I have a regimen that has yet to fail me anytime I’ve followed it: When facing a decision; I choose to do the thing I’d rather NOT do. And it’s never really easy–but it works. Here are a few examples:
When my alarm goes off in the morning, I’d much rather hit snooze — so instead, I do the thing I’d rather not do and get up. In this case, doing the thing I’d rather NOT do prevents me from losing any of my jobs. Added benefit: if I’m not working that day, getting up early gives me more time to do the things I really enjoy doing.
When I’m looking over a menu, I’d much rather order a bacon cheeseburger or something similarly tasty, yet bad for me — so instead, I order a grilled chicken or grilled salmon salad. In this case, doing the thing I’d rather NOT do helps prevents high cholesterol and fatty buildup; promoting good health and longevity. Added benefit: because these meals aren’t as calorie-rich, I can eat more often throughout the day…and I love to eat, so this is a very good thing!
If I receive a nice royalty check from records that are still selling (or more recently, voiceover work buyout checks!), I’d much rather reward myself by buying something extravagant and luxurious — so instead, I put some of the money in savings and use the rest to pay down any remaining balances I may have in other areas. In this case, doing the thing I’d rather NOT do keeps me out of debt — both with creditors, and more importantly, Uncle Sam. Added benefit: I can actually save money (gasp!) which gives me lots of freedom tomorrow.
And here’s one I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember: As a drummer, whenever I have spare time, I’d much rather mess around with drum fills and solos all day — so instead, I turn on the metronome and practice solid time-keeping. In this case, doing the thing I’d rather NOT do helped get me all kinds of studio sessions, live gigs, and world tours with some of the most successful artists in music history. Added benefit: working with Grammy-winning artists and producers paved the way for more of the same kinds of work — plus, it helped get magazine write-ups, product endorsements, and lifelong friendships with my biggest heroes.
I wouldn’t trade any of this for sleeping in, eating a cheeseburger, splurging, or playing a friggin’ drum solo.
I’m sure you can find many more examples wherein if you simply choose the option that’s “not as much fun right now”, you’ll thank yourself for it tomorrow!
Have a great 4th of July weekend!
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