The Hardest Man on Earth

Despite growing up being bullied and having an abusive father, David Goggins is the only member of the US armed forces to complete Navy Seal training, US Army Ranger School, and Air Force tactical air controller training.  In a recent interview he talks about becoming the “Hardest Man on Earth.”  Here are a few highlights:

  • Instead of focusing on all of his hardships, one day he said, “If I can become the hardest man God ever created, that will mean something.  I will become relevant in my own mind.”  That was the point that he changed the way he thought.
  • “Being hard” is what gets him off the couch each day.  He says, “The best conversations you are going to have in your entire life is the one you have with yourself.  You can lie to other people all day long, but you can’t lie to yourself.”
  • When asked about developing mental toughness he said, “For me, it’s to face yourself, to face fear.  Everybody asks me, 'How do you develop mental toughness?'  How you develop mental toughness is becoming hard, and you become hard by doing stuff that you don’t want to do.  Most people live in this nice, comfortable place that makes them feel really good.  You sure don’t become hard by living that way.  You have to take yourself out of your comfort zone.  Bury yourself in something that makes you feel so horrible that you see how your mind is thinking, and overcome it.  That’s what makes a human being hard.”
  • When asked how did you get started, he said, “For me, I started realizing that you need nothing but the air in your lungs to become great.  Once I started pushing myself to different limits, I realized it just takes changing how you think about situations to become great.  After I realized that we’re just breath and a healthy heart and a mind that’s willing to change your circumstance, I realized, 'Okay I feel good about myself, now let’s go conquer the world.'”
  • When asked how do you fundamentally change your belief system he said, “People don’t know how because they don’t truly want to do it.  You have to be driven.  Motivation is crap.  Change your mind to believe that you need to be driven.  But what drives you, only you can answer that.”
  • When asked how he ran for 205 straight miles or made it through Navy Seal Hell Week, he said, “When you’re in the middle of it you can’t think about how much you have left, you have to think about how glorious it will be once you’re finished.”
  • When asked about his achievements, he said, “I truly believe you have a path and a journey that you have to start.  It’s not about accomplishments, it’s about starting a journey, and not getting off that path when it gets scary.  Getting scared and suffering allowed me to be proud and have peace in my life, to know that I’ve endured.  I didn’t run, I endured.”
  • When asked about mastery, he said, “I believe that God put us all down here and we are all artists.  You have to paint your masterpiece to the best of your ability, and you have to go through a lot of brushes and a lot of canvas.  That journey is hard, but you are your own master.

David is yet another example of the growth mindset in action.  The only limit that we have is that which we place on ourselves.  Everyone needs to have a conversation with the person in the mirror about what drives you, and only you can answer that.

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