All Behavior Is Goal Directed
All behavior is goal directed. In other words behavior serves a purpose. Here is the point: Behavior is a pattern of thinking, feeling, and action. When we talk of addictive behavior, we are referring to the thoughts that trigger the feelings of need that spawn the act of substance abuse. Of course behavior is also anger-based aggression and entitlement-based coercive power and control. Think of it this way, you take a piece of glass, throw it on the ground, step on it, cut your foot, attend to the wound only to throw the piece of glass back on the ground to step on it again. Now looking at this, one would think what Einstein thought when he defined insanity: “The act of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Of course the scenario I describe is insane. After all, what logical, rational person would continue to throw glass down only to step on it again? When it comes to addictive behavior, we are not talking about logic or rational, rather we are talking about the need, the irrational perspective to compensate for that which a person cannot do for him or her self.
All addictive behavior is compensatory, it serves a purpose. In co-occuring disorders, that purpose may very well be self-medication. For those of you who find it difficult to understand this, I suggest you keep going to your favorite bookstore or group and continue to read your touchy feely self-help books, as you continue to substitute your medium of abuse because addiction, the mind-set thereof, is every bit a part of the human experience as fear and desire. It is for this reason that in order to instigate behavioral (thoughts, feelings, and action) changes one must first gain perspective over surrendered power of control.
In part, addictive behavior is the coping with life’s drama as it rewards escape and avoidance. Nonetheless there is no such thing as blind behavior. Indeed, all behavior is goal directed, and the goal, when in conflict, is to approach comfort and avoid discomfort. With this said, conflict is the drive, it is the human dilemma, that one consistency we all face.
From birth, we were born into conflict. From birth it was our wanting human condition that dictated survival. As outlined previously, the human condition is a wanting condition of competence and independence. When faced with the human dilemma of conflict, we all apply the human element which is rationale. Rationale is not the same as good or bad, right or wrong. Rationale is the composite of rational and irrational choice. It is rational to want to maximize comfort, embrace personal competence and social independence. Any behavior therefore that compliments such course is a pattern of functional thinking, feeling, and action. The inverse which is irrational is of course antagonistic to the human condition and the outcome so to speak is incompetence and dependence; hmm, reads like addiction.
Look around, how many people do you see who act superficial? Remember, your eyes are looking out and you are evaluating within through your expectations. What of the face that introduced this article? The act of pouting obviously is not born of challenging, fulfilling, purposeful thought and feelings. Not at all, rather, the act of pouting serves the purpose to communicate the want or avoidance of attention.