Sometimes the strangest things catalyze epiphanies about life. Take the following example I stumbled across on Reddit:
Obviously (I hope it’s obvious!) the picture is meant to be a joke. However, through the laughter a revelation struck me as if David (of David v. Goliath fame) had targeted me for his divine justice.
Silly Benny, what could you possibly learn from such a funny image?
Why, this I can tell you! In short discipline lets me handle more in my life. The latest example would be how I can fit in a 5 day workout schedule while still practicing my saxophone for 3 or 4 days a week, tutoring a high school student in Geo/Trig, and playing video games. (Of course, going to work and such as well)
It works because I am wasting 0 time. That’s not to say every instant is scheduled out down to the last second. In fact, that would be lame. What it means is at any given instant, if I can take a little bit more thought, effort, and perhaps time to do something that pays off ten fold later… I should do it.
The best example I have is putting things back where they belong when I’m done using things. For a lot of people this is common sense but for those of us out there who continue to find themselves in situations where they’re facing a Herculean cleaning effort it’s a very important lesson to learn. It stands as a fine example of how expending more effort than you’d like now will pay off in the future.
Every time I decide in favor of instantaneous comfort I am adding twice the discomfort later when I have to actually take care of it. So every pair of socks that get thrown aside, every winter coat that gets tossed to the ground, every dish that is not put up properly after use… they will cost me in the long run and while the short term benefit makes sense to my mind, applying some mathematical intuition will reveal that in the long term, the average value of the comfort/happiness function will be higher if I put in due effort now.
The human brain’s reward centers are not so keen on that but if you apply discipline to your life, you will develop a habit of increasing your quality of life.
The Ultimate Conclusion: Success is a Habit
Success is a habit and you can build this habit through discipline. When I decrease overall wasted time by making sure I take care of pressing but little things immediately I open up more opportunities myself. On top of that, I will gain time when I can relax without having to either ignore or suppress any task I need to accomplish, and that’s the best kind of relaxation: guilt-free.
Other benefits include all my bills being paid on time, being able to create time to play video games, having time to hang out with friends stress-free, getting more done at work and saving the company money, getting time to read peacefully, and more.
So really, if you think about it, by being disciplined you can get MORE time to relax! Combine this with a much improved perception of your available time (a topic which I cover some in my previous entry) and how you want to spend it and your satisfaction with life will go up dramatically!
I leave you with this related bonus picture (also found on Reddit):
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