When I was younger, Fram Oil Filters ran an ad campaign featuring a mechanic sporting a thick New York accent and a knowing grin in front of a broken down car saying “You can pay me now or pay me later”. Here is the print ad.
The idea was that you either chose to incur a little bit of pain now (the cost of an oil change) 0r you WOULD experience a great deal of pain later (the cost of a new engine).
That principle doesn’t just apply to the internal combustion engine. A fair amount of the pain in our lives is caused either by our inability or by our unwillingness to learn the easy way. So, we eventually learn by pain. Sometimes we just refuse to learn at all and just repeatedly suffer pain.
In my experience, the most frequent form of pain that we must undergo is associated with change. Usually the change is really quite small. However, human beings are not prone to make changes easily. We fight it for a variety of reasons: it will break up our routine, it is inconvenient, we are too lazy, we will look stupid, no one else is doing it, etc., etc.
I continue trying to learn the easy way as much as possible. For the last 25 years, I have tried to cultivate the “habit of action.” When I get an idea, discover something that bothers me or see something that I need to change, I try to do it right away. That is when my motivation is the highest and my excuses are the weakest.
Unfortunately, I find that I have to learn the hard way when I am unwilling to make the necessary changes in my behavior that are exposed the easy way.
I had just such an incident Wednesday night.
I wrote the Sunday and Monday’s posts on Tuesday evening. I was really happy with them. I felt inspired while writing them.
However, yesterday afternoon, I accidentally deleted both of them. Over an hour’s worth of creative genius (LOL) vaporized with a few quick keystrokes! Pain! Ouch!
I still can’t figure out exactly how I made that mistake.
In desperation, I called the hosting company. They last backed up my database, you guessed it, on Monday night!
They are not obligated to do it at all. They do this as a courtesy. I knew this before I called. I knew that if the database that holds all of my posts ever crashed, I would lose quite a bit of our great family history.
But…what is the likelihood of that happening? I have a good hosting company…Besides, I don’t have time for that. It is a big enough challenge to write a daily (almost) post. I’m sure it will be all right.
Oh the excuses were flowing real good!
And, it turned out that I was right. The hosting company is reliable. The database is stable. My problem turned out to be my own thinking and decision making.
So, I spent yesterday evening rewriting those two posts. I didn’t feel anywhere near the same level of inspiration.
And started copying the contents of this blog to my computer…