The Peter Attia Drive #55 - Jocko Willink, retired Navy SEAL, Part I of II: objective, strategy & tactics, leadership, protocols, dealing with death, and applying the many lessons learned from war

Full podcast here

  • A framework for solving hard problems: First you need to define your objective. Very clearly. Then you put a strategy in place. The strategy is the scaffolding upon which you will hang tactics. [8:13] 

  • Decentralized command works. Centralized command fails. [13:16] 

  • In combat [or any other complex adaptive system] things are going to happen that no one thought was going to happen. [16:33] 

  • If people [in any organization] don’t understand what the strategic vision is they can’t make decisions [on their own]. [20:29] 

  • I trained for 13 years before firing my first shot. [33:35]

  • You have to be humble so your mind stays open. So you can listen to what other people are saying and you can make an assessment of whether it is right or not. Constantly ask yourself: Am I really right? [39:59]

  • There are going to be situations where as good as you think you are you are not going to be able to control what is happening. It is like trying to hold onto water. [46:15] 

  • How did you learn the importance of humility? I saw great examples of that and realized if you want to go well that is the attitude you need to have. [47:02] 

  • There are times when people are too humble. Every trait a human can have can be negative and positive. [51:08]

  • When you are caught up in something psychologically one of the best things you can do is do something. Take some type of action that moves you forward. What you don’t want to do is stay stagnant and dwell on what is happening. [1:11:31] 

  • Getting good at Jiu-Jitsu teaches you what matters and what doesn’t. The more advanced you get in Jiu-Jitsu the more you realize what actually matters. It is the same with life. The better you get at life the more you are able to detach from your ego-filled, crazy emotional brain. [1:31:56]

  • If some situation is happening to me I don’t hide from it. I go after it. I’m going to get aggressive. Default aggressive is going to be my mode. The more you sit back and wait the worst things are going to turn out. [1:35:25]

  • World War 1 was a nightmare. The thing I hate was it didn’t matter how good or skilled you were. You were going to get told to go over the top and charge. They got mowed down. Battalion after battalion. It is the most sickening war. No senior leader called bullshit on it. No one said this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. [2:07:18]

  • Napoleon said if you get told to do something and you know it’s a bad plan then you are culpable. [2:14:14] 

  • Book recommendation: About Face by David Hackworth [2:33:16]