For four long years I tried every which way to stop smoking…nothing worked. That was, until it finally dawned on me that I wasn’t using the most powerful weapon in my arsenal.
Allow me to explain. When I first decided to stop smoking, my total focus was on my body. I felt I had to conjure up ways to somehow trick my body into not wanting to smoke anymore. This way it would be less painful…or so I thought.
So I began to cut back on how many I smoked each day…made sense to me at the time. But after that failed, I came up with “plan B” and started smoking low tar and nicotine cigarettes. Yes…that’s the ticket! Well…soon I realized that wasn’t the ticket since I was smoking twice as many as before. Next, I had this wonderful idea of transferring my habit from cigarettes to a pipe…now, that’s the ticket!
My logic? I thought I wouldn’t inhale the smoke from a pipe, thus slowly conditioning my body to becoming addiction free. Hell…that one didn’t make any sense at all, as reality was quick to confirm. I began not only inhaling the pipe smoke but continuing the cigarettes as well…brilliant!
After about a year of this double jeopardy, coughing became an everyday occurrence, and even the mere act of breathing became painful.
After a prayer and a long talk with myself, I gave quitting smoking one last desperate shot. And this time, I put my mind to it…I was all in. You see…this ol’ student was finally ready as the teacher did, indeed, appear.
I was instantly reminded of my most powerful weapon I eluded to earlier…me.
Again…allow me to explain.
Thinking it through, I realized my body (where, by the way, I was focusing my energies) is nothing more than a slave to my mind. It carries out literally any task my mind directs it to do. My mind, on the other hand, is this ultra-super computer if you will. It can easily solve any problem or achieve absolutely any task…providing it is thoroughly saturated with the fuel it so craves…pleasure.
Let’s break it down. A mindless body has no life…it’s just a vegetable, for lack of a better term. Add an ultra-super computer (the mind) and you have potential for some action…though no guarantees. Just look around…zombies wandering everywhere.
Now…there’s you. You are the programmer at the keyboard of your life. Your program, in this case, is pleasure. You’ll recognize other brand names such as happiness, joy, thrills, contentment, delight…but for the sake of this post, I’ll refer to its generic…pleasure.
This program, pleasure, is totally up to you to administer. It’s not easy, though once you get the hang of it…the possibilities are endless. When the mind is convinced that pleasure is imminent…nothing will stand in its way of getting it…absolutely nothing.
This pleasure program is extremely versatile. It can be used for anything you decide you want to have. But for this post, my goal is to save you four years of pure hell and cut straight to the chase. It’s time to quit smoking. First…here are the facts.
• The only way to stop smoking is to not light up.
• The only way to not light up is to want to not light up.
• The only way to want to not light up is to have a damn good emotional reason to want to not light up.
Damn good emotional reasons to want to not light up are borne from the promise of pleasure.
Just how powerful is the motivation of pleasure? Extremely powerful…as a matter of fact, it supersedes pain. Just ask any smoker who chooses to live with the pains associated with his addiction in exchange for short spurts of poison inhaled pleasure. Extremely irrational and illogical you say? Sure…but pleasure trumps everything. There are no boundaries.
Consider the pain and discipline runners go through training for a marathon. It’s child’s play for them because it’s all about the high…the pleasure. Once they’ve received it, they come running back for more…no pun intended.
Here’s one many can relate to. There is no motivating factor stronger than the pleasure from love. Some will move mountains for it. Many would give their life for it. I would catch a granade for it
The mind not only works endlessly and effortlessly in pursuit of pleasures experienced, but equally, if not more diligently, for the ones convinced it will later enjoy.
So here’s the task at hand…and it’s a mind game. You have to convince your mind of the many pleasures it will certainly receive in turn for finding ways of keeping the body from lighting up a smoke…and believe me, there are plenty of them. Invest some time with this.
As you think of reasons to stop smoking, associate those reasons with vivid, emotional thoughts and feelings of pleasure. Remember…it’s all about the promised pleasure…because you haven’t experienced them yet. Both the reason and the pleasure associated with it must go hand in hand, for their product will be your crutch, your inspiration, and your fuel to see you through to the pleasure.
Example of a non-emotional reason: I want to stop smoking to have more energy.
Example of an emotional reason: I want to stop smoking so I can easily run and throw the football with my son in our front yard on a bright, crisp, autumn afternoon without feeling the least bit tired or winded.
The more imagination and emotion you associate with your reasons for quitting, the greater the odds of your success.
Now, throw away your lighter, pick up the football and enjoy some fresh air.
Listen…giving up smoking is a tough nut to crack…no question about it. And if there was one sure fire way to get it done…you can bet I would shout it from the mountain tops.
The fact is…what works for some won’t necessarily work for others. But you can take this to the bank; if you want it bad enough…you’ll find one. Maybe this is it…what your pleasure?
If you have successfully beat this thing and no longer smoke…leave a comment and share your story. It just may be what someone needs to hear.
God bless you,