I’m at the stage of my life where I can see the effects of long-term discipline or long-term neglect on various life choices that I and others have made.
From the outside, my life looks “alright”. I never did any hardcore drugs or got into trouble, I work a respectable job making 70k/year remotely that I just got a couple of months ago, I have a decent body that is the result of many gym sessions over the years, I read a lot.
But I know that I fell far short of my potential, especially when I had a lot of time stretching ahead of me. My conscience haunts me in the night hours and in the early mornings. There are times when I wake up in the middle of the night feeling massive pangs of anxiety.
We all think we have time when we just leave college and life and potential stretches out before us. “Tomorrow”, we say. Tomorrow I’ll go to the gym. Tomorrow I’ll learn that programming language. Next year I’ll start saving money. I’ll ask that girl out when I’m ready. I’m going to move out when I save up enough. But tomorrow passes and nothing happens. No action is taken. No discipline is executed.
I spent the past 8 years mired in stagnation and mediocrity with various aspects of my lifestyle lagging. What are some of these areas? Let’s take dating for example. I am a guy that has never had any success with women. I could have spent some time really getting this area of my life dialed in. I could have gone out on any random night and get rejected (or even a number). I had an entire year in 2018 when I was unemployed and could have done so. But I made excuses. Not enough money, I’m not jacked enough, not funny enough, I still live at home, blah, blah, blah. Now, I’m at an age where I’m behind in this area and it only gets harder. Why? Lack of self-discipline.
I still live at home at an age where I should have been moved out. I moved back in after college and never left. I spent years un/underemployed. I even started a business that exploded in my face. But if I look at it closely, I could have succeed in the business. I could have moved out sooner. But I didn’t. Why? Lack of self-discipline.
All of my friends fled back to their home states or moved entirely after college. I have not had a solid social circle since 2013. I put off the hard work of being social and making friends because I said “I’m going to be moving anyway, not much use in doing it”. That was in 2014. We’re still at square one in that area. Why? Lack of self-discipline.
There’s many areas we can hone in on. My fitness level is subpar compared to the time I spent on it, my finances are rock bottom, I have little travel experience…so many things. And I now have to give an account of the last 8 years since I left college. I had 8 (well, 7 if you’re not counting when we went into lockdown last year) years to capitalize on. What happened in the last 8 years that no lifestyle progress was made? Why did you waste your 20s? Simple. One answer. Lack of self-discipline.
I was reading a quote by Jim Rohn that said something along the lines of “we will suffer one of two pains in life: the pain of self-discipline or the pain of regret. The only thing is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons”.
I’m dedicating 2022 to extreme lifestyle mastery. The person I am now is not suitable to get me to the next stage. I look back on my life with extreme regret. Most of my friends are married or in a serious relationship and are moving into the next phase of their lives. I can’t relate to many people my age. My most crucial period of life – my 20s – I squandered them in isolation, with a lack of drive, and a complete inability to truly challenge myself. I can never get those years back and now I’ll just have to pick up the pieces, especially now that we’re in a pandemic which makes all of the above harder.
So to anyone reading this, go through the pain of discipline. Get up early, focus on your craft, save money, move out and gain life experiences. Or you surely will go through the pain of regret where you look at all lapse of time and realize that you’re still the same person with the same issues that you had over a decade ago.