I spent a couple hours at the dentist yesterday and learned a lot about what it means to be a proactive, disciplined professional.
Going to the dentist isn’t exactly the definition of a good time. No one invites someone to the dentist on a first date. No one goes to the dentist on a whim because it’s Saturday and they need something fun to do. No one has a little dental work done while on vacation because it feels good to do something nice for yourself.
The thing about the dentist is that it’s one of those things you do because you need to do it, not because you want to do it. It’s basically biting (see what I did there?) the bullet and doing something that isn’t a lot of fun today, so you don’t have an unexpected problem that is painful or far more inconvenient tomorrow.
Basically, going to the dentist is doing something to help your future self.
You may not need to take a trip to the dentist, but you can likely identify something you can do today to help your future self. Maybe you need to initiate a difficult conversation, dig into those unsavory spreadsheets, or spend an extra few minutes before bed cleaning up the living room. Whatever it is, just think of the present discomfort as an opportunity to eliminate future discomfort.
Your future self with thank you for it.