Discipline Equals Freedom
It's funny because the word 'discipline' sounds like it's going to take away from our freedom and spontaneity. But the reality is discipline is freedom. It's freedom from struggle. Without discipline, we struggle to get things done, do them on time, and do them well. This is a struggle that never ends. However, when you insert discipline, when you spend the time building your discipline, then you have the power to accomplish anything you want. You have the ability to get things done when they need to be done. Planning your meals ahead? No problem. Making it to the gym X times per week? No problem. Things get done and you no longer struggle.
The truth is very few people have a great amount of discipline. Most people don't. And I'm talking about myself here too. I wasn't raised in a disciplined household. My mother was my biggest influencer and she was all about working less and having more fun. Which sounds ok at first but it's not a very fulfilling life. And since our personalities and mindsets are developed at a young age, I'm having to put in extra work to build the discipline I want to have. My wife? Very disciplined household as a child. She has all the discipline in the world. She doesn't need help building it. It's already there. But I have to put things in place to keep me on track and keep me doing the things that need to get done. Morning and nightly rituals, reminders, goal lists, daily priorities list. I need all of this to stay on track so I'm sure to get everything done. I'm building my discipline so I can be in control of my life and not let my life control me.
That might sound strict. Maybe it is. But I feel free and I get sh$t done. I have to flex my willpower to get out of bed. Then I follow my rituals and priorities so everything gets accomplished. If you read about successful people, this is how they operate their lives. I want to be successful so I copy them. Success leaves tracks. So just follow their tracks! I used to struggle but now I don't because discipline is freedom.
The best way to start building your discipline is "reduce to ridiculous." Find something that you can do every single day no matter what. Pick something, pick anything. It can be ridiculously small and easy. It can be absolutely anything. But you need to get it done every day. Buy a wall calendar and put an X or a check mark on the days you complete your ridiculously easy task.
What you choose isn't important. What is important is that you do it everyday. What happens is you begin to believe you are disciplined. It builds your level of confidence of knowing you can get things done. The every day accomplishment is very empowering and helps us to realize if we can do that small thing then we can do more things as well. We can have discipline and accomplish things every day.
It's the same as building muscle in the gym. When we first start, we are weak. We want to snatch 225 pounds but maybe we can only do 95. So we keep going back and keep snatching, putting in the reps. We build strength and technique over time and eventually we are able to hit 225. What a feeling! What an accomplishment!
Building anything mental is the same as building muscle. The concept is the same. So if you ever want to build something that has to do with your mind, just ask yourself "What would I do if I wanted to lift a bunch of weight in the shortest amount of time? What if your life depended on it?" The answer is you would practice every single day.
Always remember: Reduce To Ridiculous.
Start from there. Do it consistently. Then increase over time. Eventually you will become a new and improved version of yourself. You will be able to accomplish anything you want. If I can do it then so can you.