I've lost count of the number of self-improvement books I've read. My fixation with self-improvement began in my twenties when I absently picked up a copy of "Top Performance: How to Develop Excellence in Yourself and Others" by Zig Ziglar at a friends house. It looked like it had been read a thousand times and I have a new copy that I purchased a few years ago on my bookshelf.
This book changed my life. At least it would have done if I had stopped drinking.
That's the problem with reading a lot of self-help books. They all have a great message, and some even have action plans that you can fill in and homework to do, but ultimately if you continue to fuck your brain up with chemical additives, you are not going to improve yourself much as an individual.
Giving up the booze is the single most significant present you can give yourself. I may have come to the sober party belatedly, but I'm grateful that I got here. The pain of ghastly bloodshot eyes and atrocious headaches eventually outweighing any pleasure gained by drinking the night before.
I had good times drinking in my early drinking career, but the fabled ability to bounce back bright eyed and bushy tailed the next morning declined as the years went by. The effects of alcohol on the ageing body grow more attritional with each passing year and chasing the buzz resulted in fewer positive returns. Eventually the scales of enjoyment tip irrevocably in favour of not doing the thing you so love doing.
Drinking alcohol drives at the very heart of the self-improvement program. How can you improve yourself when you are continually hungover? It is a rhetorical question, and you know the answer to that one.
If you want to expand your consciousness and derive real benefit from meditation, Yoga and spiritual awareness, then the booze has to go. You can not expect to improve yourself and drink at the same time. You can continue to try, but it won't work.
Dieting is another area where drinking will destroy your efforts. If you are overweight, then you'll probably go on a diet at some point in your life. The big question is – how much can I drink on my diet? How many sins do I have to save to have my regular bender? If I don't eat can I drink more? Everything revolves around your drinking, and that is the core problem.
If you seriously want to improve yourself, then alcohol has to go. In just a few short weeks of sobriety, I'm writing more, creating more, reading more.
Alcohol is an anchor weight on your ship of dreams, and unless you cut the rope, you will always remain in port, never free to sail the high seas. Discovering who you are and what you can become is a much more pleasurable journey once you get used to the idea that alcohol is poison no matter what the TV adverts say.