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I was listening to an episode from one of my favorite podcasts The Tim Ferriss Show. Tim was interviewing Jocko Willink, a Navy SEAL who was deployed multiple times.

In the episode Jocko shared a multitude of stories and insights about life in the SEALS and what it takes to be a leader in such an elite group. A particular story stood out to me. While deployed Jocko's family asked him to send photos of his living quarters in Iraq. He took the photos, and after looking at them realized he didn't have any pictures of his family hanging on the walls. He put up the pictures, retook the photos, and then took them down.

His reasoning was he didn't want to be thinking about his family while leading soldiers whose lives he was responsible for. Thinking about his family on the battlefield could potentially comprise his judgment and put the mission and lives of soldiers in risk. It's a powerful message of focus, sacrifice, and discipline. It's one thing to tell soldiers you are leading that you have their best interests in mind. And yet to be so focused that you don't even allow your own family to be a potential distraction, is an entirely different signal. It's a classic aphorism: actions speak louder than words.

My other takeaway was the value of having a work environment that is conducive reaching your mission. Eliminate distractions that can disrupt you. Analyze the environment where you work. Find the things that are distracting and get them out of the way. My previous post, value of a clean digital desktop is a small change you can make right now with tangible benefits.

There are many more lessons and insights from Jocko on this episode. Give it a listen!