Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins is a riveting account of an uncommon man. Having suffered through abuse as a child and obesity as an adult, Goggins decided that he wanted more out of life.
This book is about how someone beat the odds and became a Navy SEAL, ultra-marathoner, and record-breaker.
First, I’ll begin with some book details, a summary, what I liked, and finally, what I didn’t like.
Page Length: 364
Audiobook length: 13 hours 38 minutes. Read by David Goggins (Author and Narrator) and Adam Skolnick (Narrator)
Published by: Lioncrest Publishing, 2018
Copyright: Goggins Built Not Born LLC, 2018
David Goggins suggests that our bodies can endure more hardship than we think. His Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) event presents this idea: Built Not Born LLC.
Goggins lays out the book into eleven chapters ranging from his early life in Williamsville, New York, to his travels as a Navy SEAL and his record-breaking attempts at the pull-up bar.
Chapters one through three provide the foundation for the book. For instance, Goggins lays out his impossible task to join the Navy SEALs. As the book cover shows, Goggins was obese, miserable, and working a dead-end job.
Eventually, his issues came to a crossroad at his home in the bathroom, where he had a heart-to-heart discussion with himself in the mirror. He defined this mirror as the ‘accountability mirror’ where he placed post-it notes of truisms about himself he wanted to change.
Through his struggle, Goggins decided to join the Navy and become a SEAL. He outlined his workouts, study sessions, and routines to get him where he wanted to be. These chapters end with his experience at BUD/S training.
The most potent weapon we have is the mind. Goggins dives deeper into this concept by describing the grueling process of BUD/S, where he suffered through training, got sent home, then did it again. In total, Goggins attended three BUD/S classes.
Here, Goggins walks the audience through creating an armored mind. He emphasizes creating a better version of yourself that won’t quit in the face of adversity. Further, Goggins illustrates these points by introducing his audience to the military training and ultra-marathon running he decided to do.
There are uncommon people in this world. Then, there are THE uncommon amongst the uncommon. Within that space, these people thrive as they suffer through life’s most difficult challenges and even seek out more remarkable feats to conquer.
Goggins articulates this with his experiences in beginning ultra-marathoning, breaking the world record for most pull-ups in 24 hours.
Accomplishments also don’t come without failure. Goggins failed several times throughout his career, and he continues to do so. However, he is an avid learner and refines his processes for success in the future.
These chapters round out the rest of the book. Additionally, Goggins still has plans to accomplish more extraordinary things in the future.
What I Liked
Every chapter ends with a challenge. Each challenge is designed to improve the audience’s life based on the principles taught in the chapter.
I LOVED these challenges.
Goggins encourages his audience to be better than they are today through these scripted goals. It was a genius method to influence change within his readers/listeners. Additionally, the challenges came with a hashtag and encouragement to post progress on social media. Again, Goggins is in tune with today’s audiences.
His storytelling is impeccable. Most vividly, I remember his attempts at attaining the pull-up record, which quickly became my favorite part of the book.
Also, I enjoyed Goggins’s natural ability to connect with his audience. He has a way to reach out through his writing that few motivational authors can do. It added validity to his story that I greatly appreciated.
Again, Goggins wants to reach out to as many people as possible. So, he does have a clean edition to his book. I’ll address that in the next section.
What I Didn’t Like
Being raw has its drawbacks. Can’t Hurt Me uses lots of foul language, racial slurs, and graphic descriptions. In the book’s attempt to reach more marginalized audiences, I felt the raw language detracted from the book.
However, there is a clean publication of Can’t Hurt Me that you can purchase. So, I highly recommend this version if you have an aversion to cursing in your literature.
I listened to the audiobook. In it, Goggins and the narrator, Skolnick, include podcast-like breaks between chapters. I enjoyed the book more than these podcast segments, even though the discussion breaks added more context to Goggins’ story.
I can’t blame the effort, though. It draws in audiences, and I may be in the minority to dislike the podcast portion of the audiobook.
Can’t Hurt Me is an excellent book written for a critical time. Now, more than ever, people need to understand accountability, goal setting, and overcoming failure to improve themselves.
Overall, I give this book a solid 8/10. It contains terrific storytelling, vivid detail, and exciting adventurism permeates throughout the book.
Thanks for reading this review of Can’t Hurt Me. If you want to buy the book, click here.
**NOTE: The links on this post are to the original book that includes the foul language. If you want the clean version, click here.
Have you read Can’t Hurt Me? What did you think about it? Tell me in the comments section below.