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It's All About Attitude

Positives vs. Negatives


Updated February 26, 2007

It's All About Attitude


For the purposes of today's theoretical discussion, an estimate will do. So let's do the math.

I smoked from when I was fourteen, until I was fifty-two. That's thirty-eight years. In that time I have quit a few times, and the total time spent not smoking would be about a year. So let's use thirty-seven as the number of years I smoked. Throwing out leap years, we don't need to be that accurate, that's 13,505 days.

The average number of cigarettes I smoked per day (you can see where this is going now) was twenty-five.

So in the time I smoked, I estimate I lit up 337,625 times.

That is a lot of reinforcement for a particular behavior.

Now, a person could look at that number, and think that the idea of stopping is pretty daunting. As often as I smoked, how is it possible to just stop? Wouldn't it be useless? Why not just keep going, because it's too hard to quit. This is how a negative attitude would work.

Since I choose to have a positive attitude, I am thinking, when I look at that number, this just goes to show you how much in the clutches of the addiction I used to be. I really was a servant of the behavior, almost a mindless machine made for one thing - consuming tobacco by fire. It is about time I stopped doing that. It is time for freedom.

Another example of negative versus positive attitude is in craving. The negative attitude focuses on the crave, and dreams about satisfying the urge. It spends time with thoughts of smoking. The positive attitude embraces craving as a sign of healing, and of progress. It realizes that the addiction is starving to death, and time will heal the urges to smoke, if I don't give in.

I could go on about the differences between positive and negative attitudes, but it's time to make my point. A positive attitude is necessary for a successful quit. Nicotine withdrawal is a reality, but looking at it as torture is counterproductive. This is a war between my will and the addiction. A negative attitude is defeatist and gives aid and comfort to the enemy. A positive attitude will make all the difference in being able, finally, to stay quit.

More from Zzyzx:

Real Power
Critical Thinking
The Balance Between Withdrawal and Healing

Visit Z's weblog at Ciggyfree ODAT

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