Jocko Willink

“Discipline equals freedom.”

Jocko Willink is a retired navy seal, author, consultant, speaker, and black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. If you never thought someone could fire you up through the internet, you haven’t heard of Jocko…yet.

Jocko’s your mentor if…

  • You’re tired of looking for “motivation” — and want to find something that lasts
  • You want to become a better, more confident leader who people look up to
  • You want to become tougher, stronger, harder, and more resilient

Tim Ferriss called him the “scariest Navy Seal imaginable.” James Altucher said he was afraid of Jocko because he’s “seven times my size.” Make no mistake about it — Jocko is a specimen. A battle-tested warrior.

But he’s also a humble leader. From his Twitter bio:

Leader; follower. Reader; writer. Speaker; listener. Student; teacher.

His latest book, Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual, gives you everything you need to GET AFTER IT.

Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual Summary

Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual is Jocko’s blueprint for life. He lays out everything he believes and does to become the man’s he has become.

If you’re tired of being soft and you’re ready to change, Jocko’s your guy. Taking action on what he teaches will transform the way you think about yourself, and the way the world looks at you.

My notes and key takeaways on Jocko’s Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual below:

Part One: Thoughts

There are no shortcuts or hacks. Put in the work and you’ll get there.

Discipline is the root of all accomplishment.

Discipline: The root of all good qualities. The driver of daily execution. The core principle that overcomes laziness and lethargy and excuses. Discipline defeats the infinite excuses that say: Not today, not now, I need a rest, I will do it tomorrow.

Discipline comes from within.

Procrastination keeps you from starting. If you want to start something, don’t wait until next month or new years. Start NOW.


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Learn from both the strengths and weaknesses of the people you look up to.

Controlling your own mind is the most important form of “mind control.”

When you can control your mind, you can do the things you want to do.

People ask me, “How do I get tougher?”




“How can I wake up early in the morning?”




“How can I work out consistently every day?”




“How can I stop eating sugar?”




You can even control your emotions: “How can I stop missing that girl or guy or whoever broke up with me?”




You have control over your mind. You just have to assert it.

We all have weaknesses. Fight them, and turn them into your strengths.

When you’re facing stress, use relativity to combat it. Think about those who’ve faced far worse than you have. You can tolerate it.  Use it to make you better.

Destroyer Mode: When you think you’re done, push past it and do more. Don’t stop. Dig deeper.

Emotion and logic can both fail. When one fails, rely on the other and keep moving forward.

You can always be better, faster, smarter, and stronger. Don’t stop.

Discipline starts with waking up earlier.

Discipline can seem like your worst enemy. But in reality it is your best friend. It will take care of you like nothing else can.

Knowledge trumps all other weapons. Question everything, and you’ll gain knowledge.

When you’re in any type of fight, go all in, give it everything you’ve got and then some more, and you’ll win. Make this every day of your life.

Do not compromise with yourself. Hold to your principles no matter what. Hold the line.

There are areas within myself where I CANNOT compromise.


I am going to work hard. I am going to train hard.


I am going to improve myself.


I am not going to rest on my laurels.


I am going to own my mistakes and confront them.


I am going to face my demons.


I’m not going to give up, or give out, or give in.


I’m going to stand.


I am going to maintain my self-discipline.

Default aggressive, no matter what you do. Dictate what happens, or you’ll be dictated.

Aggression is an internal character trait. It’s the will to win. Default aggressive, and you’ll win by default.

Anyone from any background can succeed.  Successful people decide they’re going to be successful — it’s their choice.

Nature or nurture? Doesn’t matter. Make yourself.

Fear of failure is good. It keeps you scared of losing.

The Warpath: Moving towards your enemies, both external and internal. The Warpath is how you combat weakness. And it leads to your freedom — and peace.

Donuts, cake, soda, chips — these types of “food” aren’t food. They’re poison. They are literally killing you.


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Humans can go much longer than you think without food. Don’t give into cravings.

Fight that instinct that tells you to give up whenever it arises, and you can overcome anything.

If you feel like taking a break, put that break off until tomorrow.

I don’t like procrastination. But if you feel like you need a break—that is one thing you should procrastinate. Taking a break is the one thing I put off until tomorrow. And if—when tomorrow comes—you still feel like you need rest or you need a break—then go ahead: Take it. Chances are you won’t—you won’t need that rest.

Use regret as fuel to create a better now and tomorrow. Instead of dwelling on it, do.

Your long-term goal needs to help you retain focus. Do something every day to move you toward that goal.

Hesitation eventually becomes cowardice. Fight it by doing. Take the action.


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Strive to become the person that people look up to. Lead. Draw fire.

“Good”: When something is wrong or is going bad, say “Good.”

If you can say the word “good,” then guess what?


It means you’re still alive.


It means you’re still breathing.


And if you’re still breathing, that means you’ve still got some fight left in you.


So get up, dust off, reload, recalibrate, re-engage–and go out on the attack.

Honor those who have died by living for them.

Every day is a Monday.

You can’t rely on motivation to keep you focused on your goal because it comes and goes.

We can’t all be what we want, because we’re all limited by genetics. Strive to be the best that you can be.

But my glory, it doesn’t happen in front of a crowd. It doesn’t happen in a stadium or on a stage. There are no medals handed out. It happens in the darkness of the early morning.               In solitude.

Big moments don’t take us down — it’s all of the little moments that add up over time. Remain vigilant.

We sleep in a little later. We miss a workout, then another. We start to eat what we shouldn’t eat and drink what we shouldn’t drink. And, without realizing it—one day, you wake up and you have become something that you never would have allowed.

Life tests you by overwhelming you. When you’re being tested by life, hit it right back. Face those times with strength.

When dealing with negative people, ignore and outperform.

Life is tough — but it’s easier when you’re laughing at it. Smile in the face of suffering.

Part Two: Actions

Working out is the foundation: it makes you smarter, stronger, faster, and better. It’s non-negotiable.

You must stress the body so that you can improve.

Get up early. It will make your day better. Get up before the enemy.

‪While the world sleeps, go forth and CONQUER. ‬

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Discipline stacks — the more you get done, the more you want to get done. Getting up earlier helps you stack your discipline throughout your day.

You need sleep — but probably not as much as you think. To wake up earlier, go to sleep earlier.

Going to bed at 10 p.m. and waking up at 5 a.m. gets you a solid seven hours. Go to bed at 9:55 p.m. and you can get up at 4:55 a.m., still get your seven hours, and be up before the enemy. Try it. If you get up and get out of bed at 4:55, a vast majority of the world is still sleeping. You aren’t. You are up getting after it. The world is yours when you are up before the enemy.

Falling asleep is hard. It’s easier when you’re tired by doing, getting off your phone an hour before bed, and reading in bed. Be consistent with your sleeping.

Power naps are real. Try elevating your feet for power naps, and use them for when you need an energy boost.

When it comes to working out: do something. Anything. Track it. Focus on these movements: Pull, Push, Lift, Squat.

You can build a home gym with everything you need with: pull-up bar, gymnastic rings, squat rack, barbell, plates.

‪Aftermath. It won't be delivered. You have to go GET IT. ‬

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Everyone should train in martial arts. Start with Brazilian jiu-jitsu, then boxing, then wrestling, then Muay Thai. There’s your base.

If you want to avoid threats, then train hard.

Train hard. Train for worst-case scenarios. Train for things to go wrong by putting yourself in horrible training situations and finding your way out of them.

Danger can happen anytime, anywhere, so be aware of your surroundings.

Stop eating sugar. Build a diet that consists of beef, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, vegetables, fungi, roots, some dairy, and limited fruit. Don’t eat grains, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, processed oils (margarine), legumes.

Don’t follow the 80/20 rule. Follow the 100% rule—that might turn into the 99% rule and that is okay. But the 80/20 rule isn’t a rule. It’s a step down the slippery slope.

You don’t have to eat. Start doing fasts. They’re good for you. Don’t listen to your caveman instincts that are always telling you that you need to eat.

You’re going to get sick and get injured. Focus on what you can do.

Some injuries prevent you from doing the physical things you like to do. Good. Do what you can, work on some skills that you can do. Pick up a guitar. Write a book. Draw. Paint. Compose a song. Blog. Create. Learn. Do something.

Don’t just read this book (or this summary) — take action. 

Jocko Approved:

Comments 1

  1. Post

    I’m dead serious — if you follow Jocko on Twitter and Instagram, you’ll wake up earlier, get more done, and work out twice as hard. His leadership extends through social media, which is something I’ve never seen before.

    His podcast, Jocko Podcast, is also required listening.

    What have you learned from Jocko?

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