Are you in or are you out?

I have given up many vices in my life, from cigarettes, hard drugs and alcohol to cooked food and even all food for substantial periods and one thing seems to stand out for me each time.

It’s something I was kind of aware of but didn’t really give it the attention and emphasis it deserved until now.

Whether it was going from the feel of the steel (which most junkies will relate too) meaning the feel of the steel (or needle in your arm) became just as addictive as the drug or the familiar ‘need’ to get high or getting drunk enough to numb out any sense of reality so that I could face another day – one thing made it easy to actually stop.

Although I knew it earlier, and it is the one thing that made the most difference I never really realised the importance until I recently reflected on it and how much of a difference it really makes.

Are you ready? You are going to think I am bonkers when I tell you … like my cheese has finally slid off my cracker … but here it is:

You have to actually decide!

Now before you leave thinking I am a couple of slices short of a loaf please hear me out. As obvious as this sounds and as simple as it seems – it is the thing we actually do the least.

The times it has really hit me recently is when I go for my runs around the Perth Rivers.

If I just take off and ‘see how I go’ nine out of ten times I will either struggle or I will give myself permission to just give up half way and walk or rest for a bit. Whereas when I make a decision before hand that I am going to go around non-stop and even in a certain time then I do that quite easily.

I reflect back to my days of smoking and the number of times I tried to quit. The time I did stop for good was when I TOLD myself I was no longer a smoker. I decided that enough was enough.

One of the hardest things I had to stop was being a junkie. I was not only addicted to amphetamines but to the feel of the steel and the whole ritual of shooting up. I tried on many occasions to stop but when I look back I wasn’t actually serious about it until I made a decision that I’d had enough. It was the same with alcohol.

When I decide that I am eating 100% raw food as apposed to just seeing how I go for a while it is easy. When I really put my mind to something and say it to myself as a commitment then I follow through because I haven’t given myself an ‘opt out option’

So there you have it – simple but profound – for me at least.

Can I give you another little piece of advice?

The thing that really makes it stick is you have to have a ‘WHY’

A reason for stopping and your ‘WHY’ has to be bigger than you or any excuse you can come up with or it will always be ‘why not’

I sat facilitated countless groups with addicts who were devastated because they made their ‘WHY’ their partner and then their why walked out the door and they trashed themselves. They had no WHY anymore.

You are only as good as the excuses you come up with. The only difference between you and someone you perceive as more successful than you is the excuses you make.

My why was and always will be:

Because there is so much me to me than that! I want to be the very best I can be … best dad, best partner, best friend and the very best example of human being possible. 

Dean Powell