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Yes, I climbed Mount Everest, but there was a time when I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without stopping to catch my breath. I blamed stress and bad circumstances for my two-pack-a-day smoking habit.  My thoughts grew darker as the stress packed on, and I’d light up another cigarette. The relief was short-lived. I sank lower and lower, smoking more and more until that fateful day I sat on my kitchen floor and realized I was approaching 40 and couldn’t walk up a simple flight of stairs. I cried for a lot of reasons at that moment.  I cried for the years I had missed, but the biggest reason I collapsed on my kitchen floor, was the thought of a future that looked more bleak than the past.

I could have chosen to let that feeling of  hopelessness overwhelm me yet again, but I chose a different direction.

I started to pay more attention to my thoughts, something I had never done before.  I began to understand how the cause of my anguish was the thoughts I had about my circumstances.  Thoughts that played on continuously in my head, keeping me in a constant state of  helplessness.  Life should be so much more than just existing, but my thoughts had kept me a prisoner for years.

It takes time to take control of the mind, and trust me, it doesn’t relinquish control easily.  It takes daily practice. Some days it’s a real battle, but one most certainly worth the effort.

Life should feel worthwhile.  It should be an adventure. I was heavily bogged down in my day to day living.  My life felt joyless and empty.  I thought it would take nothing short of a miracle for my life to change.

It takes persistence, hard work, and patience; but I am a living example of how changing one’s habitual thoughts can and will produce that “miracle”…