The strength to quit drinking alcohol comes from persistence. Bruce Lee one of my childhood heroes said, “Strength doesn’t come from physical capacity it comes from indomitable will.”
Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence. Persistence is one of the best habits you can ever develop because it will help you throughout your life in a variety of different areas. Napoleon Hill said that “Persistence is to the character of man as carbon is to steal”. How successful you are in any of your endeavours will be largely determined by your levels of persistence and discipline.
My Son and I practised Taekwondo about twelve years ago and it was something we did for about four years. One of the tenants of Taekwondo, the one that you need, is to have an indomitable will. This was taught to us regardless of what we were doing in the classroom. It was about persisting and pushing through, regardless of your opponent or how tired you were and it really helped.
After a days’ work, I would be knackered when I got home, but Shaun would be going “Come on we’re going to Taekwondo” and I would be tired when I went in, but after the classes I always felt exhilarated. It was a weird feeling and it was illogical in a way.
I went in feeling tired and feeling that I didn’t want to do anything but sit in front of the television, have a couple of Beers (I was drinking at the time) and relax, but after doing those physically demanding exercises, I found they really gave me a strength and I’d come out feeling like I was drugs!
I was flying! And that’s why I am so convinced that no matter what it is out of life that you want to get, you can find those highs, you can find those buzzes that you want in life just by doing something else physical or mental. You can find those natural highs in life, you just have to push yourself past a certain boundary, through a false wall that you’ve put up, and once you can push yourself through that wall you can find the things that you are looking for and they will be a better version of it.
I’d much prefer to have that buzz and high that I had coming out of those classes than anything I got from sitting in front of the television drinking beer and getting wasted.
Now a quote that really struck me was from a Guy called Hal Borland and it says “Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”
I was in Forestry for ten years and it was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. I was out in nature and I was doing something that I loved doing and it was a free spirit sort of thing. The first part of this quote – “Knowing trees I understand patience.” You put a tree into the ground as a sapling or even a seed and it takes a long, long, time for the tree to grow and mature into a fully-grown tree.
One of the best books I’ve ever read about trees was a book called “A biography of a Tree” and it was written from the perspective of writing a biography of a person and talking about them from birth, and how they went through childhood, teenage years, college years and so forth.
This tree started out as a seed, which grew into a sapling, which eventually grew into an old Oak tree, reaching out above the canopy and eventually it was struck by lightning, which made a hole in the side, that festered and got bigger and eventually the tree lost its stability, cracked and fell to the ground. But then life continued after the tree had died, the seeds that had fallen off, continued again.
I thought it was an interesting perspective, but if it was over a person’s life time, it would be over 80 or 90 years but the tree had grown for 300 years. So, the point is when you are quitting drinking or doing anything in life one of the things you need most is patience.
When you are starting out on this journey, things won’t happen very quickly. You’ve got to focus on so many things that you’ve got to do to move yourself from the drinker that you are now into the person who never thinks about alcohol. That thinks on a completely different level, that thinks about who they want to be.
The person who gets up every day and is buzzing because of the things that they are going to do that day, the improvements and steps upwards they are going to make and they are moving inexorably towards their goals, towards their targets that they want to achieve, whether those targets are at the end of the week or the end of the month or the end of the year.
Like a tree, you’ve got to not only have persistence you need to feed and nourish it for it to grow and it’s the same thing for yourself. You’ve got to feed and nourish your body in order to extend the quality and quantity of your life. You’ve got to feed it, grow your mind, educate yourself to grow your mind. I believe some people stop educating themselves when they leave school and that is a big mistake.
Learning is something that you keep doing regardless. Whether you are learning how to do something good with your life or something bad, it is still learning, it is a learning process. We’re learning animals. So, it is up to you to self direct and manage that learning so that you know what you are going to learn, where it will take you and what the outcome of that learning will be.
Patience in itself is a skill. It’s something you can learn. You don’t see a kid that’s patient, some are more patient than others but in general, babies are pretty impatient. When they want feeding, they want feeding and they take that impatience into their toddler years, childhood and teens.
Eventually they learn to become patient, because there are other people around them and people don’t tolerate impatience so they have to learn that patience. It’s a skill that you learn and can add to as adults.
The second part of that quote “Knowing grass I can appreciate persistence.” Think about where grass grows. Grass grows whether it’s on a lawn, wherever, it gets walked over. People walk on the grass all the time. It can grow through concrete, wherever there is a crack, grass will grow. Grass is persistent. If it is burnt it will grow again next year and persistence is another skill that you can learn.
Persistence starts out with a commitment, so you have to have that one hundred percent commitment first of all. You have to take the choice, make the decision “This is what I am going to do, I am committed to doing this.” Commitment doesn’t mean to say that you are not going to make failures. You’re not going to have defeat but it does mean that when you do have a failure, when you are defeated, that you get back up and you start again.
You carry on with the journey. You’re never going to have to go back to the beginning against because of what you’re learning. Because you are all the time educating yourself in a positive way. You are directing your own education and skill set and it’s through that commitment and that persistence that you will step up to the next level, the next level and the next.
We are always going to have failure. There are always going to be obstacles in your way whether in the form of environment, thoughts or people around you. There is always going to be an obstacle in one form or another but it’s having the commitment and having the persistence to go “It doesn’t matter what obstacles come my way. I’m going to step around those obstacles. I’m going to dig under them. I’m going to climb over them or I’m going to plough the fuck through these obstacles. I’m going to break these obstacles apart if I have to but I’m going to persist with my journey. This is where I am going to go.”
That is the thing that you have to keep doing and the more you do that the more self confidence you will get and the more satisfaction you will get in your own abilities, the more you can pat yourself on the shoulder and say to yourself, “Job well done!”
The more self confidence you have, the more you’ll get to persist, to carry on, to take the next step up, to get even further up in the clouds, to start looking around and just seeing a different perspective entirely.
Persistence builds inner strength. Inner strength builds more persistence and without persistence where are you? Where are you? You’re nowhere. You’re not going to achieve anything.
You’ll not going to be able to quit drinking alcohol without persistence because if you don’t have that initial commitment and persistence to uphold that commitment 100% and to push through any blocks that you can find in your way; if you don’t have that, if you don’t develop that, then every time you try and do something that’s difficult you are going to pull back and say, “I’ll do it tomorrow.”
It’s easy to go down to the Pub. It’s easy to go down to the liquor store and buy a six pack of beer or a bottle of wine and give into your temptation and then, where are you? You are weakened by your own inabilities. You’re weakened by your own lack of persistence. You’re weakened by your own lack of commitment.
I remember reading somewhere that somebody asked Einstein what the capital of a certain European Country was and he couldn’t answer it, he said “I don’t know.” And the fellow said to him “You’re supposed to be a genius how can you not know this?” He said, “I don’t know everything. If I want to know facts like this I’ll go to an Encyclopaedia.”
Einstein said he wasn’t that smart, he just stayed with problems longer. That when he had a problem, he just stuck it out. He persisted. He had a commitment to a certain line of thinking and he just stuck to it longer than anybody else and that was how he was able to come up with some fantastic ideas.
I always talk about cornerstone habits, and one of the cornerstone habits you can always develop in your life, is persistence and commitment. Once you get into your head that you can’t achieve anything without the commitment or persistence, it becomes a cornerstone habit.
Quitting drinking alcohol is a cornerstone habit in itself or what you replace it with is a cornerstone habit. So, drinking alcohol in the first place is a cornerstone habit. It allows you to branch off into other different bad behaviours. Areas where it doesn’t take much thinking to other places; eating shit food, not exercising enough, not exercising your brain… on and on.
Same thing when you quit drinking and you refuse to take that route any more. It becomes a cornerstone habit, it becomes a part of you that says, “I’m not doing that. Regardless of what happens I am never drinking again. No. I’m not doing it, I am persisting with the discomfort, the discomfort is going to pass and that’s it. Me – onwards and upwards. End of story.”
If you have any questions about this at all, leave a comment down below. Come on over to the website and sign up for our ‘Alcohol Mastery Starter Pack’ which is absolutely free, there’s three different courses, three different e-books and they are going to help you make this journey.
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I really want to make alcohol mastery into something which is helping a lot more people than it’s helping today and I know it’s helping a lot of people already, but I just want to bring in other people that are very good at what they do and could help take the website to the next level.
“Cornerstone Habit; is one that has an effect on all other habits. The secret to breaking any bad habit; is to love something greater than the habit.”
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!