Yes I did eventually quit smoking – been a nonsmoker for over 25 years now. But just so you know – my will power sucks. I’d tried and failed to quit smoking so many times I was embarrassing myself. At least a dozen times I tried to quit smoking and blew it. Every time. Almost a couple times a year over several year’s I’d try to quit smoking (New Years being one of them – of course).
This was back over 25 years ago, from the early 70’s to the late 70’s. Most of the time I’d last 2 – 3 weeks.
Once I had quit smoking for a couple weeks — things were tough of course, the urges and cravings, but I was doing OK dealing with them. Naturally, I was a lot more moody than normal, got angry more often and more easily. But I was getting through ok, till one night while I was working, I looked outside the window from the store I was working at to check my car – and it wasn’t there. My car had been towed. That was what shoved me over the edge – that time.
Naturally the first thing I did when I found out my car was towed was walk over to a cigarette machine, drop my money in and buy a pack of cigarettes. Like that was going to help right? But there I was smoking again.
There were time’s I’d quit and thought “well I’ll just smoke one, and that’s it” – but of course “one” today, turned into “two” the next. And before I knew it, I was back to a pack and a half a day.
It was always a problem sitting back and drinking a cup of coffee or a beer – I was always so used to having a cigarette in my hand! I’d been smoking a lot longer than I’d been drinking coffee or drinking beer! (Having started smoking in 4th grade.) All I could think about was how uncomfortable it felt!
I was uncomfortable after meals because I was used to settling down into the couch in front of the tv with a cup of coffee and a cigarette! So that was a double whammy! Now I had trouble relaxing after meals – because the cup of coffee was missing something – missing the cigarette in my other hand!
Then there was going to the bar with the guys from the shop. First of all “everybody was smoking”! Then if you’re like I was you’d get a beer and play a game of pool! But every time I’d try to quit smoking I was always uncomfortable because I didn’t have that cigarette in my hand! My whole life became uncomfortable!
One time I even lasted a full month without a cigarette! I remember that day I blew it like it was yesterday. It was about 7 in the evening, starting to get dark – and I was sitting on a friend’s back porch waiting for them to get ready to go out. And I wanted a cigarette.
You can imagine me sitting there arguing with myself – saying (to myself) “I’m an adult – I go to work everyday – I pay my own way – If I want a cigarette I can have a cigarette and nobody can stop me!” It’s embarrassing to admit it – but, yes – I talked myself right back into my pack and a half a day smoking habit yet again.
By this time I’d been studying what felt like almost every self-help guru’s book, how to succeed, mind mastery book out there – almost every book of this type I could get my hands on – for over 10 years. And 4 mind sets that I knew were important to me about smoking cigarettes started come together in my mind.
I knew it was stupid to smoke cigarettes – I knew the risks, the cancer, emphysema, the damage it does to your skin – making you look older than you are. How it was destroying my lungs – filling my lungs up with tar year after year.
I thought about how I wouldn’t have to worry about the cancer, emphysema, and other damage I was doing to myself by continuing to smoke cigarettes if I didn’t smoke. And how lousy it was that I even started this habit of smoking cigarettes in the first place.
I spent time thinking about all the good stuff that would happen – all the money I’d save, that my body would start recovering from the 20+ years of being a smoker when I did quit smoking cigarettes. I’d stop smelling like I’d just walked out of a bar. I’d stop putting my family in jeopardy from the 2nd hand smoke.
And finally – what if I could somehow feel like I’d never smoked before, after I did quit. I remembered all the times I’d tried and failed to quit smoking – and I certainly didn’t want to go through that again – when I did try again to quit. But what if I could somehow – when I tried again to quit – if I could somehow make myself feel like a person who had never smoked a cigarette before – in their life.
So after spending some time mulling over all this I came up with a plan and followed through with it for 60 days. A plan to bring all these considerations together and – hopefully – instill them in my mind. What happened after that 60 day exercise went way beyond anything I’d ever imagined. And if you can instill these same concepts in your mind you have a chance to have the same thing happen to you.
I had just walked out of a restaurant in Flint, Michigan from lunch. I took what was left of my pack of cigarettes, crushed them in my hand and tossed it into a nearby trash can – it was the prearranged day that I’d decided to quit – again. I didn’t know what would happen, I didn’t know how long I’d be able to last this time, but I was going to give it a try anyway – one more time.
What happened next is still with me today more than a quarter of a century later.
Right after tossing that pack of cigarettes away I had a thought, “I’d sure like to have a cigarette”. Then BAM! Totally out of the blue I got hit with an overwhelming rush of thoughts and emotions that went flying through my head in a flash. It was so intense it actually snapped my head back.
The best description I’ve been able to come up with, about how it felt, is this…imagine a huge dam, picture the Hoover Dam – exploding into millions of pieces – and imagine all those millions and millions of gallons of water rushing, crashing down the valley below – ripping away everything in its path. That’s how powerful it felt. And it was totally unexpected!
Also totally unexpected was this – my smoking habit was completely washed away. Like it had never existed. It wasn’t like I’d quit – it was like I had never, ever, smoked a cigarette before in my life!
Since that experience I’ve never had another thought about smoking another cigarette. No cravings, no urges, nothing. The anger I’d always had to contend with before never occurred. It was just “normal” not to have a cigarette. Since that experience, I’ve never had any problem sitting down and enjoying drinking a beer or cup of coffee, finishing a meal. And not once have I ever considered smoking another cigarette since that day. It’s always just felt “normal” not to have a cigarette.
If someone lit up a cigarette around me it had no affect. People could smoke around me all day long – and often did – and my mind was totally oblivious to it. Like the cigarettes didn’t even exist. For all intents and purposes cigarettes actually DIDN’T exist in my world.
Somehow I was able to instill all the concepts described above in such a way that I came out of it feeling just like I had never smoked, like I had never lit up a cigarette before in my life. Just the dream I was reaching for.