The largest lie one tells himself; ‘I’ll do it tomorrow.’ Since the present isn’t appropriate and one’s duties not important enough to be taken seriously. It’s commonplace, all too familiar. The most unexceptional justification shared among mankind. It’s foolish to imagine that you’re likelier to do something tomorrow rather than today, as you know and understand that when tomorrow comes, you’ll simply find an inventive yet nonetheless obstructive justification to avoid doing what you should to carry out your essential duties. You know what you should do, you know you’re lying to yourself. You know, too, that any unsound excuse is inhibiting your development. But you tend to do it anyway, deceiving yourself with another cosy presumption: you think you have time to hang around. But you don’t… you don’t have as much time as you think. This shouldn’t be perceived in a daunting light, it should conversely be your great assistance, provoking a sense of urgency to make towering headway, to rise above the crowd and trounce every past excuse that brought you to a standstill. Nothing is more anxiety-provoking than paralysis. And one happens to impose it upon himself with insufficient knowledge. You come to feel that relishing the familiar comforts of the present will keep your difficulties at bay.
Troubles propagate and grow when they are frequently evaded. You could deprive your senses to forget your problems, but that doesn’t exterminate your difficulties, it merely aids in your negligent discontent. Postponement generates more perverted worry than conflict ever will. You may address conflict and plummet wretchedly into abyss. That’s likely to happen, as it often does. Nevertheless, cultivating the valour and will to plunge is far more fruitful and admirable than being a useless coward, good for nothing, trembling of life and death. Being inept is superior to being good for nothing. The incompetent-resolute fool is likelier to prosper than the coward who neither tries nor fails, who’s inexperienced in hardship and drifts heedlessly through life without a set aim. You can scoff at the fool’s failure, but he’s less despicable than the coward who can’t conceivably fail by his incapacity to try. The fool who persists in his folly may become wise, but the coward who doesn’t fall will remain an incurable loser.
If you ask me, I would rather look like a fool than remain an eternal nobody, because while I may momentarily embarrass myself by my idiocy, I can be sure that it will impart to me some profound moral through which I could draw out wisdom. That’s what experience is for; to be capable of synthesising the knowledge it provides and subsequently administer it. However – much to their detriment – the cowardice of the indolent can’t profit from what experience has to offer, since they refuse experiencing to begin with. That’s a serious catastrophe. And how do they refuse experiencing? By vicious, labour-saving, and opportune postponement of doing something today, right at this moment, without disturbance. They can’t, their impulse too strong, their will too impoverished. To stimulate inside man the kind of will that will dismantle his laziness and obscurity, mere encouragement is insufficient – something more is demanded, something more fundamental, there I say perennial.
I truly believe that self-discipline is where order and will reconcile and move in euphony. A man hampered by the compulsions of laziness can’t conceivably proceed in harmony with either, since he clearly can’t command or restraint himself. Incessant idleness becomes an illness, not an impediment one could comfortably overcome. The difficulty is more firmly embedded in one’s nature. While the shiftlessly idle find comfort in tomorrow, the firmly determined find security in today, as they understand not only the transience of existence, but their necessity to rise above the limitations that prevent them from experiencing, living, revelling.
Their will to suffer, to pursue excellence, to fight for something, pervades their soul with an intense obligation to sacrifice present gratifications for longevity, meaning, and ultimate fulfilment. Such a keen necessity is not born of weakness – quite the contrary – it is born of hardship, and subsequently the strength to endure it. While this sort of self-control comes easier to the few, each and every man – in spite of his innumerable faults – could become disciplined enough to lead a life devoid of unrestricted laziness. More importantly, with the enlightened knowledge that if he does occasionally fall off the carriage of restraint, he will not loathe himself to the point of destruction, further condemning himself through inordinate indulgence.
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Practical Self-Mastery reveals a simple step-by-step guide to develop spartan-like discipline without counting on the myth of ‘motivation’.
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