Tips for Getting Life Off Default Mode.

Tips for Getting Life Off Default Mode.

Hey everybody. In this post I’m talking to you about Living Life on Default Mode.

So, what is Default Mode?

Default Mode turns Creativity into a Devils Plaything.

Living this way requires no real creativity. This Psychology Today Article claims that “Creativity of all types is a premier form of psychological adaptation.

Now I’m not just talking about just writing, drawing, and all that kind of creativity.

Creativity is simply about using our energy to affect change in the world in any form. Well.. Change that goes along with the morals we adhere to of course.

If we create outside our morals, then there is the old saying “idle hands are the devil’s playthings.”

This is said to mean that when we don’t busy ourselves with productive things, we are likely going to start causing problems.

Addict Self-Destruction Begins with Default Living.

The problems can start innocent enough, maybe telling a few more fibs than usual. But, if the devil is allowed to play for too long the more the problems become increasingly troublesome.

I am an addict in recovery. Before i got clean, my problems were of high intensity. I was dying and harming those around me.

The years I was rapidly destroying my life, I don’t contribute to living life on Default. That was a different beast altogether. That’s what I call Addiction.

In recovery I have heard the Disease of Addiction described as having to live an amped up form of what it is to be human. This means, higher intensity of emotion, intensity of thinking, and intensity of desire. And lets not forget intensity of anxiety. By this logic, there also must be a high intensity of creative energy.

Actually, so much energy at times that I have no clue what to do with it. And all this energy, when not used responsibly becomes intense anxiety.

I just mentioned the addiction part because that is what I have to deal with! Many others have there own energy burden to bare. I am fully aware that every human being has huge pools of creative energy. Whether an addict or not, that energy needs to find its way into the world.

Above I said that Life on Default is life in the comfort zone. Or maybe more like the habit of reducing anxiety to as much of a degree as possible.

But seeking Comfort Seeking turns into the habit of living on Default.

The dilemma I find is that whether I choose to create, or refuse to, there is going to be anxiety.

When I choose to create, I get the anxiety up front. Because to create is to challenge ourselves, and doing things that are challenging can be stressful.

The funny thing is that more often than not, when I am sliding into Default Mode, I don’t even realize it. I may fool myself into thinking that I don’t need to challenge myself like I once needed.

Even still, whether I know I am holding onto too much creative energy or not, there will be psychological consequences.

Over time that “old anxiety devil” begins talking more loudly, and guiding me to act in ways that may not be acceptable.

Now I hope you aren’t thinking that I am talking about some sort of evil possession. Just, that the unused creative energy is going to find a way to do so.

We seem to be back full circle to the area where I am in danger of addiction rearing its ugly head. Also in the spot where most human beings are going to find themselves working with unproductive stress.

This is likely the time when poor decisions find themselves being much more easily made.

If you are following up this point I hope you are getting the picture that being sufficiently creative is necessary for good health. And not creating sufficiently is hard on humans of all mental and emotional capacities.

A balance needs to be struck between being comfy, and using our creative energies.

Committing to Live Life not on Default.

In the last post I put out titled “Making the Commitment to Live Life”, I laid out my history with making positive commitments.

To tie that article into this article I think we need a list. A list of tips for staying in the right headspace for making positive commitments, and keeping ourselves in the drivers seat of OUR CREATIVE ENERGY.

  1. Surround ourselves with healthy people that will push us to take healthy risks.
  2. Keep ourselves out of Fearful Thinking.
  3. Develop Self-Awareness to get in touch with our own Consciences.
  4. Use a Therapeutic Writing practice to stay in touch with our emotional states.
  5. Set aside relaxation time to recharge our own batteries.
  6. Develop as much Gratitude as possible.
  7. Share the gift of our creative energies with other people, be of service.
  8. Teach all that we learn, to others.
  9. Allow ourselves to stretch our abilities to learn new things.
  10. Take plenty of opportunities to just breathe and be cool with the present moment.

Using these tips basically everyday of my life, I don’t know where I would be without them…

I have been able to guide a brain that so easily slides into insanity, and use it to create consistent success that I am very proud of living!

Alright folks, so that is about all that I have for you today.

Thank you all so much for stopping by and checking out My Life Experiment. If you find this article helpful, please give it a share on your social media to help spread our message!

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Much Love,

Travis Hagen


Making the Commitment to Live Life.

An incredible skill that I have learned in recovery is commitment.

If you have had some trouble making positive commitments in your life, then stick around and read this.

Throughout my life I had a terribly difficult time committing to much of anything. When I did commit to something, I looked good out of the gates.

Over time though my commitment quickly descended into oblivion.

The disease of addiction had a grip on me for way too long. The only thing I really could commit myself to was numbing pain with chemicals.

By the time I used for my last time, even my commitment to using disappeared, thank god…

Of course, I don’t really call the actions taken while in active addiction, my own personal commitment. I didn’t feel in charge of that process.

I was more like a crazed squirrel, foraging to gather enough nuts to make sure it doesn’t starve during the winter.

It was pure instinct.

Pure instinct to protect me from the perceived danger of coming down. Insane or not, my brain was doing its best to protect me.

In fact, the way I ended up getting clean was because my family contacted Social Services, they worked out the process of terminating my rights to do anything but go to treatment for one year.

I was insane. They all knew it. Though it took some time to realize how crazy I actually was!

Help Commitment

Thankfully someone else made that commitment when I couldn’t do it for myself.

It wasn’t until I began waking up from my fog in treatment and at recovery meetings that I began making the decisions that would lay the groundwork for making positive commitments.

During my time in treatment I realized that even though I was under state commitment, I needed to make this recovery and my life my own.

So, when they said I needed to go to 2 recovery meetings a week, I decided to go to one pretty much every day. And when I had to earn points to go outside by doing homework, you better believe I was all over that!

I went above and beyond, to show MYSELF that this was mine. That this is my life and I am choosing to live. And that I am not being forced to!

This is the type of mentality that has helped me to have the last almost 10 years clean! As well as accomplishing many lifelong dreams like being happily married, becoming a father, graduating college and owning a home.

The level of commitment I have for life has grown immensely over the years. And the stakes have gotten remarkably higher!

Even though the stakes are higher, the process of achieving goals stays the same.  Plus, I don’t get to relax just because I have achieved a lot in the last 10 years.

My brain needs excitement, and to feel like I am living MY OWN life.

To make my life MY OWN I need to live above and beyond my current situation, while working hard in my current situation.

Commitment to Dream

This is how a mind stays connected to building a great future reality, letting MYSELF know, my RELATIONSHIPS know, and even LIFE ITSELF know that I am ALL-IN!

When we show that we are ALL-IN with our commitments, the amount of blessings come into my world is tremendous!

Life can be amazing, not so damn boring. This takes effort though! And something I need consistent reminders of..

So if you are struggling with feeling like your living your own life today, make more of those decisions that show commitment to making it more of YOUR own!

It’s not like anyone else can do this for us…

In my next article we will discuss living life on default. Which to me is neglecting to make enough positive commitment with our lives.

Living on default has horribly negative effects. I will talk about them, then lay out some important guidelines for staying off default mode and, living a life worth living!

Thank you so much for stopping in and checking out this article today!

If you enjoyed what you read and would love to see more, then go ahead and sign up to receive notifications for new posts in you email.

You will also receive a copy of our tried and true Therapeutic Writing Guide!

Much Love,
Travis H

I can Accomplish Anything, and so can You!


Being a first time parent had me thinking that it would be next to impossible to accomplish many things!

Being that baby is here who needs lots of attention. In the last month I have proven this to be wrong.

It turns out that I have survived motherhood since my husband has gone back to work! Like I had worries about in my last article. What a transition!

She keeps me busy, challenges me, and fills my heart so full of love.

I enjoy every second with her, even when she squirts poop all over me. With anyone else’s kid I probably would have been completely disgusted, but I found myself laughing when she did this. My whole world has changed.

I have survived bringing her to recovery meetings with me even though I was terrified of anyone touching her (I know over protective mother), carried on through the nights and days even though I really want to sleep. Also, I have made it through some hard emotions and have cried a lot.

One of the most challenging parts for me is finding the balance between being a parent, recovery, and staying connected with others. Maintaining balance is crucial for my mental health.

But, the thing is I have made it through. I CAN, AND AM DOING IT.


I want to backtrack a bit for a clearer understanding on why this is such a profound thing for me. Although being a parent is a profound thing for everyone, I feel there is a deeper reason for these feelings.

Currently I am six years clean. I have spent this time building up my life to what it is today. But, there was a point before I got here that I couldn’t have imagined this life for myself. I remember quite vividly the moment in active addiction when I settled for the life that I had.

There I sat outside on my step smoking a cigarette (I quit 5 years ago) thinking about all the things that I would NEVER accomplish in my life. I thought that I would never stop using, go to college, get married (or be in a healthy relationship for that matter), have a safe home, or have a family of my own. These are all things that I deeply wanted to accomplish while when I was younger.

This was such a horrible and sinking feeling, and the saddest part is that I was accepting it!

I was doing the best with what I had. What I had wasn’t much and there were many of things that I needed to learn. I was such a broken person and I broke everything around me as well.

What I didn’t know is that I could find a new way to live. Sure, I tried to “stop” using one drug or the other thinking that it might help solve some problems, but I could never fathom the idea of quitting them all.

Not admitting that I had a problem or knowing that I could accomplish living a better life kept me sick for a long time.

After going to court on several occasions, good things finally started to happen. The judge finally sent me to treatment for addiction. At the time I thought it was ridiculous. There was a part of me wanted that safety. I was finally going to get away from the life that I hated living.

I stayed for several months in a facility in Fargo, ND. It was the best thing that had happened to me in years.

I started a new life clean while discovering who I really was. This is when all those things I settled for never having started to happen. The longer I stayed clean the better my life became.

I went to college, met my husband, got married, bought a house, and had a child. All of this became possible because the recovery program I attend showed me that I could get clean, stay clean, and find a new way to live.

It might sound funny but, I am grateful for everything that has ever happened to me. All the trauma that I went through and all that I did lead me to where I am now. Had things been different who knows if I would be here today.

I didn’t choose to be an addict. Some days I feel that it chose me. I am here to make a difference now. Even if I only touch one person’s life I know that I have done enough.

The point is, is that I did it. I got through it all and came out on the other side.

I believe that no matter what happens in life we can always move forward and do the things we think are impossible.

Maybe you are not an addict like myself, but of course we all go through our own hardships. If you are working through a tough time, please take note of a few things!

  1. There is a way through the pain!
  2. Don’t forget to give yourself credit for the things you have accomplished and the steps you are taking and have taken to get there.
  3. Remember that you are worth it and never forget that.

Thanks for taking a few minutes out of your day to read this! Feel free to share this post with others. I hope you all have a great day!

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