The 27 Most Motivational Jocko Willink Quotes

jocko willink quotes

Jocko Willink is a retired American naval officer who worked in the Navy Seals for 20 years. He received the bronze and silver star for his extraordinary actions in the Iraq war as a military. He is also an author and podcaster  and is well known as the master of Leadership and discipline.

In his very intense podcasts, he discusses numerous varying topics, such as his Navy Seal experience with Echo Charles is co-host. Given his military background, training and experience, he has brilliant and insightful ideas, which come from his real-life experience, especially in special operations  in the field.  Jocko is a very uniquely motivating person who will inspire you to be tougher and more disciplined.  This article will take you through some collection of Jocko Willink quotes.

Jocko Willink Quotes

1. “The test is not a complex one: when the alarm goes off, do you get up out of bed, or do you lie there in comfort and fall back to sleep? If you have the discipline to get out of bed, you win—you pass the test. If you are mentally weak for that moment and you let that weakness keep you in bed, you fail. Though it seems small, that weakness translates to more significant decisions. But if you exercise discipline, that too translates to more substantial elements of your life.”

2. “Don’t let your mind control you. Control your mind.”

3. “Humans can withstand almost inconceivable stress—and you can too. So that is your first step: Gain perspective. And to do that, you must do something critical in many situations: Detach. Whatever problems or stress you are experiencing, detach from them. Stress is generally caused by what you can’t control.”

4. “A leader must lead but also be ready to follow. They must be aggressive, but not overbearing. A leader must be calm but not robotic. They must be confident but never cocky. A leader must be brave, but not foolhardy. They must have a competitive spirit, but be a gracious loser.”

5. “When setting expectations, no matter what has been said or written, if substandard performance is accepted and no one is held accountable — if there are no consequences — that poor performance becomes the new standard. Therefore, leaders must enforce standards.”


6. “That nice, soft pillow and the warm blanket, and it’s all comfortable, and no one wants to leave that comfort – but if you can wake up early in the morning, get a head start on everyone else that’s still sleeping, get productive time doing things that you need to do – that’s a huge piece to moving your life forward.”

7. “They didn’t have to jump for joy at the though of fighting alongside Iraqi soldiers on a dangerous battlefield. But they did have to understand why they were doing it so that they could believe in the mission.”

8. “As with many of the dichotomies of Leadership, a person’s biggest strength can be his greatest weakness when he doesn’t know how to balance it. A leader’s best quality might be her aggressiveness, but if she goes too far she becomes reckless. A leader’s best quality might be his confidence, but when he becomes overconfident he doesn’t listen to others.”

9. “It is such a good opportunity when you have a weak leader above you. Don’t get all downtrodden because your leader doesn’t motivate you. Motivate yourself! Take charge of things. Take advantage of it. Make things happen. It’s awesome to have a weak leader. I love it. I get after it. It give me so much more mobility in my job. If I have a strong leader, obviously, that’s great too. But a weak leader is a no factor. Step up and take advantage of it. Step up and lead.”

10. “There is an answer to the age-old question of whether leaders are born or made. Obviously, some are born with natural leadership qualities, such as charisma, eloquence, sharp wit, a decisive mind, the willingness to accept risk when others might falter, or the ability to remain calm in chaotic, high-pressure situations. Others may not possess these qualities innately. But with a willingness to learn, with a humble attitude that seeks valid constructive criticism in order to improve, with disciplined practice and training, even those with less natural ability can develop into highly effective leaders. Others who were blessed with all the natural talent in the world will fail as leaders if they are not humble enough to own their mistakes, admit that they don’t have it all figured out, seek guidance, learn, and continuously grow.”

11. “But, in fact, discipline is the pathway to freedom.”

12. After all, there can be no leadership where there is no team.”

13. “Belief in the mission ties in with the fourth Law of Combat: Decentralized Command (chapter 8). The leader must explain not just what to do, but why. It is the responsibility of the subordinate leader to reach out and ask if they do not understand. Only when leaders at all levels understand and believe in the mission can they pass that understanding and belief to their teams so that they can persevere through challenges, execute and win.”

14. “The Dichotomy of Leadership A good leader must be: • confident but not cocky; • courageous but not foolhardy; • competitive but a gracious loser; • attentive to details but not obsessed by them; • strong but have endurance; • a leader and follower; • humble not passive; • aggressive not overbearing; • quiet not silent; • calm but not robotic, logical but not devoid of emotions; • close with the troops but not so close that one becomes more important than another or more important than the good of the team; not so close that they forget who is in charge. • able to execute Extreme Ownership, while exercising Decentralized Command. A good leader has nothing to prove, but everything to prove.”

Related: Best Quotes for Dealing with Passive Aggressive People 

15. “Just do some kind of workout. Doesn’t matter if it’s going for a walk around the block, going for a jog, doing some calisthenics, lifting weights, going to a pool and swimming – you name it. But do something that gets your blood flowing and gets your mind in the game.”

17. “One of the key qualities a leader must possess is the ability to detach from the chaos, mayhem, and emotions in a situation and make good, clear decisions based on what is actually happening.”

18. “Put your leaders in stressful scenarios. Make them figure out solutions under pressure. See if you can make them frustrated, angry, and flustered, and then demand decisive Leadership from them. They will be challenged at first, but they will get better over time.”

19. “If you allow the status quo to persist, you can’t expect to improve performance, and you can’t expect to win.”

20. “We all have a tendency to avoid our weaknesses. When we do that, we never progress or get any better.”

21. “Don’t expect to be motivated every day to get out there and make things happen. You won’t be. Don’t count on motivation. Count on Discipline.”

Related: Push Yourself Quotes

22. “Implementing Extreme Ownership requires checking your ego and operating with a high degree of humility. Admitting mistakes, taking ownership, and developing a plan to overcome challenges are integral to any successful team.”

22. “Prioritize your problems and take care of them one at a time, the highest priority first. Don’t try to do everything at once or you won’t be successful.” I explained how a leader who tries to take on too many problems simultaneously will likely fail at them all.”

23. “Prioritize your problems and take care of them one at a time, the highest priority first. Don’t try to do everything at once or you won’t be successful.” I explained how a leader who tries to take on too many problems simultaneously will likely fail at them all.”

24. “The best leaders understand the motivations of their team members and know their people – their lives and their families. But a leader must never grow so close to subordinates that one member of the team becomes more important than another, or more important than the mission itself.”

26. “When setting expectations, no matter what has been said or written, if substandard performance is accepted and no one is held accountable — if there are no consequences — that poor performance becomes the new standard. Therefore, leaders must enforce standards.”

27. “When setting expectations, no matter what has been said or written, if substandard performance is accepted and no one is held accountable — if there are no consequences — that poor performance becomes the new standard. Therefore, leaders must enforce standards.”

Related: Read our amazing collection of Self Discipline Quotes


Jocko Willink Video: Why You Should Wake Up at 4:30 AM Every Day, According To A Navy SEAL

As we mentioned above, one of the things Jocko is known for is getting up at 4:30am and working out! He posts a picture everyday on his Instagram of his watch showing that he is getting up. In this video, he talks about why it is important to get up early and take care of your physical fitness!

Conclusion – Jocko’s Quotes will Motivate you to be your best

Jocko Willink insists that you should wake up early and maintain the discipline, which everyone needs as a goal. In case you want to be an early bird, it is ideal that you stick to routine or schedule. He insists that staying disciplined will make you go miles away. Therefore, it calls upon you to create time to go through Jocko Willink quotes and stay inspired. I hope this article will be advantageous to you.

Image Credit: U.S. Navy / Public domain

PS – Here is a Link to the Jocko Podcast

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