Can't Hurt Me

Can't Hurt Me

A number of people had recommended David Goggins' Can't Hurt Me because it combines two things I love: running ultras and doing hard things.

Goggins' pursuit in life is becoming "the hardest version of himself", and he's done that by pushing himself to the absolute limit. He ran Badwater, went through SEAL training twice, and set the world record for the most continuous pull-ups.

After finishing the book, I can't say that I totally subscribe to Goggins' philosophy. And honestly, I would've totally written him off if I hadn't found truth in his writing about ultra running.

Where I do think he has merits is in his ideas about re-inventing oneself. Here are the a few of the ideas that I found most interesting:

Challenge to see yourself as you truly are – Goggins talks a lot about thinking about the deep, dark parts of being a person–what our deepest insecurities, hopes, and dreams are. Instead of hiding those and thinking about them as weakness, bring them out there. Examine them and think about them. Use them to become who you really are.

Not motivation, identity – there's a great idea here that I really like about motivation being a 'fleeting' force. Conventional wisdom says to do great things, you need to be really motivated. The problem though is motivation requires constant upkeep. Everyday it's a battle to motivate yourself. Instead, just establish your identity as someone who does hard things. Don't summon the motivation to run, just know you are the kind of person who runs every day.

The difference is "between the ears" – a thread throughout Can't Hurt Me is that most of the limits we have are self-imposed. We think we can't do something, so we don't. There's a great line I read on some ultra forum somewhere: the difference is between the ears.