September 13, 2023




Discipline Equals Freedom, Value of Consistency & More

At a glance

Good Morning. Welcome to all the new readers of Faster Than Normal who have joined us since last week!

Here’s what we’ll cover today:

Mental Model: Discipline Equals Freedom.

Insight: Value of Consistency.

Quote: Remaking Habits.

Question: Daily Guiding Values.

Parable: The Ants and the Grasshopper by Aesop.


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| Mental Model

Discipline Equals Freedom

Discipline and Freedom seem like they sit on opposite ends of the spectrum, but in reality they are intricately connected.

Freedom is what you want.

But the only way to get to there is through discipline. In this way, discipline and freedom are not mutually exclusive. Discipline is what you need before you get freedom.

The concept of "Discipline Equals Freedom" suggests that the path to true freedom is paved with discipline, a thought that might appear contradictory at first. However, by cultivating discipline in various aspects of your life, you pave the way to greater freedom.

Let's take a look at how this can be integrated into the different areas of your life:

1. Career: Imagine you're an aspiring writer who wants the freedom to publish your own novel. It’s the discipline of writing consistently, every single day, that will bring about the freedom of a published novel. The discipline here is in committing to a writing schedule, meeting your daily word count targets, and constantly seeking to improve your craft.

2. Health: You desire the freedom of a healthy, robust body. But this freedom isn't given, it's earned. It's earned through the discipline of regular exercise, a balanced diet, sufficient sleep, and routine check-ups. When you make these disciplined choices, you earn the freedom of health that allows you to enjoy life to its fullest.

3. Finances: You want the freedom to make choices that aren't dictated by financial constraints. This is attained through the discipline of saving, investing wisely, and being frugal in your spending. The discipline of managing your money effectively gives you the freedom to enjoy life's pleasures without the constant stress of financial insecurity.

4. Relationships: You desire the freedom to have fulfilling, meaningful relationships. This requires the discipline to communicate openly, to listen with empathy, to be patient, and to compromise when necessary. This discipline leads to the freedom of having relationships that are based on mutual respect and understanding.

In essence, think of discipline as the structure that gives shape to your freedom. It's not a restriction but a tool that enables you to achieve the freedom you desire in every area of your life.

| Insight

Consistency beats intensity in the long run.

Challenge: Identify an area where you tend to work in intense bursts, and create a plan for developing a consistent routine instead.

Example: If you usually try to write a report in one day, break it down into smaller tasks to be completed over several days or weeks.

| Quote

Charles Duhigg, a journalist and author, on the significance of taking control of our habits:

"Once you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom - and the responsibility - to remake them."

| Question

What are the most important values that guide my daily actions and decisions?

A Parable I Enjoyed

The Ants and the Grasshopper by Aesop

“One summer day, a cheerful Grasshopper was hopping about, singing and enjoying the sunshine without a care in the world. Nearby, a colony of Ants was working diligently, collecting food and storing it for the winter months. The Grasshopper approached the Ants and asked, "Why are you working so hard? Come, join me, and let's sing and dance together!" But the Ants replied, "We are gathering food for the winter, Grasshopper. You should do the same." The Grasshopper scoffed at the Ants, "Why worry about winter? There's plenty of food right now!" And he continued to sing and dance, enjoying the warm summer days. But as summer turned to autumn and then to winter, the Grasshopper found himself cold, hungry, and miserable. He had not prepared for the harsh season and had no food stored. In contrast, the Ants were warm and well-fed, having diligently collected and stored food during the summer. The Grasshopper finally understood the importance of thinking ahead and working hard to prepare for the future. He realized that he should have been more responsible and followed the Ants' example when he had the chance.” The fable of the Ants and the Grasshopper imparts valuable wisdom about the importance of foresight, discipline, and hard work in preparing for an uncertain future. It reminds us that, while it is essential to enjoy the present, we must also be mindful of the challenges and responsibilities that lie ahead. The Grasshopper in the story represents a carefree and short-sighted approach to life, reveling in the present without giving thought to the consequences of his inaction. His reluctance to heed the Ants' advice reflects a lack of foresight and an unwillingness to invest time and effort in securing his own well-being. As a result, he is left to face the harsh realities of winter without the necessary resources to survive. On the other hand, the Ants embody the values of discipline, diligence, and prudence. They recognize the need to plan for the future and invest their time and energy into preparing for it, even as they enjoy the present. Their foresight and hard work ultimately pay off, as they comfortably weather the challenges of the winter months. This timeless fable calls upon us to strike a balance between living in the moment and preparing for the future. It teaches us the value of foresight, discipline, and responsibility in building a strong foundation for our own well-being and success. By emulating the Ants' example, we can secure a more stable and fulfilling future for ourselves, even in the face of life's inevitable uncertainties.


Have a wonderful Wednesday, all.

Until next time,


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