Jocko Willink: overcome akrasia by commanding your mind

Akrasia is weakness of will. It’s the condition of knowing that you should do a thing and still not doing it. The word literally means “lacking command”.

So how do you get yourself to do stuff that you don’t want to do? Jocko Willink, the former Navy SEAL commander, takes a command and control approach. His answer, like Yoda’s and Morpheus’s, is to stop trying to do it and do it. Assert control over your mind. To all the parts of your mind that would have you not do it: don’t give those parts a vote.

Obviously this doesn’t work for everything in the universe. Want to fly like Superman? This is not a matter of mind control. But many things are within your control. Like whether you’ll get up early, make your bed, exercise, and eat well.

From his book Discipline Equals Freedom. Emphasis his (he’s very emphatic).

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 make 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.