We’re going to talk about letting other people dictate your choices… I think it’s one of the things that a lot of people do in the beginning especially, is they allow other people to influence what they’re doing.
People can influence your decisions in life especially in a negative way, in the sense of when I tried to stop smoking, it was my friends who was convinced me to go back. Same goes when you’re drinking, you’ll find this a lot where people are saying to you, “You have to enjoy yourself in this life, there’s no harm in one, there’s no harm in in having the occasional drink..” A lot of the time, what they’re doing is excusing their own drinking, and they don’t want to see you stopping drinking alcohol, because they’re reflecting your decisions back on themselves.
So the number one thing to do is to understand that you can’t do anything about that what other people think, you can’t change their mind even if you attempt to change it, you might go a lot of the way in changing their minds. But like I say, their ideas are based around what they want to do, they’re based around what they’re doing. They’re based around their habits, they’re based around their behaviors and ideas and their thoughts in general, and also their emotions.
And a lot of the time, you’ll find that there is a negative emotional reaction stopping you because when you want to make a significant change in your life, it reflects back on to the person. And it starts them thinking about the process themselves. And that, in turn, can generate an emotional reaction. And a lot of the time, it’s not a positive emotional reaction. It’s not like, “Oh, yeah, let’s go and do this.”
I was watching a program the other day about climbing Mt. Everest and its difficulties. This guy was talking about the queues that are waiting now to get up to Everest when you get to the top. And people are going that slow that they’re putting other people’s lives in danger. And one of the biggest problems is that it used to be that you would never even think about going to Everest until you’d worked your way up. So you’ve gone through a lot of different mountains, you worked your way up peaks, so that you get your body used to dealing with the change in atmosphere. And that you built your body up to that stamina level that you needed to get there. He was talking about between 15 and 20 years of being a mountain climber before you should even attempt to do something like that. He was saying that a lot of people were watching videos about the Everest.
And a lot of these minded people who had the frame of mind that they wanted to get out there and have adventures. They were attempting to climb Everest with less than a year’s experience, which is complete madness. A lot of people are going to get killed doing that. What I’m saying is, that’s a sort of a positive spin on things where they look at somebody else doing something and they say, “This is making me having a positive emotional reaction.” You know, that’s an extreme interpretation of that.
Most of the time when people are stopping drinking alcohol, you will generally get sort of a negative emotional reaction to people. So the main question that you should ask yourself is, “What do you want? What is your reality?” My reality, when I stopped drinking alcohol, was I was getting pains on my side, lots of digestive problems. Mostly it was the way that I was emotionally reacting to not seeing my son anymore. We’d left my son in Ireland, as we moved to Spain. I see him maybe three times a year. And it was on those times that I saw him that we were celebrating. And I knew that every time we met together, if I was going to continue to be a drinker, this is going to be our life, me and him.
That wasn’t the relationship that I ever envisioned for myself. So that changed my mind about it. It also made me think about myself as a drinker. And it made me think about myself as a father and a drinker and how that was influencing him. So that sort of brought me a feeling of emotional turmoil, a deep sense of pain. And other people cannot see that. You’re never going to get other people to experience that for you. They can’t feel your pain, they can’t feel your emotions. They don’t feel how alcohol is affecting your life.
They don’t see it from the same perspective in terms of you thinking, they can’t feel your physical pain, they’re not living your life, so they can’t see it from that. So they’re always going to see it from their perspective. No matter how altruistic you are in your life, no matter how much I thought that I needed to be a better father to my son, and that translated for me as stopping drinking, and stopping a lot of the things that I was doing in my life that were then transferring across to bad behaviors or negative behaviors in him.
I had to look after myself because I had to. I suppose, drinking alcohol is a negative thing anyway. You know, it’s a very inward turning thing. People say, “Well, it’s socializing, but it’s not, it’s only having an effect on you. And, you know, as you get drunk, the feeling is yours and yours alone. You have to really turn your mind on yourself, not your emotions. It’s thinking over emotion. So you’re rationalizing, you’re using your reason to understand your emotions, and you’re reflecting on what’s happening in your life.
That’s the only way that you can really do it, put that spotlight back on yourself, turn the light up, and start to see your life and yourself and your behaviors for what they they really are. Because if you don’t do that, you’re not going to have success. It’s easy to listen to other people, it’s easy to go back to your old behavior, because that’s what everything is pointing to your old behavior, because that’s what you’re used to.
And it’s difficult to change, it’s not difficult to understand the concept of stopping drinking alcohol, but it’s difficult to put that into practice, we see that everywhere, I see that all around me today. If you focus back in on yourself and in your own behaviors, and how you can improve your own life, that’s a difficult thing to do. You’ve got to gotta pull yourself apart before you can put yourself back together. And it takes a lot of courage to do that.
It takes a lot of courage, it takes a lot of hard work, but it’s really truly the only thing that’s going to give you the results that you want. The things that are really important to you, underneath it all, you know that you’re letting slip.
There’s no real advantage at all on allowing other people to dictate what you’re going to do unless their views are aligned with your own goals.