re talking about their purpose and how they’re not living in their purpose and what their purpose is, that evokes a lot of emotion.

We’ve all done that. And if you haven’t done it, it’s important to do it. But the problem is, it fades. It fades. You do not know how to operationalize that purpose. There is no purpose infrastructure if you will. There are no policies and procedures and routines around purpose. What I love to do is to not rah, rah, shish, boom bah. You’re going to die. Let’s do something, and it’s every day, and shoot for the stars and land on the moon. When you do that, people fail.

My goal, and another area that brings me great significance, is introducing systemic change so that change of sustainable. And we do that by using Kaizen goals. If you do not know what Kaizen goals are, Google K-A-I-Z-E-N. And essentially, that’s the principle of something is better than nothing. That is the art and science of using ridiculously small goals to create massive, massive results over the long-term. It beats motivation every single time.

So here’s the question. Here’s the Kaizen question. And I asked this question just about every aspect of my life, where I want to create improvement. What is one small trivial thing that you can do to keep your purpose alive? And this is assuming you’ve discovered your purpose. What is one small trivial thing that you can do every day to keep that purpose alive? And listen, there’s no like, Oh, great. Ooh, this is the best thing ever. It’s the basics. You write it down, you read it before you go to bed. You read your purpose before you wake up, it’s hanging up on a wall. You touch that piece of paper when you walk by it and look at that purpose statement. Every time you open your phone, there’s that purpose statement there. You see it flashing at you before you pick up the phone.

How do you operationalize that purpose? And by the way, you will be ridiculously more successful, up to 85% more successful, if you share that purpose with someone else; an ally, an accountability partner, your partner, your wife, your husband. Couples who share their vision, their purpose are much, much, much happier. And guess what? There’s studies that show that, too. Purpose is mission critical. Life is hard. Life is hard. You will be faced with challenges that you have not yet faced. You will experience pain and loss that you have not yet experienced.

And the cure for your mediocrity, for your malaise, for your underachievement, for your addiction, for your almost addiction, is the aggressive pursuit of a great life. And that means at a minimum, honoring and living your purpose to help you counter balance the decades of bad programming around numbing, coping, and escaping the unhealthy programming around meeting your needs in an unhealthy, self-destructive way. What is one small trivial thing that you can do to keep purpose alive, knowing that it’s going to fade? Knowing that life is going to get in the way, knowing that you’re going to feel like a piece of shit again. You’re going to be triggered like you’ve never been triggered before. That will happen. Plan for it. What is one small trivial thing Can you do to keep your purpose alive? That’s it.

That’s our show for today. Thank you so much for trusting me and sharing with me your most valuable asset, time. Remember memento Mori, you are going to die, so make it count. If you want structured help, if you think that we can help, visit themindfulhabit.com. Till next time, Coach Craig signing off. Feed the right wolf inside you, and embrace your power of choice.

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