Discipline Equals Freedom is a phrase Navy SEAL Jocko Willink lives by. Jocko is a decorated retired Naval Officer and author of Extreme Ownership (along with many other books.) In the book Extreme Ownership Jocko uses the phrase “Discipline Equals Freedom” several times and hearing him explain the meaning behind it really resonated with us. 

At first glance this phrase can sound contradicting. Discipline is supposed to mean restraint, sacrifice, and structure, which is quite frankly the opposite of freedom. Right?

Some may say yes, however the true meaning of the saying is that by creating more structure and practicing restraint we will find we are creating more time for ourselves and the things we care about most.

Think about it…

  • If I am financially disciplined now I’ll have more savings later.
  • If I am disciplined with my fitness and nutrition now I will remain healthy as I age.
  • If I am disciplined with my time management, I’ll have more time to try new things or spend time with those I love
  • If I cultivate discipline today, I can reap the endless possibilities later.

Small sacrifices today open up possibilities for tomorrow and Freedom is the abundance of possibility.

Another good way to understand this is to look at the flip side of this statement. Less discipline (being unorganized) leads to more chaos, which leads to less free time. We’ve all been there before. We’ve all got sucked into the trap of letting the little things (phone calls, checking emails, social media etc.)  eat up our time.  When we fail to manage our time or work we become a slave to those tasks.

Where in your life do you practice discipline? Where could you be better?

Think about it. Write it down and start making changes today!!

We all have the same 168 hours in a week, but only those with time management and discipline have the freedom to focus on the most important priorities that will truly have a positive impact on our lives.