“Neglect starts as an infection. And if you don't take care of it, it becomes a disease.”
— Jim Rohn
Neglect, much like an insidious infection, has the power to silently infiltrate our lives, slowly corroding our system of disciplines and ultimately leading to the collapse of the joyful and prosperous life we aspire to.
Every aspect of our life demands our constant presence and vigilance. Albert Schweitzer once said, “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” However, when we neglect our responsibilities, relationships, and self-care, we jeopardize this noble purpose.
Like a spreading wildfire, neglect starts with small oversights, such as procrastinating on vital tasks. The more we neglect, the bigger the hole we dig for ourselves. Every instance of neglect chips away at our inner strength and discipline. As Jocko Willink puts it, “It isn’t that you wake up one day and decide, that’s it: I’m going to be weak. No. It’s a slow incremental process. It chips at your will – It chips at your discipline.”
Neglect doesn't discriminate; it infiltrates various aspects of our lives. Our relationships with loved ones, careers, health, and personal development all suffer when we allow neglect to take root.
Know that neglect never exists in isolation. It triggers a chain reaction that affects different facets of our lives. For instance, neglecting one's health can lead to chronic illness, affecting one's ability to pursue their passions and maintain fulfilling relationships. Aristotle noted, “The energy of the mind is the essence of life.” Neglect robs us of this vital energy.
Moreover, neglect can erode trust and strain our relationships. The renowned author Stephen Covey aptly remarked, "Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication." When we neglect our commitments and responsibilities in relationships, trust crumbles, leading to discord and unhappiness.
To prevent the complete breakdown of our lives due to neglect, we must take proactive measures. The first step is self-awareness. We must recognize the areas where neglect has crept in and acknowledge its consequences. As the famous psychologist Carl Jung once stated, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate.”
Once we identify neglect, we can combat it with discipline and dedication. Staying persistent and consistent is key. Confucius said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” By addressing our neglect and taking corrective actions, we can rebuild what has been damaged and strengthen our foundations.
“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day,” Jim Rohn said. When we constantly neglect the essential disciplines and the promises we’ve made to ourselves and others in our everyday lives, failure becomes inevitable. Never forget: Attention creates life; neglect summons death.