For week nine in our fifty week calligraphy challenge we were asked to do something in our own hand writing, something simple to express a favorite saying. I thought about these words from Abraham Lincoln. I love sharpie markers, so I pulled out my various sizes and had fun. My handwriting is smattered amongst all those words.
I say this quote to myself often as I live out my ideas and goals. There is so much out there that can tempt and appear to offer so much. And that may be true, yet in the long run is it going to get me what I want most? The small purchases that add up to hundreds of dollars spent, when that could have been money in the bank saving for our trips. The time doing nothing when it could have been time doing something. Nothing wrong with relaxing, yet being able to keep it in perspective when there are only so many hours in a day. Work smarter not harder. Do things with a conscious effort instead of half working and having to fix it later. Being present instead of just being there. All those things that are alluring and yet in the end rob me of my peace and inch me a few places further from what I want most.
All that assumes you know what you want most. Is it more time? Financial freedom? Challenge and accomplishment in your work and leisure? Is it physical health, maybe it is peace of mind? Maybe it is some combination of all of those things. The point is to examine life and KNOW what you want most. It changes with the seasons of our lives, and it can definitely be impacted by circumstances beyond our control. It can be overwhelming and a bit daunting to face each day with a semblance of focus. It means knowing what you want most, what truly matters to you, and then putting your time and money and energy towards that desire.
That’s discipline, a word not often used any more to describe living a full and meaningful life. So it is up to us to know and exhibit discipline each day, in small ways, to get what we want most. No one can do it for us, and yet everyone has an idea of what we should do. The thing you want most is worth it, so exhibit your own personal discipline to get it, enjoy it, and savor that victory!