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Thomas Maples

Inspirational Words of Wisdom

We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.

Jim Rohn
The discipline of excellence

The Discipline of Excellence v. Regret

Have you ever questioned the excellence and grandeur of nature? Of course not! But why? That would be an error of egotistically magnificent proportions to believe our brilliance is somehow more glorious than the beauty of nature itself. Nevertheless, questions like this make one think, especially when we take inventory of those small things that lead to epic growth.

There is nothing I find more relaxing than watching the beauty of the ocean tick away at the calling of its rhythm. The ebb and flow of the water, as it marches endlessly, up and down, in and out. It has a rhythm all its own, one not dependent on the external pressure of human invention. Ah, the beauty of nature calling.

We operate in much the same way. The ebb and flow of thoughts bring us nightmares, dreams, despair, or hope. But how we work with these notions of the imaginal creates the meaning by which our life forms.

We cannot have pleasure without pain. Without pain, there would be no means to understand the idea of pleasure. Thus it becomes void; it would negate itself because there is no opposite from which to appreciate its existence. Certainty cannot exist without regret, for it is in the guilt of shame that the faith of confidence arises in a lesson learned. Of course, success cannot exist without the disappointment of failure. But how do you define failure?

With every negative, we grow, which in itself forms a positive. Both positive and negative life experiences help us build an armor of physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental resources that remind us to be here and now. In creating this protective source, we can dawn its protective coating to overcome even the hardest of life’s challenges. We only need one success to build upon, to realize heights yet attained. Yet that success may take time, perseverance, or even a will to take that first step of a journey a thousand miles long. Failure is only such if it creates a lesson not learned.

When I step out of bed, I realize I have one more day left to dawn that armor, get ready for the battle of head and heart, and strive to find even more disciplined heights. Every day I see that grey hair, a wrinkle, or even feel a wandering pain, it is a cue to be grateful for the moment: I am alive. It may be the only day or feeling left. But isn’t that the joy in the possibility that every moment life provides us?

We all suffer… but to what end? Do you choose discipline, or the route of actual pain, the path without suffering to build that inner character?

I hope you enjoyed this philosophical foray into the nature of excellence. Excellence is not free. It builds upon the disciplined state we invest in making our dreams come to fruition. The work behind discipline and excellence creates the path from which our dreams emerge. Strive to find your commitment to excellence as you move along routes yet to be traveled. May your inner voice guide you as you strive to advance confidently in the direction of your dreams.

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