3 Questions That Will Change Your Life – Jocko Willink

3 Questions That Will Change Your Life – Jocko Willink

There are pivotal questions we often neglect to ask ourselves that go beyond the surface, piercing into the depths of our identity and aspirations. If you’re ready to dig deep, search for the warrior within you, and embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery and personal growth, this is your starting point. Inspired by the teachings of retired Navy SEAL commander, renowned author, and leadership consultant Jocko Willink, we’re about to dive into an exploration that can fundamentally reshape your life. It’s time to confront the truth, challenge your comfort zone, and chart a course toward becoming the person you truly aspire to be.

Here are the three Jocko Willink questions that can change your life: 

  1. Who are you?
  2. Who do you want to be?
  3. What are you doing about it?[1]

Who Are You?

This isn’t about your name, job title, or the role you play in society. He’s not asking about your past or the titles you’ve earned. He’s asking about the person you are at your core. Are you someone who shrinks from adversity, or are you a warrior who stands up and fights? Are you a leader who takes responsibility for your actions and their consequences, or do you blame others when things go wrong?

Identify yourself not by your circumstances but by your character. Your past is your past—it can’t be changed. But your future; that’s a battleground, and you’re the warrior. To face that battle, you must know who you are and what you stand for. Look deep within yourself and find your identity, core beliefs and values, and fundamental principles. It may be harsh and humbling, but it is the first step to change. It is the first step to victory.

If you think about what you love most, what you’re most passionate about, and what you naturally do with your time, those are the best clues about who you are at the deepest level. You can decide who you really are at your core.

Who Do You Want To Be?

Now that you’ve identified who you are let’s talk about who you want to be. As you visualize the person you aspire to become, I want you to realize something important: This ideal version of yourself is not an illusion; it’s a goal—a goal that can be achieved through discipline, hard work, and unwavering determination. Adopting a growth mindset is the path to becoming who you want to be. Who you are externally right now isn’t your destiny. Who you envision your true optimal future self to be is your true destiny when you’re willing to do the work. Your goals are your map of who you want to be.

Be clear about your vision. How can you plan your journey if you don’t know where you’re going? Remember, this is not about who others want you to be—it’s about who you want to be. Is this person mentally stronger? Physically healthier? More successful professionally? Are they better friends, partners, or parents?

Keep your vision realistic but aspirational. We can’t achieve perfection, but we can continually improve. We can always get better. There will be days when the journey feels too hard, and the mountain seems too high. These days, look to your vision and let it pull you forward.

What Are You Doing About It?

This is where the rubber meets the road. You know who you are and who you want to be. Now, what are you doing to bridge that gap? No dream is realized without action. You must get up, get after it, and start making changes.

Are you following a regular workout routine if your vision is to be stronger? If you want to be a better leader, are you studying leadership, seeking feedback, and implementing improvements?

Achievement is the offspring of action and discipline. It’s not enough to simply know your destination; you must walk the path. It will be hard. There will be obstacles.

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” ― Theodore Roosevelt.

If you want to become a better version of yourself, you must make a daily commitment to this goal. You must wake up each morning ready to fight the battles that will bring you one step closer to your vision. You must choose discipline over comfort, action over inaction, and progress over stagnation.

Key Takeaways

  • Deep introspection is pivotal to recognizing your authentic self. Your character, not your surroundings or past experiences, defines who you are.
  • Developing a vivid and comprehensive vision of the person you aspire to be is not a daydream—it’s a navigational beacon. Aim for improvement, not perfection.
  • Aligning your daily actions with your vision is critical to personal growth. This path demands discipline, perseverance, and tenacity.
  • Life is an arena, and you’re the warrior. You can shape your destiny and become the person you aim to be through a relentless pursuit of improvement.
  • Your journey to self-improvement is powered by consistent action, unwavering commitment, and continuous discipline.


In the grand theater of life, your role is not dictated by your past or circumstances but by the strength of your character and your undying resolve to improve. Understanding your true self, creating a crystal clear vision of who you desire to be, and relentlessly striving to turn that vision into reality are the pillars upon which you can construct the life you dream of. This journey demands resilience, discipline, and daily action. You must embrace these values, commit to them wholeheartedly, and face each day as a new opportunity to inch closer to your ideal self. Remember, it is through continuous discipline that we find our ultimate freedom. Rise, embrace the challenge, and seize the life you yearn for—every single day.

You are the master of your destiny. You hold the power to shape and change your life. Ask yourself these three questions daily: Who are you? Who do you want to be? What are you doing about it? Let your answers guide your decisions, fuel your motivation, and keep you on the path to becoming the person you aspire to be. Remember: discipline equals freedom. Now get after it.