5 Life Building Tips for Those of Us in Recovery!
Whether you're in recovery from drug/alcohol abuse, eating disorders, hoarding, over spending, mental health or bringing in too many cats, I think we can all agree on the fact that life building is essential to our recovery.
I remember being at an ultimate low back in 2013.
And Sober Evolution shows the high's of where I'm at now...but what about all of the in-between?
It isn't as easy as the blink of an eye that social media often portrays.
There are steps and tools that are key when it comes to going from an ultimate low to an ultimate high.
I could say that understanding "delayed gratification" is a tip, but I think we can all agree on the fact that great things in life do take hard work and time.
So with that understanding, lets dive into the essentials of life building!
1. EXERCISE AND BUILD NUTRITION
I am putting this one as the first tip for a simple reason...ENDORPHIN'S!
en-dor-phin: The body's natural opioids to make a person feel happy! Also to reduce pain.
So endorphin's are basically the "feel good" chemicals that are released into our brains when we do certain activities, experience certain things, or from what some of us have had experiences with...drugs.
Now of course, drugs are off the table for a lot of us reading this and so what we should know, is that our brains became so dependent on using drugs to produce those chemicals, that without those drugs, we were unable to naturally produce them right after quitting.
Luckily, good nutrition and exercise can revamp our natural ability produce those endorphin's pretty quickly!
What good exercise and nutrition will also do, is help give us energy throughout the day, help with our sleep, help us feel better, lower our risks of health issues and help us focus more.
Plus, it is an excellent way of helping us learn how to set small goals, go out and accomplish them!
2. FOCUS ON PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Now of course the first tip is a big part of our personal development, but it is only one aspect towards moving our lives forward.
Personal development is what will allow you to build up to where you ultimately want to be in life. It brings new methods, knowledge, happiness, fulfillment and motivation.
One of the easiest and most accessible ways of building your personal development is by...reading.
I know, reading may not be on the list of favorite things to do. For me personally, I HATED reading all of my life until I finally picked up a life building book and began seeing progress from following what it was telling me to do.
I opened myself up to change and became coachable in the process.
These books bring new philosophies about life which can literally change who you are in a relatively short period of time. The essential part, is to become completely open minded to change and to allow yourself to challenge what you already believe in.
As you begin reading these books, you will start seeing certain chapters and even quotes as doors that are being unlocked right in front of you.
Another reason why I am so keen about reading these books, is because not only have they opened up a whole new world for me, but they have helped significantly with my language skills (although I am clearly not perfect), interviewing skills, self presentation skills and confidence. All of which have opened up an incredible amount of opportunities that I couldn't have imagined having before.
Other forms of personal development material include; Listening to speeches, going to speaker events, finding motivators or great thinkers on social media to follow, getting a mentor, talking with people who have what you want to have in life and surrounding yourself with positive affirmations.
3. REACH OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE CONSISTENTLY
Yes, it's uncomfortable to reach outside of our comfort zone...it is called a comfort zone after all.
But as we reach outside of that zone, we grow a new capability and can use that moment as reference the next time we go and do a similar thing again.
For some of us, including myself, we are introverts. It is outside of our comfort zone to start conversations with people we don't know or to do things out in public that we aren't used to.
A good task for getting over that fear, is by...starting conversations with people we don't know.
I know it may sound dreadful, but really, it only takes a few seconds of courage to reach out your hand to start a conversation.
One of the tasks I gave myself, was to start conversations with baristas at the local coffee shop. They make it pretty easy because part of their job is customer service. I began talking with each person behind the counter that I could. It started by just saying, "Hello, how has your day been?" and became something to where I was having legitimate conversations. I later moved on to talking with others who were waiting in line. I would find a relevant topic and bring it up.
I can't even explain how beneficial that has been for my life.
Opportunities have even come up just from having friendly conversations with people...Especially after moving up towards talking with people who looked much better off than I was. I would find people in suits! An easy conversation starter for those people are books. I always carry a book, whether its about business or personal development with me and believe it or not, just about every happy or successful person has either read that book or has read something similar.
People building their own life are typically most interested in others who are also building theirs.
Before you know it, you may have some opportunities with those new connections.
Doing something like this on a daily basis creates habits. And those habits become a part of who you are. People talking with me today would never believe that I am actually a shy person. I have conditioned myself into becoming an extroverted introvert if you will.
Another good way of stretching your zone, is by going somewhere new. Trying a new coffee shop or a new restaurant, park, event, meetup, etc. It always stretches our comfort zone and in the process, helps us realize what all we have been missing by staying in a comfortable routine.
Another aspect, is that each person in this world knows something that we don't. We can learn things such as resources to help us start a business, knowledge that may be able to help advance our lives or opportunities that we may have never known about before.
I remember being afraid to ask a question to someone who I was friends with on social media because he was extremely successful at a young age. I wanted to know what changes he made in life that helped him build his empire. I debated sending him a message for a couple of days as silly as that sounds.
I was afraid that either I wouldn't get a response or that he would think that I am a joke. I finally sent him a message and he gratefully answered back! Gratefully? Yep! I have found that people who have built their lives are more than willing to help you build yours!
It made me realize that people writing about how to achieve success, aren't just looking to make income from book sales, but they actually were dying to give away their knowledge to help others succeed. And since achieving my own bits of successes in life, I know how they feel. I want to give all of my knowledge away more than anything! It is the best feeling in the world to see someone take your bit of advice, apply it and achieve something great for themselves.
Oh, and what was his answer to my question? He said something along the lines of the fact that he wakes up at least one hour prior to when he really needs to for work. He uses that time to reflect, meditate and plan out the successful day he was going to have. Now of course, I already knew all of that from reading the books I was talking about earlier, but hearing it from him meant so much more and I finally started applying that to my life.
All in all, the comfort zone is just a fake limitation that we give ourselves. The more we reach out, the more we tend to realize that.
4. SET BIG GOALS
So far, we have gone over a lot of good little goals to have, but in my experience, setting huge goals has given me such a great sense of purpose.
Now of course, a common big goal may be to raise and support a family. That is big, but it is almost a given. So is owning a house, having a car and getting out of debt.
But I am talking about other types of goals...
I'll give you an example of one of my craziest and biggest goals...
So you know how private companies such as Virgin Galactic are in the process of making commercial space travel an actual thing in the next few years? If you didn't know that already, now you know. But yeah, they plan on having an airplane carrying another smaller airplane with a rocket on the back of it fly up really high, drop the smaller plane which will boost you and a few others up out of this atmosphere for a few minutes then come back down and land safely on earth.
Well, ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut and experience the low gravity of outerspace. Now, of course my likelihood of actually becoming an astronaut for NASA might be a little out of the question at this point, but...I could however figure out how to afford the quarter-million dollar ticket to go to space and accomplish that dream!
So there ya go, my big dream.
Normally people think I am crazy for wanting to be attached to a rocket, but my dream also shows that no dream is too big. All I have to do is keep that dream in mind and figure out all of the smaller goals in between to have the ability of affording that huge price tag.
Now that I got that out of the way, what is a huge dream of yours?
Maybe it's to travel the world, meet celebrities, become a philanthropist or teach yoga in the jungles of Vietnam...
Or maybe you haven't really thought about that yet. The capacity of our dreams grow as we grow, so all of the previous tools can lead you on your way towards figuring that out.
Once you do have that big dream, set it in stone that you are going to work towards it. Make a dream board that you see every day for motivation and aspiration.
What having huge goals has done for me, is that it allows me to become passionate about everything that I do. It shows me that no matter where I am in life, that the dream I have ingrained in my brain is always there for me to accomplish.
And it gives me something that is much greater than myself to focus on.
The next tool will directly tie into all of these things, and it's important to get in the habit of it.
Ahhhh i love this word.
It's the word that came to mind when I decided to quit drinking and using drugs back in 2013.
I had to go into beastmode, put my head down and drive forward with full force to figure life out from there on out.
I then went into beastmode when I decided to start going to the gym and eat healthy. Of course they were uncomfortable at first so I had to push through with everything I had. Those things then became habits and part of who I was. It's still a part of who I am today.
Beastmode had to happen when I was studying to become a real estate agent, and then again when I had to figure out how to make my first sale.
Going into beastmode is what started Sober Evolution!
I beastmoded my way out of my comfort zone and I beastmode today to accomplish my current goals.
If I don't go full force into the things I do, I will become complacent which is the biggest dream killer of them all. I know that if I become complacent, that I will make a habit of that with everything which will cause my life to spiral downward and put me right back at where I started...rock bottom.
And I don't want it to seem like you're supposed to run away from your problems, this tip comes after you acknowledge them and run full force towards your solutions.
You only live once for all we know. This is our chance at life! Who cares what others think! Their opinions won't matter when all is said and done. What will matter, is you knowing that you gave it "everything you got" in the time frame since you got the "got".
I was 25 when I finally woke up. I hope to live until I am at least 80. So from then until now and until the rest of my life, I vow to beastmode the shit out of everything I put my mind to. I hope you DECIDE to to that as well. Even if you never reach that ginormous goal, just knowing that you gave it everything will be fulfilling and worth it.
Now is your time to shine. Go out and get the life that you want! BEASTMODE!!!
p.s. If you would like to know which books have helped me most, please visit
I wish you the best life building process imaginable!
-Austin F. Cooper