I haven’t been smoking for a year.
I’m going to keep this short. Quitting smoking might’ve been the easiest hard thing I’ve done lately. Here are five points that made it so, and what it has to do with starting a branding agency creative marketing thingy:
I QUIT SMOKING BECAUSE I WANTED TO
As a grown man, I really am entitled to be killing myself slowly. if I want to.
Seriously — know how sometimes wanting to do something immediately turns into having to do it? That’s your inner parent, tyrant, taking control of your psyche and rolling it back to rebel mode. Nobody likes doing what they’re told, why should you?
When thinking about quitting smoking this time, whenever the thought crossed my mind that I probably should quit, I dismissed it.
Believing I don’t really have to do it was liberating. In fact, for a time, I completely gave up the idea of quitting smoking — and just when it seemed like I’d surrendered completely, the desire to quit struck me again, this time completely my own.
I AGREED TO LET GO OF SMOKING AS PART OF MY SELF-IMAGE
Freed from inner tyranny and set out for a lung-cleansing rest of my life, I found that I was having attachment issues still. Sure, I knew for a fact that I wanted to quit like it’s nobody’s business — but the image of me puffing on a cigarette in a coffee shop cranking out work emails in my sunglasses like a mad boss was still a clinger.
I loved that image so much that I’ve been clinging to it for 15 years. Just thinking about giving it up made me cringe, anxious, hating the world, questioning my own existence, I dare you to name a crappy feeling I didn’t experience.
So I took a hit and gave it up. How? I was armed with months of self-kindly deliberating it, read on;
THE DECISION WAS A SLOW-BREW
HASTE IS FROM THE DEVIL. And the haste-inducing devil is you. Sometimes — a decision needs to be built up for a period of time before it’s an actual decision. You know what I’m talking about, critical mass has to be built before your tower of indecisiveness crashes down into itself and turns you into a non-smoker.
The takeaway here is that I let myself observe this unripe inner-desire instead of trying to rush myself into it. In my non-pressuring, I’d let a hard decision materialize effortlessly. Stop being so controlling, trust the process. You’re not inherently lazy. Believe me.
I SAW IT AS A PART OF A LARGER, OVERALL CHANGE
Now this is a bonus, but I found that looking at quitting smoking as part of a larger — more holistic plan to become a better, saner, happier, normal-er person — was the icing to my discipline cake.
Every time I doubted this great quitting-smoking idea of mine I reminded myself of this greater goal I had in mind, and how giving up now would be kind of a setback. AND I HATE SETBACKS.
I LET MY COMMUNITY HOLD ME ACCOUNTABLE
Lastly, I shared the fact that I’m quitting with everybody and their sister so that I’d look completely stupid if I didn’t follow through.
What does that have to do with me starting a branding agency creative marketing thingie?
Well, I’m doing it because I want to, I agreed to let go of my self-image as an employee, I took my time deciding to do it, it’s part of a broader lifestyle choice I’m making, and I’m sharing it with you guys, which will make me look stupid if I don’t follow through.