One day of neglect is the beginning of a lifetime of failure.
We need to be consistently mindful of the choices we make. I’m not talking about the big decisions you’ll make in life. Believe it or not, we can usually muddle through those trials fairly well with the aid of our close friends and family. We tend to make good choices for those momentous occasions in our life.
The real risk lies in the mundane and incessantly boring decisions we are asked to make every day. It’s really all about the daily decisions we mess up that determine how everything else falls into place—quite frankly, it’s the daily screwups and shortcuts we take that will ultimately define us. What we don’t do will have a larger impact on our future than what we accomplish.
When we give in to the desire for comfort and convenience we are making a definitive choice to neglect responsibility. The greatest rewards in life require dedication and hard labor. There are no exceptions. We can’t put off making a decision and expect the world to wait for us. The world moves on whether we’re ready or not, and our poor choices and inaction will quickly overwhelm us if we give them the chance. The danger when we neglect our responsibilities lies in the law of consequential returns. When we make the decision to not live up to the highest standards—even if only for a single day—we begin to build a life based on convenience rather than purpose.
Each decision we make in this life is like tending a garden. When we make responsible decisions to build our success—like exercising, eating healthily and preparing for that meeting—it’s like we’re caring for this garden. You mow the lawn, pull the weeds and trim the hedges. In short, your daily decisions have the power to keep everything in your life well-tended, easily accessible and in its best shape so you can thrive. It’s a great position and destined to make your life more productive.
Now, let’s say you decide to skip this weekend on mowing the lawn. Then, you’re called out of town for a meeting, maybe it rains the following week, or perhaps you catch a cold. Before you know it, you have a field of weeds where a garden once stood. The benches are now hidden in the grass. The rose bushes spread into the hedges, and the flowerbeds are no where to be seen. Your life has gotten more difficult. What would have taken you an hour to mow, will now take you an entire weekend to cleanup. Some will just give up on the garden at this point. Your life, when disorganized and overrun with distractions, is no different than this garden.
That’s the risk you take when you choose convenience. You set the expectation that at some point success is not worth pursuing. Don’t give up. Put in the effort to be your best each day. Don’t procrastinate. Choose to accomplish as much as you can each day. That’s the path to success.