David Goggins, the motivational coach, former Navy Seal, and ultra-endurance athlete has been a big inspiration for me. The most inspiring part for me is his open acknowledgment of serious character flaws and shortcomings he had before he embarked on his amazing transformation. I don’t mean physically, I mean mentally.
The mental, by far overshadows the physical in my estimation. The mental enables the physical to happen. If you watch his videos and interviews on YouTube, he does speak to the spiritual – but only here and there, or between the lines. He’s not leading with a spiritual message. His message is about changing your mental game, and changing your assumptions about what is possible.
One key idea he shares is that most people only operate at about 40% of their capacity. I think he’s right. We can do so much more than we realize. I know this because there are those super productive people out there who are able to get so much done! I think that mental toughness and good habits (and some activated inborn characteristics) have a lot to do with it.
Take the Navy Seals for example. Not every dude who makes it through is muscle bound and super fit. Many who make it through (if not all) do so because of their mental toughness. They simply will not give up. Like Rocky Balboa in the first movie. He technically loses the fight, but he somehow steals the glory from the winner (Apollo Creed) because he just won’t give up. In fact that scene in the movie deeply inspired David Goggins as a kid and throughout his life. When David broke the world record for number of pull-ups in a 24hr period (well over 4000), he listened to the Rocky theme song the whole time. I found this interesting, because I too have always gained inspiration from that song! I play it at the beginning of my classes sometimes, for fun . . . and because it never fails to inspire me a bit.
I’m writing about David and Rocky tonight because as of this moment, it’s 8:28pm and I’m just finishing up work for the day. I worked long hours all week. I’m kinda tired. But like Rocky and David I am pushing myself to do more than I have before. To step over that 40% capacity threshold and see what happens.
One more amazing fact about David Goggins. After he had been through Seal training 3 times in one year (they make you start over if you stop due to injury), and turned in multiple incredible performances in ultra-endurance events, he was diagnosed with a large hole in his heart, that was congenital. It had been there his whole life! Yet, he still had managed to achieve these incredible feats. His mind overcame physical limitations.
I don’t aspire to extreme sports. But, I do aspire to break out of my mediocrity. And re-defining the limitations I set on myself is an important lesson that Goggins taught me. You can do it too. Stress can be a friend if you embrace it and allow periods of recovery.
Ben Wagner (32)
Member 365 Commitment