David Goggins: How to Build Immense Inner Strength

David Goggins: How to Build Immense Inner Strength

David Goggins (00:00:00)

  • Accomplishments as a retired Navy SEAL and ultramarathon runner
  • Bestselling author of "Can't Hurt Me" and "Never Finished"
  • Challenging upbringing and transformation into a positive and influential person
  • Discussion provides insight into Goggins' inner dialogue and self-discipline

Learning & Studying (00:07:58)

  • Goggins spends most of his time studying and learning
  • Currently focused on medical studies to become a highly skilled paramedic
  • Struggles with ADHD and utilizes repetitive studying to retain information
  • Embraces the discipline and sacrifice required for continual learning
  • Conversation highlights the complexity of learning human physiology and anatomy

Writing & Learning, ADHD & Focus

  • Writing things down by hand helps with memorization and focus
  • David Goggins' approach to writing notes and studying helps him memorize information
  • He cannot recall academic material while running due to intense focus on his physical performance
  • Goggins' struggle with ADHD and learning disabilities led to his intense focus on self-discipline and concentration
  • He emphasizes the effort and focus required to overcome learning disabilities and ADHD

Friction, Focus, “Conqueror’s Mindset”

  • Goggins believes friction leads to personal growth
  • His daily routine involves constant mental and physical challenges, with little to no rest
  • Goggins strives to impart his mindset and experiences through his books to help others achieve similar focus and discipline
  • He acknowledges that his lifestyle is extreme and not easily comprehensible to most people

Early Hardships, “Haunted” (00:25:16)

  • Hardships in childhood triggered a mindset of seeking approval and attention through lies and character creation
  • The struggles and insecurities haunted David for years, leading to a driving force to improve himself
  • The haunting feeling from the past continues to motivate David to constantly fight his inner struggles and maintain a relentless mindset

Anger, Social Media; Growth & Challenges (00:30:48)

  • David developed a lot of anger from the lack of support and guidance in his childhood and young adulthood
  • He emphasizes the importance of being vulnerable and facing the ugly realities of life, rather than focusing on showing only the positive aspects
  • Rejects the overuse of motivating and passionate words, emphasizing the importance of taking action and living intentionally without seeking external validation

Stick vs. Carrot, Negative Inner Dialogue, “Stay Hard” (00:37:11)

  • David Goggins emphasizes the use of the "stick" approach rather than focusing on rewards or the "carrot" to motivate oneself.
  • He discusses the continuous need for self-discipline and hard work, without relying on external motivators.
  • Goggins explains that he constantly battles negative inner dialogue and works relentlessly to outwork the voice that questions his abilities.
  • He stresses that there is no easy way out and that staying hard and outworking oneself is the only path to success.

Inspiration, Characters & Self Image (00:42:39)

  • Goggins shares that he did not rely on external sources of inspiration, such as posters or videos. Instead, he built himself up internally.
  • He mentions his childhood struggle without role models, and how he began to create a reality of becoming the characters he idolized.
  • Goggins emphasizes that everyone has the ability to achieve greatness through self-discipline and hard work, but most choose not to pursue it.
  • Rejecting the idea of a documentary, he describes the true path to success as ugly and difficult, lacking motivation and glorification.

Willpower & Anterior Mid-Cingulate Cortex (00:46:09)

  • The anterior mid-cingulate cortex grows in size when individuals do things they don't want to do
  • It is smaller in obese people and grows larger in athletes and people who overcome challenges
  • The area is associated with willpower and possibly the will to live
  • Consistently doing things that are hard or unwanted is key to building willpower
  • Building willpower is a process that requires constant effort and not simply doing things that are enjoyed or comfortable

Friction & the "Suck", Willpower (00:53:23)

  • Willpower is not solely based on liking or enjoying something
  • Friction and discomfort are crucial in building inner strength
  • The process of embracing the "suck" is necessary for self-examination and unlocking one's potential
  • Many people feel unfulfilled because they haven't fully examined themselves and embraced discomfort

Building Willpower, Brain & “No Days Off” Mentality

  • Building willpower is scary and unlocks deep personal discoveries
  • Willpower is developed by consistently doing things you don't want to do
  • The anterior mid-cingulate cortex, crucial for overcoming pain and discomfort, is activated when we move our body despite resistance
  • This brain structure can grow and shrink and requires constant upkeep
  • Most people avoid the hard work and discipline required to build willpower and inner strength, leading to a life of feeling unfulfilled

Losing Weight, Challenge & Willpower

  • People often look back to a time when they felt capable of something but struggle with their present circumstances.
  • David Goggins emphasizes the need for personal responsibility and determination in overcoming challenges, focusing on his experience with weight loss and the mental strength it requires.
  • Goggins acknowledges the difficulty of the journey, emphasizing the need for a strong mindset and inner motivation in the face of adversity.

Self-Criticism & Discipline

  • Recognizes self-criticism as a motivator
  • Emphasizes the importance of starting immediately
  • Repetition and hard work are essential for growth

Recovery & Building Confidence

  • Acknowledges the necessity of sleep, nutrition, and recovery
  • Emphasizes the need to forego certain things to build confidence
  • Overcoming personal challenges leads to gaining confidence
  • Confidence is a constant process of building and belief

Stutter & Building Confidence

  • Shares personal struggles with stuttering and lack of confidence
  • Foregoing certain things, like sleep, in pursuit of confidence
  • Building confidence by going through challenging experiences

Relationships & Honest Conversations, People Pleasing (01:26:45)

  • Being upfront and clear about who you are is crucial in relationships.
  • It's important to communicate your needs and priorities to your partner.
  • Living authentically is essential, even if it means some people may not be compatible with your lifestyle.

Self-Reflection & Empowerment

  • Emphasizes the importance of being honest and upfront
  • Acknowledges the fear of being canceled and the pressure to conform on social media
  • Highlights the value of vulnerability and honesty in one's personal journey and accomplishments
  • Discusses the empowerment and liberation that comes with self-reflection and honesty

Economy of Effort & Resting

  • Draws a comparison to bulldogs and their instinctual use of energy
  • Discusses the concept of active recovery and delegation of rest to a pet
  • Humorous exchange about managing rest and recovery through a pet

Unseen Work, Real Passion & Purpose, Medicine Cabinet Analogy

  • Indoctrination from a young age encourages seeking external validation, which can lead to dependency on praise for motivation.
  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of extracting genuine motivation from within rather than relying on external validation.
  • He describes how training alone and facing adversity without external support has built his inner strength and resilience.
  • The analogy of a medicine cabinet is used to illustrate the concept of having inner strength and resilience as a result of overcoming obstacles and adversity.

Feeling Lost, Self-Reflection & Individual Process

  • People may misunderstand the process of developing immense inner strength.
  • The conversation is about the internal process and verbs, rather than a focus on external factors like supplements.
  • Building up true confidence and internal strength involves understanding and feeding the brain the right mental nutrients.
  • The process is individual and highly personal, requiring self-reflection and finding one's own way to achieve it.

Challenges & Two Internal Voices, Misunderstood

  • David Goggins discusses the frustration and passion behind his intense work ethic and uses his experiences in Hell Week to explain the internal struggle he faces to constantly improve himself.
  • He explains that he has created a second voice in his head that encourages him to be better, contrasting with the self-critical voice that tells him he's nobody.
  • Goggins reflects on the frustration of being misunderstood by others who have not put in the effort to improve themselves, citing his extensive study of the human mind and the dedication it took to create his successful mindset.

Running, Smoke Jumping; Success; Willpower & Perishable Skills

  • Goggins emphasizes his commitment to prioritizing his personal growth and well-being over external expectations, including the sacrifices he makes to maintain his internal strength and willpower.
  • He dismisses concerns about his physical limitations, such as not being able to run, by stressing that his willpower and mental strength are the true sources of his success.
  • Goggins explains his involvement in smokejumping, highlighting the financial sacrifices and physical toll it takes, and asserts that maintaining his willpower is the key to his personal and financial success.

Self-Reflection & Action, Distractions (02:07:04)

  • Inner strength comes from concrete actions, not just beliefs or perceptions.
  • Emotions are just emotions, and they do not have to control you.
  • Going inward is crucial, as demonstrated by examples such as Nelson Mandela finding strength in a concentration camp.
  • Creating a plan for the next day is essential, as it allows for focused and purposeful actions.
  • Distractions, including technology and external requests, hinder the process of self-reflection and action.

Inner Work & Creativity

  • Engaging in self-reflection is like painting a masterpiece of oneself in the mind, but it requires blocking out distractions and spending time alone.
  • The process of self-discovery leads to a unique path, allowing individuals to shape their own identity and purpose.
  • Passion, drive, and determination stem from spending time with oneself and listening to the mind's guidance.

Individuality & Clarity

  • Discovering one's true self leads to a flood of clarity, enabling a person to uncover their unique path and purpose.
  • Following conventional steps or subscribing to a collective mentality limits individual potential and hinders self-actualization.
  • Embracing individuality leads to an extraordinary life and a deeper sense of fulfillment.

Inner Dialogue; Failing Properly

  • Mastering internal dialogue involves engaging in a two-way conversation with various voices within oneself.
  • David Goggins emphasizes the importance of having a symphony of voices and mastering the ability to have conversations with different inner voices.
  • Goggins advocates the necessity of learning how to fail properly before achieving victory, emphasizing the importance of perseverance and dedication.
  • He encourages ignoring the negative inner voices through years of practice and dedication, in order to ultimately achieve success despite internal doubt and external skepticism.

Introspection & Unconscious Mind, Cleaning “Cupboards”

  • The unconscious mind is the supercomputer of the brain, controlling most actions and decisions.
  • Most people avoid introspection and are unaware of how their unconscious mind controls them.
  • Cleaning the "cupboards" of the mind involves introspection, facing fears, and deliberately choosing actions.
  • This process of introspection is ongoing and challenging, requiring daily attention and courage.
  • David Goggins emphasizes the importance of facing and cleaning the darkest aspects of one's mind to achieve growth and success.

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