We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Attributed to the famous entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn, you will often find variations of this quote in books, on posters and so on, but what does it mean? To achieve anything we want takes effort, but it also takes discipline to keep going with it until that goal is reached.
Think about New Year. As it comes around, we are all encouraged to make New Year Resolutions, whatever they may be. Those resolutions give hope, they make us feel good about ourselves. Whether it is losing weight, learning a new skill, getting fit to run a marathon or whatever. When you make that choice, you feel good about yourself, and most of us start off with good intentions.
But life is busy, tiring and sometimes, really hard, so what happens to those resolutions? Have you ever completed one? Many disappear by Easter, simply swallowed up in the day to day challenges of life. Until the next year, when you do it all again, and making those resolutions make you feel good about yourself again, for a short while.
But after a few years, looking back at those failed attempts leaves you with regret. Regret that you didn’t run that marathon, and now you are older it probably isn’t possible, Regret that you never learned to play guitar, lost weight or anything else. That is all that comes from those unfulfilled resolutions.
But you could complete your resolutions. It takes disciple, and that is hard too. But by sticking with your plans, you can achieve any of those goals you set yourself. There will be pain along the way of course, sometimes you just want to give up, but by maintaining discipline, you will get there.
We have talked about resolutions here, but this applies to any goal or ambition you have, whatever it may be. There are two outcomes of a goal, you can go through the pain of accomplishing it through discipline and application, or you can go through the pain of regret by giving up.
Here’s the important part. With the pain of discipline, you get to accomplish something, to finish what you started and made a memory, achieved something special, done what you set out to do. The pain of regret offers no reward, just regret.