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Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins: Book Summary, Review & Notes

Unlock mental toughness with 'Can't Hurt Me' by David Goggins. Dive into our concise summary, insightful review, and keynotes. Transform your mindset.

This is the most inspiring book I've ever read. I think I can say it ignited a fire in me. The fire is about perseverance, about never giving up, about never-ending, about moving forward forever.

But this book is more than inspiring. It is also about tactics. It is about specific tactics that can be applied in specific and variable situations. The tactics are Goggins' weapon. He built different weapons during different hard tasks and then he used these weapons to conquer more harder tasks. 

Every task he finished, every hell train he went through, every test he passed, every ultrarun he finished, every impossible he made possible, became his cookies in his cookie jar.

This book is the autobiography of David Goggins, a former US Navy SEAL. It tells how he fought back from a miserable childhood to become an outstanding US military member, and constantly challenged the limits of his physical fitness to become the world's top ultramarathon runner, even breaking A Guinness World Record for pull-ups. 

David Goggins lived under the influence of domestic violence and exploitation by his father as a child, and later his mother ran away from home to live in rural Indiana. In this predominantly white community, he suffered discrimination and had no intention of learning to overeat and become obese. 

The turning point came when he made up his mind to join the U.S. Air Force to change his destiny. He began to study and exercise hard, lost 100 pounds in just three months, passed the exam, and finally successfully joined the Air Force School. 

Later, he passed a series of tests and became the only person in history to complete the hellish training of the U.S. Marine Corps (Navy Seal), Army Ranger (Army Ranger), and Air Force Air Tactical Air Control (Air Force Air Tactical Air Control). 

He later became interested in extreme sports such as ultra-marathons and triathlons and ranked first in the Badwater-135, the toughest sport in the world. But in fact, he was full of injuries. He discovered that he had congenital heart disease and various sports injuries, but he did not give up. 

After three attempts, he broke the Guinness world record for the most pull-ups completed in 24 hours. After retiring from the U.S. Army, he became a wildland fire rescue firefighter and continued to challenge his physical potential.

Book Summary

Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds is the autobiography of former Navy SEAL David Goggins. This book was very popular after it was published last year. 

It has appeared on major book lists in Europe and the United States and has a score of 4.55 (out of 5) on Goodreads, a well-known book community.

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Buy from Amazon

Can't Hurt Me tells the story of how an ordinary black teenager grew up to become a Navy SEAL and the world's top athlete. The life experience of the author David Goggins is very inspiring. 

Although he grew up in a middle-class neighborhood in Buffalo, his childhood was full of shadows - his father had serious violent tendencies and often beat and exploited family members. 

Later, his mother found an opportunity and took him away from home, getting rid of his father's control. But the situation has not improved. 

Because of his black identity and having fallen behind in too much homework, he was discriminated against by his classmates and teachers at school and lived in great anxiety and pain every day.

The turning point came when he was about to sign up to join the Air Force. David Goggins has always had a dream to join the Air Force, but joining the Air Force also requires taking an exam. 

Because he had neglected his studies and had a poor foundation, he failed the exam. Even his mother expressed her disappointment to him. David Goggins came home and saw himself in the mirror, fat and accomplishing nothing, and determined to change everything. He began working out and studying hard, eventually joining the Air Force. 

After leaving the Air Force, he worked hard to join the Marine Corps, which may be one of the most demanding branches in the world, and graduated with excellent grades. But he did not stop challenging himself. 

He then challenged the Badwater-135, the world's most difficult ultra-long marathon, and achieved a high ranking. At present, he is still constantly breaking through and challenging himself, pushing the potential of his body and mind to the limit.

The book Can't Hurt Me is very passionate to read. In the eyes of some people, David Goggins even looks like a madman, because the things he does are almost self-abuse and beyond the scope of normal people's understanding. 

But in his view, if we want to succeed, we need to avoid living like a frog in warm water and constantly challenge our own limits (this belief may be related to his turbulent childhood experience, and he needs to find new opportunities by constantly challenging himself). sense of security). Regarding challenging yourself, there are several principles in the book worth learning from:

(1) Check your goals every day

To achieve goals, David Goggins adopted a strategy called "Accountability Mirror": He posted the goals to be accomplished every day and the preparations needed to accomplish them next to the mirror so that he could remind himself every day what tasks needed to be accomplished. 

Many times we forget about our goals after setting them. In this case, we might as well try the author's method to help us take action through some simple tips. At the same time, the author also breaks down long-term tasks into simple small tasks, so that they are easier to execute.

(2) Be prepared in advance

Before David Goggins ran an ultra-marathon, he imagined in his mind what challenges he would encounter during the marathon and how to overcome them. 

He even imagined the joy and achievement he would feel at the moment of completing the marathon. feel. He had run the race in his mind countless times before starting it. 

This strategy is also widely used by other professional athletes. For example, skiers will go through the entire track in their minds before competing, imagining how their bodies will feel at each turn and the difficulties they may encounter. 

This can help them plan accordingly. Make preparations before the game. We can also adopt this method when completing tasks and prepare in advance for problems that may be encountered during the task, which can increase the success rate.

(3) Motivate yourself through past successful experiences

The process of achieving your goals can never be smooth sailing, and even the most positive and optimistic people will have moments when they feel discouraged. 

Regarding this situation, the author's approach is to imagine past successful experiences to give himself positive hints and overcome psychological barriers:

Remembering what you've been through and how that has strengthened your mindset can lift you out of a negative brain loop and help you bypass those weak, one-second impulses to give in…Even if you're feeling low and beaten down by life right now, I guarantee you can think of a time or two when you overcame the odds and tasted success.

(4) Get out of your comfort zone

The author believes that most of us only give up at most 40% of our efforts and give up halfway. We still have a lot of potential that has not been tapped. To truly realize our potential, we need to jump out of our comfort zone and increase our limits:

Most of us give up when we've only given around 40 percent of our maximum effort. Even when we feel like we've reached our absolute limit, we still have 60 percent more to give! [...] 

Once you know that to be true, it's simply a matter of stretching your pain tolerance, letting go of your identity and all your self-limiting stories, so you can get to 60 percent, then 80 percent, and beyond without giving up. 

I call this The 40% Rule, and the reason it's so powerful is that if you follow it, you will unlock your mind to new levels of performance and excellence in sports and in life, and your rewards will run far deeper than mere material success.

The principles used by the author in his own growth experience are very simple, but they can really help us make progress. This book is perfect for keeping at your bedside as an inspirational read. 

Reading it when you feel confused can definitely cheer you up. At the same time, the vocabulary of this book is not very difficult, and the language used by the author is very simple and straightforward.

Book Review

Deep reading | Lose 100 pounds in 100 days, a bastard turned into an American military idol, he said that only by stepping out of the comfort zone can you have a strong life

Why, after hearing so many truths, can I still not live a good life?

This is what we often joke about ourselves.

Perhaps, most of us just live in our comfort zone, but have never tried to step out, or push ourselves, and we will never know how much potential we have.

Today I’m going to talk about a man who transformed himself from a depressed, obese, 300-pound loser with no future into an idol in the U.S. Army and one of the world’s top endurance athletes.

How did this American grassroots tough guy counterattack, take his destiny into his own hands, and exert 100% of his energy?

Below, we would like to use the first person to tell this "inspirational life".

If life were compared to a deck of cards, there would probably be few people with worse cards than me.

My name is David Goggins. I was born in 1975. I grew up in a middle-class area called "Paradise Street", where my family of four lived in a bungalow.

My father is a typical successful businessman. We also have a Rolls-Royce and a Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC parked in our back garden. To others, our family looks like a typical middle-class person realizing the "American Dream".

But there are always hidden secrets beneath the surface.

Living in Paradise Street, I have been with the "devil" since I was a child. This demon is none other than my biological father.

He would always greet his neighbors with a smile, but after the neighbors left, he would turn around and look angry at us.

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My brother, my mother, and I had to work all night for him every night so that we were drowsy when we went to school the next day.

I was afraid of going to gym class because short-sleeved shorts would expose my scarred body. If anyone found out, my father would definitely not be able to spare me.

At that time, my father opened a roller skating rink, and the three of us, mother and son, worked as cows and horses for him, but if we made the slightest mistake, he would beat us severely.

Every penny of such hard work belongs to him, and we get nothing in return for our sweat.

No one knows this. He always looks hypocritical to the outside world, and he even has a high prestige in everyone's hearts.

Even now when I think back on it, many things still make me feel extremely hurt.

He treats prostitutes better than he treats us, mother and son.

One day his mother saw him having sex with a prostitute. She was angry, but he didn't care.

Because he knew that she was unable to leave us alone, and Mother could not leave us to this devil. They were not married, and she had no right to property division.

Once he beat my mother until her face was covered with blood. As a young child, I rushed over to beat him and shouted at him: Don't hit my mother.

He sneered and said to his mother: Look at the little rascal you gave birth to.

In my heart, the hatred for this demon is growing all the time. Sometimes I will resist, but I will only be beaten crazily.

For us at that time, life had no hope.

My mother seemed to have lost her soul. She worked every day just to please the devil, just so that we would no longer be beaten by him.

One time, this devil put a gun to my forehead. I really hoped he would shoot me.

At 8 years old, I am already tired of such a hopeless life. I no longer care whether I live or die.

Later, a kind neighbor gave us an idea. My mother tricked him into applying for a credit card, and then she took us out of this hell.

Many years later, I learned that at that time, my mother had thought of committing suicide.

In this way, we ushered in a new life. Although it was still difficult, we were full of hope.

I didn't know at that time that the devil never left my side, and when it appeared in another form, it would only hurt me deeper.

Because I worked for my demon biological father every day, I couldn't keep up with my homework. When I arrived at the new school, I was the only black child and the most "stupid" one.

I was labeled a "special child" and discriminated against by my classmates.

Not only that, I also encountered a bad teacher. She had no patience to give me extra lessons. Instead, she gave me an ultimatum: either keep up or get out.

I naively thought that school was my safe haven, but I never imagined that this would be another hell.

My anxiety got worse, I started losing my hair, I started getting spots on my body, and I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

I was treated by a demon when my brain was developing at its fastest, and it invaded me like cancer. "Toxic stress" has always been with me, causing me learning disabilities and dyslexia.

Later, when I grew up and read books, I learned that children who had experienced the same thing as me when they were young were more likely to suffer from psychological depression, heart disease, cancer, etc. when they grew up. They were also more likely to be drunk, smoked, violent, and drug addicts.

Because of this ADHD, I simply couldn't keep up with my studies, so I started cheating. After that, the teacher saw that my grades had improved and he no longer caused trouble for me.

Life, could it be worse?

For me, the answer is yes.

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Mother and Wilmoth

When she was in the fourth grade, her mother fell in love. The person she fell in love with was Wilmoth Owen, a well-known carpenter and contractor. There was no violence in him, and his peaceful smile attracted her mother.

When we spent time with him, we felt a rare sense of relaxation.

When he is around, we seem to have someone to rely on, and our lives seem to become better.

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Wilmoth and I

To me, Wilmoth is a positive father figure. He doesn't dote on me or say sweet words. He always plays basketball and games with me, just like my friend.

My mother and I plan to move in with him. Although he is not as wealthy as the devil's biological father, the life he creates is what we yearn for.

However, all the good things were shattered on Christmas Eve 1989.

Wilmoth was shot and killed in his garage that night. He was only 43 years old and I was 14 years old.

The world is full of tragedies, and they slowly pile up until they swallow me up.

My high school has a total of 1,200 students and only 5 black students.

I experienced all kinds of discrimination both on and off campus. I adopted an attitude of avoidance, thinking that as long as I stayed away from their eyes, there would be less of this strange discrimination.

In one Spanish class, in addition to my name, there was also a line written in my homework book:

"Niger we're gonna kill you!"

I was furious and told myself that I didn't belong in this damn place.

I don't know who hates me so much that they want to kill me just because of the color of my skin.

When I rushed into the principal's office with tears in my eyes, the principal was also helpless. He said: They are all ignorant people, and they don't even know how to spell "nigger".

This is my life of bottomless darkness, with no glimmer of hope in sight.

After that, I started to dress up in a "social" way, maybe so that no one would dare to mess with me. In fact, this was just to cover up my fragile heart.

In the eyes of others, I must be a self-defeating bastard with no hope for the future.

However, I still have a dream in my heart. I want to join the Air Force.

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My mother and I

My grandpa was a cook in the Air Force for 37 years and he was very proud of it.

After retiring, he would wear that uniform every time he went to church. He deeply influenced me.

I also wanted to join the Civil Air Patrol like him.

I listened to a man's story and began to admire paratroopers. They jumped from a height of 10,000 meters to help pilots in need of rescue escape from dangerous areas.

I thought I wouldn’t have to study anymore after joining the army, but I was wrong. Two things hit me hard in the face.

I took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) organized by the military, which is the military version of the SAT, and I failed.

Because I couldn't cheat, I only scored 20 points out of a 99-point exam, and the passing mark was 36 points.

After Wilmoth's death, my mother numbed herself with busyness. She no longer cared about my grades. We were like two strangers living under the same roof.

Until she received my transcript, the school said that I had missed 1/4 of all semester hours for no reason, and my average grade was D.

Unless I drastically improve my test scores and attendance during my senior year, I won't graduate.

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My transcripts are almost all D's

My mother told me exhaustedly on the phone: It’s time for you to drop out of school.

When I got home and looked at the posters of star Michael Jordan and the U.S. Special Forces on the walls of my room, I felt like a certain "fire" in my heart was extinguished.

That night, I looked at my fat self in the mirror: a ruffian with no money, no pursuit, and no future.

I felt sick and wanted to beat him up, but I didn't. Instead, I started talking to myself calmly:

Look at you, why do you think the Air Force would want a bastard like you?

you are nothing! It will only embarrass people!

You are just an idiot. You are not as good at studying as a third-grade child. You are a joke!...

No one can come to save you except yourself.

I began to realize that it was time to change and become a new me.

Tell yourself it's time to wake up.

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I started running every day.

One day I ran 21 kilometers in one breath. This was the most I had ever run in my life.

Another time, two mad dogs chased me. I could only run faster and faster until I was out of breath and finally got rid of them.

From that point on, I started “craving discomfort.”

Regardless of rain or snow, I always tell myself: put on your shoes and go for a run!

Gradually I became stronger and more adaptable.

I studied day and night at my dining room table, hoping to pass the ASVAB exam.

I crammed crazily, memorizing word by word, and finally passed the exam on the third try. I joined the Civil Air Patrol.

However, you may not guess that this is the beginning of a dream. In fact, it has been an embarrassing four years for me.

My weight soared from 158 pounds to 272 pounds, and it was difficult to even bend down.

I was diagnosed with sickle cell trait, which increases my risk of sudden death from exercise, and I chickened out.

I quit the Civil Air Patrol program permanently because I wasn't strong enough.

I am so ashamed that I am a deserter.

Since then, I overheated every day and became more obese.

One day, while I was taking a shower, I vaguely heard a voice coming from the TV: Navy SEALs...toughest...the world.

My fat body was wrapped in a towel and I sat on the sofa and watched for 30 minutes without moving at all.

I watched the devilish training of those tough guys, running on the muddy obstacle course, shivering in the icy waves, sweating and in agony.

But I started to be jealous of them.

SEALs, the pride, dignity, perfection, and willpower they have are everything I don’t have.

They are the sharpest swords in the world.

(They were the human equivalent of the hardest, sharpest sword you could imagine.)

"In a society where mediocrity is recognized and rewarded, transcending mediocrity has a strong temptation for some people: they refuse to follow the crowd, and they desire to go beyond the limit - this is the kind of people we want."

The commander said loudly to the proud men.

I also want to be such an elite.

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After that, I kept calling active-duty recruiters in the Navy across the country, but I was turned down every time.

Once I finally got through and went to the site, but was rejected because I was too fat.

But somehow, fate seems to have arranged for me to meet Steven Salchow, who is my "Bo Le".

The first time he saw me, he knew that the stubborn me was serious.

Because I was overweight, I had to lose nearly 100 pounds in 3 months.

I also have to retake the entire ASVAB within 5 weeks, which is a nightmare exam for me.

I started waking up at 4:30 every morning, eating a banana and started reading review materials.

At 5 o'clock in the morning, I took the exam materials and went riding a spinning bike, sweating and studying for two hours.

Then jump into the swimming pool and swim for two hours,

Then go to the gym, bench press, incline press, 5-6 sets of 100 to 200 reps, plus lots of leg exercises.

Then, get back on the spinning bike and sweat it out for two hours.

Just eat a little dinner, ride a bike for two hours, then go to bed, wake up, and repeat yesterday's schedule.

There is no retreat, we must do our best.

I had almost no time to rest every night, and I became increasingly anxious and even had thoughts of giving up on myself.

Whenever this happened, I would call Steve and tell him I had lost a few pounds to motivate myself.

There are no shortcuts to success, only persistence.

Among 190 people, only 40 people can pass. I want to be the best one.

I'm not smart, but hard work can make up for my weakness. After reviewing day and night, the test result I was most worried about came out. I got 65 points, a very good score. I couldn't help but scream.

"Here's Hell Week," said instructor Seth Peet. "I'm so happy to see you tortured."

Yes, I joined the SEALs and began 11 months of enlistment training, which is so extraordinary that you can't even imagine it.

Physical training, diving training, ground combat training, every one of them is torture.

But we all came here voluntarily to be tortured, and no one wanted to give up.

Once, I vomited blood while running, and the coach almost thought I was dying.

I contracted pneumonia, but I tried to persevere against the doctor's orders but was forced to return to the military camp and participate in all training again.

After repeating it three times, I understood that this was actually a psychological battle, and only those with a strong heart could pass it.

Of the 156 people who participated in the training, only 25 successfully passed, and the elimination rate was 84%.

And I was one of the 16%, and I graduated with honors, becoming the 36th black graduate in SEAL history.

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But this is not the end, but a new chapter in life.

After graduation, I continued to challenge my limits.

I started participating in various long-distance runs.

The Badwater 135 is the world's toughest running race.

Yes, I will conquer it.

160 kilometers, even a SEAL team would have a hard time completing it.

The more I ran, the more I collapsed, and I kept saying to myself: Why the hell are you doing this to yourself?!

But reason tells me that this is actually a duel between myself. How much pain am I willing to endure? How much can I take? How much do I have to pay?

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As I ran, I remembered the pain of my childhood.

I also think of the "highlight moment" of my life: I am the only person in human history who has completed the three elite training subjects of Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, and Air Force Tactical Air Traffic Control.

Finally, I finished the race.

After that, I gradually overcame more challenges and accomplished more impossible things.

I will not be defeated by my miserable childhood, I will become a powerful being.

Before the final whistle blows, my mind, my body, and my soul will only squeeze out the last bit of strength from it, without reservation.

I am the sum of the obstacles I have overcome.

This is the story of David Goggins.

His book, from the end of last year to the beginning of this year, even rivaled the autobiography of former US President Michelle Obama as a critically acclaimed book.

On Goodreads, it received 4.5 stars out of 5, with 68% of people giving it full marks.

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Some people also gave it a low score of two stars because there are a lot of swear words in the book, which makes it a bit uncomfortable to read.

Some people say that he shouldn't go crazy and self-inflict pain.

However, what more people see is his courage and perseverance in deciding to transform when he was at the lowest point in his life.

This is his story, his life.

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In life, if you can find your own direction and do your best for it, then you will have no regrets.

Most of us only use 40% of our capabilities. Goggins calls it the "40% rule."

What we have to do is overcome pain, eliminate fear, and give full play to the remaining 60% of our potential.

To defeat our biggest enemy---our own comfort zone.

After Reading Notes

A book that makes people rethink what is "difficult" and "impossible"

This book review may reveal key plot points

The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said: For every 100 people on the battlefield, 10 should not be there at all, 80 are living targets, only 9 are useful soldiers, and only 1 out of 100 is a soldier. That's the real warrior. David Goggins, the author of this book, is that warrior.

This is an exciting book. After reading this, readers are likely to rethink what "difficulty" and "impossibility" mean. 

This book records in detail some of the turning events in the author's life, including successes and failures. But the author said that he is not a hero, and this book is not about himself, but about how everyone can spend their life.

The author poses a challenge to the reader at the end of each chapter. In the book, he shares some of the tools that various life experiences have taught him. Today I’m sharing three of those tools with you: a mirror, a callus, and a cookie jar.

1. Accountability MirrorAccountability Mirror

There is a mirror in the fairy tale "Snow White" that only lets the bad queen hear the lies she wants to hear, such as "You are the most beautiful woman in the world." The author's mirror only tells the truth.

The author was almost expelled from school because he couldn't keep up with the progress in high school. At the same time, he fell into the abyss of life because of racial discrimination. 

Fortunately, he started a ritual during his senior year of high school. After shaving his head every day, he would speak out loud to his bathroom mirror about his goals. Write your goals on a sticky note and stick it on the mirror.

When looking in the mirror every day, the author has to answer whether he has achieved the goals he set. If it wasn't done, he would point it out without embellishment. 

In front of this mirror, he must face all injustices, stop blaming others, and take full responsibility for himself. He calls this mirror the Accountability Mirror.

The author believes that most people are too weak to themselves and are unwilling to face the facts and find reasons for themselves. He believes that if we want to improve, sometimes we have to be a little harder on ourselves. 

The author shows no mercy to himself in front of the accountability mirror. He faced his own problems, did not blame others, and chose to work harder to catch up. This mirror allows the author to control his own destiny through action.

The author joined the Air Force after graduating from high school and was trained in the paratrooper rescue team, with excellent training results. 

However, he was found to have a rare gene that may cause sudden death during exercise, so he chose to be transferred to the Air Force Tactical Air Controller training, and 4 years later retired from the Air Force.

However, his years in the Air Force did not save him. He developed a habit of crazy fitness and overeating in the military, and his weight increased from 175 pounds to 255 pounds. 

After he was discharged from the army, he stopped exercising like crazy, but still overeated and became a fat man weighing 300 pounds (270 pounds). His job at that time was to go to various restaurants every night to kill rats and cockroaches.

Although he looks strong on the outside, he is weak on the inside. His life has once again fallen into a trough and he cannot see the future. Until he happened to see an advertisement, which was a recruitment advertisement for the U.S. Navy's special forces - Navy SEAL. 

He believed that joining the SEALs was what he really wanted to do and the only chance to change his life. However, he was immediately thrown cold water: There were strict weight restrictions to join the Navy, and he had to lose weight from 300 pounds to 190 pounds in less than three months. That means losing more than a pound a day. It sounded impossible, but he was at the end of his rope.

So his daily exercise schedule became like this:

Starting from 5:00 in the morning, first, ride an exercise bike for 2 hours, then swim for 2 hours, and then go to the gym to do bench press, incline press, and leg strength training, 5-6 groups of each, 100-200 times each. 

Then ride the exercise bike for 2 hours. After dinner, he would ride the exercise bike for another 2 hours before going to bed, and then start all over again the next day.

It took him 20 days to get down to 250 pounds, light enough to do push-ups, pull-ups, and long runs. If he can lose weight at this rate, he can reduce it to the specified weight within the specified time. But the bigger test has just begun.

Anyone who has tried to lose weight knows that it is easier to lose weight at first because it mainly depends on water loss. Later you have to work harder to lose the same amount of fat. 

One day the author ran 6 miles, swam 2 miles, trained in the gym for 3 hours, and finally decided to end the workout with a set of 12 pull-ups. But after he finished 11 pull-ups, the pain in his arms became unbearable, so he gave up on the last one.

After returning home, the author could not forget the unfinished pull-up. He knew he would not be able to face the accountability mirror. He was lazy and didn't accomplish his goal. Just like that, he was back in the gym. 

Not only did he do that one pull-up, but he also did the entire pull-up training again, a total of 250 pull-ups. For him, there are no shortcuts to reach his goals.

The Accountability Mirror helps writers gain control of their own minds. The choice becomes easy when he must choose between temporary physical pain and lasting inner pain. Because he knew that to join the SEALs, he had to take complete control of himself.

In this way, under the gaze of the accountability mirror, the author achieved his weight loss goal and entered the Navy SEAL training.

2. Calloused Mind

In the greater test he is about to face, the author uses the second tool - the inner calloused mind.

The half-year training for SEALs is so brutal that it’s terrifying. There is a saying in the team: The only easy thing was yesterday. Because every day is more difficult than the one before. 

Of the nearly 200 recruits selected in each batch, generally, only 20 to 30 can ultimately complete the training. 

Enlistment training also includes the shocking " Hell Week ". It can be understood as being without sleep for 130 consecutive hours, alternately enduring high-intensity physical torture in the cold water and on the beach. 

Because every recruit will be pushed far beyond their physical limits during Hell Week. Hell Week not only tests people's physical abilities but also their hearts.

During the first Hell Week, the author developed pneumonia in both lungs and coughed up bloody mucus with every step he took. Military doctors asked him to stop training three times in a row, but he still insisted. 

In the end, the commando instructor ordered him to withdraw from the training for fear of losing his life. He will join the next batch of newcomers after a slight shake-up and start training from scratch.

In this way, before the pneumonia was cured, the author ushered in his second hell week.

One of the instructors in charge of the training was called Psycho Pete by the students. He took pleasure in appreciating the pain of the students. 

The author still maintained a high morale after participating in Hell Week for the second time, which made the pervert Pete very unhappy, so the author has been receiving special "care". The author's weapon against abuse is his inner calluses.

The author recalled that when he first went to the gym to train, the unexercised tender skin on his palms was quickly worn out by the equipment. But over time, after thousands of times of friction, thick calluses formed on his palms, which would never be worn out again.

The same thing applies to the heart. The author believes that before we experience abuse, humiliation, or failure, our hearts are weak and unable to withstand blows. Life experiences, especially negative experiences, can cause calluses to form in our souls.

More importantly, we need to choose how we allow calluses to grow. If we see ourselves as victims, our inner calluses will crystallize from hatred. This can make it difficult for us to be close to and trust others. 

We may close ourselves off because of dissatisfaction with the world so that our hearts cannot become stronger. The author admits that he was in that state in his youth.

In the end, the author no longer sees himself as a victim but sees his life as the ultimate training ground. It makes him a different person. 

The painful experiences from childhood to adulthood made new calluses grow in his heart, which became his advantage, helping him cope with the harsh environment and resist pain and psychological torture. He ultimately survived his second Hell Week in the first place.

But fate was not ready to let him take a breath yet. During the following training, the author suffered stress fractures in both legs due to enduring high pressure for a long time. The inner calluses could not cope with the physical disability, and the author had to stop training again.

When his fracture was almost healed, the author started all over again for his third enlistment training and faced his third Hell Week. This time the test was even more cruel, and some recruits even died during the training process. 

But after the first two experiences, the author's heart grew thicker, and he finally passed all enlistment training and officially joined the SEALs.

Ordinary people do not have the same miserable childhood as the author, nor do they need to endure the training of the special forces. So how can we let calluses grow in our hearts? The author believes that we should start small and often do things outside our comfort zone. 

The less you want to do something, the more you have to do your best and gradually turn your weaknesses into strengths. If we often challenge ourselves, we will naturally become stronger, and our mentality when facing difficulties will also change.

3. Cookie Jar

While serving in the army, to raise money for the families of his comrades who died in combat, the author participated in ultra-marathons of more than 100 miles many times and challenged the Guinness World Record for pull-ups three times. Whenever taking on these new challenges, the author will use a third tool - the Cookie Jar.

In the author's childhood, no matter how hard life was, his mother would always fill a cookie jar with all kinds of cookies he liked. With his mother's permission, he would take out a biscuit, look at it for a while, and then eat it gratefully.

Now, the author has another cookie jar sitting in his heart. The biscuits there are no longer snacks, but his victory against fate every time.

  • He spent three times as much time studying as others, and the experience of graduating from high school was just a cookie
  • He finished Navy SEAL training at the top of his class, another cookie
  • He received the Army Ranger Enlisted Honor Man, the highest honor in Army Ranger training, and was also a cookie

When he was running for more than ten hours continuously, his toenails were almost broken, his feet suffered stress fractures, and every step he took was painful, he would take a bite of the cookie in his heart.

When he has done thousands of pull-ups, his palms are completely worn out, and his arms are so stiff that he cannot raise them above his head, he will take another bite of the cookie in his heart.

The biscuits made of these memories carry the various victories he has endured without giving up and help him adjust his emotions, regain his strength, and remember who he is again. 

This is the secret to his ability to persist in challenges and ultimately accomplish many feats that are unimaginable to ordinary people.

The author believes that each of us should have such a cookie jar in our hearts. Even if we haven’t achieved any huge successes yet, we can still fill it with cookies earned through small victories. When life takes its toll on us, these cookies can ignite the fire within us and remind us of who we are.

If the accountability mirror forces us to be ruthless with ourselves, the cookie jar reminds us to value ourselves.

Since the author was born, God has dealt him a bad set of cards. He didn't have good genes, and he wasn't raised well. His large frame is not suitable for long-distance running and pull-ups. 

But he continues to achieve the impossible with the help of a mirror of accountability that forces him to face the truth, a calloused heart that resists blows, and a cookie jar in his heart that allows him to draw strength. He introduced his life to make people give up all kinds of reasons and regain control of their lives.

This may be why this tough guy's growth experience does not overlap with that of most people, but it can resonate with so many readers.

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