How Do You Deal With Failures? One Word…Good

Created by Echo Charles
“Discipline equals Freedom”

A personal motto coined by Jocko Willink, a former Navy Seal officer for Seal Task Unit Bruiser and co-author of Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win.

It’s a book that provides incredible insight into leadership techniques tested under the most trying circumstances. The information in this book, and its application to every day leadership, is far more practical and tested than most advice out there. A compelling narrative with powerful stories and direct advice, Extreme Ownership revolutionizes business management and challenges leaders everywhere to fulfill their ultimate purpose: lead and win.

If you want to succeed in business, or if you aspire to a leadership position, do yourself a great service by reading, and internalizing the principles in this book. It’s a must read.

Before this book became a New York Times #1 Best Seller, Jocko first appeared as a guest on ‘The Tim Ferriss Show’ podcast and ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ podcast. With the advice from these two hosts, Jocko started his own podcast with his friend Echo Charles.

After listening to his first show, I immediately knew this podcast is unlike any other. The wisdom shared is incredible, fascinating, motivating, and powerful. You’ll leave with a new attitude to get up and attack your day for the better. I wake up with such excitement when a new show is released.

On his third podcast (released on Dec. 31st, 2015), Jocko finished a Q&A session that gave me chills running through my body.

How do you deal with failures? One word…. “Good”.

You’ll look at setbacks in a totally new way after hearing how Jocko handles defeats.

I’ve transcribed this particular gem from the podcast for all to read and included the podcast/audio clip to listen to below;


Echo Charles — “How do you deal with setbacks, failures, delays, defeats, or other disasters?”

Jocko Willink — I actually have a fairly, simple way of dealing with these situations. It’s actually one word to deal with these situations…

And that is “Good”.

This is actually something that one of my direct subordinates, that worked for me, pointed out to me. He would call me up, pull me aside with some major problem, some issue that was going on…

He would say “Boss, we have this, and that, and another thing…”

And I would say Good.

Finally one day, he was telling me about an issue that he was having, some problem…

He said “I already know what you’re going to say.”

And I said “Well, what am I going to say?”

“You’re going to say ‘Good’. That’s what you always say. When something is wrong and going bad, you always just look at me and say ‘Good’ .”

And I said…

“Well yeah and I mean it.”

And that is how I feel. When things are going bad, there’s going to be some good that is going to come from it…

Oh, the mission got cancelled? — Good…. We can focus on the other one.

Didn’t get the new high speed gear we wanted? — Good…. We can keep it simple.

Didn’t get promoted? — Good…. More time to get better.

Didn’t get funded? — Good…. We own more of the company.

Didn’t get the job you wanted? — Good…. You can get more experience and build a better resume.

Got injured? — Good… Needed a break from training.

Got tapped out? — Good…. It’s better to tap out in training, then tap out in the street.

Got beat? — Good…. You learned.

Unexpected problems? — Good…. We have the opportunity to figure out a solution.

That’s it. When things are going bad, don’t get all bummed out, don’t get startled, don’t get frustrated…. No.

You just look at the issue and you say “Good”.

And I don’t mean to say something all cliché and I don’t mean to sound like “Mr. Positive”. Find the positive, but do that! Focus on the good. Take that issue, take that problem, and make it something good. It’ll bring that attitude to your team too! You go forward.

And lastly, to close this out. If you can say the word “Good”, guess what….it means you’re still alive. It means you’re still breathing. And if you’re still breathing, well then you still got some fight left in you.

So get up, dust off, reload, recalibrate, reengage, and go out on the attack!

And that right there is about as Good as it gets.


Don’t always consider a problem or a setback to be bad. Even if the situation appears negative, always find the good from it. Learn from the mistakes, reevaluate the situation, and go after the next goal.

Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Be inspired, be disciplined, be proud, and get after it.

As the great Chinese philosopher Confucius once said,

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

The Jocko Podcast is available on iTunes and Stitcher, and I highly recommend it to everyone.

Follow Jocko Willink (@jockowillink), Echo Charles (@echocharles), and Leif Babin (@LeifBabin) on Twitter and check out their consulting work at Enchelonfront.com

The podcast and audio clips are here below;

Jocko Podcast #3 — “Jocko & Echo (The Last Hundred Yards [Book], Jiu Jitsu, Bosses, Failure)” (“Good” part comes @01:44:32);

The “How to Deal with Failure” audio clip from the podcast;

***A newly released motivational video directed by Echo Charles about this segment;

And lastly, I highly suggest you to read a preview of Extreme Ownership and buy the book for yourself. This will be the book I plan to give to others for years to come.

Link to the original post on Linkedin.