We all do things because someone else made us do them. When
you're a young child and your parents tell you to go to bed,
you'd better go to bed. At an early age we learn to respect our
parents, respect authority, "do what you're told", follow
Without doing as we're told, society would be in constant chaos.
Criminals--bank robbers, for example--aren't doing what they're
told. Instead, they disobey laws put in place by our government
to protect the safety and well-being of law-abiding citizens.
Laws and rules and authority and leadership are very important
to maintaining order. They give each of us a cushion of trust
that everyone will do the right thing.
No one would dare drive down the street if they couldn't trust
the other drivers to stay on their side of the road, to stop at
traffic lights and stop signs, and follow all the other laws
governing driving. The laws bring order and control to what
could be a deadly environment. In fact, deaths and injuries
usually only occur when someone disobeys the law.
Clearly, following rules, obeying the law, and doing as you're
told is important to your life.
But what happens when the rules and laws and control over your
life become oppressive? What happens when the control is taken
from you, then taken to extremes over you? Without getting
overly political, you begin to lose your personal freedoms and
liberty. History is filled with stories of oppressive
governments that took away personal freedoms. Government leaders
wanted to control every aspect of their citizen's lives, from
the jobs they held to the thoughts in their heads.
There's another type of oppressive control that may be taking
place right now, in YOUR life: You no longer feel free to quit
At first, you were in control. You would smoke only when YOU
wanted to. It was fun, cool, exciting, defiant! You smoked when
and if you wanted to. And you probably had to really WANT to
smoke when you first started, because it tasted so bad and
burned your lungs too much. You didn't like the taste and you
weren't really addicted yet, so you were in control, consciously
making the decision to smoke.
Then something changed. You started to like smoking a little.
You started to need it. You started to crave it. Just a little.
Soon, you had to have a smoke when you got stressed. It relieved
tension and made the day easier. You'd go for a few hours
without a cigarette, but then you felt a gnawing in your mouth
and throat and fingers and your mind telling you you had to
Oh, you didn't like the feeling that you HAD to do anything, so
you told yourself, "I'm not smoking anymore. I quit." But very
soon, often within hours or even minutes of stating your
defiance, you were smoking "just one more."
You realized that your once-defiant act of smoking had now come
to defy you. No longer were you in control of IF you smoked.
Now, you only seemed to control WHEN you smoked: "every morning
when I get up, after breakfast, driving to work, mid-morning at
my coffee break, just before lunch, after lunch, mid-afternoon
when I'm getting sleepy, after work driving home, again when I
get home, after dinner, and just before going to sleep." Then
you realized that smoking had taken over and programmed your
life. It dictated where you went to eat, who your friends were,
who you could date and marry, where you vacation, how much money
you paid for insurance and dry cleaning, and how much money you
had left over each year after paying for cigarettes.
You realized that you had become an oppressed citizen of
Cigarettes, doing, thinking, living, feeling, spending, going,
eating, sleeping, whenever They dictated. You no longer had any
rights. The Cigarettes were now in control of every part of your
But you decided you weren't going to take it any more. Just like
a citizen's revolt in a country with oppressive leaders, you
rose up and demanded your rights! You removed the leaders who
had control of your life and you sent them into exile!
You knew that starting over and setting up new rules for your
life wouldn't be easy, but you knew you couldn't stand the
dictators who once ruled your life. So you gritted your teeth and
set about making a plan of action. You "laid down the law"--the
new law. You were now Sheriff and President and Dictator and
King and you could make any and every law you wanted. The Royal
Crown was placed firmly upon your head!
First, you chose to admit the mistakes of the past, learn from
them and then let them go. You were moving to the future!
Second, you decided to learn from other "Kings" and "Queens" who
successfully revolted. Surely these were some wise men and women
who could properly advise you.
Third, you set a date for yourself for the time when your new
"rule of law" would go into effect. All the old laws of the
previous dictatorship would be thrown out on this specific date.
Fourth, you "cleaned house" by removing all vestiges of your
former rulers. You didn't need reminders of their tyranny lying
around your new palace.
Fifth, you made a commitment to yourself that you would never
allow the dictators whom once controlled you to regain power.
You knew YOUR benevolent form of rule was best for you and
Sixth, you created strategies to deal with the exiled leaders
when they attempted to take your power away from you again. You
knew they would try this so you planned ways to fight them.
Seventh, you mapped out a series of rewards for yourself when
your reign of power reached various milestones. You looked
forward to a royal vacation one year after taking power!
Congratulations on your ascension to power! May you never be
dethroned! May you always wear the Royal Smoke-Free Crown!
About The Author
** Article © Copyright Fred Kelley of QuitSmoking.com. Visit the web site at http://www.quitsmoking.com
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