Jocko Willink, a former Navy SEAL commander, host of the “Jocko Podcast,” and the author of “Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual,” explains how he handles the stress of work in military and civilian life. Following is a full transcript of the video.
Jocko Willink: Hi I’m Jocko Willink. I’m retired from the military and just wrote a book called “Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual.”
So there’s different types of stress that people face, and in my opinion most of the time we’re either facing stress of things that we can control and stress of things that we can’t control. Well, if it’s stress of things that we cannot control, what you have to do is you mitigate that stress as much as possible. You’ve planned. You’ve trained. You’ve done everything you can in your power to mitigate the stress that’s facing you. And then after that, there’s nothing you can do. So, you have to let that one go.
If it’s something that it is something that you can control, it’s something that is hanging over your head — a lot of times people have something that they’re afraid of. They’ve got a client that’s mad at them. They’ve got a project that’s due. And they let that stress hang over their head. I don’t let that happen. If I’ve got a problem with one of my clients that needs to get solved, guess what I’m going to do? I’m going to call them up and I’m going to say, “Hey, here’s what’s going on. This is the situation. This thing went sideways. I didn’t expect it. Now it’s going to take me some more time to get you what you need.” But I’m going to do that upfront. Same thing with a project that I’ve got. I’m not going to let that thing hang over my head and wait till the last minute and be scared of it. No. If I’ve got something to do, I’m going to attack it.
So that’s what I recommend you do. If you’ve got things that are stressful in your life that you can’t control, do what you can to mitigate them and then you can’t worry about them anymore. And actually, worrying about them is taking away energy from what you should be doing, which is concentrating on the things that you actually can control. So the things that I can control that are causing me stress, I’m going to attack them. That’s what you need to do.