“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” – Jim Rohn
Discipline is defined as “the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity, etc.” (Dictionary.com). Let’s face it. Discipline can have some negative feelings or thoughts in our minds. I know when I hear the word, my first thought is the punishment I would receive as a child for disobeying my parents. But that is only one way to define discipline. If we look at the definition highlighted above, we see that there seems to be a struggle involved with becoming a disciplined individual. Athletes put themselves through lots of adversity that is often very painful in order to compete at the top level and win at their sporting events. They know that even though there is pain in the training, the rewards vastly surpass the momentary struggle to put in the work.
Now, let’s take a quick look at the other pain: regret. Regret is defined as “a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction.” (Dictionary.com). We have all faced regret in our lives because of poor choices we have made – good or bad. Too often we allow regret to pull us further into a downward spiral of more poor choices that lead us to feel guilty and inwardly destroy our potential for success.
According to Jim Rohn, discipline and regret are both pains that we all have to face in our lives, but the largest difference is in how much each affects us. If we look at our physical health, most of us know that we should strive for 7-8 hours of sleep each night, drink lots of water throughout the day, avoid processed or fried foods, exercise moderately 4-5 times per week, and eat our fruits and vegetables to maintain a healthy lifestyle. And every New Year, people jump in the weight loss bandwagon hoping to finally achieve that body they have always wanted. They have a picture in their mind of what they want to look like, and they are disciplined in working out consistently, eating right, and achieving their goals. But then only a month or so into the year, most people quit! Why? Well, one of the reasons, is that they forgot that discipline is a pain! And I bet if you talked to them when summer rolls around, you would find that they are slightly depressed and sure that they will never get that body they wanted because it is just not possible (tons of regret here).
What if we began to be honest with ourselves by saying, “You know what? I want to be fit, and some days I am not going to want to work out or eat right. But, I am going to choose to accept that small pain of doing the right thing so that later I don’t have to suffocate under the pain of regretting not getting fit this year.” I cannot promise you that the self-talk would always work, but it sure would be a great start!
So what about you? What are you trying to accomplish the remainder of this year? Do you have a fitness or business goal but are drowning in regret because you haven’t done well up ‘til now? Throw that weight of regret off your shoulders, and pick up the small hand-weight of discipline and get going! Stay consistent, keep your head down, and see where a disciplined life can take you.
Stay encouraged, my friends!