A strong mind is useless with a weak will


For the sake of keeping people anonymous I’m going to call my friend, Charles. Now Charles has a problem. Charles is addicted to nicotine and asks me for help. I personally have felt this addiction from cigarettes and chewing tobacco and understand how difficult it really is to quit. Yesterday was probably the fifth time he’s come to me for help and I’m gladly there to lend a hand. Before I tell you about this last time, I’ll give a little review of the previous attempts.

  • Attempt 1: Charles comes up to me on the production floor and tells me he threw his can of pouches and snus into the trash can…not 20 minutes later he tells me he dug it out of the trash can.
  • Attempt 2: The next week or so, Charles comes up to me on the production floor and tells me he threw his can of pouches into the trash again. I ask him which one and he tells me it’s gross and I wouldn’t want to dig it out. It was on the top of a napkin, so I take it and put it into my pocket. Not an hour later, we’re walking to our cars and he begs me for a pouch because he needed to calm down before he saw his girlfriend and didn’t want to snap on her. I gave one to him because he said he was going to buy a can if I didn’t give him one, not my problem.
  • Attempt 3: He stops me on the way to my desk and tells me he threw his can in the trash at his desk. I go to get coffee 10 – 20 minutes later and I see his fat lip and shake my head.
  • Attempt 4: Charles tells me he’s done chewing  because if his girlfriend found out she’d break up with him. Charles has a fat lip not 30 minutes later.

Now for Attempt 5, Charles calls me over to his desk and gives me a full can of pouches. 10 minutes later he gives me a can of snus. At work, I have my headphones in and by this time of the day, I’m already drowsy and blasting some EDM or rap in my headphone. I usually hear when someone walks into my cubicle, but Charles sneaks up and I hear the pop of the can and tell him to stop and give me the pouch he has in his hand. He told me he knew where it was because he saw me put it into my drawer and into my bag.

I give the two cans to our other coworker and Charles sees me walking back to my desk and says, “I know what you’re doing” as I shake my head and walk away. Fast forward to lunch, he shows me that he’s wearing a nicotine patch. After we’re done eating Charles says, “Hey, look what I’m doing” as he sticks a pouch in his lip. Shaking my damn head.

What now?

Now Charles is my friend and I care about him and his addiction to tobacco. I will continue to help him as long as he doesn’t make it a game. I get that it’s his decision and I don’t really care because no one is perfect. I myself have had an addiction to alcohol and tobacco. I have the occasional drink and cigarette, but I’m not shaking in a corner waiting for my next nicotine hit or drink (I’ve definitely been there).

“Willpower is the key to success. Successful people strive no matter what they feel by applying their will to overcome apathy, doubt or fear.”

Dan Millman

I’m also not saying that I’m better than Charles because he can’t find his own willpower to quit for himself. What I’m saying is that willpower is everything. Your mind will bring the thought and idea of quitting or starting something healthy like exercise, but it’s just a figment of the imagination without an even stronger will. The determination to keep at it as the cravings come and go will bring you places you’ve never imagined.


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