I listen to quite a few podcasts throughout the week. One of these podcasts (Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss) interviewed Jocko Willink. This phrase “Discipline equals Freedom” comes from Jocko and his time as a Navy Seal instructor. His two most common examples are:
- if you want to lose weight (freedom from extra baggage), you have to have the discipline to control what you eat.
- if you want to have financial security (freedom from debt), you have to have the discipline to control spending and to save money.
This mantra triggered an epiphany moment. It brought back memories of parental lessons passed to me, the lessons I’ve learned from the success and failures that I’ve experienced in the past 30+ years and even the current struggles that I’m facing today. I started to mentally categorize these memories and came to a profound realization that many of the successes can be attributed to maintaining discipline from start to finish. This reflection started me down a rabbit hole on YouTube (link, link, link). Just listening to the YouTube links and considering how this one phrase changed my thought process, I ended up buying his book on Amazon.
Currently, there are alot of things that I could do better if I exercised the necessary discipline. And since I recognize that I don’t exercise the discipline, it becomes much easier to recognize when I don’t have discipline as well as ask why I don’t have the discipline. And subsequently, what can I do to gain the discipline. In reality, I have patterns and behaviors that encourages the lack of discipline that I first need to identify and seek a solution for. Then… I can follow Jocko’s advice and “just do it.”
For me, four events defined 2017. So much so that I’m writing about the mental refractions from these events.
All four events came in the latter half of 2017. For simplicity, I’ll label them as Event A, B C and D. Events A, B and D have undoubtedly negatively affected me. Event C was my attempt to minimize the effects of the other three events. And to some degree, it hasn’t worked. But at the same time, I also know events A, B and D were out of my control and something I could never have controlled in the first place. However, it’s that feeling of “not being good enough” that ultimately gnaws at my sense of self.
Events A and D shook my self positivity completely. The cumulative effect changed my mindset with a subtle hint of pessimism. How do I know? When talking to a friend about a topic that we had previously talked about in the past, I was shocked at the fact that my thought process was different this time around. I had remembered my previous stance on the topic, yet for some reason, I had a more pessimistic stance I was espousing now.
Event B made me realize that I became complacent without realizing it. There have been many things I “should have” accomplished but I ultimately took a route deluding myself by making up excuses. Event B made me re-evaluate my life up until now and where I want to head in the future. As someone close to me said, “because of Event B, now is the time to go for any change I’ve wanted.”
I think Events A, B and D occurring by itself would have been OK. But with A and B in the same month and D shortly after, the effect to my mental state was pretty toxic. I realized early on that my frame of mind had shifted after A and B. D just broke it. I haven’t really “recovered” yet. I recognize the issues I’m having and I still relapse into a negative head space. But, it’s been hard to redraw the Circle of Zorro and to shift my language to a more positive manner. And with the holidays going on, I feel lonely at times since I can’t share the joy of the holidays with someone.
Despite all the negative head space, the countless self-reflections and “self-pity/self-loathing” scenarios, I ultimately reached a few realizations and epiphanies. I know I neither can change the past nor change the present. What I have to do is aim for a future that I want. Most the realizations are being incorporated into my personal goals for 2018.
- Pass PMP exam.
- First, I need to get the 35 contact hours to satisfy the application requirements. And have the application approved.
- Once it’s approved, I can study and pass the exam. There are lots of printouts to study and memorize.
- I am considering on taking a bootcamp right before taking the exam.
- Lose weight. Currently 253 pounds as of Dec 31st.
- I’ve found that intermittent fasting seems to work the best for me.
- I need to account for external influences.
- I will continue playing squash at least 4 times a week but add more body weight exercises at home.
- Find new job.
- I know the type of job I’m looking for.
- I know the type of job I would prefer not to work in.
- I wouldn’t mind being able to work from home often.
- Use the 1 Second Every Day app.
- I think this would be interesting project to do for the year.
- Read 6 books. I have at least 2 books I’ve been wanting to read forever…
- Duhigg. Smater, Faster, Better.
- Sanders. Our Revolution.
- Travel more after finding a job. Top 3 locations…?
- Within US: Atlanta, Seattle, Houston.
- Outside US: Australia. New Zealand, Iceland.