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Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven…

The Marines have a saying,

“Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”

Put in real world terms what this is telling us is that 99% of people are unwilling to do what they need to in order to succeed.  Admittedly, some of things that might required for an individual to reach their vision of success could be extremely challenging or even terrifying but we’re even going that far here.

I respect the wisdom that personal growth comes when you step outside your comfort zone, and even the pronouncement that the best things in life are on the other side of terror, but most people never get close to challenging those ideals.

Most people never come to grips with self-discipline to the point where they can maintain their world within their comfort zone in a manner that is in their best interest.

Now, it is imperative to be careful with your self-talk right here.  Yes, we are referring to discipline but not in the punitive or punishment fashion commonly associated with the word.  Here we’re talking “self-discipline” as governed by the principle of “self-love.”

Now don’t go getting some Pollyanna like, goody, goody, kumbaya vision in your head.  That just leads to a world of hopes and dreams that are never fulfilled.  We are still talking discipline here, but from the standpoint of the choices you make for yourself.   Most people just go with the flow, they succumb to peer pressure, they give in to their cravings and develop bad habits because they don’t step back and decide what is best for them in that moment.  Even if they have clearly defined goals and ambitions, they give into weakness and never understand why they see little or no progress toward the achievements they desire.

Self-love is the principle behind self-discipline that leads to you making decisions that are in your best interest.  Self-love is the principle that should be governing the small day to day decisions you make that effect you in the most personal ways.

Self-love is that small voice in your head that tells you not to eat that pizza, even though it would taste so good, because you’ll feel horrible or guilty later, because it will hamper your exercise achievements, because it will prevent you from achieving your weight loss goals.  If you have a healthy perspective here, your self-love will forbid you from eating the pizza and you’ll have the self-discipline to listen.

Self-love is that small voice in your head that tells you not to go out with your friends tonight, even though the peer pressure is enormous, and you always have a good time, because you have an assignment due or a test to write tomorrow.   If you go, the odds that you will achieve your desired outcome on your test or grade on your assignment will be significantly reduced.  Not only will that make you feel bad, but it could hamper your future plans.  If you have a healthy perspective here, your self-love will forbid you from going out tonight and you’ll have the self-discipline to listen.

I’m sure you can think of many more examples of decisions you should have made in your own self interest but didn’t.  The question is, if you can’t develop the discipline to make simple decisions that are best for you, will you ever have the discipline to develop the talents or face down the fears that will get you into heaven.

Jeffrey Jedlicki Pathway to Professionalism