Discipline Practices of a Navy SEAL Commander

“The best way to mitigate risk on the battlefield is to be aggressive. Do not be reactive.”

Jocko Willink
Former Navy SEAL Commander, Jocko Willink.

Another great Tim Ferriss Show with veteran Navy Seal, Jocko Willink. A remarkable man for so many reasons – legendary SEAL Commander, author, Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert to name a few –¬†what has stood out to me from each of his appearances on this show is what he described in his first show as “Freedom through discipline.” I love the way he describes discipline as a way of building “leadership capital,” essentially the respect and reputation necessary to build trust (in military terms) up the chain of command.


Extreme Ownership BookHe makes a point about how too often we rely on motivation rather than discipline, which is a futile effort from the jump. This 100% resonates with me as too often I find my own motivation to take on a new challenge, create something, and simply put myself and my perspective out there more fluctuates and emotionally paralyzes me. On the other hand, those periods when I’m reliant on a specific routine I’ve established, I can take motivation out of the equation altogether and (to again borrow his words) “get after it!”


Of course, I guess I need to take it as a sign that I listened to him this morning after hitting snooze six times and missing the gym. Need some inspiration to work harder, stay disciplined, plow through whatever challenge you’re facing? Look no further than Jocko.


Check out his Tim Ferriss Show appearances here, his own podcast here, or his book, Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALS Lead & Win, here.

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