Jocko Willink Takeover — On Quitting, Relationships, Financial Discipline, Contrast Baths, and More (#395)

Photo by Echo Charles

“You might have to make some tactical retreats in order to win the long war, but never quit on your strategic vision. Never quit on getting to the ultimate place where you want to go.” — Jocko Willink

Jocko Willink (@jockowillink) takes over the show for a special episode. Jocko is one of the scariest human beings imaginable. He is a lean 230 pounds and a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt who used to tap out 20 Navy SEALs per workout. He is a legend in the special operations world, and his viral podcast interview with me was the first public interview he ever did. Jocko spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy and commanded SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, the most highly decorated special operations unit from the Iraq War. 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.

After retiring from the Navy, he co-founded Echelon Front, a leadership and management consulting company, and co-authored the #1 New York Times bestseller Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win. He is also the author of The Dichotomy of Leadership, Way of the Warrior Kid, and Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual. His new book, Leadership Strategy and Tactics: Field Manual, is coming out in January.

Jocko also discusses human nature through the lens of war, leadership, and business on the top-rated Jocko Podcast.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, StitcherCastbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.

#395: Jocko Willink Takeover — On Quitting, Relationships, Financial Discipline, Contrast Baths, and More


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Want to hear the last time Jocko was on this show? — Listen to this episode about the success mindset, how to stop laziness and procrastination, behaviors that lead to failure, exact workouts, training while traveling, and much more. (Stream below or right-click here to download.):

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.




  • Connect with Jocko Willink:

Echelon Front | Jocko Podcast | Warrior Kid Podcast | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


  • In his own words, who is Jocko Willink? [03:01]
  • How did Jocko meet his wife, what tips does he have for building and maintaining a family, and how does a mindset of extreme ownership ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible — whether at home, in the office, or while leading a platoon? [04:53]
  • Tactical and strategic perspectives: knowing when to quit and when to persevere when there are opportunity costs to consider. [11:24]
  • How does discipline play a role in macro and micro financial decisions like daily and monthly budgets? Has this changed for Jocko over time? [20:17]
  • How does Jocko balance his time as a father with businesses, a podcast, and working out? What values does he hope to pass on to his children? [23:37]
  • What are Jake’s thoughts on toxic masculinity? How should someone raise their son to understand concepts like harassment and consent, and to be assertive and ambitious in life without going too far (or not far enough)? [31:45]
  • What are Jocko’s experiences with cold or heat therapy like cold showers, ice baths, saunas, et cetera? [38:22]
  • What is one piece of advice Jocko would give someone who’s on the brink of finishing it all tonight — especially someone who might be skeptical of psychologists? [44:23]
  • What’s Jocko’s step-by-step guide to building discipline for someone who has little to none of it? [49:33]
  • How does someone build mental toughness and resilience? [51:26]
  • If Jocko hadn’t been in the military, what would he have done instead? [52:48]
  • Your five-year-old has been taking jiu-jitsu for two weeks, but he’s not very aggressive. How do you teach someone to turn on aggression? [54:06]
  • Jocko has started multiple, successful businesses since his first appearance on this podcast a few years back. How has he managed to do this? [58:12]
  • What does Jocko consider to be his biggest failure? [1:06:57]