I quit cigarettes in 2014. Today I was thinking about why I was able to break that bad habit after trying everything, and how ultimately it was a simple brain hack that did it.
You’re going to cringe I’m not kidding, but it’s true.
I didn’t set a quit date. It just clicked in my brain one day and stuck after years of smoking almost a pack a day. Why?
In my mind, I quit because I love cigarettes, like a lot. So much so that it definitely was not good for me. Not because someone told me, or I was obligated in anyway. I didn’t start saying how bad cigarettes are (they are), or that I thought less of people who were smoking. I just stopped. In fact, quite the opposite actually. I would even say to myself:
“Cigarettes, you are so bomb and I do like pretending I am some rebel philosopher sipping lattes in a Parisian noir film. Unfortunately, you are too much for this mortal coil to handle. This is my limit, but you go on being your bad ass self.”
You would be surprised at how often we fail at changing a habit or something in our life because the desire was founded on some feeling approximate to anger. When I failed at quitting before, it was almost always because I wanted to do it for someone or something else. That usually made me angry, and when I failed, that really made me angry and so the cycle repeats.
Instead, try to recognize the love you had for those things, but also accept and communicate your limitations with kindness. Even if it’s to an inanimate cigarette like I did. End of the day, you have to choose the love you have for yourself, and let go so you can grow.
In the right way, love and kindness becomes this powerful tool in providing the space for a new habit to take hold. With anger, you kind of just end up stuck.
Hit those positive vibe KRs 📈
About the author
Bryce Thompson is a senior product designer originally from Syracuse, NY, living in Austin, TX.
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Reminding myself as a business operator that somewhere, there is probably a consultant selling $100k+ trust falls and team-building weekend excursions.
You know what business founders hate? Being told their business is a flaming house fire and that you’re the one ready to put it all out!
In another post, I asked why wouldn’t tech companies want to create a Mac OS tool that lets a user set their availability, and paste it as plain text to another person?