Book Review: Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

Stay Hard! Merry Christmas! If you know anything about David Goggins, then you know what I’m talk about it. If not, then get ready to meet a man who could change your life.

Can’t Hurt Me (364 pages) is the (living) autobiography of David Goggins – and he is having quite a life. But recounting his life accomplishments is not the principle subject of this book. Instead, David focuses on what he had to endure to achieve. From the book’s cover:

For David Goggins, childhood was a nightmare – poverty, prejudice, and physical abuse colored his days and haunted his nights. But through self-discipline, mental toughness, and hard work, Goggins transformed himself from a depressed, overweight young man with no future into a U.S. Armed Forces icon and one of the world’s top endurance athletes. The only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller, he went on to set records in numerous endurance events, inspiring Outside magazine to name him The Fittest (Real) Man in America.  

In Can’t Hurt Me, he shares his astonishing life story and reveals that most of us tap into only 40% of our capabilities. Goggins calls this The 40% Rule, and his story illuminates a path that anyone can follow to push past pain, demolish fear, and reach their full potential.

Still not convinced you should this book? Go to YouTube and watch David Goggins.

He has appeared on several top rated YouTube channels and podcasts. If you like what you see, you will like this book. Can’t Hurt Me is a raw account of David’s life and the writing style is a seamless transition from the David you have seen in video.

David is living proof that accomplishing big (or really any) goals is possible through hard work. Based on his background and early life, David should have been a statistic in his words. He grew up with an abusive father in a broken home in a community full of prejudice and poverty. But, you can’t hurt David Goggins. What I like about this book is not only the story of triumph, but also the path forward outlined for the reader. At the end of each chapter are mini-challenges that you can implement today to begin changing your situation and chasing your goals the way David did.

For instance, the Accountability Mirror (#accountabilitymirror) is a tactic used by  David to set and achieve goals. It’s simple: Write your goal on a Post-It note, then put it on your bathroom mirror. Sounds easy, right? Try it; it works, especially if you have others in the house that use this mirror…

Or, try the Cookie Jar (#cookiejar). The Cookie Jar is a physical reminder of how strong you are, especially when you feel weak or depressed. For me, I’m experimenting with an old cookie tin on my desk. As instructed, I’m filling the tin with slips of paper of major obstacles overcome in my life that can be later retrieved to serve as reminders of hardships already surmounted.

David demonstrates that the way to accomplish goals is mental toughness  – something most of us lack. To develop mental toughness, you have to be willingly to work and suffer and, in David’s words, callous your mind. When you understand this idea, the exploits that have made David famous make more sense. Each one was a mini-crucible on his path to fortify his mind and become a better version of his self. And, again, David outlines to the reader how to start acquiring their own mental toughness.

In the end, what makes the book worth reading is David’s ability to tell his stories in a way that makes the reader think “if this guy can do it, maybe I can to it.” Then, he takes one more step forward than most to outline the initial path forward. I guess that should be expected from a man who has always take one more step forward than most.

Stay Hard! See you at the Finish Line,

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