Jocko Willink is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL who has inspired me to wake up early, which has been a game changer for my life. Jocko posts a photo of his watch on Twitter every morning when he wakes up at 4:30 a.m. I am not getting up that early, but I'm now waking up at 6 a.m. most mornings, including weekends, which has amped up my daily productivity significantly. Jocko's Discipline Equals Freedom is the book that motivated this change for me, along with the 2 videos below. I'll share 8 great things about Jocko and this book below.
1. Navy SEALs are tough, obviously. I'm probably the opposite of a Navy SEAL. I wouldn't have made the cut. However, somehow Jocko's intensity has encouraged me greatly. Jocko believes that waking up early and exercising is the transformational habit for your day. I believe him. I've been what you call a "night owl" for most of my life. I'm now waking up early consistently. Apparently a Navy SEAL can still motivate me here in my 40s. :) Below is a terrific interview Jocko did with Success Magazine where he discusses the book Discipline Equals Freedom and the importance of waking up early. Watch this only if you dare. It might change you...
2. Jocko believes in the word GOOD, even when things do not seem good on the surface. I'm sure this is some sort of Navy SEAL training Jedi-mind trick, but it works. It's taking life head on and all that it brings you. And some good can be found in whatever it brings you. The Stoic philosophers approached life this way as well. They encourage us to embrace whatever life brings our way. "Embrace it all." Check out Jocko's GOOD Tube video with 1.6 million views below.
3. Discipline Equals Freedom is split into three parts: 1. Thoughts, 2. Actions and 3. Workouts. Jocko appropriately spends the first part of the book focusing on how important our thoughts are. We need to achieve discipline in our thoughts before we can hope to achieve discipline in our actions. This reminds me of Jim Collin's quote from his epic book, Good to Great, where he advocates for: "Disciplined People with Disciplined Thoughts taking Disciplined Action." Discipline your mind before you attempt to discipline your life.
4. Jocko advocates that we all exercise daily. It doesn't have to be lifting weights daily, but some activity every day and ideally first thing in the morning to get your blood pumping. It could be a walk. It could be a run. He does advocate for some strength training in the book, which I agree with. Jocko does have a number of daily exercise regimens detailed in this book that range from Beginner to Advanced. Most of these exercises can actually be done at home and don't require a gym.
5. Jocko writes about his passion for the martial art Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in this book. I have never done a martial art, but his advocacy for learning how to defend yourself by knowing a martial art is compelling. I am now motivated to find a self defense class that my whole family can take together.
6. I first learned about Jocko thanks to a terrific podcast interview Tim Ferriss had with Jocko about his first book, Extreme Ownership: How Navy SEALS Lead and Win. (I hope to write a review of this great book soon on this blog. Stay tuned.) This podcast interview from 2015 was actually Jocko's first public interview ever. It is terrific. Check it out here: https://tim.blog/2015/09/25/jocko-willink/
7. Jocko has written two books for kids titled The Way of the Warrior Kid, which I haven't read but several of my friends have and report that they are terrific.
8. Jocko has a new book coming out this fall titled The Dichotomy of Leadership: Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership to Lead and Win, which I'm very much looking forward to reading!
9. Jocko served our country for 20 years as a U.S. Navy SEAL. He is a veteran and a hero. I thank him for his service to our country and thank him for his new mission of service to motivate and train civilians like me.
10. Read at terrific Success Magazine article about Jocko titled "The Jocko Willink Way" here: https://www.success.com/article/the-jocko-willink-way
I hope this article has inspired you to wake up early and exercise daily. If you need more inspiration, check out Jocko's book Discipline Equals Freedom. Are there any other Jocko fans out there? Has he changed your life in any way?
p.s. I plan to blog about Work-Life Happiness weekly in 2018. I'd be honored if you'd subscribe to my blog's emails on my website at: www.mikepritchard.com/subscribe.html