The Pain of Discipline


by Keith Bond

We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.”

Jim Rohn, as quoted by Chris Guillebeau in his manifesto, The Tower).

You really do only have two options. You can have the discipline to pursue your art – which requires sacrifices, or you can look back years later and wish that you had. You will have regret or disappointment in the dream you never dared pursue. Which do you choose? Many people who don’t pursue art feel that the choice is made for them. Or at least they claim that. I would argue that most of the time this is false. No one has their choice made for them, unless they are in bondage. Most of the time, what it really comes down to is 1) willingness to sacrifice and 2) fear.


It is said that sacrifice is giving up something good for something better.   What are you willing to sacrifice to be able to pursue your art? Live in a smaller home? Drive an older car? Have fewer “toys”? What about time? Do you sacrifice watching TV for hours every evening? Do you sacrifice going out on the town each weekend? Etc.?  

What are you NOT willing to sacrifice? Family? Faith? Health? Etc.?


But, what if it doesn’t work out? What if you never get good enough to “make it”? What if you fail?   Which is easier to say:   “I don’t have the option to pursue art, because of (insert obstacle here).”   “I failed.”  

For many, the obstacle is only an excuse for hiding the real culprit. Fear. Fear can be crippling. If there was a certainty, if there was some sort of assurance that success would follow, the sacrifices are much easier to make.

But the reality is, there is no certainty in anything, really.

Even in the “safe” jobs.   But if you have even a small amount of faith in your abilities as an artist, nurture that faith. Decide where you are willing to sacrifice.

Pursue your art.

Pursue your dream.

You don’t need to quit your job right now. But you will have sacrifices. And it requires much discipline.   So, the question remains:  

What do you fear most – the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment?

Best Wishes, Keith Bond
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