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NO PAIN, NO PROGRESS

April 3, 2000

As Lao-Tzu said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." So what if that first step is a little painful?

You see, if you want to accomplish something, there are two kinds of pain you might encounter: the pain of discipline and the pain of regret.

Whenever you take that first step toward a new goal, you often experience the pain of discipline: the pain of hard work, the pain of sacrifice, as you single-mindedly pursue your dream.

On the other hand, if you don't go after your dreams, you might experience an even greater type of pain: the pain of staying stuck, which eventually turns into the pain of regret.

Remember, as Sydney J. Harris wrote, "Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable."

When you're really ready to make a change in your life, you'll find, as writer Anaiis Nin did, that the "risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

The great thing about discipline is if you discipline yourself on a daily basis, eventually something "magical" will happen, almost without your realizing it-one day, the discipline will turn into desire.

A runner who "makes" herself run on a daily basis, one day gets up "wanting" to run. The same holds true for writing, public speaking, or anything else.

So today, start that project, make that call, do what you need to do to begin. Here's a guarantee: If you work through a little pain, you'll see a little progress.

--- Sunita Singhi --- Sent in by Armando S. Portillo --- California