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    One Year Of Discipline, Day 41: The Freedom to Breathe

    One Year Of Discipline

    On Day 23, I talked about Solschenizyn’s parable “Bonfire and the Ants” in which ants chose familiar structures over freedom, even if they perish in the process.

    I compared that behavior to people that – when similarly faced with the possibility of freedom – continue in the environment they have always been in, even if they dislike it. For example, people often state that they “hate their job”, yet make little effort to change their situation. There are always 1,000 excuses as to why they can’t just quit and do what really brings them fulfillment.

    Now, Solschenizyn wrote another parable that complements the “Bonfire and the Ants“:

    Freedom to Breathe

    A shower fell in the night and now dark clouds drift across the sky, occasionally sprinkling a fine film of rain. 

    I stand under an apple tree in blossom and I breathe. Not only the apple tree but the grass round it glistens with moisture; words cannot describe the sweet fragrance that pervades the air. I inhale as deeply as I can, and the aroma invades my whole being; I breathe with my eyes open, I breathe with my eyes closed—I cannot say which gives me the greater pleasure. 

    This, I believe, is the single most precious freedom that prison takes away from us: the freedom to breathe freely, as I now can. No food on earth, no wine, not even a woman’s kiss is sweeter to me than this air steeped in the fragrance of flowers, of moisture and freshness. 

    No matter that this is only a tiny garden, hemmed in by five-story houses like cages in a zoo. I cease to hear the motorcycles backfiring, radios whining, the burble of loudspeakers. As long as there is fresh air to breathe under an apple tree after a shower, we may survive a little longer. 


    One Year Of Discipline: January Review

    30 Days of Discipline

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    I have gotten a little behind on the journal entries, and I have not always detailed them well. But rather than playing “catch up”, I’ll skip the few missing entries and provide a complete overview over January – what went well, what I want to change and how I will change.

    This weekend is first of all, a review and look back at one month of discipline. 11 more to go. Woo hoo!

    First of all, I started this year with Victor Pride’s 30 Days of Discipline. My plan is to not only follow the habits in that program for 30 days – as I already did last year -, but for all of 2015.

    30 Days of Discipline” basically contains 10 habits, so that you can then focus completely on your goals (which would be habit #11 in that book).

    Let’s go over my goals and how I fared with them in January 2014.


    One Year Of Discipline, Day 25: How To Pull The Frakking Trigger

    One Year Of Discipline

    I enjoyed Aaron Clarey’s video titled “Pull the f*cking trigger already“. Pulling the trigger and taking action is undeniably one of the easiest steps to take, hardest to execute – or it must be, because so many people are not doing it. Why not?

    If I look at myself, change is something I don’t naturally embrace. I rather continue doing what I’ve always done. Or not done. And I suspect that is true for most people. It’s even worse nowadays, where we can cruise along live with minimal effort. The world comes to us, and Facebook “friends” are just a mouse click away.

    But this world that comes to us is a world of illusion, and actually DOING something requires contact with the real world. Ironically it’s called “a leap of faith“, when it just means holding on to reality.

    By taking action, you embrace center stage in your own life. And that can be a very scary thing.

    Moreover, all the mass media, the junk food and yearning for the latest celebrity gossip appeals to our short-term reward centers – people are addicted to this illusion of a world. Taking action means stepping out of that drug haze. And that is really something not everyone is ready to do.