Living Tangerine Vs. Self-Discipline

17 Aug

I’m writing this post because I have to.

“What’s the point in starting up a new blog, if you’re not going to post in it?” I asked myself today as I watched the flashing cursor on the page. The truth of it is, I didn’t much know when I’d be writing my next entry, or what the topic would be, or if I would write on at all.

Ahh! I’ll tell you why I had such difficulty making this decision. Because I’m a sucker for the path of least resistance. Leave that “road-less-traveled-by” to Robert Frost. I’ll take the easy way in nearly every situation. And what’s easy?

Doing nothing at all – that’s easy. But because I refuse to do nothing, here I am, writing an entry about my lack of self-discipline.

I’ll admit, I’ve always been a creature of wants – of excess. And though I view hedonism and over-indulgent lifestyles to be generally negative in their result and their impact, I practice them profusely. Why? Because it is so incredibly easy to procure simple pleasures then it is to have long-term perspective.

You may say to yourself “I want that muffin…” and there is a distinctive urge to consume said muffin with little thought into the fact that you are effectively sabotaging your diet for the day when you eat it.  Because the craving is so extreme, we lose sight, if only for a moment, of our long-term goals. It’s really easy, and it happens all the time, but what can we do to combat it?

Well, not much besides constantly reminding yourself of your long-term goals to the point of redundancy. But, here at “Living Tangerine” we try to find the sweet in the sour, so consider the following.

Consider your goal. Chances are you’ve been working on it for a long time and provided yourself a multitude of dramatic excuses as to why you have not achieved this goal. You know they’re excuses, and you know excuses are bad, but you allow yourself to do it anyway. You’ve put it off, and put it off, and put it off… and what did you do with the time you gave yourself by putting it off?

Many a time I have sat bored in my bedroom, or watched television when I could have been writing, going to the gym, getting myself organized for the week, doing laundry, practicing the ukulele, cleaning, reading a book, taking a class, going for a walk, spending time with my grandmother, etc… etc…

You see what you did there? You traded a positive for a negative. You could have done this incredibly progressive act. You could have bettered yourself, or spent time with friends or family. You could have been happy, but you opted to put it off. Why?

And here, for your viewing pleasure, I place one of my favorite quotes from Louis Mackey as he said it in the movie “Waking Life”

“Which is the most universal human characteristic: fear, or laziness?”

I would have to say laziness, but these ideas are two sides of the same coin. We opt for boredom because we fear failure, we don’t have the energy, we rather not think about it. Amazingly enough, Human Beings have been graced with a miraculous amount of energy, and simultaneously awe-inspiring amounts of courage. I think you’ll find that with a deep breath, and a helping hand off the couch, truly awesome things are possible.

At least I hope so!

So, I’ve decided that for the next week, I will not allow myself any excuses. When I’m bored at work, I will plod away on a project. When I’m leaving for home, I will stop by the gym for an hour and a half. When I’m feeling uninspired, I will write anyway. When I really want a cupcake, I will avoid it as if the delicious, delicious sprinkles are plague carrying fleas. When I tell myself I’m too tired, I will get out of my room, and do something else besides laze around.

Seven days. No excuses! I’ll keep you all updated in the posts that will follow.

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