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Breakthrough Discipline Leads to Freedom

Jun 26, 2024

"The more disciplined I become, the freer I am to have the life I want.  If I conduct myself in a disciplined and organized way, I have much more free time."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   – Steve Chandler


Discipline and Freedom.  At first glance, these concepts seem like diametrically opposed ways of being.  


When one thinks of discipline, images of austere rules, rigid schedules and harsh punishment might come to mind.  Conversely, the idea of freedom can evoke images of complete lack of responsibility and the ability to do as one pleases without any consequences imposed by authority.  


From the time we are children to well into our advanced stages of adulthood, there is an internal yearning to do as one pleases and not be subjected to the will of others by way of institutions of learning, our parents, our employers or even our significant others and spouses. 


However, here lies the misrepresentation that freedom comes from an experience outside of ourselves.


Breaking through to freedom is something we experience from the inside out.  As Viktor Frankl wrote in his acclaimed book Man's Search for Meaning about his experience of surviving Nazi concentration camps in World War II, (If you want to learn more about breaking through to freedom, check out my Top Ten Big Ideas to Create Breakthroughs.)


"The one thing you can't take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me.  The last of one's freedoms is to choose one's attitude in any given circumstances."



In taking a closer look at freedom and discipline, we see that freedom is supported by a framework of discipline we create in our lives. 


For example,

  • Those who are "disciplined" with their money and finances generally have the means to make purchases for things they desire when the opportunity arises.
  • Those who are "disciplined" about their nutrition and exercise generally have the health and vitality to enjoy being active well into their later years. 
  • And those who are "disciplined" with their time, generally experience a healthy balance between work and play that brings a wonderful combination of fulfillment and adventure to their lives.  


Conversely, there are numerous examples of lottery winners who struggled financially prior to winning their prizes returning back to having difficulties with money. 


Just as there are those who despite ample knowledge, programs and strategies for dealing with nutrition, exercise or time management continue to find themselves struggling with their health and balancing between work and their personal lives.  


It is important to remember; discipline can be fun and simple to practice. 


Most personal trainers will tell their clients for find a mode of exercise that they enjoy doing, as they know that will most likely determine their regular practice of it.  Additionally, discipline doesn't necessarily have to be done through massive action, but rather through steady activity done over time.  Or as a wise teacher once told me,


"Small actions done consistently over time can lead to massive results."


Let's not fool ourselves, we all know discipline can be challenging. 


We all deal with our own internal struggles (including me - sometimes keeping my thoughts out of worry or wanting to have a refill on my tub or popcorn at the movies is really difficult for me).


One way I look to keep myself on track with my "disciplines" is to remind myself of how great I will feel if after I follow through on the discipline, I committed to myself to complete.


This week, I challenge all of us to pick at least one area of our lives where we can practice just a little more discipline. 


This could be in our finances, management of our time, regular exercise, cleaning up our diets, beginning a meditation practice or even in maintaining a healthy diet of positive thoughts and speech patterns to up-level our consciousness.


You may be surprised how upgrading your discipline in even a small way can lead to much greater feelings of freedom in any area of your life.  


PS:  If you have finally decided to get moving and experience a BREAKTHROUGH in your life, download my FREE REPORTThe Top Ten Big Ideas to Create Breakthroughs.

Chris Natzke

Black Belt Leadership Speaking & Coaching


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