What is being an optimist?
And how is being optimistic going to help you quit drinking alcohol?
I think you should always choose positivity.
You should always choose optimism.
A lot of people say optimism is just fooling yourself; it’s just looking at the world through rose-tinted glasses and that’s not the way to go through life because you’re not seeing life as you should.
But what is reality?
Reality for you is what you see and how you interpret it.
Reality is different for everyone.
You perceive something, it goes into your mind and through your senses, your eyes, your ears, your touch, it goes through a lot of filters inside.
Your brain interprets this information, and it interprets it through your filters, which are basically what you’ve learned throughout your life.
Your specific brand of reality is how you are going to look at something.
And, optimism is basically looking at things optimally, looking at things that are going to benefit you in the best way possible for you.
Not for anyone else, for you.
What you might think of as being optimistic, some people might not think that way at all.
They might say ‘that’s not very optimistic’ or ‘I don’t feel very optimistic when I think that way.
So this is all about optimal thinking from your perspective; seeing life through this frame of mind that thinks ‘well, no matter what happens, I’m going to try and see the best for me.
I’m going to try and look at these things from the best frame of mind’.
What’s the point of looking at things from the worst frame of mind?
There’s a technique for examining problems in your life; you come up with a problem and something happens and you might start catastrophizing.
You might start to say ‘this is shit. Everything else is linked to this and everything else is going to hell now because of this one problem in my life’, and you can look at things from the worst possible outcome.
What’s the worst possible thing that can happen because of this thing?
And if you can get to the bottom of that and see if you can handle that, and what you can do if that worst possible thing occurs, more than likely that worst possible thing is not going to happen.
Especially if you do understand the problem for what it is, and you attempt to do something about it.
It’s when you don’t do something about it that the worst possible outcome will happen.
An optimist basically sees set-backs as only temporary, sees the feeling of discomfort as only temporary.
Quitting drinking, the optimist is always going to look at the discomfort, the cravings, the discomfort of having to think about all these other things that you want to do in your life, sees these things as minor set-backs; that as life goes on, the discomfort is going to ease first and then gradually disappear as you move forward with other things in your life.
As you use the time, money and everything else you were using for alcohol, to do something else.
The optimist also sees any problem, all problems that they come across as separate in and of themselves and is not anything to do with anything else.
Whereas the pessimistic person will see a problem as being a sign that everything is wrong, as another sign that their life is shit, and that they’re not worth it or they can’t do this.
That’s what a pessimist is.
But an optimist always sees each individual problem as an individual problem, and tackles it as an individual problem.
Another area where pessimists and optimists differ is an optimist will always look at problems as being external to themselves.
So, it’s happening outside of themselves, something that happens in their environment or with people around them or whatever it is, and they have to figure out a way of dealing with that.
Whereas a pessimist will always look at something as being as internal, as a part of themselves.
It’s their fault or it’s something that they take personally. If something happens to them, they say ‘it’s meant for me personally’.
One of the ways that you can be optimistic in life when a problem comes up, is to look at these problems as being specific; it’s a specific problem that is due to specific circumstances.
It’s not an indication of overall doom, it’s an external problem that is outside of yourself, and being outside of yourself is something that you can deal with.
It’s only a temporary problem.
When you quit drinking, the feelings, cravings and all the bullshit feelings that come with quitting drinking are all going to disappear the more effort you put into it.
So, think about it from this perspective: it’s external, specific and temporary.
Often, it boils down to what can’t be cured has to be endured.
When you first quit drinking those first few weeks, you’re going to have to put up with the discomfort, there’s no way around it.
Some people are going to go through a little bit more discomfort than others, but we all do go through discomfort from one degree to another.
You have to put up with it, you just have to put up with that little bit of pain.
This is a habit, an ingrained habit that is going to make you feel uncomfortable, make you feel like shit sometimes.
Because you can’t do it, because this is what you used to do, this is what your whole social circle is based around, what your whole life is based around.
So, when people talk about cravings and symptoms and side effects, that’s what they’re talking about.
It’s the missing elements in their lives.
It’s a part of their lives that they ow don’t have a part of anymore.
They’ve extricated themselves from that.
This is part of their own choice.
You have to keep on the positive side of things.
You have to look at the future, where it’s taking you and not where you come from.
Because once you start focusing on where you come from and what you’re missing out on then it’s so easy to go ‘I’ll give in today because if I take a drink now, then all these problems are over with’, but they’re not over with.
As soon as you take a drink you’re building on the failure principle in your own life, that you can’t do this.
You’re building on the self-belief in the wrong direction.
You’re building on your own pessimism, your negativity.
You might not think that, you might think ‘I’m only doing this now because I’m going through a bad time’.
The bad times are caused by what you’re doing.
External events happen.
Shit happens in life and you’ve got to deal with them on their own terms.
You can’t always go back to using a toxin like this because it’s going to bring you nowhere.
It’s going to bring you nothing but negativity.
So, look at every single situation, even a craving.
Look at a craving in its specific context.
If you’re thinking about drinking, why ae you thinking about drinking?
What is it about this moment, the people that you’re with that is making you think about drinking alcohol?
There is something.
There’s always something because it’s not the drink that’s calling you, it’s something inside your mind that’s doing all the dirty work.
You’ve got to figure that out and then there is your specific.
The craving is only temporary.
It’s not going to last.
One of the best cures for craving is taking yourself out of the situation that you are even for a moment.
Go to the toilet, go for a walk around the block, breathe for a couple of minutes.
Just take a few deep breaths.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll realise that the craving is gone.
The feelings might still be there but the overwhelming part of the temptation is gone.
These things are normally outside of yourself.
It’s something outside of yourself that’s triggered off the craving.
It’s the same thing when you quit drinking.
It’s nearly always something outside of yourself that’s triggered off.
Your thoughts might be the first thing that you’re aware of, but there is something happening in your environment.
Something that somebody said to you, or somebody’s done, or some part of where you are; that’s the real trigger.
You have to figure out the trigger.
So, that’s it for today, see you again tomorrow.
Remember that there’s no real point of looking at life through a pessimistic viewpoint.
Being optimistic and looking at the best outcome of things is going to make you happy.
That’s what it’s all about.
It’s finding happiness in the framework that you put around your life.
Build an optimal frame of mind around everything that you do and you’ll be a happy person.
You won’t want to go back to drinking.
This is what it’s done for me.
I can say that I’m negative in certain areas of my life, I can say that I was a lot more negative while I was drinking.
But, I’ve overcome a lot of that negativity and brought a lot of optimal thinking into my life and that’s all because I’ve stopped drinking.
And because I stopped drinking, I started bringing in a lot of good habits and getting rid of bad habits.
Instead of making myself weaker, I’ve been making myself stronger and stronger over the last few years and I can’t see that changing anytime soon.
The only way I see that changing is if I go back and start those stupid, fucking habits again which I’m not going to do.
The longer you get into this journey, the more you will build your self-confidence, the more you will build that optimal point of view for yourself.
Until next time, keep the alcohol out of your mouths.
OPTIMISM IS THE FAITH THAT LEADS TO ACHIEVEMENT. NOTHING CAN BE DONE WITHOUT HOPE AND CONFIDENCE.
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!