“To fail, you merely have to cultivate a few bad habits.” (12 Rules of Life by Jordan Peterson, page 81)
This one really struck me.
The entire chapter is about making friends with people who want the best for you, but this section in particular describes how most people just take the easy path in life, and often when someone is “helping” them, they are, in fact enabling them to continue to fail, and a true friend will encourage you to improve your life instead of tolerating or even supporting less than what you are capable of. But that specific point isn’t what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the above and below quotes.
“Failure is easy…it’s easier not to shoulder a burden. It’s easier not to think, and not to do, and not to care…to put off until tomorrow what needs to be done today and drown the upcoming months and years in today’s cheap pleasures.”
This is what our world is all about, isn’t it? Credit cards for instant gratification. Instagram and snapagram for immediate updates that tell your psyche life isn’t actually hard (spoiler alert: It is hard. In fact, most of the time, it sucks.). Same-day shipping so that you can impulse buy without leaving your home. These are the types of things our current world is based in.
It’s hard to wait for things. To sacrifice something good for something better (just tell my waistline!). To force yourself to move out of your comfort zone and do something you don’t really want to. I know I’d far rather take the easy path – there’s a bag of chips downstairs calling my name. I already answered it earlier, and I am thinking about answering it again. Because it is hard to give up something good for something better. It requires patience. And hard work. Neither of which we are taught any more. Rather, we are conditioned to believe if it’s not fast–try another website. And if it isn’t easy, you are doing something wrong.
I would far rather sit in front of the sofa and turn on a show than do my workout. In fact, that’s probably what will happen tonight. But in that moment–that second where I made that decision? That’s the bad habit I’m cultivating that will ultimately lead to my failure in someday becoming fit.
I took a lunch break today and almost didn’t come back up to my writing room to work again, because I desperately just wanted to lounge on the sofa with a book to read than make myself think some more. And that, too, is the type of habit that leads to failure to get published. Because in that moment, I would have decided that reading was better than making the sacrifice necessary to work on my book for the chance at a better tomorrow.
So, in reality, our life is made of a million split second decisions, and that is what determines what we get out of that life. Tomorrow, we say. But then, tomorrow, it is tomorrow again. As Annie says, “I love ya tomorrow, You’re always a day away.” And such is the case for those of us who float through life, always thinking that dream will come true tomorrow, without making the necessary sacrifices to actually make it happen. Failure is easy.
Anyway, that’s what I’ve been ruminating on as I try to remind myself that today is a good day to just make one harder decision in favor of a better tomorrow.