Lessons From The Toughest Man Alive – David Goggins

Lessons From The Toughest Man Alive – David Goggins

David Goggins is a former US Navy Seal and ultra-endurance athlete. He is a world record holder for the maximum number of pull-ups done in 24 hours. And also he has physically done some of the craziest things in this world. In his book “Can’t Hurt Me”. David Goggins talks about the most important fundamentals to become fearless and mentally tough in life.

Life wasn’t easy growing up. His dad used to beat him and his mom a lot. And they also had some financial issues for a long time. They didn’t really have much money and he was lost. However, he slowly started to turn his life around.

This is the story of what took him from the depths of despair from the bottom to become one of the toughest men in the world. He shares a lot of great stories. A lot of great techniques and strategies on how to become mentally tougher and developing a fearless mindset.

So I’m gonna share with you my favorite 5 lessons from this Book!

1. Who You Really Are?

In the book Awaken The Giant Within. Tony Robbins talks about the idea that identity is the greatest driving force in human nature. And we will do whatever it takes to be congruent with our identity. So there’s the story of David Goggins, He was on this 24-hour race. Where you run for 24 hours to cover 100 miles. And he stated, That was the highest level of pain he had ever gone through in his life. In the middle of that excruciating pain. He asked himself this question *Why are you doing this to yourself?*. Then said *Because you’re one hard motherf****er* that’s what he told himself.

Throughout The Book:

David Goggin talks about the idea that I am the toughest man alive. And that is his identity. He does everything in alignment with that identity. If you look back at the story of David Goggins. You’ll realize that his dad really used to abuse him for a long time. When he was young he used to feel weak, he used to feel like a victim. So he took on this identity of trying to figure out how to become the toughest man alive.

Similarly in the book, Total Recall By Arnold Schwarzenegger. He talks about the idea that “In order to do whatever you want to do in life. First, you have to decide who you want to become”. Then decide what you need to do in order to become that person. So it’s not about thinking, What you wanna have in life. Many people think about things they wanna have in the future. And start working towards it. But the most important thing is to identify, Who you really are.

You have to first start by identifying, Who do you want to become and what is your identity. It is indeed the most powerful force in human nature. As Tony Robbins says. Once you decide who you want to be. Then you will figure out what you need to do. And then you will figure out the steps to have, What you want to have. So always start with your identity. this is one of the fundamental building blocks of mental toughness.

2. The 40% Rule

We all know that we’re capable of much more than what we are doing day-to-day. We are not tapping into that beast mode that exists in all of us. And that’s what David Goggin talks about in his book. He said, No matter what our situation is, We only do 40% of what we are truly capable of. But the truth is there’s a lot more inside of us. And the question is why are we not able to give our 100%. Because we have a governor inside of us that stops us. That’s what David Goggins calls it. It is this part of our brain that stops us from doing the hard things. From taking the risk because of the pain we have to endure. I’ll explain more about the governor and how can we remove it. This is what the next topic is about.

3. Remove The Governor

Explaining more about the governor. We have governors in our brains and they know our limitations. And tells us that don’t take risks. Don’t do stuff that gives you pain. And tells us to stay in our comfort zone. It gives us a negative feedback. And it feeds on our insecurities but, The truth is if we want to live a great life. We have to remove the governor and we have to come out of our comfort zone. And figure out how do we remove the governor from our brains.

And Goggin says in his book that you have to seek pain like it’s your job. You have to chase down pain. And it’s very different from what most of the people in our society will tell you. However, Goggins says that you have to push yourself and do more than what you can normally do. And over time with consistency, You’ll be removing that governor that’s inside of you. It’s not going to be easy it’s painful. But a lot of the things that we want in life will only come as a result of challenging our comfort zone. And the challenge of comfort zone only happens when we have some sort of pain involved.

Similarly, In the book Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway By Susan Jeffords. She talked about the idea that when we try to step out of our comfort zone that’s when we get fear. However, In order to live a great life, we have to expand our comfort zones. And we have to face our fears. If we want to live great lives if we want to become mentally tougher in life. We have to overcome our fears in order to remove that governor that is inside of our brains.

4. Accountability Mirror

There’s a great strategy David Goggins talks about on how to remove the governor. And that’s the accountability mirror. Write your goals on the mirror every single day. The thing you need to constantly remind yourself — what is it that needs to be done today. otherwise, our brain tends to take the easy path, the path of least resistance.

If you don’t know exactly what you need to do every day. You might just watch TV or play some games in your comfort zone and waste your time. But when you know exactly what you need to do every single day. And you have your accountabilities, your dreams, and goals on your mirror. You’re gonna keep yourself aware of those. And you’re going to do. What needs to be done. That’s why we all need this accountability mirror. Undoubtedly, It is a really powerful concept. That’s been around for ages and David Goggins has a new twist on it as in putting it on your mirror so that you face it every single day.

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5. Callus Your Mind Every Single Day

In life, you have to Callus your mind by doing the most difficult things. Once you identify your big goal now you have to Callus your mind by doing the difficult things every single day in order to accomplish your goal. There’s no worthy goal without any difficult things. First, Identify what are those difficult things. And callus your mind by doing those difficult things. Step outside of your comfort zone every day and face those difficulties.

Write down all the things you know that are good for you. But they are making you uncomfortable every day. The things that are challenging you. Write down all the things that you have to do to face your fears. that’s how you’re gonna callus your mind. No matter how much hardship you’re going through. You can always tell yourself, Yes! I’m getting beaten down right now. But I’m becoming more of an animal. And that is the mindset that will lead you to accomplish your goal.

There’s an interesting story from David Goggin’s life. Explaining how he beat claustrophobia. He was really scared of closed spaces. So he found a friend who had access to an MRI machine. And the MRI machine is scary for someone who’s claustrophobic. And he put himself into that MRI machine every single day. He did it till it didn’t bother him anymore. He just exposed himself to do that thing every single day. And that’s how David Goggins calloused his fears.

So what we need to learn from it is that whatever it is that bothers you or making you uncomfortable and difficult to do. You have to go after it and face it in order to callus your mind.


David Goggins always says that I am the toughest man alive. That is what drives him. And the other thing was that he was always putting himself in these demanding situations. He always commits first and then tries to figure out later. And that’s what we need to do. This Book worth a shot if you haven’t read it yet.