Discipline Equals Freedom

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Since our vacation to Florida this summer, I have been on vacay mode; eating crap, drinking more than I should, thoroughly living my best unhealthy life. My “summer body” went out the window, along with some of my healthy habits, which is one of the reasons “Wellness” is the top priority of this months agenda. To get started I needed a kick in the @ss and the (great) book I was reading Love Does, by Bob Goff wasn’t putting me in the frame of mind to seize the day in a way which was clearly needed.

I was listening to a Podcast while driving back and forth between where I live and my parent’s house, and I was listening to a Tribe of Mentors Podcast, featuring Jocko Willink. Jocko served 20 years as a Navy SEAL commander, and as the officer-in-charge of training for all West Coast SEAL teams. I remember his section of Tools of Titans, as he was very strait forward and takes a no-BS approach to life, and had the resume to prove his “operating system” is effective. His section in Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World, and the Podcast are no different. During the Podcast he discussed questions he had not answered in the book, as well as his new book Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manualwhich I immediately purchased.

Discipline Equals Freedom was a quick read for me; possibly because it was exactly what I was needing to hear and also because the concept is very straightforward. Jocko reminds me of my husband in many ways. The similarities may be due to their backgrounds in special forces, but also I think it breaks down to their fundamental personalities. They both seem to be Upholders (See The Four Tendencies), who just decide to do something, and then do it. No excuses, just take action.

In the very beginning of the book he discusses “you have control over your mind, you just have to assert it. Decide you are in control.” This concept of taking control and accountability for your mind and actions, really boils down to one of my favorite concepts in life, and that I used when I was working as a therapist; Own Your Shit. Own your actions, and those consequences. If losing weight is important to you, decide you are going to do it, then every action you take should be working towards that goal. Work to be a little bit better each day than you were the day before. Put structure in your life which will help you work towards losing weight, and within this structure and discipline, lies freedom.

The Whole30 program shares very similar concepts with Discipline Equals Freedom . Creator of the Whole30 program, Melissa Hartwig, created the program with very strict guidelines; however, once you establish the guidelines of what you can’t do, there is a great deal of freedom in what you can. This is what the Discipline Equals Freedom idea is all about; setting a standard, making a decision, making a choice and then you are free to do whatever you’d like, within the parameters of making your goal happen.

In a recent podcast episode of School of Greatness with health and fitness expert Kelly LaVeque, she stated “If you can’t complete something, its you not believing in yourself.” And that’s what this book works to do; it’s taking the lack of belief in yourself and changing it to a state of radical acceptance. This is what I’m going to do, and there isn’t any other option. Say you make the decision that you want to wake up early to read every morning, or exercise, or whatever it is you’re working towards. With this concept, there is no other option but to just get up, no snooze button, just rise and grind. Throughout this book, rise and grind isn’t just a saying, but a necessity. To be on the “warpath” as he describes it, to accomplish whatever it is you need to accomplish, you need to be up before your enemy. The enemy doesn’t rest, and neither should you. Obviously this book is filled with experience of his significant military service, and yet he takes these concepts and makes them accessible to the everyday civilian who is just trying to lose weight, get a promotion, or just be a better version of themselves today than yesterday.

This book is a great guide to helping you stop makings excuses, and start taking action. The military mindset, of taking no prisoners, and working harder than your enemy, which may be yourself, helps you work to step aggressively toward your goals; face whatever it is that is stopping you, and figure out a way to move forward.

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