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How Discipline Yields Freedom

March 1, 2017

We struggle to make sacrifices because it's easier to do the thing we want in the moment.

“I should get to bed earlier but, the Oscar's!”

Let's analyze the above decision to stay up late. Is this displaying freedom? You're at the wheel, you're free to make that choice. But is that freedom?  Tomorrow, heading to work, having slept less, your “freedom” led to being slave to your drowsiness.

Let's flip the perspective. Had you used discipline to get to bed on time (even if it caused you to miss the Moonlight debacle), you'd wake up the next day with energy, liberating you to make the choice of hitting the gym before work, instead of being forced to slap the snooze button.

 

DISCIPLINE YIELDS FREEDOM

 

Referencing the cash analogy from a previous post, let's look at this from a fiscal view.

Ever heard the quote, “The borrower is slave to the lender”?

Let's exercise freedom to liberally swipe my credit card. For a month I'm free to spend whatever I want, swiping away… isn't freedom great?

Next month my friends ask me to join them on a ski trip. “Sure,” I say, “I'll just put it on my credit card!”

MAXED OUT!

And, the bill from last month just came in… looks like I'm not going to be free to say yes to anything for awhile.

Let's go back and help my fiscally “free” self. Let's employ some discipline, and set a strict budget. A budget that causes me to say no to many things throughout the month. Where's the freedom in that? Well, the ski trip comes up, and guess who's free to say, “Yes!” and pay with cash?

Applying this to fitness - -  if we are regularly disciplined in our diet, we can freely say yes to dessert at the next dinner party. (Those are still a thing right?)

Because we've been disciplined, we are free to say yes, without doubt. The question, “have I done well enough this week to afford that?” doesn't need to be asked.

If we are disciplined with our workouts all year, come summer, we are free and happy to jump in the pool at the next cookout. Our discipline and consistency led to a body we're happy to reveal in front of friends. The ability to wear that bikini (or speedo) - - FREEDOM.

The above examples should be enough to display how freedom doesn't mean free to make spur of the moment choices without any consideration. Instead freedom is granted through the discipline of continually keeping our goals in mind.

Thought Exercise:
When has a lack of discipline in life cost you your freedom?

With a disciplined mind, focused on the bigger picture, our day to day decision making becomes an easier process. We say yes only to what advances our cause and no to what gets in the way. Without discipline, each decision becomes taxing.

 

NEXT UP...

 

In the post that follows I will explore the Cost of Decision Making.  I’ll demonstrate how lack of routine can lead to wasted energy and how structure can liberate our mind to make more important decisions.

 

FOR MORE ON THIS TOPIC...

 

This concept was inspired by a podcast I heard a while back featuring Navy SEAL Jacko Willink.  In this conversation he discussed how being disciplined leads to freedom on the battle field.  Check out this article to learn more CLICK HERE.

 

 

As always, thanks for reading!  Please like, comment and share with those that may also find this content useful.

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