“We gain the strength of the temptation we resist.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sometimes it isn’t what we do, but what we don’t do. As we press pause in our lives, as we take the time to get our minds and thoughts right before we act, often the best response to an event is resist the temptation of the easy, default-driven action.
When faced with an emotional, angry individual it is easy to match their level of emotion and anger. The temptation is to meet them at their level . . . the discipline-driven response is be a calming force in a storm. When tempted by greed or personal fame, it is important to focus on purpose. Each time we win the battle to live a discipline life, each time we press pause to fight our default, easy impulses we gain strength. As we build our skills, as we live a more discipline-driven life, we gain strength.
Part of pressing pause – part of taking a moment to get our minds right in preparation for our response – is in knowing our own temptations. It is important to identify our own challenges, our own temptations. What is your default-driven response and how can you be more intentional in responding? Once you’ve identified the below the line response you are on the way to having a stronger, discipline response in the future.