Putting out fires vs. planting more trees

Putting out fires vs. planting more trees

All it takes is a little discipline. Discipline: the difference between what you want now and what you want most. The discipline to stop. To pause. To not react and take the easy way out.

At first, this may feel like an overwhelming task. It isn?t. It is actually easier than the way we have been conditioned to live and think. Less struggle; fewer crises; better return on effort. It isn?t hard, it?s just different. New habits take a little time and a little nurturing to develop. For the most part, it simply involves not falling into the same knee-jerk reaction that got you into the mess in the first place.

Buddhism calls it the three difficulties: see neurosis as neurosis, do something different, make this a habit. The neurosis is simply doing the same thing and expecting different results. ?Doctor, doctor! It hurts when I go like that.? ?So don?t go like that!? Rather than running from crisis to crisis, stop. Stop being that hamster on the wheel, always running but getting no where. Take a breath. Get your bearings. Better to do nothing than to keep adding to the debt.

Once you do, as soon as you pause long enough to get out of crisis mode, almost miraculously you will get a clear picture of what a good investment look like. Suddenly, you see the trees you need to plant ? the things that promise a healthy return tomorrow for a small investment today.

So, are you willing to commit to that small action today that will invest in your future self? Are you willing to step outside your comfort zone to do something different rather than repeating the same mistakes over and over? All it takes is a pause and a question: how can I spend this precious time I have well? How can I break the cycle of just putting out fires long enough to see the trees I need to plant? I promise you, the returns are worth it.

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