Sunday June 15, 2008

The power of pain



This is the third in a series of seven articles on creating the will to stop smoking. This week, we look at the role of pain in quitting smoking.

WHEN I meet a client who wants to quit smoking, I always ask why he/she wants to quit.

Usually, their answers vary over a wide variety of reasons.

That’s not important here to discuss because it is just their statement to quit.

I normally ask them the next question, which always sets them on panic mode – what is the price they are willing to pay to quit?

Their minds would be racing, and they would be thinking in terms of ringgit and sens – my fees. Will it be too high?

I ask them again, calmly: “What price are you willing to pay to grow?”

Even as little children, we have always been trained to approach pain and struggles as negative.

But pain is an important positive factor for success. Have you heard of the saying “No pain, no gain”?

You must understand that pain is just a label that you have learnt previously and associated it with unpleasantness. When you are relaxed, it is gone.

Step three: The power of pain – the fertiliser to successful cessation of smoking

There are many components that create pain.

With reference to quitting the habit of smoking, the “pain” can be that you would feel the effects of quitting on your current lifestyle habits. It can also result because of fear.

“What would life be without my lover, the cigarette?” said a smoker to me.

Yes! To quit smoking is like handling a break-up.

You need to decide whether your cigarette, while giving you benefits and pleasure emotionally in situations like loneliness, boredom, inspiration or loving support, is silently hurting you inside and in the long run is going to ruin you.

You have handled such relationships before, knowing what’s best for your life in the long term.

Perhaps, it is time to realise the real pain smoking causes and change your original painful concept of quitting into a pleasurable one.

What you must do now

It’s time to appreciate the true value of pain to accomplish quitting smoking.

Pain really has always been a “positive” way the body uses to “show” us that something needs to be made better or repaired. It is not meant for you to react and run away from.

It is natural that you may feel pressured along the way – in the form of feelings and cravings – and want to take a step back and return to smoking.

When we come to such a stage, we must always remember our dear friend “courage” – it always arises when we summon it forward. Freedom needs a bold step.

I read a book once called the Rhythm of Life and the author termed freedom as “the strength of character to do the right thing”.

Is going through the inconvenience of quitting smoking a character enhancing experience of doing the “right thing” in your life?

Is freedom the development of your focus and attitude to succeed?

I have posed these questions to you so that you will awaken the cigarette slayer that resides in you now!

At this moment, you will realise the potential of your mind and body to help you if you persistently allow it.

Appreciate the pains of your effort now. Bear through it and just allow it to exist for a while. Keep your absolute focus on your target to quit. Raise the cigarette slayer in you.

Julian A Leicester is the designer of the Cigarette Slayer Quit Smoking method. For more information, email The views expressed are those of the writer and readers are advised to always consult expert advice before undertaking any changes to their lifestyles. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to the content appearing in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.