Self-discipline Equals Freedom: Discipline Guide (2017) by Jocko Willink is a group of ideas and techniques for residing a disciplined life. Whether or not one’s long-term targets relate to food plan, train, or work, self-imposed self-discipline is a tried and true methodology for reaching an goal. There isn’t a shortcut; there may be solely exhausting work and self-control, which pave the trail to success.
Coaching. Readiness. Preparation. These are the core elements of self-discipline and, finally, success. The American obsession with rapid gratification is a lure to be averted. Most of self-help tradition is a lie. It might appear tough to surrender self-indulgent pleasures at first, however it’s essential to persist.
The talk about nature versus nurture misses the eminence of self-discipline, which largely determines whether or not a person thrives or fails in life. The cornerstones of a disciplined life-style are nutritious diet, rigorous train, good sleep habits, emotional regulation, and unshakable willpower. A nutritious diet requires eliminating processed meals together with sugar and flour and consuming extra greens and lean proteins. Waking up early is a mandatory first step in direction of assembly train targets. Exercises ought to happen each day and will at all times push the boundaries of 1’s talents.
In attempting to determine a extremely disciplined life-style, it’s essential to differentiate between self-motivation and self-control. Self-motivation is fickle, however self-discipline is extra reliable. It requires dedication even on days when disciplined decisions appear undesirable and even inconceivable.
Challenges shouldn’t be seen as obstacles, however as alternatives to place one’s finest foot ahead. Quitting may be tempting, however it’s unacceptable. The temptation to procrastinate ought to by no means be indulged with no 24-hour ready interval, which is able to often curb the urge.
Worry of failure is comprehensible, however it’s essential to leverage concern as a useful motivational instrument slightly than enable it to change into paralyzing. Progress requires fixed motion, even when it’s in small each day increments. Remorse is one other unavoidable human emotion, however it’s by no means a motivational instrument, and often prevents people from taking dangers. Disciplined individuals concentrate on the issues that they’ll management and let go of stressors that elude their management. In significantly annoying conditions, it could be useful to emotionally detach and study the scenario. Repair the issue if potential, and if it may’t be fastened, let it go.
One other unhelpful emotion is self-doubt, which might result in making excuses. Overconfidence is simply as dangerous. Strategically, it’s helpful to stay optimistic and productive with out adopting an egotistical perspective or unrealistic beliefs.
Self-improvement isn’t a purpose; it’s a lifelong journey. Self-discipline requires exhausting work, willpower, and dedication, however it’s effectively definitely worth the effort.
#1 The important thing to a profitable, satisfying, productive life is self-discipline, which is self-perpetuating. [Passim]
#2 Individuals mustn’t watch for an opportune second to determine a disciplined life-style. One of the best time to make a change is now. [Overcoming Procrastination]
#3 Waking up early on daily basis after an excellent evening’s sleep helps promote a disciplined life-style. [Application of Discipline]
#4 Self-discipline will not be a reservoir that may be tapped. As an alternative, it’s like a muscle that may be strengthened with coaching. [Where Does Discipline Come From?]
#5 Self-discipline have to be self-directed. It ought to rely extra on dedication and perception than on encouragement from an exterior supply. [Staying Motivated]
#6 The important thing to reaching an goal is to take care of focus and stability short-term wins with long-term targets. [Focus]
#7 Self-discipline requires a agency dedication to healthful consuming. Addictive meals like sugar and flour have to be forsaken. [Fuel]
#8 Train improves power ranges and mind perform. [Physical Training]
Key Perception 1
The important thing to a profitable, satisfying, productive life is self-discipline, which is self-perpetuating.
Self-discipline or self-control is the important thing to productiveness and happiness. Researchers on the College of Chicago discovered that examine individuals who thought-about themselves extremely disciplined reported increased ranges of satisfaction in life. Self-discipline didn’t, within the individuals’ view, require short-term sacrifice; in reality, disciplined individuals skilled extra happiness on a day-to-day and hour-to-hour foundation than their much less disciplined friends. 
There isn’t a place for breaks or days off in a extremely disciplined life-style. On the subject of self-control, there isn’t a distinction between a weekday and the weekend. Typically, individuals who follow a regimented food plan, sleep schedule, and train routine will discover that their dedication pays off in sudden methods. Analysis means that individuals who exert self-control in a single space of life will expertise a series response through which they naturally expertise extra self-control in different areas of life.  Research have discovered, as an example, that individuals who get up early usually tend to train repeatedly and make higher dietary decisions, whereas individuals who sleep late usually tend to skip the fitness center. Researchers at Northwestern College discovered that individuals who launched extra bodily exercise into their lives additionally lowered the fats of their diets with out making a aware effort to take action. 
Key Perception 2
Individuals mustn’t watch for an opportune second to determine a disciplined life-style. One of the best time to make a change is now.
It’s comprehensible, if not advisable, to want to postpone an disagreeable job till a later date. However procrastination is anathema to self-discipline. Way of life modifications work finest once they’re carried out as rapidly as potential.
Individuals generally delay the beginning of a brand new food plan or exercise routine to a date sooner or later, however this can be a mistake. Maybe the worst date on which to schedule a behavior change can be the most well-liked one: New Yr’s Day. Research counsel that lower than 10 % of individuals achieve retaining New Yr’s resolutions. Though making these resolutions is a cultural norm, resolving to alter a behavior at any level sooner or later is essentially a type of procrastination. 
Asserting a behavior change can present a psychological reward that’s much like truly implementing that change.  For instance, a person who tells his colleagues about his intention to hitch a CrossFit program might get a lift from merely saying the phrases out loud, and would due to this fact be much less prone to observe by with the train. A greater technique is to announce small steps in direction of change as they occur as an alternative of trumpeting long-term targets in public. 
Key Perception 3
Waking up early on daily basis after an excellent evening’s sleep helps promote a disciplined life-style.
Top-of-the-line methods to jump-start and keep a extremely disciplined life-style is to rise early within the morning. Since self-discipline is self-perpetuating, beginning the day with a rigorous exercise units the proper tone for the hours that observe. Additional, sleep science means that individuals who get up early are likely to have extra of a proactive mindset than their late-sleeping friends.  Waking up early can even result in higher temper; it tends to advertise cheerfulness and discourage psychological well being issues like melancholy. 
How a lot sleep an individual wants is essentially decided by genetics, however sleep hygiene is a matter of private self-discipline.  One of the simplest ways to regulate to a brand new sleep schedule is to get up earlier to reset the circadian clock. Committing to an earlier bedtime doesn’t essentially work; most individuals can drive themselves to get up with an alarm, however forcing oneself to sleep is tougher. Consultants suggest making schedule changes in increments of 20 minutes. For instance, somebody who usually wakes up at 9 a.m. ought to set the alarm for 8:40 a.m. at some point, 8:20 the following day, and so forth till the perfect wake-up time is reached. Willink recommends a wake-up time between 4:30 and 4:55 a.m. 
One of the simplest ways to take care of good sleep habits is to maintain a constant schedule, however there are further methods that promote good sleep hygiene. One is publicity to pure daylight; waking up in a vivid room is simpler than rising in darkness. Researchers additionally suggest attempting totally different alarm tones, particularly for individuals who have a tendency to succeed in for the snooze button. The louder the alarm, the higher. 
Key Perception 4
Self-discipline will not be a reservoir that may be tapped. As an alternative, it’s like a muscle that may be strengthened with coaching.
Psychologists outline self-discipline because the elevation of long-term targets over the pursuit of immediate gratification.  Some individuals theorize that willpower is a finite useful resource that may be briefly drained. In psychology, this concept is called ego depletion, and from the flip of the 20th century till 2016, it was the predominant conception of willpower within the area.  The speculation was developed in what was as soon as thought-about a seminal examine by psychologists Roy Baumeister and Dianne Tice, who measured how lengthy it took individuals to surrender on an inconceivable puzzle after spending time in a room with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies that just some individuals had been allowed to eat. They discovered that the individuals whose willpower had been depleted by being forbidden from consuming the cookies didn’t work on the puzzle for so long as the individuals who had been permitted to eat cookies.  After twenty years of dominating the sector, nevertheless, the findings of this examine had been undermined by a big, multi-continent examine that discovered no proof to help the idea of ego depletion.  As an alternative of pondering of willpower as a finite reservoir, it’s extra correct to think about it as a muscle that may be exercised. Analysis means that, with coaching, willpower can develop stronger.
Key Perception 5
Self-discipline have to be self-directed. It ought to rely extra on dedication and perception than on encouragement from an exterior supply.
Self-discipline can’t be imposed by an exterior supply however as an alternative have to be internally generated. Encouragement from exterior sources could also be fickle, and thus can’t be relied upon to realize one’s targets. One’s dedication to self-discipline should persist even when exterior help wavers.
Researchers who examine psychological motivation distinguish between two varieties: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation includes exterior influences equivalent to social norms or rewards and punishments. Intrinsic or self-directed motivation includes self-generated pursuits and beliefs. Typically talking, since intrinsic motivation is extra sturdy and significant, it’s extra highly effective than extrinsic types of motivation.  Intrinsic motivation, then, is the one type that actually issues in coaching and different elements of a disciplined life-style.
One other essential part in self-control is perception. The analysis surrounding willpower suggests that folks’s private beliefs about willpower dictate the best way through which their willpower is or will not be taxed by a strenuous job.  On this paradigm, perception itself shapes actuality. Researchers at Stanford College discovered that topics who conceptualized tough duties as “energizing” had been much less prone to really feel taxed by the work. 
Key Perception 6
The important thing to reaching an goal is to take care of focus and stability short-term wins with long-term targets.
It may be simple to lose sight of long-term targets. To maintain on observe, one ought to break the purpose down into smaller incremental duties.
Many individuals set a purpose that’s too nebulous or too far out of attain. When the purpose takes the type of a obscure want, it’s much less prone to be fulfilled. As an example, a purpose of exercising extra isn’t particular sufficient to encourage a change in habits. It’s much better to decide to an actionable plan equivalent to going to the fitness center 3 times per week. 
Within the area of administration, the acronym SMART is used to assist individuals enhance goal-setting. Although the idea was initially developed for institutional use, it applies to non-public targets as effectively. The acronym letters stand for particular, measurable, achievable, related, and time-bound. SMART works as a result of individuals who have a selected step-by-step plan to introduce a develop into their lives usually tend to obtain a given purpose than somebody who hasn’t sketched out these particulars. 
To set a particular purpose requires concision, readability, and concreteness. For instance, a purpose of reducing weight is obscure, whereas a purpose of dropping 20 kilos is particular. Measurable targets are observable utilizing some type of metric; for instance, somebody pursuing weight reduction can watch the numbers on the size. Achievable targets incorporate a specific amount of realism; for instance, a purpose to lose 10 kilos in three months could also be sensible for some individuals, whereas a purpose to lose 50 kilos in the identical period of time will not be. A related purpose is an ambition that’s essential on a private degree. Lastly, time-bound targets set a goal date for the achievement, slightly than leaving the timeframe open-ended. 
Key Perception 7
Self-discipline requires a agency dedication to healthful consuming. Addictive meals like sugar and flour have to be forsaken.
Selecting to eat nutritious meals is a necessary type of self-discipline. As an alternative of indulging in occasional treats, a greater technique is to keep away from problematic meals altogether. Individuals ought to keep away from sugar, flour, and different carbohydrates.
Whereas it could be tempting to compromise on these ideas, or to cheat generally, it’s essential to by no means veer off observe; quickly sufficient a bit dishonest turns into critical backsliding. An instance of a structured model of such a no-exceptions food plan has been developed by psychologist Susan Peirce Thompson. In Brilliant Line Consuming (2017), Thompson argues that it’s simpler to eradicate unhealthy meals than eat them carefully. 
Thompson argues that dangerous consuming habits are brought on by three key components: lack of willpower, insatiable starvation, and meals cravings. Planning and adhering to strict each day menus will handle the difficulty of willpower, because it removes the ingredient of alternative. Insatiable starvation naturally diminishes with time as consuming habits enhance. Cravings are likely to dissipate when meals like sugar and flour are eradicated.  Following strict pointers makes healthful consuming decisions a matter of rote, as an alternative of a collection of fraught selections all through the day.
Key Perception 8
Train improves power ranges and mind perform.
Bodily train is a vital ingredient of a disciplined life-style. On daily basis ought to contain some type of exercise even when the routine is gentle. Some great benefits of vigorous bodily exercise go far past apparent advantages equivalent to health and weight reduction. Simply as self-discipline begets self-discipline, analysis means that expending power repeatedly to work out boosts power ranges. That is very true for sedentary individuals, for whom train can lead to energy-boosting advantages extra highly effective than prescribed drugs, an earlier bedtime, or daytime napping. 
A disciplined train routine additionally improves mind perform by sharpening focus, curbing impulses, and enhancing reminiscence.  Cardio train intense sufficient to make an individual sweat can scale back mind fog, a symptom of growing older, in addition to critical illnesses like dementia. Youthful individuals additionally profit from cardio train, which enlarges areas of the mind associated to studying, cognition, and reminiscence. 
Jocko Willink, the writer, is a former Navy SEAL and a present motivational speaker.
Self-discipline Equals Freedom is split into two most important sections: Ideas and Actions. Although the subtitle “Discipline Guide” suggests a set of directions, “Ideas” consists primarily of generic motivational statements. Some sections veer into the territory of affirmations, the place the writer repeats a key phrase nearly like a mantra. All through this primary part, Willink makes many uncommon decisions with structure and typography. The textual content, with its pressured line breaks, indentations, and fragmented sentences, visually resembles poetry, although the content material is extra sensible than poetic. He makes use of bigger font dimension and boldface to emphasise key factors. A lot of the chapters are effectively beneath two pages, with paragraphs that include a single sentence or phrase. Sure key phrases are likely to recur with nice frequency, together with self-discipline, weak point, management, and energy.
It’s mockingly within the second part, “Motion,” that the writer turns into extra loquacious. Specializing in consuming, train, sleep, and different particular actions, Willink turns into extra expansive and consists of longer paragraphs. He stays comparatively verbose all through the appendix, which is stuffed with temporary however detailed exercise plans for 3 ranges: newbie, intermediate, and superior. There are 4 collection of workout routines for every degree.
All through the textual content, there are images of the writer, the outside, and a exercise room. A lot of the photographs embrace barbells.
Jocko Willink’s perspective has been formed by his expertise serving as a Navy SEAL operative for twenty years. Through the Iraq Warfare, he commanded essentially the most extremely embellished particular operations unit. Nonetheless, in Self-discipline Equals Freedom, Willink refers to his expertise as a SEAL solely in essentially the most basic phrases.
Although Willink has retired from the army, a combative mentality continues to tell his worldview. He typically references his enemy, and the way his enemy have to be overwhelmed and out-maneuvered. It’s tough to know who the enemy is in his position as a civilian. Even Willink’s references to freedom appear to stem from his army days, when he was actually preventing for freedom and democracy; he by no means articulates exactly what freedom means to him, or to the reader, within the context of this work.
Willink is a powerful proponent of self-reliance and private duty, which he emphasizes over circumstances, luck, and inborn expertise. He considers his army success to be the product of dedication and exhausting work, not pure skill.  Since his retirement from the army, he’s had appreciable success as an entrepreneur and a speaker within the management and administration area, co-founding the consulting firm Echelon Entrance. Self-discipline Equals Freedom is his third ebook, following Excessive Possession: How the U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win (2015) and the kids’s ebook The Method of the Warrior Child (2017).