How are you doing? I’m Kevin O´Hara for AlcoholMastery.com and today I want to talk about using your imagination to help you to stop drinking.
Now this is not some woo woo thing. I’m not trying to tell to that you can use your imagination and everything else is going to be alright. I don’t think it works like that. You’ve got to mix this thing with action, with thinking, and trying to figure out a plan. Plan for yourself, plan what you are going to do, and from there you can use your imagination in certain aspects of this, right.
This is especially beneficial when you are dealing with so-called cravings and your long term planning especially.
There are a few different areas that I want to talk about really.
So use your imagination to help you to stop drinking. Now when you use your imagination in this way, your possibilities are infinite, you’ve got so many different possibilities, you will never be able to do everything that you can imagine, not because you can’t do them but because you don’t have the time to do them.
As I said at the beginning, this is not some form of woo woo, it’s not like a magic charm that is going to really release you from alcohol and you never look back and all that kind of stuff.
Something like the Secret
I don’t know if you read the book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, there are some great stuff in that. But, the underlying basis of it, I think is, I don’t know if I am misunderstanding it, I think what they are saying is that you can get whatever you can think of, you can get this in the real life just by thinking about it. I don’t think that, I think it’s a bit more to it than that, but anyway, I’m diverting away from the point here, use your imagination every day right.
Whether you are getting dressed for work, you are cooking the dinner, whatever you are doing in life, you are using your mind, you have to think about these things in your brain before they actually come out into the real world.
A thought always precedes an action
The point here is that you should direct your imagination and direct your thoughts. A lot of this stuff goes below the surface, you are not aware of it happening although it is happening. When I’m out walking here, I know where I’m going because can picture it in my head right, the destination.
Your imagination is the starting point for everything, whether it’s your nutrition, your exercise, starting a new job, starting the day, finishing the day, any of those things, everything that you do, most everything that you do, starts off and in your imagination and it’s your choice about which way you direct this, these thoughts, and this imagination, right.
Now this is another one of those areas where, it takes time for you to build up the awarenesss first of all of what you are thinking, to bring these thoughts into your conscious mind and to actually think well, “What am I visualizing in my head, what am I imagining in my head at this particular moment”. It takes time to figure out which are the positives and which are the negatives and then how you are going to deal with that, you know.
You have got to have a positive spin to put on things in order to deal with the negatives…
When you find the negative in your mind you have got to be able to put a positive spin on them. So oftentimes, you figure out what the negative part of it is, but you need to sort of put something positive onto it straight away. You get better and better with this all the time once you know what is happening and how you are progressing through this.
I mean what I’m saying basically is, if you got a choice between thinking positively, thinking positive images, creating positive images or negative images, why the fuck wouldn’t you create positive images you know. It is your choice at the end of the day. This all comes down to – its your brain and just as your brain can manipulate you on occasion right, during these occasions, especially when these things are going underneath your conscious awareness and it’s this habitual thinking that is going on all the time, that you’re used to thinking in certain way about certain things, about certain place in your life, or a certain person or certain time.
I used to know this guy who just hated Christmas
I used to say to him “What you don’t like about Christmas?” He would say, “All this bullshit and people giving each other presents, and it’s all false and the Christmas carols and everyone pretending to be happy and stuff like that”. That was his interpretation of the whole thing and it was just so sad because there was no need for it.
I have Christmas in my own way, I look at Christmas as being a sort of a break for the winter, it breaks up the winter and gives me a chance to get together with my family and have fun and have a laugh and play some games that you just wouldn’t play otherwise. I mean who plays charades at any other time of the year. What you do is stupid stuff like that at Christmas and eat too much and that’s one thing that I have changed about Christmas.
We don’t spend lots of money on Christmas presents anymore because most of the time it’s just a waste of time you just gathering stuff. Now we sort of put the money towards something we use during the year. That’s not everyone’s cup of tea, we haven’t got any kids anymore. Sean always comes over for Christmas, we speak to family in Holland and speak to family back in the UK, we get together and that’s for me Christmas. It could be called anything else, I’m not a religious person anymore, so for me it could be called anything.
I mean, I am more akin to the solstice, you know the winter solstice and the summer solstice…because there is a personal meaning for me, it’s the time of the year when it’s the longest day of the year or the shortest day of the year, so it’s like a turning point in the physical thing.
I would be quite happy to do Christmas day on that day and be quite happy to celebrate the winter solstice so long as the rest of it was there. I know I’m meandering here but this is a meandering pass that sort of goes all over the top of the side of this mountain. So it all depends how you look at things. If you look at things in a negative way, same thing if you are imagining things in a negative way, then that’s what they are going to be.
What you focus on is what you get, what you focus on expands,
If you focus on the negative then the negative will expand, just a fact of life.
So when you are quitting drinking this is where I think the biggest power of using your imagination comes in and you can use this in your past, your present, your future right. In your past, there is not much you can do about your past drinking and what you have done in the past, what have said in the past, what you have drunk, the injuries that you caused to yourself or the people, how much you’ve drunk, how much money you spent on alcohol, it’s all gone.
But you can use your imagination to change how you think about the past right. You can think about it in just a completely different way. I’m not telling you to alter the facts, the facts are the facts, but facts have always got a certain coloring to them. So instead of looking at the past we regret or with shame or negative emotion, you just put a positive emotion on it, you say “Well I am where I am today because of what I have done in my own past and I’m going to be where I am tomorrow, because of the things that I have done in the past”
You know, the people are in your life are there because of who you are and what you have done in the past, your family are there for whatever reason, your children,
I met my wife Angie in a bar in England and through that my son came around, no need to say more. You have to look at the positives. You can’t change the past, why would you even look at it like it’s something bad. Certainly learn from it. Say “Well I’ve made mistakes” but that’s all they are, mistakes so you just go again, you start doing retakes and everybody makes mistakes, anybody on this planet if they say they haven’t made mistakes they are lying their asses off you know. There is no two ways about that because everyone, everyone does it.
You can use your imagination with your present by saying “Well this is the situation I am in, what I can do at this present moment?” You can use it to your present imagination to think about rehearsals, what you are going to do in your future, in the near future. You can use your imagination to think about the present or the very near future. So when you are quitting drinking you can start to think about all the situations that you might find yourself in, in the near future, having to say no to drinks and what you are going to do to relax, all that kind of stuff.
You can rehearse those things in your head, you can say to yourself “Well when this happens to me, I’m going to do that!”
Right, when X happens I am going to do. So when somebody says to me “Do you want a drink there…Have a drink…Come on why are you not drinking…. You have no problem come on…. You know one is not going to hurt you”, all that kind of stuff, you can say “I don’t want to drink, I’m drinking water” or you can say “I’m taking medication”. Whatever you want to say it makes no difference. I’m just saying to have these answers prepared and to use your imagination to figure these out.
In the long term you can use your imagination to figure out where you want to be, what you want to be doing in six months’ time, 12 months’ time, five years, 10 years all that kind of stuff.
I don’t mean just goals, that’s an important part of the whole process, no looking back, looking forward you know, keeping your focus where you want to go instead of where you have come from. It’s a really important part of the whole process. But I’m talking about using your imagination, seeing yourself and what you would think of now as difficult situations. Where everyone else is drinking around you and you are not, you are holding a glass of water or a glass of orange juice or that kind of thing.
Put yourself in those positions a year from now and see yourself with great confidence, see yourself, you are holding that glass of water and you don’t care
You have got pride in yourself because you are the one that is looking after yourself, you are looking after your body, you are looking after your family, you’re are not passing down this bullshit to your kids, that taking any drugs like this is not a good thing to do.
Just use visualization, be there in that situation like, see yourself, feel yourself, feel the pride that you have got for yourself, feel what it’s like to be there, see everything in that situation
What smells are there, what can you hear, who is there, what are they saying to you, you know and picture yourself, picture people saying to you, like “You haven’t touched a drop… You look really good…. It’s suiting you well” And feel good about all that kind of stuff.
I’m just saying the power of imagination, you can use imagination for all sorts of stuff, I have used this in just so many different areas of my life. I have used it to look at my path in a different kind of way. In the beginning I was thinking myself that I was a bad father for doing all the stuff that I’d done, for drinking in front of my son and for acting drunk in front of him and all that kind of stuff. But that is just the way it was so I can sort of use my imagination to sort of look back and just see who he is now, as a man, he is 25 this year and he is such a good person, I’m very biased because he is my son, I completely love him to bits, as a person he is such a nice guy. There is not a bad bone in his body. What I’m doing now is just changing the way he is, just changing the way he thinks about alcohol, and you know it never too late.
For my present stuff I always sort of trying visualize myself doing things now, if I need to put myself in situation where before I would be afraid or outside of my comfort zone or any of that kind of stuff, now I can sort of use, sit down and take 5-10 minutes before going to the situation and imagine it. I can imagine those situations in a positive way and me getting a positive outcome from them. and it always helps, you know, it doesn’t stop you from being scared, fear is a good thing, if you didn’t have fear with these things you wouldn’t be human. It’s a good thing to have your imagination. Mental rehearsal is a great tool to have and for the future I’m always thinking about what I am going to be doing five years from now, 10 years from now. I mean I’m 50 this week and I’m sort of still thinking what I’m going to be like on my 100 birthday so hopefully I will get there.
Look, that’s it for today, have a great day, use your imagination wisely – it is there for you to use, it’s the best tool that you have got in your whole tool box, your mind and what you can do with it is a powerful weapon.
So keep the alcohol out of your mouth, stay safe and until next time, I’m Kevin O´Hara for Alcohol Mastery.
YOU WERE GIVEN THIS LIFE BECAUSE YOU ARE STRONG ENOUGH TO LIVE IT
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!