Want A Useful Life?
Well, here I sit well into a new year. Over this period, I love to take time to reflect back, look at journals that go back many years, and appreciate the journey that has unfolded and what was the underlying motivation to take the journey I continue on.
To the headline question, the answer was a definite yes. I did want a useful life, a life with purpose that was not driven by the material. A life where I felt love for me and could reflect this in service to others, including family and friends.
While addictions had become part of my life, they were not, as I see it, the problem. Living was a problem and my addictions became an escape for me that stymied emotional growth and allowed me to escape how I felt inside. Many turn to other methods of escape that are not commonly seen as addictions, but are escapes from a life the individual feels is not "useful" as they define useful.
In dealing with my issues, and through the various influences that have helped me to recover a life I love today, I became a big fan of the book "Alcoholics Anonymous" and the 12 step programme. Whether addicted or not, any human being who searches for a more useful life and wants to better apply good mental hygiene to their lives, can benefit from these tools, and I use the tools in how and what I coach. I openly acknowledge the gift freely given by those early AAs' to all of us. They are a cornerstone of my life today.
The following line from the "Big Book" of AA says it all as far as my own personal journey goes:

I have since been brought into a new way of living infinitely more satisfying and, I hope, more useful than the life I lived before.
- Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 42-43

Over the time I have been on this journey, and to gain what I feel is a useful life, I have dramatically altered what my ideals are, and in taking the journey, have emerged with new attitudes towards life. Attitudes that help me to feel like I am living a useful life.
The principles of AA were freely given and have been adopted by 150 or more "fellowships" that are helping people create a useful life. As I listen to leading motivational experts and other "popular" authority figures -including Oprah and her spinoffs- I can close my eyes and hear the words and thoughts contained in the Big Book. The thinking is sound and works when learned and put into practice.
If you want a more useful life in 2010, this may be a start point for you.

Thought to Ponder . . .New ideals and new attitudes bring a new life. (www.hopeserenity.ca)

Author's Bio: 

Keith Bray Certified Addictions Life Coach coaching client life recovery success.