Can Discipline Create Freedom?
Discipline creating freedom? At first, that may seem like an oxymoron. Discipline removes freedom from your life right? In fact, it is the exact opposite.
When we add discipline to our lives, we also live with more intentionality and this intentionality, while it may be perceived as taking freedom out of the “here and now”, will create more freedom and opportunity in the future.
Discipline can take many forms and produce many different outcomes and benefits. For instance, being disciplined with cardiovascular exercise improves your longevity and gives you the freedom and ability to play with your grandchildren when you’re older. Getting optimal sleep each night reduces chronic stress which allows you to function at your peak capacity.
Society unfortunately glorifies the spontaneous, “you only live once” type of lifestyle.
That eat whatever you want, do whatever you want lifestyle has made us sicker and more unhealthy than ever before. Stats Canada reported that in 2017 that 27% of Canadians were obese and 34% were overweight and for the first time a long time, life expectancy has been decreasing. Not to say that having spontaneity in your life isn’t good but holding that in balance living a life of discipline is important.
Here are a couple of tips to help you live a life of discipline:
Proactive Vs. Reactive Health Choices
- As mentioned before, there is no question that as a society, we are more unhealthy than ever before. One reason is that we are living in a way that is reactive rather than proactive. Generally, we engage in our health in a reactive manner and don’t make any changes until we have a “perceived need” or crisis. On the other hand, dentistry is one profession that has gotten it right. Regardless of pain or symptoms, we all know that brushing our teeth is good for us. We need to take this approach with the rest of our disciplines and exercise proactive behaviours. Exercise regularly, eat healthy, get adjusted regularly, go to bed earlier. All of these things take sacrifice and discipline but will create freedom and opportunity down the road.
- Goal setting applies intentionality to your life. Setting short, mid and long term goals help you to achieve far more and can create more freedom in your life. No matter who you are, we all have unique gifts and talents and purposes in this life. By setting goals and striving to achieve them, it helps you live more on purpose and helps you grow into your specific calling.
Organizing Your Day
- Many of us go through our day without much regard for time and how to leverage it more effectively. When there is no structure to our day, it becomes very easy to waste time and be far less effective. This leads to projects being delayed, to-do lists growing and self-care being pushed to the back burner; all of which robs you of freedom in the future. By simply organizing your day into designated chunks of time, you can get all of your important tasks done efficiently which allows you to enjoy your free time more without a million things hanging over your head.
Create The Right Environment
- The environment you surround yourself with is so important to your success and can make or break your discipline. This can include your living space, your workplace and even the people you surround yourself with. Essentially you want to craft the environment that will give you the best chance of staying disciplined. For example, if you are trying to eat healthier, don’t have sweets in your house that will tempt you. Instead, stock your fridge with healthy snacks that will replace the treats you would normally reach for. Set yourself up for success by creating the right environment.
Dr. Matt and Dr. B