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BOOK REVIEW Can't Hurt Me: by David Goggins, Review and Discussion

Primeperiwinkle

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Caveat- the star thing is difficult for me. IMHO Five Star ratings are for books that I know I will reread every couple years for the rest of my life. Very, very few books fit in that category. I will never read this book again and I don’t feel the need to recommend it to anyone I know.. or even buy it in print for my kids to read.

I’m glad he wrote the book though because I’m sure it’s helped ppl and I think it was worth the money if only because I got to hear his story. I love stories. Although this is the first Modern Overcoming Warrior Type book I’ve ever read, so I really have nothing to compare it to.

(I think Oliver Twist, The Once and Future King, or Kim teach the same lessons better.)

Big Takeaways: 1.) I don’t embrace suffering or discomfort. At all. As soon as I finished the book I started reallly dissecting this and asking “How can I embrace discomfort and push towards it?”
2.) When I work out I only push myself if I’m competing against somebody else. The idea that I have a mental governor that stops me at 40% is liberating cuz now I know to tell it to shut up.

Problems: The relationship aspect is extremely troublesome to me. I wouldn’t want a life like his.. but he seems satisfied so I guess that’s cool. I’m glad he reunited with his brother at the end but it sounds like he has a slew (sp?) of poor relationships. People get much farther in life with a team. It’s sad about the wives but.. I’ve dated an Army Ranger AND a guy who did Ironmans. With men, it seems like you either get a lot of grit or a lot of emotional iq, rarely both in equal measure.

Ok, now for the questions which have been floating around in my skull..

If this guy was a friend of yours at 25 or 35 would you confront him about anything or support his efforts? How?

I’m a single mom of two boys ages 8 and 5. How can I model, teach, or encourage the qualities Goggins has that helped him to persevere on a regular basis?

Does Goggins pursue pain because that’s his happy place? He was kinda trained to be in pain.. from such a young age. Wouldn’t him trying to NOT be in pain be the biggest challenge? Like, the whole yoga thing.. he never did it until he had to. He prolly hated any kind of relaxing meditative stretches precisely because they were the antithesis of his comfort zone. What attitudes am I enlarging, thinking it’s me pushing myself, that are just more of my own personality - what attitudes are totally the opposite of my comfort zone?

Was/is Goggins pursuing virtue?

Does his book reveal anything specific to masculinity that will benefit a wife, mother, or daughter that we can’t find in another book written more engagingly?

(I’m keeping track of the books you guys are recommending. Thank you!)
 

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Kyle T

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Only have one hour left and I don't have any desire to finish it (but I will.)

Some good stories and the dude's mental toughness is insane, but this book is about twice as long as it should be. The main problem is that it doesn't produce enough actionable advice.
 

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My thoughts/review:
I've watched many of his interviews before the book came out and I've always respected the "warrior" mentality, so to be fair I was biased to like his story from the start.
I feel his general message "get comfortable being uncomfortable" is so infectious for many us because it hits the nail on the head regarding modern society's aversion to any kind of pain, mental or physical.

Since i watched so many of his interviews, i was especially curious how this man of infinite pain tolerance came into being, and the book really goes into detail how he started of soft and emotionally scarred but slowly over the years transformed himself into the man he is today through methodical power of will and simply not giving a F*ck about dying.

These are the types of stories that really hit me hard, because it cuts through the veil of civility, society, normalcy, etc like a hot knife through butter.
It's like Mike Tyson said "Everyone's got a plan until they get punched in the face."
You may not like his extreme lifestyle, his relationship faults(as other reviews have mentioned), etc but you can't deny this is one of the realest books out there, and that's just fukin refreshing for me. It's refreshing in the same type of way Unscripted is.


Favorite (or least favorite) chapter:
I enjoyed all the chapters but for the sake of picking something ill pick the governor chapter. He compares the brain limitations like the governor on a car engine. He says you can gradually push the governor limit higher and higher by pushing against your brain's limit.
Although i think we all know this, but it's nice to see it explicitly stated and based of a brutal experience of running the 100 mile race.

My least favorite part was that he didn't go in depth on the mental quietness that he mentioned in one of his interviews. I feel that's a critical aspect of finding your inner willpower to push through hardship.
He just says whenever he hit a snag that he simply went deep and found a way, maybe there's not much more to be said but i wish there was more emphasis there.

Main takeaway:
The main takeaway may be a bit unusual to some, but basically I feel less like David Goggins taught me something, and more like he REMINDED me that discomfort is a natural factor of lifes experiences.
I feel like i've always knew this but over the years i've gotten soft around the edges and simply forgotten.
I catch myself sometimes now automatically rethinking doing something because of some perceived unpleasant aspects, and i'm like "whoa wtf stop, embrace the pain buddy, this is it, this is life, its ok"

The most critical takeaway of all for me though and one that transcends the whole extreme lifestyle of David Goggins, is it's not about being uncomfortable, it's about doing what you gotta do. Discomfort should have as much say in your decision making as the color of the sky.
It would be absurd to say "oh shit the sky is a shade of red, so im not hitting the gym today", but if society really worked that way then it wouldn't feel absurd at all, it'd be completely normal.

I think society today has an absurd aversion to discomfort and made it normal, we really are overall softer than the hard men of back in the day who just did what had to be done.
It's actually sad that it takes an over the top extreme individual like David Goggins to snap us out of this absurdity and face the truth.
Although i'm certain that even in some kind of Warrior society David would still be considered hardcore, he wouldn't be the same level of inspirational that he is today.


P.S.
David's feats are also a good reference to what the body can handle. I try to do 1000 jumping jacks a day and i also do leg day workout once a week, and eventually when my legs get sore i'd take some time off. Now i just think "David ran 100 miles and almost killed himself, wtf is a little soreness", and i just push through it. And you know what, the soreness went away anyway.

I don't necessarily go out of my way to make my life brutal, i actually try to find the most efficient way to do stuff, BUT when discomfort is unavoidable I will never let that stop me again.
Even when you do everything right, pain can still happen, that's the human experience, and David's story reminded me to embrace that pain.
 
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Kyle T

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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5 stars
:star::star: :star:

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Audible

My thoughts/review:
Overall, the guy has an incredibly interesting life story.

I am glad that I learned about it however outside of the unique stories, the book didn't do much for me.

Not enough value and the repetitive themes got old about halfway through the book. I think I would have given this book a much better rating if it had been half as long. The second half of the book was a snooze for me & it felt like a chore to listen to the last few hours.


Favorite (or least favorite) chapter:
Favorite: The navy seal chapters for sure. Loved the inside look at what Navy Seals have to go through for training and how they train for both physical & mental toughness.

Least favorite: Any of the ones near the end. The story just dragged on. As an exercise scientist, I also had to shake my head when he realized that stretching his muscles might loosen his body up and make him feel better (no duh). Anyone who has studied exercise would have been able to give him a similar answer, but rather he made it sound like it was a medical breakthrough.


Main takeaway:

The human body is incredible.

In order to make progress, we have to push past our comfort zone. While that is a lesson that I understand and admire, I didn't need to spend 13 hours reading about life stories that could have been summarized in 3-hours.

The challenges weren't as actionable as I had hoped and overall I am disappointed with the book. I had some high hopes based on the high levels of praise it had been getting.
 

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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5 stars
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I really liked the way that they used the audio format to include some extras. If I had read it, I would have rated it lower for sure. I had never heard of Goggins before this book being recommended here. I have since listened to some of his interviews, and he shares the key points from the book across various interviews and podcasts.

My thoughts/review:


Goggins is a man that really had to overcome a lot in his life. It is pretty amazing that he can share so many of his hardships the way that he did in this book.

What I liked:

His story really spoke to me. I realize that I need to be more accountable and set more challenging goals.

What I didn't like:

The book could have been trimmed down and the narration wasn't great. As others have said he seems like he is a pretty self-centered guy that is always looking for next Ex-Mrs.Goggins.


Favorite chapter:

I liked the second one (I think but with Audible, I am not sure). It was the chapter in which he had the FTE that made him join the Navy. He dropped a 100 pounds just to get a slim chance to succeed at his dream of becoming a SEAL.

Main takeaway:

It is mind over matter. Motivation can spark a fire but commitment and mental fortitude is what keeps it going. There is so much untapped potential inside all of us.
 

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I'm about 60% done also and it's an ok book. I'm a Goggins fan and I didn't even know that he had a kid. He never talks about it at all.

But keep in mind that Goggin's fame came from Jesse Itzler's book 30 days with a seal. In the book, Jesse never mentions Goggins by name because he never wanted anyone to know who he was. Eventually after the book came out, internet sleuths figured out who it was and that's how he was discovered. He does talk about himself alot but personally I don't feel like it's coming from a place where he's an attention craver.
 

Andrewjgong

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:star::star::star::star::xx:

Format:
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My thoughts/review:

This book has a lot of ups and downs. While there's a lot of borderline masochistic behavior that I certainly don't agree with, I appreciated the journey altogether. A slew of examples of David overcoming his demons felt pretty close to home, especially when he talks about spraying rats and roaches out of buildings (his FTE) and telling himself he needed to get the hell out of there.

The podcast parts add a bit more flavor to the reading, as you get to "spend time" with David Goggins commentating on his own book and elaborating some of it further.

Favorite (or least favorite) chapter:
I don't have a favorite chapter in particular, but if I had to choose one it'd be the chapter about overcoming his test despite having a learning disability. It made me realize that I've got a pretty capable brain of overcoming many mental problems that I don't utilize and appreciate enough.

Main takeaway:
We're too damn soft as a society. It relates pretty closely in my life because when I try calling out someone to be responsible for what they want to accomplish, they shut down or make a plethora of excuses. Even "I don't have an excuse" is an excuse when used for long enough. David Goggins demonstrates that your past doesn't have to define your future, and he expresses it very colorfully.


Personal comments:
Definitely pretty sad about the breaking up with wives part. In "Barking Up the Wrong Tree" (Recommended read from TFM), one chapter expresses that Einstein's greatness came with the price of his family life. Goggins is no different from this example. In light of that, I think that one should be careful reading this book as to not get any wrong ideas of what success should be.
 

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My Rating: 2 stars out of 5 stars
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My thoughts/review:

It was really hard to get past the first 30% of the book. There was a lot of boring parts during story telling and not I was not engaged until much later in the book.

There's a lot of things he says that didn't really ring a bell for me, but I did get something from this reading that I feel benefits me (the main takeaway below).

While the book had challenges at the end of the chapters, I didn't feel like there was enough pratical advice. In contrast, the authors of Extreme Ownership (which i feel like is a superior book in everyway) tell their story, but because they had so much experience translating their navy SEAL experience to the civilian world, they had examples of how to apply their lessons in everyday life.

This is not a book where you go "wow, I never thought of it like that before" but more like "oh I've heard this many times but its a good reminder".

Favorite (or least favorite) chapter:

Tbh none of them stood out much, but the one where he mentions people wasting hours of their day, and how you can restructure it to do things that challenge you was ok.

Main takeaway:

You can push yourself beyond the limits you set for yourself. It's good to put yourself in uncomfortable situations.

Even though I rated this book a 2/5, I can always appreciate content that reminds me to step out of my comfort zone, because your mind is ALWAYS doing the opposite.
 
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redshift

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Listened to around 35% of the book on Audible and decided to put it on hold for now. The first 30% of the book was just depressing and boring and put me in an annoyed mood every time I listened to it. Wasn't a fan of the radio commentary either, just felt like unnecessary hype to make the content sound more interesting that it is. The SEAL training part where I reached now was a bit of an improvement to the previous content but still has a negative / uninspiring tone to it and doesn't make me wan't to keep listening. I am also not a huge fan of the narrator. Perhaps it would have been a better idea to purchase the kindle version instead.

In contrast, I listened to "Extreme Ownership" by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin right before this one which was full of inspiring stories from their experiences as SEAL's in combat and was an absolute joy to listen to. This on the other hand just felt like a huge drag. There are some good points made here and there but nothing I would call extraordinary or life changing.

Rating based on how far I've reached - 2 / 5. I might go back and finish it some day. I would switch to kindle if I do, but as of now, this felt like a waste of time to me.
 

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My thoughts/review:

David Goggins reminds me of a guy who stepped out of a Greek myth. His story by itself was interesting enough to keep me going, though I did flag a little during the later chapters. As some other reviews mention, there's a definite focus on the career and performance side of his life here. I don't mind that, though it is worth relaying for others who may be interested in the book. I didn't expect a book about a Navy SEAL famous for obliterating himself to be about how to live a balanced family life.

Overall I found the book an energizing read. I found myself alternating between awe at what this man could endure and wondering just why a man would put himself through it. The lesson I got was not: go destroy yourself with pain. It was: look at all the times you gave up, and look what can happen if you look that feeling in the eye and say "F*ck it". And of course the "why am I doing this?" question comes up repeatedly.

This isn't an especially deep nor actionable book, though I wouldn't discount the gems which are here.

I think it's a worthwhile read and I'm glad I read it. As a recommendation, I think this book is mostly geared for people who are in the right head-space to receive the message. For better or worse, I think a lot of people are going to resist that message because of the extremes to which Goggins pushes himself, and because any excuse can justify heading back to the couch for more mediocrity.

Favorite (or least favorite) chapter:

My favorites were the little arc from his time getting into the SEALs and right after completing BUD/S.

I felt that the later chapters, on his time as an ultra runner, weren't quite as interesting. It seemed like the goal was more to show us that even a Homeric demi-god could fail. Goggins had to learn humility and transform his thinking. Good for him! But I agree with some of the other reviews -- it started to come off as him fleeing old demons rather than creating a positive change.

I'm still awed by what he was able to do, make no mistake, but this is the part where I went from motivated to lukewarm.

Main takeaway:

You think you've got something to complain about in your life? Have a read of the first couple of chapters here.

Fatigue, discomfort and pain are mental qualities as much as they are physical. A human being with enough purpose is capable of far more things than the present-day Culture of Comfort sells us.

Physical and psychological limitations are *real* -- you'd be pretty stupid to step in front of a moving bus hoping that you could believe your way through a head-first impact -- but as far as voluntary performance is concerned, limitations are also *mutable* with practice and effort.

You don't have to do what Goggins did, for his reasons, to benefit from getting comfortable being uncomfortable.
 

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MJ DeMarco

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My Rating: 1 stars out of 5 stars
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Format: Kindle

The book itself, is ZERO stars. But it gets 1 star because of David's persistence and mental toughness, and of course, his service to the military.

My thoughts/review:

Utterly brutal. So brutal, is it is the only book I ever tried to return back to Amazon. I'll never get back those hours I spent reading this book.

Normally, this is a book I would NOT finish, but this new review format we've launched here on the forum I felt compelled to finish it. In the latter chapters, I started skimming when it was clear it was more of the same.

That said, what we have here is a book that is 90% longer than it needs to be. For those of you who don't want to waste HOURS of your time reading this absolutely trainwreck of a book, let me give you a TLDR:
  1. Encounter tough challenge, some of it shock-worthy.
  2. Give excruciating details on how to deal, beat, manage that said challenge, from lacing your shoes, to your breathing, to how you just happened to wrap your hands up with tape, foam, or whatever. Repeat same stuff, over, and over, and over again. (This represents 95% of the book)
  3. When tough challenge isn't found, seek one out.
  4. Enter challenge unprepared, unplanned.
  5. Repeat ad nauseum.
Oh yea, then the meat (which is about .08% of this book -- add in some mental exercise to help you break your mental obstacles.)

By the end of the story, I felt sorry for David.

Here is someone who truly does NOT know how to relax and clearly lacks perspective on what truly matters in life.

Some things that irked me...
  • David recklessly takes on challenges with little preparation. It is only after failing miserably (and damaging his body) is when he suddenly figures out, "Oh gee, maybe I should plan and prepare better."
  • David cares little about ANYTHING when it comes to beating some external challenge, running in the desert, pull-ups, running in the snow, etc. EVERYTHING IN HIS LIFE that doesn't fall into the future challenge category, is a secondary commodity in his life: his time, his relationships, his health, and his mental sanity.
  • He makes little mention of his wives, which as I expected, later became ex-wives. It is impossible for any person to be this neurotic and be able to hold a normal relationship. If nothing changes, David will probably either be single for the rest of his life, or only be engaged in dysfunctional relationships.
  • This poor man is lost in his head and has little perspective. He's pathological. Neurotic. Clinical.
  • David appears to have a glorified, sanitized view of combat as he mentions several times that he wanted to be in combat but was not called up for it. This (again) shows his lack of perspective -- combat is killing other human beings. No sane human being should want to do this.
  • In the same vain of perspective, no mention of his child. Does David approach his relationships with those he loves with the same zealotry? Wife? Child? Clearly he does not. Goes back again to perspective.
  • It makes ZERO sense to me how someone could waste their life with transient challenges that have transient benefits. In other words, you're working your a$$ off for a trophy? A mental checkmark in your head? WTF? David even says this: "Evaluate your life in its totality. We all waste so much time doing meaningless bullshit!" OMG, my mouth hit the floor. But wasting your entire year (and your relationships) to run X miles in the desert isn't meaningful bullshit? For the love of God, if you're going to disrupt your life, make sure the benefits last longer than a pat on the back, a certificate on the wall, and a mental trophy. For me, "meaningless bullshit" are stupid vanity competitions that help no one but the person doing them.
  • The book is deceptively titled: Should be titled: "My Excruciating Detailed Trials and Tribulations in Trying to Conquer My Inner Demons as a Navy Seal and Full Time Extreme Athlete."
  • With so many poor decisions he made, utterly destructive to his health/body, I feel he's lucky to be alive. I doubt he'll have a good quality of life as he gets older.
Favorite (or least favorite) chapter:

The last chapter, because that means it was almost done.

Main takeaway:

I'd recommend this book for something OTHER than its purpose.

Hey, you wanna see what it's like to lose perspective on things that matter? Read this book...
Hey, you wanna see what it's like to WIN every battle, but still lose the WAR? Read this book...
Hey, you wanna see someone be reckless with their health just for some mental trophies? Read this book...


Aside from the pathological issues David has, he doesn't seem to employ his own advice as I mentioned above. If you're going to neglect everything in your life, perhaps get something from it that lasts longer than 9 seconds of "I did it!" Obviously this method of achievement hasn't satisfied him. Because it continues. And it continued despite his body CRYING FOR HELP.

In other words, this is a case of the MORES, goals that are always moving. David is a chronic goalpost mover who will never be satisfied, will never relax, and will never stop living in the FUTURE.

David needs to read The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle.

To sum it up, if you want to read a book about a man who WINS self-inflicted battle after battle, but can't quite understand while he continually feels like he is LOSING the war, read this book.

 

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  • The book is deceptively titled: Should be titled: "My Excruciating Detailed Trials and Tribulations in Trying to Conquer My Inner Demons as a Navy Seal and Full Time Extreme Athlete."
I feel like "More Accurate Titles For Books" could be a very long thread.

I didn't actually buy the book after reading the Amazon reviews because it sounded mostly about his story and that sounded fairly masochistic, but the thread/vote was still valuable with Atomic Habits which I'd never heard of being the 2nd pick and seemingly a tad more action orientated which suited me.

I understand some people do really prefer the story based books though so it sounds like one of those books suited to some people while others may hate. That may be my own bias against reading about other people's stories though-even in the case of my favourite books like TMF, RDPD and 4HWW I generally preferred the parts that weren't about the author's specific life.

The thread has been good though, I think everyone who hasn't bought it has a decent guide to whether or not it will be for them
 

Primeperiwinkle

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wait wait wait.. David Goggins is still alive, I don’t know if reviewing his book with THAT much criticism is really necessary. It’s funny.. don’t get me wrong.. but.. it’s not nice. I mean, is this a case of me not having enough mental strength so I feel bad for the guy? Like, I don’t want him to get his feelings hurt.

Huh. This is an intellectual conundrum. I’ll keep on rambling to myself to figure it out..
 

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To sum it up, if you want to read a book about a man who WINS self-inflicted battle after battle, but can't quite understand while he continually feels like he is LOSING the war, read this book.
I was listening to podcast with dominatrix some time ago (woman who is paid by man to torture him for their pleasure) and she said something that I was keep thinking about. To paraphrase her: "Society glorify sadomasochists while diminish BDSM, which is something alike." She said that when running maraton is enough to say "I did it" most people goes Iron Man Thriatlons and they keep pushing forward. While they could just came for some spanking and nipple twisting. It made me laught but it still seems well tought.

I like to listen Dan Pena from time to time because it helps me find excuses I am using to BS myself. He says often, he doesn't care what people think about him. On the other hand he says that he would never want his kids to tell her classmates that he run marathon under XYZ time (don't remember the time volume or was it marathon, ironman or something else). When I've herad it, I've thought "well if you don't care what people thinks about you, why does it matter for you, what schoolkids thinks?". Since I became a father I was thinking about it from different perspective and I've realized that if anything I would love that my doughter to say: "My father teach me how to swim, how to speak spanish, how to ride a bike and we had great camping trip last month". Which lead me to another question: Is it really about challenge or is it about punishing themselves, is it about ego boost from other people saying stuff like "oh he's a one though mofo", or some mix of need for punishing themselves with hearing nice things from people.

By nice I don't mean nice like: "you are such a good guy" but I mean what is nice for them to hear. Before I was into serious relationship I liked to hear "You are an aschole" or something alike, because for me it was a sign that soon we are going to have sex (if she won't leave me, which almost never happened after I've heard it). I might be bias/wrong but for me it seems like a lot of people, who says they don't care what other people thinks about them, they care about it, but they just want to hear what is nice for them (different thing that what society name as nice).
 

ProblemOd

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side note...

I just saw that this book is the #2 most bought book on Amazon this week (and previous weeks) & top 10 bestseller in books.

What is it that draws the masses to buy and recommend this book to others while it seems like the majority of us here don't seem to like it much?

Or is it just tons of marketing? I've seen him on a few videos before.
 

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My thoughts/review:
Not the best book I've ever read, but also not the worst. I didn't care much for his "voice". It read like he was trying too hard to sound authentic and came off a little forced. He mentioned he went though six previous ghostwriters before finding one he liked. A bigger issue I had was his focus - it was all "me, me, me, look at me!". Sure, he had the challenges tacked on the end of the chapters as an afterthought, but I think he wrote this book for an audience of one, himself.
I decided to give it two stars because I admired the story for what it was, a story. Not something to help me progress in my personal or professional life, nothing informative or particularly thought-provoking. Just a nice little read to help distract my mind before going to sleep (I can't read a business book before bed, it just gets my brain all wound up!).


Favorite (or least favorite) chapter:
Chapter Six, in my opinion, was the beginning of the end. It's where he started talking about his extracurricular accomplishments, with the Ultra-marathon, pull-ups, etc. I can't count how many times I wanted to shake him and yell "Google it goddammit!" Just about every thing he did, he did with zero preparation. Couldn't even be bothered to take 10 minutes to Google some basic information (what are good running shoes, how to pace yourself for a 24 hour run, or what to bring to drink at a marathon) or hop on a forum and ask some questions. It seemed every hardship he faced was of his own making, and he never seemed to learn from his mistakes. A half-dozen marathons in and he is still making the same dumb mistakes. It's hard to take him seriously when he's not taking his own goals seriously. For all the talk about how much he admired some of the extreme athletes, he never took any steps to emulate them.

Main takeaway:
If there's one thing I learned, it's that preparation matters. You want to launch a new product or service? Better do your homework soldier, there are some things you can't effectively power through. You're going to have a hard time selling your vegan food to a Texas steakhouse no matter how much effort you put into it. Also, personal relationships matter. What's the point of all of this if you burn nearly every personal bridge in the process? He had co-workers he respected, but hadn't spoken to in a decade. A brother that he hadn't seen in 15 years. At least 3 failed marriages to 2 different women (side note: The child he mentioned was a stepdaughter; I don't recall him mentioning any biological children). Even his dedication page was to himself. That's all he ever cared about, and it showed in his personal and professional life.
 

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It makes ZERO sense to me how someone could waste their life with transient challenges that have transient benefits. In other words, you're working your a$$ off for a trophy? A mental checkmark in your head? WTF? David even says this: "Evaluate your life in its totality. We all waste so much time doing meaningless bullshit!" OMG, my mouth hit the floor. But wasting your entire year (and your relationships) to run X miles in the desert isn't meaningful bullshit? For the love of God, if you're going to disrupt your life, make sure the benefits last longer than a pat on the back, a certificate on the wall, and a mental trophy. For me, "meaningless bullshit" are stupid vanity competitions that help no one but the person doing them.
Having done some similar challenges (not even 1/10th of the difficulty of what David does, though), I can't agree with that. I remember very well most, if not all, of the most challenging (voluntarily) moments in my life.

The benefits are lifelong. They helped me develop a lot of self-confidence. Little stuff doesn't matter that much anymore. I'm more relaxed and resilient because a bad moment in my life probably doesn't suck as much as a truly bad moment when I was pushing my limits. Voluntary discomfort toughens you up and makes everyday life much easier.

I don't participate in extreme races as I value my health too much to engage in them (it's interesting that extreme runners seem to value health, but don't mind ruining their bodies each race), but I understand why people participate in them. Yes, some of them probably do it for vanity, but a lot are doing it to test themselves, to face their inner demons, get tougher, or to raise funds for a worthy cause (then it does help other people, not only them). That's what actually made David enter this world - he raises funds for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

What is it that draws the masses to buy and recommend this book to others while it seems like the majority of us here don't seem to like it much?
It's polarizing. Plenty of people here enjoyed it, and plenty of people hated it, too.

It's good for the discussion here on the forum as well.
 

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Having done some similar challenges (not even 1/10th of the difficulty of what David does, though), I can't agree with that. I remember very well most, if not all, of the most challenging (voluntarily) moments in my life.

The benefits are lifelong. They helped me develop a lot of self-confidence. Little stuff doesn't matter that much anymore. I'm more relaxed and resilient because a bad moment in my life probably doesn't suck as much as a truly bad moment when I was pushing my limits. Voluntary discomfort toughens you up and makes everyday life much easier.
MJ doesn't write anything about NOT pushing your limits, he doesn't write that you shouldn't push yourself physically as well. He just point out other areas worth exploring.

You did improve your self confidence by working on your body. So did I. I started with benchpressing only bar and pretending that I was warming up becuase even 5kg added was too much. At peak time at the gym I did bench press 100kg (220 pounds) (just to test myself because I prefered other exercises) and ended up at calinesthics where I am curently doing like quater handstand pushups. Did I gave up my social life for that? No. Did I gave up my health for that? No. It took me 8 years of working out to start seeing changes in my shoulders but it gave me confidenca way ealier. Meditating daily for 20min+ for a year also gave me better confidence. After 660 days of daily meditation and now a bit more than full year of daily meditation it also boost my confidence, showing me that I am one stubborn / persistent mofo (whatever you want to call it).

You gain healthy confidence by pushing yourself with your goals and staying consistent. You DO NOT have to sacrefice health, relationships and wealth along the way and I think this was MJ message, rather than "don't push yourself physically".

It's also worth mentioning that it's worth more to work on your income than keep pushing yourself. I know that I would be way more wealthy if rather than turning my weakness into my strength I would just focus on earning money and focusing on my strength. I am well aware that it's ego driven. I was fighting it for last 4-5 years, this year I am going to try accept it and see how it works. Like the stupidiest thing I did was banning myself from reading books, I did not use time for not reading books on working, I used it to troll on forums, read 9gag and other sites like that. Even if you push yourself all the time, it's worth at least to be aware where you should go and what you should push rather than just pushing yourself. Just some food for thoughts ;)
 

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You DO NOT have to sacrefice health, relationships and wealth along the way and I think this was MJ message, rather than "don't push yourself physically".
If that's what he meant, then I wholeheartedly agree.
 

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Roli

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I’m a single mom of two boys ages 8 and 5. How can I model, teach, or encourage the qualities Goggins has that helped him to persevere on a regular basis?
I voted for Atomic Habits and so was disappointed when it didn't win. However I bought it anyway, and have just finished it yesterday.

I highly recommend it, especially when it comes to parenting...

Hopefully we'll discuss it one day soon.

Atomic Habits by James Clear.
 

Roli

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The last chapter, because that means it was almost done.
Huge lolz :rofl::rofl::rofl:

David is a chronic goalpost mover who will never be satisfied, will never relax, and will never stop living in the FUTURE.
Funnily enough, I've just finished reading Atomic Habits, purely because of the poll you did for the review.

It is ironic because the advice given in that book, especially at the end, sounds like it would fit Goggins perfectly.

Will you keep it on the list, or go for four new ones for the next review poll?
 

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side note...

I just saw that this book is the #2 most bought book on Amazon this week (and previous weeks) & top 10 bestseller in books.

What is it that draws the masses to buy and recommend this book to others while it seems like the majority of us here don't seem to like it much?

Or is it just tons of marketing? I've seen him on a few videos before.
Well, I only bought it because it was recommended by folk on here. Not sure I'll do a review as MJ said it all. It resonated with his The Power of Now comment, I actually thought the same thing whilst reading the book. Only comment from me to Mr. Goggins is get a life, something with loving memories.It is now always and it is not too late for you.
 

luniac

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well to be fair to goggins,
1) He mentions several times to not do what he did, to not go that extreme, but to find your own challenges.
All the lessons at the end of each chapter are toned down versions of what goggins himself does.

2) He stated his regret regarding some of his interpersonal behavior when he was the training leader in the navy and alienated a lot of people by pushing them to the same standard he followed.
In one interview he says that he understands now that every individual has their own goals and doesn't necessarily wanna be hardcore like goggins.
He admits to being very introverted and even having to pump himself up to do the interviews.

3) The dude is unscripted because he found his happiness. In several interviews he says that through his challenges and overcoming them, as superficial as they may seem, he's truly happy.
And as MTF mentioned, i think he raised well over a million dollars for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

4) Ever since discovering yoga, his health has been solid. He said in interviews that he stretches 2 hours a day every day.

5) You keep writing more books MJ, how different is it really from Goggins running another marathon. Different worlds different goals.
What's wrong with moving a goal post after your scored the goal?
Goggins is an athlete at heart, and there's been many cases of elite athletes falling into depression after accomplishing their goal like winning gold medal at the olympics, or becoming boxing heavyweight champ of the world.

6)While i agree it was pretty foolish of him to take on that marathon unprepared, he DID learn from it, and prepared better afterwards.
Also, didn't he run his first marathon before smartphones even existed and on extremely short notice because he had to qualify for the BadWater race.
So he didn't have the time to properly research how brutal marathons really are, and he obviously underestimated what it would be like.

In his future marathons, Goggins made sure to have his mother and wife at the time to be his support team.
He improved his running form based on the star runner he saw at the Hawaii race.
For the BadWater itself, he drove out there before the race to map out the whole path!
He marked down where to have water stations for him to re hydrate, and made mental notes where the toughest parts of the race would be.
He clearly says in the book that planning and preparation is important.

He tried to plan for the pullup record and after failing the first time, he made a lot of changes to improve his chances cause he learned from his experience.

The assertions some of the reviews here make that he repeatedly goes into brutal challenges completely unprepared is false.


EDIT:
i also think its worth mentioning that David did his marathons while holding down a full time job at the Navy Recruitment Office.
In the book he talks about being hired by 4 star general to improve minority enrollment in the Navy Seals program, and David successfully did his job.
So there's even less reason to hate on him, considering he did his job and in his free time raised money for the foundation.
A great man all around.
 
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but.. it’s not nice. I mean, is this a case of me not having enough mental strength so I feel bad for the guy? Like, I don’t want him to get his feelings hurt.
The man has been thru hell and back ten times. I doubt anything you or I say will hurt him. Remember, "Can't Hurt Me."

My review was not to impugn his many accomplishments. I was duly impressed at the Navy Seal accomplishment. I didn't need the other 321 pages to add to that impression, for me it transformed Goggins from "Damn, this guy kicks a$$ and is a total warrior" to "Damn, this guy is dangerously neurotic and unhinged."

Least favorite: Any of the ones near the end. The story just dragged on. As an exercise scientist, I also had to shake my head when he realized that stretching his muscles might loosen his body up and make him feel better (no duh). Anyone who has studied exercise would have been able to give him a similar answer, but rather he made it sound like it was a medical breakthrough.
Was eye-opening to me as well.

I can't agree with that. I remember very well most, if not all, of the most challenging (voluntarily) moments in my life.

The benefits are lifelong. They helped me develop a lot of self-confidence. Little stuff doesn't matter that much anymore. I'm more relaxed and resilient because a bad moment in my life probably doesn't suck as much as a truly bad moment when I was pushing my limits. Voluntary discomfort toughens you up and makes everyday life much easier.
I totally agree with this, but not in the context of the Goggins story.

After he accomplished the Navy Seal credential, he should have known right then and there that he could accomplish pretty much anything. His worst enemy is always himself. For the average Joe, competing in a marathon definitely would have life long benefits. But Goggins has shown he isn't the average Joe.

So there's even less reason to hate on him
So a negative review of his book and his "all-or-nothing, no planning" philosophy is "hate?" My opinion is based on the message put forward, it is not hate or disrespect. I went in with NO opinion. Never heard of him, other than he had to be a bad a$$ to survive Seal training.

In the first 60 minutes of reading, I enjoyed the book and I cared. By the last, I did not.

The dude is unscripted because he found his happiness.
That's not the impression I got through the reading. He struck me as impulsive, unsettled, dissatisfied, and constantly searching...

It's hard to be happy in the moment, in a relationship, when you're constantly living in the future, some future event, some future accomplishment. I'm sure his ex-wives would agree.
 

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That's not the impression I got through the reading. He struck me as unsettled, dissatisfied, and constantly searching...

It's hard to be happy in the moment, in a relationship, when you're constantly living in the future, some future event, some future accomplishment. I'm sure his ex-wives would agree.
Yup your conclusions make sense of course.

I'm only going off of David's own words in interviews
[48:55] here
View: https://youtu.be/78I9dTB9vqM?t=2935

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWuRdZ4jUqU
 

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*puts on thinking cap

*is distracted by David’s abs

I think he may have been neurotic and unhinged at one point in time but the mere ability to discuss his story with clarity and a constant willingness to inspire others gives me the impression that he is much more self-actualized now.
 

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*puts on thinking cap

*is distracted by David’s abs

I think he may have been neurotic and unhinged at one point in time but the mere ability to discuss his story with clarity and a constant willingness to inspire others gives me the impression that he is much more self-actualized now.
I agree. I think he's certainly uncommon and I do marvel at some of his accomplishments, but there's something "anti-heroic" about him. "The Wolf of Wall Street" came to mind when I read your post. Jordan Belfort only became more self-actualized (seemingly so, but probably not really) after a long journey of being a total a**hole. While Goggins hasn't hurt others in the same way Belfort did, his (seeming) "self actualization" only seems remarkable because it came after a long path of dysfunction. I see a pathology in both characters, but it manifested differently in each.
 

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I agree. I think he's certainly uncommon and I do marvel at some of his accomplishments, but there's something "anti-heroic" about him. "The Wolf of Wall Street" came to mind when I read your post. Jordan Belfort only became more self-actualized (seemingly so, but probably not really) after a long journey of being a total a**hole. While Goggins hasn't hurt others in the same way Belfort did, his (seeming) "self actualization" only seems remarkable because it came after a long path of dysfunction. I see a pathology in both characters, but it manifested differently in each.
did jordan belfort have a shit childhood? i couldn't find any info.
 

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What is it that draws the masses to buy and recommend this book to others while it seems like the majority of us here don't seem to like it much?
I can't speak for anybody else, but I often find the most interesting things (books, people, ideas...) are those that I don't agree with or even like all that much.
 

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