6 Lessons On Living A Better Life From A Navy Seal

Discipline is the quickest path to freedom.

Photo by William Norman on Unsplash

I recently received a lot of emails asking how I’m able to maintain such a great work ethic when the entire world feels like it’s falling apart. The answer is discipline.

It’s a concept that Jocko Willink regularly talks about. Having led the most highly decorated US special operations unit of the Iraq War, it helped him maintain incredible amounts of resilience during moments of adversity. As he writes in his book:

“When the alarm goes off, do you get up out of bed, or do you lie there in comfort and fall back to sleep? If you have the discipline to get out of bed, you win — you pass the test. If you are mentally weak for that moment and you let that weakness keep you in bed, you fail. Though it seems small, that weakness translates to more significant decisions. But if you exercise discipline, that too translates to more substantial elements of your life.”

Over the past few months, I’ve started applying Jocko’s advice to every aspect of my life. And as a result, my relationships, work ethic, and many other things have massively improved.

So if you want to begin the process of becoming your best self, here are several things you can learn from Jocko Willink. Each of these insights changed my life for the better. I’m sure they will do the same for you, too.

Take Ownership Of Your Mistakes.

In his book, Extreme Ownership, Jocko writes about the importance of taking responsibility for your mistakes in every aspect of your life. He writes:

“Implementing extreme ownership requires checking your ego and operating with a high degree of humility. Admitting mistakes, taking ownership, and developing a plan to overcome challenges are integral to any successful team.”

I always make amends with people whenever I have an argument with someone. I try to repair the relationship, so it’s much stronger than ever before. Then, I make an effort to understand their perspective to prevent the same argument from happening again.

Admit when you’re wrong. Take responsibility for everything that happens, and then find a way to make things right. Once you implement this strategy, every aspect of your life and relationships will exponentially improve as a result.

Keep Things Simple.

Don’t make anything more complicated than it needs to be. Every single day, put one foot in front of the other. A little bit of progress is certainly better than none at all.

Beware Of Your Ego.

Your ego is your enemy. Don’t let it get to your head. Remain humble. Because once you learn how to control your thoughts, they will no longer be in control of you.

Once you understand this, it’ll become much easier to make friends with anyone and build strong relationships that will last a lifetime. After all, you’ll never let your ego get in the way of doing the right thing.

Have Faith In Yourself.

When Jocko was conducting operations in the Navy SEALs, he had to have a lot of faith in his team’s ability to succeed. Otherwise, a lack of confidence would have been extremely detrimental to the mission.

“We learned that leadership requires belief in the mission and unyielding perseverance to achieve victory, particularly when doubters question whether victory is even possible.”— Jocko Willink

If you have a difficult work project that you need to complete, believe that you’re genuinely capable of finishing it by the given deadline. Likewise, if you want to make new friends, make an effort to look confident while speaking to new people.

You get the idea. When you have an unwavering sense of faith in yourself, you’ll find it much easier to succeed in everything you do.

Prioritize Your Most Important Tasks.

Throughout his time in the Navy SEALs, Jocko prioritized and executed the most important tasks with extreme efficiency. As a result of implementing this strategy, his team achieved the desired objective within a short amount of time.

If you have a lot of things on your plate, figure out which tasks have the highest amount of importance and urgency. Do them first. Everything else can wait.

Discipline Equals Freedom.

This concept changed my life. When you impose mental and physical discipline on yourself, you can accomplish pretty much anything you desire. For example:

  • If you want to become incredibly fit, you need to exercise every day and avoid unhealthy foods that may sabotage your progress.
  • If you want to be financially free, you need to become disciplined by creating a budget and keeping track of your spending.
  • If you want to become a successful writer, you need to write every day to create a giant portfolio of work.

You can accomplish pretty much anything you desire. All you need is a little bit of discipline to maintain positive habits and make continual progress towards your goals. In the words of Jocko Willink:

“Don’t expect to be motivated every day to get out there and make things happen. You won’t be. Don’t count on motivation. Count on Discipline.”

Since I started becoming more disciplined, I’ve noticed that the trajectory of my writing career has massively improved. After all, I’m writing every day and doing everything possible to improve my craft.

Implement discipline in every aspect of your life. Make an effort to show up every day and put in the necessary work to achieve your goals. Within a short amount of time, your life will rapidly improve.

Final Thoughts.

Jocko Willink once said, “Question yourself every day. Ask yourself: Who am I? What have I learned? What have I created? What forward progress have I made? Who have I helped? What am I doing to improve myself — today? To get better, faster, stronger, healthier, smarter?”

My friend, you’re capable of achieving a lot more than you think. So if you want to become your best self, apply all of these lessons from Jocko Willink to your own life.

Take ownership of your mistakes. Have faith in your ability to succeed. And remember that discipline is the quickest path to freedom. So what are you waiting for?

Start now.

I write for people who want to live a happier life in the modern world. Let’s chat: Mattlillywhitemedium@gmail.com

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