“Men do not care how nobly they live, but only how long, although it is within the reach of every man to live nobly, but within no man’s power to live long.” – Seneca
Everything in our lives. Literally everything we could possibly want comes down to control. Knowing what we have control over and what we do not have control over is part of the equation. But identifying what we control and what we do not control is easy compared to the more important part of the equation.
The most important part of the control issue is learning to control everything we can control with unmitigated daily discipline in all areas at all times. This is also likely the hardest thing to do in life, ever. It requires us to be firm with the one person we really like to cut some slack every once in a while; ourselves.
We like to think that because we are working so hard we deserve little luxuries like sleeping in, not eating right, drinking a little more than we should, and eating some food we know we shouldn’t. Or maybe we feel we deserve big luxuries like vacations we can’t afford or cars that are more than we really need. And maybe that helps us get through the hard parts but it doesn’t make our lives better, and it doesn’t make us better people. In fact, it has quite the opposite effect.
Allowing ourselves to feel entitled to luxuries takes them out of the luxury category and makes them needs. When we start to need a drink, when we need a vacation, even when we need to sleep in, we are making a choice to be a little weaker, to deviate from the path we know we should be on. Worse than that, we are giving up control when we allow those things to rule us.
Instead we should focus on keeping ourselves disciplined. In all areas.
Because that is the path to freedom.
virtus fortis vocat