75 Best Jocko Willink Quotes On Leadership and Discipline to Motivate You

50 best jocko willink quotes on leadership discipline motivation

We have compiled a list of the best Jocko Willink quotes to help motivate you to become the best version of yourself.

Jocko Willink is a badass. No doubt about it. This former Navy SEAL, who was awarded both the Silver Star and Bronze Star, is the epitome of what it means to be a man’s man. Jocko’s discipline and 100% accountability approach to the way he lives his life is an amazing blueprint that has been inspiring athletes and coaches around the world to try to achieve more in life.

Willink channels his message through his podcast, The Jocko Podcast, which has become one of the most popular podcasts in the world.

On top of his podcast, Jocko is also a co-founder of Echelon Front, which is a leadership, public speaking, and executive coaching business he owns with former Navy SEAL Leif Babin.

Jocko is also a New York Times bestselling author with a multitude of leadership books he’s written. His book Extreme Ownership is a #1 bestseller and a reading staple amongst high performers and executives around the world. His success from Extreme Ownership inspired Jocko to write his first field manual, Discipline Equals Freedom. along with his second leadership book The Dichotomy of Leadership: Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership to Lead and Win. On top of his bestselling leadership books, Jocko Willink also released several motivational children’s books with his Way of the Warrior Kid series and Mikey and the Dragons

Out of all of his motivational content, we’ve pulled our favorite snippets to make our list of the 50 best Jocko Willink quotes to help motivate you to achieve more in life. Jocko’s blunt, no B.S., straight between the eyes approach is a fresh perspective in the world of political correctness that will teach you how to hold yourself accountable and execute extreme ownership.

75 Best Jocko Willink Quotes On Leadership and Discipline To Motivate You To Become Your Best

Best Jocko Willink Quotes

75. “Don’t ask yourself ‘Why Me’? Instead, ask yourself ‘What am I going to do about it?'” – Jocko Willink

74. “Some things are completely out of your control and that’s fine. When that happens, you ask yourself ‘What can I control that will make this situation just a little bit better?’. Then you go. Don’t get crushed by things going wrong. Ask yourself ‘What am I going to do?’ – then go do it.” – Jocko Willink

73. “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. I want you to be horrified – terrified – of sitting on your butt and doing nothing. That’s what you need to be truly afraid of – being stagnant.” – Jocko Willink

72. “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

71. “Bring it. Back off? Negative – not happening. In fact, I’m stepping it up. I’m training, I’m learning, and I’m reading more than I have in my entire life.” – Jocko Willink


#70 of the Best Jocko Willink Quotes: “Remind yourself that this struggle that this struggle – this temporary pain – this fight that you’re in – will make you stronger and faster and better. Then with that motivation you go forward into the fray – into the heat of the battle -where victory is formed.”


69. “Time waits for no man. Life goes by, and it goes by quick. Don’t waste your years. Live them.” – Jocko Willink

68. “The earlier you get in the game and start applying yourself, the better the life you’re going to have.” – Jocko Willink

67. “It’s pretty self explanatory. The more discipline you have in your life, the more freedom you have in your life. People are always looking for a remedy or a shortcut to make hard things easier. Things are hard for a reason. If they were easy, everyone would do them. If something is hard, I don’t care – I’m just gonna do it anyways. ” – Jocko Willink

66. “The most important trait for someone to be successful and do well is to be humble. When someone’s not humble, that’s when they all of the sudden don’t listen to anyone else. They don’t want to evolve anymore because they think they know everything. So, they don’t make any changes and they don’t improve. The most important quality is the quality of humility so that you can take criticism and change to improve yourself.” – Jocko Willink

65. “Keep fighting no matter what. You never quit. And if you feel like you’re in a place where you can’t get any lower and can’t find a way out – GOOD. That means that the ultimate challenge is in front of you and the only way that you can go is up.” – Jocko Willink

64. “The storm that you’re in is hard to see out of and it seems like its everything. But, the storm is not everything. And, it won’t last forever. You can get out of the storm and you will get out of the storm. And, when you get out, you’ll see the sun.” – Jocko Willink

63. “Don’t fail the test. Don’t give in. Don’t quit. Fight on. Fight through the storm. Fight through the pain and come out on the other side stronger, and tougher, and better. A fighter. A survivor. A winner… Victorious.” – Jocko Willink

62. “How do you stop making excuses? It’s actually pretty simple. You have to accept that all of your excuses are LIES.” – Jocko Willink

61. “You don’t have time. That’s a lie. You don’t have support. That’s a lie. You don’t know the best way, or you’re too old, or you’re too young, or you’re too tired, or you’re too sore, or you’re just not feeling it… LIES LIES LIES.” – Jocko Willink


#60 of the Best Jocko Willink Quotes: “To me, it’s not about winning. It’s about the battle itself. It’s the struggle, it’s the daily test. That’s what life is about. Not just physically, but mentally. Getting that rock to the top of the mountain – that’s not what my goal is. My goal is pushing the rock – because pushing the rock pushes me. It makes me tougher, it makes me harder mentally and physically. I want to struggle. I want to claw and scratch and grind. I want to PUSH.”


59. “Recognize the excuses are not valid. They’re trumped up, they’re fabricated. They’re lies. How do you stop the lies? You stop them with the truth. The truth will set you free and stop the procrastination. The truth is that you have the time, you have the skill, you have the knowledge, the will power, the discipline to get it done. Cast out the lies and burn them down.” – Jocko Willink

58. “You have to modulate your leadership. You have to recognize when your team needs to be pushed and when you need to let off your team to let them rest.” – Jocko Willink

57. “I always have respect for the enemy. The minute you’re not showing respect to the enemy and their capabilities, that’s a lack of humility and its going to get you killed.” – Jocko Willink

56. “Getting better isn’t a hack or a trick or a one thing you need to change. Getting better is a campaign. Its an incessant fight that doesn’t stop against temptation, weakness and against laziness. Its a campaign of discipline. Hard work and dedication. Its going to bed late and waking up early and grinding it out every second in between – every single day.

55. “You wanna get better, you wanna self improve. Stop looking for a short cut. Go find your alarm clock. Find your discipline. Find your guts and your passion and your drive. Find your will. Then, you will find your freedom.” – Jocko Willink

54. “On those days when I’m physically sick of the grind – I go anyways. I don’t really wanna workout? I go workout. Don’t wanna hammer away on the project? I start hammering away on the project.” – Jocko Willink

53. “Don’t give in to the immediate gratification that is whispering in your ear. Shut that voice up. Instead, go through the motions. Sprint up the hill. Lift the weights. Work on the project. Get out of bed.” – Jocko Willink

52. “If you are going to rest, that is the one thing that you SHOULD procrastinate on. That’s the one thing that you should put off until tomorrow. If you feel the same way the next day, then go ahead. But, what you’ll realize is that the desire to rest was just weakness and the desire to take the path of least resistance.” – Jocko Willink

51. “Standby to GET SOME.” – Jocko Willink


#50 of the Best Jocko Willink Quotes: “Don’t just think. Don’t just talk. Don’t just dream. None of that matters. The only thing that matters is that you actually do. So: DO.”


49. Get creative. Get aggressive. Get it done. When you are on the road, STAY ON THE PATH.” – Jocko Willink

48. “There is only hard work, late nights, early mornings, practice, rehearsal, repetition, study, sweat, blood, toil, frustration, and discipline.” – Jocko Willink

47. “Fear is normal. Every person feels fear at some point. Step aggressively toward to your fear – that is the step into bravery.” – Jocko Willink

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

45. “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

44.”Most of us aren’t defeated in one decisive battle. We are defeated one tiny, seemingly insignificant surrender at a time that chips away at who we should really be.” – Jocko Willink

43. “But my glory, it doesn’t happen in front of a crowd. It doesn’t happen in a stadium or on a stage. There are no medals handed out. It happens in the darkness of the early morning. In solitude. Where I try. And I try. And I try again. With everything I have, to be the best that I can possibly be.” – Jocko Willink

42. “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


#41 of the Best Jocko Willink Quotes: “Everyone wants some magic pill—some life hack—that eliminates the need to do the work. But that does not exist.”


40. “A leader must be attentitive to details, but not obssessed with them. They must be strong, but have endurance. A leader must be humble, but not passive. They must be close to subordinates, but not too close. A leader must exercise ‘extreme ownership’, but employ ‘decentralized command’. They must have nothing to prove, but everything to prove.” – Jocko Willink

39. “Fear is normal. Every person feels fear at some point. What should you do? Step. Step. Take the step. Step aggressively toward your fear—that is the step into bravery.” – Jocko Willink

38. “In chaotic, dynamic, and rapidly changing environments, leaders at all levels must be empowered to make decisions. Decentralized Command is a key component to victory.” – Jocko Willink

37. “Overconfidence was risky in such a hostile environment, a mistake most often made by warriors who had never truly been tested.” – Jocko Willink

36. “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


#35 of the Best Jocko Willink Quotes: “Get up. Dust off. Reload. Re-calibrate. Re-engage – And go out on the attack. “


34. “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

33. “The SEAL Teams and the U.S. military, much like militaries throughout history, are based around building blocks of four-to-six man teams with a leader.” – Jocko Willink

32. “Human beings are generally not capable of managing more than six to ten people, particularly when things go sideways and inevitable contingencies arise.” – Jocko Willink

31. “It is essential to develop a standardized planning process.” – Jocko Willink

30. “Some of the boldest, most successful plans in history have not come from the senior ranks but from frontline leaders. Senior leaders simply had the courage to accept and run with them.” – Jocko Willink

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


#28 of the Best 50 Jocko Willink Quotes: “How do you become better? There is only one way – The way of discipline.”


27. “Curse the warmth of your bed instead of 48 reasons why you need to motivate yourself to get up in the morning. Glory in solitude instead of 10 ways you can stay on task and focus.” – Jocko Willink

26. “I had to take complete ownership of what went wrong. That is what a leader does — even if it means getting fired. If anyone was to be blamed and fired for what happened, let it be me.” – Jocko Willink

25. “Get After It.” – Jocko Willink

24. “There can be no leadership when there is no team.” – Jocko Willink

23. “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

22. “When your feelings are screaming that you have had enough, when you think you are going to break emotionally, override that emotion with concrete logic and willpower that says one thing: I don’t stop.” – Jocko Willink

21. “People who are successful decide they are going to be successful.  They make that choice. They decide to study hard. They decide to work hard. They decide to be the first person to get to work and the last to go home.” – Jocko Willink


#20 of the Best Jocko Willink Quotes. “Leadership requires belief in the mission and unyielding perseverance to achieve victory.”


19. “Extreme Ownership is a mind-set, an attitude.” – Jocko Willink

18. “If frontline troops are unclear about the plan and yet are too intimidated to ask questions, the team’s ability to effectively execute the plan radically decreases.” – Jocko Willink

17. “Leading people is the most challenging and, therefore, the most gratifying undertaking of all human endeavors.” – Jocko Willink

16. “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

15. “To implement real change, to drive people to accomplish something truly complex or difficult or dangerous — you can’t make people do these things. You have to lead them.” – Jocko Willink


#14 of the Best 50 Jocko Willink Quotes: “There are no bad teams, only bad leaders.”


13. “Once the wheels were in motion and the full resources of the team were engaged in that highest priority effort, I could then determine the next priority, focus the team’s efforts there, and then move on to the next priority.” – Jocko Willink

12. “The leader is truly and ultimately responsible for everything.” – Jocko Willink

11. “When personal agendas become more important than the team and the overarching mission’s success, performance suffers and failure ensues.” – Jocko Willink

Spongecoach’s Top 10 Motivational Jocko Willink Quotes


10. “Extreme ownership. Leaders must own everything in their world.  There is no one else to blame.” – Jocko Willink

jocko willink extreme ownership motivational quotes for athletes

9. “Set your alarm clock and get out of bed when it goes off.” – Jocko Willink

best jocko willink quotes alarm clock motivational

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

motivational jocko willink quotes every day is monday

7. “Ego clouds and disrupts everything.” – Jocko Willink

jocko willink quote ego clouds and disrupts everything

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

jocko willink motivational quote hesitation is the enemy

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

best jocko willink quotes weights won't move themselves

4. “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

best jocko willink motivational quote on perseverance

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

jocko willink quote if you allow the status quo to persist

2. “Good leaders don’t make excuses. Instead, they figure out a way to get things done.” – Jocko Willink

jocko willink quotes good leaders don't make excuses

1. “Discipline Equals Freedom” – Jocko Willink

best jocko willink quotes discipline equals freedom

If you liked our list of Jocko Willink quotes and want more of his no-fluff approach to success, then you’ll love his mentality when it comes to facing daily problems. Check out how GOOD Jocko’s approach is, use it, and win your day.

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