Discipline

What would you think if I said the ultimate, most expansive sense of freedom comes from discipline? How would you explore your own limitless choice from a place of structured commitment? I would have called you crazy. I would have argued the opposition of freedom and constraint, discipline and free-will, trusting and knowing. I have always worked for myself. Even when taking contract or employment positions, this fit into my overall self-employment structure. I left my family, country, and everything I knew at 22 years old (I’d actually done this at 17, but returned after 6 months). At 22, I suddenly had no one to answer to but myself. I didn’t even have someone who “knew” me’s expectations to meet. I was a new. I started my own business, took on clients, and business partners. Did this a few more times. Underwent various post graduate studies, took on leadership roles or consulted to large organizations, but I always did this for me. I had no discipline. I had a work ethic only an immigrant parent who fled warring cultures could instill. I had a focus that can only come from learning to overcome ADD. I had belief and big dreams only a survivor of terminal illness may trust. But I had no discipline. And I cracked. Not just once. At several intervals. After too many yes’s, too many hours, too many commitments I would inevitably crash and burn. I could. No one was watching. No one would know if I stayed in bed for weeks at a time. So I did. Then I decided, maybe there’s a better way. I started moving my body, daily. I started eating healthy. I practiced moderation in what had become excess. I overcame my depression. And I changed. With discipline. The choice to wake, and exercise. The choice to read and write for creativity. The choice to wake, and sleep, and eat in ways that fuel my body. The choice to surround myself with people, ideas, and work that inspires me. The commitment to these choices. Every day. It’s a non-negotiable. It is discipline. And with this practice comes ultimate freedom.

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