The ability to do what’s difficult…to do what you’re supposed to to…even while no one is looking…is an element that can set some individuals significantly apart from others. Discipline is doing just that. It’s sacrificing the current moment, in order to make things better in the future. Discipline sounds rigid and routine. It sounds like something someone does who is very ‘by-the-books’, and structured more than necessary. We might think that the individual who is self-disciplined is that guy who can’t enjoy the moment, or the one who never stops to smell the roses. He is overly focused on his routine, and therefore isn’t allowed to enjoy all that life has to offer. That is not true. The individual that is disciplined, ironically affords himself more ability to enjoy life. He actually creates time to smell the roses, by his uncanny ability to effectively plan and work on different aspects of his life.
As former Navy Seal and podcaster Jocko Willink likes to say, ‘Discipline equals Freedom’. He actually titled a book with this phrase, and I highly recommend it. His message is helpful. It encourages folks to become ultra discipline surrounding what needs to be done (house work, relationships, health, etc.)…and by doing this, you free up and allow for time and space to do what it is you want to do. It’s much more plausible that you can be spontaneous, and that you can follow your passions and desires, if your house is in fine order, if you’re body is as healthy as it can be, and if your bills are paid on time. You don’t simply deserve a fruitful life on your own terms. That takes work and discipline to achieve. You must earn a life of that sophistication.
Jocko’s Instagram page is worth following. An interesting picture that he seems to post almost every morning, is one of his military style digital watch. He takes a picture of his watch when he wakes up, and posts it in order to show what time he’s getting out of bed. It’s very representative of his discipline equals freedom philosophy. He’s getting up every day usually around 430am. Sometimes he’s up before 4am. Often, another picture will be posted a little later on of some gym equipment that he just finished using. He has a home gym, and he frequently gets a hard workout in immediately upon waking up. This is obviously what works for him. It doesn’t mean that we all need to do a hard workout first thing in the morning. It is worth a reminder though…of that feeling when you’ve crushed a workout before most other people have even crawled out of bed. Sometimes, you’ve worked out, showered, paid a couple of bills, and had your breakfast…and it’s only 6:30. This makes you feel like a beast! And like you’ll be able to crush anything in the upcoming day. There’s nothing that you won’t be able to handle. This perspective is created by discipline. Imagine what this person feels like after a year of doing this 6 days a week. Imagine how they feel after 5 years. Consistent discipline does that. It affords an incredible ability to thrive in other aspects of life.
If you’re complaining about anything you don’t have…or a lifestyle that you want…try implementing more discipline into your life. Try making a radical change. Don’t simply expect that an easy, small change will drastically affect your lifestyle. Create and write down a challenging plan. Find out what motivates you to stick to that plan. And then develop some thorough and extensive disciplinary practices. That’s when you’ll see incredible change. That’s when you’ll create a beast. And that’s when you’ll discover the ultimate freedom to play, to spend time how you choose to, or to build something worthy that you truly cherish.