Hey all, it is true. Quitting something can be a painful process. Be it drinking, a bad relationship or friendship, or even quitting on your ego.Here is a great way to look at the process though. Think about quit in terms of replacing. Replacing a bad habit for a good one that fills that time, replacing a volatile relationship with someone for a better one with yourself, and the same thing with friendships as well. Cut the negative out of your life and replace it with positive.
I want to preface what I say with the fact that the process is never ending and for every good habit you apply today, you will replace it with a better one down the road as you gain more understanding and knowledge. That is just how it works. I am no master of quitting bad habits, I am not perfect and will never claim to have it all together, and I still have many aspects of my life to work on I still struggle the process as well. I will also tell you that in the parts of my life that I have replace bad with good, the results have been astounding. And that your quality and quantity of life will improve exponentially. The key is to take action!
It all comes down to mindset (like everything). Your mindset is the foundation of which every else is built from, build a house on sand, silt, or clay; it will come crashing down. Build it on bedrock, it will last you a lifetime or more. I will talk more about mindset in another post.
Some basic things that we can recognize though:
- Life is binary, meaning you are growing or dying as a person; there is no middle ground.
- The way you handle or react to current and future events in life is a choice, you are in control.
- Always be curious and ask questions, to yourself, your loved ones, and your influences in life (friends, co-workers, church leaders, etc.)
With these core beliefs in place, you will start seeing your life clearer than before and it will help you with replacing the bad for the good.
Start with something small, something that you can start right then and there. I started by replacing the nights I use to go out drinking (which when I was 21 and 22 was just about every night) with going to the gym. The key to replacing social events is to fill that time with something else. I would go to the gym around 21:00-22:00, so when my friends would call me I would already be at the gym and committed to my work out. That helped me safeguard that habit.
When it comes to larger or more personal habits, they get tougher to replace. As human beings, flee from discomfort and seek out things that will give us a dopamine hit. Why do I say that? Because it is true. I catch myself watching TV or Netflix or YouTube late at night keeping me up way later than I intended; I’m sure you do to as well. Cleaning up my sleep habits is a major personal goal that I, even right now at 00:25 in the morning writing this, still struggle with. My goal is to replace this bad habit of electronics before bed with reading a book or something of substance that calms the mind and relaxes the eyes. Personal development and relaxation at the same time.
My list goes on and on, and the more I work on quitting doing the things in my life that don’t move me forward, the more I spend time evaluating myself and even improving on the aspects I have already worked on. Look at the process like a Fibonacci Spiral, you start at one point, and each good choice you make compounds onto the next one. That is how it works.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” — Lao Tzu
The key to the process, is to declare it to yourself and attach an emotion to it, one positive emotion as a daily reward for achieving success that day, and one non-positive emotion that will keep you in check and use it as a motivator for keeping you on track. I digress, because all of this is meaningless if you do not take the first step: START! You don’t have to have a great plan, just something that you can take action on that moment, hour, or day! It is all talk if you don’t start the walk.
What are some things that you have been wanting to work on and haven’t yet?
What has been stopping you from taking the action?
What do you think making these choices will do to enhance your life?
Where do you see the struggle being for you when you take the action?
-Michael, Just Michael