This post – Jocko Willink Top Ideas – is inspired by Tim Ferriss’ book Tools of Titans.
Jocko Willink Quotes
One of my favorite guests on The Tim Ferriss’ Show is Jocko Willink. Ex-Navy SEAL commander, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and one of the most intense motherf#%kers on the planet. I included all of the best lessons from him into one single giant idea that is Jocko Willink.
- Discipline Equals Freedom (Click to Tweet) – With enough discipline, you can be sure that you will get what your heart desires and through the process be free. Financial freedom, freedom from disease, freedom from afflictive thoughts, freedom of time, what you do on a daily basis etc. Positive constraints will actually increase perceived free will and results. You might think that you would be happier if you had a ton of options to choose from but this is an illusion that causes the paradox of choice (e.g. What should I do now?) and will drain your willpower (e.g. What should I have for breakfast?). On the flip side, pre-scheduled workouts or reading breaks will give you a greater sense of agency and feeling of freedom, allowing you to execute your day more effectively.
- “Two is One and One is None” – this is a common expression among SEALs. It just means, ‘Have a backup.’ If you have two of something, you still have one when you break or lose it, if you have one, you will break or lose it and be screwed.
- Expose Yourself to Darkness to See the Light – To truly experience the light and the bright, you have to see the darkness. If you shielded yourself from the darkness, you’ll not appreciate and fully understand the beauty of life.
- If You Want to Be Tougher, Be Tougher. Don’t meditate on it. You can already be tougher with your next decision. Have trouble saying no to dessert? Be tougher. Feel an irresistible urge to give in to temptation, whether that be drugs, your bad habits or whatever? Be tougher than your desire. Feeling winded? Be tougher and take the stairs anyway. It doesn’t matter how small or big you smart. If you want to be tougher, be tougher.
- Take Extreme Ownership of Your World – While Jocko was employed as a SEAL commander, the SEAL commodore would hold meetings to assess the needs and problems of the troops. He would walk around the room and ask for feedback. He’d ask one of the leaders, ‘What do you need? And the leader would say, ‘Well, the boots that we have are okay in the hot weather, but we’re getting ready to be in a cooler environment. We need new boots. Okay, got it. Then he’d ask others the same question, receiving similar answers. Then, the Commodore would say: ‘Jocko, what do you need?’ He would reply, ‘We’re good, sir.’ If I have problems, I’m going to take care of them and I’m not going to complain. He took extreme ownership over his world. The way that worked was twofold. When he did need something, it was something significant, it was something real. And when he told the Commodore, ‘Hey, boss, we need this right here, right now,’ he would get it almost instantly because he knew that he really, truly needed it.
- A Good Reason to Be an Early Riser – Jocko gets up at 4:45 AM to have that psychological win over the enemy. When he wakes up in the morning, he thinks to himself: What can I do to be ready for the moment, which is coming?
- On the Importance of Detachment – Detaching yourself from the situation, so you can see what’s happening, is absolutely critical, as to keep making right decisions.
Jocko Willink Good
How to deal with setbacks, failures, delays, defeat or other disasters? There is one word to deal with all those situations, and that is: “good.”
When things are going bad, there’s going to be some good that will come from it.
- Oh, mission got canceled? Good. We can focus on another one.
- Didn’t get the new high-speed gear we wanted? Good. We can keep it simple.
- Didn’t get promoted? Good. More time to get better.
- Didn’t get the job you wanted? Good. Go out, gain more experience, and build a better résumé.
- Got injured? Good. Needed a break from training.
- Got beat? Good. We learned.
- Unexpected problems? Good. We have the opportunity to figure out a solution.
A positive attitude will not solve problems but neither will dwelling on the problem. Accept reality, but focus on the solution.
Take that issue, take that setback and turn it into something good. Go forward.
If you can say the word “good”, 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.
And that, right there, is as good as it gets.
Jocko Willink Top Ideas
These are all of the top ideas of Jocko Willink from the book Tools of Titans.
Make sure to check out my other reviews from this massive tome of knowledge and high performance.
- Top 7 Ideas From Tools of Titans
- Mobility and Strength Lessons From Tools of Titans
- Intermittent Fasting and Nutritional Ketosis Tools of Titans
- The Gist of Tools of Titans
- Jocko Willink Top Ideas Video
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Stay Disciplined, Stay Empowered!