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The Origins of Jocko Willink’s Discipline – Jocko Willink

were you very disciplined as a kid and
was there a set day or moment when you saw how important discipline was and
decided to do it well as a kid I think I was for the most part a kid I was not
some extremely disciplined kid I was I was pretty stubborn when it came to
certain things which may be some kind of an early immature form of discipline you
know just being hard-headed but I think as I got older I saw the first thing I
remember along these lines is seeing a lack of discipline around me I didn’t
identify it as people having discipline I saw like a lack of displays a weakness
I saw drugs I saw alcohol I saw laziness and I started to get after it a little
bit right a little bit a little tiny bit but there was no role models there was
no internet there was no guidance ID and I didn’t have the sense to to go to the
library and and find Bob off man’s book how to be held happy healthy and strong
like I didn’t know do you I know that sense to do that and so we did some
basic things you know what I mean some push-ups you know in the the push-up
workouts that I did when I was 13 years old or laughable laughable I mean I
think if I did you know a set of 50 pushups
I was corner you know boom I’m the man right no you are the man 13:50 in and we
did some silly little like kind of barbell dumbbells circuit training kind
of thing now I always like the military I recognize that as a some kind of a
train of discipline in there and I looked up to military veterans I
knew one Marine Corps drill instructor and if you know anything about Marine
Corps drill instructors so now we’re talking 85
8687 there wasn’t any Wars going on but you know when you’re a kid you’re just
like no he’s a Marine Corps drill instructor he fit the part he was like
just perfect Marine Corps bow drill instructor which most marine corps drill
instructors are pretty damn perfect it’s an incredibly incredibly honed job
that’s very well choreographed and very and very structured in it’s a it’s a
very fine real tight tight it’s a real tight
situation if you’re good Marine Corps drill and I knew one right when I was a
kid and I just like he was like a god right this guy is a Marine Corps czar in
and of course he had I think he had like a 68 Camaro
she had a muscle car so yeah it was just like just the man and so now so I got
that going on and then then then was the hardcore bands that I started listening
to and they seemed to have some kind of there was something there right I
recognized something there I recognized something with Black Flag I recognized
something with bang called slap shot yeah I recognized something with the
cro-mags and I saw there was something in there and and I I did I couldn’t I
can’t I didn’t know what it was but it was some kind of strength right some
kind of discipline was in there I I didn’t put it all together though and
there was no sort of unified way to go down this path it didn’t I didn’t find
that I don’t know if I found it if it what it looked like to me you know maybe
you could say that that path was the Boy Scouts right the Boy Scouts are a
disciplined group of individuals that learn how to hike in Ponton I mean so
was that it I don’t know maybe I didn’t identify that or I didn’t have the right
personality because I was kind of non conformist right a little bit you know a
little bit of a rebel so I didn’t put it all together in I had some little
flashes of like being hardcore were some of the things I did that would be like
you know kind of getting Africa some really minor way some some some
minimalistic level of discipline but it wasn’t until I started training in
earnest to join the Navy that I started to what we could recognize now as
getting after it a little bit you know it’s and again it’s nothing compared to
what people do now what definitely not what you know now we’re talking 1989 I
was running through marshes and being covered in mud and I was swimming in the
ocean and I was doing pull-ups and push-ups and dips and situps and again
it’s nothing compared to what I do now or even what everybody does now but I
was doing what I could with what I knew at the time and I didn’t really have any
idea of what I or really what people in general were capable of like I just
didn’t know I didn’t know I never would have thought a good pull-up workout is
five hundred to a thousand pull-ups I I wouldn’t have thought that you know for
me I need three sets and pull-ups and I was gone you know so I just I just
didn’t didn’t know and I guess I guess you could say I didn’t even have I
didn’t know to even explore those those outer limits of what I was capable of
you know which is a bummer now also you gotta remember I didn’t
even know another person that did pull-ups like there wasn’t like pull-up
bars around it wasn’t you know I’m out in the woods somewhere
in the woods in New England there’s no pull-ups people people aren’t like hey
how many folks can do I never heard that question and I didn’t know anybody that
swam in the open ocean I didn’t know anybody that did push-up workouts right
I don’t know I was just in the sticks and so when I joined the military I was
a blank slate really for all practical purposes and it was really easy they say
you do this this is what you do and you get advanced this is what you do to be
ready this is what you do and I realized very quickly that the
harder you worked that the more disciplined you were the easier your
life was the easier your job was easier day was the easier physical activities
would get and when I got to the teams and really going through buds when
you’re going through bulletins when I finally met guys that were going to buds
and we started doing 100 pull-ups and we started doing 150 pull so we started
doing 200 pull-ups to work out and then it was like oh wow you can do a lot of
stuff that was getting ready to go to buds and you go to buds and you know you
realize that you that people it’s not this this individual like spiritual
awakening like no you just realize hey you can do a lot of pull-ups people can
it’s not that big of a deal and everybody knows you can find that on the
you don’t need you go to buds to figure that out you can figure that out just
I’m telling you right now you know they’re mean and all you need is to have
that knowledge but I continue to realize that being disciplined all these things
waking up earlier and working hard and training hard and keeping your gear
squared away and studying the material that we were supposed to know I realized
that that work that discipline made life easier and it made us freer made me free
and the more time I spent in the teams the more this came embedded in my head
and not only as an individual that I realized this but I realized this very
quickly we’re not very quickly but as soon as I started moving in the
leadership positions I realized that the more disciplined a squad was or the more
disciplined double-teaming was the better that squatter that platoon was
going to be and that’s kind of where will the evolution mmm the evolution of
it process that I’m finally I don’t know if
it finally about it right now it’s starting to become clear where the whole
you know you’re gonna pay the price you know at some point you’re gonna pay
the price for your actions so if you’re gonna prep it like let’s say I’m gonna
get in shape right you committing to working out everyday that’s you paying a
certain price like this didn’t having the discipline to do it you’re gonna pay
the price we cannot really it’s not comfortable working out hard every day
it’s not comfortable you’re gonna pay a little price right there the next day or
the you know in regards to the results of that workout you’re not paying the
price you’re reaping kind of rewards right or you cannot pay the price early
with the workout and stuff you still got it that tab is still outstanding so when
you balance do yeah so when it comes results time there that’s that’s when
you’re gonna pay your little price there your body your health whatever at some
point you’re gonna have to pay a price okay now or pay later yeah man so pay
now pay now you get way more benefit because like no one remembers well we do
some of us do we I don’t remember and take pleasure in remembering the time I
skip that workout because I wasn’t feeling like doing it you know like that
doesn’t provide a sense of pleasure in my life to think back on those days you
know yeah not good and at the same time when I think of like the detriment of
doing the workout when I didn’t feel like it that doesn’t that’s not a bad
memory to me you know when I do think back of like and or think even now if
like the result of being in better shape than the you know the average person or
we’re going to do this with not gassing or whatever bringing in all the
groceries at one time let’s face it that’s something that is a sense of
pleasure that I have the freedom to be able to do that one I what I want you
know yeah you know what else is interesting about this and sometimes I
hear this and you did this a couple times tonight right people go well yeah
but your jock like as if I’m as if I’m not a normal
person but I’m not but yeah but I’m saying like
you know I just kind of went through like this story in in its paints a
pretty clear picture that I’m a pretty normal person yeah
right yeah it’s pretty normal but I made decisions along the way that maybe
weren’t normal and that maybe open the doors to being a little bit not normal
yeah but their choices that you can make so so I’ll have this with my kids too or
you know who else sometimes I’ll have them I would have friends will say that
would say you know well yeah you’re that’s you
you know like I’d say no to me if you want to win this fight for instance you
want to win this fight man you got it but you got to do this you got to get
after this you got any well you know it’s not that easy and in that’s me
that’s what you would do but you’re you’re you and that’s you know it’s
almost like yeah it’s unachievable yeah it doesn’t doesn’t apply to me and my
kids will say that to me you know my kids and I think it’s actually a pretty
big detriment that they think that I’m not that that oh I do it but but that’s
because I’m me and I’m you know it’s like I’m not true it’s not true and so
you know occasionally I have I hear people say that and I go man this isn’t
like I guess it’s kind of like what we were talking about the other day with
someone saying oh oh that’s a good picture you took what kind of camera did
you use well it’s kind of like that I’m like you know oh I wake up early it
doesn’t it’s not just because I’m just giddy that way yeah yeah or I work out a
lot odhh it’s because you’re super motivated right like that was gifted
yeah I just am born motivated right no actually I’m a person you know and I
grew up you know person yeah and so but it makes it very clear that these are
just choices you can make and you can after it totally true and I would say
that it does when I say one well any time I would say consciously and
meaningfully say well that’s you is if I would be talking about a way of
achieving like the same thing like you would do it this way I would try to do
it this way kind of thing if I was confident that I could get the results
you know whatever that is but what when did I say today about you’re sleeping
yeah you you can do the four hours or so more so than you can do the four hours
sleep and still function I meant you’re into the four hours five hours sleep
thing yeah which is cool but and I realize there are some genetic points in
there I believe right yeah I believe that there are some genetic points in
there I believe there are some genetic points and in everything right and I’ve
told you this I have one of my daughters who is most similar to me both
physically and mentally sleeps about the same as I do if not less yeah one of my
other daughters who is most physically and mentally well physically more like
my wife she sleeps a lot yeah and so there’s a and my wife sleeps more than I
do and so there is a genetic component to it I believe in I’ve read articles
and people send me a Twitter articles all the time oh you’re one of these you
know fast sleepers that 2% of the population all this stuff and I’m just
saying okay yeah that’s great but then people say oh well you just work out
every day cuz you’re super motivated or you just train jiu-jitsu all the time
because you’re just super motivated it’s like okay right yeah well you know what
great great great yeah yeah I think you’re absolutely correct and even with
the sleeping thing that is like because okay ultimately yeah you don’t have to
sleep as much as the next person sure that’s an advantage just because you
have more time that’s it it’s not like you know someone would would be like hey
other than that reason be like hey it’s cooler or it’s somehow more beneficial
for me to sleep five hours rather than my normal eight like so I mean that put
it this way someone wants to choose to sleep for hours just because you do
it that’s kind of weird yeah now that being said what’s awesome is there are a
bunch of people on on the interwebs a bunch of badass troopers that have I
retweet almost all these because people go hey you know I’m I lost 32 pounds
mm hey I lost 42 pounds hey I you know did my first squat today
with 300 pounds suits and there’s no difference in what they were doing
before and what they’re do now fundamentally in their in their jeans or
their or their physiology what they did is they decided to make these decisions
they decided that they were gonna go out they decided they were gonna step up
their game they’re gonna decide they’re gonna wake up early they decide they’re
gonna clean up their diet they decided they were gonna get after it and when
they do that all of a sudden boom results and you know what you fast
forward like six months and people go well you just do that because you’re
super motivated anything that we fell be thinking you don’t know I’m not I’m a
person you know and I choose to get after it you know I recommend you all
choose to get after it and I encourage stay in it you know what it’s not easy
it’s not easy there’s the nagging weakness that is
pulling you down you know you gotta shut that thing down

Reynold King

78 Replies to “The Origins of Jocko Willink’s Discipline – Jocko Willink”

  1. Everyone has to find their own individual limits but they can't do that without pushing themselves to/beyond them to see just what they are/aren't capable of, and that can't be done with discipline.

  2. Again everything is an exchange of energy. People want the pay out at the end. A trophy or a kid or a big wallet nice house cool vehicle. Who had to die for that reward. How is that repaid? Is being first the reward or is giving your energy vs. others taking it the lesson? See where I am leading? It is what I am grappling with and nobody else has solved it. Good vs. Evil. for me it is an internal battle. Kind of sure it is the same for everyone else. I want Good to win. All with words from the comment section of life. When I started this I had no idea where it would go. I simply knew I wouldn't let any one else destroy me and yeah. Being attacked for words is the weakest position any human being can attack from. I came here and learned. That is how energy works. Mining the high ground is something I never considered before but learned of it right here from Jason Gardner. It isn't about the words ever it is always about the exchange of energy. Then again Jesus was known as the word. Good vs. Evil all day every day. No I am not Jesus. This is what I grapple with. I am nobody but I have words. I have a brain. i hope Good wins.

  3. Glad he agreed genes play a factor, there is a rare one enabling normal healthy life on 4/5 hours. There might be a case for motivation too, but there's no real excuse for not applying discipline. Get some 👊🏻

  4. "New York City Hard-core: The way it is" 1988, cassette, opened my eyes and changed my life! And I have a 7" of Slapshot!
    "It's time to wise up, you must wise up, time for you to wise up!" The next motivating exercise is 8-count body builders…

  5. This morning I got 54 pull-ups and and 132 pushups. So I was feeling pretty good about myself until Jaco said “500-1000 pull-ups is a good workout” 🙂

  6. A great analogy for the pay now or pay later, is debt. Financial debt. If you pay up front, it’s like investing your money which pays dividends. If you borrow with the idea to pay later, you are going to be paying interest.

  7. It makes me sad when people wait for some sort of motivation to do anything. DISCIPLINE beats MOTIVATION every time.

  8. I have a question, a team member of mine is keep wanting a day off and always rebel the shift schedule, what action should I take to prevent him to doing it. He always show up with medical leave, having day off every month, or skip work. How and what should I do

  9. You should make an app where you have customised ringtones. We want to wake up to you commanding us to at 4 am

  10. Awesome, pay the price. The tab exists whether you see it or not. But the payment can be made on your terms or someone/something else's. So what's the better situation to be in, ownership not victim hood. When ownership is attained, then the debt becomes an asset.

  11. Love the podcast, but as an audio technician the breathing on the mic pops is killing me. Get these curved pop filters, lop profile but still will make a big difference without being too intrusive

  12. Absolutely love this excerpt, Jocko points to the fact, regardless your genetics, and yes genetics are real, yes, they play a role, it's about making the choice to get after it. Maybe you didn't score super high on an IQ test, okay, deal with it, play more chess, learn to get better. We should all reach our potentials, don't let ideas about genetics (i'm too weak, i'm too strong, i'm already smart) weigh you down. you are the progenitor of your own life experience, YOU make the life you have. Get after it. now bitch weights Jocko and Echo would laugh at, but still GOOD WORK.
    Rise above your own worst self…. (whisky edit complete, keep going)


  14. Jocko will wash my clothes? No hahaha humans today. I've been through one hell of a journey because of you humans and life in general. I think you hard working people is so underrated more than ever.. Good leadership my kids.. Why did my reality ever show a veteran being dissed by a person like myself??

  15. I'm sorry I didn't put the military and terrorist in order. I learned alot through gaming that's why I'm not choosing your paths! #CounterStrikeGlobal-Offensive! #quantomphysics #letsbetheonedestroyingthestar I think the sun tells us what feelings really is!

  16. Not my fault your dreams were born perfect. Its time the kids lead kids. They only dream about something better.. Their imagination.. The time they have to imagine to make it better! We lead them through our knowledge!

  17. I'd like to hear Jocko's thoughts on whether he thinks "getting after it" can have a subjective meaning to different people. Obviously to Jocko, "getting after it" means being in the top .0001% of all people in terms of fitness.

    But as much as I'd like to do hundreds of pull-ups or push-ups, I've come to a place in my life where I'd honestly be satisfied with just getting back in "solid shape", rather than "world class operator" shape. I'm muscular but slightly over my natural weight and could probably stand to lose 15 to 20lbs. I'm on the back side of 30, and I had bilateral hernia surgery a couple years back. I think my repair is holding, but with a surgery that has a 50% recurrence rate, I'd rather not tempt fate by doing super strenuous workouts. I can feel pressure/discomfort at the surgery site when I work out too hard.

    I guess my point is that not everyone is Jocko Willink. Wondering if he'd brush my comment off as "making excuses" or if he'd be willing to concede a bit that "getting after it" looks different for different people. For me, "getting after it" probably looks like eating healthier, going on a run a couple days a week, and throwing in a few push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, dips, or other bodyweight exercises on my off days.

  18. Thanks for all of the content, fellas! I've learned a ton by listening. Does anyone know how to contact the podcast with a question?

  19. Oh, yes, i do pay now. I pay now in form of suffering and depression the price of wasting time. Life is paying me off right now for all the sins i've done. Sins of not being disciplined, not having a job, porn and alcohol addiction, wasting time on the internet and video games, not having a girlfriend ever, having a poor relationship with my parents, procrastination and i could go on. The only one good thing that i've been doing is working out. Now is the harvest time for me. I dont reap the joy of life like i should at my age, but only suffering and anxiety. Life is giving me what i deserve.

  20. 10 pull-ups a day is discipline. 1000 pull-ups is a discipline. The former is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for the latter. Something else is going on there (pleasure, addiction, etc.).

  21. I want to be hard-core disciplined. But I slack off, because I feel exhausted sometimes and then I lose discipline again. Also the switch in my mind from office to sport, which I often regard as another thing I have to do, is often hard for me so I avoid it 🙁

  22. The getting up early example is so true.
    The last 20 years or so I couldn't get up earlier then 7 o'clock – I thought. Change my job. Now, if I get up at 4:30, I'm late for work. I still need to ensure that I do get my 6 hours of sleep, but this is already 2 to 3 hours less then "normal". This tells me: We can to a degree change.
    The only thing I do not get is: Why the heck am I unable to apply this to other areas of my life. :/

  23. Theres always suffering involved in life, we cant choose not to suffer.. however im starting to realize, when i make gains by going to the gym, take jujiisu and judo classes, read, paint, and doing what im supposed to do, its a much better suffering than just lying around playing video games and then becoming depressed… in fact when im being active, after a certain point it almost stops seeming like suffering and turns into a sort of happiness, where as being lazy has done nothing but made me feel worse about everything

  24. How's about Keanu Reeves on the podcast fellas? He's not a war hero, but he is John Wick! And he does have a serious work ethic…

  25. Never had a male role model in 26 years of life then I found these guys and the podcast. It helped change my life. I’m not afraid to say I was hungry for someone to look up to. I was always a shit head kid, no respect for male authorities and it lead me down a shitty path. Just wanted to say I appreciate what y’all do. I look to Jocko and Charles for just a few hours of guidance and it helps if you’re willing to let it help you.
    “Get after it”

  26. "On a mission, I might be so frustrated with someone that I might want to kick him in the face. Is that beneficial to complete the mission? No Instr. H. That's right because [he] will break you. BC."

  27. Lots of truth here. I used to be 110lb overweight, thinking "its hard to lose it, how could I do it?". One day I just decided to do it, made it my goal to do it. A year and a half later I went form wearing XXXL to M size shirts. Not because of something special, but because I made the choice to do it, made the choice to have better health. Once you do that, like really do it, things change.

  28. I found out Jocko listened to Swans around '87. The mental picture of him doing curls to the song Stay Here makes me smile.

  29. Jocko is a beast in every way a person could possibly be beastly. From physical to mental, he seems like a superior type of human. So far above the average dude as to almost be from a different species.

    Love listening to this stuff and trying to apply it to my own life, keep it coming!

  30. Jocko is an absolute beast! Love this guy. Truly an inspiring individual and an outstanding representation of a true US vet🔥

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