Ep 347: How I Stopped Drinking with Rory Vaden Part 2

RV (00:00):
But I do wanna share with you the two things for how I stopped, how I actually stopped drinking. And the first one is really important. It was, it’s to rewrite your programming. Rewrite your programming. And there’s an entire chapter on this. Take the stairs. It’s called the Creation Principle of Integrity. And it talks about how our words are, what are the, the first step in creating our lives? Like your, the human brain is a computer. It is a program your brain is happy to do. Whatever you tell it to do. It will. And, and so here’s what’s important. Don’t try to convince yourself to artificially not do something that you really do wanna do. Instead, realize that you naturally won’t do the things you don’t wanna do. So don’t try to convince yourself not to do something you do wanna do.
RV (01:01):
Realize that you naturally won’t do something you don’t wanna do. So here’s what I mean. If you, if you tell yourself, I love alcohol, alcohol makes me relax, alcohol makes me happy, alcohol makes me comfortable. I need alcohol. Cause I had a hard day. If you tell yourself those things, they will be true for you. So when you, when that is your base programming, and then you try to change your behavior on top of that, it’s in conflict. Cuz you’re going, oh, I can’t drink for 30 days cuz I’m on this thing. Or, you know, I made a resolution. I’m not gonna drink for a little bit. The the issue there is your, your mindset. The is, is the behavior doesn’t align with the programming. Underneath you’re saying, I like alcohol, I want alcohol. That’s what the program is. And then you’re trying to create behavior that is in, in conflict with that saying, but I don’t wanna drink or I’m not gonna drink.
RV (01:54):
So you’re denying yourself something. The actual way to change your behavior is to change the root programming. Because if you convince yourself, I don’t like alcohol, I don’t want to drink, then it’s much easier to have the behavior fall in line because you’re not going against the programming of your brain. So this sounds incredibly simple and it is simple. It’s not easy, but it’s credible, incredibly simple. If you wanna stop any habit in your life or change any habit in your life, or stop any negative thing, you have to attack the underlying programming. How do you do that? Simple. It’s what you tell yourself over and over and over again. All you believe, you listen. Your brain does not believe what is true. Your brain believes whatever you tell it most often, whatever you tell it most often is what becomes true. I guarantee it.
RV (02:48):
And so I wanna read for you, I’m just gonna read for you my, you know, I call these my alcohol affirmations, which they’re really my non-alcohol affirmations. I just wanna, I’m just gonna read them to you because this is what I read to myself like every day for the first few weeks. And after a couple weeks, I didn’t have to read it anymore. My desire for alcohol disappeared. Right? So here it is. Alcohol makes my body soft. Alcohol slows me down. Alcohol puts me in a less than optimum state to work. Alcohol makes me less likely to achieve my goals. Alcohol makes me sleep less. Alcohol weakens my decision. Making alcohol makes me more vulnerable to a physical attack. Alcohol puts me at risk of a dui. Alcohol increases my caloric intake. Alcohol increases the, the chance of me doing something dishonoring to my wife. Alcohol raises the likelihood that I will eat other bad food. Alcohol costs me money. Alcohol steals from my retirement. Alcohol gives me headaches. Alcohol affects my ability to be sharp and active the next day. Alcohol reduces my desire to exercise. Alcohol exposes me to disease and cancer. Alcohol is poison to my body. Alcohol shortens my lifespan. Alcohol risks my reputation. Alcohol sometimes causes me to say things I later regret. Alcohol sometimes causes me to do things that are dishonoring to my family, my team, myself and the, and the Lord.
RV (04:35):
Alcohol has been involved in almost every single occurrence of my life’s most embarrassing moments and deepest regrets. I don’t wanna have to drink alcohol in order to have fun, relax, or unwind. There are many people who I respect in my life who drink little or none at all not drinking alcohol. Lengthens the length, lengthens the term of my effectiveness and my success. Alcohol might cause me to set a bad example to the people around me.
Speaker 2 (05:13):
And so
RV (05:14):
If you will just
Speaker 2 (05:16):
Say those things over and over again, I mean, that’s what I did. It changes the programming. It replaces your programming in your head, and it, it changes everything because now you’re building new behaviors on, you’re on a new foundation, and they’re not working against
RV (05:32):
Each other.
Speaker 2 (05:33):
They’re working with each other. They’re working alongside each other. And, right, like the more I said those things, those that affirmations list that
RV (05:42):
I just shared with you, the more I believed it to
Speaker 2 (05:44):
Be true. And the more I
RV (05:45):
Felt like it really was true,
Speaker 2 (05:48):
And the more
RV (05:49):
That I felt it really was true, the less desire I actually had to ever do it. And so I wasn’t like, I know where I am now. It’s, it’s weird to fast forward ahead six years and go you know, who I was back then and was like, man, I looked forward. Like I looked forward to drinking. It was like the thing I was looking forward to at the end of the week, or even at the end of a day, like, gosh, I can’t wait to just like go home and have a drink. And now it’s like, I don’t want it. I’m not drawn to it. The desire is not there because the programming has changed. And so, you know, that’s what I want you to really like, think about with whatever change it is that you wanna make in your life. And you know, replacing your programming.
RV (06:36):
So, you know, first, first of all, you gotta, you gotta redefine your identity. Then you gotta rewrite your programming. And then the last thing is is you gotta replace your choices. And there’s, there’s two key choices that I’ve made on this journey, at least for me, that were, were really pivotal and they both have to do with replacements. And so the first one was just literally replacing what I was holding in my hand and giving myself more options. Because the, that’s the, the hard part is going, oh, well, when I’m out at dinner, I’m used to holding wine and or, you know, like, I come home at the end of the day and it’s like, oh, I, you know, I, I wanna, I wanna have a drink of some type. And so, you know, what I’m grabbing for is important to sort of have that replacement.
RV (07:27):
So here’s some simple replacements that made a big difference for me. So instead of drinking beer, drink Topo Chico specifically was what I would do because it was a glass bottle and I would pop it, it makes the same, you know, it’d make the, the same sound as popping open a bottle of beer and then you know, drinking that or sparkling water, right? So sparkling water was a, was a in instead of wine drink sparkling water. So instead of beer drink, Topo Chico is a glass bottle. Instead of wine, what I do is I drink sparkling water and then I will either add or sparkling apple juice or sparkling grape juice. And that is like what, what I would have like even now when I’ll go out to dinner, like what I’ll order, oftentimes I’ll order sparkling water with a splash of cranberry juice.
RV (08:23):
And so it’s super healthy. Often it’s free. I mean, you know, like, or it’s, it’s nowhere near the cost of a, of a cocktail. Now, if I really want a cocktail, what I will do is I’ll order a mock. And so almost every bartender loves making mocktails cuz they don’t get asked for it that often. And you say like, Hey, make me something fancy or whatever. So if I’m at let’s say we’re in Mexico by the pool or something, you know, and it’s like, I really wanna have a something, you know, like I’ll go, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll have a, have a have a fancy, a fancy mocktail. And that’s just a simple, a simple replacement. So instead of beer, I had Topo Chico. Instead of like wine, I’d have sparkling grape juice. And instead of a cocktail, I would get sparkling water with like a splash of cranberry or just, or just a mocktail.
RV (09:11):
So those are easy choices, but the, the more, the more difficult choice and frankly the more powerful choice. And the more important choice was that for me in my life, there were two people specifically that I identified that I needed to replace. Not so much like replace the people I needed to replace the time I was spending with these two individuals. And so when I looked back on, you know, the regrets that I had and me being drunk, and then I looked and said, well, gosh, there’s this very common thread that there’s these two specific people in my life that when I’m around them, I am drunk. It’s like sort of what we do. And it’s, it became the modality and the way of operating. And so, you know, rather than trying to change what they’re doing or change their behavior, I just basically said I have to replace myself out of that circumstance.
RV (10:09):
And most of the time in life, I’m a big believer, like I’m a big believer that usually you don’t need to change your circumstance, you need to change your attitude. Like usually that is, is what my default is. And what, even when I coach people and coach myself, like usually it’s not the circumstance that it’s is the problem. It’s your attitude. That’s the problem. And so you need to change your, you need to change your attitude, not your circumstance. But in this case, and whenever you’re trying to change like a physical behavior, it’s really important to change your physical surroundings. When you’re trying to change a physical behavior. It’s important to change the physical surroundings. Same thing, right? Like when you, when you’re trying to lose weight, I’ve been on that journey as well. It’s like I can’t have chips and cookies and bread and crackers and pretzels and everything just like a right there at my disposal to grab, because otherwise I’ll grab them, right?
RV (11:04):
So I have to change the environment. It’s sort of the same, same thing here, which is really tough. These were two people in my life that it was like we got together and we got drunk. And I can’t do that anymore, right? When I’m, when I’m making a change. And so what goal do you have in your life? What thing do you aspire to? Who are you looking to become? And it might be that you need to replace yourself out of a situation and you need to put yourself in another situation. You gotta change your environment. You gotta change your circumstance. Like literally change your environment. And so that was, that was a big, that was a big thing for me. And so that is how I have done it, right? And it, it hasn’t been very hard actually. Like the first few weeks were hard, but the, you know, you redefine your identity and you figure out, okay, why does this matter to me?
RV (11:56):
Not somebody else telling me I should, but, but why do I care? I listed my seven reasons of, of what, why it mattered to me personally. You only need one, right? You just, but you need one good one that matters to you. And you gotta be doing it for you. Like, if you’re making changes in your life because of someone else or cuz you think you’re supposed to, it’s not gonna be sustainable because you’re, it’s, you’re not changing your identity. You change your identity by changing your purpose and changing your why and deciding, I’ve got a reason to become a different person and that’s my reason, not yours. Not someone else’s, not some rule or some, you know, principle that I think I’m, I’m supposed to uphold or do. But it’s like a genuine, like, I’m rewriting, I’m redefining my identity. Then I gotta rewrite my programming, which to me is, is the most practical part of this.
RV (12:51):
And it’s reading those affirmations. And it might mean that you have to play this back you know, play this recording back and just listen to them. In fact, what I’m gonna do at the end is I’m gonna say ’em again so that they’re, you can, if you just need to like fast forward and you just wanna play these, I I’m, I’m gonna read ’em again. And, and then the third thing is that you have to replace your choices. You gotta replace your choices and give yourself art alternatives be in different circumstances, environments. And I I do have one last thing I wanna share with you too. But before I do that, let me go ahead and read, read these affirmations for you one more time. Alcohol makes my body soft. Alcohol slows me down. Alcohol puts me in a less than optimum state to work.
RV (13:39):
Alcohol puts me in a less than optimum state to compete towards achieving my goals. Alcohol makes me sleep less. Alcohol, alcohol weakens my decision making alcohol makes me vulnerable to a physical attack. Alcohol puts me at risk of a dui. Alcohol increases my caloric intake. Alcohol increases the risk of me doing something dishonoring to my wife. Alcohol raises the likelihood that I’ll eat other bad food. Alcohol costs me money. Alcohol steals from my retirement account. Alcohol gives me headaches. Alcohol affects my ability to be sharp the next day. Alcohol reduces my desire to exercise. Alcohol exposes me more to disease and cancer. Alcohol is poison to my body. Alcohol shortens my lifespan. Alcohol risks my reputation. Alcohol sometimes causes me to say things I later regret. Alcohol sometimes causes me to do things that are dishonoring to my family, my team, myself and the Lord.
RV (14:58):
Alcohol has been involved in almost every single occurrence of my life’s most embarrassing moments and deepest regrets. I don’t wanna have to have a drink in order to have fun, relax, or unwind. There are many people who I respect in my life who drink little or not at all alcohol, lengthens the time of my necessary working career to pay off all that it has caused me. And alcohol might cause me to set a bad example to the people around me that I care about. Here’s what I want you to know. Today is the hardest it will ever be. Today is the hardest it will ever be. It is the hardest right now. The more that you play those affirmations back, you listen to ’em, you recite them, you repeat them, the more your programming will change. And it may be hard to imagine now, but I’m telling you, it is possible that you will wake up one day.
RV (16:03):
And what once was something that all you wanted, all you could think about later in the future, is something you don’t even notice. You don’t want it, you’re not attracted to it. The key is to rewrite that underlying programming. Not to try to lie to yourself and say, oh, I, I, you know, not to deny yourself something that really deep down you’re saying you want and just temporarily disallowing it from yourself, but getting under the root and, and, and rewriting a program that says there’s a different program here and I’m gonna rewrite it because I want to be a different person. Not for anybody else, not for any other reason necessarily, but you’re making the decision that you wanna do it because something that’s important to you. Now, there might be someone else in your life that matters, but it’s, it’s not that that person’s telling you to do it, it’s that you are choosing to do it because that person matters to you.
RV (16:57):
But this is the hardest that it’ll ever be. And I, I I promise you that if you do these things and you think this way and you work in this direction, it will get easier and easier. So I’m not sure who this was for, but I felt called to put it out there. So whether this is for you or a loved one, someone, please feel free to share it and please don’t feel judged. This isn’t about judgment. This isn’t about right and wrong and good and bad. This is just about my journey. Overcoming something that I decided wasn’t the right healthy thing for me and how I did that in case you or someone you know, wants to make that same decision. Thanks for tuning it in.

Ep 346: How I Stopped Drinking with Rory Vaden Part 1

RV (00:08):
All right, podcast friend. We have a special interruption, I guess a deviation from the norm, an extreme circumstance and an unusual broadcast situation here. I recently recorded a video on how I stopped drinking. And it was three strategies for how I stopped drinking. And I don’t know why exactly, I don’t know who this is for, but I have felt called to share my personal story about how I stopped drinking six years ago and specific, you know, specifically how, like what I did, why I made that change, but also how I, I was able to do that, which was important for me. So this has nothing to do with personal branding, really. This has nothing to do. This is not at all the normal format of our podcast. For me to share something like this is very, very un unusual.
RV (01:10):
This is a tremendously personal I guess you would say vulnerable unexpected thing for me to be sharing. But I follow the promptings that I feel led to, and for some reason I feel led to this one. So, if you’re, this is the first time you’ve ever listened to this show you’re welcome to listen to this, to this, to this episode. And we may break it into a couple parts cuz it was a little, a little bit long. But, you know, this is not what we normally cover here on this show. Normally we’re, we’re, we’re talking to people about how to, you know, expand their reach, become more well known, make a bigger impact, make, make more income, and grow their influence in the world. And, and I guess, you know, there is a little bit of a tie, which is if, if you know, one of the things that I believe deeply is that before you can build a strong personal brand, you have to build a strong personal character.
RV (02:05):
Before you can build a strong personal brand, you have to build a strong personal character. And this story that I’m gonna share about how I stopped drinking six years ago and why, and how it all went and how it all happened, and then specifically the, the strategies that I, I used through that own sort of personal development are are related to my character. Okay? I’m not saying that you, if you, you don’t like, if you drink, you have your person of weak character at all. Not whatsoever at all. Aj, my wife, my bus, our business partner, my business partner, our ceo, you know, she, she, she drinks to this day. But it is, for me, this was an important journey about that I felt I needed to go on to, to strengthen and fortify my personal character. And so that’s why we decided to share it with you is, is not so much about going, Hey, we think you need to, to learn how to stop drinking.
RV (02:59):
You may not drink at all. Or maybe you do and it’s, you know, not a big deal or like, you know, maybe you do a lot and it, it’s not affecting like, you know, whatever, like, whatever your attitude is. It’s, this is not about saying, Hey, you should stop doing this. This is my story about how I created a, a, a significant behavior change in my life and, and, and created new habits and, and new behaviors that is tied, at least was for me, tied to my personal character and is also tied to taking action and creating change and, and making, at least in my case, you know, what I felt was the move to make myself a stronger person. And so, you know, maybe this is relevant to you, like hyper relevant. Maybe it’s relevant for someone, you know, but I think what makes it relevant to all of us, and and, and to you at, at least on some level is, is twofold.
RV (03:48):
One, it is realizing this connection that before you can build a strong personal brand, you have to build a strong personal character. And that’s really, really important because your, your influence will never grow wider than your character runs deep. Your influence will never grow wider than your character runs deep. That’s something that my pastor shared with me a couple years ago, and I found that to be really true. But for all of us, we’re always trying to make changes. We’re trying to create some behavior change, some pattern change to get ourselves or our business to the next level. And so I think listening to the psychology of what, how I’m creating that change and I’m, I’m leaning on the psychology that you know, I’ve spent a lot of my life developing, which is the psychology of helping people take action and, and build discipline and do things they don’t wanna do.
RV (04:38):
And, and that’s something I’ve, you know, spent a career studying. So, you know, listen to it more from that angle. Like, if, if you’re not someone who struggles with alcohol in whatever way, I’d listen to it, listen to it from that angle, or just, you might just skip past this episode. If you don’t want to get all, all up close and, and personal with me. So again, I, this is a, this is a break from the norm. Just wanted to give you a heads up and a warning. Just fair warning that this is not our standard programming and it’s not a permanent change in our programming. Like we’re, we, we’re, we’re continuing on with our normal format, but not that I wanted to share with you and at least give you a little bit of a look into this part of my life, which was a, which was a powerful and, and important journey. So anyways, I hope you, I hope you enjoy.
RV (05:23):
So about six years ago I stopped drinking alcohol, and I’m gonna tell you a little bit about why I did that, but specifically I wanna share with you three strategies for how I did that. Now, I wanna let you know up front, I’m not against drinking. I don’t believe that it means you’re bad or immoral or any of those things. If you do it, I did it for a long time. I honestly don’t know why I’m sharing this with you, but I feel called to share some of this story with you. You and so I just, I wanna make sure you know up front that I if you drink, this isn’t a slam against you or meant, you know, or anybody aj. Aj my wife drinks and she still drinks. And you know, I have friends, friends that do, so it’s not about that.
RV (06:15):
But I just wanna share three reasons, or not three reasons. I gonna three, three strategies for how I stopped drinking about six years ago. So let’s dive in. Here they are, I’m gonna give ’em to you right up front. So first of all, the, the, the very first strategy is to redefine your identity. Redefine your identity, which is all about figuring out why. And so I’m gonna talk through seven reasons why I stopped drinking and how that sort of came about. Then the second strategy is to rewrite your own programming. And we’ll get into the details of that. I’m gonna share with you an affirmations list that I use, which is really a huge part of what changed my life. And then the third thing is to replace your choices. And there’s two specific types of choices that I replaced in my life that made have made a huge difference.
RV (07:12):
And I’ll share with you what both of those are. So first of all, let’s talk about replacing your identity. And to me, this is really key because if you wanna make any change in your life, you have to start thinking of yourself as a different person, because that’s literally what change means. Change means I’m becoming a different person. I’m, I’m on my way to being someone that is different than I am, or especially than I have been. And in order to do that, it’s going to be, it’s gonna require work, it’s gonna require effort, it’s gonna require intention and discipline, which means it’s gonna be difficult and probably, or at least uncomfortable or, you know, unfamiliar at the least. And so you really need to know why you’re doing what you wanna be doing. Like, I, I think, I think here’s a, here’s what I think is not a great reason to stop being drinking to stop drinking is cuz it’s like, oh, other people think I should stop drinking.
RV (08:15):
I, I actually don’t think that’s a great, the greatest reason why you should. I, I think any change that you make in your life has to be one and should be one that you are making, that you are choosing it. And so you are the one taking agency of your own life. And it’s not cuz you think you’re supposed to or cuz someone said that, you know, somebody threatened you with something, this or that. It’s because whatever has happened, you’ve come to a place where you’ve said, I wanna make this type of change in my life. I wanna make some type of change. And so really this applies to all types of changes. And so I think in order to do that work, in order to take the stairs to, to steal the, the title and metaphor of my first book you, it’s gonna be a journey.
RV (09:01):
And so you need to really understand why you’re doing it. And so I’m gonna share with you these are seven reasons why I decided to stop drinking. So and this happened about six years ago. The last time I had alcohol was the night that AJ told me we were pregnant with my son Jasper, with our oldest son Jasper. So at the time of this recording, that was, you know, six over six years ago, which is crazy that it’s been that long. And, and you also should know that like I drank a lot before that. Was I an alcoholic? I don’t know, I guess depends on what the definition of an alcoholic was. I never went in treatment. I didn’t miss work. You know, maybe if I was, I was, I guess what someone maybe call a high functioning alcoholic, but I once heard the definition that an alcoholic is someone who simply drinks to get drunk.
RV (09:56):
They drink for the purpose of getting drunk. By that definition, I was an alcoholic because that was the only reason I was drinking was to get drunk. It wasn’t like, oh, I like the taste of this more than any number of other things I could drink and that’s why I’m doing it. Or like, I, I’m not, I was never interested in like the making of alcohol or, you know, how it happened or like the hobby of, of of, of how it was crafted, right? Like it was, no, I’m drinking for the purpose of feeling a certain way or escaping a feeling that I was feeling. So, you know, I guess by that definition maybe I was, but I personally, you know, was never, I guess had a place where you might say I was outta control where it was affecting my, you know, my, I don’t know, I don’t know what the measure of that that would be.
RV (10:46):
So, but by some definitions I was. But you know, obviously if, if this is something you’re struggling with or a loved one is struggling with, you should consult with, you know, a mental health professional. And I never was really at that point. So again, I just share in my story here. I’m not sure who needs to hear this, but so here’s seven reasons why I stopped. Okay? So first of all, regret reduction. Regret reduction. You know, as I, as I thought about this whole journey and, and you know, I should say that the catalyst for this was solidarity with aj, right? The ca the catalyst for me stopping wasn’t, it was these seven reasons, but it wasn’t like something massive happened in my, well, I guess finding out you’re gonna be a dad is pretty massive, but like, I didn’t have this, you know, blow up or, you know, hit rock bottom kind of moment.
RV (11:35):
It was just like, you know, she said I was gonna be a dad and she wasn’t gonna drink for nine months. And so I said, all right, I’m just gonna stop drinking with, with you. And then I just never picked it back up. And at first it was really hard, like the first couple weeks were really hard and the first couple months were hard and then it got easier. And that’s something I think you should know, or if, if somebody, you know is, is struggling with an addiction of some type I’m certainly not an expert on addiction, but I have spent a life studying the psychology of, of self-discipline and overcoming procrastination and moving people to action and overcoming inaction. And so what I know from that work as well as my own life is it’s the har today is the hardest it’s ever gonna be.
RV (12:26):
Like, the day that you set out on the change is it’s that that’s the hardest, but it becomes easier o o over over time. So you should know that. But for me, when I was looking back, a hundred percent of the regrets that I had ever had in my life were from when I was drunk. Like, I actually realized that, that as I thought back over the course of my life and I was thinking about, you know, all the, all the, the poor decisions that I had made, all the stupid things that I have said, most of the really dumb things that I had had done, probably all of the dumbest things that I had done. Like, I literally as I, I didn’t have a ton of regrets in my life, but I, I had some big ones. And in all of them, every single regret I had in my life was from, from when I was drunk.
RV (13:21):
And so I thought, well, gosh, if I don’t want regrets, maybe if I could stop doing this, you know, if I stop drinking, maybe I’ll have fewer regrets in my life. And, and it’s just a, it’s just a, a reduction of the chance, right? So it’s like the chance of me ever getting a DUI goes way, way down. If I’m not drinking the, the chance of me ever engaging in sexual immorality or, you know, breaking trust with my wife or having an affair or something, it goes way, way down. If I’m not drinking or I’m not drunk it, it’s not impossible, right? But the likelihood I’m, I’m playing the odds, and this is how I structure my whole life. This is how I structure business is, is, you know, the strategies, the techniques we teach to help people make money, it’s all about, like, nothing is guaranteed, but there’s these principles of success and these principles that are true. And you go, man, if you adopt these into your life, you’re just sort of like playing the odds. And so I thought, man, I’m certainly going to improve the odds in my favor of of, of not having, of having through regrets in my life if I stop drinking. The second thing honestly was mental health. And, and here’s what I mean specifically.
RV (14:33):
I’ll never forget one time I actually said these words out loud. Like, I, these, these words came outta my mouth and there was something about the way I said it that really locked me up and it captured me and it, and it caught my, it like caught my attention. It was like a slap across the face. Like I, it made me go, whoa. And here’s what, here’s what I said to someone. I don’t even remember the scenario. All I remember is what I said. I said, you know, I just have more fun when I’m drunk.
RV (15:10):
And bam, just like that, like when there was just something where I said, when I said, I just have more fun when I’m drunk. That hit me so hard because I realized, wow, the, the however I have structured my life, like whatever choices I’ve made, whoever I’m around, whatever I’m doing, whatever, you know, goals, I’m pursuing business, I’m involved with, like whatever my physical health is, wherever I am at the, like, I have the most fun when I’m drunk. That felt like a risky orientation of my life. It felt like a risky orientation of my happiness. It felt like a risky orientation of, of my mental health to go, I have to be drunk in order to be experiencing my highest level of happiness. And it was a very sobering moment because I realized that’s not how I wanna live. I wanna be able to be happy without this.
RV (16:16):
I wanna be able to be happy every moment of every day with, with without any substances like that. I want my own attitude and my own mindset to be in charge of my own health and happiness. I don’t want dependency on something else for my, for, for my happiness other than, you know, I’m a I’m a I’m a Christian, so, you know, my relationship with God is super important, but like outside of that, my own happiness, I want to be independent of things that are happening around me. I don’t want my circumstances to dictate my happiness. I certainly don’t want substances to dictate my happiness and what I realized for myself, right? I can’t say this for everybody. All I’m all I’m talking about today. I said just Sharon with you, my own journey here, which was sort of an accidental journey a little bit like, you know, just an unexpected journey is, is is that I realized that I diluted my bodys own ability to deal with stress and pain and heartbreak and struggle because I was medicating with alcohol.
RV (17:26):
So I, you know, there are ways that you process stress and grief and, and heartbreak and setbacks and rejection and life. Like, life is difficult. Like for everybody. Life is so, life is hard, man, like, so difficult. And, and what I realized was, oh, somehow along the way, and just you, I, it wasn’t like I was crazy into, into doing bad stuff all the time. I just started drinking, you know, a little bit in high school and then more in college, and then a lot more later in college. And then, you know, I had some money and it was more, and then I was a young professional. I was traveling all over, I was flying first class and, you know, I was speaking and stuff and, and it was just like, it was just always available. And so it was just happening a lot. But I, at some point I had developed accidentally a dependency on this substance to help me resolve stress, to help me deal with rejection, to help me deal with frustration.
RV (18:34):
And so this substance was the thing that I was using for that. And so I was disallowing my body’s natural ability and from forcing itself to deal with those things in a healthy way. And so I was doing this unhealthy thing. And so I was like, man, I want non dependency. I want to be in charge of my own happiness. I want my attitude to dictate how I feel. I, I wanna be in charge. I don’t wanna be dependent on something else, regardless of whether what the something is. I don’t want something else to be responsible for my happiness. I want to be responsible for my happiness. So that was the second reason was mental health. The third reason was actually very practical. It was financial savings, like I remember one year we got a, like a personal accountant for our family and you know, they were just like, we would send in our receipts every month, or, you know, at first we started with QuickBooks and then we had like a family accountant.
RV (19:33):
And so they were tracking stuff and they had this line that was like, alcohol and it was thousands of dollars. And if you would’ve told me at the start of the year, oh, you know, Rory is someone who spends thousands of dollars on alcohol, I’d been like, no way. You’re crazy. Like, I have drinks here and there. And then looking at it added up and black and white, it was like, holy moly, I spend thousands of dollars on this. Thousands of dollars, right? Cuz you know, a drink might be, I don’t know, eight bucks, 10 bucks, 12 bucks. If you’re in Vegas, it’s 25 bucks. Like, and you go, ah, you know, a bottle of wine here and there is 20 bucks, 30 bucks. Like you know, you have martinis, you go out on the lake, you do the birthday parties and, and, and, you know, well, couple glasses of wine with dinner.
RV (20:21):
And again, I’m not judging anybody, I’m just sharing my story of going, for me, it added up. And specifically, it wasn’t just thousands of dollars, it was the opportunity cost of going, what if I would’ve spent those thousands of dollars instead of spending on alcohol? What if I would’ve invested that into my own education, into my own personal development? Like, if I would’ve used that money to go to conferences or travel the world or, or even waste and like blow on silly, you know, stuff like I, you know, whatever shirts and, and and, and, and clothes and like, you know, trips or, or TVs or whatever. Like, and then specifically was like, what if I would’ve invested that money? You know? Like if I would’ve taken a few thousand bucks every year from the time, let’s say from the time I was like 20 to 25, if I would take, say it was 2000 bucks every year from age 20 to 25 and invested that, and I would’ve had like that 10 grand invested, it would grow to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars by the time I was retirement age, like hundreds of thousands of dollars.
RV (21:22):
So I was just, that was one for me where I was like, okay, yeah. Like this is crazy. It’s crazy. It’s costing me, it’s costing me money. The fourth thing was competitive advantage. And I gotta give a shout out here to my man Lewis house because Lewis was one of the people, there were several people in my life that I met who were really high performing individuals. And as I got to know them, I was like, oh, this person doesn’t drink. And I was almost surprised. I was like, wow, I didn’t even know you could, like, it was almost like being successful in business meant you had to like drink at the golf course or drink at the happy hour or, or you know, drink at the award ceremony or drink on the airplane together or like go out for drinks and, and you know, everyone get together and you buy, buy drinks.
RV (22:09):
If you no, if you do so about stuff, it’s fine. But it was just like, it was crazy that somehow my default had become that that was mandatory. Like that it was just that you had to do it. And then I met some of these other people, one, one of ’em being Lewis, who was just this amazing guy who was co accomplishing big things in the world and he wanted to help people. He had these huge visions. What’s funny now, like all of ’em are coming true, but like back in the day it was like, you know, it was as many people who knew him and knew me and we were kind of up and coming and it was like, wow, this guy’s really cool, and, and he doesn’t drink. And so I asked him about it one time and he was just like, you know, look, you know, the way he described it to me was he was like, he was an athlete and he was like, I’m looking for every competitive advantage that I can get.
RV (22:56):
And so that was the fourth reason for me was like, competitive advantage of just going, okay, like separate morality, separate physicality. If you just look at it peer like ambition and success of like, who, what am I gonna, who am I, what am I gonna achieve someday? And, and what can I be capable of someday? And you go, okay, these are the goals I have in my life. And again, you go, does alcohol increase my odds of achieving these goals or decrease my odds? For me, it was like decreases the odds. And it was like, yeah, if all things being equal, okay, and I don’t, I’m not super competitive with other people. I’m pretty competitive with myself, but I’m not super competitive with other people. But if you just thought about, and you said, okay, if there’s three people in the race, all things being equal, and you go, if I’m a non dreger, does that give me a competitive advantage for me?
RV (23:50):
I was like, yeah, it probably does. Like it probably does. So, so why not? So that, that was a, that was a epiphany, which is kind of close to the fifth one. So the fifth one was physical vigilance. Physical vigilance. This was the fifth reason why, you know, thinking back, I stopped, I stopped drinking and I met a, a friend, or we had a friend named Navy Seal Joe and Navy Seal Joe was a Navy Seal for 24 years and he did 13 combat tours. You know, he’s running life and death missions. And he said to me, and he, he didn’t drink, and he and I, I asked him about it one time and he said, he said, it’s real simple, Rory, when you’re in Navy Seal you realize, you know your life At any moment you could be in a life or death situation like snap of a fingers, your Navy seal it.
RV (24:43):
There’s, you know, like the Marine, the Marines, the marines say no easy day, right? There’s no easy day. Like at any moment you can find yourself suddenly in a life or death situation. And he said, and I had to realize that like even once he was out of the military, the same was true, right? You can be walking down the street and in a split second, somebody walks up behind you, you’re in a life and death situation. You can be driving a car and something jumps out in front of the road and you split second, you’re in a life and death situation. You know, someone says something to you and you reacted the the wrong way to, it could be a loved one, could be a stranger. You suddenly might be finding yourself in a situation that could alter the trajectory of your life. And so he was saying that there were these moments that we never know when they’re gonna come up, but they could happen at any moment, right?
RV (25:31):
You could be, you know, tornado hurt, like, you know, hurricane, it could be volcano, could be a physical encounter, could be your, your house catches on fire and you go, are you prepared? Right? Like, if I’m drunk, does that make me prepared for that moment? For me, it was like, no, that feels not the case. It’s the opposite, right? It’s the opposite. And so I never wanted to be caught in a moment where I was like, whoa, I have handicapped my own ability to, you know, maximize the likelihood of a positive outcome in some type of a life or death situation. So it’s physical vigilance. It’s very similar. One time I remember a man came up to me after speaking he, he had read Take the Stairs and he was like, Roy, I really love the book, et cetera. And he said, you know, I doesn’t look this way, but I, I I lost 120 pounds.
RV (26:29):
And I said, wow, that’s crazy. How did you do this? And he told me, he said, well, you know, it’s amazing. It’s really like, how did I gain it? At first he was like, all I did was I got married 10 years ago and I gained a pound a month. Okay? So that’s 12 pounds a year. And I did that every year for 10 years. That’s 120 pounds. Like all I did was gain a pound a month. I did that consistently for 10 years. I’m 120 pounds overweight. And I said, well, so what happened? And he and I said, you know, what’s the diet like? What was the diet program? What was your exercise regimen like? What, what’d you, what’d you do? He said, it wasn’t any of that. He said, I had a friend whose house caught on fire and this guy’s house was burning down in the middle of the night and he had a wife and he had two kids and he had to make a decision in the middle of the night in that environment, which of his family members he was gonna carry out to safety.
RV (27:29):
And he told me, he said, in that moment, I made a de a decision that I would rather die than have to make that choice. And so I had to be in a position physically where I was strong enough to carry out all of my family. If that situation happened, I would have to be able to go room to room and pick them all up and, and, and make it out of the house. And so he said, that was the thought that moved me. It was this, the same idea of physical vigilance like that, that, that I’m ready at any moment before, you know, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m most ready or I’m best optimized for any moment. The six is spiritual guidance. I don’t wanna spend too much time on this one cuz I don’t, I don’t want you to think that like, you know, you’re, you’re in spirit, you’re unspiritual if if you drink, you know, you’re not, I mean, Jesus, you know, his first miracle Jesus is first miracle, starting water into wine at a wedding.
RV (28:26):
But there, you know, when I, I look through you know, I, I’m, I’m, you know, I’m a man of God. I read the word and that’s, that’s my source of truth. And I was looking in first Peter five eight, and it says, be alert and of sober mind because the enemy, the, your enemy, the devil pros around like a roaring line looking for someone to devour, resist him, stand firm in your faith. Because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And it’s like be alert and of sober mind, right? That’s a warning in Romans 12, one it says, therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters in view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as a living sacrifice. Holy in pleasing to God. This is true and proper worship. And you know, again, it’s like, doesn’t mean you can’t ever drink or even that maybe you shouldn’t get drunk.
RV (29:18):
It just means like, I’m being mindful of the idea that, okay, like if, if my body is supposed to be, my life is, you know, a dedication to the Lord, you know, there’s some spiritual, there’s spiritual impacts here. This is not a salvation issue, by the way, just to make that super clear. Drinking or not drinking has nothing to do with whether or not you get into heaven. There’s, there’s, that’s a whole different story. You know, speaking, you know, of the Christian faith that has nothing to do with whether or not you get into heaven. The Bible to me is, is not a rule book, it’s an instruction manual. Though for how you live and you know how to get the most out of living and, you know, these are things that I saw in there. So you know, that mattered to me.
RV (29:57):
And then the seven thing was just setting an example, setting an example an an an example setting for my boys, you know, and just going, you know, my dad was an alcoholic, his dad was an alcoholic. Like it ran in our family. And again, like a couple drinks here and there, whatever, I mean, this is all for you, for you to sort out. Like but for me it was again saying like, who do I want my boys to see? Me being? Who do I want them to see me being? What do I want them to see me doing, knowing not so much that I’m concerned with what they think about me, all that’s, although that’s important, but what concerned me more is knowing that whatever it is that I do is likely to give them permission for them to do in their own life.
RV (30:56):
And even if I am spared from ever becoming an alcoholic or become, you know, getting to the place where it, it really is, is is ruling my life, they might not be so lucky and I don’t wanna be a part of any part of contributing to that right now. My boys are gonna drink one day. I mean, maybe I’ll have a drink with them one day. I don’t know. Like but it’s, it’s like, it’s just setting that example and also, you know, helping other people that are cool and, and people realizing that you can actually be cool without doing this. You could be successful without doing this. You can rise in the corporate ranks without doing this because, which is weird to even think we have to say that, but somehow the, the world is at the place where you kind of have to say it cuz it’s more like, we think the opposite of like, oh, it’s, it’s, it’s weird to not drink.
RV (31:51):
Like you’re the unusual one if you’re not drinking, not the other way around. Like, it’s more normal, it’s more customary to be drinking and you can apply this to any type of indulgence, right? You know, the same things for like, you know, whatever, any type of abuse, not abuse indulgence abuse of in like a, of a substance, substance abuse is what I’m saying, or indulgence of, of some type. You know, so just, you know, that’s my identity. That’s why is going, who do I wanna be? And that’s what you gotta figure out for yourself is just who do I wanna be? And, and is this helping me or is it out? And if it’s, if it’s fine, like if it’s under control and you go, okay, yeah, it’s fine, it’s under control, fine. You know, it’s, it’s, no one should be judging you except you.
RV (32:36):
Like, it’s, it’s all up to you to decide what feels right. All right. So interruption, pause, stop the recording, stop the tape, stop the video. Stop, stop. Apologize for this interruption, but it sounds like I’ve got more to say on this topic than I anticipated. And I, again, I have no idea why I’m doing this. I just for some reason feel called to share this story with the world. But I, I’ve got more to say, in fact a lot more to say than some really, really practical tips and like actual tactical things that you can do or that I did to help me stop drink to, to help me stop drinking. So I am gonna share those with you, but we decided that, hey, this is a good place to pause and draw part one to a conclusion.
RV (33:30):
And we’ll sort of like wrap part one and then stay tuned and we will, we will bring you part two. I will not leave you hanging, but I just wanted to interrupt myself here for a moment and say there’s more to come. And if you’re, if you’re getting value out of this or if you think it’s useful for someone that, you know, that fills me up. I guess that’s really ultimately the only reason why I’m doing this. But we’re gonna split it into two different sections. So this lands the plane on part one and we’ll make sure obviously that we send out part two very, very, very soon. Make it easy for you to find. Thanks so much.