It is one of the strange ironies of this strange life that those who work the hardest, who subject themselves to the strictest discipline, who give up certain pleasurable things in order to achieve a goal, are the happiest. When you see 20 or 30 people line up for a distance race in some
meet, don’t pity them, don’t feel sorry for them. Better envy them instead.
For a person who has never tested their self-discipline over a long period of time, it’s hard to believe that giving up pleasure can lead to immense happiness. Most certainly, it doesn’t feel that way when you’re fighting against the craving for chocolate, compare exercise to torture, or feel sad that you have to set money aside and can’t spend it on this new cool gadget.
However, in the long haul, based on my personal experience, subjecting yourself to a strict discipline does lead to a happier life — and it can be a powerful motivator in the moments of doubt.
Let me explain why…
Firstly, as we talked about in Day 1, living your life the hard way makes it easier. People who voluntarily expose themselves to challenges are more capable of handling unforeseen hardships.
Moreover, giving up certain pleasures (such as unhealthy food and sitting all day in front of the TV) can lead to immense improvements in one’s well-being. Maintaining a healthy weight and beneficial nutritional habits doesn’t just lead to physical improvements; it also affect self-esteem,reduces the risk for depression, and improves your body image.
Giving up on pleasurable things (such as spending money without control) can also help you avoid crushing problems in the future.