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12 Lessons from Six Alcohol-Free Years

On the 2nd of April 2018, I made a decision that changed my life forever.


It’s the best move I’ve ever made.


I’m not being overly dramatic when I say that.


I gave up alcohol on that date and have not touched a drop since.


Last week saw me celebrate six years of being alcohol-free.


I’ve often posted about why I gave up boozing and the impact it’s had.


After every post, I always got contacted by at least a couple of people seeking advice or to share their stories with me.


I’m often asked what significant differences I’ve noticed since going alcohol-free. I thought about this and then made a list of 12 positive changes:


1) Realising my potential – My dad was a hard-working, hard-drinking Irish builder. He, like many of his country folk, certainly wasn’t the ‘thick Paddy’ that they were often stereotyped to be. He had a street-smart and entrepreneurial streak that should have led him to becoming a millionaire. But alcohol held him back and meant he didn’t realise his enormous potential. I was going down that route, too, until I stopped drinking. I’m now squeezing out every drop of potential by removing the ‘I’m a drinker’ excuse.


2) Seizing opportunities – You think differently when you’re hungover or looking forward to your next drink more than anything else. I missed so many chances due to both of those things. Now, I’m making the most of any half chance that comes my way.


3) More clarity – The reason for this opportunity seizing is I have way more clarity in my thinking. I know what I want, why I want it and, to a degree, how to get it.


4) More reliable – When I drank, I was unreliable – often feigning sickness or an emergency because I felt too drained or sick to attend.


5) More authentic – Drinking gave me a false confidence that my naturally shy personality felt like it needed. While drinking, I lived up to a reputation of being a bit wild, when really, I’m happier just going home for a quiet night or walking my dog with my family.


6) More energy – This is a big one. I went to an industry event and saw hungover people the next day who weren’t making the most of the learning that was being shared. What a waste of time. I wake up fresh every morning (usually), and my extra energy over the years has helped me build a highly successful business in the Estate Agent Content Club and have the momentum to grow the Ethical Agent Network. I know with absolute certainty that a hungover person can’t outwork or outthink me.


7) More money – I’ve become more financially successful due to almost every benefit on this list. It’s not just due to money saved by not drinking but by thinking clearer, quicker and consistently better.


8) Far less anxiety – Drink is an anxiety-causing depressant – don’t get me wrong, I still suffer from fears and worries, but I’m far better positioned to cope with them


9) More present – When you’re hungover, you’re not really you, are you? Being alcohol-free has helped me be more present in every situation unless someone is super dull when I still glaze over and daydream.


10) Better decision-making – A friend of my dad’s used to say never make a big decision when you are tired or hungover. I still get many decisions wrong, but I tend to make better, more informed decisions.


11) More time – Time is our most valuable asset. If you don’t believe that, would you pay £10,000 for an extra ten years of life with your family and friends? Most of us would in a heartbeat. And enjoying the spare time, energy, clarity, and focus giving up drinking has given me is priceless. But it’s not the best benefit. That is…


12) Being a better role model – My dad was a good role model because he was hard-working, loyal and honest. But growing up, I saw things that weren’t nice due to being in a culture where booze played a big part. These past six years have helped shape me into what I believe is a good role model for my daughter, who is now 12 years old. She’s growing up seeing the best version of me.


Going alcohol-free isn’t for everyone, but it’s the best thing for me.


And it might just be for you if you give it a go.


One thing is sure: even taking a month off Grandpa’s old cough medicine won’t be bad for you, your business and your loved ones.


Thanks for reading, and I’m happy to chat with anyone who wants to know more about how I did it.


Cheers (slightly ironic in this context),


Jerry

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