Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Addicted to insight

The concept of insight was fairly foreign to me a couple years ago.  It was not something I thought of at all.  I am not sure if I even really knew what it meant or if I would have even recognized it when I saw it.  That changed for me significantly about a year or so ago.  Without going into too much detail right now, in a nutshell, I realized I had a desire to take my life in a different direction professionally, however I had no idea where it was I wanted to go, and to some degree I still don’t.  Through a sometimes difficult and not even close to finished look at my life, I discovered the concept of insight and how important it can be. Really, what is insight?  Looking it up in a dictionary it says
that insight

is the ability to perceive clearly or deeply; a penetrating and often sudden understanding, as of a complex situation or problem; the capacity for understanding one's own or another's mental processes; the immediate understanding of the significance of an event or action.  All good stuff….

Here is the problem and my confession; I think I have become addicted to insight.  I can’t read enough about it, talk about it enough or think about enough.  I am like a junkie looking for his next self help hit.  Is it a desperate grasp for answers in a cruel unforgiving world, or is it my personal journey to the land of happiness and endless joy? I can’t tell at this point.  I have come to realize that I like the self-discovery process and I have really enjoyed the books I have read and the conversations I have had with close friends and family.  Insight for me has been a gift that has helped me to communicate better, see things from a different perspective and solidified my desire to take risks.  I have to be careful that I have not simply replaced my obsession with new cars for self-help and still not really getting anywhere close to where I want to be.  This leads to the next question; can you have too much insight in your life?  I think the answer is no.  There is always room for understanding and perspective.  It is how we choose to use it that is important.  What you gain from the insight should be used as a catalyst to create possibilities for yourself and take you in the direction of fulfilling dreams and goals you have for yourself.  For me, I am not sure where it will lead me, but I know not taking action behind the insight is a step backwards that I am not willing to take.

How we get insight is another conversation to have, and it is different for everyone.  It is not always on the couch of a therapist’s office or from a conversation with a close friend.  It can come at anytime if you choose to look at things from a different perspective and open yourself up to the possibly of a different future and deeper relationships.  Believe me if I could bottle it up and sell it, I would.  For you Oprah watchers, it’s the ah ha moments in our lives, and yes I watch Oprah on occassion.  For me, insight has arrived in the traditional sense of in a therapist’s office, and it has arrived in the strangest place, like on a jog, or line at the grocery store.  It is a very strange experience checking out at the grocery store and you look up at the clerk and saying, “I totally get it now”, and he says “get what”, and you say, “what I am doing wrong in my life”.  People will look at you very strangely, but what matters is that it arrives.  So, yes I am addicted to insight, but I am ok with that, and I want to use it to create amazing possibilities, and so can you.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kevin,

    I'm reading your posts with delight and just want you to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Being addicted to insight actually has a foundation in neuroscience / brain wiring. It's a biologically based personality trait first written about by researcher Chris Fields in 2010.

    I started a blog on the topic in 2011. Since then, I discovered that most of my highly gifted coaching clients have this trait. People like us often switch careers and reinvent ourselves multiple times in our journey.

    You might also be interested in learning about Dabrowski's theory of "positive integration" and the levels of personal growth he describes. For me, it was like finally finding an explanation for my insatiable appetite for learning and evolving.

    I hope you enjoy learning more about this topic as much as I have...it's helped me find a peace I didn't know was possible.

    All the best to you, Ariane