How I became Successful in my Career after Quitting Smoking
Updated: Dec 8, 2022
They say all things need to come to an end! I completely agree with that. All things, especially bad ones that cause detrimental effects to your life, need to stop. I knew I had to quit smoking too! It was ruining my life. I couldn’t survive for more than one and a half hours without a smoke. I had started to become a work-hazard. A liability to my co-workers.
And quit smoking, I did. Conquer my demons, I did! Succeed professionally, I did! My name is Aaron, and this is my story towards a smoke-free and prosperous professional life!
They say, do not let people make decisions for you. As Avicii says, “One day, you’ll leave this world behind, so live a life you will remember”. Make every second count.
I wanted to do that too. My father smoked. Out of curiosity, I sneaked into his cabinet and took a puff. At that point, I felt on top of the world. I vaguely remember, feeling woozily energetic and completing my assignment with great speed and accuracy. I exclaimed, “Wow! If smoking improves my efficiency, I should do it every time I have an important task at hand. I will excel each time.”
If only I knew how wrong I was. It was poison I was injecting into my system, in the form of nicotine, that shut down other sources of dopamine; thus, only providing me with a high when I smoked. Had I known I was soon to be deprived of other means to seek pleasure, I would have quit smoking long ago!
The Downfall & Side-effects
My reliance on smoking had started to increase. Whenever I had to do an activity that needed my complete attention, I resorted to smoking a cig or two and then getting started with my chore. The addiction had begun. I equated my productivity to smoking.
Things seemed okay for a while, well, as okay as can be when you are smoking! My delusion that I could get work done only if I smoked started to put a damper on my life. Lethargy and lack of interest made its way into my life, and it took over to such an extent that only smoking would provide me with some relief.
How wrong I was! Eventually, my smoke breaks negatively impacted me. Having observed that my presence was more in smoke rooms than board rooms, my superiors deemed me unreliable. They were displeased with my work ethic and were convinced that my performance had degraded. I was passed for promotion twice and for the longest time, my probationary status was not repealed. I was almost fired.
There came a point where I could not get myself out of the bed! I was tired all the time and lost all motivation. My quality of life saw a deep downward drop. I had started to procrastinate. The only thing I was truly interested in anymore was smoking my cigs, that gave me temporary satisfaction. My life started to feel doomed.
Consciousness then struck me! I was going wrong. My whole life was a mess. All because of smoking cigarettes. It had to go! I was not going to be living with this anymore. With renewed vigour and conviction, I had undertaken the task to find methods to quit smoking.
My colleagues at work were surprised at this turn of events. Nonetheless, they were very supportive of this change. Infact, they had some suggestions of their own as well. From self-control methods to self-help books, I tried it all. I needed something more, something more concrete - with clear, systematic instructions and procedures to follow.
As I was scouring through the internet, I found the QuitSure website. I thought ‘I had given everything a go, why not give this a chance too!’ I downloaded the quit smoking app and followed the programme to the ‘t’. At first, I was really appalled at the control the cigs had on me. I was living under the illusion that smoking was improving my productivity. This was dispelled soon, when realization struck after I spoke to my coach - “Your brain needs full attention to perform the task with excellence. Smoking is a distraction caused by lowered nicotine levels. It hampers productivity.” The nicotine levels had to go down, and the dopamine levels had to rise in my body (without the consumption of cigarettes).
This had to change, I was determined!
6 days into the programme, and I smoked my last cigarette. I was apprehensive - Would this work? Will I relapse? My coach then told me, if I was not sure, I should do the course again. The desire to smoke should not enter my mind at all! And I repeated the course.
This time, I saw their Instagram posts and their quit smoking timeline and reviews, and felt more motivated than ever!
And once I completed it the second time, I knew, there was no going back. My addiction was gone!
I am 1 year sober now. I won’t lie, the journey had its ups and downs. Due to my prior addiction, the urges would kick in, trying to force me to smoke. But I knew, if I gave up now, all my effort would go down the drain. It was tough in the beginning to stay focused, I was continuously fighting my urges.
Then things started falling into place - my brain was sharper, faster. My productivity was increasing. I was doing better at my job; completing my targets and exceeding the expectations of my superiors. My probationary status was revoked within 2 months and on the 6th month, I was promoted. Everyone was happy around me and so was I. My professional life was back on track, and I was slaying the game
In retrospect, I wonder how I got addicted to this stick of poison. Life is good now. And I will never subject myself to this tyranny ever again.
I am ending my story here. Hoping some of what I experienced is relatable; and if it is, you know what to do -
“Smoking makes work harder, not easier. Save yourself and your time. You do not need it to be productive”.