ADDICTING US TO CHANGE: Michael Jackson’s True Genius

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Allow me to tip addiction on its head for a moment.

Human beings were addicted to Michael Jackson’s music. Millions around the world could not help themselves—they had to dance to his songs and they devoured his albums.

Late to the party, I was suddenly riveted to his voice and videos, day and night, just last year. Call it an obsession or an addiction, I was hooked. Helpless. For months.

But this cyber-needle in my vein fed me. Inspired me. Healed me. In energy terms, it raised my vibration, left me excited to “change the world”.

Once it consumed my time, but this “addiction” now motivates me to give back. So Michael-inspired trauma-healing workshops are coming soon!

Compare that experience to this one:

Last night the monster of the tabloid internet sucked me into hell. There I watched videos like The Ten Most Expensive Virgins, a slick infomercial about women selling their first sexual experience to pay for school or their parent’s medical bills.

My jaw fell off. What depraved vultures benefit from stories like these? I could not tear myself away from the screen. By midnight I was numb, and the images sucked the last drop of life force out of me. “It’s hopeless”, I thought. “I should cash in my chips and call it quits.”

Feeding vs. Stealing

These two obsessions took me in completely different directions: one fed me power, one stole my power.

The tabloid/television/culture monster keeping people passive was some of Michael Jackson’s most motivating competition. In order to draw people out of the Matrix, he had to create equally powerful obsessions. So he crafted captivating visuals to speak directly to our unconscious fears and longings. And he thrilled us. Nurtured us. Empowered us.

I imagine him saying, “If you want people to change, make the change addicting.”

Good questions to ask:

Does my work feed people or steal from people?

Does my work harm people or heal people?

How can my work be positively addicting?


Which addiction has my attention?


by Keely Meagan,

with a deep bow to Seth Godin


P.S. To make your work addicting, I suggest you study Michael Jackson’s process. These blog posts might provide helpful insight (and let me know of anything else you find!):

He Rocked Our World with Inspiration

Raw Naked Truth (the power of vulnerability)

Spiritual Activism (using spiritual connection to create addictive, transformative art)

Sticky Messages and Open Hearts

Be Not Afraid of Weirdness (difference is power)

Learning to Fly with Michael Jackson (the power of obsession, imagination, and the belief that anything is possible)


P.P.S.: This was by no means Michael’s only genius! Simply a very unusual one.

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Keely Meagan is a writer, activist, healer, rebel and visionary. She is eternally grateful to Michael Jackson for showing us ways to effectively transform the world by waging peace with love; cultivating spiritual power; healing trauma; speaking truth to power; standing firmly in our whole, beautiful, complex selves, and never ever giving up.

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2 Responses

  1. Gail Snyder
    | Reply

    This is so strangely hopeful, Keely! Because addiction has so much stigma attached to it, we wouldn’t ordinarily ever even just entertain the idea of going down THAT rabbit hole! It’s soaked in shame. But what you’re seeing that Michael Jackson did was, essentially, if I’m reading you right, meet shame with love and compassion, seeking to employ the same techniques that those addictions that disempower us use. My favorite question you ask at the end is: Which addiction has my attention? I’m going to sit with that today. Thank you!

    • Keely Meagan
      | Reply

      You’re right… Michael was trying to get us to embrace and love and nurture the things that enchant and fascinate and drive us. Things we are often shamed for.

      Kobe Bryant said of Michael, “One of the things he always told me was, don’t be afraid to be different. In other words, when you have that desire, that drive, people are going to try to pull you away from that, and pull you closer to the pack to be ‘normal.’ And he was saying it’s OK to be that driven, it’s OK to be obsessed with what you want to do. That’s perfectly fine. Don’t be afraid to not deviate from that.”

      I think when these natural obsessions are shamed we are more likely to use drugs, alcohol, sex and other addictions to numb out the pain…

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