Book Review: David Goggins – Can’t Hurt me

January 11, 2019 productievekennis 4 min read 4 Comments
Picture of the book: Can't Hurt Me (David Goggins)

Book Review: David Goggins – Can’t Hurt me

January 11, 2019 WhatDisciplineMeans 4 min read 4 Comments

If you are looking for a way to master your mind, you should look no further than the book: ‘Can’t Hurt Me’, by David Goggins.

In this article I will review the book: I will tell you about Goggins, share some of the challenges that Goggins wrote down in his book and I will share some of the best interviews/podcasts of Goggins that I’ve seen.

David Goggins

David Goggins is a retired Navy SEAL and has competed in more than sixty ultra-marathons, triathlons, and ultra-triathlons, setting new course records and regularly placing in the top five. Besides that, he is a former Guinness World Record holder. He did 4030 pull-ups in seventeen hours.

But before all those achievements Goggins used to be a broken man with a really tough upbringing. His childhood was straight up a nightmare. By working on his self-discipline, mental toughness and work ethic he has transformed his life.

Picture of David Goggins' transformation.

Can’t Hurt Me

In ‘Can’t Hurt Me’ Goggins take you back in time. He takes you to the dark place where he grew up and shares a lot about his younger years. His childhood was a nightmare full of physical abuse, poverty and prejudice.

After sharing his background story he goes on and takes you with him on his transformation. Goggins went from being an overweight and depressed guy, to becoming the only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger and Air Force Tactical Air Controller. However, his achievements do not stop there. He went on and set a lot of records in numerous endurance events.

He ends the book with a great piece of reflection. But most importantly, he ends every chapter with a challenge to help the personal development of the reader.

Picture of David Goggins running after his transformation.


Now let’s get practical. Goggins ends every chapter with a challenge. Every one of those challenges are really meaningful and live-changing. I highly recommend you read the book yourself, so you can put all of the words to action. But, I will write about three of the challenges to bring you more value out of reading this article.

Challenge 2: The Accountability Mirror

The second challenge is challenging your self-awareness. You write down your insecurities, dreams, and goals on Post-It’s and tag up your mirror.

Be point blank about it. If you look in the mirror and it is obvious that you are overweight, write down you are fat. Own it. It is okay to be unkind with yourself in these moments because we need a thicker skin to improve in life.

You need to be truthful with yourself about all the goals you tag up on your mirror as well. Do you want to run a marathon? Cool. Think about the steps you need to take to achieve that goal. Each step should be written down as its own note. Once a goal (step) is achieved, remove the Post-It and post the next goal.

Whatever your goal is, keep yourself accountable by achieving the small steps. The Accountability Mirror will reveal the truth. Stop ignoring it. Use it to your advantage.

Challenge 3: A calloused mind

The third challenge in the book is about callousing your mind. Callousing your mind is stepping outside of your comfort zone on a regular basis.

Write down all the things you don’t like to do or that make you uncomfortable. Especially those things you know are good for you.

Now that you have written those uncomfortable things down, you should go out there and do one of them. Do it again. If it doesn’t feel uncomfortable to do anymore, you go to the next one. If you do things – even small things – that make you uncomfortable you will get stronger.

The more often you do uncomfortable things the stronger and more disciplined you’ll become.

Challenge 6: The Cookie Jar

The Cookie Jar is a inventory of all your achievements and life obstacles you’ve overcome. Take a pen and a piece of paper out once again, because this challenge will give you a lot of fuel in the future.

The Cookie Jar is not a breezy stroll through your trophy room. Don’t write down just your achievements but also include the life obstacles you’ve overcome. You can think about overcoming depression or a trauma. Add in those minor tasks you failed earlier in life but tried again and ultimately succeeded at. Think about how it felt (and feels) to overcome those struggles. And then: Get to work!

Set ambitious goals. If you are experiencing a dip or pain while you are working on those goals, crack open that Cookie Jar and pull out a cookie. Let it fuel you!

The Cookie Jar is a shortcut to taking control of your own thought process. The point here isn’t to make yourself feel like a hero. It’s to remember what a badass you are so you can use that energy to succeed again in the heat of battle!

More about Goggins

If you want to know more about Goggins, I would (once again) recommend you buy his book. His life-story is beyond inspiring and the challenges he wrote for you as a reader are phenomenal.

If you want to learn how to create new habits, you can check out my previous article: How to create new habits in 2019.

Besides buying the book ‘Cant Hurt Me’ you can also check Goggins out on Youtube and on Podcasts. These are my favorites:


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  • Mishko0mba January 17, 2019 at 6:22 am

    Good stuff,, i will buy this book soon

    • WhatDisciplineMeans January 18, 2019 at 8:48 am

      Thanks for commenting. It is a great book to buy. I’m sure it will bring you value :)!

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