Photo by Caju Gomes on Unsplash


Anthony Thompson
4 min readMay 23, 2020


‘Now all discipline seems to be more pain than pleasure at the time, yet later it will produce a transformation of character, bringing a harvest of righteousness and peace to those who yield to it.’ Hebrews 12:11

If you think this verse in Hebrews is tough — here’s what Navy Seal Master Wizard Jocko Willink says about freedom, “Freedom is what everyone wants — to be able to act and live with freedom. But the only way to get to a place of freedom is through discipline.”

I was curious to see if “disciple” and “discipline” had similar meanings. I literally searched google, “disciple and discpline.” While they did not have the same root word — they did have similar meanings.

The root word of disciple means student.

The word root word of discipline means instruction or training.

Both words are committed to learning and growing. Basically, if you don’t like to learn — you won’t like being a disciple or discipline. And, if you don’t like discipline — you can kiss 😘 your freedom goodbye.

Discipline is one of those areas where I’ve had to learn to lean into what is uncomfortable. As I’ve mentioned before from one of my favorite writers, Ryan Holiday, “the obstacle is the way.” (Go buy and read that book)

I will admit — discipline sucks. I used to despise it, until I realized the power of it. I literally hated instruction or training (in certain areas).

If you have ever read Proverbs here’s what it says about discipline, ‘Refusing constructive criticism shows you have no interest in improving your life, for revelation-insight only comes as you accept correction and the wisdom that it brings.’ Proverbs 15:32

Here’s another one, ‘Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.’ Proverbs 12:1

For instance — I don’t love working out and eating healthy all the time. Of course, I want to smash donuts all week — however, I’ve realized I feel and perform better in all areas when I do. I have a better attitude, think better, sleep better and my body smiles back at me.

I’ve learned to cultivate discipline in writing. I wake up, make a coffee and start writing. Nothing else happens until this gets done.

Is there freedom in that?

For me, it’s the skill that I’m learning. Since discipline means “training,” I’m doing just that. I’m training my mind and writing muscles to be able to write better.

It’s going to take awhile but every day gets a little bit better. Then, one day — I’m believing for something to click with my writing and what people want to read.

That will turn my discipline into freedom.

Maybe freedom for you is financial? Maybe you’re hoping for one day to have your own business and create your own path. If you want that — discipline is going to need to pump through your veins.

I remember when I started my business in Australia, it was tough. There were a lot of new discplines I needed to teach myself. Some of them were learning how to juggle my time on the business and my time working on new business.

I had to discpline myself on time. I had to learn how to allocate enough time for each project and client. That was really tough because I wanted to do the best work for each client.

However, each client was not paying me the same. So, I had to learn to create a scope of work so everyone knew what was expected. This allowed me to free up my time to know how much time I needed for each client.

What about discipline in your finances?

Ugh … who wants to talk about that? F!

Ha! Well if you want freedom in your finances — you need discipline to control where your money is going. And remember, everyone wants your money — it’s up to you who you give it to.

When Chantelle and I first got married, one of the best things we did was take Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. Neither one of us were bad with our money — we just didn’t have a PLAN for our money.

And, from time to time — we would accumulate debt.

I remember after we had our first baby — Roscoe. We had no idea how much babies would cost. We had insurance. We had good insurance — however, when the bill came — we were shocked!

I think it was close to $7,000 that we didn’t plan or save for. We were both shocked. I had no idea that even with good insurance our baby was still costing that much money. I mean, it was an adorable human being — but geez, 7 f’n grand!

That’s when Financial Peace was huge for us. We learned what to do with our money and what not to do.

We put disciplines in place to give us the freedom we needed when we needed it. We learned about saving and creating an “emergency account.” These were all basic finance decisions that really helped us.

These financial disciplines helped us have the freedom to spend our money when we wanted and how we wanted.

I want to also give Ramit Sethi a huge shout out in this area. He wrote, “I Will Teach You To Be Rich,” a great book to add to your financial collection.

So, embrace instruction, I mean discipline, because in the end it can power your life toward the freedom you want.

Lean into it.



Anthony Thompson

I help high performing professionals unlock their potential and become the champion they were created to be.