David Goggins

Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins Book Summary, Notes, and PDF

Last Updated on November 16, 2020

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David Goggins wrote the book “Can’t Hurt Me,” stating that life is never fair, and the sooner you accept this fact, the faster you can start preparing for it.

The best method to face your current situation is by using the mentality in the book.

Goggins states that he is an underdog and a weak person. To survive, he had to develop his very own individual thinking.

He never looked for money, fame, or some consolation. He simply searched for fulfillment, and the only way to do it is to look inside himself. So he decided to engage in a war with himself.

Human beings evolve by studying, creating habits, and through stories. In this book, you will learn what you are capable of, in body and mind, when you are driven to the limit. You will also discover how to get there. Because when you have been encouraged, no matter what is in front of you, depression, obesity or lack of money, the drive will become a fuel to alter you completely.


Open Up Your Mind

This book by Goggins is the most prominent solution to push yourself to the limits so that you can meet your full potential.

Mission 1: Jot Down All Your Issues

Goggins tells the story of his father abusing him. He tells readers to do the same thing – take all difficulties in life and stock them up. This isn’t easy, and you have to push yourself hard.

As he states, “you need to flip the shit button” and use things that affect you so that you can motivate yourself to affect your success and financial wealth.

Mission 2: Realize The Truth of Your Shortcomings

Goggins offers a story of him trying to move out with his mother to escape from his father that abused him.

He talked about racial hatred and financial problems and a “cool mask” he wore when he was still a student in the school to hide his insecurities.

The author states the brain will follow the most straightforward path out, and unless you learn to conquer your mind, the mind will always make you “safe and stationary” all your life.

In this chapter, he states that you must be very honest with yourself. Do not tell yourself that you are overweight and that it is okay to be fat if deep down, you want to be slim.

Tell yourself that you are fat. Self-improvement starts with being brutally honest.

Mission 3: Do The Things That Makes You Leave the Comfort Zone

In this chapter, Goggins talks about leaving military training due to medical reasons. Goggins faced an illness of sickle cells; he had a choice of practice or quitting. Faced with his first problem, he decided to stop.

However, he did quit, and deep inside him, he knew the truth. That bothered him and destroyed his confidence.

If he could reply today, when he had learned about mind control, he stated that he wouldn’t give a fuck about sickle cells.

This chapter also narrates the moment when Goggins saw an advertisement for the Navy and found out that he could find answers by suffering.

This was the first time in a very long period that he felt alive.

Goggins states that you must do something that makes you leave your comfort zone or something that you do not wish to do each day.

If it is making your bed, or waking up early to do exercises, you have to do it.

Start small, then build up slowly.

That is how you control your mind. You should not waste any more time. Time disappears like small streams of water on dry land. It is alright to give yourself a hard time until you realize that you are doing so to turn into a better person.

From that moment onwards, he gave himself a new mindset to crave things he disliked. If it started to snow, his mind would tell him to run in the snow. When he began to wuss things out, he dealt with it in the Mirror of Accountability. 

He faced himself, he motivated himself to go through all the bad experiences and became more robust. Becoming a mentally strong man helped him to meet his objectives.

That is when you realize that not all the hardships are real, and you shouldn’t always try to quit too soon.

Mission 4: Pick A Competitive Situation, Select Your Rival and Conquer Them with Excellence

Goggins talks about two types of training – BUD training plus SEAL training.

He states that everything you do is all in your mind. SEAL training is a type of mind game, and people don’t realize that it is a mind game until they quit the game.

What is the mind game?

When you no longer feel any pain, it ends. When you understand the concept of enduring the pain, you will be able to survive if for an extended period.

Beating people with excellence and delivering the results when they thought it was impossible is termed as “taking the person’s soul.”

Everything that we are dealing with ourselves is the game of the mind! We face dramas in life, and we forget no matter how painful life gets, or how bad the torture is, the pain will come to an end. Forgetting that happens when we allow another person to control our emotions, which occurs when the pain that we face is at the peak point.

No matter what the problem is, I suggest you focus hard on the objective at hand. 

Do everything that is needed for it, and no matter what the target that was given as an objective, you should surpass it.

Whomsoever that you are trying to fight the objective is to let them see you deliver something that they cannot do themselves. Make them think that you are amazing. Take away the negative output and absorb the negativity to do the task that they have given to you and take away their soul.

Mission 5: Visualize and Add-In Challenges, What Is the Fuel in Doing Them

Goggins states that SEAL training shows people that they can handle more than they think they can, and it comes with a change in attitude.

Goggins states that the callous mind can help you face the toughest times and overcome them.

You need to remember what you have gone through and strengthen your mind power and help you bypass negativity that comes back when you feel like giving up.

However, the moment you accept the pain and do not want to give in or give up, you fire up your nervous system – the fight or flight response – to alter the hormonal flow. 

It is the same thing that happens when you don’t want to run, but you run anyway, and you begin to enjoy it. 

The author states that you can flip the switch to make you enjoy what you didn’t before.

The reason is that when you push yourself until you reach a breaking point, you begin to train yourself to withstand more.

You need to reach a point of not doing the things that you should be doing that start to haunt you.

If you did not go for a run that morning, by evening, you need to feel bothered by that event. If you skip what you did not do and it doesn’t affect you, you are not there yet.

When you want to create a visual image, you might want to visualize the outcome. What is important is to include any obstacles that you are facing and the objective you are pursuing, and the darkness deep inside you.

You also need to have these answers in your brain, or other difficulties will arise as well.

Goggins states that if you want to get solutions to these answers, you might want to slow down when doing intense exercise. This will allow you to think properly and pump up your fuel to keep moving.

Work hard, and make sure that you are the best. Tell this to yourself, or you’ll just crumble away.

It is crucial to push until breaking the limit when you feel like quitting because it trains you to be mentally stronger. For a similar objective, you need to reach for more when you do not feel motivated. That is why the author loves workout sessions in BUD training, and he still does. It lets him become strong, and he can face whatever life shoves in his face.

Mission 6: Creating A Cookie Jar of Personal Accomplishments to Use to Motivate Yourself

In this chapter, Goggins says that pain is his reward for finishing the race. The pain reminds him that he did it, and it proved to himself how strong he had become.

He gives in to the concept of “cookie jar” where you put in all your victories and the times you were resilient and became mentally more robust.

The cookie jar is not to make the person feel good, but to remind yourself what a badass you are so you can use it as fuel when you need it.

Open up the Cookie Jar. Flip through the journal again. Write all of it. The thing isn’t an ignorant stroll through the trophy room. Do not take down the list of achievements, include some life difficulties that you have gone through, like quitting drinking or surviving a depressive period. Add in some minor tasks that you did not accomplish before, but went back and succeeded. Write down what you needed to do to overcome these difficulties and win over your rival. 

Mission 7: Get Rid of the Governor in Your Brain with Constant Growth

Goggins shows us the 40% rule. He states that when we feel like we are at breaking limits when we reach only 40%.

The problem is, a lot of people do not continue when we only put in 40% effort of our full output. The moment we feel we have reached our limit, we should put in another 60%. 

The moment you find out the truth, it is a case of extending your limitations and conquering all the things that are your weaknesses. So once you hit 60%, go for 80% and do not give up. This is a new rule created by the author. 

It is an authoritative rule, and if the rule is abided, you can start to reach new performance levels in sports and life. You will gain more benefits compared to material success.

The author knows how easy it is to give up, but it is just the mind’s desire to give in to comfort, so the brain is lying to you. 

If you are trying so hard to find lever ground, you will not have any personal growth.

To go for the 100 percent ability in you, you need to catalog your weak points and vulnerabilities. Do not ignore these signals. Be prepared to notice these signals, because when you face high-stress levels, your weak points will pop up to the surface and bubble up in a giant foam, and start to overwhelm you. Not until these weak points are being overcome first.

Mission 8: Schedule Your Life to Attain the Best Out of Life

This chapter is exciting for groups that are carrying out particular operations.

A lot of people have a large image in their heads when they hear the word special operations – like NAVY.

Goggins states that these individual operations are more rational than what most people think. To these people, it is like you graduated from Harvard, but in military terms.

Most people after the BUD training do not want to go the hard way and test themselves out by starting right at zero. They instead go to the gym and gain muscles rather than push themselves to the limit.

The author also states that there is racism in forces that self-reflect people are just people no matter what organization they are in. He says that he met Michael Jordan in his top times, and it was a huge revelation when you found out that he was just another human.

David Goggins was not interested in turning himself into the “king of the military.” He did not want to settle down comfortably, and it was not what he was looking for, and that is why he went for a Giga marathon run.

His stories were very crazy, and the author wants his readers to do as much work as they can every day.

A 40-hour work a week is a 40% effort, the author states. That is what everyone is doing. If you adequately adjusted the schedule, you will find more time for productivity.

If you manage your life correctly and skip the crap, you will have time for all the things you want to do or choose to do. You require rest as well, so put that in the schedule as well. Listen to yourself, and sneak in some short naps when you are tired, and rest one whole day once a week.

During the first week, go about your routine, but start taking some points on your notebook. Are you playing with your phone all the time, or do you just keep on working?

Mission 9: Sustain Greatness by Keeping On the Run Track

Goggin’s said that he had an underdog mindset in the military. He realized he was not a “big shot”. He made it into the group, but not part of the team. Goggins states that this book is a must-read for anyone that wants to learn about special operations in the US. 

Mission 10: Write Down Everything You Failed and Start at It All Over Again

Goggins gives his reader the quest to beat the world record, with a lengthy description of his failures. The author mentions jealousy from peers and family. Your achievements are deadly to them. If they are worth it, they will use it as a motivation to step ahead.

He also states that you should even exceed God’s expectations of what you are capable of.

Author Biography

David Goggins is an athlete and motivational speaker, as well as a well-renowned author. 

He retired from the Navy and served in the Iraq and Afghanistan War. He tells readers to embrace pain and do something that they do not enjoy doing, every single day.

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