“Discipline equals freedom”. At least that’s how former Navy Seal and author Jocko Willink describes it. Self-discipline is at the root of every accomplishment you can think of. Whether it’s building a more fit physique, adhering to a dietary approach, building a business or earning a degree, self-discipline will play a crucial role in getting there. The Bible has this to say about discipline, “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
So, why am I talking about self-discipline here? Because I need more of it in my life. We are trying to take our business to a place it’s never been in 2018. In order to do that, I will need to cultivate habits that I either don’t currently have, or will have to build on and strengthen what’s already there. Think of it as having to build more “business muscle”. So, in order to do what I am currently not doing, or do more of what I am already doing correctly, I will have to build more self-discipline into my life.
Okay, how does this work? Well, in order to make this happen, you kind of need to understand how self-discipline works. Let’s take a look at this from a neuroscience stand point. Discipline, will power and self control are all associated with the prefrontal cortex. It’s the part of our brain right behind our forehead and it helps with decision making and regulating behavior. Because of the high amount of plasticity the human brain has, it’s possible to augment and strengthen areas through their use. Much like you would strengthen a muscle through challenging it, according to behavioral scientists, you can do this with self-discipline as well.
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
How are you doing this? Enter Max Shank’s five minute flow. What is the five minute flow? You can find the description of it from the authors mouth here. But basically, here is how I am applying this. I’m getting up in the morning and spending five minutes moving. I’m using bastardized yoga movements, original strength stuff and pretty much anything that moves me into the sticky spots. Then, per Max’s challenge, I’ll finish the whole thing off with a big glass of water. Pretty good way to start the day in my opinion.
Okay, so how does this apply to your business? Let’s go back to the neuroscience stuff for a second. If I can strengthen my “discipline muscles”, then that will impact every part of my life. And that is what will allow me to take our business to a new place this year. Because we are going in a previously uncharted area, I will need to develop new skills. For that, I will need the added discipline. I can’t do what I’ve always done and expect to get something new right? Exercise and activity is already an area of my life that I am fairly disciplined in. It’s not a huge stretch for me which is why it won’t add anything new discipline-wise. That said, “exercising” first thing in the morning, even though it’s only 5 minutes, is a new thing for me. Essentially, what I have done is set myself up for wins. These five minute flows are easy “reps” for those discipline muscles. If I had chosen something that I really hate, like running, I would have been setting myself up for failure. I’m going for the low hanging fruit, at least at first. As that becomes easier, then I will raise the bar a little.
The whole time I am doing this, I will be:
- getting more sleep since I don’t want to have to fight getting up in the morning. (I know it’s only 5 minutes but that’s sacred time for me. Don’t judge.)
- getting more water. Never a bad thing.
- moving better as I will be getting more mobility work in.
- getting blood flow to my brain earlier. I will be more awake.
- controlling my mornings as opposed to having my mornings snatch me out of bed. No more racing the clock in the am.
- establishing a habit that while it’s in my wheel house, is a bit out of my comfort zone.
Here is an example of what the flows will look like:
The assumption is that this will lead to better decision making throughout the rest of my day. And, I’m going to ask those of you reading this to follow along with me. This will give me some accountability as well as maybe help you to develop a good movement habit for yourself as well. To that end, for the next 30 days or so, I will be doing these live on Facebook in the morning. That way, it will hold me accountable and you can see how I am doing this. There’s no real formula to it. I’m just kind of moving and finding where the tight spots are and spending some time with them.
And to be honest, it’s all kind of an experiment for me. That’s part of the fun. Hope you join me. Have a great day.
P.S. If you found this helpful, then do me a favor and share this on one of the socials. Thanks.