Can’t Hurt Me Book Summary I Embrace the Pain and Grow

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Book – Can’t Hurt Me (Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds)

Author – David Goggins

Genre – Self-Help

Published in – 2018

“Never forget that all emotional and physical anguish is finite! It all ends eventually. Smile at pain and watch it fade for at least a second or two.

Can’t Hurt Me is one of the best motivational books I have read recently. I have had goosebumps reading David’s story and the things he put himself through.

This is my 83rd book in a reading book-a-week regime, and I haven’t cried reading any other book as much as I have while reading this one.

Can’t Hurt Me will shake you to the core and introduce you to the pain level you have never imagined and what one can accomplish as one increases the tolerance to pain.

David Goggins Photo

About the Book

David’s life journey and the lessons he learned throughout his career and life so far can’t hurt me. In every class, David connects his struggle with a real-life situation and is empowered with tactics to implement.

David is a retired Navy SEAL and the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces ever to complete SEAL training, U.S. Army Ranger School, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training. Goggins has competed in more than sixty ultra-marathons, triathlons, and ultra-triathlons, setting new course records and regularly placing in the top five.

Here is a couple of Ideas David Shares in the book.

1) Accountability Mirror

man looking at mirror
  • David encourages me to be blunt about the present situation, hold myself accountable, and get to work. If you are fat, call yourself out. It would be best if you changed it, no one is coming.
  • Put your insecurities, goals, and dreams on paper. Get real. It’s OK to be unkind to yourself as one needs to develop a thick skin to grow. Get real. Break down your goals into tiny goals and start attacking them.

2) Armored Mind

  • Your mind will remain soft and exposed until you experience hardships like abuse, bullying, failures, and disappointments. Life experiences, predominantly negative experiences, help callous the mind. But it’s up to you where those cruel lines end.
  • You can tolerate doubt as a backseat driver, but defeat is guaranteed if you put doubt in the pilot’s seat.
  • To develop an armored mind—a mindset so calloused and complex that it becomes bulletproof—you must go to the source of all your fears and insecurities.
Cookie jar Photo

3) Cookie Jar Concept

  • David encourages us to tap into the feeling of past wins, achievements, success, and blessings, and feeling grateful for everything so far in life can help us ride through any tough time. This is what it calls going into Cookie Jar.
  • He further explains that Be hard and rough in accountability mirror and appreciate all the small wins to keep balance.
  • You’ll come to a point in any exercise where pain, boredom, or self-doubt kicks in, and you’ll need to push back to get through it. The Cookie Jar is your shortcut to taking control of your thought process.

4) The 40% Rule

  • The 40% rule – (the governor in car example – controlling ceiling of performance) That’s the governor in action! 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.
  • He calls this the 40% Rule, and it’s so powerful because if you follow it, you will unlock your mind to new levels of performance and excellence in sports and life, and your rewards will run far more profound than mere material success.

5) Goggin’s Laws of Nature

David shares his laws of nature that he has realized that one must get over in life to achieve anything worthwhile.

  • You will be made fun of.
  • You will feel insecure.
  • You may not be the best all the time.
  • You may be the only black, white, Asian, Latino, female, male, gay, lesbian, or [fill in your identity here] in each situation.
  • There will be times when you feel alone.

6) Talent not Required

  • Through his different race participation stories and getting involved in recruitment, David shares the idea that talent is way less critical than perseverance and endurance. You need heart, purpose, and high pain tolerance to constantly challenge yourself to improve your best.
  • He claims that his work ethic is the most critical factor in all his accomplishments. Everything else is secondary, and when it comes to hard work, whether in the gym or on the job, The 40% Rule applies.

7) Constantly Aware of the Fact and Act

  • No matter what you or I achieve, we can’t be satisfied in sports, business, or life. Life is too dynamic a game. We’re either getting better, or we’re getting worse.
  • We are all fighting the same battle. All of us are torn between comfort and performance, between settling for mediocrity or being willing to suffer to become our best selves all the time.
  • Greatness is not something that if you meet it once, it stays with you forever. That evaporates like a flash of oil in a hot pan.

8) The Power of Failure

David shares the power of failure through his Pull-ups world record trials.

  • He encourages seeing failure as a lesson. Take out your journal notes down everything that went well and didn’t go well. Take complete ownership of your results. Focus on what you can improve at subsequent trials and anticipate unexpected hurdles.
  • He explains that when we focus on what we can control, we feel empowered, and by keeping room for unforeseen hurdles, we will be in a much better position to deal with it.
  • Your entitled mind is dead weight. Cut it loose. Don’t focus on what you think you deserve. Aim for what you are willing to earn.

I have also created videos of a few quotes from the book I read- I hope you like them. Please subscribe to the YouTube channel self-help book quotes- Myread4change


Can’t Hurt Me will help you take complete ownership of your life, inspire you to push limits, and make them the new normal. You’ll see pain with fresh eyes and embrace it as part of growth rather than shirking from it.

If you like this book, consider reading The Slight Edge. It is a great book to help you break big goals into tiny, achievable tasks.

I hope this book summary helped you in some way. I would appreciate your two cents in the comment box.

Thank you for your time. I wish you a life of Growth and Success.


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