Jocko Willink (@jockowillink) is a retired Navy SEAL commander, podcaster, co-author of New York Times Best Seller Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, and author of Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual. His upcoming Marc’s Mission: Way of the Warrior Kid (A Novel) will be out soon.
“That pillow is suffocating your dreams!” -Jocko Willink
What We Discuss with Jocko Willink:
- Effective leadership values and strategies are the same across all fields and industries — whether you’re a Navy SEAL, an office manager, or a startup entrepreneur.
- The difference between motivation and discipline.
- The intersection between leadership and humility.
- How to create a practice of discipline that will be there when we need it.
- A good leader isn’t necessarily the most skilled person in the room, but he or she knows how to bring out the best in everyone to create a solid team.
- And much more…
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In Baghdad and Ramadi, Jocko Willink commanded SEAL Task Unit Bruiser — the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War. Retired from active duty, he and Leif Babin, his business partner and co-author of New York Times Best Seller Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, share their battle-tested strategies for effective leadership with civilians across all fields.
Jocko joins us to discuss the difference between motivation and discipline, offer humility adjustments both for those who lack confidence and those whose egos need a little downsizing, share real tactics for bringing out the best in those around us by owning our responsibility to the big picture, and lots more. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
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More About This Show
When retired Navy SEALs Jocko Willink and Leif Babin of Echelon Front published Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win in 2015, they may have been least surprised of anyone that it would go on to become a New York Times Best Seller.
“I think it’s because the principles that we talk about in that book apply to all leadership,” says Jocko. “This week I went and talked to two different companies in two completely different industries and when I got done with both of them, they both came up and they were saying, ‘It seems like you’ve been embedded with us for six months to know what’s been going on…it’s crazy that you can know this much about the company!’
“Guess what? I told both these two companies the same thing: the problems, the issues, the leadership challenges that all companies face? They’re all the same. And they’re the same leadership issues that a SEAL team would face.”
The work climates can be as different as an oil company office, a military base, or a small town shoe store, but the problems remain static — ranging from a lack of the right personnel to a lack of resourcing, and bosses who abuse their place in the hierarchy to employees who consistently underperform. Luckily, similar problems have similar solutions, which is what Jocko strives to impart to those of us who seek them.
It’s not uncommon to wish we knew in our youth what we know now. In theory, we might have avoided numerous hardships and embarrassments if only we had access to a time machine and the eager ears of our younger selves to listen. But the only thing Jocko would tell his 20-year-old self is that he doesn’t know anything.
“When you’re 20 years old, you definitely don’t know anything, but you think you know everything,” Jocko says. “I thought I had the world figured out. And it’s like five-year increments. When you’re 25, you say, ‘Oh, man, when I was 20, I didn’t know anything. But I know everything now!’ And then when you’re 30, you’re saying, ‘Oh, when I was 25, I didn’t know anything, but I sure know everything now!’ 35, same thing. Then you get to 40, and you say, ‘Okay, I recognize a trend. I didn’t know anything then, and I don’t anything now! I need to have an open mind and continue to learn.”
Whenever Jocko has found himself leading someone who thinks they know everything, he has a way of bringing their ego down to size while making it a learning — not a humiliating — experience. He simply assigns them a task that’s outside of their competency level, all the while expressing he’s sure they can handle it. One of two things happens:
- Either the person realizes the task is beyond their capabilities and humbly communicates as much, or…
- The person is too arrogant to ask for help and fails. In both cases: lesson learned. Humility delivered.
On the other side of it, Jocko has a method for dealing with people who might be a little too humble because they lack confidence. This time, he’ll assign a task he knows is challenging, but not beyond the person’s capability. Again, he’ll offer encouraging words, but leave them to it.
“You do it, you handle it, and your confidence would grow a little bit,” says Jocko. “That’s how I’m going to build you up to where you can take my job, which is what I want.”
A Leader’s Real Strengths
A good leader isn’t necessarily the most skilled person in the room, but he or she understands the strengths and weaknesses of everyone else in the room and knows how they can best fit together as a solid team.
In fact, a good leader doesn’t even have to be the person in the fancy corner office who’s been officially designated as the one “in charge.” A good leader knows how to work from their rank and bring out the best in others — even if those others are technically higher in the hierarchy.
For instance, Jocko explains how you can disagree with what you think is one of your boss’ worst ideas in a way that’s not offensive. Rather than just outright saying, “The way that you’re executing this is wrong; I don’t think it’s a good plan,” you could say, “This plan you’ve got? I really need some help understanding it, because I want to make sure I’m able to execute it really well. Can you explain to me a couple of points on why you set this up like this and why this is over here like that?”
It gets the boss to more deeply consider their plan and possibly understand the flaws as you see them, while respecting the hierarchy and showing that you’re not trying to undermine their efforts. It earns trust because the boss knows you’re trying to help the team win, and he or she will be more open to what you’re saying.
It also considers the possibility that maybe the boss’ plan was good all along and, by allowing for an explanation, your perspective has been brought around.
In the end, it’s all about getting a job done well. Ego has no place in this equation.
How Does Discipline Equal Freedom?
In his book Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual, Jocko tells us he gets up around 4:30 a.m. every day. For him, it’s a simple way to start the day with a win — but he’s not motivated to do it, he’s disciplined.
“People ask me all the time, ‘How do you get up so early?’ or ‘How can I wake up earlier in the morning?'” says Jocko. “And I say, ‘Okay. Here’s what you’ve got to do. Set your alarm clock. When it goes off in the morning, get out of bed and go do your stuff.’ That’s what I do. I don’t have some mystical ritual that I go through that prepares me mentally for the morning rise! No. When the freaking alarm clock goes off, I get up and get out of bed and start doing what I’m supposed to do. That’s the difference.”
Jocko concedes that getting up at 4:30 a.m. isn’t right for everyone. But what is important is finding a consistent time that works for you and then committing to it.
Motivation is temporary. Discipline is forever.
Listen to this episode in its entirety to learn more about the differences between internal and external discipline, how Jocko succeeded in the military in spite of being anti-authoritarian at his core, how small decisions make big changes in the trajectory of life, how Jocko beat his spoken word album position on Amazon by releasing another spoken word album, what we can learn from observing the bad habits of others (particularly leaders), why Jocko now champions journaling after ignoring it for most of his life, where the comfortable path inevitably leads, why Jocko will probably never eat another jelly donut in his life, and lots more.
THANKS, JOCKO WILLINK!
If you enjoyed this session with Jocko Willink, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
Click here to thank Jocko Willink at Twitter!
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Resources from This Episode:
- Marc’s Mission: Way of the Warrior Kid (A Novel) by Jocko Willink and Jon Bozak
- Way of the Warrior Kid: From Wimpy to Warrior the Navy SEAL Way: A Novel by Jocko Willink and Jon Bozak
- Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual by Jocko Willink
- Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
- Echelon Front
- Jocko Podcast
- Jocko Willink at Instagram
- Jocko Willink at Facebook
- Jocko Willink at Twitter
- Psychological Warfare by Jocko Willink
- Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual, Pt. 1 (Thoughts) by Jocko Willink
- Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual, Pt. 2 (Actions) by Jocko Willink
- Jocko’s “Good” Shirt
Transcript for Jocko Willink | Why Discipline Beats Motivation Every Time (Episode 15)
Jocko Willink: [00:00:00] So motivation is good for about 15 minutes, but what you actually need is to have discipline, which is good permanently. As long as you maintain the discipline, it's always going to come through.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:12] Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with my producer Jason DeFillippo. This episode is brought to you by MeUndies. That's right, my underwear brought you this one. To get 20% off your first pair of free shipping and 100% satisfaction guarantee. Go to meundies.com/Jordan. This episode is also sponsored by Varidesk. You can try Varidesk products risk-free for 30 days with free shipping and free returns if you're not satisfied. Learn more at varidesk.com/forbes. On this episode today, we're talking with my friend Jocko Willink. He was the commander for SEAL Task Unit Bruiser, the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq war in Baghdad and Ramadi. Author of Extreme Ownership, Way of the Warrior Kid. And now, Discipline Equals Freedom. Today, we'll explore the difference between motivation and discipline, discuss the intersection between leadership and humility and we'll learn how to create a practice of discipline that you can call upon to carry you through when you really need it. Don't forget, we have a worksheet for today's episode so you can make sure you solidify your understanding of the key takeaways here from Jocko Willink. That link is in the show notes at JordanHarbinger.com/podcast. Now, here's Jocko.
[00:01:26] When you wrote Extreme Ownership. It crushed. It did a really great amount of sales. I know last interview we looked at, you said you sold over half a million, it’s probably twice that by now.
Jocko Willink: [00:01:35] It's number 19 on Amazon. Most read charts today. It has been two years or going up on two and a half years. It's selling well and the reason it's selling well is because I think it's because the principles that we talk about that in that book they apply to all leadership. Yeah, all leadership. And this week I went and talked to two different companies in two completely different industries. And when I got done with both of them, they both came up and they were saying, “It seems like you've been embedded with us for six months to know what's going on with this company. Yeah. It’s just crazy that you can know this much about the company.”
[00:02:13] Guess what I've told both of these two companies the same thing -- the problems, the issues, the leadership challenges that all companies face -- they're all the same and they're the same leadership issues that a SEAL platoon would face. Same problems, same issues. So yeah, we've been seeing it for awhile.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:02:32] Did they find that interesting that their corporate problems, mirror that of a SEAL team?
Jocko Willink: [00:02:34] Well, they find that interesting and I think they kind of liked that. I think everyone's kind of surprised that, “Oh, we're in the energy industry and we're in the construction industry and Oh guess what our problems are. Oh wait, we can't find the right people.” We need better resourcing. We have people that treat their employees badly. We have employees that don't do what they're supposed to. It's like the same stuff. It's just the same, the same problems over and over again.
[00:03:04] And it's again, there are solutions to these problems and that's why the book continues to sell and that's why the, you know, business echelon front that we have that's why it continues to keep me working more than I want to.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:03:15] Yeah, I was going to ask about that too. I figured it's like at some point, because a lot of authors will write a book and it'll hit bestseller and then they'll milk it for like 10 years and you're not really doing that, right? You've got the kids book, you've got the field manual, you've got the other kid's book coming out in a couple of months. I mean why? Because that's a lot of work as you know.
Jocko Willink: [00:03:35] I was talking to someone the other day who edits books and as you know I said, “Why don't you write a book?” And they're like, “I look at a piece of paper and I don't have any words for it.”
[00:03:46] And I'm kind of the opposite. I've got things in my head that they want to come out and I look at a blank piece of paper and I, and I got something that's put on it and I think as long as I have that, I'll keep doing it. I don't want to get to a point where I'm trying to force things out of myself and there's a fine line on that because you kind of have to force something out, right? If you're going to create something, it just doesn't, it doesn't fall onto the paper. Right? You have to take manual labor to get it on the paper. When I say force, I mean sitting around and saying, “Oh, what should I write? What should I write? What should I write?” For me, I know what I'm going to write.
[00:04:21] But the actual act of writing, it is labor. It's work and I don't enjoy that part. I enjoy a little bit of crafting sentences and I enjoy some of that, but I don't, you know, I would rather be doing jujitsu. I'd rather be surfing. I'd rather be playing guitar or just hitting something with a baseball bat. It's more fun to me than sitting in front of a computer and writing, but the words are in my head and so I let them out.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:4:55] Someone asked you, what would you tell your 20-year-old self and you started talking about humility and you said, “I would tell my 20-year-old self, you don't know anything.” What do you mean by that? What's the benefit to knowing that you don't know anything or telling your 20-year-old self that you don't know anything.
Jocko Willink: [00:05:03] But when you're 20 years old, you definitely don't know anything but you definitely think you know everything. At least I did.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:09] Sure me too.
Jocko Willink: [00:05:09] I thought I had the world figured out and then it's like five year increments. When you're 25 you say, “Oh man, when I was 20 I didn't know anything but I know everything now. And then when you're 30 you're saying, ‘Oh when I was 25 I didn't know anything, but I sure know everything now. 35 same thing’, and then you get to 40 and he'd say, ‘okay, I recognize a trend.’ I didn't know anything then and I don't know anything. Now I need to have an open mind and continue to learn.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:05:37] How do you instill that in other people who think they know everything? I mean you had to have those guys in a team, you probably have some of them around your business. Your kids might be going through something like that at some point.
Jocko Willink: [00:05:44] It can be fairly easy to solve and one of the best deliverer of humility is life itself. Now a lot of times if you've got a business situation or family situation, you don't have time to wait for life to delive the humility. So you have to give that humility to them some other way. So if you were working for me and you lacked humility and you had a big ego and you thought you should be running everything, what I would do is I would give you some kind of a task, some kind of a project that was outside of your competency level. And then I'd say, “Hey Jordan, since you're so awesome, here's a little project or here's a big project and I want you to handle it because I know you could probably be running this whole thing yourself.
[00:06:26] So why don't you go ahead and handle this project.” And then you'd take the project and now one or two things are going to happen. Either you realize you get humble and you say, “Hey Jocko, I didn't realize this was going on. I didn't realize how complicated this was. I need some help with this.” Cool. You just got humbled and we can move forward or you are too arrogant to ask for help. And now what happens? You fall on your face because I gave you a task that was slightly outside your competency level. So that's what you can do with people and it actually works as well with someone that, let's say you lacked confidence. Let's say you were too humble. Well then I'd give you a project that was maybe, well not well within, but definitely certainly within your competency level. And I'd say, “Hey Jordan, can you handle this project? It’s a big project? But I know that you can handle it.” And then you'd do it and you'd handle it and your confidence would grow a little bit. And that's how I'm going build you up to where you can take my job, which is what I want, and then I take the next guy's job.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:21] Do you feel like you have to be the best at something in order to be a good leader or do you feel like you just have to be good at a mix of specific leadership skills?
Jocko Willink: [00:07:30] So there's a bunch of different leadership skills that you can have and you're going to get various levels of them and some of them will be high and some of them will be low. Luckily for me, in the environment I was in, which was in the military, in groups, in teams of people with a structure in it and a leader and subordinate leadership. And when I came in I was at the bottom, you know, the bottom of the structure. And then as time went on I moved up the structure. And so I got to see it from all these different levels. And I definitely paid attention to it, I would say. It was something that I had an interest in and I had an interest in trying to be good at it. Maybe because I wasn't that great at some of the other things. You know, I'm not the fastest runner, I wasn't the strongest guy so you know, the thing that I felt I could do good at was maybe helping with the leadership type stuff. So I paid a lot attention to it. But you're going to take what you have and try and improve the things that you can and bring other leaders on your team that can complement the areas that you're weakened. And once you do that, you can formulate a good leadership team.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:08:39] What would you recommend if somebody is in a leadership position and they're subordinate to somebody else and they want to approach that person with some kind of change or feedback that the other person might consider negative? Because when I hear about the SEAL teams and the organizations and stuff like that and how guys might not want to ask for help or advice in certain areas, it seems in the corporate world, a lot of people are afraid to give negative feedback or something that might be perceived as negative to somebody who's above them in the hierarchy.
Jocko Willink: [00:09:06] Well, a real simple way to do that is, let's say you're in charge of the plan and I think that there might be a better way to do it, or I think the way that you're doing something is not good. And instead of me saying, “Hey, Jordan, the way that you're executing this is wrong, and I don't think it's a good plan”, which is immediately going to offend you. Sure. You're going to tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about. You're going to say I should stay in my lane. You're going to just say it's above your rank and above your pay grade and all those things, unless you're a good leader, in which case you'd say, “Okay, what do you think?” But if I went to you and said, “Hey Jordan, this plan that you've got, I really need some help understanding it because I want to make sure I'm able to execute it really well.
[00:09:43] Can you explain to me a couple of points on why you set this up like this and, and why this is over here like that?” And all it's doing is getting you to think more deeply about your plan. And then it's also, since I started off in a humble position of saying, “Hey, I want to support your plan because you're the boss and I believe what you're doing and I just want to make sure that I understand it well enough to really support it.” So you actually are trusting me more. You know that I want to help you know that I want to help you win. And so you're open to what I'm saying. And so now I've already made big progress in maybe as we discuss that plan, which once I understand it better, maybe your plan is good and I just couldn't see it because I didn't understand all the strategic things are going on. But when we get down to it, I say, “Oh okay, well this thing right here, so why would we do it that way instead of this other way?” And now you look at it and now you've got an open mind which completely changes everything and you go, “Oh yeah, that way does look pretty good. You know what? That might be a good way to do it.” And so you have to be tactful and …
Jordan Harbinger: [00:10:45] See if you lead them to the idea themselves or you find out that the reason they didn't do it the way you thought is because of a different reason that you hadn't contemplated.
Jocko Willink: [00:10:55] Yes. And also that is up and down the chain of command. I do it down the chain of command too. If I don't come down and hammer the plan down your throat or into your ears. No. I say, “Hey, here's the goal that we want to accomplish. How do you think we should do it?” Because that way you have ownership of the plan and you'll make it work.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:10] Discipline Equals Freedom: The Field Manual. I saw that tweet when it came a long time ago. You wrote Discipline Equals Freedom and I wrote it down and I thought great book title. So good on you for that. But a lot of people don't maybe understand what that means. I mean what's the relationship here? What's the connection between discipline and freedom?
Jocko Willink: [00:11:27] Well, if you want freedom in your life, there's only one way to get there and that's through discipline.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:30] Let's back up and do like a small example of some of the mental and physical discipline things that you do every day. Everybody knows you get up early, everybody knows you got the weights, it's in the inside cover of the book. The photo that you took, I think?
Jocko Willink: [00:11:43] I took those photos.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:11:44] So all right, so you work out everyday. What about the mental part? What's the mental discipline that you do each day? I know one of them is getting up early, which is the hardest one I would imagine for most people to pick up.
Jocko Willink: [00:11:54] It's interesting, a lot of people have a hard time getting up early. It's interesting too because even before The Field Manual came out, which really lays out how to go about this stuff in a pretty specific way, I'd have somebody on social media that would say, “Hey, I need to, you know, drop weight and get in better shape.” And I'd say, “Get up early workout. Don't eat sugar.” Right? And three months later I get a picture of the guy and he'd be, you know, 29 pounds lighter -- in better shape. And then people would say, ‘Oh wow, that's awesome. What'd you do? How'd you do it?” And he’d say, “I woke up early, worked out, and I stopped eating sugar.” That's it. That's the discipline. And so what kind of freedom does it give you? Well, gives you freedom in life, right?
[00:12:37] And when you're not in good physical shape, you don't have the physical freedom to do what you want to do physically. So the only way you can do what you want to do physically is by having discipline to work out, eat right, stay healthy, and that gives you the freedom, physical freedom that you want in your life.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:54] In the book, in The Field Manual. You write -- Discipline is the root of all good qualities. The driver of daily execution, the core principle that overcomes laziness and lethargy and excuses. -- But of course, as soon as I read that to a friend of mine, when I'm going over to the prep, he goes, “Well, I mean some people have discipline and some people don't. How do you develop discipline?” And I thought, “All right, well it's easy to say, get up early, don't eat sugar. But a lot of people think that they can't do that.
[00:13:21] And I say I think that they can because I would argue, I would imagine you would say that anybody can. Some people just think they can.
Jocko Willink: [00:13:28] Yeah. You just answered the question. People ask me all the time, “How do you get up so early? How should I, how can I wake up earlier in the morning” and I say, “Okay, here's what you got to do. Set your alarm clock, when it goes off in the morning and get out of bed and go do your stuff.” Right? That’s what I do. I don't have some mystical ritual that I go through that prepares me mentally for the morning rise. No. When the freaking alarm clock goes off, I get up and I get out of bed and I start doing what I'm supposed to do. That's the difference. And to think that people don't have the power to do that is flatly wrong.
[00:14:05] Anyone can do that. People make that kind of course correction in their life all the time. I've personally witnessed thousands of people do it through social media. People that hit me up every morning like, “Yeah, I'm up.” “I'm up too”, “I'm getting after it”. I've had amazing, I get amazing letters and messages through social media of people that have just radically changed their life around. And again, when people ask me, “How do I get discipline in my life? I always give them the answer they don't want to hear. Let's get up out of bed early.” That's like step one and I think as childish as that might sound or as rudimentary as that might sound, it really is. It's a real thing. Now people get caught up around the fact that “4:30 in the morning, I can't get up at 4:30” . Look, you need to figure out when you need to get up in the morning
[00:14:55] that gives you enough time to have a good day based on what you did in the morning. You need to figure out how much sleep you need. I need less sleep than most people, but you need to figure that out and then you need to get on schedule. And you need to stay with it because when the alarm clock goes off and the pillow is soft and the bed is warm, that's the challenge. It's the soft pillow that's holding you down there. It's suffocating your dreams is what it's doing. That pillow is suffocating your dreams. Just like the snooze button should be called the dream killer because even though you can't dream anymore, your actual dreams in real life are being destroyed when you're laying in bed. So get out of bed. People say, “Well you only need five and a half hours of sleep and I will sleep more.
[00:15:39] You know, I'll sleep for six hours, I'll sleep for seven hours.” Sometimes I'll go to bed at 9:45 or something. It's a little hard for me to fall asleep at 9:45 because I am a human being. People say, “Well I can't get up that early.” And I say, “Okay, well then just do more stuff during the day.” Like how much time do you waste during the day? How much time are you doing stuff during the day that has zero value on your life as a human being? A lot. Usually. How many YouTube videos do you need to watch in a day? How much social media do you need to check during the day? How much, you know, even things like new stories, which I believe me, I appreciate understanding what's going on with current world events, but how many stories are you going to read about the same subject?
[00:16:20] Like, “Okay, you know what's going on in this area of the world? Great. Move on.” We don't need to get drowned down in that unless you're making some kind of a strategic decision for the nation. Okay, fine. Then do a little bit more research. But people waste their time on things that they don't need to waste their time on. I mean television, right? Television. That's got to be the number one. The reason it's barely on my list is because I have a television now, but we have like whatever the basic cable that comes free with your internet connection. That's what we get. I get nine channels or something. They all suck. For me to watch TV would actually be torture because it sucks. So I don't even understand the TV thing. Yeah. If you have TV and it's eating up your time, which means if you're spending more than, let's call it 12 minutes a day watching TV, you should just hit that thing with the baseball bat. Yeah, crush it. Literally throw it out the window. Just don't, don't destroy the internet box or you'll regret it. Yeah. Well I need internet from my job.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:19] Sure. Yeah. Well we all do. Yeah, of course.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:19:58] What about external versus internal discipline? I've never seen that distinction before until I read it in The Field Manual. An external discipline fails.
Jocko Willink: [00:20:06] Yeah, well, you know, imposed discipline does have a.. It does work for a little while. I mean in the military, you get imposed discipline, especially when you first come in. You will do this, you will do that. You will do this other thing. But the problem is that unless you are paying someone to continually impose discipline on you, which no one can do, then you have to have self-discipline.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:32] Or you got to get married, then you can have someone around to impose it on you all the time. I feel like that would be unhealthy as well.
Jocko Willink: [00:20:38] Well if you were going to be you, you might end up being resentful towards the person. In fact in most cases you're probably going to end up being resentful towards people that are imposing discipline on you. I think in fact, I know I would, and I've talked about this before, when I joined the military, I told my dad, I said, “Hey, I just joined the Navy, I'm going in the SEAL teams”, and he said something along the lines of, “You're going to hate it because you hate authority and you don't like listening to people.”
[00:21:02] And I said, “No, it's the teams. It's a team.” Well, we just know it's not like that, which is completely wrong. It isn't like that. But what I did to overcome that, since I don't like listening to people as I just tried to get ahead of the power curve and I tried to get ahead and have the things done that I knew I would be told to do, I would try and have them already done. And that's a way to avoid having people tell you what to do is to already have them done. So if your wife is imposing discipline on you and saying, “You better clean the dishes!” Well if you get the dishes clean before she can ask you, then guess what? You just one upped her.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:21:34] So self-discipline, this is from the book as well, The Field Manual -- Self-discipline comes from the decision to be disciplined.
[00:21:38] When you make a decision to be better, when you decide to make a mark on the world, how can we make that decision -- the discipline decision in a way that actually makes us better and isn't just lip service? Because I feel like a lot of people, you must see this on social media and in any of your events or any of the guys you work with, where they're like, “Yeah, I'm going to get up earlier, I'm going to do this.” A lot of people probably can't. They feel like they can't do it or they feel like this is something that they're going to say and they mean in the moment and it doesn't happen.
Jocko Willink: [00:22:06] Well, if you have people that aren't going to do what they say they're going to do, that's absolutely problematic. Yeah. So the whole point, and to me, and I say this, I've been saying this more and more lately, is people know what they're supposed to do.
[00:22:22] Like you know what's going to make your life better. You also know what's going to make your life worse. So I say do the things that are going to make your life better. And that's all I'm saying. And it's things that you come up with. You know, I've said this before on my podcast. If you wrote down the things that you know you should do tomorrow, and then tomorrow when you woke up, you actually did them, you would feel a pretty good sense of achievement. And then imagine where you'd be in two weeks if you did that every day. And then imagine where you'd be in three months if you did that every day. And then imagine where you'd be in a year if you do that every day. If every day you did what you knew you were supposed to do, imagine where you'd be.
[00:23:03] Well, you'd be in a great place, you'd be in a great position, you'd be in a great place. So that's all I'm saying. And does that take discipline? Yes, it takes discipline. You need to think about those long term benefits because people forget. When the alarm clock goes off, they don't realize that their whole life is going to be better by getting out of bed. They just think my life right now is going to suck because it's cold out there. Yeah, and I'm tired. That's what they think about. They don't think that literally my whole life will be better if I get up, get out of bed and just do what I know I'm supposed to do.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:26] It's hard to wrap your mind around that, like you said, the pillow, the suffocator of dreams. Yes. You have to remember that in the moment.
[00:23:43] You got to wrap your head around that in the moment. And I feel like practice is probably the best way to do that because getting up early has to get easier over time or doesn't it?
Jocko Willink: [00:23:51] You know, we made this audio album, The Psychological Warfare. And it was basically this. So Echo, who does a podcast with me, he was, you know, basically asking me the same kind of questions you're asking me. Well, what do you think about here and what do you do here? And I answered one of them and he said, “I'm going to record that.” Then he asked me about it. He came up with a bunch one morning, he asked me a bunch more and he recorded all these tracks for this album and that's what it is. And believe me, it's unbelievable the amount of people that have had great responses to those.
[00:24:27] Because again, a lot of times we say, “Oh, I wish you were there to yell at me in the morning.” I don't yell on Psychological Warfare. Yeah. I just say, “Hey, here's the things you should think about right now”, and something along the lines of, “if you can get up and get out of bed right now, it's going to make your whole life better.” Like I know it's going to suck for the next 18 seconds because let's face it, once you're doing, once you're moving, that doesn't suck anymore. You actually start to feel good. Psychological Warfare was the number one spoken word album for like 11 months on iTunes and it only got kicked out when Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual, I didn't release it on Audible because on Audible you can't make it into an alarm. You can't listen to certain tracks at certain times.
[00:25:11] So I took the whole Discipline Equals Freedom book and made that into an album and that's the album that beat Psychological Warfare on iTunes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:20] So you knocked yourself off.
Jocko Willink: [00:25:21] Knocked myself out of the number one spot. I don't know if I was going to be angry at myself or happy with myself.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:26] You emphasize learning from other people's strengths obviously as well as their weaknesses though. Most people never think about that. They don't think about learning from other people's weaknesses. Either we do it subconsciously or not. But how do you build a practice based on what you see out of other people's strengths and especially their weaknesses?
Jocko Willink: [00:25:42] When I first got in the SEAL teams, I wasn't journaling. Are you kidding me? I was 19-20 years old. I wasn't journaling anything. I didn't have some grand master plan about how to become a better leader, but I was paying attention and that's why I absorbed so much from bad leaders that I worked with because I would just look at him and the way I felt, I knew I didn't want to make anyone else feel.
[00:26:07] So I'd say, “You know what? I'm not going to act that way.” This guy acts like he knows everything. It makes all of us in the platoon, not like him. I'm not going to act like that. This other guy acts like he wants to hear what we have to say and he values our opinion, that makes me like him and want to follow him. I'm going to act like that. So I just paid attention always to things that I like from leaders and things that I didn't like.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:34] If you had to do that process again, do you think you'd write it down or do you think that just doing it in the moment is good enough for most people?
Jocko Willink: [00:26:40] Sure. I guess in an ideal world, if I wrote it down, then that would maybe have made things stick quicker, but at the same time, it was not on the prior. I know prioritizing and executing, which is, “Hey, I need to be a good SEAL.” That's the number one thing. I need to make sure I'm up to par on all the various skill sets that we need, so I wasn't running home and I took notes on how to operate weapons. I took notes on how to operate radios. I took notes on various tactics. I still got those notes, but I wasn't writing down notes because those things were the priority.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:14] Yeah, that makes sense. I'm asking because I think there's probably people at a corporation right now going, “Yeah, I'll just observe casually.” But you were taking notes on the things that were a priority and if somebody wants to prioritize being a good leader in a certain situation or mirroring or not mirroring certain behavior, then I wanted to give them something to chew on.
Jocko Willink: [00:27:32] Well, let me tell you what else would be good about that is when you write stuff down, you have to think about it and analyze it. So if you started writing down something that you didn't like about a leader or something that you did, it would make you interact with that person better because you understand what they were doing. So if you had a guy that showed up late, 10 minutes every day, you might not even register that. But when you start saying, “Okay, what is it that I don't like about this? Oh, you write down, ‘Oh, he shows up late four minutes for every meeting, five minutes for every meeting.’ Oh, guess what? I'm not going to be like that.” And then when he shows up late, you recognize what it is that's irritating you and so I think it's very beneficial when you write things down, you absolutely have to think through them. And I think that's, you know, with the podcast, even writing down the questions that people ask me, I write down the question and I put down some bullets of what I'm going to answer. Well that's a thought process. When you write something down you have to think about it. And the more you think about something, the better you can understand it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:32] Becoming who you want to be -- One small decision at a time. -- Is a concept from The Field Manual? And I wanted to see what you actually mean by that because you talk about not letting your mind control you, but what does that look like in practice?
Jocko Willink: [00:28:45] It's actually exactly what it says and it's the same overall concept that we've been talking about. And you don't wake up today and make this giant decision and become a new person. That's not what happens. You wake up today and you make a small change and you make the right decision, you -- Instead of laying in bed, you get out of bed. Instead of eating a donut, you eat some beef jerky. Instead of watching TV, you do burpees. -- You just make these small decisions and if you did that for one day, man, you probably wouldn't even notice it in the trajectory of your life. But if you did that every day, if you did those things every day, it will literally change the trajectory of your life. It's small decisions. It's, “Hey, I'm supposed to study for this exam I've got so I can get a promotion at work.”
[00:29:42] Now are you going to do better on that exam if you study for 20 hours or if you study for two? We all know that you're going to do better if you studied for 20 hours. We all know that you’ll get promoted. Where do those 20 hours come from? You know, you've got a month before the exam. You can't squeeze in a half an hour a day. You can't squeeze in an hour a day. You can't put in two hours on the weekend to make your life better. You can't make a decision to do what you know you're supposed to do. That's what I'm talking about. It's just small decisions.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:13] You must've seen hundreds of thousands of people, especially now not make those decisions. Why do you think they do that?
Jocko Willink: [00:30:19] Comfort, the easy path. The path to misery is a comfortable path. The path to enslavement is a comfortable path. It's a path where you can sleep in.
[00:30:36] It's a path where you don't have to do the work that you know you're supposed to do. It's a path where you can eat wherever, whatever you want. It's a path where you can waste your time. It's a path where you can waste your money. It's all those things. There's a very easy path. It's a very comfortable path and that path where it ends up is it ends up you're a slave. There's no freedom there. At the end of that path, there's no freedom. You're a slave to your health. You're a slave to your finances. You're a slave to everything you know you shouldn't be. You end up a slave to. You've got to fight against that and it is a fight. My kids would say something along the lines of, “Yeah, well you're not normal.” And I know I'm not 100% normal, but if you think that sometimes I don't want to lay in bed and sleep in the morning and not get up and crush myself, you're wrong.
[00:31:31] Of course I want to do that. If you think I don't want to get after a double glazed jelly donut from time to time. Oh yeah, I want to of course. And actually no, I don't think I'll ever eat a donut again in my life right now because I've talked so much smack about donuts. I think if anybody ever, that's one of the lines on Psychological Warfares I called donuts sugarcoated lies and I think I've talked so much smack about donuts right now. I think if every time, if I look at a doughnut and I think there's some guy about 400 meters away with a telephoto lens and that thing's going on the worldwide web. Me getting the jelly donuts stuffed into my mouth. Yeah. So I don't think I'll ever eat a donut again.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:11] Yeah you can't. You've got to do it in a dark room where you know there's no footage being taken.
Jocko Willink: [00:32:16] Exactly.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:16] Yeah. That's your kryptonite then. I'll take the brand down, 10 notches man.
Jocko Willink: [00:32:21] [inaudible] post pictures of donuts because it's really sickening if you think about it. In the corporate world, and again, I work with companies all the time, you go into their break room, they have donuts in there. It's almost a hundred percent of the nation. You go into the break room or the little kitchenette room, there's donuts and free donuts too by the way.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:40] Sure. It's for free. They just give them away. Yeah, you should eat it.
Jocko Willink: [00:32:45] You're actually, from your parents' perspective, you're kind of a loser if you don't eat the free food and you get that free food. And we're wondering and we walk around I hear these people saying, “What's wrong with America? Why is everyone obese?” Does the word Krispy Kreme ring a bell? Dunkin’ Donuts? That's what you find in the break rooms. Put some beef jerky in there for crying out loud. Beef jerky -- it'll be a skinnier workplace, but it'll be a smellier workplace. If you share at that.
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Jason DeFillippo: [00:34:25] Well, you know I got to. I'm looking out for number one because every time I see you, you still mind. So since it's your birthday, I thought it was a fine reason to hook you up with some travel packs.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:35] Yeah and I appreciate that. I appreciate you sending along something our sponsors sent you instead of me.
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Jason DeFillippo: [00:35:31] Hey, thanks for listening. And just a reminder, you can find the links to all of our amazing sponsors at JordanHarbinger.com/advertisers. You can get all of the links and deals that keep us on the air and we appreciate your support. Now back to the show.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:35:47] I saw someone tweet at you this a long time ago. I take notes on all kinds of weird stuff, but somebody asked you how you stay focused when the stakes aren't as high now as they were in combat. Because I think his point was, his or her point was, well if I was in combat then I train harder, I'd be more disciplined. But you know I'm not. So of course you can do it, but I've never been to war. Is it that we got to take ourselves out of comfort? Is that the answer?
Jocko Willink: [00:36:14] Well yes, you would need to take yourself out of comfort. But what kind of stakes do you think you're dealing with? I'll tell you, it's all right now. Because you know what, this is the only life you're going to. This is the only opportunity you're going to have. You only get one shot. As cliche as that is, you're going to die and it's coming quick. So if you don't think that the stakes are high, right now, you're wrong. You're completely wrong. Go get one of those clocks that counts backwards to how many days you have to until you die. Go get one of those. You'll see that the stakes are actually high -- every single day -- every single day that you wake up and you've got an opportunity to do something and you squander it because you're lazy. It's just wrong. Wrong. So yeah, the stakes are absolutely high. Even for someone that's sitting in a cubicle somewhere trying to do something with their life, their stakes are high. It's their life. Their life is on the line. Your life is on the line every day when you wake up, what are you going to do with it?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:14] Yeah. I think he was just thinking, “Well, I'm not going to get shot”, but if you're dying at some point anyway, it doesn't really matter how you go. If you're not focused at that time, then you never will be. You wrote in the book -- Do not accept your weaknesses. Fight every day to change them. -- I like that. But of course, well I like our systems as well. Do you think, “Oh, I'm not that good at this and I should focus on that.” Or do you just go by what you feel in the moment that you need to work on.
Jocko Willink: [00:37:38] The closest thing I could have to that is I personally know when I don't like something. I know it. And when I know that and I feel myself avoiding it, I go at it because that to me is a real weak way to go through life. Everything that you don't like, you don't do. That's a real bad. It's in jujitsu. Like you're out on the jujitsu mat. There's some guys that are going to give you some trouble and there's two things you can do. You can say, “Hey man, I'm out. I'll see you later.” Or, “Hey, I got a bruised rib, or I got a torn pinky hangnail. I'm going to go home.” Or you can say, “Oh, you know what? Let's roll. Let's roll and if you beat me, good. I'm glad. Because that's what I'm here for.” I feel that with anything, you know, anything that I feel is I'm afraid of or I don't want to do, or I think is going to beat me down.
[00:38:39] I'm going to go get after that thing. And I definitely have a conscious thought about that. There's a workout in The Field Manual, it's heavy squats, 20 rep squats, take a 20 minute rest, another 20 squats, 20 minute rest, and it's three sets. It's absolutely savagely brutal. But that's one of those workouts where while I'm doing it, I'll be questioning if I even want to be strong or if I even value my health, you know, maybe it's not even worth it. I don't care if I die. It's not that big of a deal. Who cares if I get old? All those things. They'll all be going through my head and I'll hear all of them. And that makes me say to myself, “Okay, this is something that you absolutely should be doing because you don't like it at all.”
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:25] So you lean into pretty much everything that you hate. As long as you think it will make you better in some way. Obviously like sushi, you're not going to go eat a bunch of sushi.
Jocko Willink: [00:39:34] Yeah. And I actually don't eat, don't like sushi. So you actually had a good guess right there. Good job. And I don't lean into it. I'll go to sushi bars. I force myself to eat it. So no poke bowls. No poke bowls from the Hawaiian. I ate a lot of hamburgers growing up.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:48] Yeah. You grew up in New England?
Jocko Willink: [00:39:51] I grew up in New England. So we would have these boxes of hamburgers, frozen hamburger patties. And so for breakfast I'd have a hamburger patty on an English muffin. And for lunch I'd have a hamburger patty on bread. And then for dinner I'd have hamburger patty on a bun.
[00:40:08] So there you go. There's your three meals, three food groups. Different types of bread.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:14] In the book you, you wrote that,”When you feel stressed, you're weak, you need a rest. Don't rest in a moment.” And I love that because otherwise you don't know if it's your mind tricking you into getting a rest or if you actually need a rest. But if you tell yourself you can rest later, you probably won't need to. How do you know when you need to take a day off or when it's the liar instinct kicking in, telling you to take a break?
Jocko Willink: [00:40:41] You know. You know. You absolutely know, you know what you like. I know when I need to rest, I'm beat down. I'm beat down and I know I need a rest. It happens. And you know it. It is real easy to tell when I trained a lot of MMA fighters, it was very clear to see when they would be over-training because they would go from, you know, kind of crushing people in the gym and getting the better of everyone.
[00:41:02] And then all of a sudden one day they'd come in and they'd start getting beat down and then the next day they're just a disaster. And I'd say, “Hey, take two days off and go eat some steak because you're over-trained right now.” It's no big deal. It's no big deal. It's good to push that envelope to where your overtrained a little bit, but as soon as you see it, you put a stop to it. It's not as hard to tell when you're just making excuses. You know that your excuses are lies and you know when you actually need rest. You know what that feels like. And here's the only advice I'd give on that is -- Air on the side of getting after it. Don't air on the side of like, “Well, Jocko said, I know I need rest, so I'm going to go ahead.
[00:41:42] I think I need rest.” No, that's not what I'm saying. Don't take rest if you don't have to, but if you have to and you feel it, take a rest tomorrow. Don't take rest today because most of the time you don't actually need rest. Most of the time that human beings think they need rest, they don't need rest. Most of the time they're just being lazy. Most of the time I'm just being lazy. “Oh, I don't know if I'm going to go to jujitsu tonight because I, you know, I've got a long flight tomorrow.” Oh really? So you need to rest for a long flight? What does that, where are you from? What world does that work out in? Not my world. So go get on the mat, go Jackson Steel, whatever the case may be. Sleep on the plane indeed.
[00:42:22] Or you could actually work on the plane.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:23] Write a book. Write the next kid's book on the plane. Yeah, you wrote that it takes both logic and emotion to reach your max potential because both emotion and logic will reach their limitations. So what do you mean by that? Obviously we have to harness both of these things, but what do we mean by that? That each one of those will only take us so far, obviously. Right?
Jocko Willink: [00:42:42] You see, you see emotions play a role in any activity where someone needs to dig a little deeper, right? You watch somebody doing some kind of like the Olympics were just on, maybe the winter Olympics isn't a great example, unless maybe the cross country skiing or something like that where you have to dig extra deep. [00:42:58] [inaudible]
[00:43:01] You get to a certain point where your logic is saying, “Okay, you've had enough.” Well, that's when you needed to dig into your emotional side and be like, “No, I can get more.” And the same vice versa. If your emotion breaks and it's like, “You know what? This is stupid. I shouldn't be doing this.” You need to overcome that with logic. Hey, if you want to get where you're going, then you need to do what you're supposed to do.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:20] So do you have a conscious switch? Like, all right, I'm giving myself a bunch of excuses, talk myself into it.
Jocko Willink: [00:43:25] Whichever side is making is winning the rational argument to stop doing what I'm supposed to do. I just pay attention more to the one that's actually saying no, shut up and go.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:37] Shut up and go. Yeah, so you make the switch because you were talking about that super brutal workout and it sounds like, at some point it kind of threatens to break you emotionally. So you’re like, “No, I got to finish this. I started this. I know I can do it.” Not easy in the moment though, if that's what is needed, right?
Jocko Willink: [00:43:53] That's where the discipline comes in.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:55] The book actually discussed -- compromising is needed when you're working with other people. That hopefully goes without saying. I think people who don't compromise with others probably have a tough time at work and at home, but you mentioned never compromising when you're evaluating and working on yourself, how can we recognize in the moment if we're compromising with ourselves?
Jocko Willink: [00:44:14] Well, these are the same questions that you know. This is the similar question that we're talking about. How do you know when you're lying to yourself? How do you know when you're just making excuses? Be honest with yourself. You know, I talk to people all the time. I talk to people all the time and there's no one that says to me, “Yeah, I have no idea what I should do to become a better person.”
[00:44:37] There's no one that says to me, “I have no idea what I should do to improve my station in life.” No. You know. You know what you're supposed to do.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:46] A lot of people confuse motivation and discipline. Do you have a distinction here? Why is it important to even know the distinction?
Jocko Willink: [00:44:52] Well, because motivation is, “Hey, I'm feeling great, I'm super motivated. I'm going to go do this hard workout or I'm going to go knock out this project or I'm going to go do some chores that I have on my task list because I'm super motivated.” Right? That's super, I'm glad that you're motivated today. But guess what? Tomorrow you won't be motivated and then what do you do? Not do the workout, not do the tasks, not do the project because you weren't motivated. So motivation is good for about 15 minutes, but what you actually need is to have discipline, which is good permanently.
[00:45:26] As long as you maintain the discipline, it's always going to come through and do something, right? Do something. One of the hardest parts about getting to the gym is getting to the gym. One of the hardest parts about if you're going to write a book, one of the hardest parts about writing for an hour is the first two words. Once you open the thing and you've got the - your brain is engaged while the rest of it is easy. Just about anything that you can do, it's like taking off the space shuttle, taking off from planet Earth, it’s you've got to break the gravitational pull and you use most of your energy just trying to take off. The same thing with just about everything you're doing in life. The hard part is getting started, so go get started. At least give yourself that.
[00:46:11] At least make yourself go get started. If you go and you get to the gym and you do your first set of pull-ups and you decide, “Oh I guess, this is not for me.” Okay, go home. At least you did that. 95% of the time you're going to feel fine. You're going to do what you're supposed to do. Like there's been some times where I've been super sore and I thought it was just an excuse. So I go and I try and do a set of pull-ups or I try and do load the squad bar up and try and squat and I realized on my first set, “No, you're actually sore and you should not work out today.” And then I'll do something lighter, I'll ride a bike or I'll go for a jog or something easy. But yeah, there's days where I have to actually reassess my initial assessment.
[00:46:53] My excuse was not a lie. It was actually true and I need to listen before I get hurt.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:58] Yeah, you got to, if you're feeling things ripping, you got to go for the jog.
Jocko Willink: [00:47:01] Yeah. Try not to let things rip.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:03] Yes. Not good. In fact, on that note, let's wrap with this because you're famous enough to the point where you made a T-shirt that says “Good on it because when you're faced with difficulty, your response is good.” So people find that surprising. I think those people don't know you obviously, but when people hear that, they get surprised. But I want to differentiate that between how is that different from like a Mr. Smiley-positive-attitude-positive-thinking, which doesn't fix many problems. How was that different?
Jocko Willink: [00:47:34] Yeah, there's a big difference and that is the guy like you said, the guy that says, “Oh, this is, Hey, it's good, great.
[00:47:39] No problem. We're going to move forward. But they're not actually addressing the problem. I'm not saying that you ignore the problem. I'm not saying that when something bad happens, you pretend that it's not there. I'm actually saying the opposite. I'm actually saying when you have a problem or you have some issue that's come up that is negative, what you do is you say, “Good. Here's a chance to learn from that problem. Here's a chance to address that problem. Here's a chance to improve myself through some kind of trial. And that's exactly what I'm going to do.” So something comes up that's bad. Good, I'm going to go handle it. And that's a lot different than, “Hey, this bad thing happened. Good. I'm happy it happened and now I'm going to sit around and let it happen more.” No, I'm not going to sit around and let it happen more.
[00:48:23] I'm going address it, I'm going to attack it and I'm going to get it solved.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:26] So it's like a problem signaling and you say, “Good, now I can get this handled or figure out how to make sure this never happens again.”
Jocko Willink: [00:48:32] Yeah. And you will get benefit out of it. You will. When bad things happen, you do get benefit out of it. You absolutely do. You come across some challenge, some unexpected thing occurs and it tries to drag you down, that's going to make you stronger, that's going to make you smarter, that's going to make you better. So you should absolutely relish those opportunities that you have when things aren't going your way. Relish those opportunities and get after it.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:56] Last but not least, man, what's going on with the kid's book? You wrote one and now you're heading down that direction. It seems unusual, but I think it's great because people ask me for stuff for kids all the time.
Jocko Willink: [00:49:06] I mean the feedback that I've gotten from the first kid's book has been amazing. Everything from kids that have, you know, gained all kinds of confidence and now they can do pull ups and now they could do jujitsu and now they're getting an A in school, all the way to adults that, you know, I've got this one great letter that I actually read on my podcast and I don't read many letters like this, but this one I did and I'll tell you why. I got this letter that said, “Hey, I was, you know, 38 years old and I was drinking all the time and I was out of shape and I was doing bad at work and basically my life was not going well. He goes, and then I read your book and he said, and I started waking up and I started doing this and I started working out and I stopped drinking every night.
[00:49:47] And then I started eating healthier foods. Then I started paying attention at work and he goes through this whole thing and now X amount of time later, I'm in such a great position. And the book I read was Way of the Warrior Kid, which is a kid’s book, right? But the lessons that what's great about that book is that the lessons they're written so that an 8-year-old can understand them, and if an 8-year-old can understand them, then every adult that reads it, and believe me, adults tell me this all the time, it's a great book for anyone to read because the lessons from Uncle Jake in the book are so simple and so clear, and they make so much sense that it's hard to deny that it's a good way to go about living. And that book, I would say it did great, but it's doing great.
[00:50:33] It's crazy how that book is continuing to hold and sell. And I got another book, another kid's book coming out called Mark's Mission. You can preorder it right now, but more challenges. So the kid in the book, you know, he can't do any pull-ups, right? He doesn't know his times, tables. He doesn't know how to swim. And he's getting bullied at school and he's all bummed out. Last day of school goes home crying, and he remembers that his Uncle Jake is coming into town. His Uncle Jake was a SEAL and his Uncle Jake, when he finds out about all these problems that young Mark’s having, he says, “These aren't problems, we can get them solved.” Teach him how to exercise, teach him how to study, teach him how to fight, teach him how to swim. He goes back to school. All of these problems are solved. In the second book,
[00:51:17] The second book starts off with young Mark. It's the last day of school and young Mark in the principal's office and he's in the principal's office because he got in trouble for hocking a paper mache pumpkin at another kid's head. It hits the kid in head and bounces off the kid's head and hits the teacher in the head and she falls down. He gets kicked out of class, gets sent to the principal's office and he's getting sent home. And who comes to pick them up at school to take them home? Uncle Jake, who's back in town and he realizes that Mark lost his temper. And so guess what? You need to learn to control your emotions. So Uncle Jake has more lessons for Mark this summer. He learns about controlling his emotions, learns about hard work, learns about taking care of other people, the new character introduced in the second book as a kid named Nathan James.
[00:52:06] Nathan James, he's a different kind of bully. Nathan James is more of a psychological bully and he makes fun of people and he picks it their weaknesses, but he avoids physical confrontation. But it's equally devastating to some of the kids that are around including Mark. And Mark, he's confident that he can fight because he's stood up to the biggest bully in town, but he doesn't know how to deal with this psychological torment. And so they end up in summer camp together and Mark's not sure quite sure how to deal with this kid. And Uncle Jake teaches him a lot about interacting with other people, especially people that might be antagonistic and also judging people and what they've been through and what they're going through and what their lives are like before you decide that you're going to take a course of action against that person, you don't know anything about him.
[00:52:56] So what he ends up learning is he learns a little bit more about Nathan James's life. And Nathan James has a very hard life in comparison to Mark and he kind of realizes why he acts out it's because he has a bad life, has a rough life, and instead of making that rough life worse, Mark decides he's going to try and make that rough life better.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:15] And you'll find out how April 2018. Will link it up in the show notes. Yeah, we'll link it up in the show notes. Thank you very much man.
Jocko Willink: [00:53:23] Thanks for having me on.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:25] Jason, I don't know about you but whenever I feel like sleeping in a little bit or eating something I shouldn't eat, I kind of have a Jocko voice in the back of my head. Does that happen with you?
Jason DeFillippo: [00:53:32] It used to happen to me until I got dogs and then I got used to it because you know, sometimes they've got to pee, but now I'm taking what I listened to on this show and using it to really kind of get my ass up in the morning. And I love having most of my work done by the time you roll out of bed over there on the West coast, you know, so when you show up, I've got all my work done just like he mentions in the show -- I'm ready to rock by the time you get up.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:53:56] Well, I appreciate that about you. So whenever I feel like maybe I shouldn't get up early, I'll just remember you're up doing the work already so I can go back to bed.
Jason DeFillippo: [00:54:05 ]I got it handled.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:06] Yep. Great. Big thank you to Jocko. The book title is Discipline Equals Freedom: The Field Manual. We'll link to that in the show notes and if you enjoyed this, don't forget to thank Jocko on Twitter. That all be linked up in the show notes for this episode, which can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Also tweet me your number one takeaway here from Jocko. I'm @JordanHarbinger on Twitter. I'm also on Instagram, @JordanHarbinger. Oh, it's occurred to me that some of you are not subscribed, so if you are one of those people that is not subscribed to the show, go to Jordanharbinger.com/subscribe and find the myriad of ways which you can get these show delivered to your face every single time it's released.
[00:54:44] This episode was produced and edited by Jason DeFillippo. Show notes are by Robert Fogarty. Booking back office and last minute miracles by Jen Harbinger. And I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. Don't forget to rate and review the show in iTunes. We're brand new now. Going back to basics, wet behind the ears. So if you give us a rating and review, write us something nice. That would be much appreciated. But really we need you to share the show with those you love and even those you don't. We've got lots of more like this in the pipeline and we're excited with your support to bring it to you. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show so you can live what you listen and we'll see you next time.
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