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Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual Hardcover – October 17, 2017
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About the Author
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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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.
I realize that mentality comes before action whatever we’re doing, but my figurative ears perked up once Jocko got onto specific tactics and strategies. He IS a fan of rest, recovery, and not overtraining, but that doesn’t show up until you read the second half of the book. I think the book as a whole might have been more valuable with the concrete training, eating, and living advice up front, with the mental exhortations to follow. You’d know more about what exactly you’re kicking ass to achieve!
That aside, I think this book is a great intro to working out, martial arts (it’s gotten me fired up to try some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!), and paleo eating. Definitely a worthwhile quick read.