Let’s do things a bit differently today.
Under normal circumstances I provide helpful tidbits, tricks, and life hacks. Never do I intend to tell anyone that they must do anything I suggest. They don’t. I cannot force them. It’s entirely each reader’s own choice whether or not to take my words to heart, or to attempt any of my suggestions.
Typically, it’s up to my readers whether or not they will just consume and enjoy my words and thoughts or if they will choose action, but as I said this time is different. In this article I am going to tell others what to do. I’m going to employ a little bit of tough love. I’m writing this because I care. I’m doing it because all of you, my readers, are worth it.
Recently I listened to an episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show that featured an interview with former business leader at YouTube and Google, Kim Scott. Scott’s words inspired me to take a different approach in this piece. Kim Scott is legit. She is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the book, Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity.
During the interview Scott discussed her concept of “Radical Candor.” She layed out embarrassing and regretful instances in her life where she should have said something about the actions and the work of people she cared about, and instead chose to not say anything. Other times she said something, but just wasn’t direct enough in her feedback and words. In those instances her lack of input led to far greater consequences than the minor and temporary discomfort of having the needed tough and candid conversations at the offset. Her stories really hit home.
After listening I reflected on the many times in my past when I chose not to say something when I could have, as well as other opportunities that I squandered trying to be delicate or overly polite when I should have just been direct. That’s not going to happen here.
Today I feel empowered to have a fierce conversation with you. Are you ready?
It’s a good time to be a quitter.
I’m not telling you to quit your job or your passions. Nor am I suggesting that you cease any of those amazing habits you’ve been developing and working on. The daily practices of doing what you know you have to are awesome. In those instances I don’t want you to change a thing.
It’s the other things I’m sternly telling you to quit. You know the ones I’m talking about. It’s the unhealthy eating, the lack of exercise, and the cigarette smoking. Quit that shit!
Not only are you systematically cutting years off your lifespan doing things you know you shouldn’t, but there are extensive lists of reasons to quit that you are conveniently ignoring. Quit it.
Let’s start with the unhealthy dietary habits.
We’re not going to take a deep dive into the science behind bad eating. I’ll only briefly mention that processed sugars and GMOs increase our propensity to get cancer and a host of other physical ailments. That science is available through a quick internet search. Those should be the only reasons any of us need to fix our eating habits, but unfortunately they’re not. We still eat and drink junk.
On top of the obvious, but inconveniently ignored reasons to stop, eating and drinking processed sugars rots our teeth, it causes breakouts on our skin, and increases inflammation in our joints and the rest of our body. In other words, eating shitty foods makes us look and feel worse. It’s past time to quit it.
Start reading labels. Learn about the ingredients that are in your food and beverages. Be sure to keep an eye on not just the calorie count, but also the added sugars and salts.
A lot of foods are marketed to us as healthy alternatives. Sports drinks are an excellent example of this. Gatorade and Vitamin Waters have as much sugar in them as a can of soda. Why are they the first thing you reach for when it’s time to rehydrate?
Choose water, or tea as a substitute for sports drinks, sodas, and sugary “juices.” Choose raw nuts, vegetables, and fresh fruit in lieu of granola bars that are basically candy, or chips, many of which are labelled as natural. Train your body and mind to crave things that are good for it through repetition. You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel and look. You’ll probably even see the pounds and extra fat dropping off your body as well.
Another thing you need to quit immediately is cigarette smoking. Quit that!
If you are still smoking cigarettes and other nicotine products in 2019, you’re being idiotic.
Sorry not sorry I say it so harshly, but you know I’m right. You don’t have to admit it to me or anyone else, but you cannot deny it to yourself.
You’ve seen the PSAs. You know the detriment you are causing to your physical being. I don’t need to reiterate it. Rather, I hope to approach the conversation from novel angles. Please remember I’m doing this from a position of caring. I want you to live a long and healthy life. I hope to see you be the best version of yourself possible.
One reason you should quit cigarettes is the monetary cost. Each pack of smokes is six or seven dollars. Many of you are smoking a pack day. Some of you smoke two packs or more. Without even doing any math this should seem ridiculous, but we’re going to do the math anyway.
For this conversation let’s conservatively estimate each of you smoke one pack per day. Again conservatively, we will run with the six dollar per pack assessment. On average a pack of cigarettes contains twenty death sticks.
That’s thirty cents per cigarette. That doesn’t seem that bad, right?
How does $2190 per year sound? To me, it sounds like a hefty death tax.
What would $2190 buy you? That could be one to two months rent or mortgage per year, or ten trips to Costco.
I’ll bet many of you have avoided this math. I used to make two trips per day to the coffee shop. Price-wise, that was about a two pack a day habit. After crunching the numbers of what I spending I bought myself an espresso machine. I started brewing hot and cold coffees at home. Now I feel rich in comparison to when I used to dump money into Howard Schultz’s¹ bonus payouts.
It sure will be nice for you to pocket that cigarette money as well!
Some of you won’t be moved enough by the idea of keeping extra money in your pocket to quit smoking. Maybe you smoke because you like how it makes you feel enough to justify the cost. But what about the social costs?
Did you realize you smell like an ashtray? Your clothes stink, your hair and fingernails stink, and your car and home stinks!
Right now you attempt to go on pretending that I’m wrong and you don’t smell awful. Perhaps smoking has caused you to singe your sense of smell so thoroughly that you actually can’t tell. I recommend asking a friend that will be brutally honest with you, like I am doing.
In addition to how your smoking habit has you smelling like smokey garbage, when you choose to smoke in public you’re forcing others to inhale your death fumes. It’s not just the strangers in proximity that you don’t care about either. It’s your family and pets, and it’s your friends and coworkers, that you are frustrating and harming. You are not giving these others a choice either.
Stop telling yourself that there’s nothing wrong with smoking, and that you cannot stop. You can quit! I believe in you. You just need to believe in yourself.
Your poor diet, or the cigarette smoking, or both are keeping you from enjoying life to its utmost potential.
Your endurance sucks. You are struggling to be fit and to exercise. You’re doing consistent damage to your body and your future. And if your partner can even stand your stench or taste, your stamina is literally leaving so much to be desired in the bedroom. It’s time to become a quitter of all those things!
You cannot outrun your mouth. You cannot workout enough to offset your current detrimental habits. Until you change something you will not be satisfied with your physical state.
I’m no saint.
Sweets and desserts are like crack cocaine for me. Often I come up with novel ways to fool myself into allowing my sweet addiction to take hold. I sneak an extra cookie (or three). I take another piece of chocolate (or three). I hide my snacking and dispose of candy wrappers before anyone can see that I’ve indulged. I even come up with asinine rules to justify continuing to feed (pun intended) my cravings.
Sometimes I have to wonder if it will take me losing a toe or foot to enact real change. It has happened to others on my family tree.
Luckily, I have those in my life who will call me on my bullshit when I start the downward spiral of lying to myself. With there candor guiding me, I will continually seek out ways to control these urges.
Today I’m that person for you, and I don’t plan on quitting on you anytime soon.
Let’s quit these awful habits before we end up with cancer or some other tragic health deficiencies. Let’s be quitters together and start working on our guts that we’re so self-conscious about.
Let’s quit the fast food and the excuses. Let’s quit blaming others for the things that only we can control, such as our attitudes, our drive, and how we respond to situations and people.
I know I have not perfected any of these suggestions, but I am uncompromisingly determined to quit my own bad habits. You should quit yours too.
We should all strive to become better people.