Preparing for Change

Finding Your “Yes” and Passion in Life

Recovery is not just about saying “no” to something. It’s also about finding and experiencing a healthier, more fulfilling life. It’s hard to say “no” to something unless we have something else to say “yes” to. Research on habits indicates that finding a new, healthy habit is crucial for breaking old, unhealthy habits. One of the unexpected gifts of recovery can be the discovery, or rediscovery of passions and things that make our hearts come alive. Sometimes the stripping away of  commitments, relationships, and contexts that no longer serve us can offer the opportunity to re-find purpose and passion, be it through creativity, career, relationships, or service.


“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein

The Power of “Yes”

While it’s important to learn how to say “no” to harmful thoughts and behaviors, discovering what we want to say “yes” to is an even more powerful method of change.

Scientific research indicates that introducing new behaviors is crucial for effectively addressing and changing old habits. Some believe this is one reason why treatment programs for doctors and airline pilots have very high success rates for reducing the number of those who return to addictive behaviors. Participants have something new to pursue. They have a new passion. A new purpose. A new yes. They’re going through recovery to accomplish something specific and tangible; to regain their career, means of income, and their identity.

Every person has something new that they can say “yes” to in recovery; they may just not realize it. Sometimes it takes time to discover what our “yes” is, but when we find out and go after it, it will unlock recovery in unexpected ways.

Seizing the Opportunity Together

Seeking positive change in life through recovery does not simply mean  moving away from something negative. Rather, it means to consciously move toward something positive. Recovery is a chance to discover our passion and purpose. It is a chance to find out what makes us come alive.

The inner work of recovery helps us increase confidence and self-worth. It supports the freedom we’ve lacked in the past to pursue our dreams, such as healthy relationships or the accomplishment of long-term goal. Ultimately, our engagement in the process will lead to greater meaning and significance than we’ve ever experienced before in life.

When taking this approach to recovery, community is important. Science increasingly finds that connection is a key for happiness and fulfillment. Meaningful connection can be a powerful “yes.”  

Whether it is through reconciliation with family members, or the discovery of new community through recovery, look for a “yes” to pursue what brings you life and joy regardless of the outcome. You have the opportunity to find deeper purpose, connection, and hope on the journey of finding your “yes.”

Your new habits may be as simple as taking time to enjoy nature, pray, or regularly connect with trusted supporters. Or, they may be trying something you have never tried before — creating art, making music, or pursuing an education.  All that matters is that the new things you do make your heart feel alive.

Finding Your “Yes” in Life

What is the “yes” that you’re pursuing? Is it greater connection to family members or romantic partners? Is it the ability to be a better parent or spouse? Is it a spiritual pursuit of meaning, fulfillment, and love? Is it a long-held dream — to write a book, own your own business, get an education, or see the world?

Much of what you can learn through the recovery process can be applied to pursuing these types of goals. And the pursuit of something good can be the wind in the sails of change, helping provide motivation to stay with the process, even when it’s not easy.

Finding a “yes” that is meaningful to you is possible, no matter where you are in the journey. If you haven’t started already, take another step today towards finding your “yes.”



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