Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins

· 5 min read


Can’t hurt me: master your mind and defy the odds is a memoir written by retired US Navy SEAL and former US Air Force TACP member, David Goggins.

In addition to being a memoir, David’s hope for the book is that we (the reader) imagine ourselves as him in the book. And as we progress through the book, we attempt the set challenges.

Key Takeaways

Life is not fair
Accept this reality, own it. Do not let this become an excuse.
Be your own hero
No one is coming to save you. Be your own hero.
Habits is a tool in our toolbox
A tool we overlook is habits. Habits is the best tool for change.
Denial is the ultimate comfort zone
No one is more blind than someone who does not want to see.
Motivation is useless, instead be driven
Motivation is like a mood. It comes and goes. You cannot rely on it. Change requires consistency and being driven provides this constant desire to pursue the goal(s).
Repetition is the way to break out of a bad habit (self-disciple)
If we repeat something over and over again. It will become the new habit. Something we will do naturally without needing to think about it.


Challenge 1 - inventory of excuses
Write out all the bad stuff that happened to you (and own them, accept your past). No more excuses because of your past/background.
Challenge 2 - accountability mirror
Write out all the insecurities and issues (and own them). Set up goals on post-it notes to fix them. Stick these goals on the mirror so you see them every morning and night. Remove the goal once it has been achieved.
Challenge 3 - step outside of comfort zone
Write out all the things that make you uncomfortable or don’t want to do. Do one of these things every day. Do it again the following day. Repeat this until it becomes comfortable, then move on to do something else.
Challenge 4 - taking souls
Identify an enemy. Turn the tables on your enemy (the enemy here can be your boss, teacher, coach - you get the idea). Outperform the expectation of your enemy. Go way beyond them. Show them you are better than them.
Challenge 5 - visualise your goals
Visualise the goals you want to achieve. But don’t just visualise on the end goal, visual on the challenges you will face and visual how you will overcome these challenges. Make sure you have the answers to these questions before starting: why are you doing this? what is driving you towards this goal? where is the dark fuel coming from?
Challenge 6 - cookie jar
Write down all the victories you have had over the years. Note the feelings and struggles you overcame to achieve those wins. Put these into your cookie jar (not a literal cookie jar).
Challenge 7 - remove the governor
Push yourself physically and/or mentally 5 - 10% more than your perceived limit. Increase the limit again once your new limit becomes the norm.
Challenge 8 - scheduling
This is a 3 week challenge.
Week 1: Proceed as normal, but takes notes of your routine. This will be your baseline.
Week 2: Build an optimal week schedule. The schedule should be broken into 15 - 30 minute blocks. Focus on one task at a time. Remember to include time for rest/food breaks into the schedule. Takes note of the timestamps.
Week 3: You should have a good optimal schedule based on week 2.
Challenge 9 - be uncommon amongst uncommon
Go the extra mile to be the uncommon amongst the uncommon. Place obstacles and new challenges before yourself to help yourself stand out from the uncommon.
Challenge 10 - after action reports
Think about your biggest failures. Write all the good points about the failures. Note how you failed. Now, think about how you can fix those mistakes that caused the failure. Reschedule another attempt. And if it’s not possible to re-attempt. Just do the exercise to get an idea of what can be changed.

Extra Notes

Contains coarse language use and gory details
The stories are quite gory, not sure if the Clean Edition tones it down or just tones down the language. You have been warned.

Get the Book

Paperback, Kindle, or Audiobook from Amazon
Paperback, Kindle, or Audiobook (Clean Edition) from Amazon

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