David Goggins, a former SEAL, brings us this combination of autobiography and self-help book, telling the story of his transformation and his unusual approach to life.
- The man of letters -
David Goggins is an American born February 17, 1975, an (ultra-)marathoner, cyclist, triathlete, speaker, and author.
He is retired from the Navy SEAL’s and a former member of the Air Force Tactical Air Control Party who served in the Iraq War.
- The content -
In « Can't Hurt Me », David Goggins shares his amazing story. Starting his childhood in poverty, prejudice and physical violence, growing up full of anger and cheating throughout his school path.
Finally, embracing the self-discipline, mental tenacity and hard work that will allow him to join the military and surpass himself on a daily basis. He has transformed from a depressed, overweight young man with no future, to an icon of the United States Armed Forces and a renowned endurance athlete.
The only man in history to have undergone elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger and Air Force Tactical Air Controller, he went on to set records in numerous events, inspiring Outside magazine to name him « The fittest man in America ».
He explains the importance of knowing and being honest with ourself, but also the scope of visualizing our potential goals/challenges. He also tells us that most of us are only using 40% of our capacity (what he calls the 40% rule).
His story illuminates a path where anyone can push back pain, demolish fear, erase boundaries and reach full potential.
- My observations -
This book relies heavily on mastering the mind to do physical things that the majority of us don't even consider imaginable.
« Can't Hurt Me » is ambivalent. On one hand, it's the inspiring story of a man who proved that we can do absolutely anything. On the other hand, it's an uplifting account of a man so stubborn that he can't even learn from his past mistakes.
This book is full of inspiring things, but the way Goggins works is more like self-flagellation than wisdom. He has done amazing things, but others have done it too, in smarter and healthier ways (both mentally and physically). He shows no sign of feelings about his marriages, divorces or the fact that he became a father. And needless to say, he constantly launches himself unprepared, forcing his body beyond the point of reason to achieve a goal.
It's also funny that while he advocates being against social media, there isn't a single chapter that doesn't end with a request to post #.
Also, he uses the « f... » word a lot, which can be confusing for some.
This book generates a feeling of guilt, but overall there are two key lessons to be learned. The first is that if we are truly dedicated to a task, we can achieve the impossible. The second is that there is nothing wonderful about taking the path of intense difficulty, just out of personal pride and/or just to show off. « Roger that! »
What do you think?