So let me ask you, do you want to be a winner or a loser?  Are you afraid of hard work or do you want to earn everything you have and do whatever it takes to get to where you want to go?  Are you disciplined to an extent that you will do anything and everything that needs to be done, ethically of course, to achieve your dreams, so that you don’t feel that pain of regret later in life?

Here are a few suggestions for you to start practicing a life of discipline now, so you don’t have to feel the pain of regret later:

1. Establish a few key priorities in your life and adhere to them strictly.  Don’t suffer from the fear of missing out, or FOMO as the younger generation says!  Don’t worry about what you’re missing out on, rather, be grateful and have peace of mind that what you are focused on are the right things.  Examples – Faith, family, career, and a hobby or two.

2. Establish the principles you will live by, and make decisions and judgments in accordance with them.  What do you believe in when it comes to people, work, leadership, etc.?  Examples – act with integrity, treat others with respect, hold yourself and others accountable for behaviors and results, etc.  And if your principles and values are ever violated to an extent that challenges you to your core, take a hard look in the mirror and decide if that’s the company and/or the boss you want to spend the rest of your career with.

3. Determine your career and life goals, figure out the steps to get there and the sacrifices you need to make, and then go for it.  Do you want to be the best engineer you can be, then get your professional engineering license and be that.  If you want to be CEO, determine a couple paths to get there and start acting on it.  If you want to the best first line supervisor ever, then learn it and do it!

4. Most of all, endure the pain of discipline, so you won’t have to experience the pain of regret.  Whatever you do, do it well.  Don’t do a half-ass job as my mother would say.  If you want to be good at golf, you’ve got to play – a lot.  If you want to be a great public speaker, then you have to practice and put yourself out there.  If you want to be the best family man ever, then make sure you are putting your family first, always.

There are two types of pain in life – the pain of discipline and the pain of regret.  You get to choose.