The Only Way to Develop Self Discipline Without Failing… Again

Before you can begin to see real freedom in your life, the freedom that comes from self-discipline, you have to learn to persevere and overcome a bunch of crap.

There is no short answer or an easy road. Don’t buy the lie.

A successful life comes with real work. 

You have to determine right now whether you want a life of ease and bondage to your undisciplined will or freedom that only comes through hard work and discipline. Of course, ease is not reality.

This “law” is seen in all arts, sports, and even places such as loving your neighbor.

In our core, we want and crave to be able to live a disciplined life, but when we try to start something new, or change from something old, a handful of days later we are back in our rut and another layer of “I can not” is sealed into our personalities.

How do you change? What is the needed shift to end this yo-yo cycle of fits and starts and truly develop a disciplined life?

First, you identify the easy place you currently have the freedom to begin self-discipline, the place you can control, you can direct, you can start and persevere.

And you’re closer than you think,

Here’s how.

What it All Comes Down To

For years I set daily alarms to remind myself to go to bed at 10:15, recurring wake-up alarm times of 6:30, 7:10, 5:45, and more “experimental” times to try to find my body’s most natural time to pounce out of bed and attack the day.

With the help of these alarms, did I go to bed at 10:15 or to begin my day with fervor?


I also tried becoming a reader, figuring the most impactful books to read on a topic, beginning the book but, sad to say, I don’t know if I ever finished a single one completely.

I tried to write songs consistently, begin routine neighborhood activities with my kids and the neighbor kids, tried to start gardening, creating things from wood, brewing beer, and more worthwhile activities that required consistent dedication and improvements.

All failed.

I started yes, researched, and spent money on the tools “needed” but became proficient in none.

What did I lack? Skill, willpower, a strong desire?

The simple answer is self-discipline but, the discipline of what? How is discipline different from skill, willpower, desire?

What Will Happen for You A Short While From Now

After learning this simple mindset shift, everything from improving my relationship with my wife and kids, my side hustle becoming a profitable business, my morning routine becoming incredibly productive and profound, were all solved a short while later.

Literally, I wrote out what I want to do with my life, every day, and am living that exact life I dreamed and scratched out on paper just a little while ago.

Since figuring out this “success” hack, I wake up early, have finished every book I started, have begun a writing habit when I never thought I could, have eradicated pornography and alcohol addictions, and hundreds of other small but impactful life changes have occurred.

The Discipline = Freedom Conundrum

When the conversation around discipline begins in the mind, there is an immediate reaction of, If I Discipline then I will lose the freedom to do what I want to do.

This is the discipline = freedom conundrum.

What you think you want is a life not deprived, an unrestricted or unhampered way of living.

The reality is, every freedom you experience required discipline in another area of life.

This can be seen in having the discipline to not earn a little more for fear of being cut off from government subsidies to the discipline of showing up to a job you hate so you can have a little extra to spend, so you can have the freedom to engage in a little bit of fun on the weekends and maybe once a year go on vacation.

When making the freedom of expression and actions the end, bondage to always getting your way while never being satisfied emerges.

“He who wishes to be more free and untrammeled will always be in trouble, for something or others will always displease him.”  Thomas A Kempis

How does this help you to live your dream life right now?

You’re Closer Than You Think

You must do this work to bring change in your life.

Grab a piece of paper and write 168 at the top, that is how many hours were available to you in the past seven days and will be available to you in the next week as well.

You currently have a primary role in your life; either a j.o.b., business, stay at home parent (tons of duties!) or work from home mom or dad, or something similar. 

How much time each week is determined for you that you can not use to chase your dream, vocation, or hobby?

A normal j.o.b. for 40ish hours per week, a business that owns you 50, 60 hours, or mom/dad duties of 40 hours will mean you can enjoy the freedom to do whatever you want to do for over 100 hours per week.

Put in the number, and subtract that from 168.

A 40-hour workweek would leave you with 128. A commute will add in hours each day as well, but that is still personal time you can choose what to do with, like listen to classic audiobooks or a podcast, etc.

Forty-nine of those hours will be used up getting 7ish hours of sleep per night, leaving you with 79 hours of freedom still available to you, every week.

Twice as much awake (but maybe not alive, yet!) “free time” available to you every week than you currently spend at your current primary role, job, mom(well, depending on the age of your kids, maybe not), entrepreneur, etc.

What do you want to be and where do you have the freedom to be that person today?

What are you saying when you want to brew great beer at home, be able to carve beautiful wood creations, or write a book?

You are saying 

I want to be a woodcarver.

I want to be a person that brews beer.

I want to be an author.

What do woodcarvers, brewmasters, authors, etc. have in common?

They spend regular intervals of time on their craft.

When you submit to discipline within the freedom you currently have, (43, 52, 79 hours after your current and necessary time expenditures) more freedoms can then be experienced.

Just think of how good you will be at your new whatsoever when you discipline yourself for 10, 20, 40 of those 79 freedom hours to your new thing for a couple of years.

I’ll bet you can pretty quickly get good enough people will even give you money for it, which will yield more free time to do it even more.

How freeing would that be to do instead of your current 8-5? 

Direct the time that you do have available instead of allowing your time to pass un-stewarded.

Commit to the discipline through the hardest part of starting and following-through; over time, the good you are aiming at will then be the full freedom you possess.

The Work Most Won’t Commit To

Dave Ramsey has a saying, “Live like no one else so you can live like no one else.” 

Within that quote lies the culmination (fruit) of the discipline equals freedom conversation.

Of course, he’s talking primarily about the possession and use of money, but the same principle applies to these laws of possession and use of your time.

Live like no one else, direct your time like no one else so that you can experience the freedom, like no one else.

Do what most will not do, so you can discover what your uniquely created and disciplined body can accomplish.


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