virgin islands scene

The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.
-- Emile Zola


Thursday, June 27, 2019

When the price is paid

You cannot avoid paying the price in life. What you can do is choose how and when the price is paid, and that determines what you receive in return.

Your best choice, by far, is to pay the price before you get the reward. You pay the price by filling your time with disciplined, purposeful activity, and you’re rewarded with the outcome of your choice.

In doing so, both the price you pay and the reward you receive are beneficial. Being productive is itself enjoyable and fulfilling, and the fruits of your labor can improve your life for years or decades.

A much less desirable choice is to get the reward before you pay the price. The reward in this case is getting to spend a lot of time putting forth no effort, and the price you pay is to have your life filled with regret for all that wasted time.

In such a scenario, the value of the reward is not really that great, and it doesn’t last. The price you end up paying later, regret, is a terrible burden, one you’ll have great trouble getting rid of.

Be eager always to pay the price before you obtain the reward. By doing so you’re sure to make the price much lower and the reward much greater.

— Ralph Marston

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