A Mind to Quit
Life is about moderation, about balance - about finding that sweet spot between excess and depravation, between indulgence and denial.
And, in our culture of consumption, a healthy balance can be hard to strike. Sometimes though, under the right causes and conditions, abstinence might be the best path forward.
Along such a path, however, mind can be a serious foil in abstaining from our desires. After all, the mind wants what the mind wants – telling it “no” is commonly problematic.
Ask any parent who tells their child “no.” They immediately want to do that which is prohibited.
Recently, my friend shared that she was experiencing challenges in her personal life and was opting to stop drinking alcohol for a year in order to better focus and overcome her current situation.
Excellent! No matter the circumstances, this can only be a healthier path. To encourage her, I shared with her the following suggestion for greater success.
While quite simple, this powerful technique applies to any activity and has helped me overcome a mind that refuses to accept “no,” a mind that refuses to quit.
It is as follows:
Every time the desire arises to indulge in whatever it is you seek to quit, rather than tell yourself, “I am going to quit X for a year,” tell yourself, “Maybe I’ll have/ do it tomorrow.”
Each time the desire arises, train the mind in this manner. And, tomorrow never comes.
In doing so, the resistance of mind to the power of “no” is diffused and abstinence is easier.
Moreover, in a situation where you think “I won’t do X for a year” and then on the 73rd day you succumb to your desire and do X, the mind will bubble up with feelings of failure and bring you back to zero.
This negates the 72 days of your success and leaves you feeling disappointed and disheartened.
No matter what arises, though, always remind yourself that you are truly a unique and amazing being. Whatever life throws your way, you’ve got this!
‘Til next time, be happy.