Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Think positive, Do positive and Be positive!

What is optimism? As per the Oxford Dictionary - optimism is hopefulness and confidence about the future or the success of something. Let's take an example. We are in the last leg of the cricket World Cup 2015 and the entire nation is optimistic that we are going to retain the cup.The nation was positive that the Mr. Narendra Modi would bring in a much wanted change and hence he is our Prime Minister now. The recession hit America was positive that it would jump back to normality over a period of time. Optimism actually can mean different things to different people but for me it's mostly making the best of the bad outcomes in life or looking at the brighter side of life as a whole. So let me take an example of a real life scenario and see how optimism changed my life.

Smoking kills, everybody knows but how many believe in it?  And for people who believe in that truth, why do they do it at the first place? Why are they still indulging in that habit?  Why don’t people quit it forever? Why aren't they able to do it? Ever thought about it?
I have been a smoker myself and I used to puff up quite a few of them. I am an early entrant in this area which was during my teens and have been consistent if not a chain smoker. Hence I am doing “walk-the-talk” and not giving a sermon here!

Normally teens start smoking because they feel it is “cool”. Well even I thought smoking is fun, kind of psychological pleasure. It is quite natural that you do not realize the consequences of this habit at that age and hence care a damn about what people say. I used to smoke a couple of packs when I was in junior college and that gave me a hunk feel. Slowly it followed me at home as well. Whenever I was alone at house, the amount of sticks increased in arithmetic progression and if it was a night out with friends, the numbers followed the geometric progression pattern. My clothes used to stink of nicotine and my shirt or jean pockets had leftovers of tobacco. Finally it had to happen! My parents back home came to know about this habit of mine and they give me piece of their mind. Although it was a tough few sessions to handle but I did not care much because I earned my own pocket money through tuition and so the “give-a-damn” attitude continued. I graduated from college, joined work and the routine came along harder. This time I had more money at my disposal and hence I started buying costlier brands of the cigarettes with an increment in the quantity as well. I did not realize the toll that my body is taking because all these deeds. Did I try to quit in the middle? Yes, I did but was never successful. But then came a time when I had to put my foot down and say this is it!  

I am a complete sportsperson and an active cricketer. I understand that sports and smokes have such negative relationship but I never could actually sense it. In a game of cricket, earlier I could bowl 6 overs on the trot but later the number came down gradually. Thirty minutes under the sun and I would feel tired. One chase to save a boundary and the tongue sticks out! Two laps in the swimming pool and I would gasp for breath. Cigarette is regarded as a stress buster but now this was giving me stress in return. I was ashamed of my fitness level and I immediately knew the root cause. I decided to quit smoking immediately!

Mark Twain said – “Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I've done it thousands of times!” He was 100% right. Kicking the habit was easy but sustaining that was very tough! The most important attribute because of which I was able to sustain this life changing move was “positivity”. I started disbelieving the fact that smoking is an addiction. No, it is not and I really feel it is not how much ever scientifically proven it is. I added positivity by analyzing the amount of savings that I can generate just by doing away with this habit. I always had an excuse to smoke but now I started thinking of reasons why I shouldn't with only one question. Which was more important – sport or smoke and the answer was easy to pick. By putting more efforts on conditioning my body and mind through a lot of physical activities, I stayed positive about the end result. Like the great Dalai Lama says - "Choose to be optimistic. It feels better", I was quite optimistic that it is tough but not impossible and finally here I am, after being quit smoking completely for close to 5 years now.
I have come a long way on this habit and if I really put my head around it, I recognize that there’s nothing great about this. Although I completely agree that it is the most difficult habit to resign but I can truly tell you that it’s a package of pleasure worth kicking! Think all positive effects of quitting smoking, Do positive things to quit smoking and be positive that you can quit smoking! Quitter wins, sometimes!

Optimism is everywhere and with that you can achieve literally anything in life. Stay strong and never give up - that is my story on optimism!

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