My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I used to be disciplined. Really disciplined. Every day I was on a mission and nothing got in the way of my objectives – whether short or long term. Then fatherhood started. And as the family started growing the discipline started to fade. It wasn’t immediate, but it was there. Slowly, over a decade passed, and then I started noticing that something was missing. Something was gone. Discipline had left me. My passion to get things done still existed. And thrived. But the glue that ensured my passion’s objectives were met was no longer there. Daily objectives turned into monthly objectives. Yearly objectives were out of reach. The task lists only grew. As a man once forged into discipline I was now heading off course. Until one day, I came across Jocko Willink’s book, Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual. The title sounded like just what I needed for I was trapped inside a viscous cycle of not getting things done like I once did. I ordered the hardback book and wasn’t let down. At close to 200 pages with large font, it’s a short read. Field manuals weren’t meant to drag out the details, so this was expected. The book is solid, well-designed, and with a good content flow. Jocko’s writing style is concise and to the point, which blends nicely to the two distinct sections of the book: thoughts and actions. Thoughts focuses on the mental side of discipline. Actions focuses on the “doing.” Stop talking about things and “do.” Stop thinking about everything endlessly and just “do.” His words rang so true to me. I enjoyed the thoughts section of the book the most and found that the most helpful. The actions section of the book was put together well, but it can only gloss over many of the topics on avoidance, self-defense, diet, working out, etc. It’s a positive gloss over and he gets his point across well. Just don’t expect to find what amounts to many books and hundreds of practice hours in this field manual. That’s a next step course of action. The point is to adjust your thought process to “doing” and Jocko does a great job of that. Note that Jocko includes some great workout plans at the end of the book for beginners, intermediate, and advanced. He brings the pain (in a good way). Overall, this book is rock solid, and it gave me the mental kick I needed to get my discipline back. I’ll be keeping it on the quick access bookshelf when I need a course correction.
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