“I’ve got to be more disciplined.” How many times have you said that to yourself?

And yet, what does that really mean? Is discipline about making yourself do things you don’t want to do, and then feeling resentful and resistant (like dieting for example). If so, you may be seeing discipline as a tool to make yourself into something or someone you think you’re “supposed” to be. And that can be a box: confining and uninspiring.

But what if discipline is actually an act of liberation, an act of creativity, a response to inspiration? What if it’s a way of releasing what gets in the way of real goals? Consider for a moment what it takes to change an outworn habit. Discipline can liberate you from a habit that’s in your way. Being “disciplined” with a sense of privilege, eagerness, and enthusiasm, knowing that it is a creative force in your life—harnesses it’s momentum-creating power.

The word ‘discipline’ comes from ‘disciple,’ meaning student of, or apprentice to. What if you become a student of, or apprentice to, the behaviors and mindsets that can set you free as they become new habits? For example, I have become a student of “order” (you should have seen my desk before). Being a student/apprentice gives me permission to try and fail, and try again.

Discipline as obligation, drudgery, and cracking the whip isn’t sustainable. Discipline as “apprentice to” opens up opportunity for creativity and change.

What have you been ‘disciplining’ yourself to do? How is your approach to discipline working? What will you apprentice yourself to?