How to quit smoking

It’s been 1,000 days since I quit smoking.  It’s amazing to realize that I’m truly no longer a smoker.  I haven’t had any nicotine in any form in over 1,000 days now.  I don’t miss it at all.

A few thoughts:

The toughest part was understanding the difference between the mental and physical addiction.  Then splitting them apart to tackle each on its own.  They are both pretty easy on their own, but if you don’t recognize what is what, you will struggle.

Physical:  They physical addiction to nicotine is horrible.  It causes you to need the drug.  You have a smoke, chew, dip, gum, whatever and the clock starts ticking.  You feel great right away.  But then it slowly starts to wear off.   You start sensing this and get uncomfortable and irritable.  You start thinking about smoking.  You smell someone else and it smells so good.  BUT, you don’t smoke.  You’re detoxing.  Every minute, you don’t give into that craving is a minute towards not needing the nicotine.  Your body slowly clears the drug while screaming at you to have it.  Those first few days go by and you hate everything.

But then there’s a day where you don’t need it.  Your body has gotten used to not being dependant on a drug.  You’re free of the physical addiction.  It feels so good.

Mental:  But then there’s the mental.  For me, this was two things.

Friends & family who smoked.  There was nothing better than popping outside to have a smoke with your buddies outside of the bar.  Or with some family while at a boring holiday dinner.  The nice cool air outside and a warm smoke are always nice.  Well the easiest way to get over this is to just go outside with them.  Smell the smoke, but don’t join in.  Tell them you’ve quit.  But still have the same conversations you would.  Still smell the cool air outside.  Crack a fresh beer if you’re at a party.  Smile and remember that you’re kicking the physical addiction, so there’s no need to inhale a drug that will make you continuously want more.

Stress and celebration.  When something went wrong, I smoked to get over the stress.  When something went right, I smoked to celebrate.  It’s funny how you can justify both.  Realize that you’re just using this event as an excuse to get your drug.  The drug you’d get anyway because you could also justify it as being bored.

The key here is to realize that there is no reason to smoke besides the fact that your body is craving nicotine.  All of the mental things are just excuses to get the physical drug.  And the only reason you want the drug is because the last hit of it is wearing off, but hasn’t worn off enough to get out of your system yet.

The goal is to focus on being your physical addiction while coping with the mental addiction.  The physical is easy.  Just don’t smoke.  Give it a few weeks and you’ll be over it.  The mental is easy too.  Just don’t smoke and be open an honest with others that you’re not a smoker anymore.  Don’t use ANYTHING as an excuse to get your fix.  3 weeks later and you’re done.

After that, it’s easy.  You start to realize that you aren’t a smoker.  You smell how bad other people smell.  You see how sad it is to watch them inhale a drug that is known to be bad for their health.  You realize that in an hour, they’ll be craving more.  Forever.

You quickly become glad you don’t smoke.  You wonder why you ever did.  The years start flying by.  You still like the smell and think about it from time to time, but you’re never really tempted because you know what it is.  It’s a drug that controls every day of your life.  And it really does taste like shit, smell like shit, and make you feel like shit.

When it comes down to it, the truth is that you lie to yourself every day.  You tell yourself that you need a smoke because you are stressed, tired, celebrating, with friends, drinking, camping, relaxing, happy, sad, bored, busy, worn out, etc.  It’s a million different things and they’re all lies you tell yourself.

In reality, the only reason you smoke is because the nicotine from the last one is wearing off. 

Once it’s out of your system, you body won’t be in withdrawal anymore.  From there it’s all easy.

Advertisements

The absolute worst thing about an office job

Having nothing to do.

As much as work can be annoying or difficult or frustrating, there is nothing worse than have nothing to do all day. There is only so much surfing the internet and checking your email you can do.

Sure I try to get involved in other projects, but there are some days that are just dead. It would be the perfect time to just go home or chill in a park somewhere. Even just a small nap would make the time go by quicker.

You get this feeling like it’s pointless to be there.  It doesn’t make any sense.  You can feel the days of your life going away too fast while you sit there and waste time.  It’s so annoying.

BUT, it could mean a few things.  If you truly have nothing to do, you should work on preparing yourself for finding a new job.  It’s a waste of your time to sit here all day.  You should at the least be working on your resume and learning anything possible to help you get a new job.

If this is just a temporary thing, then don’t worry too much about it.  Enjoy the slow time.  Create a side project and do some filing.  If this is a regular thing, you may need to be looking for a new job.  You could potentially get laid off at some point.  Even if you don’t, you could be stuck in this job feeling unfulfilled for years.  That’s a huge waste of time.

Use this free time to your advantage.  Work on side projects and work on getting your next job.

California is Great

Strange how time flies when things are changing.

Well, I got laid off in February.  I knew it was coming.  They told me back in November that it was going to happen.  I was really unhappy about it at first.  But over time, it was freeing.  I was given until Feb to look for another job.  Which was pretty awesome.  I didn’t find one during this time, but shortly afterward, so things are okay.

But I did something crazy and interesting.  I moved with my girlfriend to a big city across the country.  San Francisco to be exact.  It’s been awesome.  We’ve been here since Feb and I’m really enjoying  it.

I found myself another exciting cubicle job.  But this time I’m looking at it a bit differently.  I’m not just surviving the cubicle anymore.  I’m thriving.  I’ve had a huge change of perspective over the past 6 months.

I’ve realized that I’m never going to quit the easy office job and do something crazy.  I’m getting older and have really realized how nice it is to have a paycheck.  What I am going to do is take an active role in building my career.  No more will I sit around and wait for someone to recognize my greatness and give me a better job.  I’m going to work hard and make sure I get that better job myself.  There is no more time for waiting for good things to happen.  If I don’t take control and make it happen, it never will.

Another thing I’ve been realizing is that your location really does matter when it comes to being happy in a job.  Back in the cold winters I felt like crap going from a warm bed to a freezing walk to a boring office.  Now I get to be in beautiful weather and see awesome views every day.  California is great.

Top ten best things about you

What are your top ten best attributes outside of work?  Make a list right now.  Think about it.  It’s tough, but you can come up with a list of ten.

What makes you interesting, awesome, or cool?

Thinking about this list will help you at work.  It’ll help you remember that you’re an interesting person regardless of the work you do.

If you’re like me, you don’t really get all that excited about office work.  So get excited about something else.  The more you think about these attributes, the better.

Also, make sure you’re not just writing down a list of things you like to consume.  Being a fan of watching Basketball and reading romance novels isn’t what I’m talking about here.  Think of things that you do and create.  Not what you consume.

How long did it take you to write a list?  Paste it in the comments for the world to see.  Be proud of who you are outside of work.

5 challenges for the weekend

This weekend, you are going to accomplish these 5 things:

  1.  Spend all night Friday out and about in your town.  You don’t have to do anything specific, just don’t go home until the sun comes up.  Bring a small notepad and write down what you see.  Talk to people and see where the night leads.
  2. Donate one bag of clothes to good will.  You know you can come up with at least one bag of old unused clothes to donate.  Bonus points if you have more than one bag.
  3. Don’t drive anywhere all weekend.  Bike or walk or public transit.  Don’t even start the car.
  4. Ask 5 strangers for the time.  Bonus points if you lead it to a conversation.  Even more bonus points if it’s between 3-6 am on Saturday morning.
  5. Saturday morning, go out for breakfast.  Leave a $20 tip.  This will just make you feel good and generous.

So there’s your homework.  Have fun.

What if you can’t find your passion?

 

What does it take to truly care about something?  How can someone become passionate about something?  Sometimes you start to realize that nothing is exciting to you anymore.  How do you get past that?

You may be sick of your job, but what if you don’t know what you’d rather do?  Maybe we should all just keep trying new things until something sticks.  Maybe we should all just learn to stop worrying about it and pass the days as if everything is alright.

I don’t really think that is the way to do it though.  Someone has to do something.  Someone has to care enough to get things moving in the right direction.  I wonder how many people feel this way.  What do you do when you realize that you can’t even think of things that you are passionate about?

This is a weird thought to me.  I’ve always just done the next thing in life because that’s how you do it.  Graduate high school, go to college, get a job, get a girlfriend.  When does it actually become a career?  When do you start to get excited about something?

Or is it really all about just finding what you can tolerate and going with it?  This just seems crazy to me.  Why would you want to just pass the time?  That seems like such a waste.

There has to be an interesting idea out there.  Remember when you were a kid and people asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up?  I don’t remember saying what it is, but I know it wasn’t that I wanted to sit in a cubicle all day.  I realize now though that I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.  It seems like I should have gotten there by now or at least started on that path.

I know there have to be more people out there like this.  It’s weird when you wonder this.  What if everybody else knows exactly what they want to do with their lives?  What if you just forgot to decide that when you were a kid and will always be confused as to what that answer is?

Why do people think so much?  Sometimes it would be great to just shut off the mind and see what happens.  Over thinking is a major problem for a lot of people.  I think it is especially a problem with young people in my generation.  Everybody thinks of the greatest answers to everything, but so few people are actually working to make those things come true.

I’ve had a billion ideas for inventions and businesses, but never acted upon any of them.  Maybe I’m passionate about coming up with ideas and not doing anything with them.  Who knows.  Is everybody else out there this confused about things?

How does one go about becoming passionate about something?  How does one go about deciding what they want to do with their life?  Or do you just go with what you’re doing and figure out how to stop yourself from thinking about this stuff?

What do you think?  Do you have a passion and are you following it?

 

Acceptance vs. Rejection

If you want to be happy in life, you will eventually have to choose between rejection and acceptance.

Many people are unhappy in their lives.  They don’t like their jobs, spouses, friends, cars, homes, clothes, incomes, etc.  Most of us just live with it.  We are usually always pining for something more.  We spend half of our day thinking about the future and how we can make things better.  Then we spend the other half wishing it would just get better because we don’t really know what to do about it.

I say you eventually will have to make a decision.  Accept it or reject it.

Rejection

Rejection is simple.  Quit your job, get a divorce, start a home business, make new friends, sell your car, etc.  Rejection is also hard.  It takes a huge leap to do something like this.  There are some things that are way easier to change than others.  If you’re overweight, you can throw out the junk food and start eating healthy.  That’s a pretty easy one.  If you hate your job, you can quit and move to Thailand.  That’s a pretty hard one.  It’s doable, but it takes commitment.

Rejection is important though.  You have to learn to fight back and do things for yourself.  It doesn’t matter if it’s as simple as wearing purple socks on Wednesdays or as complex as becoming a traveling shoe salesman.  The point is consciously doing it.  You have to make the decision for yourself in order to be happy.

Rejection is deciding that the way you have been doing things and the way your life is going is unsatisfactory and you are going to change it. Rejection is not fighting against people and quitting things just because.  That is being a rebel.  You can be a rebel and enjoy that lifestyle, but then you are just accepting the rebel lifestyle.

It would be rare to find a person who is completely happy with their entire life and doesn’t have anything he or she would like to change.  At least not until they have rejected some things and accepted others.

Stop doing things because you feel you “have to”.  You don’t actually have to do anything.  You can sit on your ass for the rest of your life and do nothing, but don’t do it out of laziness, do it because that’s what you want to do.  The movie Office Space is great because the main character decides that he just doesn’t want to do anything anymore, just sit around, go fishing, and watch TV.  He doesn’t want to change the world or start a business.  He just wants to do nothing and is fine with that.

That is acceptance.  Realizing that you are absolutely happy with what you are doing, regardless of what it might be.  So quit your job if that’ll do it for you, but if you decide to keep it, you have to consciously decide that you want to.

Acceptance
Acceptance isn’t just accepting that you hate your job and will always hate it and living out your days in misery.  Acceptance is finding a balance in life and finding the small things that you like about it.  It’s realizing that no matter what you change, you have to accept life as it is and be happy.  Acceptance is realizing that your house isn’t all that great, but you like it.  It’s knowing that your job is really boring, but it allows you do to the things you enjoy.

Acceptance is the more difficult idea to understand though.  It isn’t just putting up with your crappy job and your annoying spouse.  It’s actually making the decision that the current situation you are in is the one you want to be in and enjoying it.

You have to consciously make that decision though.  Too many people are just “okay” with the way things are.  Yet, they constantly complain about how they want more money or a nicer house or a new car.  That is not acceptance.  That is just getting by.  That is suffering through something.  You don’t want to do that.

Acceptance is a great feeling.  It allows you to actually live in the moment and stop worrying about something.  When was the last time you did that?  Probably at a time that you were really busy doing something you loved.  It’s when you realize that there is nothing more important than what you are doing right this moment.

Make a decision

If you truly want to be happy you have to get to a point in your life where you can just accept things as they are and be happy.  You have to combine the two.  You must reject the things you don’t like in your life so that the only things that are left are things you choose to accept.  It’s all about the conscious decision though.

An easy way to do this is to make a list of all the things in your life that you like and all the things you dislike.  The likes are easy.  You just have to decide that you like them enough not to change them.  Then next to each of the dislikes, write down how to change it.  Those are the changes that you need to make.  Once the changes are made though, you have to enjoy yourself.

That is really the main point I’m here to make.  You just have to make the decision and run with it.  That is the key.  Nothing matters in the end, but your own state of happiness.  If you don’t like something, you have to stop doing it.  You have to stop putting up with things.  You will get nowhere in life if that is your attitude.

You have to stop worrying, complaining, and hating your life.  You have to decide that there are things you want to change and things you don’t want to change.  Then actually make the changes.

A person’s ideal life is finding a balance between the two.  The big thing is that you have to make the choice.  Accept it or reject it.  If you don’t make the choice you will always be unhappy.