So my team came up to me a while ago and they floated this idea of shaving for a cause. They figured we could get a bunch of people in the office to shave their facial hair, we’d livestream it and have the team and our clients donate some money for Aussie farmers who were struggling with the drought. (We made a vlog about it which you can watch here: http://bit.ly/watch-episode5-infinityeffect)
Bit of fun for a good cause, I was cool with it - when it was other people shaving. When they ‘volunteered’ me, I wasn’t that keen on it. The idea of shaving my beard gave me feelings of apprehension and anxiety, which is crazy. It’s just facial hair. The stuff will grow back.
And then someone spoke up and said “If you guys are committing to shaving for a cause I will also commit to quitting smoking.” That was when I committed to shaving my beard. Doing small things can make a huge difference. If shaving was enough to make another person enact a positive change in their life, then I was happy to do it.
I get why people smoke. I understand on a personal level, since I used to be a smoker when I was younger. I also understand on a professional level what it is that drives people to smoke.
The biggest misconception that people believe around destructive habits and addictions is that they are the problem. They aren’t. These habits are actually a ‘solution’ for a much larger, deeper problem. An unproductive solution, but a solution nonetheless.
These destructive habits are usually an attempt to compensate for something that we feel is lacking in our lives: support, affection, connection, belonging, purpose, joy, anything really. We have something missing in our lives and we try to numb that pain with anaesthesthia: drugs, alcohol, food, diet, TV, gambling, sex, and so on.
Giving up smoking isn’t as simple as just not smoking anymore. There’s something that has driven and continues to drive every smoker to smoke. You beat smoking by figuring out what is pushing you to smoke, and dealing with that first.
But it’s not easy. So kudos to each and every individual who makes the decision to look after self, to deal with the core issues that are creating the addiction, creating the problem at hand, and refocusing on how to live life more resourcefully.