We tend to believe that discipline and spontaneity are opposites. I think experience bears out that these two belong together.
If you really want to be the kind of person that can nail down and focus on a task (short-term) or a mission (long-term), you’re going to need stretches of time with little spontaneity and few distractions.
But getting those stretches of time in the first place? *That* takes spontaneity.
Truly disciplined people can’t rely on life staying the same day after day. They can’t stay home in their nice home offices. They have to go out in the world. And in the world, nothing gives a damn about peaceful, interruption-free stretches of time.
If you want to be a disciplined person in an undisciplined world, spontaneity is key.
You need to be meta-spontaneous. You need to be able to pick up your work at a moment’s notice – finishing a report at the airport or sending an invoice from a bathroom stall.
You also need to be able to put down your work quickly and creatively. If you are working longer hours (and if you want to stay sane), you’ll probably find yourself needing to ram in as much life as possible into the time you have available. That takes meta-spontaneity also – going swing dancing , visiting a sick friend, taking the less-used path. But in choosing spontaneity outside of work, you can gain the perspective and wellness to focus inside of your disciplined work times
Your self-discipline and your desire for spontaneity aren’t enemies. In the right circumstances, they work together.