To put things into extremes. Every one of us can be placed on a scale somewhere between non-smoker and dead from smoke-related disease. It is an oversimplified scale and its only purpose is to illustrate, through extremes, the reality of our situation. No one goes from being a non-smoker to smoking three packs a day overnight, that person has put in hard work and huge effort into progressing slowly and reaching the chain-smoker end of the spectrum. Addiction is a progressive disease. That person, assuming he is relatively sane, did not have the goal of becoming a three-packs a day kind of guy, he just progressed unconsciously along the scale. He can choose to remain unconscious and see his habit escalate and progress into death from smoking-related disease, or he can put in conscious effort to reverse the progress of the habit. One of the reasons businesses have daily reports of all kinds is to catch small changes. Small changes have a tendency to become huge changes over time, and their impact is often delayed. We need to be honest and we need to be consciously aware of the small changes taking place over time. Changes that are so small that they barely register on the radar add up to have a huge impact, sometimes to the point where it is too late to reverse the damage. We don’t want to be jolted out of bed by a lung making its way up our throat one morning. What we want is to have a choice, we want to make small changes over time that will add up to huge benefits in the long run. We want to wake up one day and feel how wonderful it is to be alive and well.
What motivated the smoker to want to reduce the amount of daily cigarettes? It was worry over the daily amount of cigarettes smoked. The monkey felt the worry long before the conscious mind did and it already started on a plan to deal with this painful emotion. Smoking more cigarettes has worked in the past when emotions needed to be suppressed. The worry over smoking so many cigarettes can only be remedied by smoking more cigarettes. The monkey is in control and the monkey has no idea what it is doing. When we have little knowledge of ourselves we are unable to effect the change we want. When we are able to feel the guilt and release it we move into a state where there is less emotions in need of suppression that even the monkey will move towards smoking less cigarettes and the move from 40 cigarettes to 35 becomes a reality instead of shattered dream demanding more cigarettes.