I just finished listening to the audiobook: “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins and I cannot recommend it enough. This book will give you tools to master your mindset and stop making so many excuses.
This audiobook defined inspirational. David Goggins is a living example that truly anything is possible. Going from living in poverty, being obese, suffering from family abuse to becoming an ultra-runner, breaking a pull-up record, and becoming a Navy Seal is a feat that to the ear sounds impossible. The most insane part about his story is that for 34 yeas of his life, Goggins has only been working with 3/4 percent of his heart. He had to get heart surgery in order to finally repair his heart. The day of his heart surgery, he was out running, and he recalls one of his friends seeing him on the run and laughing in disbelief. No kidding. Goggins shows in his book how he was able to learn tactics to master his mind and literally defy all odds.
The 40 Percent Rule
Goggins lays out this theory of the “40 percent rule” in his book which means that the feeling of being completely fatigued and tapped out happens when you’re actually 40 percent done, not 100 percent done. This means that during challenging tasks, most of us are only giving 40 percent of our all, and we don’t even realize how much more is left in our tanks. This was Goggins way to always push himself past the limit and become extraordinary. It’s not often that we push ourselves past our limit of what we think is possible, but the only reason for this is because of our mental barriers. The 40 percent rule is a mental mindset shift where you push yourself further than before. It’s important to recognize that it’s never a good idea to push ourselves to the point where we may be in danger of critically harming ourselves, but the idea is that because our society has become too “soft” as Goggins puts it, we stay in our comfort zone rather than push ourselves to become greater than before. This is because we always think it’s time to stop or give up when everyone else usually stops or gives up. What if we decided to push ourselves just a bit more? What if we ran an extra half mile, or did 10 more push ups, or jumped even higher on a box jump? Odds are, we will be able to accomplish it and the only thing that was holding us back, was our own mind.
The Cookie Jar
The next concept I want to briefly touch on that Goggins introduces in his book is called “The Cookie Jar.” The Cookie jar is the place in your mind where you bring together all your greatest achievements and worst failures to date. All of these good and bad things in our individual lives shape us into the people we are in the present moment. A lot of people try to simply block out all the bad things in their life and erase it from their memory. These hardships however, teach us great lessons and give us strength in the end, and Goggins suggests that trying to eliminate them from our brains is not the answer. Goggins uses this tactic whenever he is under great stress and needs to remind himself of how much he has accomplished thus far to get to where he is. It is kind of like a mental reserve that can switch your mindset within seconds, just with recognizing your potential and having confidence in that capability.
Who should read “Can’t Hurt Me”
In my opinion, anyone looking to “harden up” and trespass barriers or limitations that may be holding them back should give “Can’t Hurt Me” a read. I did not go through the same challenges that Goggins went through, like racism, abuse, severe health problems, and so on, but there are still challenges that have shown up in my life in the past, and today, that I’ve perceived as limiting to my success. Listening to Goggins life story and how he has conquered his limitations to achieve greatness is more than inspirational…it truly makes you want to never make excuses for yourself again. “I’m tired,” “I’m cold,” “I’m sick,” “I’m hungry,” all seem like weak, stupid excuses when you compare yourself to this guy. You need to read or listen to the book to know what I mean…and trust me, you’ll get it. He has gone through literal torture to become the man he is, and I commend him and look up to him. I probably will never be as bad ass as David Goggins, but what I can do, is take his advice about mental toughness to improve my own life and work towards conquering the goals I have set out for myself that I initially thought would be impossible to achieve.