Day 3: Starting Off Winning

Still not a perfect day, I got out of bed even later than yesterday – which ended up de-railing me for a bit after my son woke up and came into my office.

But seeing my son’s little squinty face as he walks in and his eyes are adjusting to the light is one of the highlights of my day – such a cute kid.

After about 10 minutes of getting him settled down with his momma I got back to it – and immediately thought about Jocko’s maxim:

Discipline equals freedom.

Jocko Willink

I didn’t exercise much discipline in getting out of bed late (again), so trying to get what I wanted to get done got slightly hectic – but I did get it done and I even finished As a Man Thinketh – a pretty quick read (took about 35 minutes total and I’m not a fast reader).

Yeah there’s a lot of “think good things and they’ll happen” stuff out there, but lets face it positive emotions and thoughts need to be turned into actions. Is As a Man Thinketh anything really crazy? No. But it does give you some awareness of the power you have over your mind – and thus how you think about things.

In the bark of your soul, reclines the commanding master; He does but sleep: wake him. Self-Control is strength; Right Thought is mastery; Calmness is Power. Say unto your heart “Peace, be still!”

James Allen

Which reminded me that yeah I’m not perfect at this routine yet – far from it, but it’s the journey – that brings you to the goal.

As it is not one swallow or a fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy.


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Will Durant

(The citation for both of those is from here.)

Those thoughts were going through my head as I was practicing self-compassion and focusing on how I’ve already won this morning by getting out of bed and doing what I said I was going to do.

Then I blasted myself with ice-water (I actually started to get a headache from the cold!) for a few minutes.

After I got out of the showered and dried off I was reminded of the process of “Behavioral Shaping” or the process of reinforcing a complex behavior or set of behaviors, by giving reinforcement for each successive iteration.

Basically you focus on what’s going on correctly and ignore what’s not correct – if you’ve ever trained an animal, you’ve seen this work.


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