How much do I want to read more? 7/10

There's a tempo in this book, like being under the spell of the galley drum man, that keep you in the rhythm, and gives you momentum.
It's truly motivating, to the point, straight, easy talk.

I particularly resonate with this one at the beginning, it reminds me of what my father endured for months before he passed away. So much so that I just can't take the easy path, I can't waste any minute into the easy steps. My discipline is nowhere comparable with every second he went through till the end.

There are others.
Hundreds more.
Thousands more.
Countless more.
Who fought and died to give me the gift of freedom.
And for them,
I will make every day—every minute—every second—I will make it all count.
I will live to honor their sacrifice—
A life worthy of the price they paid,
for me,
for us.
I will not let them down.


PART 1: THOUGHTS

THE WAY OF DISCIPLINE

People look for the shortcut. The hack.
And if you came here looking for that:
You won’t find it.
The shortcut is a lie.
The hack doesn’t get you there.

And if you want to take the easy road, it won’t take you to where you want to be:
Stronger. Smarter. Faster. Healthier. Better.

FREE.

To reach goals and overcome obstacles
and become the best version of you possible
will not happen by itself. It will not
happen cutting corners, taking shortcuts,
or looking for the easy way.

THERE IS NO EASY WAY.

There is only hard work, late nights, early mornings, practice, rehearsal, repetition, study, sweat, blood, toil, frustration, and discipline. DISCIPLINE

THERE MUST BE DISCIPLINE.

Discipline: The root of all good qualities.

The driver of daily execution. The core principle that overcomes laziness and lethargy and excuses. Discipline defeats the infinite excuses that say: Not today, not now, I need a rest, I will do it tomorrow.
What’s the hack? How do you become stronger, smarter, faster, healthier? How do you become better? How do you achieve true freedom?
There is only one way.
THE WAY OF DISCIPLINE.

WHY

Why?
Over and over and over again, I am asked: Why?
What drives me.
When I was younger, I was preparing for war.
I knew that somewhere out there,
another man was also preparing.
That man was my enemy.
He was working, training, planning, and preparing
to meet me on the battlefield.
I didn’t know when.
I didn’t know where.
But I knew that at some point: We would meet.
And I wanted to be ready.

Ready mentally.
Ready physically.
Ready emotionally.
So I trained. And I prepared. And I did everything I could to be ready for that day.
When I became a leader, I took the same approach.
To prepare my men in the same way:
To train brutally and without mercy
so we could fight brutally and without mercy.
And the day came.
We met the enemy on the battlefield.
We were ready and we fought
and we won.
Then one day, it was over.
I was no longer a soldier; no longer a leader of men.
I was no longer preparing myself or my men for war.
So. What drives me now?
The answer is simple:
The men that did not come home.

Marc and Mikey and Ryan.

But it is not only them.
There are others.
Hundreds more.
Thousands more.
Countless more.
Who fought and died to give me the gift of freedom.
And for them,
I will make every day—every minute—every second—I will make it all count.
I will live to honor their sacrifice—
A life worthy of the price they paid,
for me,
for us.
I will not let them down.

WHERE DOES DISCIPLINE COME FROM?

Where does discipline come from?
This is a simple answer.
Discipline comes from within.
Discipline is an internal force.

Sure, you can have discipline imposed on
you by a person, like a drill instructor,
or that self-help guru on TV, but the
reality is: He won’t give you real discipline.

Because that external discipline is
not strong. It will not survive.
It cannot stand on its own.
What you are looking for,

what you need, is SELF-DISCIPLINE.

Self-discipline, as the very term implies,
comes from the SELF. YOU.
It comes when you make a decision to be disciplined.
When you make a decision to be better.

When you make a decision to do more, to BE more.
Self-discipline comes when you decide to make a mark on the world.
If you don’t think you are disciplined:

It is because you haven’t decided to be disciplined. YET.
It is because you haven’t created it. YET.
You haven’t become it. YET.

So where does it come from?
It comes from you.
So make the decision.
Make the commitment.
Become the discipline—embrace its cold and relentless power.
And it will make you better and stronger and smarter and faster and healthier than anything else. And most important:
It will make you free.

OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION: WHEN AND WHERE TO START

People want to know how to stop laziness.
They want to know how to stop procrastination.

They have an idea in their head …
Maybe even a vision.

But they don’t know where to start—so they ask.
And they say: “Where do I start?”
“When is the best time to start?”
And I have a simple answer:

HERE and NOW.

That’s it.
You want to improve?
You want to get better?
You want to get on a workout program or a clean diet or start a new business?
You want to write a book or make a movie or build a house or a computer or an app?
Where do you start? You start right HERE.
When do you start? You start right NOW.
You initiate action.
You GO.

Here is the reality:
That idea isn’t going to execute itself.

That book isn’t going to write itself.
Those weights out in the gym—they aren’t going to move themselves.

YOU HAVE TO DO IT.

And you have to do it now. So stop thinking about it. Stop dreaming about it.
Stop researching every aspect of it and reading all about it and debating the pros and cons of it …
Start doing it.
Take that first step and Make It Happen.

GET AFTER IT.
HERE and NOW.

THE PERSON YOU CAN CONTROL

People are not who you want them to be. Kill your idols. Sure there are things we can learn from people—but people aren’t going to be what you think they are—what they should be.

People, even those people you have put up on a pedestal, are going to be faulted, weak, egomaniacal, condescending. They are going to be lazy, entitled, shortsighted. They will not be perfect. Far from it.

That’s fine. Learn from their weaknesses. Of course: Learn from their strengths and mimic and copy them in what they do well. But equally as important: Learn from their faults.

See what not to do.

Because you can’t control other people. You can’t make them what you want them to be. You can’t make them who you want them to be.

The only person you can control is you.
So focus on making yourself who
you want you to be:

Faster. Stronger. Smarter. More humble. Less ego.

Discipline your body. Free your mind. Get up early, and go.
Get after it and you will become the person you want to be.
And you become that person through:
One. Small. Decision. At. A. Time.

MIND CONTROL

When people think of the words “mind control,” they think of people controlling the minds of other people. Not me.
I think about controlling my own mind.
Sure, we are physical beings, and we must obviously embrace our physicality.
But we are our minds.
And I’m not going to go philosophical on what that means and where the “YOU” actually is—whether it is a soul or your brain or your heart or some other conjured-up place.
What I do know is this: You, your mind, the thing that is reading and comprehending these words right now, that IS YOU.
And you can control it. You are the machine, and you can control it.
People ask me, “How do I get tougher?”
BE TOUGHER.
“How can I wake up early in the morning?”
WAKE UP EARLY.
“How can I work out consistently every day?”
WORK OUT CONSISTENTLY EVERY DAY.
“How can I stop eating sugar?”
STOP EATING SUGAR.
You can even control your emotions:
“How can I stop missing that girl or guy or whoever broke up with me?”
STOP MISSING THEM.
You have control over your mind. You just have to assert it.
You have to decide that you are going to be in control, that you are going to do what YOU want to do.
Weakness doesn’t get a vote.
Laziness doesn’t get a vote.
Sadness doesn’t get a vote.
Frustration doesn’t get a vote.
Negativity
DOESN’T GET A VOTE!
Your temper doesn’t get a vote.
So next time you are feeling weak or lazy or soft or emotional, tell those feelings they don’t get a vote.
You are declaring martial law on your mind:
MIND CONTROL.

Impose what you want on your brain:
DISCIPLINE.
POWER.
POSITIVITY.
WILL.

And use that Mind Control to move
your life where you want it to be:
stronger, faster, smarter, quicker, friendlier, more helpful, more driven.
Don’t let your mind control you.
Control your mind. And then you can:
SET IT FREE.

WEAKNESS

Do I have weakness?
I am nothing but weakness.
I am not naturally strong, or fast, or flexible.
I am certainly not the smartest person in the world.

I get emotional over stupid things.
I eat the wrong foods.
I don’t sleep enough.
I procrastinate and I waste time.
I care too much about meaningless things and not enough about important things.
My ego is too big.
My mind is too small, often trapped inside itself.
Now all that being said, I have a saying: A person’s strength is often their biggest weakness.
But, their weaknesses can become strengths.
Me? I am weak, in all those ways, I am weak.
BUT
I don’t accept that.

I don’t accept that I am what I am and that “that” is what I am doomed to be.
NO. I do not accept that.
I’m fighting.
I’m always fighting. I’m struggling and I’m scraping and kicking and clawing at those weaknesses—to change them. To stop them.
Some days I win. But some days I don’t.
But each and every day: I get back up
and I move forward.
With my fists clenched.
Toward the battle. Toward the struggle.
And I fight with everything I’ve got:
To overcome those weaknesses and those shortfalls and those flaws as I strive to be just a
little bit better today
than I was yesterday …

STRESS

First of all, and I don’t mean to minimize the stress people face, but:
Imagine what Eugene Sledge went through on Peleliu and the tens of thousands of Marines there who suffered unimaginable horror.
Imagine David Hackworth assaulting enemy positions in Korea, wounded over and over again on the line, still going back for more.
Imagine the poet warrior Alan Seeger in World War One getting ready to go over the top and make his rendezvous with death …
Imagine the thousands of warriors who have gone before you, who have stood and faced evil and death.
And now imagine you. I used to do this myself while in Iraq facing stress.
Yes, we took casualties, and yes it was awful and heartbreaking and every bit as wretched as I could imagine.
But warriors have faced much much worse: The Battle of the Somme, or Gettysburg, or the Battle of the Bulge, or the Chosin Reservoir.
Humans can withstand almost inconceivable stress—and you can too.
So that is your first step: Gain perspective.
And to do that you must do something critical in many situations: Detach.
Whatever problems or stress you are experiencing, detach from them.
Stress is generally caused by what you can’t control.
The worst thing about incoming artillery fire is you can’t control it. It is happening and you just have to accept it. Don’t stress about things you can’t control.
If the stress is something that you can control and you are not, that is a lack of discipline and a lack of ownership.
Get control of it. Impose your will to make it happen. Solve the problem. Relieve the stress.
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?

I couldn’t control the chaos of combat.

I had to embrace it.

I had to figure out a way to take advantage of it.

Make it into your ally.

So. 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.

Use the stress to make you a better you.

DESTROYER MODE

Where does the switch come from? The overdrive. The berserker mode. The full-on destroyer that will not stop?
I think this is something that is learned.
And it is a hard lesson and not everyone gets it.
And it is an important lesson.
A critical one.
It is the thing that allows you to go the extra distance.

To dig a little deeper.
To push a little harder.
To get after it.

And it actually takes two opposing forces to bring it to life.
It takes both emotion and logic to reach your maximum potential, to really give everything you have, to go beyond your limits.

Because emotion and logic will both reach their limitations.

And when one fails, you need to rely on the other.

When it just doesn’t make any logical sense to go on, that’s when you use your emotion, your anger, your frustration, your fear, to push further, to push you to say one thing: I don’t stop.

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.

Fight weak emotions with the power of logic; fight the weakness of logic with the power of emotion.

And in the balance of those two, you will find the strength and the tenacity and the guts to say to yourself:
I. DON’T. STOP.

UNTIL THE END

Something I saw in combat that I later tried to train out of people was the tendency to relax once the primary objective of a mission was complete. I tried to train that out of them because you can’t relax until the entire mission is complete.
In training, we always attacked the platoons hard on their primary objective, but we always attacked them even harder after they left the main target, once the platoons were patrolling back to base, when their minds had already gone home and “turned off.”
That’s when we would bring it to them. Hit them from multiple angles with all kinds of mayhem.
So they would develop the attitude and the muscle memory to keep going until the end. And even when they got back to base, we would re-task them so they had to begin planning again. It wouldn’t stop.
That’s the mentality I wanted to instill in them:

It is never finished.
You always have more to do.
Another mission. Another task. Another goal.
And the enemy is always watching. Waiting. Looking for that moment of weakness.
Looking for you to exhale, set your weapon down, and close your eyes, even just for a moment.
And that’s when they attack.
So don’t be finished.

Be starting. Be alert. Be ready. Be attacking.
BE RELENTLESS.

Let the enemy stop. Let the enemy rest. Let the enemy finish.
You? Don’t finish. Don’t stop. Don’t rest.
Not until the enemy is completely destroyed.

And even then … Turn your focus inward, on yourself, and take the opportunity not to rest …
But to make yourself better, faster, smarter, stronger.

Because with those goals,
nothing is ever finished.

APPLICATION OF DISCIPLINE

Discipline starts with waking up early.
It really does.
But that is just the beginning;
you absolutely have to apply it to things beyond waking up early.
It is working out, every day, making yourself stronger and faster and more flexible and healthier.
It is eating the right foods, to fuel your system correctly.
It is disciplining your emotions, so you can make good decisions. It is about having the discipline to control your ego, so it doesn’t get out of hand and control you.
It is about treating people the way you would want to be treated.
It is about doing the tasks you don’t want to do, but you know will help you.

Discipline is about facing your fears so you can conquer them.
Discipline means taking the hard road—the uphill road.
To do what is right.
For you and for others.
So often, the easy path calls us:
To be weak for that moment.
To break down another time.
To give in to desire and short-term gratification.

Discipline will not allow that. Discipline calls for strength and fortitude and WILL.
It won’t accept weakness. It won’t tolerate a breakdown in will.
Discipline can seem like your worst enemy.

But in reality it is your best friend.
It will take care of you like nothing else can.

And it will put you on the path to strength and health and intelligence and happiness.
And most important, discipline will put you on the path to FREEDOM.

QUESTIONS

Knowledge is a powerful tool.
It is the master of your tools.
It is where your tools come from, because without knowledge, there is nothing.
Let’s take that one step further: Knowledge is the ultimate weapon; it trumps all other weapons.
Thought is what wins—the MIND is what wins—knowledge is what wins.
And you gain knowledge by asking questions.
Which questions should you ask?
Simple: Question everything. Don’t accept anything as truth.

QUESTION IT ALL.

When you don’t understand a word—get out the dictionary.
When you don’t understand a concept—break it down until you do.
When you don’t know how something works—dig into it until you do.
Ask every question that comes to mind. That is how you learn.
And most important: Question yourself.
Question yourself every day.
Ask yourself:
Who am I? What have I learned? What have I created? What forward progress have I made? Who have I helped?
What am I doing to improve myself—today?
To get better, faster, stronger, healthier, smarter?

Is this what I want to be? This? Is this all I’ve got—is this everything I can give? Is this going to be my life? Do I accept that?

Ask yourself those questions, those hard questions
and then answer them, truthfully.
And realize that all of us—ALL OF US—can do better. We can be better.

And it starts when you begin to ask those questions …
So ask the hard questions of yourself—and find the path to progress and discipline and to freedom inside the answers.

FIGHT

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.
But you have to make that attitude a part of your everyday life.
Do the extra repetition.
Run the extra mile.
Go the extra round.
Make the right choices.

Give the full measure.

Make yourself stronger, mentally and physically.
Stand and fight.

Fight against weakness. Against fear. Against time and against decay.
FIGHT BACK.
Go down swinging.
Give every day everything you’ve got.

And when you face a challenge—even something you don’t believe you can win, or a situation where you know you cannot win—remember this:
You have nothing to lose.

So.
STAND UP. GO FORWARD.

Go out in a blaze of glory, fighting with everything you’ve got, every ounce of energy, every bead of sweat, every drop of blood—until your last breath.

And then—and only then—can you stand down, put down your sword and your shield, and rest: in peace.