There are times, and this is one of them, when any plans I have, like writing something new, coming up with brilliant ideas, or giving up sugar for a month disappear into the ether.
Ever had a day like that? You want to do something really badly, but somehow can’t?
Regardless of lost ideas or sugar, if I’m going to practice what I preach, I can’t really focus on what I don’t have or can’t do.
But talking of preaching, hmmm a rather nice segue into a story that I heard in Church last week.
Church and cigarettes
Jerry had been a smoker all his life and had tried umpteen times to give it up. He’d thrown his cigarettes away, tried a patch, hypnosis…in fact every time someone had a new idea on how to give up smoking Jerry enthusiastically jumped at the opportunity to kick the habit out of his life for ever. All to no avail.
Eventually he ended up talking to our Minister. His doctors had said he needed to stop smoking, his health was being seriously damaged and Jerry was at his wits end…he’d already tried everything and nothing worked.
The Minister said he could help if Jerry would just do as he said. Providing you don’t ask me to repeat all the things I’ve tried Jerry told him.
Just do what I say
Here’s what I want you do the Minister said.
When you open your cigarettes I want you to say, thank you Lord I’m no longer a smoker and then when you get the cigarette out of the packet say again, thank you Lord I’m no longer a smoker, and when you put the cigarette in your mouth you again say, thank you Lord I’m no longer a smoker.
Jerry couldn’t stand it any longer.
But the cigarette’s in my mouth, I’m going to be smoking it.
Will you just do as I say? Otherwise I can’t help you.
Okay, okay Jerry, was unconvinced.
When you light up the cigarette….
I know I say thank you Lord, I’m no longer a smoker. Then what?
But I’m going to still be smoking.
Will you just do what I’ve told you?
Jerry went home, absolutely, totally, irreconcilably unconvinced that he would stop smoking.
Four weeks later he was back to see the Minister.
I did just what you said. Every time, I took out my pack of cigarettes, every time I put one to my lips, every time I lit one…thank you Lord, I’m no longer a smoker. And yesterday I opened my pack, put the cigarette in my mouth but before I could light it I said…I’m no longer a smoker and threw it away.
I loved that story. The Minister said it happened just the way he told it.
If someone tries to do something and can’t, it doesn’t mean that he can’t do it, it just means he thinks he can’t do it.
Whenever we hear an ‘I can’t’ in our head we know it’s time to turn it into an ‘I can’.
We’ve all heard stories of people who’ve been fired for a variety of reasons and they say to themselves, I’ll show them, and they go off and do something brilliant. This is turning an ‘I can’t’ into an ‘I can’. Don’t let people give you an ‘I can’t’ instead mentally hear ‘I can’ and who knows what you’ll accomplish.
Of course for Jerry, it might have been a case of divine intervention…who am I to say?
Encourage each other.