Led Around By Your "Gotta Haves"

Two women who had just met at a health spa were talking about their lifestyles and how they hoped to stay healthy. One asked the other to detail her daily routine.

"I eat moderately," she replied, "I exercise moderately, I drink moderately, and I live moderately."

"Is there anything else you do?" her new friend asked.

"Yes," she said, "I lie extensively."

I sometimes say I subscribe to the precept that all things should be done in moderation. Trouble is, I often follow THAT principle in moderation, too.

Not that we should be overly rigid. But self-imposed discipline is an absolute necessity if we are to be in control of our lives. And success and happiness is simply not possible without inner control.

A few years back, two Tennessee convicts dug under a fence and escaped to freedom. Within hours they were recaptured and returned to prison, where they both had several years added to their sentences. Strangely enough, at the time they dug under the fence, one of the men would have been released in 30 days. He was asked why he risked extra years in prison when he could have been out in a month, and he replied, "I couldn't wait."

One hospital patient aptly described the problem. When visiting with a chaplain, this patient, who was being treated for venereal disease, said, "Reverend, my trouble is I've been led around by my 'gotta haves' all my life."

Self-discipline is vital to any successful and happy life. Without it, we're led around by our "gotta haves" all our lives. Whatever we think we gotta have this moment is what we follow. We gotta have more pleasure or less discomfort or this experience or that new thing or another glass.... You fill in the blanks.

On the other hand, happy and successful people usually feel in control of themselves. They are self-directed and self-disciplined. If they overdo, it does not become a lifestyle. If they deviate from the goals they've set, they soon get back on course. They know how to have fun without being led around by their gotta haves.

Writer Peter DeVries has said, "I write when I'm inspired, and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning." He has learned that creativity, too, needs discipline.

I like the words of Bernard Baruch. "In the last analysis," he said, "our only freedom is the freedom to discipline ourselves." Discipline is deciding not to be led around by our gotta haves. It is the task of a lifetime, an indispensable prerequisite to success, and the only way to be truly free!

    ~ Steve Goodier ~

[ by: Steve Goodier (LifeSupport@yahoogroups.com) -- {used with permission} ]

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