If you are remotely interested in leadership, both leading yourself and leading others, you need to find the books written by Navy Seal Commander Jocko Willink.  His books are “Extreme Ownership” and “Discipline Equals Freedom”, and I might write separate posts about both of those books one day.  And even if you don’t read those, if you ever need motivation to work out or to get up early, or to do something hard in your day, his YouTube and Instagram, combined with his gravel tumbler of a voice, will have you ready to run through a brick wall. 

And despite all his books, blogs, and podcasts, what has most helped me in my own journey of motivation and self actualization, is one word … Good!  I linked the video where Jocko talks about this idea on his podcast, and I absolutely recommend it.  He talks about a soldier under his command, who every time he came to Jocko with an issue, Jocko’s only response was one word … Good!  And after several times of this, came to learn that was what he was always going to say when something didn’t go their way.

This might initially sound like a crazy idea, to say “Good” to every problem or issue that comes into our lives.  But as simple and counterintuitive as this appears, the “stopping power” (to steal a military term – maybe?), of this idea is substantial. When you’re becoming frustrated, getting angry, feeling pissed, some long dissertation on the practical benefits of changing your mindset is not what is going to help.  This one word, can be dropped right into the middle of your own mental meltdown, and the weight it carries can turn your whole mindset around.

Tired because you stayed up too late last night, but still got up on time this morning … Good!  You showed discipline and can go to bed at a reasonable hour tonight.

Really winded while running cause you’re out of shape but trying to get back into it … Good!  You might not be in the shape you want to be, but you’ll be in better shape after this.

Frustrated because you know what good writing is but cannot seem to write to your own level … Good!  The only way to actually get better is to keep putting it out there and trying.

Okay, that last one might have been for me, but there are still situations we can all relate to where we feel like something is wrong … because we’re tired, or winded, or frustrated, or scared, or a multitude of other emotions.  But what all those emotions show is that you are really trying.  If you honestly never felt one of those emotions in a day, you clearly didn’t do anything of substance that day.  Don’t just exist, but really live … and learn to embrace some uncomfortable emotions as a sign that you are really living your life.

P.S. If you really are going through some hard times, and have bigger stuff going on than just when you went to bed or breathing heavy when jogging, I know this probably isn’t what you want to hear.  Just know you’re strong enough to get through whatever it is, and I am here for you if you need, whoever it is reading this.  You’re not alone …


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