I am currently on Day 15 of Bold & Determined’s e-book program 30 Days of Discipline. A few things I’ve noticed so far are:
- The hardest part of waking up at 5AM every morning is not getting out of bed that early, it’s being in bed by 8 or 9PM each night
- If I start the day with focus and a sense of urgency, then the rest of the day tends to productive. But if I start slowly, then the feeling of lethargy is hard to shake off and later I will really have to force myself to do things I need to do. Paradoxically, expending energy on getting things done gives me more energy.
- Practicing discipline raises the standard for how you use your time. The time you spend working is more focused and intense, and “spare” time is always spent doing something otherwise useful or productive.
What is Discipline?
We often think of discipline as something restricting, or imagine it as a limiting quality. It tends to carry a negative connotation. When a child is disciplined, it’s as punishment for doing something wrong.
We think about discipline in a literal negative sense as well; in terms of what we can’t do, or what we’re not allowed to do.
We believe that discipline constrains us, but in fact exactly the opposite is true.
Discipline is the most freeing quality there is.
Let me tell you why.
The other night, I was writing in my gratitude journal and listing different things: the sunset, the warm air, the present moment. It was very calm and peaceful.
And then I wrote: I’m grateful for my discipline.
It had struck me: Why was it possible for me to sit down, to take a moment to write in my gratitude journal, and to enjoy the summer evening?
The answer was because I had already finished all of my work for the day.
I was content to sit and relax at the end of the day, only because I knew I had done everything I needed to. I had worked on my #1 goal, lifted weights at the gym, eaten properly, and done of all of my other habits.
Once you’ve done everything you set out to do for the day, you can relax and feel good about it. It’s a great feeling.
On a small scale, it’s the feeling of fulfilment. And fulfilment might just be the best feeling there is.
Why Discipline is Freedom
Take a minute to imagine your ideal day, and then plan it out. Make a schedule, down to the half hour, of what you’ll do from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep.
If you try to follow the schedule, my guess is you probably can’t. Maybe you can’t work long enough, or you skip certain habits, or you get tired and give up halfway through.
Why is this? Like Arnold says..
With enough discipline, none of those things will happen.
With enough discipline, you’ll be able to make yourself do whatever you want, whenever you want to do it.
Doesn’t that sound a lot like freedom?
Discipline is freedom because it allows you to do exactly what you want
with every single minute of your time.
It gives you the ability to spend yourself exactly as you want to.
It gives you complete control over your life. Discipline frees you from the constraints of the weaker parts of yourself.
So I’ll continue the program for 15 more days. And each day, as I get closer and closer to reaching my goals, I’ll know that in doing so I’m getting closer and closer to freedom.