I like to look at my life on two paradigms, two different lives lived, whenever a decision is to be made.
Both versions of myself are driven, hungry, ambitious. They want success in life's various games.
But they differ dramatically in what they actually do and how often they do it.
One guy does what he sets out to do no matter the situation, while the other guy has to have everything right in order to do the work (whatever that work may be).
I play the scenario out in my mind as to how their lives will go.
Over the span of a day, the guy who always does what he's set out to do...
The workout, the work, the discipline, the good habits, etc...
Is a little bit ahead of the other guy who needs to have energy, needs to feel motivated, in order to do the right things.
There's a gap between them, but you can barely see it.
Over a week, the disciplined guy is a little more ahead, he's done more work, he's a little healthier, a little more confident, a little more accomplished.
But the difference between them is still small.
Now, spread that out over a year, two years, ten? And these two men are completely different people.
The doer, he's healthy, happy, content, accomplished, and confident. The guy who relies on a good night's sleep, motivation, energy, he's struggling, blaming the world for his lack of success, unconfident, even unhappy.
When we're deciding whether to workout, to do the work, to have the discipline, or to take it easy, we confine our decision to 'the day'.
The 24 hour timeline, however, is far too insignificant to spur us into action, so we take the day off, or we push the task to tomorrow or even later in the day.
We have to step back further to see the importance of this single decision, because it's never singular.
One day off, task pushed to tomorrow, workout skipped, is never just one, it opens the door to two, three, a thousand.
That little, seemingly insignificant task you set out to do has a greater impact on your life than you realize, it has cascading effects when spread out over a lifetime that can push you far away from who you could have been.
We cannot be men who rely on a good night's sleep to workout.
We cannot be men, today, in this moment, who need to be motivated to do great work.
We have to - now, right now - do those things we set out to do, that we know we ought to do, no matter how we feel or what our circumstances are, and every time that decision comes to mind, we have to remain on the path of the doer, the Man in the Arena, and avoid the fork in the road, the split, where we become the fair weather participant in achievement.
Never create that division, that parallel path in life that creates distance between who you could have been, and who you are.
And if you do, jump back to the good side as fast as you can, with the next decision that comes to mind.
Dare to do the difficult, to choose the right path, to be the doer of deeds, the Man in the Arena, and you'll avoid having to look back on your life with regret, thinking what could have been, and instead be happy, proud, and content with what is, and what was.
Supplements for the Man in the Arena