“Success usually comes down to choosing the pain of discipline over the ease of distraction.” – James Clear
Just read this quote today on Twitter and it neatly sums up this post I’ve had an idea for but put off writing because I couldn’t quite figure out how to say it right… but I’ll just ignore that feeling and post anyway.
I want to be fit, a comfortable weight, and healthy for as long as possible. But most days working out, exercising, and eating right are not things I want to do.
I want to have a glass of wine most nights and a cocktail a couple times a week. But when I do, my exercise goes out the window the next day. I find it impossible to maintain a healthy weight without working out 5-6 days a week so I usually forgo drinking most nights. I will admit, some nights this is done with a small curse under my breath.
I want to be financially secure and robust to economic conditions outside my control. That is, I want to have very little (or preferably no) debt, be on track for a comfortable retirement, and be “ok” if, worst case scenario, I couldn’t maintain an income for six months. But most days, I’d love to plan a vacation to an exotic locale that would be comfortable for me and my family. Or I’d like to upgrade the family car.
I want to play video games a half-dozen hours a week. But that would inevitably cut into family time, reading, writing or personal project time. So I generally keep it to less than six hours a month.
And the list goes on…
Here’s the essence: I do what I don’t want to do today so that I can have the life that I want to have. Often, it isn’t easy and it isn’t fun. But to much ease comes with a subtle poison of wholly unrewarding consequences which permeate all facets of life. So I choose the pain of discipline because it alone can bring the success I want to see in my life.