This morning, I found myself curiously watching an old man sitting by the sidewalk. He looked like he was having difficulty breathing and was coughing so hard. But that’s not really what caught my attention.
What made me watch longer was that despite his difficulty and seeming pain, he was still holding a lit cigarette in his right hand.
When he slightly calmed down from coughing, he lifted the cigarette up to his mouth and puffed twice, triggering his cough once again.
Why? I wondered.
It’s likely he knew that the thing in his hand is the very cause of his discomfort.
And yet, he held on to it.
Then again, I thought, aren’t we all like that old man?
At some point, we all have this thing we love, but we know is not helping us.
Even causing us harm.
These are our weaknesses. The enemy of productivity –of life’s fruitfulness.
And we know that if we can only stop holding on to them, we’ll finally start our way toward our full potential.
Yet, why do we hold on?
Ouch. What Now?
Now, I’m not here to give steps on what to do to conquer weaknesses.
I know for a fact that there is no formula for this.
I have been fortunate enough to have friends who trust me with their stories. And believe me, it is different for each and every story I hear.
We really cannot judge others based on our limited understanding of their personal battles.
At the end of the day, we are all just fighting our own weaknesses.
What I can only do is share from my perspective.
It’s a Daily Fight
I find that the first line of defense is awareness.
You cannot fight what you don’t know exists.
Honest and humble self-assessment is key.
It is hard, but I try to set aside some time to check whether the current activities I love doing really do contribute to my goals.
And often, when I catch myself overly attached to things that doesn’t push me in the right direction, I do the necessary steps to make myself stop.
Most times, it really is more complex than it sounds. So much so that I need to be smart about it.
Setting Up a Strategy
I know someone who got so addicted to a certain game, he had to set a strategy in place just to be able to stop.
First, he had to create an alternative identity (separate emails, a Facebook account), transfer everything related to the game, before he could totally remove it in his real accounts.
Once all those certain game-related stuff were disconnected from his real accounts, the desire to play died down.
At first, he still checked the alternate account, but after a while of having to do that extra step of logging into a separate account, he just got tired of it.
Now he has not played that specific addictive game for months.
With a smirk on his face, he tries his best to focus on being productive.
And even started blogging again.
I like that guy.
Okay, okay. I’m talking about myself. :)
Weaknesses Have Weaknesses Too
In the case of that certain game addiction I mentioned above, I noticed that the strength of its hold on me was due to the fact that I see it every time I log on to my social media accounts.
So I figured, if I am to stop being so drawn to it, I need to purge anything that makes it so attractive.
If you have identified a weakness, and you want to conquer it once and for all, you have to be smart about it.
Set a strategy in place.
Identify the first mini-steps you can take to win your battle.
And if I were to give a piece of advice, find a friend you can talk to.
Someone who can listen.
Never underestimate the power of a listening friend.
Who knows, when you finally win your battle, maybe it will be your turn to be the friend who will lend an ear. :)
Cheers! See you tomorrow.