Self-Discipline Or Regret?

The choice is always yours. You can deal with the discomfort of being self-disciplined and doing the hard work now or you can feel the sting of regret in the future.

Self-discipline involves acting based on how you think rather than how you feel. It usually comes with some momentary discomfort or pain. There are many ways to define self-discipline. However, it can generally be understood as the ability to motivate oneself in spite of a negative emotional state.

It takes self-discipline to choose and own a decision that a trade-off (not sacrifice) in the present moment is necessary for the desired results in the future. It’s working hard to write that term paper over spring-break instead of waiting until the last minute to get it done. It’s not buying that new car or house but choosing instead to save more money for retirement. It’s not eating that extra left-over piece of cake but choosing to be more healthy.

Everything in life that we do or don’t do has an associated “suck factor” to it. There is always some discomfort or stress involved in doing anything, and there is also an equal amount of discomfort or stress if you do not. How you distribute that pain or “suck factor” over time is up to you. Load it up on the front end or feel the full weight of it on the back end… those are your options.

Regret? That is easy to define. Regret is what you end up when you do not practice self-discipline. Regret is felt when you know the opportunity for you take care of business is timely manner is long gone. Regret is what you feel when you are struggling to make ends meet financially and you look back and know that you should not have overextended your budget over the holidays, or in trying to keep up with the Jones’s. Regret is what you feel when your professor hands you back your exam with a failing grade and you know that you chose to party over the weekend in lieu of studying.

Here is the greatest difference between self-discipline and regret. You never have to say you are sorry to yourself or to anyone else for being self-disciplined and making wise choices in life. When you choose to be self-disciplined and do your best, there is nothing to ever be embarrassed over. On the other hand, regret always involves a certain amount of apologies not only to yourself but to others also, and it typically comes with a heaping load of embarrassment to boot.

The choice is always yours to pay up now or to pay up later. The cost is your time, energy, work, and attention. If you truly want to live a life without regrets then choose to be self-disciplined at everything you do, all of the time.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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