The Undisciplined Life Is Not Worth Living
“The undisciplined life is not worth living; without discipline, you will never achieve your goals in life.”
-Peerless Money Mentor
New Year, New Me!
Today, marks the start of a new year! An exciting time when everyone is setting new goals. This year, we tell ourselves, will be our best year ever. We are going to use that gym membership, save more money, and commit to better daily habits. All good stuff. But the problem is, unless we become more disciplined, we will give up once our newfound inspiration disappears.
How do I know this? Well, for the past couple months or so I have been living the undisciplined life. A lifestyle that was one of the main reasons I ended up in Broke Phi Broke four years ago.
You may have read in Philosophy 101 that, according to Socrates, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I agree with him, but I have also found, through examining my own life, that the undisciplined life is not worth living; without discipline, you will never achieve your goals in life, especially some big, hairy, audacious goal like financial independence. So what does this undisciplined life look like? Let’s examine further…
Examining the Undisciplined Life
The Undisciplined Writer
When a person lives an undisciplined life, they procrastinate a lot, go through the motions, and do not take the necessary peerless steps towards achieving their goals. While they may have read the secret to defeating procrastination, they insist on putting off their work. Let’s use a writer as the first example, and then take a look at gym membership holders, and high paid athletes.
Instead of writing articles, they read more books on how to defeat procrastination, swipe right on Tinder until their finger aches, or find some other internet related distraction.
The books they read on defeating procrastinating say similar things:
- Steven Pressfield tells them to get their butt in the chair and write
- Jon Morrow tells them to do the bleeping work
- Stephen King tells them to do two things: read a lot and write a lot
What do all the advice above have in common? Each author tells the writer to do the work. If the writer wants to achieve his writing dreams, he or she, must follow their advice.
For the writer who wants to achieve massive success, the undisciplined life is not worth living.
Next, let’s take a look at the person who fails to follow through on their work out goals. I’ll use myself as an example…
The Undisciplined Gym Membership Holder
One of the hardest things for most people to do is commit to going to the gym or working out at home regularly. I struggle from time to time in this area myself. In October, I purchased a membership to the YMCA (I know, luxury purchase) and I started off going to the gym 3 times a week consistently for three weeks.
After the third week, I looked at myself in the mirror and saw very little gains. I was still a 150 pounds soaking weight. My lack of progress was frustrating. You would think this would have motivated me to go harder in the gym, right? Nope.
For the following month, I went to the gym once or twice. As a result, I saw no gains at all. However, I got back on track in December. And one day last month, this 5’4 guy had the nerve to challenge me to a basketball game.
In my mind, I thought I would destroy this guy. I am 6’1, and he is 5’4. There is no way he can beat me, right?
Well, after three mins into playing, I find myself out of breath. The obvious signs of fatigue start to show. I place both of my hands on top of my head, and then I lean forward and place them on my knees, while gasping for air.
To make a long story short, the guy beat me 12-7 in the first game. And since I am competitive, I agreed to a second game. He won 12-2.
As you can see, the undisciplined life is not a life worth living for the person who wants to get into shape. Now, let’s take a look at a group of people who are in better shape than everyone. They have applied disciplined in this area, but lack discipline when it comes to their finances.
The Undisciplined Professional Athlete
You have seen the stories on 30 for 30 where a retired NFL or NBA player reveals that they are broke, right? What do you think when you see this? I do not know about you, but I think to myself, “How in the hell could they be broke after all of the money they earned during their careers?”
The answer is simple: while they have discipline when it comes to working out, they lack discipline when it comes to their financial lives. Sure, they could have fallen prey to some unscrupulous “financial expert.” But what about the issue of spending? If you spend more than you earn, you will fail to reach your financial goals, regardless of your income level.
For the undisciplined professional athlete, the undisciplined life is not worth living. In my opinion, they should be taught basic personal finance skills. Perhaps they could benefit tremendously from reading Rockstar Finance daily. Or, if they are smart enough, they would reach out to Warren Buffet for help, like LeBron.
Now that we have thoroughly examined the undisciplined life, let’s take a look at a few ways you can stop living it!
How to Stop Living the Undisciplined Life
To stop living the undisciplined life, the first step you must take is changing how you see yourself. For it is written in Proverbs, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” This is the scripture upon which James Allen wrote his popular self-help book titled As a Man Thinketh.
The idea is that if you see yourself as this undisciplined person, you will continue acting as such. However, if you start thinking of yourself as a person who is consistent, you may start acting accordingly.
In addition to the mindset piece, you could try doing one of the following:
- Join a mastermind group based on the area you want to improve where you are held accountable
- Download an app that helps you block distractions so you can focus on high-value tasks
- Take James Clear’s advice in Atomic Habits and design your life in such a way that you don’t have to rely on discipline alone
Master Mind Group
In a book called How to Own Your Mind, Napoleon Hill speaks about the idea of a Master Mind alliance. He defines it as a group in which men (and women, I’ll add) pool their mind power, their experience, education, and knowledge, and move in response to a common motive.
In my mind, this describes the financial independence community perfectly. If you want to improve our finances, their is no better community to join.
Moreover, if you want to improve in another area of your life (writing, acting, coaching, etc,), I would suggest that you do some research on some groups that might share your desire to improve.
Stay Focused App
Like me, technology may be one of your addictions. It is great having this powerful device in the palm of your hands, but if you are not careful, it can distract you from doing your work.
To help me stay focused, I recently downloaded the Stay Focused App. After using the free version, I noticed it was easy to override the system settings, so I upgraded to the paid version.
For seven bucks, I now have a tool to help me block out distractions. When I put it in “strict mode” I give the app administrator privileges. You are probably thinking this is crazy, but you have to do whatever it takes to do your work!
A couple months ago, I purchased a digital copy of Jame’s Clear book Atomic Habits. To me, it is a very fascinating read. It dives deep in to the study of habit formation, exploring it from a neurological perspective.
One of my main takeaways from the book was that you should design your environment in such a way that you do not have to depend solely on discipline alone. For example, if the undisciplined writer I described were trying to write, they would stay away from a noisy environment like a bar or club.
Instead, they would choose a quiet environment that is more conducive to getting work down like a library or home office.
In the book, he gives way more powerful examples. I suggest you read it and tell me what you think.
Hopefully, you have taken away from this article that the undisciplined life is not worth living. I want you to live a life worth living in 2019. That means a life where you put in the work to achieve your goals. While living a more disciplined life will not guarantee you success, it will certainly put you in prime position to be successful. I’ll leave you with these powerful words by Jay-Z. Watch the video below. It will send chills down your spine.
“I’d rather die enormous than live dormant that’s how we on it.”
- What are some of your for 2019?
- Have you ever lived the undisciplined life?
- Think about a time where you achieved a big win. What role did discipline play?
- How do you block out distractions? Would you pay for an app to help you concentrate?
Jerry is a Business Insider Contributing Writer who is obsessed with personal finance. He believes you can improve your financial situation by applying principles taught by the financial independence community to your financial life.
If you are having trouble saving, he recommends that you join the SaverLife Savings program where you can get a $60 reward after six months (no income requirement). All you have to do is put a minimum of $20 a month into a savings account. Easy, right?
For a fun read, check out his article 10 Signs You’re a Personal Finance Addict to see if you are a personal finance nerd.
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