I have read tons of books but David Goggins’ Cant hurt me just stands out, not only is his life itself a spectacle of what a human being is capable of doing but also reassuring to the rest of us that our situations(read excuses) aren’t nearly as bad as we interpret them to be at times. He was beaten, abused(verbally, physically and emotionally) by his own father since birth until he was eight. He encountered his mother being tortured regularly by his father. He had learning disabilities as a child and ended up becoming a liar and a cheater in school just to move to next class. He faced tremendous racism growing up ,encountered 2 deaths up close before turning 16 and yet ended up crafting a life which is now being looked upon as nothing short of remarkable. He is now ultramarathon runner, ultra-distance cyclist, triathlete, public speaker, retired from NAVY seal and an author. 

He constantly talks about how his life gave him a “bad hand” and how we too can flip such things on their head and make something worthwhile out of that. I had never considered that we could ever use the bad experiences as a fuel for growth. Sure we can learn from them , we can grow emotionally but he goes to the extent of saying that even the negative emotions which play out within us as a result of bad experiences can be channeled to propel us to do the work needed to be done to get out of it and surpass it completely. This is new to me , for I’ve always processed my emotional traumas by writing ,talking or doing anything to sort of “release” that uncomfortable energy. He also encourages us to write down our own “bad hand” which can later be used as an inventory to fuel some personal growth. Not sure I even understand that fully but worth a shot.

He doesn’t stop there however he also encourages us to call out things for what they are. For example for past few months I’ve been wanting to change the company I work for but if I have to take a hard look at my daily actions its clear that the amount of efforts being put into that direction are way below what is required. Sometimes we are quick to blame things of our circumstances and people around us. I’m not implying that these are not impediments , from first hand experience I can say that toxic environment in family can really put a person on backfoot in terms of making personal progress. Every time we think that pain is over, there is silence at last, it turns out to be a silence before that thunderstorm. However could it be that all this chaos instead of impeding our path can actually make out do more than we ever thought possible.

Here are first 2 challenges laid out by the books which I commit to completing and encourage the reader to do so as well.

1-Write out a list of what is challenging you today. What problems and limitations do you encounter? What excuses are you making? Don’t hold back. Don’t be nice to yourself.

2-Write all your insecurities, dreams, and goals on Post-Its and put them on the mirror you look at every morning. You will use this accountability mirror to remind yourself of your mission each morning.

Because of the up close and personal nature of the tasks being required to do I’d do it privately but I’ll be sure to share the impact if any that it had few months down the line.

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Sonia Kataria

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