Male lions roar something fierce. They are loud and terrifying when they are on the hunt.
Do you know what is more ferocious than a male lion? A lioness.
The way the lions survive is they enclose their prey. When the prey hear the roar of the male, they will turn to run in fear – right into the jaws of the lioness.
This got me thinking about discipline and regret. As humans, we turn to run from discipline out of fear (actually because we are lazy, but that’s for another post). And when we do, we often run right into the jaws of regret.
Discipline terrifies most of us but the truth is that its bark is worse than its bite. Discipline breeds consistency. Consistency breeds success.
We turn and run from discipline to avoid hard work and the risk of failure. And when we do, we run right into the jaws of regret. It’s quieter. It’s smaller. But regret is so much worse than discipline.
“You can avoid the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. You can’t avoid both.” – Bo Eason
I used to think I was unique in this but I’ve learned that I’m a lot more like the rest of you than I sometimes like to admit. We are all allowing the bark of discipline to scare us right into the mouths of regret.
To write a book, you have to sit down and write. How many of you are sitting down to write on a regular basis?
To build a business, you have to lead generate. How many people are you adding to your database every week?
To get healthy, you have to exercise on a regular basis and make nutritionally-sound eating choices. How many of you are hitting the gym and meal prepping on a regular basis?
To get debt-free, you have to live on a budget with consistency. How many of you are doing that day in and day out?
If you’re like me, you spend more time regretting the goals you’re not accomplishing than you do working with diligence on the very same goals. In other words, we are turning to run from the discipline required to accomplish our goals straight into the jaws of regret.
How do we fix it?
Here’s one simple (not easy, but simple) answer:
Just like the prey, we bail at the roar of discipline because we don’t believe we can win. We let the voices in our heads remind us how many times we have failed or all the reasons why we shouldn’t even try. Our fight-or-flight instincts turn to flight every time because we don’t believe in our own ability to fight. Or we just don’t want to.
Let’s take the lion analogy a step further, shall we?
Do you know what you’re supposed to do if you find yourself in an unexpected situation with a lion?
The experts say to stand your ground.
They advise that you take control of the situation and show the lion who is the boss.
That takes some mighty faith to believe that the lion is going to follow your lead and leave you alone. You know what takes less faith? Standing your ground and working hard on your goals.
It’s going to be hard work. It’s going to suck sometimes. You’re going to fail.
In fact, you might even get bit by the lion of discipline.
You might work really hard and start to gain some traction because you do everything right, just when circumstances happen and the lion bites you.
That doesn’t mean you have to give up, lay down and let the lion devour you for dinner.
Bites and scratches are part of the process.
I want you to be really honest with yourself right now.
Would you rather say you went on a safari and nothing exciting happened but you finished? Or would you rather tell a story about fighting off a ferocious lion?
If your answer wasn’t that you’d rather have a story to tell to make you appreciate the experience more, you’re either really boring or you’re a liar.
I promise it is more satisfying to endure the process. To fight the battles. To earn the scars.
I got my real estate license a year ago. For most people, getting a license looks like going to a class for a few weeks, taking a computer exam and filing the paperwork and applicable fees associated with all three.
For me, I took the class completely online so I wouldn’t have to pay for rideshare to get to and from the class everyday. Then I had to file for accommodations, which required medical documents and explanations and lots of hoops to jump through. My exam was delayed almost a month because of the accommodations process, then when I finally showed up on the day of testing, they weren’t ready for me. They sent me home and told me to come back a few days later. When I showed up the second time, it didn’t look at all like what I was prepared for and I had to “fight a lion” to pass my test. I fought it and I won. In other words, I passed my state and national exams the first time.
Confidence is a choice. Only you can decide to walk in all God has created and called you to be. Only you can decide to stare the lion in the eye and stand your ground. Only you can decide that hard work and discipline is better than regret.
What lion do you need to stare in the eye today?