Today I’m listening to Tim Ferriss’ podcast, Tribe of Mentors. Jocko Willink, a highly decorated retired Navy Seal, shared a life philosophy that stuck with me: “Discipline equals freedom”
At first glance it seems counterintuitive, but I cannot tell you how many times I complained about getting fat after not sticking to eating healthy foods and feeling like I couldn’t take a good picture to post on Instagram. Which in a sense is a lost of freedom. If you wanna have the freedom of moving in a lean, energy filled body you gotta have the discipline to eat well.
It probably also applies to the way we spend our time. I think the only reason I feel I have all the freedom in the world is because I’m super strict about saying no to random commitments with people. That discipline is frees me from feeling overwhelmed or out of control.
I don’t know if I would use the word discipline though, the only reason I’m able to be consistent with the time thing is because I value it. A lot! You never get back the hours you spent in worthless meetings. I’m not sure if I’m disciplined, I think I’m educated, invested, motivated? Not sure… The point is that the decision is now a no brainer.
I don’t know how to get that type of conviction about not eating chili cheese fries and wings. Maybe I need to think more about the impact of having a few pounds really have on me. Half of it is that I refuse to fall into the mind washing marketing trap that wants to make you feel like you are not good enough if you are not model thin. Or so I think…
Anyway… I think Jocko is right, discipline gives you freedom because acting consistently on the principles you believe in will rid you of the clutter, pressure and guilt of acting on the things that don’t matter at all to you.