The Pain of Discipline or the Pain of Regret?

Pendulum-on-a-Clock-Step-4I ran into a couple of related quotes last week, that stopped me in my tracks. Check these out:

“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” ― Jim Rohn

“We avoid the pain of self-discipline, because we confront it everyday. Meanwhile, the pain of regret goes unnoticed for days, months and years, but when it comes, it marks us with the profoundest disappointment” ― John Maxwell

Do they spark anything for you too?

At a certain point after retirement I loosened the reigns a bit. I get plenty of encouragement to “lighten up” from those who get sucked into my orbit. I was inspired by a Walt Whitman quote my niece wrote on a retirement card to her father “From this hour I ordain myself loosd of limits and imaginary lines“. Gradually the pendulum swung from being ueber disciplined and reliable to … a more laissez faire, relaxed approach. To-do lists weren’t all checked off, or even written in the first place. Balls were dropped, time was wasted, workouts were missed, etc.

All seemingly harmless and positive, until I was recently shocked to arrive at an event I was co-hosting and realize I hadn’t even read the email with instructions on my role and necessary preparation. It felt like that dream where you show up naked at school, or in my case arrive at a test that I hadn’t studied for. I could offer up lots of blah-blah excuses, but honestly ….! Not good. Not me. Not anyone I aspire to be. What happened?

The “pain of regret” came knocking and this time it was just a bit embarrassing. Dodged a bullet. What about next time? I’m pondering how to re-inject some measure of discipline back into routines without going back over to the “ueber” side of things.  Once again balance is that illusive secret to success.

Attention to this blog seems to be a balancing factor for me, so I’ll probably show up here more often again in the near future. Stay tuned …


About lynnmorstead

Writing about the small things that shape our lives
This entry was posted in Change Management, discipline, Happiness, quotes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Pain of Discipline or the Pain of Regret?

  1. Lee says:

    Lynn, perhaps the event didn’t turn out to be as interesting to you as it seemed when you agreed to co-host, so the email didn’t seem urgent. I’m finding that happening to me more and more these days–I’ve given up several activities I once enjoyed, feeling the need for more private time than ever before. I also wonder why this change has happened.

    • lynnmorstead says:

      Cathy, thanks for adding that. I’m sure that’s part of it. And the interesting thing, is that was never a consideration before. I just did everything I was supposed to, regardless!

  2. Rhonda says:

    I’m still going full tilt in volunteer leadership roles, lots of work, no pay, but a lot of satisfaction. I’m able to juggle many balls with lots of attention to the calendar and email, but find that many of my volunteers don’t have the same attention to either that I do! Two months of relaxation in Hawaii was good for the soul, as well as plenty of other weekend and longer trips to apply the balance. But when I am home, I stay disciplined, then let it all hang out when out of town. That’s the way I worked at XOM too. Creature of habit.

  3. Rhonda says:

    Thanks for sharing the 2 quotes — had never heard them!

  4. Tina says:

    Thanks Lynn. With part time work I iften have to remind myself to be disciplined I what I do. But also need to shut it off when just enjoying retirement.

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