I’m going to be completely honest with you… I do not feel like writing this post right now. That is, in fact, exactly why I am writing it. I have learned a lot about myself since graduating high school in 2011, and one of the key weaknesses I’ve discovered is that I tend to not want to keep going through the hard stuff in order to reach the greater goal sometimes. When it comes down to fight or flight, “all the feels” tend to kick in, and I want to soar rapidly on to something more appealing than my current obstacle.
In a society that has grown accustomed to instant gratification, it seems that I have become a bit spoiled. I know I can’t be the only one whose patience tends to run on the thin side. I’m embarrassed to say that often my thought processes can look a lot like this:
~ “I know I need to save money right now, but I really don’t feel like making breakfast… Just a few dollars at McDonald’s won’t be that bad.”
~ “Soooo… I really should get out of bed so I can be more productive today, but my eyes just feel so tired. Just a few more minutes won’t hurt.”
~ “I just feel too busy and stressed out to try to work out today. Once I get all this stuff done, I’ll feel like I have more time to exercise.”
In the moment, the feels always want me to give into their immediate desires so that I can have that instant gratification I’m so used to, rather than thinking about the consequences or the long term goals.
The truth is a few dollars at that restaurant here and there quickly turns into having to dip into my savings account for the important things later. Those few minutes of resting my eyes turn into two more hours of wasting my life. And, most likely, I probably spent at least a half an hour over the course of my “really” busy day online that I could’ve set aside for exercise. The point is…
The immediate is not always the most accurate view of what will be best for you in the long run.
This especially true when it comes to creating our art or other obligations; There are going to be days when I don’t feel like rehearsing for that audition, writing that blog post, or editing my poetry. There are going to be days when I don’t feel like I will ever get the song quite right. There are going to be days when I’m so tired that I don’t feel like pushing through to write that school assignment that I should’ve started three weeks ago. There are going to be days that I don’t feel like going to work in order to make a paycheck to pay rent…
So what!? Do it anyway!!
I’m not yelling at you…I’m yelling at myself, and you just so happened to be an innocent bystander who may happen to need the advice too. Seriously, when did our drive to work hard for something disappear? When did our life’s ambition turn into discovering how many cartons of Ben & Jerry’s we can eat while binge watching episodes on Netflix? I’m not saying it’s wrong to have some rest and relaxation time or to indulge in yourself sometimes, in fact, I think those things are crucial to keeping our sanity. I’m also not saying that listening to your feelings is always a bad thing (for example, if you feel like there’s a reason you shouldn’t walk into a dark alley alone at night…you probably should listen to that!) I am, however, saying that if all we ever do is give in to our whims, literally nothing great will ever be accomplished.
I know that old saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day” has become very cliché, but I was really thinking about that today. The architects in ancient Rome did not have an easy task at all, but they didn’t but a few stones and bricks down and say, “Well, this is going to take a lot longer than I thought it would, I think I feel like working on my tan instead.” No, they kept laying foundations and designing columns, and little by little, they built an empire… and now thousands of years later, people are still jumping at a chance to see the beautiful work that they had the gumption to finish.
I don’t know about you, dreamer, but I for one am really tired of “all the feels” taking over my work ethic. I’m tired of having a bad attitude and giving up before actually accomplishing anything. I’m tired of letting myself be mediocre when there could be greatness waiting outside the door if I’d just get off the couch! Let’s be a generation that isn’t moved by our feelings in such an extreme way that it blinds us from having discipline!
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. ~Hebrews 12:11