How do people build relationships? By interacting every day. How do people become experts? By learning every day. How do professional athletes compete at that high level? By honing themselves every day. The way we accomplish anything is by doing it everyday. You don’t need to do it for hours at a time, you just need to do it every time. You can’t cram study for your life. While it would be amazing to lay down and download different languages in a second, like in the Matrix, we can’t. And, I’d argue, that’s for a good reason.
If you’ve ever listened to video game nerds or athletic jocks talk, it sounds like a different language. However, each group is equally passionate about it because it takes up so much of their lives. If you want to be good at something, do it. Small children who fill out coloring sheets in five minutes rarely look at it again. The little kid that spends an hour filling in every block makes sure you put it up on the fridge. This is because putting in time and effort gives value to that skill or task.
Let me bring up The Word though, the word that is loathed by millions because it represents a never ending internal battle: Self Control. It seems like a dirty word when in reality, it’s a powerful tool. True self control is where the individual has the freedom to decide between options, and they pick the more difficult option for their immediate state rather than giving up a long term goal. This self control is demanding more of yourself, being a snob when it comes to what you expect from your own expectations. There’s this common illusion that if you control your desires, you are somehow giving yourself up. By not eating the piece of cake, you are, in some way, not allowing yourself to be who you truly are. However, if there is a pull of forces within you, then all of the forces are a part of you. The person that wants to eat the cake is still the same person that wants to fit into their jeans better, no one version is an interloper. Self control is a matter of picking who you want to be by being discerning with your actions. Or, in an oversimplified manner, self control is picking who you want to be over who you are right now.
Why does this matter? It matters because as you go about your every day life, you don’t need to be a well oiled machine, devoid of any immediate comfort. Instead, all you need is enough self control to practice and learn every day. By working every day, it gives value to what you do. Who remembers the test they crammed for the night before? Practically no one. But the hours you spent over years studying a particular topic? There’s little question, the mundane time-outs to practice add up to something spectacular. So achieve things! You won’t get there in a weekend, but slowly and steadily you can become who you want to be. Use self control and keep yourself to it, the best time to start is now. Nothing is holding you back except yourself.