Everyone and their mom has come across this book. David Goggins grew up with a father who was extremely abusive to both his sons and to his wife. The resulting toxic stress in his environment led him to struggling with education and inhibited the normal development that a child at 8 years old would undergo. He narrates rejection, racism, academic failure and other hardships that he experienced, as well as coping mechanisms he developed to get through and how these led him to make the decision to take personal accountability for his life and steer it in a whole new direction. He embarked on a path of routines and constant reminders to push his mind to not go the path of least resistance, eventually developing incredible dominance over his mind, driven by a strong desire to join the navy seals.
This autobiography is a depiction of a fervent believer in the power of pain to bring out potential - a man who used pain to harden his mind to the point where he actively sought it. He intentionally attempted excruciatingly difficult feats to build physical and mental toughness. He pushed through a lot of self inflicted pain and agony in challenges he repeatedly willingly took on, in a bid to reap a boost of self confidence and stretch his bodily limits through his mind.
He is a staunch advocate of owning the bad things that happen in one’s life and finding power in them. Because what happened to us has happened and will forever have happened. Uniquely to us. So we have to own it and either use it forever as a motivating factor or forever use it as an excuse.
He advocates taking ownership of your weaknesses, failures and the unique life that is yours alone. Avoid self pity and excuses. Don’t ignore or block out your weakness and vulnerabilities when preparing for a challenge. Recognize, visualize, highlight and catalogue them including the things you do not like about what you are about to engage in and visualize each obstacle. Doing something that makes you uncomfortable one bit at a time will make you strong, and help you have a can-do dialogue, to rally yourself in stressful situations. To become an expert, triple on your strengths. To become hardcore, triple on your weaknesses.
He suggests reliving past successes in your mind and using them to fuel inspire and motivate yourself when the going gets tough. As a way to prevent your mind from going into the place it wants to go when things get tough - which is to remind you how you are suffering and how difficult your goal is.
Keep an open mind to knowing that when you’re fatigued and think you hit a wall, you are not yet 60% of what you can do."
This is his 40% rule.
He did 67,000 pull ups in 9 months on his way to beating the Guinness world record of 4,030 pull-ups in a single sitting, ran marathons on broken bones among other near-impossible feats. Upon reading this book, for the first time I was convinced I properly understood masochism. This guy is hard as a rock. Listen to his book and you feel as to go run a marathon.