“Discipline is the practice of choosing between what you want NOW and what you want MOST.
This is one of those quotes that can stop you in your tracks.
For me it applies to personal goals, (exercise, food choices, what time I get to bed) and business goals, especially how I’m allocating my time and which tasks I’m focusing on.
What We Want Now
This is easy to figure out. Just look at what we feel compelled to do. Or what our go-to is when we’re feeling overwhelmed, when something in our heart is hurting, or when we lack clarity about how to do that thing we predetermined was important.
- We watch video shorts on YouTube or IG like they’re a bag of potato chips. We tell ourselves that we’ll just watch 3 quick videos, but then like the bag of potato chips that we keep reaching into, we flip to the next short because you know, it’s only a minute.
- Have you noticed how many times you feel really hungry and grab what’s convenient rather than what’s best?
- We’ll stay “productive” (at least that’s what we tell ourselves) by checking things off our To-Do list. But what we’re really doing is the less important, somewhat mindless activities that are easy.
- We rationalized that we slept in too long so there’s no time to go walking in the morning, but we definitely will walk after work…unless it’s too chilly, too hot, might rain, or you’re feeling really tired and just want to put on your comfy clothes and watch a movie.
None of us is immune to the pull of the convenient, easy, and “feels good in the moment” activities.
Our Inner Rebellious Child Is Sometimes Right
It’s problematic to hold myself accountable to high standards in multiple challenging areas simultaneously. This is especially true when I’m driven to defy my limits regarding what I can accomplish in a given time period.
An obstinate, inner rebellious child pushes its way to the front and declares, “Nope. I’ve had enough. Not doing it. So there.”
To avoid sabotaging myself, I must be selective in what I prioritize and how I’m allocating my time and energy. I’ve given myself permission to lower the bar until the new habit or process starts feeling simple and on autopilot.
Once that happens, I can add another new challenge, or raise the bar on an existing one.
I used to secretly chide myself for this but now I realize this is actually healthy.
Although Type A’s can make things happen, driving yourself hard all the time is counterproductive over the long haul. It’s not really a fulfilling lifestyle, no matter how many tasks you knock out or how many goals you hit.
Growing older and experiencing too much heartbreak has taught me to seek beauty and balance in my life.
Weakness Or Wisdom? Fleeting Satisfaction or Big Picture Fulfillment?
I no longer see it as a weakness to lower my own expectations of myself on a daily basis. I’ve learned to give myself grace and prioritize things that matter to God and the big picture of my life.
Wisdom comes when we’re honest with ourselves. Is this is a “put on my big girl pants” moment, or a “stop, breath, delegate, delete, reprioritize” moment?
Fleeting satisfaction of the moment or a lifestyle of accomplishment and fullment is at stake.
What’s even more at stake is our identity – the story we tell ourselves about who we really are.
The next move is yours. Choose wisely!