by Dave Markwell

Last week, I checked a to-do off of my list. After several months of dancing with emotions which ranged from annoyed to outraged, I spent an hour out of my day and cleaned up a crappy looking property in my town. The area outside of our closed Mexican restaurant, Lago Azul, has become a magnet for trash and blowing leaves and bad feelings regarding loss and potential and lack and disappointment and hope. It’s been ugly and represented ugly things to me. In short, it bugged me.

While doing my little clean-up and feeling a little indignant and self-righteous about my efforts, I conjured up words of service and community and difference-making. In fact, I wrote a whole different column in my head while raking some leaves.
While feeling the heat of my own hands patting myself on the back, I remembered that I had been annoyed and outraged for a long time before I took any action. I stand as a pinnacle of nothing, except maybe procrastination. Eventually, I got around to it, which is nice, but stand as a testament to civic action and community improvement, I cannot.

Personal development genius, Jim Rohn stated that in life “we must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” I largely believe this to be true. As I reflect upon my long-suffering relationship with the shabby lot in my town, I see that had I the discipline to address the issue earlier, I would have saved myself several months of bad-feelings.

This is a good lesson for many things. Jim also mentions that “discipline weighs ounces, but regret weighs tons…” I get this message. The weight of an unfinished obligation is heavy. It is way better to simply suck it up and do it, than to worry about it. Life is littered with these chores. Knocking a few of them off the list is time well spent. A mind free of this weight is a mind free to think important things. And life is way more fun thinking important things that we like to think about than beating ourselves up over unfinished business. So, as the great philosopher, Nike, says, “Just Do It.” We rarely regret this…

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). Dave also extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]


3 Responses to “FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: Two Pains.”
  1. BirchCreek says:

    Well said -“discipline weighs ounces, but regret weighs tons”. So true.

  2. Nicole says:

    Thanks for your service to clean up this area. A week ago, I noticed how trashy it looked and felt some of your same emotions.

  3. wanker says:

    I love the quote “we must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”. I need to print it out and put it by the alarm clock for when I choose to wake up at 4:30 to work out, or sleep till 5:30.

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