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[426 words, 2 min read]
I once heard someone say, “Through discipline comes freedom” and it completely changed my life.
Apparently, the quote was originally by Aristotle and he was talking about discipline in the form of self-control (as opposed to punishment).
You see, when we are disciplined with certain things in our lives, it gives us the freedom to do other things.
- Financial discipline (budgeting, avoiding impulse buys, etc) leads to financial freedom. You’re free to confidently and satisfyingly spend money on the things that truly matter to you.
- Movement discipline (being less sedentary, more active, etc) leads to freedom of movement. You’re free to move around more expressively and capably, living a better and healthier life.
- Relationship discipline (being honest, faithful, caring, etc) leads to relationship freedom. You’re free to be more trusting, avoid conflict, and relax knowing that your partner has your back.
- Sleep discipline (getting enough quality and quantity of sleep) leads to freedom from sleepiness. You’re free to be more energetic and well-rested.
- Nutritional discipline (eating more healthy food and less unhealthy food) leads to nutritional freedom. You’re free of shame and guilt around the food that you eat, and healthier too.
When you start looking at the world this way, you’ll see it everywhere.
We drive within the lines of the road so that we can drive safely and efficiently. We are confined by the law so that we can be protected by the law.
I mention these two more controversial ones above to make a point.
Yes, accidents still happen. Yes, the law is sometimes taken advantage of or not enforced to our satisfaction… But as a whole, if we had NO lines on the road or NO law, we would all be much worse off.
Similarly, you may not always enjoy budgeting, or exercising, or being honest with your partner, or going to bed early, or eating healthily IN THE MOMENT, but the overall long-term benefit is so much greater.
When you’re undisciplined, you ultimately take away your freedom.
You need to pinch every penny, you struggle to climb a small flight of stairs, you constantly fight with your partner, you rely on coffee for energy, and you can’t eat something indulgent without feeling guilty or ashamed.
Another way of looking at this is “Choose your hard”.
Is it hard to be disciplined? Yes. Is it hard to have no freedom? Yes. Which one do you choose?
So ask yourself: What small acts of discipline have you been avoiding which are robbing you of the freedom to live an incredible life?