I found this in an old notebook of mine recently. It was something I clipped out of an issue of GQ Magazine probably 9 or 10 years ago, then taped onto the inside of the notebook cover:
I think that was during a real difficult period in my life. The motivation behind saving the clip was probably to get me to toughen up and not be such a blubbering, emotional person, which I still am. Older age has made me tougher and wiser than I was 10 years ago, but I could still use a reminder from Clint Eastwood now and then.
Contrary to what some might argue, I think being a little “tough” is better than the alternative. Self-discipline, as I read recently, is learning to do what’s necessary, even when you don’t “feel” like it. And that means you have to learn to suck it up sometimes. I wish I had learned more self-discipline when I was younger, because I think I’ve could have achieved a lot more. But I can’t live in regret either. It’s never too late to straighten up and cultivate a little self-discipline.
As Gurney Halleck said in the original Dune novel:
Mood? What has mood to do with it? You fight when the necessity arises — no matter the mood! Mood’s a thing for cattle or making love or playing the baliset. It’s not for fighting.
Emotions and feelings are very fickle and I realize more and more that you have to learn not to be persuaded by them because they’re irrational and subject to change. Therefore they are unreliable for accomplishing anything.
It’s not about being macho, or a cold robot; it’s about perspective and staying focused amidst the shifts and changes in the world, including those in your own mind.