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I always think of car driving as the basic addiction model.  Whoever drives a car knows both that they are smogging up the environment (and worse) AND that their individual journey is necessary and somehow doesn't contribute in some way....

I would recommend an individual to examine which behaviours he or she CAN'T change (or find it hard to change and then there's the constant risk of slipping back), whether it's diet, job, vices of various kinds, maybe types of relationships they get into or can't get out of, even sleep patterns, exercise.  Find what it is, call the this relationship "addiction" and ponder why addicts do as they do.  Sven's point (as I understand it) is that the 'addiction' part is the hardwiring (or semi-permanent maybe) by chemicals in our brain of almost pavlovian responses.  

As I understand the buddhist tradition, it is breaking free from fixed mindsets that represents enlightenment.  They say it is breaking free from attachments (the chemical brain fix?) and desire (the conscious association?); but it seems that humans have this hard wiring habit in the brain, so whatever gets programmed at key moments is hard to shift (hence the difficulty in changing behaviours--they have world views attached.

In the case of your manager, really the issue is that he smokes where you are and you are sensitive to cigarette smoke.  The solution would be that he go outside to smoke (not near windows!), or into a designated smoking area.  The problem is (as I understand from what you have written) that he associates all work related tasks with smoking--so not to smoke is a form of tension and stress.

My recommendation in that case would be to encourage him to leave the office and go for a smoke once an hour, say, but allow him ten even fifteen minutes (he'll be back when the fags finished would be my guess)...encourage him, "Go on, go!  Enjoy it!  Take a walk!  Don't come back until you've finished!"--and in doing so you recalibrate his brain...

I think if a puritan like your goodself substitutes a personal vice for "smoking" you'll understand better.  And if you have no vices (no driving, no meat, no sport fervour--heh!  I don't know what your vices are!)--then compassion for those who do have vices includes understanding and seeking the most productive way of ameliorating the system.

and...of course, it is not a single journey in a car that is a killer, nor is it a single cigarette or a single chip--

It is the OVER use, the OVER indulgence...

...and some people will over indulge--so...

Ya know, positive feedback rather than negative.  Life is good but it could be better, rather than "You delude yourself and it's only getting worse"

Glass half full glass half empty, maybe, but I think people respond to positive opportunities, smiles, and people taking care of them rather than....ya know...

Heh, did I answer your question?

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Nov 21st, 2008 at 08:09:07 AM EST
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