Sunday, January 18, 2009

Barack Obama Doesn't Want to Quit Smoking

Look, as a therapist who helps people to quit smoking for a living, I am a compassionate guy. The headline above isn't intended to be a knock on the new President, it's a statement of fact based on my experience.

The reason I say he doesn't want to quit is this: here is a man who has demonstrated a degree of determination that is virtually unparalleled. To become President of the United States, you really have to want it... and that's an understatement.

When it comes to quitting smoking, or changing any habit or behavior, determination is the number one prerequisite for success. When I think of a man like Barack Obama, who has made so many sacrifices in order to achieve what he's achieved, I believe that when it comes down to it, he can do anything he truly wants to do.

About three years ago, my best friend quit smoking after 15+ years - cold turkey. He did it because he refused to smoke around his newborn son. He made a decision to quit, and he instinctively knew that nothing could ever make him smoke again against his will. He admits that at times he has missed smoking, and has really desired a cigarette, but he would never give in to the desire because he knows the consequences.

So when you read all the articles in the news about how Obama is going to "try" to quit... or he's "struggling" with his "addiction," keep in mind that no one is forcing him to smoke, that thousands of people quit every year - for their children, their families, themselves - and that any honest smoker must admit the problem isn't that they can't quit... it's that they haven't yet harnessed the right motivation.

If you can't see clearly the benefits of quitting... or the consequences of continuing to smoke... then you won't really want to quit.

Therefore, if Barack Obama truly wants to quit, then...

Yes, he can.

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