“There are two paths that people can take. They can either play now and pay later, or pay now and play later. Regardless of the choice, one thing is certain. Life will demand a payment” — John C. Maxwell
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In this quote, John C. Maxwell is contrasting two different approaches to life that both ultimately require sacrifice and effort in some form. He describes the paths as either “play now and pay later” or “pay now and play later.” Maxwell suggests that if one prioritizes immediate enjoyment and leisure over responsibilities, they will face consequences and “pay” for it later through potential hardships.
The overall message appears to be that Maxwell believes life demands tradeoffs and there are no free rides – one must either exert discipline now for future gratification or enjoy the present knowing the bill will come due down the road. Whichever path is chosen, according to Maxwell both require “payment” or balancing work with pleasure over the course of a lifetime.