Discipline Equals Freedom Book Summary - Discipline Equals Freedom Book explained in key points
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Discipline Equals Freedom summary

Jocko Willink

Field Manual

4.1 (511 ratings)
23 mins

What is Discipline Equals Freedom about?

Discipline Equals Freedom (2020) is your field manual to the art of self-discipline. It uncovers what you need to do to meet your full potential – and why being disciplined sets you free. 

Table of Contents

    Discipline Equals Freedom
    summarized in 7 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 7

    Discipline comes from inside you – what are you fighting for?

    People always want to know the secret to getting better, smarter, and stronger. But more than that, they want to know how to get results fast. What life hacks can they learn? What shortcut can they take on the road to success? 

    The answer is: nothing! Real self-improvement can’t be hurried. It needs time and tons of discipline. 

    Discipline is your weapon in the fight against that little voice in your head that says, “Do it tomorrow.” You know the one. It coaxes you back to the couch instead of finishing the dishes. Now, discipline may repel laziness, but where does it come from? According to author and retired US Navy SEAL Jocko Willink, it comes from within – you just need to search for what drives you. 

    The key message here is: Discipline comes from inside you – what are you fighting for? 

    Jocko knew from a young age that he was preparing for war, and he knew he’d eventually have to confront his enemy. He didn’t know when or how, but he knew he’d need to be mentally and physically prepared to win. This drove him to mercilessly train himself and his men for battle. He didn’t allow excuses to stop them. And when he and his men were called into action, they fought hard and won. 

    Today, his military tours are over, and he’s back in the civilian world. What drives him now are the memories of his fellow soldiers that never made it back home. He makes every second of his day count to honor their sacrifice. And to make the most of every moment, you just need to find what drives you. 

    How? Well, the first step is to stop making excuses. Only you have power over yourself. So if you want to wake up early, do it. If you want to work out every day, do it. With a little bit of mind control, you can do anything

    Becoming better, fitter, and stronger takes work. Yes, it’s stressful – But life is stressful. And that’s OK. Humans were made to withstand incredible stress. Think of all the soldiers that fought the epic wars throughout history. Jocko did, which is how he got through his tours in Iraq. If warriors before him had been able to endure horrific situations like facing death in the First World War’s Battle of the Somme, or the Civil War’s Battle of Gettysburg, then so could he. 

    That’s discipline – getting some perspective, conquering what you can control, accepting what you can’t, and then getting on with it. 

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    Best quote from Discipline Equals Freedom

    Everyone should train in martial arts, just as everyone should eat.

    —Jocko Willink
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    About the Author

    Jocko Willink served as a Navy SEAL for 20 years and completed several tours of duty in Iraq. After returning home, Willink became a SEAL instructor and founded Echelon Front, a leadership training consultancy that applies SEAL training to corporate leadership. 

    Who should read Discipline Equals Freedom?

    • Fitness buffs looking for a new angle
    • Fans of straight-talking tough love
    • Anyone seeking inspiration to work harder

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