Ok world – ready or not, here I come. I’m embarking on a 7-week journey to implement Rory Vaden’s seven strategies for self-discipline from his book Taking the Stairs– would you like to join me?
When I found his book in my mailbox on the heels of my epiphany about my recent lack of self-discipline, I took it as an invitation to explore this topic and implement some needed changes.
His first step, Sacrifice: The Paradox Principle sounds about as appealing as the notion of self-discipline. Because let’s be real – we all prefer the easy way out, and the notion of sacrifice is well, daunting, right? And we all are naturally good at ignoring our problems until they come crashing down on our heads.
But let’s look a little deeper. When it comes to making choices, there’s usually two parts of us that are in direct conflict, explains Rory. There’s the emotional part of our brain that drives us to make choices based on wanting to feel good now, and there’s the logical part of our brain that is evaluating what makes sense analytically.
It’s a tug of war, and all too often, the emotional side of us wins out. So what do successful people do that sets them apart? As Rory goes on to explain, they embrace the Pain Paradox, and understand that “the short term easy leads to the long term difficult, while the short-term difficult leads to the long-term easy.
The paradox lies in the fact that what seems easy in the short term (choosing the couch over the hike or the gym, choosing the chips over the carrots, zoning out in front of the TV instead of taking that webinar, you know the ones), ends up creating a life that is all but easy as our health deteriorates, and our dreams fade into the distance.
The good news? Often the seemingly harder choices are only necessary for a short period of time. I’m not talking about a lifetime of abnegation and sacrifice here. Just some short term choices to put in the time, make the not so easy choices, so we can live the life we want tomorrow.
So here is Rory’s call to action for this week: “Create a clear picture of what you want in the long run and you will find that your endurance for pain and strife, discipline and hard work will naturally increase to levels you never thought you had. A new world will open up for you – a world where you can have anything you want… as long as you commit.”
Ready? Here’s a little inspiration from Rory. https://youtu.be/dq4WsSiOAR4