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You Just Have To Do It

Lesson 29 Chapter 1 Module 1

You don't have to want to mow the lawn.

Every now and then, someone tells you something that just stays with you. My dad told me something years ago that falls into that category. The statement was profoundly simple and I will never forget his words. It was early June 1970, I was 11 years old and had just finished 5th grade. I was excited about summer vacation for all the normal reasons, one of which was the fact that I was finally old enough to earn some extra money mowing the lawn. And boy was it fun, at least for the first two weeks and then… not so much. The novelty wore off pretty quickly and by early August I told my dad that I didn’t want to mow the lawn anymore. He responded by saying, “Son, you don’t have to WANT to mow the lawn, you just have to do it.” What could I say? There was no counter. All that I could do was to shrug my shoulders and then go start the mower.

As an adult, I can’t tell you how many times I have used that line. "You don’t have to WANT to do it, you just have to do it." I have used it with my martial arts students as well as my own children, but most importantly, I have used it with myself. Unknowingly, Dad had summed up in a practical, easy to understand statement, the true meaning of self discipline. After all, what else is self discipline other than doing what you don’t want to do but know you should?

So the next time you find yourself thinking “I don’t want to do this” remind yourself that you don't have to WANT to do it, and then take action. I’ve got to go now--the lawn is calling my name. Happy mowing!

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