“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret to freedom is discipline.”
When I look back on why I started a business, it was because I was after freedom and fulfillment. Freedom financially – so I could do whatever I want – whenever I want. I was also after a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment from life.
It took me about 8 years to truly understand what it takes to achieve freedom (and what freedom really meant), and this has also completely flipped my thinking since. I can’t remember exactly who taught this to me, but this is what I learnt only a few years ago.
IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE FREEDOM WE MUST APPLY DISCPLINE AND WHEN WE STOP GENERATING DISCPLINE, WE STOP FEELING FREE.
What? I thought the whole idea of freedom was sitting on a beach, eating what ever I wanted, just doing what ever I wanted whenever I wanted.
Sadly – this just doesn’t give us the feeling of freedom (or fulfillment).
Lets look at happiness. Almost ALL of our decisions are based on happiness. Did you know this? We like to move towards happiness, or move away from unhappiness.
Have you heard of a concept called the law of control? The law of control states that we feel happy to the extent we are in control of ALL areas of our life, and we feel unhappy to the extent we are not in control.
Think about this – the only time you feel out of whack, is when something in your life isn’t in control (your relationship, health, career, finances, family etc).
Control will lead us to freedom. This diagram explains:
So how do we gain control? Through Discipline. If we weren’t disciplined with our health then we wouldn’t eat well or exercise. We would then spiral out of control and this would lead to a lack of freedom, happiness and fulfillment.
So here is something else to think about – we never actually reach the place of freedom and stay there UNLESS we maintain discipline. So we can make all of the money in the world and still feel like we are trapped (i.e. not free) and very unfulfilled.
Just look at some of the stars in Hollywood. They falsely believed that they had cracked it, and so they could do whatever they wanted. I.e. – they stopped exerting discipline in certain areas of their lives, and this resulted in loss of control and thus unhappiness.
So – discipline really does lead to freedom and fulfillment. And guess what? It’s something we have to maintain for the rest of our lives. Yep – even in our 90’s.
Here are 7 areas where you can apply discipline. They work for me and they really do bring you freedom and a great deal of fulfillment. Remember – you can’t just try for a month and then stop. This is forever. When you get used to it and you form the habit (we will talk about this another day), it becomes fun and easy to do.
- Meditate. We wash ourselves with a shower every day. Why wouldn’t we stop to wash our most valuable tool – our brains? It’s the greatest discipline you can learn and will teach you the art of focus (plus about another 150 benefits).
- Exercise and good food. When we feel good, we have more energy – more energy allows us to exert further discipline in other areas.
- Planning. Plan your year, quarter, month, week and day.
- Morning rituals. Visualization, affirmations and getting into a positive state is a great discipline.
- Focusing on the 20% of things that actually get us results.
- Journaling. I find this is a powerful way to tune into your instincts.
- Giving. Yes – it’s a discipline. The ability to regularly stop and help people that need it more than you do.
Here is to a disciplined day,
P.S. It takes 21 days to form a new habit or a new discipline so stick with it.