357: Jocko Willink: Find Your Discipline and You Will Find Your Freedom

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Jocko Willink is a decorated retired Navy SEAL officer, author of the book Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, and co-founder of Echelon Front, where he is a leadership instructor, speaker, and executive coach. Jocko spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy SEAL Teams, starting as an enlisted SEAL and rising through the ranks to become a SEAL officer. As commander of SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser during the battle of Ramadi, he orchestrated SEAL operations that helped the “Ready First” Brigade of the US Army’s First Armored Division bring stability to the violent, war-torn city.

As commander of SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser during the battle of Ramadi, he orchestrated SEAL operations that helped the “Ready First” Brigade of the US Army’s First Armored Division bring stability to the violent, war-torn city.

Task Unit Bruiser became the most highly decorated Special Operations Unit of the Iraq War. Jocko returned from Iraq to serve as Officer-in-Charge of training for all West Coast SEAL Teams. There, he spearheaded the development of leadership training and personally instructed and mentored the next generation of SEAL leaders who have continued to perform with great success on the battlefield.

During his career, Jocko was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and numerous other personal and unit awards. In 2010, Jocko retired from the Navy and launched Echelon Front where he teaches the leadership principles he learned on the battlefield to help others lead and win. Clients include individuals, teams, companies, and organizations across a wide-range of industries and fields.

Favorite Success Quote

“Discipline equals freedom”

Key Points

1. Discipline Gives You True Freedom

If you want freedom, then forget all the crap about life hacks, smart drugs, and shortcuts.

If you want freedom, then you must cultivate extreme levels of discipline.

Period.

I don’t care if you want to do the important things.

Do them.

I don’t care if you feel like handling your responsibilities.

Handle them.

I don’t care if you want to wake up early and grind.

Just fucking rise and grind.

Discipline equals freedom.

2. You Have to Be Humble

Once you have cultivated discipline and overcome your weakness and propensity to allow your feelings in the moment to dictate your life, arrogance becomes your most dangerous enemy.

Just because you have achieved a certain level of success does not mean that you have it figured out.

The day that you think you know it all, the day that you stop trying to grow, and the day you stop learning from others…

That’s the day that you will fall and you will fall hard.

3. Take Extreme Ownership 

Whatever circumstances life has given you, it’s time to man up and own them.

Step up and take charge of the results that you are producing or failing to produce.

Take ownership of your marriage, your business, and your finances.

Sure, you can piss away your time blaming others, whining, and moaning.

But you will lose respect from the people who matter and accomplish nothing in the process.

Or, you can let go of your ego, accept responsibility, and take extreme ownership.

And when are willing to swallow your pride and take ownership of your life and success, you will cultivate respect for yourself and respect from others.

4. Detach Emotions from Your Decision-Making Process 

If you want to sabotage your success and ruin all chances of high achievement, then allow your emotions to dictate your decision making.

If you want to achieve greatly, lead effectively, and create massive success in your life, then learn to detach your emotions from important decisions.

I don’t care if you like an under-performing employee and feel bad about letting them go.

If you have done everything you can to empower them and call them forward, and they still fail… it’s time to let them go.

I don’t care if you don’t feel like getting up and doing your work for the day.

It’s time to rise and hustle.

When it comes to important decisions, you must lead with logic.

I don’t care how you feel.

Feelings don’t win wars, build businesses, or change the world.

Smart and consistent action does. 

5. Win the Mornings and Win Your Day 

If you want to have great days, then start with great mornings.

Jocko rises every morning at 4:30 a.m. and hits the gym long before distractions or other people’s agendas can start to distract him and interfere with his goals.

To achieve high levels of success, you must accomplish your most important tasks first thing every morning before the rest of the world is awake.

If you can do this, success is all but guaranteed.

Influential Books

1. About Face by  Colonel David H. Hackworth

2. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

3. Henry V by William Shakespeare

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Connect with Jocko Willink

https://www.echelonfront.com/

http://jockopodcast2.com/

Discipline Equals Freedom

Extreme Ownership

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