Jan. 20, 2019

Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins: Pushing limits, losing toenails and shunning talent

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About the Author

David Goggins is a retired Navy SEAL and is the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training (including two Hell Weeks), the U.S. Army Ranger School (where he graduated as Enlisted Honor Man) and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training.

An accomplished endurance athlete, Goggins has completed over 60 ultra-marathons, triathlons, and ultra-triathlons, setting new course records and regularly placing in the top five. He once held the Guinness World Record for pull-ups completing 4,030 in 17 hours, and he’s a sought after public speaker.

Over the years, he’s shared his story with hundreds of thousands of students across thecountry, numerous professional sports teams, and the staff at Fortune 500 companies. David chooses to run the toughest races and put himself through some of the hardest military training programs in the country for no other reason than to see what he’s made of.

For him, physical and mental suffering are a journey of self-discovery, no other experience makes him feel more clear, focused and alive.

(Source: https://davidgoggins.com/about/)

About the Book

David’s author bio gives a good overview of the book. The book is David’s life story from an abusive, poverty-filled childhood through his military experiences and how he turned his life sround to become the only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller. As that wasn’t enough he then went on to set records in numerous endurance events, inspiring Outside Magazine to name him “The Fittest (Real) Man in America.”

The book is packed with life lessons, reflections and realisations. There’s plenty of inspiration and ass-kicking included to move you towards whatever you want to do – from fitness to career to business - and his 40% rule is one that has floated around my mind a lot since reading the book. More on that later.


BIG IDEA 1 (2:40) - Anyone can do anything. David’s belief in life is that you are only limited by your own belief in yourself. In his 40% rule he explains that people only use 40% of their true potential, which means there is a huge percentage of our capabilities being wasted.


Another big idea that David shared is that we need to get past and push through our fears. We are capable of so much more than we think we are and to ‘break’ the 40% rule we need to identify whether our fears are physical, mental, emotional or psychological.


He shares the concept of ‘callousing your mind’ - to callous your mind the same way you do your hands when you lift weights.  He used this metaphor to toughen up his mind to be able to face more challenging situations in life.


BIG IDEA 2 (3:54) - Talent is not required.  David credits his success to dedication and consistency - not talent. He had this realisation when he did his first 100 mile race. He looked around and saw that those who were doing a lot better than him were not those who he would think could win, showing it was a battle of the mind rather than the body.


BIG IDEA 3 (4:50) - Be uncommon amongst uncommon.Find a higher talent to compete with or a bigger goal. This is about going beyond what you think is your ultimate success, keep finding other people who are doing better than you as use that as a yardstick. When David achieved his goal of getting into the SEALs, he still kept training in the same way - even though others told him he could relax as he’d ‘made it’.  Being in an elite unit wasn’t enough, he wanted to be even more elite. He was dedicated, consistent and kept looking for that next challenge. He was looking to be uncommon amongst uncommon.


Click here to buy on The Book Depository

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