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Written by Don Tinney on April 9, 2012

Implementers EOS

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines the noun, discipline, as:

  1. punishment
  2. instruction
  3. a field of study
  4. training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character
  5. a) control gained by enforcing obedience or order; b) orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior; c) self-control
  6. a rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity.

Words like punishment, control, enforcing, obedience, order, rules, system and governing all convey a sense of restriction. It sounds unpleasant and hard, so can’t we talk about freedom and creativity instead?

Although it seems counter-intuitive, discipline actually leads to greater freedom and creativity. Subject yourself to 1 hour of focused practice per day in almost any area and see what you get in return – freedom to create something extraordinary with an instrument, a tool, your mind, your body, your voice.

Discipline is hard. It is restrictive, and it’s all about keeping commitments we make with ourselves and others. I commit do the hard things that make it easier to do the things that matter most.

So restrict what you ingest each day to those things that are good for your body, mind and soul. Exercise regularly so you can do cool stuff for and with the people you care about. Invest time each day or week to develop a skill so you have more value to give. Be open and honest and insist that others are open and honest with you. Systemize what you do, stripping everything down to the essential components, and then force yourself to do those essential things every time. Keep these commitments and see what you get in return.

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