I was looking back over some of my previous Motivation Monday posts (Youtube vids here, check them out), I’ve noticed that the common denominator in these videos is linked to alcohol and the need to work past the energy draining side effects. I literally woke up on a Tuesday morning 3 weeks ago feeling utterly depressed. I had spent the entire day before draining cans of beer and accomplishing little else.
I feel depressed every now and then, like every normal person, but this was next level.
In the past I used to almost enjoy the hangover day. It was essentially a write-off, I didn’t hold myself accountable to do anything that day, and I generally would have spent it horizontal in front of the TV with a bag of chips.
How things have changed.
I found myself angry that I didn’t make use of the day. I was anxious that I didn’t create anything meaningful that I enjoy (writing, videos, building my online presence), and it felt like I had essentially just wasted time. As I’ve gotten older, time feels much more precious.
You know that feeling when you know you should have done something, wanted to do something, but just didn’t get round to it and that feeling of dissatisfaction just lingers, clouding your whole day. No? That’s OK. I was living that. Procrastination at its’ best.
What a catalyst this feeling was. It was serendipitous that I just so happened to be listening to a podcast on the walk to work that dealt with eliminating addictions. I know I’m not addicted to drinking, but I have a funny habit of opening a can of beer (with no off switch) if there is any downtime and all I want to do is pass the time for the lack of something better to do.
Inspired by the call to action to kick this habit that was creating so much unnecessary depression, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the book almost the very next week (written by the very same person being interviewed in the podcast) 30-Day Sobriety Solution by Jack Canfield and Dave Andrews.
What was a spark of motivation for change before, became a bonfire of momentum.
Even after the first couple of days following the day by day reading and actions outlined in the book, a shift of incredible magnitude happened. I no longer was thinking of when that next drink would help me pass the time. Instead I was (and am) waking up each day with increasing passion and drive to do what creates the most fulfilment in my life at this point in time. I was exposed to solutions that didn’t even have to relate to drinking, but practices that translate to every facet of your life.
Holy shit Batman!
I’m at a point in my life where I have moved overseas, far from my regular support group of amazing friends and family, and I have never really put too much deep thought into practices of appreciation, gratitude, and recognising my limiting beliefs. To be honest, this is the most settled (in terms of staying in one place), that I have been for the last 5 years. My life you used to be separated by a plane trip to a different location every 3 weeks. That sort of lifestyle keeps you occupied. Now that I am in one place, the mind does not have the distraction of travel and adventure, and is instead looking for something else that is fulfilling and meaningful.
Bit heavy right?
Without sounding pious, this sobriety experiment has been an amazing gift. If you knew me in past life, I was going out 4 nights a week, and would never hesitate to wing man (or woman) because I didn’t want to let my friend down. That was my rationalisation.
Everyone has evolving values as they continue their journey of life. I’m no different. The drinking aspect aside, I think the most valuable lessons I have learnt since starting this sobriety experiment are those practices I mentioned before;
Identifying Limiting Beliefs
Add in some journaling and you’re in for an internal shift whether you like it or not. Fortunately, it’s for the better.
I did take a hiatus from the experiment during a camping trip over the weekend to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.
It was an amazing weekend in the Canadian outdoors, sharing beers, stories and making new friends. I still enjoy social drinking, and I’m moving closer to finding that off switch.
Sticking my head out of my tent multiple times to vomit was all that I needed to confirm what the last 3 weeks had taught me, and galvanise my new approach to drinking, and how it serves me going forward.
So enough about me.
What are some habits that you think you might like to change? It doesn’t have to be drinking, it can be anything that you might identify with that is holding you back from doing what you really love.
Of course it might not be that deep. Maybe it’s something that would help you improve your fitness, health, relationships, financial situation … anything really!
On the other hand, are you someone that already practices gratitude, appreciation, and has identified their limiting beliefs? What would be your message to others about incorporating these practices into their daily lives? What other practices would include (or exclude)?
I want to hear your thoughts and comments, so please share!
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