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The Pain of Discipline and the Pain of Regret

I thought I would share one of my favorite inspirational quotes with you today. I actually first saw this at a martial arts school, but is actually a quote by American author and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn. I have this pasted to the wall in my office at work, ‘We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.’ The full quote indicates that the difficulty of discipline is much easier to bare psychologically, emotionally, physically and spiritually than that of regret. I was looking at the poster in my office and I was curious as to why I never thought about this quote with relation to our struggles with illness before. It certainly corresponds. Here is what I have found it means to my management of IBS.

Discipline and regret are integral to the IBS experience

If I seem a bit consumed with discipline, it is because I am not a disciplined person by nature. Quite the opposite, actually. I am willful, impulsive, stubborn and sometimes exceedingly lazy. I’m sure that most people share at least one of these traits, however, there are those of you whose discipline within their lives and their approach to problems comes easier than to people like me. Therefore, I have made it a point to introduce a certain degree of discipline into my life, almost specifically to battle illness of various kinds. This has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do, but it is SO obvious that should I not practice discipline, self-awareness and self-denial in some cases, the regret, shame and disorder I experience far outweighs the moments of discomfort and indecision I have when trying to be a bit disciplined. Discipline and regret are so integral to the IBS experience. I’ve said before that I was shocked by all the changes I was going to have to make when I was diagnosed with IBS. You mean I can’t smoke anymore, like, for real? Coffee? NO. Cake and Ice Cream? NO AND NO. And, Doctor, you are also suggesting I go back to that gym that I pay for, but never go to? YES. Uhh…ok, well I best get started, I guess.

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So, with all of this work in front of me I tried to learn how to manage IBS. Just as I have learned how to manage mental illness, ulcers, gastritis and a damaged liver. I win some, I lose some, but without the realization that discipline directly counteracts the regret and shame of inaction, I would have never have made it through some of the more difficult trials in my life. Discipline can take time to develop and has to be practiced. Like anything else you have to practice, you might do well for a while and your progress will seem to decline. This is normal, natural, ok and to be expected. Allow yourself the ‘failure,’ allow yourself to be human, but try again. ‘…The difference is discipline weighs ounces, while regret weighs tons.’ I promise to be a bit more cheery in my next article ;-)

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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