Cultivating Discipline

It seems like mental, social and financial freedom are all hiding within the folds of disciplines. At least that’s what Jocko Willinks says. So great, if I’m disciplined all my dreams will come true eventually.

I love this advice. And I wish I was better at it, but sadly I’m not Jocko Willinks. I don’t tap out Navy Seals before breakfast, I can barely manage a hobbling run. I can’t even do two good pushups in a row.

These examples are purely physical, but the same ideas apply to my academic and business life.

I struggled at first with discipline because I wasn’t achieving my Jocko Willink goals. I would set myself too many reps or something or ridiculous deadlines to get a project in by. But what I’m slowly coming to terms with is that discipline for me, doesn’t have to be one-hundred pushups and a wounded Navy Seal or two before five AM.

Discipline for me, for now, might just be the act of dragging myself out of bed and outside to do a few weak burpees and run until I start feeling faint, which is only like a hundred metres and that's okay.

Because with those acts the discipline isn’t in the amount of reps or the goal, it’s in the action. It’s doing the thing I really don’t want to do, at six am, a time I don’t want to wake up, every day.

And when it comes to academics and business, it might just be sitting down with my computer and writing something, like literally anything, this blog post for instance.

What I was worried about originally was that if I wasn’t pushing myself to do one hundred reps of something or another, then I wasn’t pushing myself, therefore I would never improve.

But for me at least, that assumption was wrong. As soon as I can do ten crappy burpees, I suddenly want to do twenty. As soon as I can run for ten minutes without falling over, I want to run for twelve. As soon as I can knock out a thousand words in half an hour, suddenly I want to write two thousand.

So don’t be scared to rethink what discipline is to you, and bend it to suit your personal needs. As long as it fits into the box of ‘doing hard stuff you don’t want to do, everyday,’ I think you’re sweet.

Thanks for reading…!