Expedient: (of an action) convenient and practical although possibly improper or immoral.
Now that we know what expedience is, how do we stay away from it? Expedience is our default. Expedience is usually what is instantly gratifying. Think chocolate, comfort, and drugs. What’s instantly gratifying takes away from our future selves. Take too much instant gratification over an extended period of time, and you will be in big trouble.
Delayed gratification is the same as bargaining with the future. If we put in some work now, or seek some form of discomfort whether it be exercise, cold showers, fasting, or apologizing to someone we have wronged, we will be better off in the future. It’s the equivalent of investing or saving money for a later date.
The secret to success is the successful sacrifice. A Queen’s Gambit of sorts.
Success is letting go of who you are in the search for who you might become.
So how do we figure out what is meaningful? Viktor Frankl, the author of Man’s Search For Meaning – a book accounting life in the Nazi concentration camps in World War II – says that meaning can come in various shapes and forms. It could come in the shape of life’s work that is yet to be completed, a mission of sorts. Or it could come in the form of the love for another like a spouse or child.
Peterson states that meaning is something that comes upon you, of its own accord. It cannot be produced as an act of will. To have meaning in your life is better than to have what you want, because you may not know what you want, or truly need it either.
Pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient.