115 Jocko Willink Quotes About Discipline And Success

jocko willink speaking on stage

Welcome to this collection of the best Jocko Willink quotes of all-time!

Jocko Willink began his career by joining the Navy SEAL’s, where he proved himself to be a phenomenal leader and disciplined warrior. As a result of his performance in the SEAL team, he was promoted to the commanding officer of the Task Unit Bruiser.

Under Jocko’s leadership, Task Unit Bruiser went on to become the most decorated special operations unit in the Iraq War.

After 20 years, Jocko decided to retire from the Navy SEALS. Nowadays, he and fellow SEAL Leif Babin own a company called Echelon Front, which helps individuals, teams, and companies become better leaders.

When you look at Jocko’s background, it’s no surprise why he’s become one of the most popular motivational speakers in the world today.

When you’re a former Navy SEAL, there’s no such thing as excuses. There’s no such thing as “I don’t feel like it.” or “I’ll do it tomorrow. 

There’s only committed action and rigorous self-discipline, and that’s exactly the message that Jocko preaches on a daily basis.

So without further ado, let’s dive into these incredibly motivational quotes from Jocko Willink.


Inspirational Jocko Willink Quotes


  • “When you think you can’t take any more, guess what? You can. It’s proven by the stories of ordinary people in war.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Once people stop making excuses, stop blaming others, and take ownership of everything in their lives, they are compelled to take action to solve their problems.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “I am weak in some areas, but I don’t accept that. I don’t accept that I am what I am and that’s what I’m doomed to be. I’m always scratching and clawing at my weaknesses to fix them.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “When you’re facing problems and they all hit you at the same time, that can be hard. But that doesn’t mean give up, that means it’s time for you to go on the warpath.” ~ Jocko Willink


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


  • “If I was to talk to my 26 year old self, I would tell that kid that you don’t have time and you gotta move fast. You don’t know when it’s gonna end, take advantage of every second.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Let the adversity you face today make you a better person tomorrow.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “You have to do the work. You have to hold the line. You have to make it happen.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “No matter what’s coming down on you in life, don’t surrender to it. Ask yourself “What am I gonna do about this?”, and then go make it happen?” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Is this what I want to be? This? Is this all I got – is this everything I can give? Is this going to be my life? Do I accept that?” ~ Jocko Willink


  • Fear is normal. Every person feels fear at some point. Step aggressively towards your fear — that is the step into bravery.” ~ Jocko Willink


jocko willink quote


  • “Don’t give into the instant gratification that is whispering in your ear. Shut that voice down and say “not today.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “The moment the alarm goes off is the first test; it sets the tone for the rest of the day. The test is not a complex one: when the alarm goes off, do you get out of bed, or do you lie there in comfort?” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Even if you’re not gonna win, you gotta fight. Go get some!” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “The reason people don’t achieve their goals is because they lose the small tactical battles each day. They die the death of a thousand cuts.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “There is no easy way. There is only hard work, late nights, early mornings, practice, rehearsal, repetition, study, sweat, blood, toil, frustration, and discipline.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “The earlier you start taking risks and get in the game, the better off you’ll be.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “The challenges you face are gonna do their best to bring you down…do not let them! Stand up and dig in. Line up those problems and confront them, fight them, face them.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “There is no growth in the comfort zone.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Rest is the one thing you should procrastinate. Most of the time, the desire to rest is just your brain steering you towards the path of least resistance.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “You are your own leader. Give yourself the mission and explain the reason behind your goals.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “You wanna get better? Stop looking for a shortcut. Go find your alarm clock, find your discipline, find your will. And only then will you find your freedom.” ~ Jocko Willink


Jocko Willink Quotes On Taking Ownership Of Your Life


  • “Get up and GO. Take the risk, take the gamble, take the first step. Take action. And don’t let another day slip by.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Instead of letting the situation dictate our decisions, we must dictate the situation.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Don’t let your mind control you. Control your mind.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “The storm that you’re in is hard to see out of and it seems like it’s everything. But the storm is not everything. And, it won’t last forever.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “One day you’re gonna look back at the challenges you faced and say, “Thank you for making me better.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “You’re not going to find happiness. You have to make it. So get out there and make some happiness.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “I focus on moving forward every day with my fists clenched towards the struggle, and I fight with everything I have to overcome my shortcomings.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Stop researching every aspect of it and reading all about it and debating the pros and cons of it…just start doing it.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Don’t fight stress. Embrace it. Turn it on itself. Use it to make yourself sharper and more alert. Use it to make you think and learn and get better and smarter and more effective.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Get out there and live, and strive to be better. Because the life you got is a gift, so live it.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “The darkness cannot extinguish your light, your will, your determination. No matter what is happening, no matter how hard the fight is. As long as you keep fighting, you win.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Fight weak emotions with the power of logic; fight the weakness of logic with the power of emotion.” ~ Jocko Willink


quote from jocko willink on wall


  • “If you fall off the path, what are you gonna do? Sit there and dwell on it forever? No! You get right back up and get back on the path even when it sucks.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Fear of failure is good. It will keep you up at night. Planning, rehearsing, and keeping you training hard. It will stop you from cutting corners. It will keep you thinking, working, and striving.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Do not lie to yourself, tell yourself the truth. That is where discipline comes from.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “You know I hear every day? I hear the clock ticking, time waits for no man.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “You can’t skip steps, you can’t take shortcuts. You gotta keep putting one foot in front of the other.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “As an overall rule, I do not like procrastination. You gotta get things done if you wanna be successful.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “That is what aggression is to me. The unstoppable fighting spirit. The drive. The burning desire to achieve mission success using every possible tool, asset, and strategy and tactic to bring about victory. It is the will to win.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “One missed workout, one missed phone call, one missed alarm clock, one missed work session. It all adds up.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Some days I win, and some days I don’t. But each and every day, I get back up.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Write down the things you want to do with your life. Read it before you go to bed each night. Read it when you wake up in the morning. Read it until it is embedded in your brain.” ~ Jocko Willink


Best Jocko Willink Quotes On Life

Enjoying this list of quotes so far? Then you’ll probably also enjoy these David Goggins quotes or this list of Les Brown quotes.

If you’d just prefer to keep reading, then here’s some inspirational Jocko Willink quotes about life.


  • “Hesitation is the enemy. It allows the moment to pass, the opportunity to be lost, the enemy to get the upper hand.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “There’s no one that wishes for peace more than people who have been to war.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “If the stress is something you can’t control: Embrace it. You can’t control it, but— How can you look at it from a different angle? How can you use it to your advantage?” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Actions and words reflect belief with a clear confidence and self-assuredness that is not possible when belief is in doubt.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “That’s just kinda the way that life works. It’s Murphy’s Law; when things go wrong, they tend to go wrong all at once and just compound on top of each other.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Waiting for the 100 percent right and certain solution leads to delay, indecision, and an inability to execute.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “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.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “You need tactical wins. You need to win the small internal battles before you win the war.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Figure out who you want to be. What are you working towards? What kind of physical shape do you want to be in? What kind of relationships do you want to have? What skills are you trying to develop? You have to explain to yourself the why.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “When things aren’t going well, there’s always going to be some good that comes from it.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Humans can withstand almost inconceivable stress, and you can too.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “When you’re going through tough situations, you’ve just gotta take that next step. Some things are gonna happen that are not in your control and you’re gonna get knocked around, but use that anger and frustration to push yourself harder.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Go down swinging. And I’ll tell you: if you fight with all you have, more often than not, you won’t go down at all. You will win.” ~ Jocko Willink


jocko quote on blue wall


  • “Life goes by quickly, don’t waste those years. Live them.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “I respect the enemy. The minute you’re not showing respect to your enemies, that could get you killed. You have to respect your enemy at all times.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “You need to think strategically. Think about the actions that will move you towards your long-term goals, and then execute on them every single day.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Life isn’t actually all that complicated. Are you going to workout today…yes or no? Are you going to eat the donut…Yes or no? You know the right decision to make, just stop the debate.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Does life ding me up? Of course it does, everybody takes hits. Deal with them and get to work anyway. There’s always an excuse.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Things won’t get better dwelling on the past. Accept what has happened. Then move forward.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “The only person you can control is you. So focus on making yourself who you want to be: Faster. Smarter. Stronger. More humble. Less ego.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “In order to win tactically, you have to think strategically. Before you do anything, you should ask yourself, “Will this action move me towards my long-term goals?” ~ Jocko Willink 


Jocko Willink Quotes About Discipline


  • “If you don’t have any discipline you’ll end up with absolutely no freedom. You’ll end up being a slave to other people bossing you around.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “It’s so easy to put things off and wait until tomorrow. But I want you to tell your brain that tomorrow is not a viable option!” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Those days when I’m tired, or worn out, or just sick of the grind. What do I do on those days? I’ll go anyway.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Those weights in the gym – they aren’t going to move themselves. You have to do it.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Waking up early was the first example I noticed in the SEAL teams in which discipline was really the difference between being good and being exceptional.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “When your feelings are screaming that you’ve had enough, you’ve gotta override those emotions with concrete logic that leads you to exactly what you know you need to do.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Even if you’re just going through the motions, that still counts as a win. You stayed on the disciplined path, which is right where you know that you belong.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “If you do not believe you are disciplined, it is because you have not decided to become disciplined. Yet.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Repetitive exceptional performance becomes a habit.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Self-discipline comes from the self, it comes from you. It comes from when you make a decision to be disciplined. When you make a decision to be better, when you make a decision to be more.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Success isn’t an easy path, and there are no shortcuts. Getting better is a daily campaign, it’s an hourly fight that doesn’t stop.” ~ Jocko Willink


motivational quote on blue wall


  • “The temptation to take the easy road is always there. It is as easy as staying in bed in the morning and sleeping in. But discipline is paramount to ultimate success and victory for any leader and any team.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Short term thinking encourages you to make emotional decisions. The more decisions you make based on instant gratification, the further from the path you will stray.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Discipline equals freedom.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Freedom is what everyone wants – to be able to act and live with freedom. But the only way to get to a place of freedom is through discipline.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “I don’t really wanna work out? I work out. I don’t really wanna hammer on the project? I hammer on the project. I don’t really wanna get out of bed? I get up and get out of bed.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “It’s great to believe in yourself, but self-belief only takes you so far. You better get the work done too.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Success is a campaign. It’s a daily, weekly, and monthly campaign of discipline. It’s about getting up early, going to bed late, and grinding out every second you can.” ~ Jocko Willink 


Jocko Willink Quotes On Motivation

One of the key lessons that Jocko Willink preaches is that motivation is an unreliable source of fuel to reach your goals.

You’re never going to feel motivated to wake up at 4 am like Jocko does, but you can discipline yourself to do it even if you don’t want to.

You’re never going to feel motivated to resist instant gratification, but you can discipline your brain to say no to the things that impede your progress.

Discipline overrides motivation, so let’s dive into some of the best Jocko quotes about motivation that deliver this message.


  • “There is no such thing as a weekend. This is an everyday gig: Every day is Monday.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “We think that motivation means we’re fired up to do something. We think that we can turn on that eagerness and passion whenever we want, but you can’t just turn on the desire to execute a task.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Keep the little feelings away from what you need to do. Lock down your mind and take control of the situation.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “To motivate someone is to explain to them why they are doing what they’re doing; how it will help them, where it will take them, why they should keep fighting.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Hesitation turns into cowardice. It stops us from moving forward, from taking initiative, from executing what we know we must. Hesitation defeats us. So we must defeat it.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Remember that the fight you’re in is what’s going to make you stronger, and faster, and smarter, and better. That’s all the motivation you should need to get back into the heat of the battle” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Do not let life’s challenges bring you down. Let those challenges raise up and elevate you. Let their trials and demands make you stronger.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Don’t look for someone else to give you motivation, look at yourself and remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing.`” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Everyone wants some magic pill, some life hack that eliminates the need to do the work. But that does not exist.” ~ Jocko Willink


inspirational quote posted on wall


  • “Motivation is fickle. It comes and goes. It is unreliable, and when you are counting on motivation to achieve your goals, you will likely fall short.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “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.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “When things are going bad, don’t get burnt out. Don’t get startled or frustrated, just look at the issue and say: “Good.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Don’t wait forever. Don’t plan forever. Bust that door! Get in there and take action.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “It takes both emotion and logic for you to reach your potential and go beyond your limits.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Motivation is a strange word because it doesn’t really mean what we think it means.” ~ Jocko Willink


Jocko Willink Quotes On Leadership


  • “Effective leaders lead successful teams that accomplish their mission and win. Ineffective leaders do not.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “If you continue to keep low performers on your team that are dragging the team down; you’re failing the whole team, and eventually, the whole team is going to fail.” ~ Jocko Willink


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


  • “Leaders must own everything in their world. There is no one else to blame.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Leaders must always operate with the understanding that they are part of something greater than themselves and their own personal interests.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “If you’re leading any kind of team, you have to modulate. You have to recognize when your guys need to be pushed, and when they need to be given rest. This applies to whatever kind of team you’re leading.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “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.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “It’s not what you preach, it’s what you tolerate.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Admitting mistakes, taking ownership, and developing a plan to overcome challenges are integral to any successful team.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Whether your mission is to go out and kill bad guys or your mission is to sell something or build something, you have to get a group of people unified behind a plan.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Leadership requires finding the equilibrium in the dichotomy of contradictory qualities, between one extreme and another.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Staying ahead of the curve prevents a leader from being overwhelmed when pressure is applied and enables greater decisiveness.” ~ Jocko Willink


powerful jocko willink quote


  • “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.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “The goal of all leaders should be to work themselves out of a job. When mentored and coached properly, the junior leader can eventually replace the senior leader, allowing the senior leader to move on to the next level of leadership.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “The leader is truly and ultimately responsible for everything.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “Good leaders don’t make excuses. Instead, they figure out a way to get it done.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “A good leader has nothing to prove and everything to prove at the same time.” ~ Jocko Willink


  • “It doesn’t matter what the plan is, you’re dealing with people. You can’t just give people and expect them to perform like a robot.” ~ Jocko Willink


Final Thoughts

Well, we’ve reached the end of this powerful collection of Jocko Willink quotes!

As someone who’s clearly been through a lot in life, it’s clear that Jocko’s wisdom transcends the battlefield and finds relevance in our daily lives. 

His words inspire each of us to embrace discomfort, build discipline, and strive for excellence no matter what we’re pursuing.

While the journey to success is far from easy, Jocko’s words are a powerful reminder that the war path is the only place that you’re meant to be. There are no shortcuts or hacks to where you want to go, only disciplined work and consistent action every single day.

So as you go about your day today, keep these Jocko quotes in the back of your mind. Use them as fuel to tackle the things you’re avoiding and run towards the actions that feel scary or uncomfortable.

In other words, get yourself back on the path of discipline.

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