It is so easy to teach what I know, to see the solutions for other people. What is hard is living what I know, the self discipline to keep going, keep growing, keep climbing. It can be hard to keep climbing, to keep going uphill when our habits want us to coast. McDonald’s tells us “You deserve a break today.”, Mercedes Benz says “You owe it to yourself.” But the reality is that 4 days of climbing can backslide with just one day of coasting. It’s like an icy slope, it’s faster downhill. If you have ever tried to lose weight you can see this in action immediately as your weight will bounce up after you cheat. It takes self discipline and another 3 days at least if you are lucky to get back to where you were before the slip.
The internet and the bookstores are overflowing with tricks and tips and seminars and step by step methods to getting the life you want. There are 7 habits, 12 steps, 3 ways…to being more effective, to losing weight, to achieving your goals, to being a better parent. So the issue is not that we don’t have the knowledge of how to get where we want, the issue is that we lack the discipline to maintain the daily habits that get us to our goal. As I write about leadership, as I talk about it, teach it and make it my intent to live it, I have to remember that the price tag for living the life of my dreams is self discipline. It requires me to maintain my footing when I am tempted to coast. This is not to say that I don’t pause to celebrate, just that I keep my eye on the prize. I know that no matter how much I “know”, there is more that I am still learning. My path is lined with lessons that I learn daily through my habits; read, write, pray, reflect and dream.