That’s the beauty of everything in life. Everything is your choice.
You don’t get to choose necessarily what happens to you, but you get to chose how you respond.
How you respond is much more important that what happens to you.
And even in the vein of not being able to choose what happens to you — you choose the people you surround yourself with. You choose the things you say and don’t say. You choose how you spend your time. You choose your investments. You have a lot of control over what happens to you.
You will always reap a harvest of the choices you sow today.
And the choices you make today can be one of two things:
- For Your Benefit
- For Your Detriment
There is no middle of the road. You’re either growing or shrinking.
This can be different depending on the context. Maybe you’re growing in one area and shrinking in another.
Regardless, you’re making choices everyday. Those choices are creating the person you will be in the future. You’re choosing what happens to you. You’re choosing your path in life.
I like this tweet by @julian.
The ultimate lifehack that encompasses all others: Be good to your future self. Unfortunately, it’s the easiest thing to recognize while being the hardest thing to enact.
Eliminating Options Gives You Freedom
That might seem counter intuitive at first. You might think that being able to choose anything is freedom. But in reality, being able to choose an option of everything is an incredible burden and requires so much discipline to maintain.
When you choose to eliminate options, your choices are made for you in the future. That way, you don’t need to have discipline to make the right decisions for your life.
I’ll give you an example: I’m married with two small children. This fact about my life eliminates so many choices and options off of my table.
I’m married, so I don’t need to think about any other women in a manner that would lead to dating or marriage. That decision has been made, and in my mind it’s final.
I have kids. I don’t have to decide whether or not I’m going to go out partying on a Friday night. That decision has been made for me.
I can’t just goof off at work. I can’t just slack for a day. I can’t eat unhealthily. I can’t stay up all night. Etc. These people depend on me showing up and doing the right thing every day.
All of these decisions are already made. Which frees up so much cognitive load in my brain to focus on things that are much more important and make an impact on other people.
Eliminating options doesn’t give you ‘freedom of choice’, it gives you freedom to deeply pursue the things that are beneficial to you and everyone around you. Because if you didn’t choose that, everything around you would fall apart.
Delayed Gratification Is Everything
It’s the secret to success.
The longer you can hold off on cashing in, the more you can grow.
Similarly, the longer you can hold off the things that will make you shrink, the more you can grow in an area.
You can see this in a lot of different areas:
- Saving instead of spending.
- Eating healthy instead of eating unhealthy.
- Reading a book instead of watching TV.
Spending money, eating unhealthily, and watching TV are all much more gratifying and tempting choices. But, they aren’t helping you grow.
Delay those options and choose the things that are going to help you in the long term.
Here’s the ultimate secret — delayed gratification compounds.
Saving once is fine, but saving for a whole year, or decade is where you’ll see massive growth.
Eating healthy once is great, but eating healthy everyday will make you feel so much better in 20 years that you would if you ate junk all the time.
Reading one book is great, but reading several books every year can give you the knowledge to grow in so many areas of life.
These actions, when sustained for the long term, provide a rich foundation and momentum of success that can never be turned around.
Discipline Is The Way
Discipline is painful.
You can either choose discipline or regret. There’s nothing between.
The pain will be there no matter what.
There will either be pain of discipline now, or pain of regret later.
Cast a vision, set a plan, and be disciplined about it. Choose the person you are going to be in 5, 10, 30, 50 years. Put in the work today to make movements towards the person you want to be.
Do the necessary work everyday. Budget, eat healthy, love those around you, and work hard on your dreams. Do this for years and your efforts will compound. Your success will be inevitable.
Decide when you want the pain. Now, or later.