Success & Prosperity Blog

Freedom through Discipline

By Randy Gage in Critical Thinking, Success, Prosperity.

It’s ironic, but real freedom comes from discipline.  It’s all about self-control.  Most of us think we hate it.  But it offers us the best chance for happiness and harmony.

Everything at its core essence is energy.   And when we allow our mental energy to follow the path of least resistance, it leads to weakness.  Which could show up as poor food choices, drug addictions, infidelity, or a host of others things that may seem gratifying in the moment, but lead to negative consequences in the end.

When mental energy is channeled toward higher aspirations, it becomes power.  But that power is created by self-control.

You develop happiness, wisdom and greatness in the measure you control yourself.  You actually transmute your lower inclinations into positive and creative outputs.  (The chapter on sexual transmutation in “Think and Grow Rich” is a great exploration of this.)

If you don’t control yourself, you are controlled by your circumstances.  If you can’t gratify the desire of every moment, you feel miserable.  Then you look for happiness in outside things.  But true happiness only comes from the inside.

Energy is never lost.  It can be transformed, or rerouted, but never destroyed.  When you practice the self-control to channel it, that’s where the bursts of creativity, power and greatness come from.

So how are you doing on this?  Got any tips for how you practice and strengthen your self-control?   And what has it meant to you when you did or didn’t?  Please share how you apply this in your life, and we’ll pick up there on the next post.

-RG

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67 thoughts on “Freedom through Discipline

  1. Greg Anderson says:

    My Economics teacher used to draw a supply curve and instead label the axis “freedom” and “responsibility”. The analogy was that someone on welfare may have all the time in the world, but due to lack of responsibility had no money with which to enjoy life’s pleasures. Having spent time on welfare myself, his theory proved perfect. Glad to say now that discipline and responsibility afford me greater freedom than I’ve ever experienced.

    -Greg

    1. Annie says:

      Some people on welfare actually work and raise children, not much time on their hands at all. Still good point for many.

      1. Greg Anderson says:

        True, welfare is a fairly broad term and I was trying to keep my comment understandable in an international sense. Family assistance etc is not where I was. I had no job, no desire even to have one at the time, I had lost my way and was far from free.

    2. Edward Devero says:

      Well, it depends on what their life’s pleasures were. You can ride a mountain bike in the forest as long as you wish and that’s free. They can take a leisurely bike ride throughout the city. They can take up drawing or teach themselves to play the guitar. They can go play volleyball at the beach. They can go play soccer in the fields with their welfare buddies. They can go to the library and get books on constructing simple dwellings to gain some knowledge. They can learn to make their own moonshine – the possibilities are endless. That’s what I would do if I was blessed with free time.

  2. Nam says:

    Freedom through discipline it is. Basic. Very basic.

    @Only398

  3. Steve says:

    Great Post Randy, As time passes I find the more disciplined I am with anything the more I seem to have of it. The more discipline with relationships the more rewarding the relationships I have, the same with money, this year discipline with spending versus investing and time will be my focus.

  4. Jim Story says:

    RG,
    I am not a good self control person, However over the last 4 years I have quit smoking, drinking coffee and 25 years ago I quit drinking. I do it one day at a time and I ask God for the help and then I do something toward the good of my self control.
    I am now facing losing weight and eating healthy. I ask God or my higher power for the help and direction. I also joined weight watchers and I am recording what i am eating.
    It is not necessarily a white knuckle setting, it can be with love.
    Thanks,
    Jim

  5. Joe Gregory says:

    Tracking is a great way to strengthen self-control. Want self discipline around money? Track all your spending. Same with food for diets. Are you in sales? Track all your prospecting activities. If you’re one who describes yourself as “busy,” track your time to see where it goes. My son and I do Tae Kwon Do, testing for black belt in May. Attendance is tracked. And the belt system itself is a tracking system. Tracking enforces and measures self-discipline. If you want to change anything in your life, start tracking it right now.

    1. Elly says:

      Great reply Joe.

    2. Dianne says:

      Joe G,

      That really was a great reply, I see this is where I’m going wrong with the lack of self discipline in my life. I will take a leaf out of your book and begin tracking- thanks 🙂

  6. Mary-Ellen says:

    Dicipline is a definite requirement, not an option, for success. It’s like compassion without action, it’s wasted emotion. I am unfortunately forced to master sexual transmutation at this time. I must say that I am burning up the tires with the redirected energy. We don’t grow if we don’t change and a hugeeeee part of that is dicipline. It can either bring us to great heights or great lows, depending on how willing we are to apply it in our lives. I dicipline myself to work out regularly, eat organically, use autosuggestion to start the day and end it with all I am grateful for.

  7. Mim says:

    I find the following helps with discipline
    – tracking (like Joe said) is very important
    – taking realistic size steps. For example, when improving my fitness, gradually increasing what I do, rather than trying to achieve to much in too short a time, and then getting burnt out and frustrated.
    – avoid dwelling on anger, frustration or self pity when I let myself down, but quickly pick myself up, dust myself off and keep going.
    – telling others what I’m planning to achieve and welcoming their support and encouragement.
    – spending time each morning planning my day
    – being grateful to those who have taught me discipline, however painful some of the lessons were at the time! Still many lessons to go.

    1. Wanja says:

      GREAT Tips!! Thank u!

  8. Michele says:

    Hey everyone.

    I usually try to supply some words of wisdom and witticism, but on the topic of discipline…I got nothing for ya. I suck at it. And I do definitely need to get better.

    I’m single now. That’s a big part of my problem…I do better with someone else around to keep me accountable, and to be accountable to. Kind of like having a system of checks and balances. So, now when I need to forge ahead, and design Life Part Deux, my HUGE lazy streak is always in the way.

    I’ve done a lot in the past 12 months: gotten separated and divorced, sold a house, bought another place in a new community, settled into a work situation. But there’s still a lot to do: education, career moves, community involvement, and art. And Lord help me, I need a REAL vacation in there somewhere!

    No more excuses.

    Peace and blessings…

    1. Randy Gage says:

      Ok, no more excuses!

      -RG

    2. Dhaneel says:

      all the best for 2011! =D
      You can do it!!!

  9. Harold says:

    Tracking is key as it lets you see your development growth or lack their of. fused with Think & Grow Rich Chapter on Autosuggestion , as well as enough sleep a good or decent diet and some excercise helps .

  10. Carmen says:

    I would say that I’m a very disciplined person, but I definitely lapse now and then, and in some areas more than others. I made a decision at Christmas not to re-start a relationship that ended recently. It wasn’t really working out anyway. Yes, it had fun, gratifying moments that were hard to let go of, but I’m feeling so much more emotionally stable and focussed on all the other things in my life now. I decided that it was time to activate the vacuum law of prosperity.

    If lapses are imminent, my tip is to take time out to think the options through – I mentally day-dream about how I would feel about the different choices and their outcomes. I don’t beat myself up, I just decide on what would feel best and then usually I make the right decision. If that decision doesn’t work for me down the road, then I just make a new choice.

    1. Randy Gage says:

      Not beating yourself up is really important.

      -RG

    2. Dhaneel says:

      well done on your decision!
      gud advice

  11. Alex Tita says:

    Discipline = disciple of. This understanding transformed my life because i started to think about what am i really a disciple of. And it’s not what you think is it is(your better thoughts about yourself is what you DO… and if you’re not congruent.. feel the pain and start being)

  12. Your mind is the most powerful tool in existence.

    This is important.

    No technology whatsoever can really have an effect on you. Not really.

    Even if your body computer would shut down, you are still there, and your body really obeys your mind anyway. You co-create all “circumstances”.

    So work with your mind. Go inside. It takes discipline and most people would rather move a ton of bricks, which they also end up having to do instead.

    And don’t equal sex with “lower inclinations”. That is what “society” wants you to believe. That is why it appears the way it does. They don’t want you to think about it in its full context, or find out what you can do with it.

    Sex is about creation of the highest form in physical reality. If you have forgotten, it is part of how you manifested here. That should ring a bell.

    And you can manifest other things as well. That is the “secret”.

    For example, at sexual peak, project out with your mind(s) what you want to manifest and put all of that in energetic brown to anchor it on the Earth plane. You can do it.

    Sex and psychic energy is a tradeoff however, and you need both.

    Use your power, or someone else will use you.

    1. Catherine says:

      Masterful awareness.
      The spectrum of ‘discipline’ stretches from forceful control (my body is evil and must be punished heh heh) through to illuminated continuous choices around directed energy and focus with no value judgement just the awareness of love vs fear. I love Dr David Hawkins work on this. He refers to ‘the’ mind. Makes sense to me.
      I never liked the concept of discipline when I saw it as restrictive – but within the context of self-governing ritual it is a continual reminder of my innate power.

  13. Hilary Moore says:

    Discipline weighs pounds. Regret wighs tons!

    1. Dhaneel says:

      ‘like’

  14. J.T. says:

    There are some things I am very disciplined at and others, not so good. Since entering the profession of Network Marketing 3 months ago, I am astounded to learn how undisciplined I really am when all along I thought I had a level of Mastery. What is uncovered is an inauthentic relationship to my own personal success. It is a journey that is unfolding and I am thrilled to continue this roller coaster ride. These daily posts are a part of my “new” disciplined routine in creating my day. Scripting, with Joyce Rennolds is another “new” discipline. Taking Science of Mind classes is “new” discipline. Engaging in affirmative conversations is a “new” discipline. Yes, the concept of discipline is shear joy and application of discipline is breaking up an old identity of what service and contribution really is. And it begins and ends with me! Thank you for these posts.

    1. Dhaneel says:

      all the best with you network marketing venture!
      You can do it! 🙂

  15. Corey says:

    I have two ways that I use to channel energy or “preserve personal power” as Victor Sanchez put in in his book ‘The Teachings of Don Carlos’. First is to get a 72 gauge rubber band and place it on your wrist. When you consciously become aware of a negative or self limiting thought or act snap the rubber band. This is called a pattern interruption. As soon as you smack the rubber band proclaim in your mind (as if you were shouting) a positive affirmation or statement to replace the self limiting thought or act. Second is to get something with an audible alarm. Set the alarm for an odd time, like every 46 minutes or so. When the alarm goes off, record on a piece of paper what you were doing and what thoughts were going through your mind at that time. Don’t ponder, just react to the timer. Obviously if you want a more intense experience set the timer for a shorter time interval. These are two excellent techniques for conservation and re-direction of personal energy.

    1. Rodrigo says:

      Goog post Corey! Who is Victor Sanchez? Did he meet Carlos Castaneda??

      1. Dianne says:

        Excellent Cory, I will give both ideas a go!

  16. Kate Yanchenko says:

    Self-Control through Giving & Receiving Light @ the Mahikari Center. When I’m being of service, it truly makes me Happy! 🙂

  17. Kate Yanchenko says:

    Randy, great blog, once again. 🙂 I practice Self-Control throughthe Spiritual Practice, which is a form of Art. Also, Being of Service and Dedicating My Precious Time to this Practice of Giving & Receiving Light @ the Mahikari Center in New York City, makes me Very Happy! 🙂 My Soul sings, figuratively speaking after I come out of the Mahikari Center. It is the BEST form of Self-Control and Discipline for me, personally.

  18. Karim says:

    3 Years Ago I Set a goal to work out 7 days per week for 1 whole Year. I Disciplined myself to do this. I obtained incredible Energy. Today I exercise 6 days a week for at least 30 minutes per day regardless of where I am at in the World.

    1. Dhaneel says:

      much respect 2 u 🙂
      keep it up

  19. Francisco says:

    I am, indeed, a king, because I know how to rule myself.

  20. Annie says:

    So, I read your post and instead of eating a donut, I went out and walked my dog. Then I came in and got thirsty. Now, I think I may have accidently drank my sons’ sea monkey water, so I am sitting hear waiting to die from ingesting possible toxins.

    If a handsome stranger comes along, I will screw him, if someone offers my drugs I’m going to take them, as I have never taken the opportunity to do any of these things and I may be dead soon.

    However, Sophie the dog wishes to say she enjoyed her walk and your post and wishes to thank you.

  21. I set up times for myself to splurge and indulge within reason to whatever my whims may be. I also set boundaries around time management, food, and money most of the time. This weekend I have a plan to splurge in a full day of festivities, and knowing I have time to enjoy whatever keeps me on course leading up to that time.

  22. Hi Randy,

    Your mention of energy not being created or destroyed is money insight and it puts to rest the excuse that you don’t have the energy to do something.

    Of course you do. How you channel the energy is another question.

    Each choice is either high or low energy. Disciplined choices are high energy choices that create high energy results. It’s not easy to make disciplined choices but what you think and feel now begins to create the next moment. Making undisciplined choices creates a life of chaos because you are fully controlled by circumstances. It’s like a ship being tossed about during a big storm. You feel helpless.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Randy.

    RB

  23. RJ says:

    I relate much in my life to playing sports starting at a young age. Going back to my teen years I would write down a workout program to get ready for the upcoming season (football as an example). I remember 2 sayings from years ago. One was the practice of the “3 D’s”, Desire, Dedication, and Determination. The other was from the football coach Woody Hayes. He said that you never really stay the same. You are either getting better or you are getting worse. This can relate back to strengthening and channeling your self control. I relate these now to business.
    2 areas I find that I need work on though are, one, finding balance in all areas of my life… business, relationships, finance, health, etc. Also, in being disciplined enough to stay consistent over a long period of time. Working on those this year!

  24. Scott Cofer says:

    I LOVE this line – “If you don’t control yourself, you are controlled by your circumstances.”

    For me, the more I practice self-control, along with “denying” myself empty pleasures, the more empowered I feel .. and it builds over time. And with that, my circumstances improve as well …

    Best,
    Scott

  25. Lene Hansen says:

    Well I think I have pretty good discipline or selfcontrol, except when financial problems nock too hard on my door. As to day when some of my customers did not pay in time, and I cannot pay my bills in time. I get completely frustrated, cannot think of anything else and try to handle by calling around, and ended up with a bad back and painkillers to get through my working day. Somehow I am not functioning rationally with financial trouble. Anyway I handled the situation.

  26. KimbraLee says:

    For me, I know the key to self-discipline lies primarily in two things. 1) The level of commitment I have invested in the behaviors I desire to turn into habit and 2) My ability to step away from short-term temptation the minute I recognize it and get back in touch with my own bigger picture. None of us are going to be perfect at this all the time. I know I’m not. But practice makes ‘better’. 🙂

    For me, if there’s an area I am not exercising my discipline fully in, then I know I need to ask myself a couple of questions.

    First one is, have I honestly made a DECISION to do this (i.e., exercise regimen, certain diet, specific self-development time, etc.) or is this still just a ‘great idea’ I have? I know that until I transform a behavior from a ‘should’ to a ‘must’, then I stand a chance of not following through. I also think we need to be selective about this. We have access these days to so much great information and so many wonderful systems and methods, in a world full of ‘beneficial’ practices, we have to be discerning as to which ones will serve each of us individually the most. And, it is important to reevaluate our routines and practices from time to time to make sure our priorities stay in alignment with the ever-expanding scope of our lives.

    If I am really struggling with something that I feel I have fully committed to, then I know that the key to getting back on track is to step back and get vividly back in touch with the ‘why’ behind the behavior I chose to implement in the first place. When we are giving in to the ‘easy way’ or ‘instant gratification’, I believe it is because we have lost touch with the feelings we will get from the bigger payoff that we will attain if we stay disciplined and stay on course in the short-term. Go back and look at your vision board, read your affirmations, touch in with the excitement of making your big dreams come true, and the small distractions in front of you will pale in comparison. This is how I get back into self-discipline.

    K

    1. Sourav says:

      Wow! what a great reply to a great post!

    2. Dhaneel says:

      KimbraLee,
      very informative response. Thank you.

  27. Keith S. Aul says:

    The problem form me in my earlier years was that I was never able to control the amount of activities coming into my life which led me to a lack of focus. This lack of focus caused me to never finish anything I started and now I will never know the outcome of those many projects. Once I understood the power of self-discipline and focus on my top priorities with the benefit in mind, I was able to accomplish more. Now my self-esteem has risen so much because now I can see the value that I’m creating in my life.

  28. Sam says:

    How I apply it to life… I suppose firstly, daily inspiration from yourself and other masters; namely Jim Rohn and reminding of my goals and the person I want to become.

    I also find the habit checker method whereby you list the habits you want to develop and then at the end of each day puts ticks if you’ve done it.

    If you have a day without many ticks, then I feel sad and that will motivate me tomorrow to get some ticks. Also by looking at the ticks, you feel good. It’s like challenge how many you can get.

    This gives energy to the day. I’ve included two small habits for the morning and if I get those ticked off, you start the day with success and gives momentum and lots of energy which normally knocks over into other areas.

    I generally find that you either have lots of ticks or hardly any!

    Careful with this though… as you don’t want to talk yourself into a negative spiral and give yourself the label of an undisciplined/useless e.t.c person. That’s why I’ve also found ‘what to say when you talk to yourself’ useful for that and actually getting yourself to do things. Basically tricking your mind to change from ‘i should be doing blah blah blah’ to ‘i am now doing blah blah blah’. Seems to do the trick.
    What to say when you talk to yourself.

    Personally I agree with the discipline = true freedom but (and correct me if I’m wrong) but I seem to remember reading somewhere that we do have limited will power … so maybe focus of the essential or important to you.

    1. Dhaneel says:

      Thankyou. I especially like the habit checker method.

  29. Rodrigo says:

    Great post, discipline is a great topic!

    Several years ago I confused self-control with repression of emotions. But now I think that not expressing yourself is based on fear, not self-control.

    And self-control for me (at least for now) means to express the right emotions at the right place and at the right timing. That means to control our emotions every second of the present moment, so that every decision is our very best and nothing is left to chance.

    I’m eager to read the next post…

    1. Dhaneel says:

      awesome! & if i may add to what you said….i believe understanding the source of ‘fear’ will lead fuller expression

  30. Gabesuarez says:

    Randy. I’m still a very temperamental person. There are moments when I am very very happy and so I share my life with everyone. But there are others when I do not want to be with anyone, I resent not having the success that I want, I’m upset with myself for not doing what I’m supposed to do to achieve success in my company, it turns into anger toward myself and that makes me wrong. First I must make the discipline of my thoughts and emotions. How did you make to manage your emotions when you were failures and wanted to give up your dream? A hug Gabriel

  31. Venetta says:

    Let’s see … much like Michelle I pretty much suck at discipline in general and in 2010 I left my husband 🙂 … left Greece 🙁 (where I had lived the last 15 years) and came back to America to start life over during a ‘crisis’ (as they would have us think). I had several ‘pity parties’ last year and this year I have picked myself up … dusted myself off … and I am beginning the year with a strict fast, a copy of “Course In Miracles” and Randy’s blog 😉

    1. Dhaneel says:

      All the best for 2011!

  32. I am working from home and have a family with three kids.

    So discipline is very, very, very, very important for me.

    Sometimes it is really hard to focus on the work and don´t get distracted.

    It´s all about “just”!

    Just bring me this or that – just help me for a minute – just take a little break – just talk a little bit longer to the kids and so on.

    So I have to focus 1000% on my goals to stay connected to the responsibility I have to my business.

    In my whole house I have little Post-its with my next goal.

    I see them when I open the refrigerator, when I watch TV, when I wake up, when I open the door of the living room and even when I am sitting in my home office.

    So I ever remind why I am working and then I say no I can not just…. – I am at work.

    I the corporate world I wouldn´t be at home and also could not just….

    So let´s be grateful for the breakfast, dinner and lunch we have together and for all that quality time we have as a family but now I have to work my business. That´s it!

    This is how I get my freedom through discipline!

    1. Dhaneel says:

      Volker,
      If I may offer some advice…..involve the people in your household, im assuming your family, in ‘your vision’. and if it is your family, im sure they are part of the vision. Share your vision….get them to create THEIR visions. show them the bridge between their visions and your business. It should be at worst a little easier 🙂
      All the best.

      1. Hi Dhaneel,

        thank you very much!

        And yes, I am trying this as good as possible and it´s getting better.

        Best greetings from Austria

        Volker

    2. Dhaneel says:

      p.s its never to young for somebody to have a vision. Kids like Disneyland, a new bike, a puppy etc 🙂

  33. Cynthia says:

    This year, 2011, my focus is on maintaining a consistent discipline over what I’m thinking so that I will feel positive. It’s just barely January 7th and it is tough to have this mental discipline but I think it’s where I’ve been going wrong for sometime. I’m speaking strictly for myself but just by paying attention to what I’m thinking about I’ve realized that I let my mind wander from one pessimistic thought to another and then I end up getting exactly that and then I end up feeling bad about it and it becomes a vicious circle. So I started focusing on thoughts that are slightly more positive. Not the polly-anna thoughts but just something with a slightly better feeling of relief. It’s helping create better outcomes for myself but I’m now working on doing this consistently so I’ll have consistent positive outcomes.

    I’ve come to realize how mentally lazy I was when I let my mind wander around and automatically think negative thoughts. I think this is kind of like being my own “mental babysitter!”

    1. Dhaneel says:

      good work on the changes! =D
      You probably already know this, but for a few of the readers that may not, words are also a great thing to keep positive. Like thoughts they have a creative power!

  34. Real simple for me…I have a gratitude book I “write” in everyday!

  35. Karen Marrow says:

    Randy,

    Wow, what synchronicity. Just a few minutes ago I wrote some notes to myself – “discipline trumps talent” and “through discipline there is freedom” and then I come to your blog and see this post.

    Discipline comes very easy for me in certain areas of my life.

    I think when the perceived pain of NOT being disciplined is greater than the temporary pleasure, then you will be on the path to be disciplined in that area all the time.

    For example, I used to be strongly addicted to sugar. Now that I have gone through the healing necessary in my nutrition, I will never go back because I remember how terrible I felt, emotionally and physically.

    Someone who has not been through this addiction cannot understand how I can be so disciplined in my health eating and for me, it’s not hard at all now. Through this discipline I am not free of addiction.

    Karen

  36. Dhaneel says:

    Mr Gage,

    Great post. I learnt a lot from you as well as everybody’s responses. Thank you so much.

    I keep disciplined by keeping love present.
    I think love is something that keeps people on the path and walking the path. I believe , to the degree that love is present, fear is absent.

    Best Wishes for 2011.
    Dhaneel

  37. logo mats says:

    fused with Think & Grow Rich Chapter on Autosuggestion , as well as
    enough sleep a good or decent diet and some excercise helps .

  38. Pooltech805 says:

    Cynthia, that seems like a great way to practice what randy wrote about. I pray that you are still practicing this and 5 years later are in a great place mentally. Thanks for sharing this, it helped me.

  39. RichardHaynes says:

    I practice this daily through visualization and seeing the future me as it is called. I realize I have to be in charge of my emotions and learn to be in self-control by avoiding the instant gratification route and learn to delay it for something better in my life. I work in the healthcare field and preach this to my patients as much as possible when it comes to the choices they make in dietary matters and following exercise programs. They pay now through discipline or [pay later through regret as our friend Jim Rohn once said.

 

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