Every Friday evening without fail, Maurice called in to Larry Murphy's.
Remember Larry Murphy’s?
His intention was to have one gin.
It usually went to two, or three, sometimes four.
Whenever Maura thought about going for a glass of wine, or a coffee, she saw a very clear picture of herself, with the glass, or the coffee, invariably smoking a cigarette.
Though these habits are physical, they’re generated by mental images.
These images are so strong that when Maurice arrived at Baggot St., even if he was late leaving the office, he parked, without thinking, at the nearest spot he could find to Larry‘s.
As Maura journeyed to her place for the glass of wine, or the coffee, she unconsciously searched her bag for cigarettes. If she didn’t have them, she went and bought some, in order to complete the picture in her mind.
These images are so entrenched that they determine our actions and behaviours without our even realising it.
Once aware of this, Maurice bypassed, Baggot St., and within a month had changed his route, his drive home on a Friday night, and kicked what he saw, was becoming an insidious habit.
Maura practised seeing a different image when she thought of her glass of wine and coffee. She made an outrageously different picture in her mind of herself taking long deep breaths as she sat in the wine bar and sipped from her glass.
In her underwear.
This gave her a different picture and a different feel about the whole event.
And of course, a new perspective.
That’s a way to change a mental habit.
Alter the pattern of the habitual image and see what happens.
Maura taught herself to see the cigarette she was smoking was a soggy butt, taken from the street. Her reaction to this idea was disgust. The association of ideas with smoking grew more revolting by the day. Now even the thought of cigarettes is nearly enough to make Maura nauseous.
A whole new range of projected activity comes into view. The picture changes, the thought pattern changes and the response to it changes.
Then persist with the change.
That can take a bit of time, determination, and the power of decision.
The real change is in the thinking about it. Constantly. Think about the new image, one that you can clearly imagine and that you can develop till it becomes the dominant force.
As in ALL skills, it’s the attention to the process that makes the change; the daily indomitable determination to use each day to apply the thinking that revises the viewpoint.
It may take time; a day, a year, a minute.
But once the picture clears and settles in the framework of the imagination, the course is certain, the destination assured.
Have a Great Day and Do Well...