Be Disciplined

I saved the best for last. Well… it’s not the best so much as one of the toughest of the four statements that I write every day in my journal. Like I said in my prior three posts, right after I dump myself out of bed, get dressed, and then start the coffee maker (which is prepped the night before), I open up my journal and write four statements to kick off every day.

They act as a bit of a mantra, a reminder of some of my core values for the beginning of the day. It plants them first in my mind. The first three were, “What can I do today to make tomorrow better?”, “Writing will set me free”, and “Be the example”.

The last statement is this:

“Be Disciplined.”

In this economy of convenient distractions, it often is a challenge to focus on the very things most important to us. There are a million reasons and more that we trip up often when it comes to following the above statement, and in no way am I different in this challenge.

In a way, the statement said often by Jocko Willink, retired Navy Seal officer and leadership guru, “Discipline Equals Freedom” is the inspiration for this. I am sure that the idea of being disciplined in any activity was something that I heard often in my life, but it wasn’t until the lessons came from Jocko did they start having the intended effect. Before then, before the words found their way as the heading for each day’s journal entry, discipline was an intangible concept. It only mattered for military and fitness, right?

How wrong I was.

“Be Disciplined” is the linchpin of the statements preceding it. Without discipline, the other statements I write each day would be nothing more than concepts or ideas to tickle one’s thoughts. To be effective in executing these with any consistency, I need to have discipline in their practice. Then, like Jocko asserts, through executing life with discipline, will I find the freedom I seek.

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