Pick your pain: discipline or regret

“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

As a child I hated reading and writing and found it hard to concentrate on these activities. I also found it hard for people to understand me, which made me frustrated and angry. When I was 14 my parents took me to a specialist to try and figure out what was going on. I was diagnosed with dyslexia. This meant everyday activities such as reading, writing and speaking would take me longer to master. Not believing I could succeed, I used my dyslexia to be a victim. Throughout most of my high school years I expected people to help me because I had dyslexia. I didn’t realise it at the time, but I chose the pain of regret rather than the pain of discipline.

And then when I was 17 my grandfather suffered a stroke which left him hospitalised and doctors unsure if he would survive. My life changed that day. You see, I had promised my grandfather that I would finish high school. But I knew that at the rate I was going, that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. This led me to realise the following…

Pain is inevitable

I could continue down my current path and suffer the pain of regret knowing I had disappointed my grandfather and broken a promise; or, I could change course and start walking the road of discipline. I had a choice to make. I realised that the pain of regret would be far greater than the pain of discipline could ever be. I chose to change my direction.

It wasn’t easy. There were days I wanted to quit because it felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall and nothing would ever change in my head. But I didn’t because I feared the pain of regret more than the pain of discipline. I had fully committed to keeping my promise and had burned my boat. You can read more about that experience here. Bottom line, I kept my promise to my grandfather, finishing high school a year and a half later with good results. I also realised that you can increase your pain threshold to discipline. Let me explain. The more disciplined I was in one area of my life, the easier it was to be disciplined in other areas of my life. It was like a flow on effect.

What does this have to do with my money situation?

A lot.

If you don’t find the discipline to keep track of where your money is going you’ll experience the regret of waking up one day with too much month at the end of your money.

If you don’t find the discipline to put money into a savings account, you’ll experience the regret of having no money during an unforeseen financial emergency.

If you don’t find the discipline to stick to your debt pay-off plan and stop using your credit card, you’ll experience the regret of a financial burden that will weigh you down, cause you stress and possibly prevent you from owning your own home.

It takes discipline to create the financial life you desire and achieve financial success.

In a nutshell

Pain is inevitable. It’s up to you to choose which pain you will experience. Will it be experiencing the lighter pain of discipline now? Or the stronger pain of regret later on?

When it comes to money, unless you have the discipline to control your money, it will end up controlling you and leaving you with all kinds of regret!

So question for the day – do you control your money? Or are there areas where you could be more disciplined now and reap the benefits later? What’s holding you back?

About the Author

Hi, I’m David, a personal financial trainer. I believe it’s not about how much you have. It’s about what you do with what you have that counts. Like a personal trainer for your finances, I’ll coach you on how to take back control of your finances and reach your financial goals without having to give up what really matters to you most.

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