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Freedom and Discipline

Updated: Mar 9

Freedom and discipline would seem to be at the opposite ends of the spectrum. People who see themselves as free-spirited and go-with-the-flow types tend to believe that discipline is restrictive and binding.  This perception may not be the whole truth. Discipline, if used correctly, can bring mastery, inner peace, harmony, abundance, and success.

Discipline creates mastery.  A piano player who is accomplished most likely has practiced with discipline for many years.  The greatest athletes have spent endless hours practicing their sport and honing natural skills to get better and rise to the top.  While it is true that there are some people who are extremely talented and born with a special gift, most people do not fall in that category.  The majority of us have to practice with discipline to get better at what we love, and that journey brings tremendous satisfaction to our hearts and souls.  Mastery through discipline can bring the freedom to live our life’s purpose.

Discipline creates inner peace and harmony.  The most important part to creating inner peace and harmony in us is to nurture positive and creative thinking in our minds.  We, humans, thrive on positive thinking.  I have a friend who says to me “…. but you need to be realistic ….” And I respond: “which reality, yours or mine?”  I like my reality better because it helps me create the life I want.  Another disciplined practice that can bring inner peace and harmony is meditation.  At first you may see or feel nothing, but with discipline and commitment you will achieve that inner peace and harmony that we all seek in life. If we pay close attention to nature and the universe we live in, we notice that discipline creates peaceful harmony and abundance.  For example, the sun comes out every single day, even when it is cloudy.  There is not one day that the sun says: “I am tired of doing this every day; I will not shine today.”  The same thing happens with the moon and the stars; everything in the cosmos has a disciplined way of being. Changes in seasons come every year, spring shows up every year and the trees and the flowers bloom no matter what.

Discipline can create abundance and success.  At the end of every year, I have the discipline of taking myself through the following questions:  Am I happy and fulfilled?  What am I doing next year to expand my soul?  What new things do I want to learn?  What experiences do I want to create and bring into my life?  What do I really, really, really want?  How can I make a difference in the life of others and the world I live in?  After reflecting and listening to my inner guidance I take the time to write down the answers in my journal and from there I create goals and a plan on how to achieve them.  Do I achieve every goal?  Of course not, however, the path that I created brings new experiences, excitement, and growth into my life.  I plan to do this into old age to keep myself enthusiastic and engaged with life.

I am very grateful that I learned about this concept many years ago while reading Stephen Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  The idea that discipline brings freedom intrigued me, I studied the concept and started to apply it to my life, is not always easy but it is something I return to again and again.  I have noticed that slowly I have been able to achieve more mastery, create more inner peace and harmony, enjoy more abundance and success and most importantly there is a feeling of joy in my heart.


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