Today, I wanted to talk about a quotation from William James, which is, my experience is what I agree to pay attention to. And it’s really, it’s all about focus again.
I’ve talked about this before. If you focus on the alcohol, then you’re going to get alcohol in your life. You know, if you quit drinking and you keep focusing on the thing that you’re missing in life, the alcohol that’s gone, then all your thoughts are going to be surrounded by alcohol. Your desires are going to be focused on alcohol.
You know, if you, when you quit if you focus on sleeplessness, the fact that you can’t sleep, then really that’s what you’re going to get. If you focus on the cravings and symptoms. Side affects, that’s where your brain is going to go you know?
Whereas if you focus instead of looking at behind you and what’s gone is gone, when you focus instead on the front and the future and you focus on saying to yourself – “Well in X number of days or X number of weeks, I’m going to be away from this, you know?” – then that’s what you are going to get also.
You know, I’ve always said this about, you know, it’s the most difficult period of any change in life, even small changes, you know, where you’re trying to change things like biting your fingernails, or you’re trying to change some habit that you’ve got in your work life, or, whatever it is right?
The first thirty days are the most difficult because they’re where you’re trying to break the old rituals and you’re trying to establish new rituals. And you’ve got to think about these things, every time you do them. So, every time you would normally do a ritual, you’ve got to think about it and not do it.
Right, so in order to break the ritual, you’ve got to first think about the ritual and go:
“Oh, I’m doing that again” or
“I’m reaching for my nails, I’m reaching to bite my nails” or
“When I’m in the Supermarket, I’m reaching to buy the Four Cheese Pizza” or
“I’m going, I’m heading down towards the Pub, my thoughts are headed that way”
And you’ve got to correct yourself. So often in the early days that it is very difficult and it’s tiring. But once you get past that, it becomes, easier and easier, even during that first month. It does become easier as you go along.
But once you get past that thirty day mark, it’s a physiological barrier, the first month is down, you’ve got a month behind, you’ve got a month of experience behind you and it becomes a lot easier to push yourself forward. And, now if you start the whole thing by focusing on the forward journey and focusing on the things that your aiming towards, on that first month even.
You’re focusing on trying to push yourself to something else in your life, so, you know, if you’re focusing your mind on getting out walking every day for instance. Or starting a running routine. Or starting an exercise routine or something like that. You know, some people say – “Well should I start, should I try and make a couple of changes at once?”
Well you know, if you’re stopping drinking alcohol. That’s one change. If you’re trying to exercise more or you’re trying to build up your nutrition more. Trying to feed yourself better food, you know, that’s a completely different change, but they’re two changes where one is trying to stop doing something and the other is trying to build something into your life. They’re compatible changes.
Two incompatible changes are trying to stop cigarettes while you’re trying to stop alcohol, right? You’ve got this double whammy all the time, and it’s very tiring, you know.
Like I say at the beginning, you’ve got a whole host of things in the first few days where you’re just trying to break down tiny little rituals. You’re trying to break down your unconscious habit of doing these things. If you’ve got two habits that you’re trying to break down, it’s very difficult to, you know, do this on a consistent level.
It’s why a lot of people fail. You know, they start out January, they’ve got a whole list of different things that they want to change about themselves and they try everything at once, you know. Or they, they, say – “Well I want to try and get myself in shape.” They get a Gym Membership, they just try and do too much at one time, you know, and they tire themselves out, they wear themselves out, they wear their willpower out and they wear their body out, you know.
And, they wear their minds, they cannot capable of carrying on in this way, so they just fail and they get overwhelmed by the whole thing. So, you’ve got to focus your mind, focus your attention on one specific thing in the beginning, one thing that you want to get rid off and the thing that you want to replace it by, you know.
I mean you can, go out and you can start a regular exercise routine, start it out slow, and you can also, start to add, bits and pieces into your life, that are going to feed you, you know, bits of food and stuff like that. So, you’re taking one thing out of your life.
Maybe you could start with your breakfast and make sure that you get a good healthy breakfast. Or maybe you’re not eating breakfast, so you can start by having a good healthy breakfast. Including that in your day, you know? These things are very small and little additions and they can become of eventual habit that you do on a day to day basis you know?
If you look back at this quotation, my experience of what I agree to pay attention to. The biggest word in there is agree, right? Because this is all a choice. It’s what you, you have a choice on what you focus your attention on, it’s your mind, it’s your choice to do this.
You choice to drink or you choose not to drink. You choose to focus your attention on the alcohol, your past life, or your future life, right? So, you know, this is all down to you, you know.
It’s not that, the easiest thing to do, as they say in the beginning, you’ll going to have these times when you’ll just feel that you’re sick of doing this, that it’s all too much, but you have to push through, you have to keep your focus on the goal in front of you, keep your focus on where you want to go and what you want to achieve in life and once you do that, I’m telling you it makes it so much easier.
One of the things that I came across, I’ll do a Video about this, but just one of the things that came across very quickly, was, having like a wall where you stick all the pictures and posters and sayings and quotations, that anything that you can do that will inspire you.
So, call it an Inspiration Wall, I can’t remember the exact name, the term that I heard, but it’s basically somewhere where you, you’re, maybe it’s in your Office or your Bedroom, or your Front Room or wherever it is. And it’s somewhere, where you see every day and when you need inspiration you can come up to this wall and go – “Well these are the things that I want to get in my life.”
And it can be things, it can be representation of feelings or, you know, happiness or you want to be loved, or you want to be in a relationship. Or whatever it is for you that you want in your future live, have either the picture of the thing you want or the representation of it, you know, in your mind.
And I think that can really help to focus your mind, when you’re feeling a bit low and feeling a bit unfocused. So, anyway, I’m going to break it there.
“My experience is what I agree to attend to”
Until next time…
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