“Choose rather to punish your appetites than to be punished through them.” – Epictetus
If we don’t do something about what we are doing in this life, we are going to end up exactly where we are headed.
We all have a default state we would drift into if we chose to do nothing instead of working to make ourselves better, or doing the minimum required to not fall into the pit created by all of our faults and weaknesses.
The biggest challenge we face is that we tend to enjoy our weaknesses. Maybe it’s drinking too much, maybe it’s watching too much television, maybe it’s spending too much time on the internet, or maybe it’s something else entirely.
The thing about any of these things, and likely anything we can think of, is that by themselves these things are not bad. Diversion, entertainment, even a little light debauchery are all part of the seasoning of life. And we should go out of our way to make time for them. We should put a little internet time, some television, and maybe even a few drinks with friends on our to do lists.
But then when the time is up on those things, we should be disciplined enough to put them down and move on to the next item on our to do list. Even if it is just getting to sleep.
By disciplining even the little things we enjoy, we avoid slipping into becoming the person we will become if we don’t. It is worth the effort.
virtus fortis vocat