Dec 10, 2021 in Life Coaching

There Is Freedom in Discipline?

I grew up in the country, surrounded by cornfields and marshland, and tall fruit trees.

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I grew up in the country, surrounded by cornfields and marshland, and tall fruit trees. Our closest neighbors were over a mile away down our dirt road. All of this allowed me to explore the world around me without fear or worry. Both my parents worked, so I spent time exploring my world with complete freedom and independence after school was over and chores were finished.  As long as I did what was required, I had my independence.

As I grew, I developed a free spirit, so to speak. I would question rules, laws, religion and other people, and if something didn't make sense to me, I didn't do it. Regardless of what it was.

You're probably thinking how sorry you feel for my parents, or what you would do with a child like me. I don't blame you. I would have done the same if I was raising myself. My attitude was if I didn't like it, I didn't do it. Discipline, order, commitment, or habit were sworn words to me and were the opposite of freedom. If I discipline myself to go to bed at a specific time, I would miss what's happening while I'm sleeping. So rather than going to bed, I'd stay up. 

In high school, my desk was connected to my chair and was small and uncomfortable to sit in, so rather than sitting at my desk, I would sit on my desk! 

My first job was working at a fast-food restaurant, where I was timed and scrutinized for everything I did. I hated it. That job didn't last long. 

As I have matured over the years, I have come to learn that the opposite is true. Discipline, order and commitment are ways to achieve freedom. A very close friend of mine one said, "I never knew there was so much freedom in submission."

There is Freedom in Submission. It is not our natural order to be disciplined, yet when we have command over ourselves, we live happier healthier lives. I hear people say all the time, "Do what makes you happy." If happiness is your goal, you will be miserable! You see, happiness is an emotional effect of what you accomplished. 

Happiness is "a state of well-being and contentment" according to Mirriam-Webster, or "a pleasurable or satisfying experience." If our goal is to constantly have pleasurable and satisfying experiences, we will do everything we can to avoid pain. If I work in customer service for example and am confronted with rude customers, I will quit because that doesn't provide me happiness. In fact, that creates pain, regardless of the paycheck I receive that allows me to pay my bills and do what I enjoy. 

Discipline and order, at first, may sound painful; until you build the habit, it may very well be a bit painful. But, it is necessary to help you achieve happiness and revel in your accomplishments. Say I wanted to get up at 6 am each day to be more productive, rather than staying up late and feeling tired all day. In order for me to achieve that, I have to tell myself, "No, I can't stay up late, because I have other priorities." And when I accomplish those priorities, I begin to develop a habit of discipline and success. And that habit will lead me to the next set of priorities to accomplish, using that same discipline to succeed. And when I see the results, namely knowledge, experience, and wisdom, I have given myself the gift of freedom to choose options for myself.

Discipline takes more than just saying no sometimes. It also takes accountability. An accountability partner is someone you can trust. Someone you know will not ridicule or judge you about what you want to accomplish, but rather champion you and help you find ways to do it. An accountability partner is someone who loves you enough to encourage you, sometimes really push you, to help you achieve your goals. 

If you need accountability and encouragement in your life, please reach out to me.

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