The Little Voice
A war silently wages in our mind. All day the attack is relentless and fierce. The enemy is everywhere, yet difficult to see. The enemy’s message hides deep in your subconscious. Often the enemy makes your decisions without you being aware. The enemy is you. That little voice in your head that says, “I’m too tired to do that. I’m not inspired to do that. There’s not enough time to do that.” Or worse yet, when that little voice repeats two words that leads to the death of forward progress, “I can’t”.
Resistance to this little voice usually feels worthless. Many often wonder, “why bother fighting back?” Desperately, hidden deep beneath the surface, we all want to be the hero that silences the little voice, but all too often it leads us to be a victim — not the victor. There is a cure to this little voice. It’s not a pill. Not a diet. Not a workout program or a business seminar. It’s one simple word — self-discipline.
Beat The Blame Game
Life is short. An expression many of us have heard many times, yet is grossly misleading. This body is the longest experience we’ll ever know in our natural life. The only guarantee we have is that one day we will die. A hard cold truth many struggle to accept. Another tough pill to swallow is that everything in between is your personal responsibility. The little voice likes to play the blame game. Blame your circumstances, your upbringing or any other obstacles in the way of success. It’s always pointing the finger at what you didn’t get, who should have helped, or reasons why you didn’t progress forward in your goals. Rarely, if ever, does the little voice take the blame for anything.
The universal law of free will allows us to make our own choices, every moment of the day. We may not like the options in front of us, but we choose what to do or not do. For example, we choose to get up for work (or any other required task or activity) in the morning. Or choose not to go to work. We choose to put our best foot forward. Or choose to do the minimum. All successes in between are determined by the efforts you choose to put forward.
We can choose to fill this life with mediocrity or success. Mediocrity thrives on that little voice. Always finds a way to rationalize comfort over hard work. An average life chooses to listen to that little voice more often than not.
Success thrives on hard work. It thrives on the self-discipline to grind day in and day out. Success can’t wait to step into the unknown and grab life by the horns. Success is aware of that little voice and screams hard work in it’s face. Anyone who says different is lying. Our greatest tool in abolishing obstacles is already inside ourselves. It’s called self-discipline.
Self-discipline is allergic to blame. It can’t hear excuses. Discipline requires that you take ownership of everything you do. It requires taking action. According to Webster’s dictionary self-discipline is, “a regulation of oneself for the sake of improvement.” A mindset that embraces personal responsibility above all. A mindset that drowns out that little voice in the sweat of action. A mindset that takes no prisoners in the pursuit of the daily grind. Why? Because self-discipline knows that the daily grind, your every day activities, shape your behavior. Self-discipline’s only desire is to carve a better version of yourself into existence.
Pain vs Temptation
Our mind, body and spirit is housed in a temple. In fact, it’s the most vital home in this existence as we know it — our physical self. Your physical self, this temple, houses the inner chatter that goes on in your mind all day. It allows you to accomplish tasks. It embodies your spirit. Why not treat this temple like the sacred castle that it is? Why not pay tribute to your temple in the form of self-discipline?
“Pain,” screams out the little voice. Every fiber in our body tries to avoid it. Entire industries are built on pain management of some sort. Emotional pain, physical pain, spiritual pain, any form of discomfort is something most of us generally try to avoid.
Thousands of years ago the human race scavenged for food, avoided predators on foot, and found shelter from harsh weather. If not, they died. Only in the last couple hundred years has human kind been able to achieve basic comforts we take for granted. Tens of thousands of years have programmed the human brain to crave comfort. We associate comfort with an abundant life. An unforeseen challenge in this abundance of comfort, is that it’s where the little voice was born. Modern society has done a fantastic job of removing concerns that were once life threatening. Thank you air conditioning, heaters, storm resistant buildings, grocery store, TV and internet.
Creating a balance between pain and comfort can be tricky. Modern comforts can afford the opportunity to focus energy on other productive tasks for the sake of improvement. Sometimes side stepping pain comes at the expense of creating another pain. Put off that workout for a couple extra hours of sleep. Then feel lethargic all day. Watch a TV show on your lunch break instead of working on a business plan. Then wonder why you can’t break free from your dead end job or don’t get a promotion at a competitive job. That project you keep intending to finish, but one too many “long days at work” has halted progress. The list goes on. We’ve all been there. Self-Discipline laughs and says, “Pain is temporary. The actions we take to push through the pain can span beyond our lifetime.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll use temptation to seduce you,” whispers the little voice. When the fear of pain isn’t present, the little voice loves to highlight unwise decisions. For example, someone brings in donuts, but you meal prepped specifically to avoid eating unhealthy. The little voice is all but physically eating the donut for you. “It’s okay, an extra 15 minutes isn’t going to make you late,” the little voice says as you continue to lay in bed after the alarm goes off. Meanwhile you specifically set the alarm to get your business done earlier. Temptation is a sly tactic the little voice uses to quietly persuade you into a decision that typically doesn’t serve your interest.
It’s important to recognize when the little voice deploys the pain and temptation tactics. You can use these tactics to your advantage, only if you listen and are aware. Pain can warn you of an injury before it happens. Temptation of that donut can cause you to pause and take an inventory of the sweets you’ve had that day. In the war on your mind, vigilance is crucial to maintain self-discipline. Every action or in-action adds up to a grand total that equals your life’s work.
Break the Shackles
In the war on our mind, the little voice uses pain and temptation as weapons. The little voice has one mission: Keep you comfortable at all costs. The little voice wants to claim you as a prisoner of war and keep you in the shackles of worry, self-doubt, and paralysis. You and you alone decide wether or not to fight this battle.
A diamond made from coal requires two conditions — heat & pressure. A nasty piece of carbon transforms into an unbreakable, beautiful rock because of challenging conditions. Your mind, body and spirit can transform in a similar way. Should you choose a life of success, challenge is inevitable. Growth rarely happens in perfect conditions. Fortify your temple regardless of your conditions.
Pay tribute to your temple by taking action. Start with one small daily habit. One that leans in the direction of something you want to improve. Every time the little voice slaps the shackles of pain or temptation on your wrists, you have the power to break free. One decision at a time, the little voice will get quieter and quieter. One decision at a time, you move one step closer to being the best version of yourself.
Excuses are easy. Especially when it comes to self-discipline. To achieve any goal, be it physical health, mental grit or financial freedom, it requires a repeated action that leads toward the goal. One obstacle stands in the way of success — you. Make the choice to control your actions through self-discipline. See what happens.
Consistent hard work is required. Yes, that means on the days you don’t want to, the days you’re too exhausted or any other reason the little voice dreams up. Every drop of sweat earned comes at a cost. Every food choice comes at a cost. Every time a decision is made, wether you like it or not, is part of the war on your mind. Will you be a victim or victor? It’s your life, own it!
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