Book Review: Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins

Can’t Hurt Me, written and published on 4 December 2018, is a biography of a retired Navy SEAL, David Goggins. The book will kick you in the backside to push yourself hard and achieve the impossible.

Money Habit Muse 5 Star

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds is a biography of a retired Navy SEAL, David Goggins.

Written and published on 4 December 2018.

David Goggins sold four million+ copies and earned a massive influx of 5-star reviews

Having listened to his audiobook and read the book, it’s clear he teamed up with an excellent ghost writer.

The writer, Adam Skolnick, has written a straightforward and engaging book. 

It fits a straight-talking guy, David Goggins, to perfection. No fluff. No complex words or superficial expression.

The writer portrays the bona fide picture of David Goggins so well. Goggins comes alive through every tale told in the book. 

You’ll see him in the book the same way as in various interviews. 

Think You Already Know All About Him?

If you’re a fan of his from the interviews, you’ll likely think you already know most of his stories.

So you may doubt whether the book would be of much value to you.

Before reading the book, I had felt the same. But I’m well pleased I ignored that preconception and read the book.

There’s more in the book that’ll impress you further and kick you in the backside even more.

♠ Warning: you’ll find a fair bit of profanities in the book. Have a strong feeling towards vulgar expressions? You may not like the book. I don’t swear, but I’m good with movies or books that contain foul language. So I feel sad for people who might miss out because of the colourful language.

♠♠ Update: good news – you can purchase a newly published clean (no swearing words) edition here.

♠♠♠ Enjoy a free trial for 30 days and get a free audiobook here.

YouTube Interviews

Haven’t heard of him yet and would like a glimpse of his story before investing in the book?

You can find the best interviews on the Joe Rogan Experience or Impact Theory.

Sort videos by ‘Most popular‘. You’ll spot the interviews with ease.

Fancy a “clean” interview with no swearing? Lewis Howes has one for you.

Every interview is superb, but I hope you don’t stop there: buy the book.

What is the Book Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins about?

Despite knowing some of his stories, I couldn’t believe I was reading a real-life story.

Part of me thought it must be fiction. So, unimaginable things described in the book would make more sense.

These things can’t possibly happen in real life!

It’s what makes this book so different from other biographies or self-help books.

From being abused by his own father to becoming one of the mentally strong persons.

He defied the odds without much help, going to war with himself and mastering his mind.

He walks us through what he has gone through. And how. And at the end of each chapter, he puts forward a challenge for you to take.

Despite various difficulties and failures, there’s no self-pity or excuses.

You’ll only see a man of resolution; keeps pushing himself beyond his pain point; never stops to become the one warrior.

You can truly appreciate the depth and lessons of the book when you read it.

So I recommend you borrow it from your local library or get it from Amazon and read it.

Money Habit Muse 5 Star

Highlights from the Book

I can’t include all the highlights here – there are so many. It’s a shame Libby won’t let me download them, unlike Kindle. 

(Credit: Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins)

By the time I graduated, I knew that the confidence I’d managed to develop didn’t come from a perfect family or God-given talent. It came from personal accountability which brought me self respect, and self respect will always light a way forward.

That’s when I first realised that not all physical and mental limitations are real, and that I had a habit of giving up way too soon.

… all that self-doubt and anxiety was confirmation that I was no longer living an aimless life.

Whenever I cut a run or swim short because I was hungry or tired, I’d always go back and beat myself down even harder. That was the only way I could manage the demons in my mind. Either way there would be suffering. I had to choose between physical suffering in the moment, and the mental anguish of wondering if that one missed pull-up, that last lap in the pool, the quarter mile I skipped on the road or trail, would end up costing me on an opportunity of a lifetime. It was an easy choice. When it came to the SEALs, I wasn’t leaving anything up to chance.

I was a prisoner in my own mind.

… I ran as fast as I could for as long as I could, from a past that no longer defined me, toward a future undetermined. All I knew was that there would be pain and there would be a purpose. And that I was ready.

This one, like most battles we fight in life, would be won or lost in our own minds.

Hell Week was a mind game. The instructors used our suffering to pick and peel away our layers, not to find the fittest athletes. To find the strongest minds. That’s something the quitters didn’t understand until it was too late.

Everything in life is a mind game!

“Why am I here?” If you know that moment is coming and have your answer ready, you will be equipped to make the split-second decision to ignore your weakened mind and keep moving. Know why you’re in the fight to stay in the fight!

And never forget that all emotional and physical anguish is finite! It all ends eventually. Smile at pain and watch it fade for at least a second or two.

… the ticket to victory often comes down to bringing your very best when you feel your worst.

I stopped myself seeing as the victim of bad circumstance, and saw my life as the ultimate training ground instead. My disadvantages had been callousing my mind all along.

Remembering what you’ve been through and how that has strengthened your mindset can lift you out of a negative brain loop and help you bypass those weak, one-second impulses to give in so you can power through obstacles.

… if I was going to fix my broke-down life, I would have to become more!

To develop an armored mind – a mindset so calloused and hard that it becomes bulletproof – you need to go to the source of all your fears and insecurities.

I was my own worst enemy! It wasn’t the world, or God or the Devil that was out to get me. It was me!

The reason I embrace my own obsessions and demand and desire more of myself is because I’ve learned that it’s only when I push beyond pain and suffering, past my perceived limitations, that I’m capable of accomplishing more, physically and mentally – in endurance races but also in life as a whole.

… impulse is driven by your mind’s desire for comfort, and it’s not telling you the truth.

… if you stay with any task that is trying to beat you down, you will reap rewards.

I had hit the wall many times before, and I had learned to stay present and open minded enough to recalibrate my goals even at my lowest. I knew that staying in the fight is always the hardest, and most rewarding, first step.

… in every failure there is something to be gained, even if it’s only practice for the next test you’ll have to take. Because that next test is coming. That’s a guarantee.

… the battlefield for me was my own mind.

In the military, we always say we don’t rise to the level of expectations, we fall to the level of our training…

… stay in the fight! Stay in it long enough to find a foothold.

Victory was a cure-all.

My work ethic is the single most important factor in all of my accomplishments. Everything else is secondary…

… it’s fun to do what we’re great at.

It’s about wanting it like there’s no tomorrow – because there might not be.

… when it comes to mindset, it doesn’t matter where other people’s attention lies. I had my own uncommon standards to live up to.

We’re either getting better or we’re getting worse.

We can always become stronger and agile, mentally and physically. We can always become more capable and reliable. Since that’s the case we should never feel that our work is done. There is always more to do.

We are all fighting the same battle. All of us are torn between comfort and performance, between settling for mediocracy or being willing to suffer in order to become our best self…

… a failure is just a stepping stone to future success.

… as long as I remained in the fight, I still believed anything was possible.

We need to surround ourselves with people who will tell us what we need to hear, not what we want to hear, but at the same time not make us feel we’re up against the impossible.

Most wars are won or lost in our own heads…

You can’t let a simple failure derail your mission…

… all I’d ever wanted from it was to become successful in my own eyes.

… it’s not the external voice that will break you down. It’s what you tell yourself that matters. The most imiportant conversations you’ll ever have are the ones you’ll have with yourself. You wake up with them, you walk around with them, you go to bed with them, and eventually you act on them. Whether they be good or bad.

We are all our own worst haters and doubters becase self doubt is a natural reaction to any bold attempt to change your life for the better. You can’t stop it from bloomming in your brain, but you can neutralize it, and all the other external chatter by asking, What if?

(Credit: Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins)

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