Many years ago I unfortunately had the habit of smoking. Actually I was not a chain smoker, but would enjoy five or six cigarettes every day. This addiction was mainly due to the influence of movies. I was copying the style of popular celebrities, not aware of the health hazards caused by smoking. I kept this habit hidden from my wife. That is why, when I left my office every day, I always had a mouth freshener ready in my pocket. But as it is wisely said, the truth always comes out, sooner or later.
One day I started coughing and sneezing. This illness, surprisingly, lasted for many days. A fortnight later I consulted a physician. Even his treatment proved futile so I rushed to an ENT specialist. He suspected that the ailment might be prolonged due to nose bone enlargement. He suggested a surgery for it. Since I feared the operation, I consulted a chest specialist for a second opinion. He read through my reports and asked me a single question- “Are you a smoker?” I nodded in affirmation. His crisp advice to me was, “Quit smoking today or else be prepared to quit the world. Don’t worry; acquired habits can be easily discarded.” I pondered over his words and decided to stop smoking. Miraculously I got better within a week. Since then I have given up smoking.
I am of the opinion that habits like smoking, chewing tobacco, betel nut or even chewing gum degrades our personality in public and at times even causes loss to our business. Once a company had invited bids from suppliers for a specific contract. Finally they chose me and another competitor for the same and invited us for a price discussion. My competitor was very ambitious. He had already expressed his willingness to cut the rates further to get the contract. The company then asked me to reduce the prices quoted in my bid similar to my competitor but since it was impossible, I declined the offer with an apology and returned. I gave up hopes to acquire the contract.
After some time the same company called me and awarded the contract, even sanctioning the rates in my bid. It was a surprise for me. I asked one of the committee members from that company why they changed their decision. To which he replied, “Mr. Datar, when we were finalizing the terms and conditions with your competitor, we observed that he was a chain smoker. He had bad breath and couldn’t control his addiction even for an hour. The committee decided to believe your firm attitude rather than a person who can’t control his bad habits in public.” I thanked God for the opportunity and learned a valuable lesson from the incidence.
Friends, our personality makes a great impact in public appearance. Hence, quit the habits that are disliked by society. As it is wisely said- It is easier to quit the bad habits today than tomorrow.