What Does Surfing Porn Give You

in Crafting a Legacy, Leverage the problem
Surfing Porn

 

They were a couple kilometers into their early morning run when Thomas suddenly said, “Joe, lately I’m finding myself surfing porn at work and I can’t seem to stop doing it.”

Thomas and Joe are long-time friends. They’ve played competitive sports together, went to the same summer camp all through high school, and after graduating from university, they, along with their girlfriends, spent a summer trekking throughout Europe.

Every Saturday morning Joe and Thomas run together on a rolling 10km trail just off of Forest Ave in their neighborhood city park. They’ve done this for a few years now, and it’s become a sacred ritual that helps them stay fit and stay connected.

Both Joe and Thomas cherish their long-time friendship; they truly trust one another.

And maybe that’s why Thomas felt baffled when Joe responded by asking, “What does surfing porn give you?”

“What do you mean by, ‘what does surfing porn give me?’” Thomas spoke with a degree of agitation in his voice as he suddenly stopped running. “All I can say is it makes me feel ashamed about myself. I feel guilty, Joe. I feel like I’m cheating on Samantha and that I’m some kind of sexual pervert for wanting to view this stuff while I should be working.”

Joe was still catching his breath when he looked at Thomas and smiled. “Thanks for being honest, my friend, and for trusting me with this matter. However, if surfing porn was only a source of shame and struggle in your life, you’d drop it like a 300lb. weight. And that’s why I asked, ‘What does surfing porn give you?’”

Thomas was still troubled as they began to slowly pick up their pace again. “I still don’t get it, Joe. What do you mean by asking, ‘What does porn give me?’ I already told you. It only feels like it’s negatively impacting me as a guy, husband and employee. Like I said, in the end it doesn’t make me feel that great about myself. And it’s also affecting the way I think about women and sex!”

“Yes,” Joe replied. “This may be true. But until you learn ‘the why’ behind your reason for surfing porn, you’re missing an invaluable lesson.”

“Well, don’t I already know the ‘why’ behind my problem of surfing porn. Doesn’t my behavior say something about who I am as a person? Might it not be fair to say that I surf porn at work because I’m some kind of cheat; an employee who can’t be trusted? And what does it say about me as a husband and soon-to-be dad?”

“You’re right Thomas, surfing porn does say something about you, but probably not what you think or believe. Therefore, would you be willing to consider a new way of looking at this?”

“Sure,” Thomas replied. “What do I have to lose?”

********

Thomas has a problem, and that problem is the fact that he’s surfing porn at work. Surfing porn appears to be Thomas’s external problem. But how do we know this for certain? The answer lies in Thomas’s response.

Remember: all external problems reveal an internal problem.

Thomas feels this internal problem. He feels shame and guilt. He is physically and emotionally feeling the tension – the discord or incongruence – that his actions are creating within him.

And why does surfing porn cause this inner conflict within Thomas? Because the third level of problem is the global philosophical problem of good vs evil.

Ultimately, Thomas’s pattern of surfing porn is bringing to light his beliefs of what he should and shouldn’t do as a person, husband, employee, friend and dad. And right now he doesn’t know how to reconcile his present actions of surfing porn with the person he believes he needs to be in order to be worthy of love, respect and trust.

And it’s here in this isolated space where shame begins to set in. Thomas is beginning to believe that he’s the problem; that something is fundamentally wrong with him – like he’s some kind of sexual pervert.

Therefore, how might Thomas leverage his problem of surfing porn to tap into his inner resourcefulness, and, to that end, craft a compelling future for he and his wife and their baby on the way?

I ask this question, because Thomas believes that porn is the enemy and he must find a way to exorcise this demon from his life. It’s like heaven and hell is hanging-in-the-balance, and, at this moment, for Thomas, hell is winning.

This is why Joe held out an alternative way of approaching Thomas’s problem.

It was Dr. Milton Erickson’s fifth key principle: Every Behavior Has a Positive Intention.

The guiding premise behind this principle is that every behavior we engage in, even if we believe it to be destructive, is aimed at satisfying an actual need – a positive intention.

Now before you jump to conclusions and retort that this is nuts, I invite you to remember Albert Einstein’s quote: “The kind of thinking that will solve our problems will be of a different order to the kind of thinking that created those problems in the first place.”

Therefore, what if Erickson’s guiding principle could equip Thomas to leverage his problem of surfing porn into a catalyst for discovering greater insights about himself and his model-of-the-world (the beliefs and values he holds onto)?

And then, what if this could lead to profound breakthroughs in how he thinks and feels about himself and how he recreates himself as a man, husband, dad, and friend from this day forward?

And if this is true for Thomas, could it also be true for you?

To that end, the guiding principle that every behavior has a positive intention is focused on helping a person move beyond their habitual self-judgements and tap into their beyond-conscious mind. It creates an opportunity to invite self-awareness that can lead to unprecedented transformation.

If you and I desire to experience breakthrough results in every area of our life we must leverage the four elements that lead to personal transformation. And the first required step is to introduce something new into our lives; like a new way of thinking.

Until next time…
Be You. Be Unitas.

Carl

 

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