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I love Jacko Willink's perspective on Leadership. It is simple and very motivating. He has written a number of books and below are book notes from his Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual. Click HERE to find his book on Amazon. 

 

THE WAY OF DISCIPLINE

People look for the shortcut. The hack.

And if you came here looking for that:

You won’t find it.

The shortcut is a lie.

The hack doesn’t get you there.

And if you want to take the easy road, it won’t take you to where you want to be:

Stronger. Smarter. Faster. Healthier. Better. FREE.

To reach goals and overcome obstacles and become the best version of you possible will not happen by itself. It will not happen cutting corners, taking shortcuts, or looking for the easy way.

THERE IS NO EASY WAY.

There is only hard work, late nights, early mornings, practice, rehearsal, repetition, study, sweat, blood, toil, frustration, and discipline. DISCIPLINE.

THERE MUST BE DISCIPLINE.

Discipline: The root of all good qualities.

The driver of daily execution. The core principle that overcomes laziness and lethargy and excuses. Discipline defeats the infinite excuses that say: Not today, not now, I need a rest, I will do it tomorrow.

What’s the hack? How do you become stronger, smarter, faster, healthier? How do you become better? How do you achieve true freedom?

There is only one way.

THE WAY OF DISCIPLINE.

 

WHERE DOES DISCIPLINE COME FROM?

Where does discipline come from?

This is a simple answer.

Discipline comes from within.

Discipline is an internal force.

The only person you can control is you.

So focus on making yourself who you want you to be.

You have control over your mind. You just have to assert it.

You have to decide that you are going to be in control, that you are going to do what YOU want to do.

Weakness doesn’t get a vote.

Laziness doesn’t get a vote.

Sadness doesn’t get a vote.

Frustration doesn’t get a vote.

Your temper doesn’t get a vote.

So next time you are feeling weak or lazy or soft or emotional, tell those feelings they don’t get a vote.

Discipline is about facing your fears so you can conquer them.

Discipline means taking the hard road—the uphill road.

To do what is right.

For you and for others.

Discipline will not allow that. Discipline calls for strength and fortitude and WILL.

It won’t accept weakness. It won’t tolerate a breakdown in will.

Discipline can seem like your worst enemy.

But in reality it is your best friend.

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?

 

FEAR OF FAILURE IS GOOD

Fear of failure will keep you up at night, planning, rehearsing, going over contingencies.

Fear of failure will keep you training hard.

Fear of failure will stop you from cutting corners. working, thinking, striving, and relentlessly trying to be more prepared for battle.

So I want you to be afraid of failing. I fear failure.

 

NOT FEELING IT

How do I handle those days when I’m just not “feeling it”?

Those days when I am tired or worn out or just sick of the grind …

What do I do on those days?

I GO ANYWAY. I GET IT DONE.

Even if I am just going through the motions—

I GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS.

Don’t really want to work out? I work out.

Don’t really want to hammer on a project? I hammer on the project.

Don’t really want to get up and get out of bed?

I GET UP AND GET OUT OF BED.

Now—these could be signals that you need some time off—and those signals might be right.

BUT—don’t take today off. Wait until tomorrow. Don’t give in to the immediate gratification that is whispering in your ear.

SHUT THAT DOWN. DO NOT LISTEN.

Instead: Go through the motions. Lift the weights. Sprint the hill. Work on the project. GET OUT OF BED.

I don’t like procrastination. But if you feel like you need a break—that is one thing you should procrastinate.

Taking a break is the one thing I put off until tomorrow.

And if—when tomorrow comes—you still feel like you need rest or you need a break—then go ahead: Take it.

Chances are you won’t—you won’t need that rest.

Chances are you will realize that the desire to rest was just weakness—it was the desire to take the path of least resistance—the downhill path—the downward path.

And by going through the motions, you overcame that weakness.

And you stayed on the righteous path—the disciplined path—Step up. Be the one who people look to. Absorb the impact—and the negativity. Draw fire—yes: Draw fire.

That’s when a member of a platoon—for tactical reasons—steps into the open to draw enemy fire; maybe to give another part of the team a chance to move; maybe to distract the enemy; maybe to help the platoon locate the enemy.

But that’s what I say: Draw fire. Bring that pain to me—can handle it when others cannot.

When bad things are happening—I will be the one good thing—standing tall—that can be relied upon. I will bolster those around me. And the positive attitude will spread. And we will fight. And in fighting, we will win when things are going bad, there’s going to be some good that will come from it.

That’s it. When things are going bad: Don’t get all bummed out, don’t get startled, don’t get frustrated. No. Just look at the issue and say:

“Good.”

 Accept reality, but focus on the solution. Take that issue, take that setback, take that problem, and turn it into something good. Go forward. And, if you are part of a team, that attitude will spread throughout.

 

STAYING MOTIVATED

Don’t worry about motivation.

Motivation is fickle. It comes and goes.

It is unreliable and when you are counting on motivation to get your goals accomplished—you will likely fall short.

So.

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.

You know what you have to do.

So:

MAKE YOURSELF DO IT.

You do that with Discipline.

 

NEGATIVE TALK FROM NEGATIVE PEOPLE

The old classic. What do you do about the negative person talking behind your back and trying to bring you down?

Sure you can confront them and join them in their little game.

You can give them the satisfaction of knowing that they got in your head.

You can turn your life into a grade school gossip hall.

Of course, there are times, unfortunately, that you have to engage with people like this. You may have to set the record straight on a serious allegation. You may have to challenge statements that might be damaging to the team or the mission.

But let me tell you what my preferred methodology is for this situation:

It is simple:

Ignore and outperform.

Yes. While you are over there watching me and talking about me—I’m working.

I’m working hard. I’m taking things to the next level.

But when dealing with people like this, let your first course of action and the fundamental core of how you handle it be very clear and very direct:

Outwork and outperform every last one of them.

Of course, there are times, unfortunately, that you have to engage with people like this. You may have to set the record straight on a serious allegation. You may have to challenge statements that might be damaging to the team or the mission.