May 29, 2015

Norman Smythe

Use the incredible power of your mind to quit smoking

Norman Smythe used to smoke. Then one day he decided to quit and, remarkably, he quit overnight. 

“I sat myself down one day and put all my cards on the table. I drew a picture of two roads – a dirt road and a bitumen road.   I asked myself, “What are you going to do Norm? Which road are you going to take?  What do you want to do with your life?

I knew that if I took the dirt road (and kept smoking) I wouldn’t make it very far. The bitumen road on the other hand was the good road.  If I chose the bitumen road I would stop smoking and live a long life.

I chose the bitumen road. I wanted to live to be 100 years old.

I had a good chat to myself that day and convinced myself that I didn’t smoke and there was no such thing as a cigarette.  I gave up and I have never thought of having a cigarette since. Just goes to show the power of the mind.  I honestly believe your mind controls your life. If you believe it you can do it.”


Norms Story:

I started smoking when I was a kid.  I used to steal my old man’s tobacco. Of course, smoking was the ‘in thing’ to do then – if you didn’t smoke, people thought there was something wrong with you.

Although I started early, I really didn’t smoke that much. I was actually a cyclist for eight years or more, competing at championship level but I started smoking more heavily later in life.

My dad was diagnosed with emphysema at the age of 61 and died at 65.  My wife and I moved home to be near him in his last years.  It was then that I knew I didn’t want to die young like my dad.

We lived in Merbein and at the time I owned and operated an earth mover. I smoked and the digger pumped out smoke which meant I was clouded in smoke all day.

When I was fifty I was hospitalised with a bad chest infection and the doctor told me to stop smoking. I tried, but it only lasted a few days each week. If I had a beer on the weekend I would be right back into it.

I finally decided to quit smoking and when I did, it was surprisingly quick and easy.

Once I quit I immediately felt better.

I lived a happy life until about 15 years ago when emphysema started to creep in.  I remember playing squash one day and my game took a dip. I didn’t feel normal and I recognise now, that was the start of it.

I am currently 82 years old and living at the Gold Coast, having recently moved from Victoria to Queensland. Every day I enjoy a 4km walk along the beach and a regular dip in the ocean. The exercise really helps with my overall health and wellness.

I also joined the local Pulmonary Rehab group and will attend that twice a week for the duration of the eight week program.

What I learned from my experience is if you want to quit smoking, you have to be honest with yourself.  Lay all your cards on the table, take a good look at your life and decide where you want to be – decide which road you want to take.

Once you think it through and work out what you want in life, you can convince your mind that you don’t need cigarettes. You can do it!