Jocko Willink | Photo Credit Four Hour Workweek

There’s nothing more American than life lessons from a former Navy SEAL. The discipline and patriotism combined create someone unable to give anything but his best.

Jocko Willink is a lean 230-pound Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. During his training, he regularly taps out 20 other Navy SEALs and interviewer Tim Ferriss has said that his “eyes look through you more than at you.”

Jocko was in the U.S. Navy for 20 years where he commanded SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, which was the most highly decorated special operations unit within the Iraq War.

There are four things Jocko believes…

4. Discipline equals…

Freedom

Photo credit: Twitter

Jocko’s mantra is “Discipline equals freedom.” Essentially, this means that living within proper restraints can create true freedom. This eliminates issues like discipline fatigue and the paradox of choice, which slows down daily progress.

One simple example of this may refer to Albert Einstein only wearing 2-3 suits in his lifetime. This eliminated that morning decision which wastes time over all. This can also be applied to eating the same breakfast or finding the proper workout.

3. Two is one and one is…

None

Jocko Willink | Photo Credit Four Hour Workweek

This is a common motto among the SEALs. Essentially it means, always have a backup plan. If you have two of something and one breaks, then you only have one. If that final one is lost or broken, then you have none.

This relates to Franz Kafka’s quote, “Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have.” It’s mainly about being prepared for any obstacle. “Don’t just have backup gear—have a backup plan to handle likely contingencies,” said Jocko.

2. Expose yourself to darkness to…

See the Light.

Photo Credit: Airsoft Army

Jocko believes that if you shield yourself from the darkness, you will never see the beauty of the light. For the SEAL, this often means remembering his friends and comrades that have died by his side.

With those memories, he is truly grateful for every sunrise and every breath of his life. Rather than holding down those feelings, as many Veterans do, Jocko exposes himself to these subjects of darkness regularly to find appreciation.

1. If you want to be tougher…

be tougher

Jocko Willink | Photo Credit Four Hour Workweek

“If you want to be tougher mentally, it is simple: Be tougher. Don’t meditate on it,” said Jocko in the book Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. Simply “being tougher” is more logical than any decision to be tougher.

For those having trouble saying “No” to a particular vice or bad habit, simply deciding to be tougher when the problem arises is the best advice compared to whatever self-help book hits the shelves next.

Will you be tougher the next time you face your weakness?