“Get rich quick!” “Lose weight the easy way!” “Success on YOUR terms!” “Think it and it will happen using The Secret!”
The favoured marketing cobblers of the various niche specialisms in the personal development industry, which are rarely espoused by the kind of authors and speakers I enjoy following, but which are enthusiastically misused by those who undermine those better-educated philosophers.
One of the favoured expressions in this sector is the phrase ‘Be, Do, Have.’ The concept being paraphrased is that we can choose, and are responsible for, how we live our lives.
(I appreciate that this tenet may be qualified by any extreme physical or intellectual challenges people may have, even though those need not define them.)
But few speakers/writers express a condition to that advice, which brings me to the point. I was on my new clothes horse/spin cycle, pedalling away in my shed (it’s the only place I could put it), and I was listening to Zig Ziglar on YouTube, one of the benefits of a ‘home gym’ being you can choose what you want to watch, listen to or read while you sweat. Provided the earphones will reach (just, but don’t sit up suddenly).
Zig made the point, “You can be what you wanna be, do what you wanna do, and have what you wanna have” as he frequently does, but he added – “But first you have to BE the best you can be. You can’t do or have what you want unless what you are first earns it.” (I paraphrase a tad.)
You can want all you want, but unless you are willing to be the kind of individual who deserves it, it either won’t come at all, or it will go just as fleetingly once you have it. Witness all the lottery millionaires who lose it as soon as they get it because of the kind of individual they are. And Zig also asked us to consider all the famous failures in politics, the media etc., and asked us how many were moral failures – Weinstein being a topical example.
I’m not perfect: I know of no-one who is. But let’s die tryin’ to be the best ‘me’ we can be.
Of course, the Three Resolutions mirror exactly what young Zig was trying to tell us. You can’t BE what you want unless and until you exercise some sense of self-discipline or denial, first. You can be ‘fairly’ competent and provide ‘fairly’ good service, but if you have exercised the discipline to learn your trade and to develop a good character, everything that follows will never, quite, be what it could have been if the foundation was there. The same applies to kids, workers, businesses and ‘the state’.
So yes, you can have what you want and do what you want, but there will always be a discipline required to get them properly, and to utilise them effectively, and to keep them.
You can make all the excuses you like, but if the discipline isn’t there, it is ultimately your fault if what you seek doesn’t get found.
Exercise The First Resolution, er, first. And reap the benefits over time.