Every now and then, someone tells you something that just sticks with you. My Dad told me something years ago that has really stuck with me to this day. His statement was profoundly simple and I will never forget his words.
It was early June 1970. I was 11 years old and had just finished the 5th grade. I was excited about summer vacation for all the normal reasons a kid would have, one of which was the fact that I was finally old enough to mow the lawn to earn some extra money. And boy was it fun! Well, at least for the first two weeks, and then… not so much.
The novelty of mowing the lawn for the first summer wore off pretty quickly and by early August I had told my Dad that I didn’t want to have the job anymore. His response was direct and simple, he said to me, “Son…You don’t have to WANT to mow the lawn, you just have to do it.” What could I say? I had no counter. All that I could do was to shrug my shoulders and go start the mower.
As an adult, I can’t tell you how many times I have used that line in my own experiences. ”You don’t have to WANT to do it, you just have to do it.” I have used it with my martial arts students as well as my own children, but most importantly, I have used it with myself. Unknowingly, my Dad had summed up the true meaning of self-discipline in a practical, easy to understand statement. After all, what else is self discipline other than doing what you don’t want to do but know you should?
So the next time you find yourself thinking, “I don’t want to do this”, remind yourself that you don’t have to WANT to. Then take action.
I’ve got to go now; the lawn is calling my name. Happy mowing.
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