The pain of discipline versus the pain of regret

Myers Barnes new home sales discipline regretThere is one type of pain that comes from pushing yourself harder. And there’s another, very different type of agony that comes with not doing that enough. You should understand the pain of discipline versus the pain of regret.

Regret is a completely useless emotion. You spend valuable  time mourning something you failed to do or get. Your feelings of regret won’t change the outcome. It’s a done deal. So, why waste your energy on the burden and pain of regret?

Discipline delivers pain, but with purpose. You push yourself to do those things that you’d rather avoid. You get up early and go for a run when you’d rather stay in bed. You say “no” to that second helping of pasta or a slice of three-layer chocolate cake because you know you’ll regret it later. So, to avoid that wasted emotion of regret, you fight off the temptation that could take you there.

The pain of discipline is most certainly a better one than the pain of regret.

Over a century ago, philosopher Elbert Hubbard defined discipline as “the ability to make yourself do the things you should do, when you should do them, whether you feel like it or not.”

That’s the inherent pain in discipline. You fight against your own urges. Your brain wages an intellectual battle between what you “want” and what you “should do”.

Discipline drives you to keep working on a report because, in your heart, you know you can do better. Accepting something as “good enough” is a compromise you’re not willing to make.

In new home sales, discipline is the reason you pursue your leads with more consistency and confidence. You don’t give up after a few tries. You train yourself to make objections. You go through the discovery process to learn more about your homebuyer, to better address their needs.

Self-discipline guides you to push harder toward achieving a desirable outcome. The result  of discipline is accomplishment. Your diligence in staying on track leads to measurable results. The pain that got you there was necessary, and it’s a sign you pushed yourself farther out of your comfort zone.

Meanwhile, regret only brings self-doubt. While you look backward, you question your actions. You overthink what might have happened if you did something differently. But none of that matters. It’s all in the past. Leave it there.

When it comes to making tough choices, you will reside in one of two pain zones: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Discipline is like labor pain. It lasts for a short while but then gives you a lasting joy.

Regret is a burden. Nothing more.

Put them on a scale. Discipline can be measured in ounces. Regret weighs a ton.


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