Bad habits are sneaky by nature. You figure you’ll have “just one” cookie, or cigarette, or drink, or whatever your vice of choice may be, and the next thing you know you’ve had two, 10, 20 – day after day after day. After a while, that habit can take over your life so much that it may seem like you can never get rid of it. But today, I want you to know that any moment could be the moment you kick that habit and change your life for good. That’s what my friend and guest on my show, Whoopi Goldberg, did when she recently quit cigarettes for good after decades of smoking. What inspired her to stop might surprise you, but could just be your ticket to better health, too.
Whoopi began smoking when she was just 12 years old and smoked her entire adult life. Even though she overcame many obstacles and other addictions over the course of her life, she couldn’t shake her cigarette habit. Until one day changed everything. She saw a video from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation about two young children, Keith and Kennedy, who suffer from a genetic disease called cystic fibrosis. Cystic fibrosis (CF) causes thick mucus to collect in the lungs, which makes it incredibly difficult to breathe. Though treatments have improved over the past several decades, this difficult disease is still incurable, and most people with CF don’t live past their 30s.
Keith and Kennedy don’t let their CF slow them down, though. Even though they both have to take multiple medications and do special breathing treatments twice a day, both Keith and his little sister are active, happy kids – and Keith, who’s only 9 years old, can even run a 6-minute mile.
It’s not hard to see why Whoopi was inspired by these strong, brave children. After she heard Keith say that what he wishes for most is a cure for CF, she knew that even if she couldn’t cure his disease or give him a new pair of lungs, the least she could do was stop hurting her own. In that moment, she put a stop to decades of dangerous smoke inhalation and sent her body on the way to recovery. You can learn more about how to quit smoking and how quickly the body recovers from tobacco use here.
I am so proud of Keith and Kennedy and Whoopi for realizing that life’s challenges never defeat you. In fact, every new moment provides you with a chance to accept the challenge to make your life better. This isn’t easy – in fact, it’s one of the hardest things we can do – but it’s always worth it. I hope you’ll join Whoopi, Kennedy and Keith to embrace the bravest part of yourself and change your life now.