The Scariest Navy SEAL Imaginable…And What He Taught Me

The Tim Ferriss Show with Jocko Willink

John “Jocko” Willink

“Discipline equals freedom.”
– Jocko Willink

Jocko Willink (@jockowillink) is one of the scariest human beings imaginable.

He is a lean 230 pounds. He is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert who used to tap out 20 Navy SEALs per workout. He is a legend in the Special Operations world. His eyes look through you more than at you.

He rarely does interviews, if ever. But, a few weeks ago, Jocko ended up staying at my house and we had a caffeinated mind meld. Here’s some background…

Jocko enlisted in the Navy after high school and spent 20 years in the SEAL Teams, first as an enlisted SEAL operator and then as a SEAL officer. During his second tour in Iraq, he led SEAL Task Unit Bruiser in the Battle of Ramadi — some of the toughest and most sustained combat by the SEAL Teams since Vietnam.

Under his leadership, Task Unit Bruiser became the most highly decorated Special Operations Unit of the entire war in Iraq and helped bring stability to Ramadi. Jocko was awarded the Bronze Star and a Silver Star.

Upon returning to the United States, Jocko served as the Officer-in-Charge of training for all West Coast SEAL Teams, designing and implementing some of the most challenging and realistic combat training in the world.

So why is Jocko opening up? Well, in part, we have mutual friends. Second, he is the co-author of an incredible new book — Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win — which I’ve been loving. Trust me. Buy it.

This is his first mainstream interview and one you won’t want to miss.

“Leadership is infinitely more about brains than it is about brawn. The brawn stuff is from the movies and it doesn’t work in reality.” – Jocko Willink


Want to hear another podcast related to leadership in the military from a decorated officer? — Listen to my conversations with General Stan McChrystal. In this episode, we discuss eating one meal per day, special ops, and mental toughness (stream below or right-click here to download):

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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: How has discipline supported your entrepreneurial goals? What aspects could still use improvement? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…


The Tim Ferriss Show with Jocko Willink

Selected Links from the Episode

@Xtremeownership | @jockowillink | @echelonfront

  • Connect with Jocko and his organizations on Facebook:

Extreme Ownership | Jocko Willink | Echelon Front

Show Notes

  • How Jocko would design training for someone who wants to add lean muscle mass [13:49]
  • The story of how Jocko Willink got involved in jiu-jitsu [15:44]
  • How Jocko Willink’s SEAL military experience influenced his business [19:24]
  • The story of how Jocko Willink became a SEAL [22:14]
  • Where mental toughness comes from [30:04]
  • Describing the Battle of Ramadi [31:04]
  • On the leadership and strategy required to take over a city [47:14]
  • The great tacticians that Jocko Willink respects, [52:44]
  • What makes a good leader and the things to look for when identifying good leaders [53:59]
  • How to teach the skill of detachment [1:01:34]
  • Jocko Willink’s workout that would cause entire platoons to “tap out” [1:09:14]
  • What are you world-class at that people might not know? [1:12:49]
  • Morning rituals [1:14:49]
  • When you think of the word successful, who are the first people that come to mind? [1:18:54]
  • Non-military leaders that Jocko Willink admires and considers role models [1:29:45]
  • Skills and/or experiences that every man should have [1:33:34]
  • Fear inoculation for civilians [1:40:14]
  • The books Jocko likes to give as gifts [1:42:20]
  • Common misconceptions about Navy SEALs [1:49:34]
  • If you could have one billboard anywhere, where would it be and what would it say? [1:55:59]
  • Explaining the purpose of his business, Extreme Ownership [2:00:14]
  • Discussing lessons from Extreme Ownership and the value it brings to private companies [2:06:19]
  • What SEALs discuss between themselves that they don’t discuss with civilians [2:12:44]
  • Which historical figure does Jocko Willink identify with? [2:18:29]
  • Something people would be surprised to learn about Jocko Willink [2:19:22]
  • Cheesy questions: What do you order at a bar, favorite music, advice for your 25- and 35-year-old self [2:22:49]

People Mentioned

Posted on: September 25, 2015.

The Tim Ferriss Show is generally the #1 business podcast on iTunes, and it was selected for iTunes' "Best of 2015." Each episode deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use. If you want to 10x your productivity, click here.

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212 comments on “The Scariest Navy SEAL Imaginable…And What He Taught Me

  1. Hey Tim, i´m just hearing you ask Jocko willink how he teaches this skill of “detaching”. If you haven´t heard of him yet, you need to check out seal commander Mark Divine. He teaches a lot of the mental/intuitional skills that seem to be an “either you have it or you don´t…” Alops it´d be awesome to hear him on your Podcast.
    Thanks for your awesome work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Loved Jocko’s natural charm. No hot air, but to the point and honest. Strong moment with his fallen buddies as well!

      Agree with Mark , Mark Divine would be a great candidate for the podcast.
      (I do hope Mark you are not advertising for yourself though🙂 )

      All jokes aside, another gem of a podcast!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When I think about all the constant tension, the deaths, the permanent action state, sometimes for YEARS, I understand why these guys come back with PTSD, Shellshock syndrome etc. He is a hero.

    The part where he adresses his passed fellows as Heroes hit hard. Ninjas cutting onions under my eyes here.

    Great podcast.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That part resonated with me too and it was hard to listen to. It’s all too easy to bring up successful business names that we’ve all heard (Jobs, Musk, etc) but when he was talking about his fallen comrades, it really connected. The conversation was so honest and unvarnished, this was a fantastic podcast.

      Liked by 2 people

    • People like Jocko, in higher echelons of combat military personnel are far more adept and likely to be able to move on from the stresses of combat. The less diverse your education the more likely you are to be debilitated by PTSD. The further you’re disconnected socially from the members of your team the less likely they will be able to provide any valuable incite during your state of anomos.

      We saw a true atrocity during the Iraq war, when regular Army members and sadly a great number of national guardsmen were subjected to counterinsurgency.


    • I will be honest and admit that it was my first thought, then thinking back at the sacrifices all these soldiers made FOR US AND EACH OTHER, I realize that it’s disrespectful to bring that up since most of us listening wouldn’t come close to handling what they went through. Politicians will always do what politicians do i.e. satisfy the lobby who put them there and maybe satisfy people too and these soldiers, believe it or not, are also getting the short end of stick at the end of the day so a little gratitude is deserved. It took me awhile to arrive at this conclusion.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I agree that the responsibility is from the politicians, also for sending them in not the optimal conditions (number, armour vehicles, etc), but honestly, I would like to know how does he feel about having been an instrument of invasion and murder of so many people (and no, there are no insurgents but local people resisting an invasion without any UN backup) for the economic benefit of a few. What does he has to say to this child And after destabilizing the zone there is ISIS. It seems that Tim does not want to make any political comment in any of his podcasts/writings. What do you mean by sacrifices they did for you (I am not american)? Do you think that invading a country for its resources is ok? I still have to complete listening.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Of course it is easy to be critic from the comfort of a desk and i feel bad about it and what these men and the irakis suffered, but I would really like to know about his opinion on the Irak war.

        Liked by 3 people

    • I’m surprised your comments made it through the strict censorship with which the comment section of this blog is moderated. It seems that to be able to post a comment you have to do a great deal of sucking up and make sure you don’t rock the boat. Congrats!


    • I believe he was sent to secure the town of Ramadi, Iraq. He wasn’t looking for WMD. Try the Matt Damon film Green Zone.

      Jocko feels that his time in Iraq was the most important time of his life. Leading men in combat is something you will never understand. SO, stop trying. Did you actively protest the Iraq War? Are you actively protesting for a peaceful solution in Syria?


    • I second this. If you could get him on the show, Mark Twight would be a fascinating interview. He’s a world class alpinist, author, founder of Gym Jones, he trains SEALs and other elite military units, also trains movie stars for films like Superman, 300, etc. Complete badass.


  3. Really enjoyed this episode, just looking forward to the book. Tim, you mention some strategies for dealing with anger issues and would love to hear more about that in the future.


  4. I don’t see any light in his face. No light and no poetry. Tim it would have been much more fun if you were wearing a white Abba tshirt in that picture with him. Next time.
    Respect to you and your work Tim and desire to focus on the tools and habits of high performers. It would be hypocritical and against my values for me to listen to this one though despite how interesting the show notes read. (felt the same about McChyrstal)
    If there was no US military the world would be a much, much happier and safer place. US foreign policy and those whom have chosen to enforce it are the sole and only reason we have so many Syrian and other refugees in real suffering at present- suffering majority of readers of this blog will never know

    Liked by 5 people

      • The Americans believe the USA won WWII. That’s partly true. But before we arrived, the Soviets had whipped 75 percent of the German army, and had suffered millions of deaths in the effort. The war was 80 percent over in Europe before the US invaded at Normandy. So “US military freed an entire planet,” while half-true, also perpetuates American ignorance of reality. The greater reality is that the US has always been a dangerous nation and still is the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world. I say this as a 20-year-veteran from a long line of American military men.


      • I just read this today and would like to point out that michael alapki is so wrong its not even funny.the russians actually suffered millions of casualities. They did didnt whip germany the winter weather did. Hitler was running out of options and attacked russia at a terrible time. Russia destroyed there own. Uties and retreated as the germans went thru a desolate russia in the most extreme winter weather. Not to mention how many millions of russians stalin killed himself


      • Tim, great interview with a truly discipline warrior, thank you. As to the quote above from Matthew, “If there was no US military the world would be a much, much happier and safer place” please have a look at the movie “No End In Sight” to get a informed view of the conflict in Iraq. Jocko is a warrior but we need to rise of above worshiping military warriors. Why did we invade Iraq, why did we invade Vietnam, why did we invade Germany or Japan. Who is Smedley Butler, what is the truth about the Tomkin Gulf, how did the Bush family aid Hilter, how was socialism more dangerous to capitalism than fascism, who is Mohammad Mossadegh of Iran from 1953. The continued support of and glorifying of war needs to end. We need a military beholding to what America stands for not what capitalism stands for and wants or needs. Listen to President Eisenhower’s speeches. Always ask cui bono. Male machismo is not a goal to aspire to when it involves killing and raping people and cultures.

        You do a great job with your podcasts but you need to rise above the myths which convince young men to risk their lives to support the corporate needs. Time for a 21st century definition of what a military can provide for a country.

        I could continue but will stop and thank you for some great podcasts.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Tim, I think what he means is, the countless (though somewhere in the tens of millions when you look at Vietnam, the civilian mortality rate under US sanctions, e.g. Iraq ’91-2003, Operation Iraqi Freedom, etc.) victims of the US armies – armies who carry out atrocities and terrorism ( in the name of the expansion of Western Democracy and the fight against terrorism (terrorists created by said atrocities), for the sake of maintaining hegemony and acquisition of foreign resources – would still be alive and thus, happier, at least, than being systematically ravaged and/or dead. Everyone would benefit if the capacity to plunder as we plunder, didn’t exist. Perhaps.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well, for anyone from outside the US this is fairly self-evident… Google for “post ww2 us military interventions”, which one could you objectively judge to have been worth the price? Panama perhaps – even Yugoslavia is a stretch. Iraq definitely not among the list of successful missions. This has nothing to do with anti-Americanism (or whatever you may want to call it), just look at the outcome and the associated human death toll and suffering. Yes, decent folks like Jocko are instrumentalized in these battles, I think.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Tim,

        I think Matthew’s statement reflects an unrealistic worldview, but the fact is that in the world we have today, the U.S. and its military are the largest purveyors and facilitators of evil.

        The U.S. overthrows and destabilizes democratically elected governments, it destroys entire countries(Libya, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan… ), pursues wars based on lies, deceit and propaganda, and then justifies its wars for oil, opium, minerals, defense spending and strategic pipelines by saying they did it in defense of my life and my liberty?!? C’mon, let’s get real.

        A sickening fact, at least in my mind, is that Putin, a KGB man without any particular morals, is more of a force for peace and stability in the world that the “land of the free”. No one can actually accuse Russia or China of helping Al Qaeda, arming Isis, killing Iraqi babies, bombing innocent women and children in Serbia, Yemen, Laos, Vietnam…an endless list of victims of American goodness and democracy.

        Tim, you’re an awesome dude and you’re creating awesome value(even this podcast is kind of cool), but you have a blindspot. As a person dedicated to personal growth, maybe you should look into that.



        Liked by 2 people

      • Hi Tim, didn’t expect my comment would even make it through, and probably most of us (including myself) don’t feel this is the right place to get into such discussion too much. As stated I believe you have a specific objective in your quest with such amazing people and admirably put the controversy to one side. And, I do not know my statement to be true, because it only takes a few seconds to realise there’s exceptionally little about my reality I know to be true. No intellectual arrogance there, it’s just honest that almost everything about my reality is perception and unconfirmed. Unfortunately, I feel I need to qualify I’m not American, and that I feel most of the world feels differently about things like us military than most of americans. Naughty. generalisation, sorry🙂 I could say, most americans appear to be strongly influenced to feel an innate trust in their government and military allegiance being primarily towards them the citizens. A contrary view held by many non-US citizens is, the us government is a corporation with a private police force with the sole objective of protecting and furthering the private interests of said corporation the rights of the citizens do not factor into that equation except as lip service. And while health, education the environment and everything else are torn to shreds, the war budget continues to escalate thus proving that point, to some degree. To answer your question, everywhere the us military gets involved domestically or internationally, problems are created that were not there before .It’s fairly well documented that vietnam, the 3 excursions into Persia (Iraq) Afghanistan, were absolutely catastrophes that created a more unstable, unsafe experience for US citizens both domestically and abroad, including stuffing the domestic economy etc.long list of disasters there. Cuba. Lebanon. Syria. And I wonder which countries have tried to disconnect from the World Bank /Petro dollar making Uncle Sam very cranky indeed? Same again for documented proof that ISIS was created and funded by the US gov before they went rogue and then had to be dealt with.US funds both Israel and Palestine. Bin Laden and Hussein were personal friends and benefactors of the us government. Did they even die or does the US have the best funded film technology in the world? Al Qaeda means something approximating ‘the list’ in arabic and is in fact originally the private operatives trained in yugoslavia by the CIA: us employees with us dollars trained them! Its documented roosevelt was funding germany in WW2, and then protected all its scientists after the war in exchange for tech. It would be hard to find someone internationally would doesn’t feel the US are the global bully or junkyard dog woof woof woof defending its territory. Any intelligent open minded person that reads the facts available would be willing to be open to the fact that 11 September, boston marathon, and a long list of other crises were false flags manufactured by the us government. My statement was a case of – subtract every single instance of us military intervention or manipulation that can be substantiated with enough intelligent (non internet) research, and there’s not much left but clear skies and rainbows! Instead, if the US is involved-expect destruction and suffering economically, culturally, personally I am just SAD that our culture promotes a psychology of guns, war, violence.I CRY about it. We need the maturity to realise it will not bring individuals, communities, nations or trade the spiritual wholeness and peace we as a world deserve. It’s the tail wagging the dog

        Liked by 1 person

      • What we do know is that the U.S. foreign policy of supporting the most attrocious regimes for some cynical geo-political game has created a lot of suffering.

        So yes, you dont know the statement to be true but the opposite being true would lead to at least a possibility where none exists now.


      • T. Shawk .. We invaded Iraq to get rid of a murderous dictator .. a Hitler who was trying to build a nuclear bomb .. not complicated .. he had the desire .. he had the money .. all he needed was time .. he had already gassed the Kurdish villages in the north and invaded Kuwait and Iran ..


    • Without the US military, a lot of the world would be speaking German right now. If you want to put blame on someone, look to the politicians (both left and right). Listening to podcasts like this and to soldiers who have seen and experienced things that would break many people, is the only way to overcome ignorance and understand both sides of an issue.


    • Bold statements about a podcast you didn’t even listen to. It makes me wonder what other subjects you’ve refused to be educated on and how serious I should take your opinions. I highly recommend you take your hands off your ears and listen to this awesome podcast.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I appreciate your your feedback jeffersonervin and jeff (who commented afterward) and it also made me giggle. you may note I insuinated Jocko was ‘amazing’, and I was honest by expressing the reasons why I couldn’t listen to the podcast. Does that preclude me from criticising the history of the US military industrial complex, that I felt could not be seperated and ignored? I was not claiming to know Jocko, I didnt call him a murderer – I don’t even know if he’s killed anyone. I don’t feel any ill will toward him nor other individuals in the armed services. I enjoyed reading comments here about how humble and clear he is. I totally appreciate why Tim would wish to interview. I understand why people would dig the podcast, the shownotes are appealing. I also suggested that, for open minded people theres a canon of non-internet literature describing everything I claimed – because yes, they were ‘only’ claims as I also made clear. Michael Moores documentary Farenheit 11.9 refers to the friendship between Bin Laden family and the Bushes. Amongst many other great educational documentaries. Oh, there’s also something called ‘Wikileaks’ . While we can’t expect a world without a US military presence, aspiring to a world where we don’t need or wish for one is always essential. Starting with ourselves. Not glorifying or sexualising violence and encouraging peace and community and goodwill are the only things that will further our development as humans. Not something armies are particularly reowned for. If one wishes to start contextualising the cultural neccesity of the Warrior – looking at the state of things we’re a long way from the noble origins of Bushido

        Liked by 1 person

    • Matthew, you need help coming back into reality, I would also like to know what planet or dimension you are living in, sounds interesting with the unicorns and rainbows and all.




      • It’s easy to make a simple statement such as “pull your hands off your ears and listen to the podcast” or “you need help coming back to reality” after someone opens up their view and gets vulnerable but it does no good to sway thought or introduce new evidence to change the perspectives of people reading this exchange of dialogue. At least admit you don’t understand Matthews viewpoints if they are unclear and pose a question, don’t try to belittle a person who obviously puts more thought into his comments then both you guys combined…

        Liked by 3 people

    • @Matthew Crisp-If there was no U.S. military…’s a very real possibility that the Axis Powers would have prevailed in WWII. The Soviet Union had its hands full with Germany after the invasion of the Soviet Union. They could not have handled a Japanese invasion in the east. Without U.S. Lend-Lease material and money……..and the fact that the Pacific War was overwhelmingly an American-Japanese conflict…………if you take the U.S. out of this equation……the world could be a much different place today…….and not a better one despite the challenges the world faces now.

      Additionally, if not the U.S. and its military…..who would have countered the Communists around the globe? Who would have pushed back the North Koreans and Chinese on the Korean Peninsula? Somebody else commented here that the “Domino Theory”…..Southeast Asia falling like dominos to the Communists never happened. The same with Latin America. As if these beliefs were lies. These were possibilities which seemed completely plausible given the geopolitical composition of the world at the time. Marx felt that Communism would overcome capitalism……that history ordained it…..a forgone conclusion…….that was a farfetched theory, not terribly plausible …..yet tens of millions bought into it…….but not true!

      You say we had a relationship with Bin Laden. Absolutely false! Bin Laden’s father……yes, but Osama Bin Laden…no. If you are going to assert something like this furnish real evidence from reputable sources…….ie: the National Security Archive or some other comparable source. Additionally, your comments on 9/11, Boston Marathon Bombing..etc… being possibly “false flag” operations by the federal government……………well, I’ll leave it for others to judge for themselves……but that instantly discredits people in my eyes.


      • You say we had a relationship with Bin Laden. Absolutely false! Bin Laden’s father……yes, but Osama Bin Laden…no
        @Eric Sierra-Franco.
        The US did have a relationship with Osama Bin Laden. Read “The looming Tower” if anything.


      • @Paricitoi Yes, Lawrence Wright’s “The Looming Tower” which won the Pulitzer. I have not gotten around to reading it. Although, I have read Steve Coll’s “Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10th, 2001” which also won the Pulitzer Prize. Coll makes it clear that U.S. money and weaponry were not going to Bin Laden when Bin Laden was a young jihadi fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 80’s. The vast majority of U.S. war material and money flowed through the Pakistani ISI to mujahedeen groups that were comprised of the same majority ethnic group as the Pakistanis themselves. That group is the Pashtuns . Bin Laden was a young and extremely wealthy guy that funded his own group of Arab volunteers in Afghanistan. Unless Lawrence Wright uncovered some information that Steve Coll didn’t about a relationship between the U.S. government and Bin Laden, then I’m sticking with my original comment.


    • If it wasn’t for the US Military and US Industrial might you would either be goose stepping and saluting the Third Reich or a Slave of Imperial Japan. Or both.


    • 1. US Policy makers are elected and a large part of your country does not vote. 2. Your statement is very general. It was the United States that tipped the balance in World War 2, preventing Hitler from taking over Europe and Japan taking over the Pacific – so i disagree the world would unambiguously be a better place. 3. Would you rather watch Baashar Al-assad abuse Syrians in Syria? That implies you would watch a bully push a smaller kid around, even watch the kid get beaten to a pulp, even rape the smaller kid – all because you have a ‘no-intervention’ policy. No one with a brain wants to see George W Bush in power again, if more Americans voted, that would not happen.


    • You have no idea what you are talking about. Seriously, spend a bit of time in other parts of the world. You’ll appreciate all you have a whole lot more.


    • “no light and no poetry”

      please define “poetry.” his face is rife with it.

      as proven as far back as 40 years ago in Russia and now being studied throughout the world, we humans are light bodies, or at the least have light as part of their organism which can and has been measured.

      technically speaking, there is light in his eyes (or they would not appear in the photo.)

      if these statements seem simple, pseudo, presumptuous, they do reflect yours.

      nothing of real value in any of it, is there.

      Jocko’s podcast, however … quite a lot of value.

      Mr Crisp, what i believe you are describing in Jocko is your shadows.

      there is an idea i like to play with, “transcend and include.”

      we’ve no way to know if the world would be a better and safer place without the plague of the U.S.


      the “sole and only reason.” again is intellectually laughable and easily disproven.

      “sole and only” is an “always and never” type of statement. none merit the pixels with which they are held.


    • I agree with your first comments.I”ve know his type and their sense of humor is to get you to pull the pin on a smoke grenade and hold it. But you’re followign assertions are absurd. “If there was no US military the world would be a much, much happier and safer place. US foreign policy and those whom have chosen to enforce it are the sole and only reason we have so many Syrian and other refugees ” is just garbage. It’s absurd to believe the US is the only nation in world who throws its weight around. Ask the Afghans how the Soviets treated them. Ask the Hindus how the invading muslim armies treated them. Get a grip on reality. We have been at each other’s throats since we were in caves. Syrian refugees are Syrian refugees because some Syrians decided to take on Assad.


    • What fantasy world do you live in, must be plenty of flowers and ponies? The world would be a better place without the US Military? Safer? I can agree with you on one point, if we protected only our borders, America would be a safer place. The world would resemble an apocalypse, all other countries would be 3rd world. The European continent would eat itself and so would China/Russia, I could personally give 2 shits. If it wasn’t for the US Military, on more than a few fronts, this World would be a disaster. If you can’t stand behind the people who grant you the right to freedom, feel free to stand in front.
      I bet you wipe your feet with the US Flag?


    • I’ll agree with you that our foreign policy generates a lot of blowback. But your logic fails to acknowledge that there is true evil in this world. And those Syrians you claim are suffering, those people teach their young to hate from a very young age, and that breeds evil.

      Make no mistake about it, had it not been for the US military securing victory over the Nazi’s, there’s a good chance you’d not be able to debate this here and now.


  5. Loved this interview. It is apparent that this interview was different, it felt different and it sounded like your reactions your just different as well. Did you feel kind of in awe of his experiences? It definitely sounded like there was some reverence in this one. Thanks for introducing us to Jocko.


  6. As a veteran, I completely understand honoring a Navy Seal. However, there are so many who have done great things to no only defend our country but to give back to the country and other veterans. Is Jocko inspiring – Yes. Is he the epitome of military veterans – I don’t think so. Until you have worn a uniform – and I’ve worn two – you really do not have any grounds for comparison.


  7. One of the best responses I have heard to your question about who do you think of when you think of successful. Very moving and enlightening. Thank you Jocko for your service and for representing those who make great sacrifices for us everyday.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I really don’t want to be THAT guy Tim, but did he at any point talk to you about the ethics of war? We’re so quit to praise someone for being “bad ass” without taking their morality seriously at all. He is no doubt a bad ass soldier, but is he a good man? Can someone in his position be?

    I’m not speaking one way or the other, just curious if he touched one that at all. Thanks!



  9. All of your guests have been interesting, but Jocko has been the most interesting of your podcasts that I have listened to (over 6 months, so not every one). He seems to be all about getting things done. Laser focused and well planned, as a leader, he is the one you want to work with/for. When he does it like it he doesn’t whine he finds another way. It makes him fascinating to know.


  10. Jaco the navy seal was interesting.. Strongly disagree with his statements about America is number 1. America is number 38th in education 37th in health care, 39th in happiness. Very few things we are number one in. Also dangerous talk about being a man and the seals. His three best friends got killed and for what. Some bullshit they bought into from Bush and Rumsfield. We went over there and killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people. If people like him refuse to fight in all of Americas wars this country and world would be a better place. Everything that is going on in the Middle East now is because of what we did in Iraq. Its always the same since WW 2 they are coming to get us. Kissinger domino effect never happened. Reagan South America never happened. I hope no young people buy into this military bravo lets go kill some people in a foreign land and feel better about ourselves. Don’t sign up for the Army-Navy and lets hope there lives are spared. Ask yourself if this Jaco friends family think it was worth giving their children lives or the lives they took.
    These brave young men lives are worth more than some politician who never served but have no problem to send others.

    Ramer Wellstone

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Great show Tim! The vulnerability on display at some points was amazing. You mentioned a book about Musashi, I’d love to know which one it is, the Eiji Yoshikawa novel or the William Scott Wilson historical/philosophical piece?
    Keep being awesome Timbo🙂


  12. Being a detached witness is perhaps the primary lesson from God in the form of Krishna to Arjuna, while leading him in to battle in Bhagavad Gita. Good job rediscovering and implementing this in the heat of battle.


  13. Here, in the UK, it’s Sunday morning and I open up my emails and there is Jocko staring at me! I surrender straightaway! Further on, another pic. with Tim standing next to Jocko looking skeletal by comparison.
    I haven’t had the opportunity to listen to the podcast yet but wanted to thank you both anyway.
    By co-incidence, I am writing a series of novels wherein one of the heroes is a SEAL working in the UK simply because he is excellent at decision making under stressful conditions.
    By another co-incidence, on BBC TV, we have a series running – Ultimate Hell Week – very fit volunteers are put through two-day training from various special forces from around the world. The first session was courtesy of US Navy SEALs and, because I was sitting safely on my settee, I laughed.
    I admire anyone who puts themselves through challenging situations, especially if they may not be naturally gifted so to do, and I abhor those who would exploit that courage. In other words our politicians.
    I was and am against the Iraq war. I have yet to be told ‘why.’
    However, in a democracy, we all have a responsibility. We all have to keep our politicians and decision makers accountable – show them support when they deserve it and censure them when they are in danger of being lured off the rails.
    Had we been less shallow and more attentive in our democratic duties, perhaps we wouldn’t have imposed upon and taken advantage of the honourable and courageous troops. We wouldn’t have disrupted an already fragile civic society in Iraq and killed innocent civilians. We are diminished.
    Let’s hope we really are learning lessons this time. As Sir Winston Churchill said, “The opposition is in front of you. The enemy is behind you.”
    I look forward to hearing the podcast and thank you both.


  14. The guy was really bummed out because war was over in 72 hours, he wanted his chance to be a warrior. That kind of sums it all up for me, gives you a good idea of who’s talking.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh boy.

    And now they have Tim Ferriss. The good live. Learning. Ah, that was.

    Let’s talk about all that good stuff we can learn from the military complex, let’s picture it with weaponry, camaraderie and testosterone. At the end of the day, no matter what we’re doing for a living, we’re great guys with favorite music and drinks at a bar.

    Their budget is too big, I guess, it had to happen. You can’t imagine how sad I’m feeling.

    So let’s see what’s the next embedded story😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jocko Willink is speaking for himself….not the Pentagon. Jeez, the guy is a former SEAL….not a lobbyist for the military-industrial complex. Service members do not get involved in policy issues. And yes…..there are actually lessons you can learn from people like him.


  16. Greatly appreciate your podcasts and the 5-Bullet Friday. In keeping with the military theme, I’d like to make a podcast suggestion – Simon Murray. Spent 5 years in the French Foreign Legion, and chronicled it in the book “Legionnaire”. Went into the investment sector with a string of deal and fund successes. Former Chairman of Glencore. Holds record for oldest man to trek to the South Pole unassisted. KF from Saigon


  17. Hey thanks for the podcast and all you do to help people like me, it’s greatly appreciated. I was wondering if you could provide more information about the pomegranate white tea that you two were drinking? As in which brand he bought? Does it matter which brand or type you get? Is it mixed with anything else? Any special instructions for brewing? Thanks.


  18. Hi Tim,

    Big fan of your Podcast till day one. It’s fun to compare your first podcasts (which were already very good) with the newest. it seems like You really found your groove and become a great Interviewer. Everytime I Listen to one of your Interviews, I get out with at least one quote, next book I want to read, some tactic or routine to use….It’s just fantastic….can’t appreciate it enough and Hope You keep on with the Great work!

    I would never have heard of such an interessting person like Jocko, if it wasn’t for this podcast. Very intense point of views. Thank You!

    Greetings from Germany

    ps: Other People I would Love to hear in this Podcast would be (Since it seems like You have connections to everywhere)

    Nate Silver
    Malcolm Gladwell
    Michael Jordan/Kobe Bryant
    Phil Jackson
    Paolo Coelho
    Quentin Tarantino
    P.Diddy, 50 Cent
    Ll cool j
    Robert Greene
    Will Smith
    darrel foster
    Michael Bay
    T. harv Eker
    Mark Wahlberg
    Marc Cuban
    Brandon Carter
    Tai Lopez;-)

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Question for Tim, regarding wealthfront. We’ve been looking for a simple, low minimim resource for our teenage kids to get some investment funds going, and this looks like a good choice…would you agree? My one son doesn’t have the $500 minimum yet, but he will soon. Thanks


  20. Considering the regimented nature of this man’s life as a result of his work, I would have been much more interested to hear what his entire day looks like rather than just his morning. For instance: he’s up at 0445, but is there a nap in there somewhere? What time does he go to bed then in order to sustain a living, working, training schedule of this type? I’m aware that the elite armed forces have allowed him to develop habits and tolerances beyond most others, and we can certainly speculate but I would have still liked to hear it from the man himself. Was there a discussion of this type off the air?


  21. Thank you Jocko and Tim!

    Jocko, tremendous Thank You for your service and appreciate your time in giving us a glimpse into the life of a SEAL. Thanks for being one of the sheep dogs. Few if any will ever truly understand what you’ve sacrificed for our Nation, and I’m sure you are completely fine with that.



    • Tim, One of my favorite podcasts and I have listened to almost all of them. Thank you Jocko, first for your services and then your dedication to professionalisum and humanity. It makes me proud and knowing there are people like yourself out there represent and protecting our country.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Greatly appreciate the podcasts and the 5-Bullet Friday. In keeping with the theme of military lessons for the private sector, I’d like to suggest that you see if you could interview Simon Murray. He spent five years in the French Foreign Legion, fought during the Algerian War and chronicled his experiences in the book “Legionnaire: 5 Years in the French Foreign Legion. After leaving the Legion he entered the Investment sector and had, and continues to have an extremely successful track record, including a stint as Chairman of Glencore. He also holds the record of the oldest man to trek to the South Pole unassisted. KF from Saigon


  23. I’m just finishing listening and may be suffering from recency bias, but this was one of my favorite, definitely top 5, podcasts you’ve done Tim. Well done.

    I was surprised that Jocko wasn’t a drinker, not sure why. Stereotypes suck.

    There were a few moments that were just intense and so honest and heartfelt. How could you not follow a guy like that?! Coupled with humility and a servant-based mindset. Boom! Glad we have these guys on “our” side.


  24. Another smashing podcast, thank you.

    It’s great to see you showing such respect for those in uniform, but keep in mind Tim, you contribute a lot as well.


  25. Hey Tim,

    Great podcast with Jocko and lot of really great podcasts across the board. I like that you tie them together by asking at least a few similar questions for each one; gifted books, billboards etc.

    Is there anywhere on your website or elsewhere that you have compiled the answers by category? i.e. everyone’s gifted book answer, what they would put on a billboard? It would be great to have a quick link to the ‘best of the best’



  26. Hey, Tim,
    a thousand thanks to you and Jocko for this awesome podcast. To me it ranks as well among my personal Top 10 of your shows.

    At one part Jocko spoke about hardcore bands that kept his discipline and will to endure up in the 90’s which made me think of Henry Rollins.
    Right after listening to the Podcast I listened to an interview with him.

    Please do as well a podcast with Henry Rollins!!
    This guy is a phenomenon.

    cheers from Berlin!
    Have a great time!


    • Rollins is the man. Readers have suggested him before. Why I don’t agree is that he is highly prolific and Rollins entire gig is talking about himself. His character and psyche and life is the narrative and the content. Which he does brilliantly and I admire him. But I’m not sure how many new edges you could cut from that gem from the angles Tim wields the grinder. He is already so transparent and available, we know him pretty well. Also, he’s ironically not too hip too ‘self improvement’. If you asked him what he eats for breakfast he’d probably say ‘whatevers available, i dont want to get too precious about things like food, but go and have your wheatgrass latte if that turns you on. Me- I’m a machine, man’


  27. I’m in the middle of your interview with Jocko so I really should wait to leave a comment, however, having just heard about how Jocko says that Colonel McFarland developed the tactics used in Ramadi that had never been used before in Iraq, I have to beg to differ. They had been used 3 years earlier by my friend and football teammate from West Point, LTC Nate Sassaman when he was with the 1-8 Infantry. You may want to read about it in his book “Warrior King” but the long and the short of it for the purposes of this comment are that Nate instituted this exact tactic and was summarily vilified for it by the senior commanders in charge at that time. As a result, Nate’s career was essentially over shortly after his time in Iraq which started in March 2003 and lasted approximately 1 year. The sad truth of the matter is that Colonel McFarland essentially rehashed Nate’s plan and tactics and was able to do it without criticism because after enough time had passed, and subsequent American lives were lost, the military finally came to a realization that Nate was right to use these tactics because they were the only way we had a chance to win the war. In no way do I want to take away from what Jocko and Colonel McFarland were able to achieve in Iraq, I’m a veteran of Desert Storm and was awarded a Bronze Star for Valor in that conflict, but I want people to know that what Nate did with 1-8 Infantry was honorable and just and entirely appropriate for the situation he found himself in.


    • Paul, thanks for your service and thanks for shedding more light on this situation. I think what you bring up is a powerful point that illustrates how much as civilians we do not understand about what lies behind the scenes with all the military stuff. Thanks again and much respect to you and your comrades for all you have done for us.


  28. Loved this episode. Key points –

    • It’s good to know and understand darkness vs. avoiding it all together
    • Get straight to the point
    • Take responsibility – complete ownership
    • Understand how risk mitigation works
    • Prioritize and execute – look at the biggest threat and solve it.

    Most Importantly,
    Jocko’s remark about feeling like a true man and getting married, just remarkable…

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Brilliant episode, thank you. I love Jocko’s willingness to be so honest and even vulnerable, but even more than that I love the way he considers every word. Learned a lot just from hearing him think.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Such a compelling interview. I soaked it up on a long flight to the Arctic for work. Heavy stuff and some great quotes: “In order to truly experience the Light, the brightness, you have to see the Darkness. If you shield yourself from the darkness, you won’t appreciate and fully understand the beauty, the beauty of life.”

    Blood Meridian has been downloaded. Thanks, Tim (and Jocko).



  31. Really enjoyed this show, especially Jocko’s views on leadership. If you like the Band of Brothers series you should check out the series of books by Donald Burgett. He was a member of the 101 Airborne Division, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment during WW II, from D Day to the end of the war. His writings are the most unflinching first hand accounts of war I have ever read. He is still alive today at 90 years old and would be an amazing interview.


  32. Hey Tim, have you or anyone in the comments ever read this book called Psycho‑Cybernetics? This book talk a lot about what John talks about when detaching your self from certain situations. Some NLP practitioners use this technique from my understanding as well.


  33. Fantastic interview, regardless of your stance on war, or wars we have been engaged in. Some men are born warriors, others learn to be and some reject it as barbarism etc. etc. Bottom line, we need warriors, Jocko is one of them and getting his insight is a good thing! LLTB


  34. Honestly Tim, the debt that I’ll end up owing you when it’s all said and done is going to be tremendous. I’ll try not to be sycophantic here, but it’s depressing for me to think about a world without your work. This podcast in particular served as a reinvigorating shot of “warrior” energy to my system. Maybe you can identify with this, but your conversation with Jocko gives me the same feelings and urges that arise after reading Hemingway, Montaigne, Camus, etc. I think it extends to certain screen productions as well, Band of Brothers certainly being a poignant example. Forgive me for English-major name-dropping, but Heidegger had a term called “being-unto-death,” which one could compare to the sense of mortality-acceptance that the Stoics, the Samurai, and other “warrior-poets” described, albeit in their own words. If you haven’t seen The Thin Red Line, it’s a fantastic illustration of Heidegger’s ideas within a wartime setting, and thus has many possible connections to the content of this episode. I am reminded, having just listened, that my life is far too sheltered and deprived of meaningful “memento mori.” Jocko’s experiences and triumphs makes me realize just how much man is “built for the hazard,” in every sense of his being. Yes, I deprive myself intermittently in Stoic style and live a minimalist life. Yet, this approach doesn’t produce the intimacy with death and one’s fears that men like Jocko or Gen. McChrystal seemingly manage so well. After your psychedelic episode last week, a friend asked me what I would have to do to experiment within that realm again. Essentially, I would do my best to cultivate the mindset of these two great men — to look death straight in the eye, smile, and travel well. Connections continue to abide. Kudos Tim, and thanks for being courageous and vulnerable enough to go where you do in this episode. All the best!


    • @eudamonist your fascination with death reminds of a classic, outstanding piece of english literature. The Red Badge Of Courage by Stephen Crane. About a boy man enlisting in the american civil war, and how he can’t wait to prove how brave he is. It’s very much a psychological narrative


  35. Tim, I learn so much about leading and developing leaders from your Podcasts. I would love to have you interview Yves Morieux (see his TED Talks), who resonates with Stan McChrystal. Also, Linda Cliatt-Wayman (see TED talk) who energises and motivates some of the most disenfranchised students in America. Thanks, Bill


  36. Hey Tim,
    Loved your conversation with Jocko. Lots of good stuff here that can be applied to business and life in general. In my case I have been applying some of Jocko’s advice to dating. Looking from the outside in at myself and trying to be self critical has pushed me in the right direction to obtain not only success but the best success for me. Thanks for a good interview, keep ’em comin!


  37. Tim,

    I was really struck by the pauses Jocko would have before answering. Him being comfortable in that silence and putting thought into each thing he said is something that I think is lacking in a lot of sectors of society these days. I will almost certainly be listening to this more than once because I feel there was too much to digest on a single pass.


  38. Very interesting podcast, thank you Tim. It’s great to have the opportunity to get inside the mind of someone like Jocko Willink. I had wrong preconceptions about the military – he is a very creative and open minded person that makes you rethink a lot of stuff. His concepts about detaching and “cover and advance” are very interesting. I’m very grateful to him for sharing his experience in Irak.


  39. Tim,

    I have been a regular listener of your podcast since its inception as an experiment. And I am a backer of your goal to be a teacher who inspires positive change to the masses. I suggest your podcast to anyone who I think may have an interest, I buy your books and I read most of your suggested materials. I thank you sincerely for making a lot of great resources and conversations available.

    However, this is the first podcast of yours that I have had to cut short and felt compelled to comment on. Quite frankly, I found the message and the lesson counterintuitive to your goal of positive change through education.

    My impression of Jocko Willink is that he is a very capable man on a lot of levels. I think that he is physically capable, intelligent, introspective and thoughtful. I also feel that he is violently capable, extremely adept at steering conversation by affecting unease (I have never heard you apologize so many times), emotionally compartmentalized and – at least from what I heard in this conversation – nearly devoid of empathy and humor, with the exception of his feelings for his fellow soldiers.

    Jocko states that humans have been at war since the beginning of time (human existence) and that he felt his calling as a warrior, from a very young age. I would argue that a minority of humans have been creating the framework for war since the beginning of human existence; war is very profitable after all. And that this minority has perfected the art of making young men (primarily) their instruments of war, by appealing to them at an age when they are unsure where they fit in in the world and are flooded with testosterone and the resultant feelings of false confidence and bravado. This framework provides a young man or woman with a calling. However, there is a plethora of case studies, first-hand accounts and an increasing number of suicides (daily) that clearly show the actual physical and psychological tolls that this “calling” takes on the majority of men and women who choose to go down the war path. The same can be said for the soldiers on both sides of any war. The fact that we continue to feed and glorify the war machine is probably the most visible blemish on our species as a whole. The practice creates more problems than it solves and is a gross impediment to human evolution on a global scale.

    Jocko named his fallen comrades as the people he would define as having lived successful lives. I’m sure his counterparts on the other side of the war – the “bad guys” – would say the same. Men and women from both sides trained, followed orders, killed and died. By this measure, were they all successful? And what about the people who get caught between these sides, who lose some or all of their family and friends as “collateral damage” and yet still find a way to live their lives with compassion and love in their hearts? Are they not the most successful in a war time scenario? Who best defines a measure of success in this case is a very complicated question.

    Jocko emphatically states, “America is the best country in the world”. No it is not. My country isn’t either. For that matter, no country is the best country in the world, any more than any person is the best person in the world. This world is currently a fucked up and broken collective. But, it is a collective just the same.

    What America does have is the resources and visibility to become the greatest catalyst for a positive shift in human evolution that the world has ever seen. If American leadership were to say, “Our system and policies are in many ways broken and antiquated and do not serve the best interests of the world as a whole” and then direct half of their current annual military expenditure ($300B) toward the eradication of hunger and the proliferation of education worldwide, the world would be a much better and wholly unrecognizable place, within the span of a decade.

    If America followed that up with the implementation of a living wage, the de-militarization of its police forces, a breakup of the corporate prison system, actual gun control, a federal referendum on the war on drugs, fully subsidized post-secondary education, direct voting and a ban on corporate lobbying, its people would prosper and its communities would flourish. This is leadership and leadership is what the world needs from America.

    I stopped listening when you touched on what it means to be a man, from a feminine perspective. This is a question you have asked on a number of podcasts; referencing conversations you have had with several women and their observations that there are a lot of guys available, but not a lot of men. I don’t think that being a man, in terms of what is attractive to women, has anything to do with bravado, the ability to hunt, renovate, fight or any of the other stereotypes that are associated with what it means to be a man. What matters is cultivating the ability to look at yourself and your behaviors objectively, recognize where you need work and then address (or seek help to address) these issues and traits accordingly. In doing so, you will build self-confidence, independence and self-assurance. A woman doesn’t need to know that you can swing an axe or beat the shit out of a dude. She needs to know that you are confident and comfortable in your own skin, that you appreciate her and care to listen to what she has to say and that you are a willing and contributing participant in your relationship with her.

    In closing, I am sorry if my viewpoint on this episode seems harsh. I appreciate what you do and I appreciate that Jocko likely has a plethora of good traits and a lot of love in his heart. I just couldn’t get past the glorification of war and the stereotyping of what it means to be a male. As individuals and nations, we have a lot of growing to do and this conversation did not strike me as conducive to inspiring positive growth.



    Liked by 3 people

    • Mica, this is about the best reader comment I have ever read on this website after years of following. Thankyou for your honesty and insight.
      I disagree with one universal statement you made however
      The world is not a fucked up and broken collective. How nihilistic! Truth, beauty, love, honesty and generosity exist in everyone and everywhere. It all depends on whether we choose to be that, see that, live that. It’s as close as every breath.
      I don’t know what definition of best country Jock was applying. I liked the comment by Ramer Wellstone pointing out how low down the charts US is for education and healthcare. These are about the two most important tenants of a whole and well society. Outside the US we are quietly amused/disturbed by the allegiance to the flag worship white magic ritual practised by secular individuals every day in that fine country

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment Mica. You said everything that I was wanting to say, in a much more articulate way, and with less vulgarity.

      Tim, you do wonderful work. I’ve been so moved and inspired by much of your work; this is the first time I have commented ever, though I bought your books from the very 1st one.

      This podcast was a giant fail re your themes around excellence in performance. Jocko Willink’s worldview is at odds with rest of what you put forth, which has large elements of compassion. Whatever it is you feel is lacking in your own life will not be assuaged by hero-worship of someone who means well but hasn’t thought it through; this is a man who wanted to kill people from very early on to prove himself. What if a compassionate teacher had taken that energy and shown Jocko how to channel it towards truly helping others.

      The necessity for war is a reality. But the so-called wars the US has been in since WW2 were more and more unnecessary.

      Iraq was a travesty. Afganistan, the same. “If you break it you own it”, the Pottery Barn doctrine of Colin Powell, likewise a noble man enmeshed in an insane system, was not a good rule or strategy for maximizing benefits to everyone.

      The UN likewise is a travesty. Yet it is a few degrees better than the US behaving being a bar brawler and taking on everyone on it’s own. The US has defunded and dragged the UN down, in “our” own self-interest – very primitive.

      What if that same effort was made to help the people we’re killing? Haiti, New Orleans, Rwanda, American Indian Reservations, Sudan, West Virginia, Syria – we have such immense resources in the US Army, as we allow our infrastructure and educational systems to degrade, argue in our governance about climate change, and in fact our military is staffed by many religious zealots who are likewise science deniers. Not the recipe for success – and certainly not for ‘Tim Ferris style success’ which involves critical thinking.

      Edward Snowden is as much of a warrior as Jocko Willink, perhaps moreso, becuase he’s just a civilian with no physical skills to defend himself from what must have been an immense effort to physcially incapacitate him.

      And even though I’m going to suggest you ask your new friend Tara Brach what her thoughts are about this episode – I’m no vegetarian leftwing treehugger. I’ve lived in some of the most dangerous places in the US [no, not Scarsdale]; I live reasonably off the grid, I do fell trees and chop my own wood, grow the majority of my own food, slaughter animals I’ve raised, etc – all those “manly things” [and I built and sold a company back before it was the new newest thing to do]. Those things are not what makes one ‘manly’. Nor does being skilled at BJJ. though I DO have a plan for when I get hit in the face, and my children who train martial arts 4x a week, do likewise. The plan always being, what’s the best way to de-escalate; take the punch, and figure out the exit. What is “manly” is to be a human, and try to add some love to the world. Killing people ‘for their own good’ is not a way to do that.

      Thank you again for your work, and I’d urge you to think about what the difference between the Jocko Willik and Tara Brach messages are.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Love your words. Thankyou. Just one question though – what’s happening in West Virginia? Tobacco? John Denver song?
        Sorry, never been to north america

        Liked by 1 person

      • Who said Tim Ferriss was “hero-worshipping Jocko Willik? The fact is, the country needs people like this intrepid former SEAL officer. Who else is going to hunt down the Bin Ladens of this world………you? The world is a dangerous place and we need more Jocko Williks in the game.


    • I just registered for a wordpress account for the sole purpose of commending you on your thoughtful, honest, and mature comment. I am a 10 year US military veteran, and it took me most of my adult life to figure out I was little more than a good-intentioned pawn, fighting for elitist interests. Thank you for your insight.

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Hi Tim,

    Loved the podcast with Jocko. As a civilian it gave me a glimpse into a world that I have never been exposed to, but feel like I should be aware of as a citizen. Regarding “detaching”, I was wondering how much training and knowledge it takes to get to the point where you can understand the whole picture, and then as a result, make decisions that could possibly affect an outcome?



  41. That Episode blew me out of the water. It is humbling and grounding to hear stories from those who have lived such full and unique lives. It makes me ashamed for complaining about my job on a daily basis. Respect.


  42. Tim,
    I’m a big of your life style and ideas.
    Last night I had a really great idea for an app to be sell to some company on Silicon Valley.

    Can you help me!? What I should do with this transform into some money!?


  43. Great talk! Get some Cormac McCarthy on your bookshelf, I agree Blood Meridian is an incredible if visceral and violent story. No Country for Old Men and The Road also dig into our darker nature. McCarthy is a member of the Santa Fe Institute, his writing springs from talks with our brightest scientific minds, which is a little scary.


  44. Tim!

    You’re pod-cast has changed my life! I found it at a lower point in my life and it really started my research into “success” and being “happy” with my life. I’d love to hear you interview Simon Sinek… his work has been HUGE game changed for me in the startup world – it’s changing how I talk to people and I’m gaining a ton of traction I’ve never had before… started 4 months ago and on Friday I’m pitching my business strategy to the CEO!

    Keep up the great work… I’d LOVE to meet/talk with you one day. Keep up the passion and chasing your dreams!!

    Thank you,


  45. It has been almost a week since i heard the podcast and still… WOW, just can’t stop thinking about it.
    Thank you for the incredible podcast & the great interview..
    You guys touched some points that hitted real hard in my mind.
    Huge thank you!


  46. Jocko’s response to the “morning ritual question” – what is in his mind, what propels him out of bed as he wakes up at 4am was in a demented sense extremely funny. Making it surprisingly hilarious was when I mistakenly hit 1/2 speed on my podcast player. Check it out at 1:14:50 in… half speed… so good. (BTW, Thanks Tim – so much enjoying your podcasts! A true fan.)


  47. Detach and observe. I couldn’t help but liken this point to Tara Brach and what meditation does to not only allow you to see situations more clearly, but allow you to delve into fear and let it dissolve.

    Jocko completely obliterated my preconceived notions about men in the military. Self-effacing, mindful, and deeply intelligent.
    Aaaand now I want to learn jiu jitusu. Thanks for this.


  48. Tim,

    After what seemed like a tough start in terms of questions to ask Jocko, this turned out to be pure gold. Your questions were super thoughtful and the content in this show is inspiring. Not sure how you got him to do 2+ hours, but I thank you for it.

    Well done and thanks,


  49. “Discipline equals freedom” sounds a lot like “Through discipline comes freedom”. The first is Willink and the second is Aristotle lol. Copied?

    Regardless, I’m looking forward to getting the sound back on my computer so I can listen to this one. Seems like a cool guy. Even though all that military stuff is beneath me haha.


  50. Raw. So many deeply impactful reflections here. Tim’s questions, and some of the gentle pauses and silences in response to hard hitting answers. I particularly liked the new question – and Tim’s vulnerability in sharing why – around “what are you struggling with”. One-clicked the Cormac McCarthy🙂

    Keep up your valued leadership – and service – Tim and Jocko. Thank you.


  51. And I thought your question about whether it’s better to expose yourself to or shield yourself from the darkness that exists in the world was mind blowing! It had me asking myself how I could experience that aspect of society and maybe gain some insight into why and how it exists.


  52. Hello Tim,
    About a year ago in the gym, one of the guys opened a debate of, “Is Tony Robbins the real deal, or is most of what he says or does, just b.s .”
    Being that I became a Tony fan many years ago after doing his “firewalk”, I chimed in. Tony is the real deal. Then one of the guys mentioned, If you’re a Tony fan, you have to listed to the podcast between him and Tim Ferriss and Tony. I had never heard of you so I searched for the podcast online. The rest is history. Your blog and podcasts have introduced me to a huge amount of information, ideas, books, philosophies and individuals etc., The cool thing about it all is that it just keeps growing exponentially. Each new podcast and blog opens the door to a plethora of new ideas and information.
    It truly has had a substantial and positive impact on my life.
    Thanks Immensely,

    Mark L.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Hi Tim,
    Great episode, no doubt, both because of the life and eloquence of Jocko and the useful tips for the audience. One point I disagree with though is the notion of selflessness of soldiers. When Jocko admits to being “bumbed out” when war is too easy, and to “relish it” when it is hard, when at war he does what he’s been “put on this planet to do”, he is far from “selfless”. Wouldn’t say he’s selfish as it would be not only insulting but wrong. Perhaps “selffull”? Hey I just coined a word!🙂


  54. I enjoyed this podcast in the beginning, but started to get disturbed near the end. This guy is dedicated and effective, but what I thought was he doesn’t have a global mind. He wakes up every morning with an enemy on his mind? Obviously he is effective at what he does, but maybe we are in an era that we should not rely on warriors. He kind of scares me in that respect.

    And when are you going to ask questions about what you do before you fall asleep? Greetings from Tokyo and let me know if you ever visit here again.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Tim, I really dug this episode! Being ex military and still working in public safety, as well as training in BJJ this one really spoke to my soul. That said, I heard you mention being here in Austin for a wedding I believe, and you weren’t able to find message therapist in the time frame you had secondary to them being booked. My wife is a message therapist here in Austin so if you’re ever in town again and in need of a message feel free to reach out! Free of course! I have absolutely nothing to sell you and nothing pitch! Honestly, I would really just like to meet you and it seemed like a pretty decent in!! Or if you want to ride out on the ambulance, I’m a Paramedic on the Special Ops Rescue team for Austin, Travis Co EMS. Its definitely a whole other side of life.


  56. I love how Tim attempts to inflate his ego, more out of respect and admiration than a seal fanboy way but Jacko deflects it in a sincerely humble manner. I’m really impressed with his character, far exceeding his accolades and brawn.

    As a jits practitioner and have trained with spec-ops this guys is a true warrior in spirit, and in the field. He admits his weakness, while we in the civilian world walk with such pride and vanity; we can all learn much from this man, mostly me.


  57. Hey Mr. Tim Ferriss Sir,

    this was an awesome podcast, thank you!!
    Very interesting topics that I wish I was acquainted with when I was 20… You two brought up some things I still battle with to this day, and probably helped me to structure them better.

    Also I don’t know why, but I love the sentence: “It’s gonna be Murphy’s law out there”🙂

    Thanks again, buddy


  58. An ex-head of the US Defence Intelligence Agency made extraordinary revelations. A recent publication stated that Lieutenant General (ret) Michael T Flynn, who as head of the Defence Intelligence Agency was America’s top military intelligence official from April 2012 to August 2014, told Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan, in an interview aired 31 July, that rejecting strong DIA advice to the contrary, the Obama administration made a ‘wilful decision’ to arm and support known terrorist groups in Syria, including Al-Qaeda, so that they could make war against the Syrian government.
    Not only did Obama and the groups’ other supporters know full well that their actions would mean the declaration of an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, General Flynn charged, but they welcomed it.


  59. Tim,
    The story of Brigadier General Jim Hall is an action film. A pioneer of sport parachuting, first test “pilot” of the 0-0 ejection seat (zero airspeed, zero altitude). He lives in Colorado, and would be a fantastic podcast interviewee. The book “Parachuting for Gold in Old Mexico” describing many of his life adventures is a can’t-put-down read. “Jim Hall was a partner in the world’s first professional parachuting company and was the co-creator of the TV series Ripcord that put sky diving before millions of viewers and was based on his adventures in Mexico. The Leo Stevens Medal, the parachuting industry’s highest award, was presented to him for the development of the Buddy System of free-fall parachute instruction. In 1965, he live-tested the F-106 zero-zero ejection seat and in 1967, he created the Air Force’s training film on surviving an ejection or bail out. He’s a retired Brigadier General from the Colorado Air National Guard and was awarded the Air Force Legion of Merit. In 1985, Jim was inducted into the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame.”
    Highly recommended. I am happy to connect you to him if interested.


  60. That was an incredible episode. Personally, I draw a clear distinction between the hammer (men like Jocko) and architects with their reasons for using it. This focus on a particularly gifted warrior is very eye-opening and is a perspective all of the architects should have when making decisions.


  61. I am a newcomer to the Tim Ferris podcasts, so I am starting to really appreciate his method of asking details about how a person works and thinks. That is valuable.

    For this particular podcast, I was ambivalent. On the one hand, I respect and admire warrior types like Willink–this type of person is needed to take on the Ramadi-type situations,and all things military. And I’m sure his type of leadership served him and his troops well. So kudos to him for his accomplishment in that regard.

    On the other hand, I was puzzled for a while during and after this discussion. I concluded finally that Willink is a little two-dimensional. That is, he expresses very fine sentiments in discussing his respect for fallen comrades, and he is very serious about the warrior side of things. And yes, he is self-effacing, but that seems to play out mostly in regards to his admiration of humility in a leader (more about that later) But, I sensed a gap in a third, more playful or joyful dimension. I only recall a single instance of humor during the whole 2 hr talk, and that was only in passing, without any of a common light-hearted laugh, just deadpan. I got to wonder if this serious guy takes himself and his warrior mode in a civvy world a bit too seriously…? Dunno, but that was my sense.

    That sense was amplified when he talked about waking up in the morning and seeing the guy in the cave waiting to take him out–as his daily morning activity. That was a little scary frankly, not in itself, but in that he continues to have those visions, and that is what drives him. And then, he talks about missing the action in a very wistful way. If one’s life is based on dealing with severe conflict, how does it transition into a non-conflict life? I’m not sure how that approach can be used to address leadership in a modern business world. Most conflict in the business world has to do with human factors or every-day differences in priorities–pretty mundane stuff. While taking oneself out of the situation can be useful, I wonder if a warrior mentality of survival and win-lose will work in a cooperative win-win business environment. Not all modes of leadership are equal.

    The oft-repeated discussion of humility being the #1 attribute of a leader also puzzled me. I don’t remember many leaders that I admire has having that as their primary strength. Mostly, I see vision and courage to follow that through. Humility does come into play, but down the line. I suspect that humility is best used after one becomes a leader, but beforehand, it’s more of a hindrance and would be viewed as a weakness instead of positive assertiveness. That’s my take.

    I haven’t read his book, but the amazon reviews that present some of its content make it seem more useful than his comments.

    It was good to get a different perspective, but I remain a little wary.


  62. Tim,
    Absolutely loved this podcast from my home in Australia. Humility, extreme ownership (especially in a business/manager situation), discipline equals freedom rings so true as with all of the podcast.
    Tim, your show, and of course your guests, are the catalyst for people changing their lives. Thank you. Please keep up the great work!


  63. Tim Ferris, you just confirmed my love for you one more time. ALL of his scariest navy seal’s successful people are DEAD! (Min 1:20) And that AWKWARD silence… You could have said “Wouw” or “Big Losses” or “I am sorry for your loss” BUT YOU SAID: “What do you struggle with” Because of that, YOU ARE AMAZING. KUDDOS to you for not encouraging that kind of heroism discourse. He gets his significance (See Tony Robbins 6 human needs) through killing the enemy! I want to see in your podcasts heroes saving people and animals and environment. I would love you to encourage accepting and embracing the differences in heritage, language, culture and nations.


  64. Mark Divine was the first name i thought of after hearing this podcast. I know a few of the other comments mention him. From what i have heard about his work he works with civilians also to get the mental and physical toughness that you mentioned without actually having to try out as a seal. I heard it described as hell week but they give you the tools to get though it (as opposed to get rid of as in the actual BUDS).


  65. The part on discipline is spot on. Discipline does make you free.
    G.K. Chesterton said “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and not tried.” Particularly where it relates to Catholicism.


    • “Freedom Through Discipline” is also a very Jesuit concept. I thought Jocko did a great job of describing how this dichotomy is so powerful. Thanks and great podcast.


  66. Hi Tim, in the podcast after Jocko spoke of his fallen comrades and was audibly moved I was a little startled at your response. It seemed as if you changed the subject because you were uncomfortable? Maybe in future try to acknowledge the emotion you are seeing and pause, the conversation may go to a much deeper place


  67. Thank you Mr. Willink for your service and sacrifice. Also for those of your comrades. My family is lucky to have servicemen like you guys defending freedom for us. It’s nice to be reminded to not take that freedom for granted, another reason to appreciate your words. It is difficult to read some of the negative comments here. I think it must be easy for some folks to forget that freedom is what allows people to make them. Thanks Tim for the podcast


  68. Indeed, Blood Meridian is a brilliant work of fiction. Beautifully written yet terribly violent. Not for the faint of heart.


  69. This was my favorite episode of this already excellent podcast. I appreciate the diversity of the guests Tim Ferris interviews, but more warriors would be my suggestion to really ramp this Pod into next level awesomeness!


  70. I think a lot of people miss the point of Jocko’s presentation. Don’t focus on what he did but how he did it. Sure a lot of folks may not like the military or it’s mission. Frankly I’m glad we have guys who are the master of their craft. The takeaway here is how can we apply the lessons of what makes one successful in such a field successful into other fields and our daily lives. Are you an environmentalist, surgeon, politician whatever, there are lessons that can be applied. We all work with people. Occasionally we work with someone that is a complete standout, not only obsessed with what they do and doing their best, but also great leaders and inspirers that show us how to take ourselves to the next level. Bottom line, we are all accountable, whether we succeed or fail.Only by accepting our failures can we improve and learn.

    Liked by 1 person