The Power of Discipline

13 bite-sized lessons to crush your week

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Now, onto Issue 49.

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The Power of Discipline

Jocko Willink is the best-selling author of Extreme Ownership.

He’s the host of the Jocko Podcast, a top-5 business podcast.

He’s the entrepreneur behind Jocko Fuel, Origin apparel and other businesses.

He works with some of the top companies in America through his leadership consulting company, Echelon Front.

And he’s a retired Navy SEAL commander, most notably leading Task Unit Bruiser in the Battle of Ramadi.

If there’s one thing Jocko is best known for, however, it’s discipline.

In his book Discipline Equals Freedom, Jocko details the power of discipline.

  • It overcomes procrastination

  • It beats motivation any day

  • It’s the bedrock upon which success is built

This newsletter is dedicated to studying world-class people and unpacking the process that has made them successful.

Today, I want to share 13 bite-sized lessons from Discipline Equals Freedom, then tie them together with an important point at the end.

1. The Way of Discipline

Discipline is the root of all good qualities.

The driver of daily execution.

The principle that overcomes laziness and lethargy.

There’s only one way to become stronger, faster, smarter, healthier, better.


2. Nature vs. Nurture

Every type of person has been successful.

It’s not about nature or nurture.

It’s about choice.

Successful people decide they will be successful.

They make that choice.

3. Daily Questions

Every day, ask yourself:

  • what have I learned?

  • what have I created?

  • who have I helped?

  • what forward progress have I made?

  • what am I doing to improve myself?

  • is this what I want to be?

  • is this everything I can give?

Ask the hard questions and answer them truthfully.

4. Mind Control

You are the machine, and you control it.

  • How do I get tougher? Be tougher.

  • How do I wake up early? Wake up early.

  • How do I work out consistently? Work out consistently.

You have control over your mind.

5. Overcoming Procrastination

Disciple starts in this moment.

Want to improve? Want to workout more? Want to eat cleaner? Want to start a business? Want to write a book? Want to be a loving spouse?

Start right here and right now.

Initiate action.

6. The Decision of Discipline

Discipline comes from within.

It’s an internal force.

If you don’t think you are disciplined, it’s because you haven’t decided to be disciplined.


So make the decision.

7. Wake Up Early

People want to know the secret of getting up early.

It is simple:

Set your alarm clock and get out of bed when it goes off.

8. The Person You Can Control

People are not who you want them to be.

Even those put on pedestals have faults, weaknesses and failures.

Kill the idea of idols.

The only person you can control is you.

Make yourself the person you want to be.

9. Dealing with Stress

The first step is to gain perspective.

Detach and consider how it could be worse.

Then refocus on what you can control.

Don’t stress about what you can’t control.

If you can control the source or stress and you’re not, that’s a lack of discipline and ownership.

10. Until The End

You can’t relax until the mission is complete.

And the truth is, it’s never complete.

There’s always more you can do.

There’s always the next mission.

Stay ready, stay alert, stay relentless.

11. The Uphill Road

Discipline is taking the uphill road.

Doing the things you don’t want to (but you know will help you).

  • Training your body

  • Controlling your ego

  • Handling your emotions

Discipline can seem like your worst enemy, but it is your best friend.

12. Compromise

When working with others, a leader must compromise.

Find the common ground. Merge different approaches. Bridge personalities. Reach agreements.

These are external compromises.

But internally, it’s different.

With yourself, you must hold the line.

13. Not Feeling It

What do you do on the days you’re “not feeling it?”

You go through the motions.

Lift the weights. Write the piece. Work on the project.

You don’t have to be “feeling it” to do it.

If you need to rest, rest tomorrow.

Today, build the muscle of doing it when you’re not feeling it.


Those are 13 bite-sized lessons on discipline from Discipline Equals Freedom.

Here’s the final point I want to make:

These lessons can be seen as snippets of motivation.

And if that’s all they are, they are meaningless.

What’s most important is you use these as a catalyst to reflect on where you can become more disciplined in your life and then take action.

Three questions to consider:

  • Where is lack of discipline holding me back?

  • What do I need to do to change that?

  • What’s the first step I can take today?

Give those questions an honest assessment, and then go implement what you come up with.

Idea for the Week

If you lack confidence, remember:

Almost nobody is confident at the beginning.

True confidence is earned in the work.

I’d love to hear from you

What’s your biggest takeaway from this issue?

Reply to this email and let me know.

I personally read every email.

Thanks for reading.

See you next Sunday.

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