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  • Writer's pictureStephen Atcheler

Break it to make it

What do I even mean by break it to make it? Well in short I mean breaking bad habits to make new ones which in turn will help you make it in life. For each person, these will be very different. I'll explain clearly why this is and how unfair it is on people to set goals based on unrealistic views presented to them via social media plus other unverified bullshit sources.

What got me thinking about this is really from my own experiences from which I inherited my first 14 years, at least in most instances without choice. For the following years until today have been my choice so I am 100% responsible for the outcome of those decisions and take ownership of where I am at in life from them. This itself is a challenging step is to be able to say I am right here in this spot because I chose to be.

Recently well since turning 35 I had always said that I am going to start to take care of myself more and had put that off for quite a while as I enjoyed the ride a little too much. I have had a load of success and a load of failures. I mean losing 10 years of work savings in a short period to be left in a 3rd world country without a dollar to my name was a challenge to say the least. Since clawing back from there I have really started to focus to get on top and stay on top.

The most important thing I have learnt along the way I would like to share with you as it is not in a self-help book or mindset course. You must take a look back memory lane to be able to achieve this and then start to retrain your brain by breaking old habits and making new ones. The habits you have formed will come from only two real places you and your environment.

Here are two habits that I have had to remove to turn a corner for the better however they had to be broken first.

  1. Coming from Australia there is a drinking culture where as a kid growing up you see your parents drinking sometimes or in many cases like mine what I realise now is probably a lot more than you should. It is the way that it gets normalised that makes it OK and it is really up to you to work out that it may not be normal. I had my first drink at 13 in grade 8 which was very early I get it however it was easy to do and my parents took the approach that it was better to know what I was doing than hide it so I felt comfortable sharing that with them. They disciplined me of course but not to a point where through my teenage years I had to hide it. The great thing about being young is you cannot afford to drink every day however throughout my early career I earned 100k aud+ from the time I was 19 and could afford it and amongst other things. This habit from a young age carried through your older years will not serve you well. I currently reside in the Philippines running my staffing business here where a beer cost $1. It was not a great place to move to for a mild alcoholic as it only got worse. It did not affect work but I have looked back now and it pains me to look at situations where it has caused many issues with relationships, family and health. It got to a point where I had not gone a day in 5 years without having a drink and I thought that was fine from my habits in the past and the environment I was in and grew up in. I am sure if you are reading this you can resonate with this. I made the decision to go 1 month without January 2 this year 2022 and successfully did that however I could not leave my room for 3 days with the effects of just stopping cold turkey. I avoided everyone I knew as they were not exactly supportive besides my partner and a small number of friends (less than a handful). Now I have broken it, I am no longer craving a drink, I do not drink a drop during the week and have limited drinks over the weekend and if I do it better be a bloody good reason like an occasion. This has been an amazing habit break for me and now I have formed new habits which are far more positive and moving me towards my life goals instead of away from them.

  2. This one will tie in a little with the first one but it is separate once I got past step one. One thing I found once the booze was completely gone from my brain was that I was alone with my thoughts. I am not sure if that even makes sense but that's what I feel like as I had complete clarity for once and things just popped into my head more and more. I figure that was a part of why I personally was addicted to alcohol was that I drowned my thoughts with beers. This numbed the brain so I thoughtless. I thought that was a good thing previously to think less however that just meant I was avoiding things rather than taking them on. When something negative happened in the day that would spiral out of control in my mind and drive me to have a drink and push those thoughts back down where I thought they belong. I heard in a podcast that you can not control your first thought but you can control your second thought. That sounded really odd at first until I actually controlled my second thought. There is no difference between successful people and unsuccessful people besides the fact they no this secret. The interesting part of it is the more you do it the easier it becomes. I have now got to a point where the second thought I have just wipes out the first any negative thought in my mind. You may not know this about your own mind but it is programmed to keep you safe and they way it does that is fear. Break that habit and raise the level in your mind and it will stop protecting you from success however when it does create real doubt by a thought like should you jump out f this moving car you can listen then haha.

These are my two major habits that have had to be broken which have now led me to form new habits. The frustrating thing is that the mind no matter what you do will always be there. The crazy thoughts I get now are still there but I must fix them in my own head. Like now comparing myself to others at all as it never ends up a positive for many different reasons. This is something I am now passionate about and will continue writing about in further articles. As there are people in life that have just been handed success well maybe not success but money and they appear to be successful but in most cases are not. Seeing is not believing anymore.

I hope you got some value out of this article. I am far from a professional writer however am not going to let that hold me back from getting my word out as I truly want people to make it so follow this advice and break it!


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