For those of you who follow the gems of wisdom from Jim Rohn you will recognise those three words from his famous and longer saying. “Discipline is the habit of taking consistent action until one can perform with unconscious competence. Discipline weights ounces regret weighs tonnes”.
The great American football player, Jerry Rice put it a little differently. Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.
What put this in my mind was when the alarm went this morning at 5 o’clock I felt like rolling over and going back to sleep and not coming down stairs to write my blog. What followed was a bit of debate between my ego, the voice in my head, and my subconscious mind. The end of this conversation was the realisation that if I did not get up and write my blog I would regret it all day and would end up doing it anyway.
The truth of Rohn’s saying is self-evident in that little incident alone. His argument is that if you have the discipline to perform your duties in work every day you will feel better about yourself. If you do not do so you will regret it and the regret will weigh you down and begin to chip away at your self-esteem, regret weighs tonnes. How often have I felt like that, how often have I had something important to do only to put it off? How often have I had something small to do only to put it off?
From talking to people I know I am not alone. In fact a new definition of discipline I heard recently is, discipline is doing things when nobody else can see or cares. Talking to people I realised that regret does weigh tonnes and can lead to depression. People feel consciously or subconsciously they are not doing themselves justice and are underachieving. When people realise this and understand it is themselves holding them back this realisation comes as quite a shock and that is when depression can kick in.
Other people react positively to the realisation and start to correct it, they take action and therefore avoid the depression. The regret of not achieving your ambitions from you childhood, due to inaction on your own part can be very hard to take. Others realise that life is a one shot deal and that if they do not get off their ass the chance will have passed them by.
We all have seen or know of somebody who at forty or fifty suddenly packs in the safe job and starts to paint or write. What we don’t realise is that person could have wanted to pursue this since childhood but life and circumstances had conspired against them. Rather than having further regret they have taken the plunge and are living their dream. They are the brave people and most of us do not do this most of us just say, no I can’t do that because…..
On a daily basis if you do get yourself do perform on an unconscious competence basis you will be clearing your mind of all the clutter because you will not put off decisions that could and should be made TODAY. This in turn will mean that you have no regret building up in your mind. Your mind is free to concentrate on more productive things and your will be a happier person for that. Stress levels are also reduced which in turn leads to a happier you.
Happier in your surroundings, happier in your relationships and more grateful for what you have. Gratitude is also another way to lift the weight of regret. When you are grateful for what you have even if it is not all you want, you are in a better place to go and achieve more to improve your circumstances.