Saying, "no" to self-discipline is saying, "yes" to regret.
I have a goal to be up by 5:30am Monday through Friday. I spend the first two-and-a-half hours of my day in growth mode and I love it. For me it provides the space for solitude, spiritual connection and personal development.
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Though I love the time, I still don't always love rising so early. Some mornings, right after the alarm goes off, a battle begins in my brain. Am I going to get up or not? In those moments, part of me can come up with some great justifications for sleeping in.
The Logical Excuse
"Since you had to stay up a little later last night, you should stay in bed a little later this morning."
The Faker's Excuse
"Your throat feels a little sore, catch a few more zzz's to give your body time to rest. No sense in making your work day less productive."
The Slacker's Excuse
"You're too hard on yourself. Just relax Mr. Drill Sergeant. Live and let live."
Excuses come in every shade and color, but the fact still remains, I have to pick my pain.
In that dark room, and in that warm bed, I recite a version of Maxwell's quote: "The choice you're about to make will either lead to the pain of self-discipline or the pain of regret. It's your choice Josh." That usually sobers me up pretty good. It awakens me to the realization that there's no easy way out.
There's no getting off the hook. There's not the "hard" way and the "easy" way. They're both hard because they both come with pain. It's my choice.
Of course, wise men have been telling us to pick the pain of self-discipline for centuries. But, I'm not only picking it because they said so, I'm picking self-discipline because the fruit tastes better than the alternative. The choice to stay in bed may feel good and right in the moment, but I know from experience that regret leaves a bitter aftertaste.
What time do you wake up in the morning? Are you dedicating a chunk of time to growth and learning?