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Last week a friend of mine sent me a private message asking me if I listened to audio books. Which, up until about five minutes after I read her message, I didn’t.
Then she asked me if I’d heard of Jocko Willink.
She explained how he was a former Navy Seal who had written a book entitled Extreme Ownership, and that she thought I would really like it.
Immediately after reading her message, I Googled Jocko Willink and learned that he served as a Navy Seal for 20 years and retired in 2010 and he was the commander of Task Unit Bruiser which was the most decorated special operations unit in the Iraq war.
So he was kind of a badass.
Okay, he was a serious badass.
I immediately signed up for Audible.
You get two free books when you register, and then I downloaded Extreme Ownership and started listening to it.
I was hooked.
I have spent the last five days listening to the book every chance I can get. Running, working in my office, at the gym on the elliptical.
There is so much I want to say about this book.
That will come in another post when I have given myself more time.
For now, I want to share with you something that has really hit home.
I realize now I actually discovered this before I got the book.
But today I got to the last chapter.
The chapter where Jocko writes — or says — Discipline equals freedom.
There is nothing more true than this.
And so many of us do not grasp this principle.
Some of us embrace this way of living.
Like the people who are super regimented about going to the gym. Even when they don’t want to.
Especially when they don’t want to.
The people who have cut processed food out of their diets.
The people who wash, fold, and put away their laundry all in one shot. (Those people — and I am not one of them — may be the most disciplined of all).
Some of us may look at going to the gym as being tied down.
As not having freedom.
Some of us may look at the people who are disciplined about washing, drying, folding, and putting away the laundry all in the same day as not having freedom. Not possessing the ability to say fuck it and just leave everything in a heap. Or rewash the same load four times before finally remembering to put it in the dryer.
But when you go to the gym consistently, you may have freedom from obesity issues. You may have freedom from heart medication. You may have freedom from antidepressants.
When you take care of all the laundry from start to finish, you have freedom from wasting time.
Wasting time trying to find your daughter’s favorite shirt because it’s buried somewhere in a mountain of clothes. Wasting time trying to find two socks for your kids to wear to school.
What I have found in the last month, is that being disciplined with staying on top of the kids helping out has given me immense amounts of freedom.
I had been looking at setting up the system for the kids to contribute and being consistent with it and holding them accountable as a big pain in the ass and a massive cramp in my freedom.
But just the opposite has happened.
For a month we have all been disciplined in the contribution department.
And you know what has happened?
The house is much more peaceful.
We have freedom from chaos.
The kitchen sink is never full of dishes and the kitchen is never out of control anymore.
We have freedom from extreme disorder.
The kids are folding their own clothes and putting them away.
I have more time at my disposal — AND MORE FREEDOM — because I am no longer doing those jobs for them.
The kids are cooperating more and arguing much less.
I have freedom from constantly refereeing the kids.
Being disciplined with the kids and my expectations for them to contribute has given all of us freedom. And time. And appreciation. And so much more.
There has been a HUGE payoff on my investment of time.
Spending 15 minutes a day being disciplined with their contributions have given me at least two more hours a day than I had six weeks ago.
TWO MORE HOURS A DAY.
That is A LOT of freedom!!!
There is more.
There is so much more.
I’ll get to all that in a post soon.
Until then, if you don’t have Audible, I highly recommend it. I’m kind of wondering how I survived without it this far.
You can click right here to start a free trial:
Then download Extreme Ownership.
Or go to the library and get it.
If you are a business owner, a boss, an employee, a coach, a teacher, a spouse, a parent, or a human being, I think it’s an important book to read.
Get on it.
You won’t regret it.
It’s only been five days since I started reading it, and already, the quality of my life has improved.
And I’m confident, if you are willing to take a look at yourself, it will improve the quality of your life, too.