When writing My Top 10 Most Influential Books in my Life, I considered writing them in an order of influence, as I thought it would heighten the anticipation for the reader.
Instead, I decided a more educational method was to write them in chronological order. That way, not only could you learn from the inspiration behind why the book had such a profound effect on me, but also see my journey unfold.
But if I had placed them in order of influence, then this would have topped the list.
It changed everything.
13-years ago, when my son was born, I read The Easy Way to Stop Smoking, by Allen Carr, and instantly gave up a habit that I had tried, and failed, to quit on multiple occasions.
Smoking is one of the world’s biggest killers, but in my view, alcohol is far more damaging. Pitching smoking in a battle with alcohol would be like throwing me into the ring with Mike Tyson. Alcohol is the invisible killer; the destroyer of families, the creator of lies and deceit that creates a powerful illusion that nobody even sees coming.
The first time I drank was stealing alcohol from my parent’s drinks cabinet. To avoid detection we smuggled small amounts of various bottles into a single two-litre bottle of devastation. It tasted disgusting and I was violently sick before passing out in the middle of a football field. I was 14 or 15-years of age.
It was no big deal.
All adult’s drank alcohol. My teachers received bottles of wine for Christmas, and I always left a can of Carling Black Label for Santa.
It was never a matter of ‘if’, it was always a case of ‘when.’
When you are young, drinking alcohol seems fun.
Uncle Freddy makes you laugh when he bursts into your house after spending hours in the pub. He plays with you, and you like that. He sneaks you a quid, winks and tells you not to tell your parents. He stinks, but it’s a smell you have associated with Dad.
A smell of love.
You go to sleep and dream of growing up happy like Uncle Freddy.
As you fall into slumberland Uncle Freddy is telling his wife to fuck off. What does she know about anything? He proceeds to puke on the floor and falls asleep at the top of the stairs.
I drank that poison, under the illusion that it provided me with benefits, for over two decades.
All it brought me was abject misery.
Then, one day, while I was walking through a bookstore, I saw Easy Way to Control Alcohol. It piqued my interest.
I was attracted to the word control because total abstention seemed improbable. My whole life was built around alcohol. It was part of my foundation, my values and my beliefs. Everyone that I knew drank alcohol. How could I function without it?
Then I started to read.
Memories came racing back from that dark place.
I remembered how Easy Way to Stop Smoking had change my life. Quitting smoking was simple. Was alcohol going to be as easy? Perhaps I could function without it?
As I licked the thumb and forefinger a part of my life was left behind on each page. I had gone from trying to control alcohol to wanting to destroy it.
When I closed the book – I was free.
I was normal, an alcoholic, and normal again. All in the time that it took me to get from start to finish.
For the next three and a half years I abstained from drinking alcohol just like I had abstained from smoking.
But the journey was very different.
Smokers realise that smoking is stupid, but they feel powerless to stop. When you quit smoking your loved ones don’t convince you to return to the ways of the yellow spindly fingers. They know it’s lethal, and so they support your stance.
With drinking it is different.
Society is not ready for people to tell them that alcohol offers them no benefits. When you stop drinking alcohol people become afraid of you. You are given the label ‘strange’. Your friends and family think there is something wrong with you.
And it makes sense right?
You are the minority, so how could the majority be wrong?
Without a need to drink poison, there is no longer a need to visit the places that serve it. Your friends are still there, but having a conversation with someone who is legless – while you are legless – is a different experience than having that same conversation when you are sober. It is a socially awkward and unpleasant experience. All of a sudden the parties you used to frequent become places of terror.
Once again Allen Carr had changed my life, but this time it was different. Not only had Carr shown me the myth behind the booze, but he also gave me the belief that I could achieve anything.
How powerful is that?
I personally know hundreds of people, and not one of them had given up drinking apart from Grandad.
Can you see where this belief of invincibility came from?
If the world could be fooled into believing that the consumption of a poisonous substance can provide you with a benefit, then what else was I not seeing with these socially controlled eyes?
Allen Carr had peeled back my eyelids. Suddenly the world looked very different to me, and I set about changing every aspect of my life.
Life became magical
Do you want to feel what I feel?
Read the book, and I promise you that a new world of possibilities becomes available to you.
I successfully quit drinking using the Allen Carr method and I am still sober five years later. Carr’s book is a great tool if you want to quit drinking, but I have learned that there is more to it than that. I have learned of the need to make other changes in your life to continue a life of sobriety.
Are you ready to change your life?
Are you ready to quit drinking?
Why not e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and hire me as your coach?
10 Other Books That Changed My Life
1. The Easy Way to Control Alcohol by Allen Carr
2. The Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr
3. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
4. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
5. The Key to Living the Law of Attraction by Jack Canfield and D.D.Watkins
6.The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
7. Time Power by Brian Tracey
8. Lean Thinking by James P.Womack & Daniel T.Jones
9. The Machine That Changed The World by James P.Womack, Daniel Roos & Daniel T.Jones
10. The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Cox