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David Goggins’ ‘Can’t Hurt Me’ Will Bring Out the Best In You

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‘Can’t Hurt Me’ by former Navy Seal David Goggins has rewired my brain in ways I never thought a book could. Upon completion and learning about the physical and mental toughness Goggins would push himself through, my mindset completely shifted. I realized how many excuses I was making and how that got in the way of accomplishing my professional and personal goals. It led me to realize that with the right attitude and mental resilience, people can achieve greatness in such a short amount of time, especially when we kick our excuses to the side.

Those are just some of the many realizations I walked away with after reading Goggin’s best-selling motivational book. This book is perfect for anyone looking to unlock their true potential as it provides the reader with firsthand accounts from one of the baddest dudes on the planet.

Coupled with a story of perseverance and beating the odds, you have a recipe for success. It grips you from the beginning and doesn’t let go. 


In ‘Can’t Hurt Me,’ David Goggins starts by taking us through a recounting of his hellish childhood in Buffalo, NY and tumultuous teenage years in the racially-charged environments of Brazil, IN. He vividly describes how the abuse from his dictator-like father resulted in him and his mother being forced to relocate several states away to Indiana, where things didn’t fare any better for him. During his time in Indiana, he encountered numerous perilous racial incidents, with one, in particular, coming dangerously close to claiming his life.

All of this affected him well into adulthood and led him to a rough patch in his life. However, after several dead-end jobs and many – and I do mean, many – pounds later, he decided enough was enough and his life had to change for the better. He remembers seeing a Navy Seals commercial and how they all looked like the toughest set of individuals on the planet and he wanted to be a part of that environment. This sparked a fire in Goggins that would never waver. 

That commercial proved vital, so he shed over 100 pounds in three months, passed the examination and was granted entrance into Navy Seal boot camp training.

During his Navy Seal training, we learn all about the punishing demands that entail when attempting to overcome boot camp. As the book progresses, we get introduced to a structure that would follow the majority of the book: Goggins sets a grueling physical goal in mind, experiences a few setbacks along the way and eventually overcomes them, with the exception of one. This includes stints as an ultrarunner, the Army’s Delta Force squad and as a motivational speaker. 

The book concludes with him chasing a world record.


The direction of ‘Can’t Hurt Me’ is straightforward; it’s motivational and rarely shies away from this – except in those early chapters. The material is presented in a way that makes you admire the author and the amazing heroics he eventually overcomes. 

The man is a machine, and you learn firsthand how incredible his mental fortitude is. This, in turn, makes you have reflective moments where you question your work ethic and how lax you have come to be. You then want to imitate Goggin’s mindset and push yourself just as hard.  You want to hit those extra reps in the gym, not give up on a test that’s been kicking your ass and try something new, no matter how uncertain things might seem. 

There are nice anecdotes sprinkled throughout, of course, but I was left wanting a change of pace in the narrative every now and then to something closer to the early chapters. Maybe highlight his mother’s accomplishments a little more? She seems just as strong and accomplished as him but was more or less a background character after the early chapters. I was left wondering what happened with his father and the siblings he left behind in New York. We do eventually read about them, but in a condensed manner towards the end of the book.

That isn’t to say it’s a boring read – far from it. I was just a bit overwhelmed towards the latter part of the book with the constant bravado thrown at me. I wished he had broken up the structure of the chapters every now and then, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy my time reading this book because I definitely did. 

I recommend this book to anyone looking to gain a mental edge daily and for fans of self-improvement and/or fitness. It’s a very effective read that stays true to its intentions and promotes perseverance, ambition, determination and more – what’s not to love?


⅘ Stars – Recommend


‘Can’t Hurt Me’ is a blend of David Goggins’ retelling of his most significant accomplishments with plenty of self-discipline techniques and personal development hacks thrown in the mix. It’s an impressive highlight reel of Goggins’ biggest achievements with a good look into the upbringing that shaped him into the successful person he is today. It also challenges its readers to dream bigger and fortify the mind better.

When I feel like I’m going easy and slacking off on my reps at the gym, Goggin’s face always comes to mind without fail – no joke! When I want to achieve a certain body fat percentage and think it’s impossible, I think back to when Goggins lost 100 pounds in three months to meet his Navy Seal deadline and I stay in the gym longer. It’s setting me up for success and I’m thankful for the introspection it’s provided me with.

Books can be powerful tools for self-improvement and David Goggins’ “Can’t Hurt Me” certainly deserves the praise that it gets. Pick this book up if you ever want that extra push that’ll help you get closer to achieving all of your goals.

You can purchase ‘Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds’ here.

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