Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual – FIND YOUR WILL, FIND YOUR DISCIPLINE–AND YOU WILL FIND YOUR FREEDOM
Jocko Willink’s methods for success were born in the SEAL Teams, where he spent most of his adult life, enlisting after high school and rising through the ranks to become the commander of the most highly decorated special operations unit of the war in Iraq.
In Discipline Equals Freedom, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Extreme Ownership describes how he lives that mantra: the mental and physical disciplines he imposes on himself in order to achieve freedom in all aspects of life. Many books offer advice on how to overcome obstacles and reach your goals—but that advice often misses the most critical ingredient: discipline. Without discipline, there will be no real progress.
Discipline Equals Freedom covers it all, including strategies and tactics for conquering weakness, procrastination, and fear, and specific physical training presented in workouts for beginner, intermediate, and advanced athletes, and even the best sleep habits and food intake recommended to optimize performance.
Within these pages discover the keys to becoming stronger, smarter, faster, and healthier. There is only one way to achieve true freedom: The Way of Discipline. Read this book and find The Way.
Discipline Equals Freedom. A man’s entire philosophy boiled down to 3 words. This is what is most incredible about this book. The depth paired with the brevity. At 190 pages it isn’t meant to waste your time and that’s why I like Jocko’s writing. It has an intent and it cuts out all of the clutter. He stays disciplined even within his writing. The book is broken into 2 parts: Thoughts and Actions. Part I (Thoughts) discusses his philosophy and Part II (Actions) discusses physical conditioning (diet, stretching, etc.). There is also a bonus appendix with very, very detailed workouts for different levels of physical condition (i.e. beginner to advanced).
What most impressed me about this book was Jocko’s ability to discuss a topic in detail and then summarize it succinctly in one line. This is his gift and he uses it in almost every chapter. Glory in solitude. Laughter wins. Curse the warmth of the bed. All of these ideas, and others, are included in Part I (Thoughts) of this field manual.
While originally reading Part I (Thoughts), I thought it was somewhat unorganized. Why is he talking about Regret then talking about Focus? However, as I kept reading I realized that Jocko was just attacking the same problem from many different angles. It was as if Jocko were rotating around his core truth (Discipline Equals Freedom) and explaining it using different perspectives. For example, how do you view Discipline Equals Freedom through the lens of stress? Through regret? Through negativity? Through positivity? It is harder to follow the structure initially, but I believe this makes the work more accessible to a wider audience. For example, I found that some chapters spoke to me more than others, and I am guessing you will feel the same way.
In Part II (Actions) Jocko summarizes what actions you can take to start moving in the right direction physically. I completely agree that thinking is nowhere near enough to actually make changes in your life. You have to act, and this part discusses the practical side of acting. For example, how to wake up early, how to eat, how to work out while traveling, etc. I recommend spending as much time, if not more, on acting (Part II) as you did on thinking (Part I). While the thinking will get you engaged, the acting will keep you engaged, and this is the key to staying disciplined.
In conclusion, this isn’t a typical motivational book. When reading it you can tell that the author means business. He lives this lifestyle. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. His Instagram account illustrates this better than anything. 2 daily photos. One at around 4:30 AM to show he is awake and acting, and one after his daily workout. Simple, but to the point. He lives it and I hope you can take some inspiration from this book to live closer to your truth. With that being said, I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the book:
“We are defeated one tiny, seemingly insignificant surrender at a time that chips away at who we should really be. It isn’t that you wake up one day and decide that’s it: I am going to be weak. No. It is a slow incremental process. It chips away at our will-it chips away at our discipline.”
I hope you enjoy Discipline Equals Freedom as much as I did.
JOCKO WILLINK was a Navy SEAL for 20 years, rising through the ranks to become the commander of Task Unit Bruiser―the most decorated Special Operations Unit of the Iraq War. After retiring, Jocko continued on the disciplined path of success, co-founding Echelon Front, a multi-million dollar leadership and management consulting company, writing the #1 New York Times bestseller Extreme Ownership, the children’s book Way of the Warrior Kid, and creating one of the top-ranking podcasts, JOCKO PODCAST.
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