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AuthorI’m Jocko Willink, retired Navy SEAL Officer, author, and host of JOCKO PODCAST and I'm here for you to Ask Me Anything.

Oct 11th 2017 by JockoWillink • 64 Questions • 6841 Points

My name is Jocko Willink. I'm a retired SEAL Officer and author of the books Extreme Ownership, Way of the Warrior Kid, and Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual. I also host the podcast, JOCKO PODCAST, where I talk about leadership and human nature through the lens of war and human struggle. Outside of that, I own Echelon Front, a leadership and management consulting company that works with businesses in every industry. I’m also a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, an avid surfer, and father of four “highly motivated” children.

Q:

Ever read "Fearless", by Eric Blehm? Good book for the podcast.

A:

Have it. Will do it.


Q:

Jocko, good morning, you mentioned the podcast has created a new bridge for you and your wife to connect as she gets to just sit and listen to you speak your thoughts. Is there any plan to have her on the podcast?

A:

She WILL NOT come on.


Q:

Jocko, is Joe Rogan better looking in person?

A:

No.


Q:

Hey Jocko, you talk a lot about "Extreme Ownership" in life, but is there ever a situation when it is appropriate to lay the blame on someone else or a circumstance?

A:

Yes. When someone intentionally does something immoral, unethical, or criminally wrong.


Q:

Jocko, do you have suggestions on what first steps to take to start to develop personal willpower and discipline?

A:

Stop trying to develop and start DOING.


Q:

Hey jocko, first thank you for sharing what you know and how you go about things. My question is simple, have you gotten any blow back from the seal community for your book or podcast? When are you gonna go talk to Joe Rogan again?

A:

No. My SEAL Friends listen to the podcast. Not sure.


Q:

Most burpee's youve ever done continuously?

A:

1000.


Q:

When will you and Sam harris decide who is the better grappler?

A:

After we grapple.


Q:

Hey Jocko, I like how you always mention people should be able to do pull-ups, as so many gym goers look so strong, yet cannot do pull-ups. As a rock climber, one of my main exercises is pull-ups. Have you ever tried rock climbing?

A:

Yes. It is fun. I am not good.


Q:

Morning sir.

  1. You mention Band of Brothers and the Pacific often on the podcast. What is your take of the Generation Kill miniseries? Topic for the podcast?

  2. Signing up for bjj today, gonna do my first class. Advice for a newbie?

Huge fan, and thanks for all you do!

A:
  1. Haven't watched.
  2. Relax.

Q:

Hi Jocko, thanks for doing this and being a general inspiration to thousands. What do you think is the most important thing to focus on at each belt in Bjj? Thanks again. (Bjj blue belt in particular as that's my current rank)

A:

White: Relax Blue: Relax Purple: Relax Brown: Relax Black: Start Learning.


Q:

Hi Jocko, reading Extreme Ownership completely changed my approach to being a leader within my company (I'm one of the younger "leaders"). So thank you. Recently our team at work has had issues that result in a lot of the leaders pointing the finger downward to cast blame when things go wrong, rather than at themselves. What's the best approach to getting them to buy into the Extreme Ownership mindset so that we can actually fix our problems?

A:

When they point the finger at you, accept the blame and fix the problem. Eventually, they will either take ownership, or you will take their job.


Q:

During college, how long did you spend studying a day? Do you ever get burnout?

A:

2-8 hours. Yes. But it didn't matter. Did it anyway.


Q:

JOCKOOOOOO!!!!! Because of you I now can’t sleep later than 5 am and have to workout everyday or I feel like a bum. Love your podcast. My question, do you have specific days where you train for strength or endurance? Or does it change depending on how you’re feeling? Thanks for your service and also for sparking a fire in so many of us to get disciplined.

A:

I train them both, often.


Q:

Hey Jocko, Can you share a few comments about your relationship with Seth Stone? I'm an old friend of his and went to middle school and high school with him. These last 10 days have been a big shock to many people, here in Houston and all across the world.

A:

I will. Not now. He was the best.


Q:

Jocko,

Wanted to send thanks your way. Partly in thanks to your podcast, i have left my 3rd shift factory job and will be shipping out for navy boot camp in 1 week.

Coincidentally, my A school is in San Diego. Can you recommend a good beginners bjj gym? I trained tae kwon do for 9 years, and really wanna branch out my game.

A:

Victory MMA. 3666 Midway Drive. See you there.


Q:

Jocko,

What music do you listen to when you've got to GET AFTER IT?

Also, what unconventional PT would you recommend for a platoon (besides Jiu-jitsu, we already have a few days that we roll) that would be intense but also entertaining?

Thank you

A:

Old School Hardcore. Combat Waterpolo.


Q:

Hey Jocko, when can we expect to hear your podcast with Jordan B Peterson?

A:

Early November.


Q:

hey Jocko, I loved Extreme Ownership and am an avid listener of the podcast. 2 questions:

1) what's the most important piece of advice you've given to your daughters?

2) I'm a college senior applying for jobs; how do you deal with working hard/trying your best for something and still failing?

A:
  1. Discipline Equals Freedom.
  2. Good. I get to try again, harder.

Q:

Hey Jocko, what do you think is the most difficult thing you've had to overcome, and how were you able to? Thanks!

A:

Losing my friends. Live a life that honors their sacrifice.


Q:

Good morning Jocko. When are you going to write the complete history of TU Bruiser?

A:

Leif and I are planning to do that in a few years...


Q:

Jocko, long time listener here. Any chance you can get yourself, Tony, and Leif in the same room at the same time and record it? That would be amazing

A:

Will try.


Q:

-longest time off the mats? What was hardest part when you started back up again?

-Are your kids going to start a hardcore band?

Thank you for all the podcasts and sharing.

ExtremeOwnership noskinnyknees
A:

6 weeks- neck surgery. I hope so.


Q:

Jocko, about to graduate college after 4 years of division 1 football. Majored in finance but I am debating military OCS route versus typical 9-5 corporate desk job,what are your thoughts? Big EO fan. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

A:

Never mind my thoughts. What are yours? I know what I would do, and so do you.


Q:

Jocko, I completed the process for Concealed Carry Permit in my state and I'm set to receive in 45 days. Any further training you recommend? Do agree with Concealed Carry? and Do you concealed carry in California?

A:

Train as much as you can. Yes. Yes.


Q:

Hi Jocko, Mint moose tracks exists. It's delicious.

  1. Any podcast worthy books on the most recent conflict in Iraq/Afghanistan? Anything on Ramadi would be ideal.

  2. How do you take notes on books? Any system or methodology to it?

  3. How do you source your collection of watches?

Thank you!

A:
  1. there are some good ones.
  2. Highlight and write in the books themselves with post-it notes.
  3. Ebay.

Q:

Hey jocko,

I'm training for BUD/S, and I'm really thinking about training bjj (not to get ready for BUD/S, but for personal enjoyment and development). Thoughts?

A:

BJJ is great. But stop a year prior to BUDS and focus 100% on that.


Q:

Hey Jocko, High schooler, who just recently started listening to your podcast. How does someone find out what they should do after high school?

A:

Take what you are interested in and see where that places you.


Q:

Im sorry to hear about Cmdr. Stone. Do you plan on doing anything special on the Podcast to honor his memory? Or is that not podcast appropriate.

Thanks for all that you do.

CDJ

A:

I will at some point, when it is time. He was the best.


Q:

Who was Seth Stone?

A:

SEAL. Delta Platoon Commander, Task Unit Bruiser. Friend. Brother.


Q:

Hello Jocko, I love you work.

I have a question relating to sleep and discipline.

I have severe problems with sleep, I sleep very badly and wake up with much difficulty and then I am tired throughout the day.

When I hear you talk about 5 to 6 hours a sleep I can't help but think that this is not for everybody.

My main problem is that I very often am able to turn off alarm clocks even when they are at my desk while half off-concious and then wake up 2 hours later only to discover the mistake that I made.

This happens to me a lot. The problem is that when I wake up, I am never really concious enough to catch myself from going back to sleep. I just can't imagine what willpower means in this scenario when consciousness is literally the limiting factor.

What do you think about this? Tips? Tricks?

I have a second question but please don't answer this if you want to get back at as many people as you can. I don't want to consume time.

I also have a lot of problems with scheduling. Due to my Aspergers I tend to misread schedules wrong which causes me to mange my agenda wrong. This happens a lot when I have to read tables and my eyes somehow misalign the rows. In the same way I tend to forget to put appointments in my agenda. This happened to me several times but don't seem to learn.

I really like your, just try more, harder and better approach but I really don't know what this means. I have feld so bad amout my failures so many times and yet I keep making them. Now I know you can't solve my autism but what comes to mind? Do you by chance think of any other approach that might work for me that appeals more to my strengths? How would you go about solving problems like the one I have? I know those are actually multiple questions but you can interpret them as one.

At last, I want to thank you for all the amazing work that you do. Your youtube videos and podcasts really help me to sort myself out. Thanks a lot and thanks for your service even though I'm Dutch.

A:

Use multiple alarm clocks in multiple locations. Separate you schedule by pages.


Q:

Who would win in a submission only BJJ match, you or Joe Hogan (Rogan)?

A:

Never rolled with him.


Q:

What's for dinner?

A:

Steak.


Q:

Hey Jocko, I know you’re a fan of the Cro-Mags and you mention being involved in the hardcore scene growing up. What are some of your favorite bands and how do you think that DIY mentality shaped who you became?

Also, which Breakdown demo do you prefer?

A:

Bad Brains. Agnostic Front. Slapshot. Black Flag. Minor Threat. etc etc


Q:

Jocko, what is your greatest lesson learned since writing books and having a podcast?

A:

DISCIPLINE EQUALS FREEDOM.


Q:

We often want to model our lives after the heroes that we hear or read about. For example there are so many heroes that you've covered on the podcast, or in books such as Musashi. I want to be like these people, but often our lives lack the same clear-cut purpose and direction. I can't buy a sword and become a samurai, I'd look a little funny walking down the street. My question is, how do we emulate these figures while finding a path that works in our often less exciting lives?

A:

Strive hard no matter the path.


Q:

Jocko: 9mm Luger or .45 ACP ?

A:

Yes.


Q:

Am I the only one that thought Jocko white tea was a white tee shirt????

A:

Yes.


Q:

Jocko,

I am a BJJ purple belt and Muay Thai/MMA practitioner, I tore the labrum in both my shoulders a while back but am still looking to go the BUD/s route. No physical limitations, I still lift and do push ups, pull ups, etc. but the Navy doesn't seem to want to give me a shot due to my medical history. Any advice? Thanks.

A:

Try to get a waiver.


Q:

What makes a good teammate? What makes a good leader?

A:

Teammate puts the team first. So does the leader.


Q:

Jordan Peterson and many prominent psychologists say IQ and discipline are critical to life success with more weight on IQ. What do you think about this and how important were these two factors in determining whether or not a Seal was successful or not?

A:

Being smart and disciplined seems like it would be a good combination. Smart and disciplined people normally make good SEALs.


Q:

Can we expect to see Jocko Willink/Leif Babin on the presidential ticket for 2020?

A:

Ha. Can we put a wave pool in the rose garden?


Q:

If you could work with or be attached to any foreign SOF unit, which one would it be and why?

A:

Brit or Aussie SAS or SBS.
Because Brit or Aussie SAS or SBS.


Q:

Hey Jocko,

What are your top 10 values/principles of life? Actions to take when your life is falling apart? What to do if you're too ugly to get a girlfriend and have bad thoughts about this?

Thanks for your work. Love the podcast. Thanks for getting me in to bjj.

A:
  1. Discipline Equals Freedom.
  2. Prioritize and Execute.
  3. Find happiness in being alone and don't worry about it. The right person will come along eventually.

Q:

Hi Mr. Willink, Do you allow yourself to listen to music or have any other sorts of distractions when you're in the weight room or running?

Thanks

A:

Yes. I listen to music.


Q:

Jocko, I am currently in the AFROTC program at UNC Charlotte; what advice do you have for future officers, and what qualities do you want the future officers to have?

A:

Humility.


Q:

In war, and in life, there are often times of monotony where the status quo remains the same. How do you keep your discipline when you can't measure improvement or make advancement?

Thanks so much for the podcast!

A:

KEEP IT.


Q:

Hello Jocko,

Long time listener and I love your material. I have interviewed at USUHS to become a military physician. I have to choose a branch of the military to go into. Any suggestions? Working to assist the navy seals would be incredibly rewarding. There are many opportunities as a military physician, but your insight would be great!

A:

Working to assist anyone in the military will be rewarding. There aren't many SEALs.


Q:

Jocko, do you set your alarm for those 4 am wake ups?

A:

Yes.


Q:

Hey Jocko I recently heard you on Joe Rogan and started listening to your podcast. I have a question I was hoping you could help me out with. I was a blue belt in Jiu Jitsu here in New York about 3 years ago, when I was rolling one day I got hip tossed by a purple belt and tore my labrum in my shoulder after healing up I got into college hockey and didn’t go back to Jiu Jitsu. Now that I’ve been out of college I want to get back at it but I’m embarrassed to go back to my old gym. Do I put my ego in check and suck it up and go back or do I pick another gym a few miles away and start fresh?

A:

Just go start training.


Q:

Jocko-

Do you have any suggestions pertaining to veterans who have certain regrets with separating from their respective branch too soon & looking back wishing they have stayed in?

A:

Try and get back in. If you can't, look for your next mission. Regret gets you no where.


Q:

Hi Jocko -- I started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but I'm working on a PhD and have very limited time. Right now I'm only able to go once a week. I know your answer but I'll ask anyway. Is it worth it to continue even though my progress is incredibly stifled?

A:

Yes.


Q:

Jocko,

Will episode 100 be an extra long podcast? Thanks.

A:

I don't know. I don't plan the lengths.


Q:

Hi Jocko, thanks so much for taking the time to do this AMA. If you had a pontoon boat, what would you name her?

A:

Slacker.


Q:

Hey Jocko, been wanting to get into some MetCon training but dont know how to get started,any tips? thanks

A:

100 Burpees for time. Go.


Q:

Hi Jocko, In your opinion do you think Jiu Jitsu will ever become "mainstream" and do you think there is a competition format (EBI, ADCC, IBJJF, etc.) that would bring in the largest audience?

A:

Maybe. EBI.


Q:

Hi Jocko , when you complete a task for example , writing a book . Do you immediately find a new task to accomplish to keep yourself busy?

A:

No. I already have the new task underway before I finish.


Q:

Jocko,

Favorite Emerson folder?

Thank you for all you do.

A:

CQC15-BT


Q:

Since you launched the podcast, from all your interviews and books you've used to recount the stories of so many heroes, what is the main takeaway you got from these individuals and about leadership? #getafterit

A:

Stay humble


Q:

Hi Jocko! Im a 41 years old women and i would like to start bjj Should i go to a man or women class? Thanks!

A:

Whichever.


Q:

Hey Jocko, what are some hobbies you'd like to try but haven't had the time?

A:

If I want to try something, I make time.


Q:

Jocko, any chance of you getting Dick Marcinko on the podcast? I think he'd be a fascinating guest. I wonder if in his later years he came to see his error that you mentioned in one of your podcasts...that he didn't adjust his style once he advanced up the ranks.

A:

Open invite to Marcinko.


Q:

Jocko, will you be rolling any in Atlanta when you come for the Hire for Heroes event in November? I plan on attending and would also like to get some mat time. Thank you for the amazing podcast!

A:

Not much time on the ground.


Q:

Hi Mr. Willink! Kind of a goofy question (re-posting from the other thread), but:
I read a great story about the UDT's in WW2 (proto-SEALs) and how they would paint depth markings along the length of their bodies to measure depth while surveying landing beaches in the Pacific. Basically they would stand up in the water and see how the depth measured against the markings on their bodies. I thought it was cool and inventive. Is this something that's still taught to SEALs? Is it ever put to use?

A:

Not any more.