How I Combined Tools from Scott Adams and Craig Beck to Quit Drinking

Systems and knowledge, not “will power,” got me there

Jeff Suwak
6 min readJan 1


Photo by Nghia Le on Unsplash

Today marks three years (and two days) since I consumed alcohol. That’s pretty cool.

What’s cooler is that it marks three years (and two days) since I had any desire to drink alcohol. That’s downright miraculous.

I freed myself from alcohol by combining the systems-thinking approach of Scott Adams with insights from Stop Drinking Expert Craig Beck. With their tools, I created a strategy for reprogramming my mind’s associations with alcohol.

After three years (and two days) of happy freedom from booze, I’m confident that my strategy can help others. I’m ready to share it.

My system is simple. If you’re ready to see it, jump down to The System I Used to Liberate Myself from Alcohol section below.

If you want the full context and philosophical background of my system in order to understand why this worked for me and why it can work for you, check out the other sections first.

Willpower is a Waste of Time When it Comes to Quitting Drinking

I believe in willpower.

I will myself to complete long runs when my body hurts. I will myself to read boring but useful books. I will myself to put in that extra hour that takes a job from good to great.

With alcohol, however, willpower is useless.

The problem with willpower is that it only works when we can focus our attention on one thing at a time.

Correcting lifelong habits entails acting consistently throughout the day for many days in a row.

Over the course of those days, the other demands of life sap our attention. Our willpower becomes fragmented in the process.

In our distraction, the old subconscious drinking scripts take over.

The subconscious script driving you to drink is highly intelligent. It was planted in your mind without your consent. It operates below your consciousness. If it didn’t, you…



Jeff Suwak

I’m not in the Matrix. I AM the Matrix. Sci-Fi mystery “The Singer File” at

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