Discipline = Freedom What goes on behind the scenes Pt 2: HWL Goal Framework

Brian Huy Mac
5 min readDec 15, 2021

“Discipline equals freedom”
Jocko Willink (Former Navy Seal)

Original Date: January 28, 2018

Hey friends welcome to pt 2 of what goes on behind the scenes in regards to the continuous process / discipline that goes on to help open up new opportunities and freedom to explore. First want to say thank you so much for the feedback on the first post really helps me build my confidence in sharing and definitely holds me accountable to actually finishing the 3 part post :P Going to share a bit of background story before diving into the HWL Framework for goals but promise it is worth it for context!

Article in the Norwegian Financial News

So it is 2010–2012 not sure exactly but I am living in Norway, quit my job, started a company with one of my best friends, Hicham Chahine, to distribute GUNNAR Optiks across the Nordic markets.

Rights: The Oatmeal

Insert should of done MORE DUE DILIGENCE lesson learned here. Long story short we ended up with a ton of capital locked in inventory (ie. my apartment was a warehouse) and no capital for regular expenses. So needless to say I wasn’t going out or doing much socially, which was becoming a problem… See the OATMEAL — Why working at home is both Awesome and Horrible

So in an attempt to not only be productive on weekends and not be socially alone in my apartment during dark Norwegian winter depressed… I convinced some other friends (Thomas Golizade Moen, Thomas Skavhellen, Markus Vesøen) to work and pizza party Friday nights instead.

Honestly, these saved me

I was going through a pretty rough time with the business and life, felt tremendous pressure not to let down people and their expectations, “We always knew you’d be successful, etc.”. Yet here I was, maxed credit card, maxed line of credit, lost biggest customer, eating pasta everyday, not working out, couldn’t travel to friend’s wedding, heartbroken giving up a relationship, and one rent payment left in the most expensive city. So what started as Friday night work sessions evolved to quarterly meetups for lunch to share books, hold each other accountable, and discussions around the HWL framework. In sharing with each other I realized “EVERYONE” has tough challenges in their own ways, I didn’t feel so alone with my problems, and that you can find the “Meaning” or ways to reduce the “Suffering”.

Drumroll…. HWL stands for Health, Wealth, and Love.

Not entirely sure where I picked it up from, but it just made a lot of sense. These 3 things need to be balanced in our lives for happiness and are interconnected.

Health, Wealth, and Love in Balance. 2017 Mind mapping

What’s the point of Wealth if you have no one to share it with? If you have health you have energy to create wealth. How can you take someone you love to dinner without managing your wealth? What’s the point of it all if you don’t have love in your relationships, you kind of get the point. Definitions are broad but for me Health is your body, activities, Wealth is career, finances, projects, Love is your relationships and soul. So the concept stuck, during our meetups it was what is going on in Health, Wealth, and Love? then what are your goals for those areas?

Thomas Golizade Moen (who you should definitely follow if you get a chance) in his 2018 email list posted a bit about his process and I was super happy to see that the HWL idea is still there. You can see his video for a breakdown:


For me the process has evolved a bit in that I try to have 3 goals for each category, and after recent work with my coach last year breaking them down to specific and measurable Quarterly milestones. Here it is my 2018 Live Simply — HWL Framework

First Draft on Paper


  • Catch a barrel on Surfsgiving Trip
  • Re-Join a Crossfit + drop in when on work travel
  • Learn to cook 4 Vietnamese Dishes

Getting Specific!! — Each Q Set Milestone


  • Salesforce CPQ Certification
  • Build business plan > Set principals for company
  • Share insights > Quarterly Post
  • Build / Buy Surf House > Portugal


  • Learn 4 Songs on Ukulele > 1 a Quarter
  • Take a trip with a GF
  • Go to Vietnam with family and volunteer

Looking forward to see how the year progresses and would love to hear what framework you use for your goal planning or what your HWL looks like for 2018!

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — -Coming Up Next:

Pt 3: What I use — Tools and Resources

  • 5 Minute Journal — Thanks Thomas for this tip! Loving the App
  • Coach.me — Daily Habit Tracking
  • Trello — Personal + Personal Milestones Boards
  • Experience with getting a Coach — Values assessment, DISC analysis, accountability and more.
  • Reading List + Videos
  • Keeping it simple when I travel 1 bag, multi-purpose and don’t have to wash gear (Shirts / Underwear / Shoes).