Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual by Jocko Willink
Why did I pick up this book?
I cannot remember where I saw it. It could have been on the Good Books website, or a recommendation on Amazon. Either way, I found a link to the book and checked it out. The book seemed interesting as I've been trying to find ways to instill more discipline in myself. Specifically, discipline in my diet and exercise. I read a review that mentioned how Part 2 of the book focused on fitness and health. It also mentioned that the author gets up everyday at 4:30am to workout. And that he proves this by posting a photo on Instagram every morning. I checked out his Instagram account and it was true. So, I was like, I need to know how he does it every day. So, I bought the book.
What did I like about this book?
I liked a lot of what I read in this book. It started out slow. I felt like the first few pages were filled with common sense advice that I already knew. But the longer I read, the more interested I became in his thoughts and viewpoints.
There are so many quotable lines in this book. It is temping to quote the contents of the whole book. Okay, maybe that's an exaggeration. But what I'm trying to say, is that the author's viewpoints on many topics is so refreshing. Every time he touches upon a topic that I don't think I need advice on, I'm proven wrong.
For instance, his thoughts on encountering setbacks. When he encounters them, he'll say “Good” every time. How can it be good? It seems counter intuitive, but he explains his reasoning in the book. For him, it is a chance to do something else, to work on something else, to improve something else. He never lets an opportunity to improve himself go past. All so that you'll be stronger, faster, smarter and healthier. That's one of his mantras in the book. This is all in the name of becoming a better version of yourself.
Some other favorite chapters of mine were the ones on Nature vs Nurture, Fear of Failure, Not Feeling It, Draw Fire, Me Versus Me and my favorite of all, Negative Talk From Negative People. That chapter had the line that struck me the most out of all that I've read in this book, and that is “Ignore and Outperform.” Are you in an environment where people are trying to put you down? Are people talking behind your back? Are they criticizing your every move? Are they trying to stop you from reaching your goals? Ignore and outperform them.
I also liked how detailed the chapters were regarding workouts. He even details what workout equipment to buy for a home gym. And provides a set of workouts ranging from beginner to advanced levels. He even mentions how he does his workouts when he is traveling. The number one piece of exercise equipment he recommends for a home gym is a pull-up bar.
He also talks about diet and justifies his reason for following a paleo or caveman diet. He also mentions what type of martial arts he thinks people should train in, and in what order. In case you're wondering, the martial art at the top of his list is Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
By the way, the chapters I mentioned above, well they are not really chapters. They are thoughts on a certain topic that span 1 or 2 pages. They feel more like a blog post to me. They are short and straight to the point. You'll either learn something right away or you're moving on to the next page to read about something else.
What I didn't like about this book?
Not much to complain about the book really. I didn't like the design with the black background and white text. The font is also kind of weird. It's like a monospaced military inspired font. Fits the theme of the book, but might look weird for other readers.
While it wasn't an issue for me, some might feel like the book has a drill sergeant vibe to it. Well, it was written by a former Navy Seal operator, so it is what it is.
That's it though. I have no other complaints about this book.
I give this book a 5/5 rating. If you're looking for some motivation to improve yourself, this is a great book to read. If you're looking for ideas on how to be more disciplined in various aspects of your life, this is a great book to read. If you're looking for a reason to justify waking up at 4:30am to workout and improve on yourself, this is the book to read.
I'll end this review with a photo of the text at the back of the book. As you can see, short and straight to the point. I love it.