I studied counseling under Albert Ellis, the cantanerous and prolific founder of a style called Rational Emotive Therapy.

He used to give free Friday night sessions in front of a couple of hundred people.

I was at one and a woman volunteered.

It went like this.

“I’ve tried to stop smoking and I just can’t.” The smoker said.

“What do you mean you can’t?” Ellis said.

“Well, I’ve tried and it’s too hard.”

“What do you mean, it’s too hard?”

“It just gets difficult and I wind up smoking.”

Ellis looked at her and said.

One of My Heroes...besides Elvis

“What if I gave you $10 million dollars to not smoke for the next hour. Could you do it?”

The woman giggled.

“For $10 million dollars? Sure, I could put up with it for an hour.”

“Then, you can quit. What you’re telling me is you don’t like being uncomfortable.”

Shortly after that he asked her to sit down. That was all there was to it. No infomercial audio tapes to buy, no rehab, no retreat and no exorcism. Simple and elegant, you can change whatever you want if you’re willing to be uncomfortable.

Not saying it is easy, but it is simple. Complicating it does a disservice to humanity.

If you can put up with discomfort you can do almost anything.