The life and philosophy of one of the world's greats
"Only you can master your mind, which is what it takes to live a bold life filled with accomplishments most people consider beyond their capability."
- David Goggins
What does it take to push your body further than you ever imagined? How does one overcome the mental blocks prevalent with our species to strive for something a little more significant? These are all questions we've pondered over a millennium of philosophy. Thought of as far back as we can remember, our primal human drive is something that's eluded us for much of our existence.
David Goggins has a slightly different approach.
Goggins is a now-retired US Navy Seal who rose to prominence through the boom of social media and video streaming. He was enlisted in several forces within the US military and is famous for completing the grueling, unforgiving HELLWEEK twice.
Hell Week is six days of high-intensity conditioning in the US military where candidates run more than 200mi (often while holding boats above their head), swim, do hours of physical training, and other grueling exercises. All while getting roughly four hours of sleep in total.
David now tours the world sharing his experiences, thoughts, and philosophy with a vast array of people. He also competes in some of the most intense marathons worldwide, consistently breaking records and setting standards for fitness. From students to Fortune 500 companies, his way of thinking applies to many things we take for granted every day.
Although it may seem like someone who is as driven as this does for the glory associated with the pursuit, the reality couldn't be more different. Goggins is an outspoken advocate of confidence, motivation, and energy (See: his social media pages).The thrill of pushing his body past the limits he thought finite is what drives him to go further every day. Luckily for us, there are a few tips he's shared with the world to get on – not the same – but a similar goal-driven path.
"Motivation is crap."
- David Goggins
While for most people, the excuses to not do what they need to do comes down to a lack of motivation. Motivation is what gets you to do what you want to do, right? It is. But why would you need motivation if you have a clear, concise purpose? Having an intention of getting through difficulty means that whenever you feel like you can't achieve, you can always look to why you do it, and the motivation comes naturally.
During Hell Week at the military, it is a given that that the ones in charge try to make the experience as miserable as possible for the candidates. They do this to test the limits and drain the candidates of their physical and mental vitality. All while having access to a small bell that would signify that a candidate is quitting when rung.
That's why when faced with difficulty, it would be in your best interest to break it down into smaller, more completable tasks. It doesn't matter how far you segment because no mission is impossible if you break it down, piece by piece.
This idea sits on quite a simple foundation. Goggins has said in the past that whenever you think you're at the peak of your capability, you're only using 40% in reality. This statement might seem outlandish at first, but it's pretty poignant upon further investigation. There have been many stories of seemingly ordinary people, able to muster up strength never seen before to deal with the situation. This feat occurs because our mind creates a mental cap to save power daily. But if you could break this cap when you need to, you'll be reaching heights you never imagined.
We could sit for days and discuss the many facets of a Goggins-like lifestyle, true. But when it boils down to it, it's about knowing yourself and realizing that you are much more capable than for what you give yourself credit. It sounds like a fairy-tale, but it isn't. It is coded into our cores, and it's one of the things that separates us from every other creature on the planet.
[David Goggins' social media handles]
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