“Our freedom to operate and maneuver had increased substantially through disciplined procedures. Discipline equals freedom.”
― Jocko Willink
The more restrictions I create in my life, getting up early, not snoozing, training, eating nutritious food, getting enough sleep, the more freedom they create. All of these things aren’t always enjoyable. They are things that I need self discipline to achieve. But consistently doing them leads me to greater levels of freedom.
As a result I have more energy to do more things.
An example is getting up early. If I wake early, I arrive to work early and feel like I am ready when I get there. I also tend to get morning meditation done and the rest of the day runs smoothly. This discipline first thing results in a freer day.
Now look at the opposite. You wake late, scramble to get ready, swallow a coffee and muffin en route to work. You get to work a few minutes late. You’re stressed out as a result. It looks bad to your boss. You have to stay in late to complete tasks. You get home late, you’re tired as a result so you skip the gym and now you have a fast food dinner because you don’t have the energy to cook (because you didn’t do your food prep). Again opting out of the things that are going to free up your time down stream are what gives you freedom.
In his book “Progression”, Sebastian Marshall calls this up streaming. It means that everything you do today is going to result in how future events play out. This is hard to grasp a lot of the time. Instant gratification will always win out over long term gains.
Take Responsibility For Your Problems
Every decision you made has led you to where you are today. You have back pain? That’s probably a result of sitting too much and lack of movement. You are out of shape? Again lack of movement and poor nutrition choices. Your actions that got you here and it’s going to be your actions that will change this.
I know you don’t want to wake up an hour earlier. I get it. But once you do you’ll free up your evenings. This morning discipline of switching your workout to the am will result in no longer needing to go in the evening. You can now use this to chill out, hang with friends or add another social activity. Freedom!
Lets look even further up stream.
You want to eat that blueberry muffin. I get it. Muffins are delicious but they are also going to add inches to your waste and increase lifestyle disease chances. So you put it down and opt for a piece of fruit instead. This small behavioural change has stopped the habit of eating a muffin at 3pm 3 days a week. This has led to a drop in 450 calories a day, 1800 calories a week and almost 7200 calories a month.
I recently stoped drinking coffee. I live in Melbourne and the coffee here is the best in the world. I love coffee. But, I see a pattern with coffee consumption.
I am strict and will have coffee on weekends. I feel great and enjoy it.
Then I start having it a few days during the week.
Then I feel like the day doesn’t start until I have a coffee.
Then I start needing a second one to get through the day.
Then I find I drinking it to drink it and not enjoy it.
Then I feel my energy depends on it.
So I stop.
I don’t want to but I know I am all round better with 1-3 cups a week. I need this discipline. Because it causes a domino effect in other areas of my life. A friend of mine has also given it up for the month. She now realises that anxiety is not actually part of her personality. It’s a result of been extremely sensitive to coffee!
I don’t write this for you to go OCD on everything you do and try and live like a monk. I write it hoping you will reflect on the habits in your life.
Are there any negative habits that trigger negative behaviours each day?
What are they?
Common ones for people are sleeping late and waking late, drinking too much alcohol/coffee. Eating fast food and spending money on stuff that they don’t need. When any of these activities are not being monitored 99% they result in negative outcomes.
Once you identify a few of these habits the next step is to address one. How can you improve this negative habit?
Feeling like you need accountability with your habits?