If you are pained by any external thing, it is not this thing that disturbs you, but your own judgment about it. And it is in your power to wipe out this judgment now.– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Sometimes, we have to ignore what our feelings are tell us and remember to live by the set of standards that govern our actions. When we feel lazy, tired or apathetic to not take action, we must err on the side of action and move.
I don’t always feel like working out for two hours, but because I’ve set a higher standard for myself, I choose to dedicate two hours of my day four times a week to physical betterment regardless of how I’m feeling that day. The reason for this is because I know that deep down, it’s not the single workout that counts, but rather the consistent workouts that occur over and over again.
When we allow our external environment to dictate our actions, then we are no longer the dominating force of our lives. We have to work a 12 hour day, we can choose to not watch TV and eat healthily and get a good amount of sleep instead. I would prefer that people sleep rather than workout, because sleep will help prevent burn out. I would rather people do literally anything other than watch TV in order to better themselves.
It is hard to live a principled life, because it definitely means foregoing some of life’s pleasures and relaxation. But these are short term distractions that rob our future selves of greatness. When we succumb to fear and doubt, we choose to live in the shadows of our potential.
We also shouldn’t compare ourselves and their ‘great genetics/talents/circumstances’. This again, is using the external environment to make internal judgments. The only person we should compare ourselves with is the person from yesterday/last week/last decade. Because we can’t change other people, just our own thoughts and actions.
Don’t compare your strength on day one with another person’s strength at their year 10. There will be no way to win this comparison, mainly because unless you just won the World’s Strongest Man competition, there is always someone stronger than you. Just aim to be stronger than you were yesterday.