David Goggins On How To Turn Suffering Into Strength

8 lessons from the world’s toughest man & modern-day Buddha

Joe Hunt
Joe Hunt
Jan 18 · 9 min read
When David Goggins runs, the world spins faster

1. Acceptance is about getting real with yourself

“I was rejecting my past and therefore rejecting myself. My foundation, my character was defined by self-rejection. All my fears came from that deep-seated uneasiness I carried with being David Goggins because of what I’d gone through. Even after I’d reached a point where I no longer cared about what others thought of me, I still had trouble accepting me.”

2. Depression can be a powerful fuel for change

“When depression smothers you, it blots out all light and leaves you with nothing to cling onto for hope. All you see is negativity. For me, the only way to make it through that was to feed off my depression. I had to flip it and convince myself that all that self-doubt and anxiety was confirmation that I was no longer living an aimless life. My task may turn out to be impossible but at least I was back on a mission.”

3. Learn to crave discomfort

“From then on, I brainwashed myself into craving discomfort. If it was raining, I would go run. Whenever it started snowing, my mind would say, Get your running shoes on. Sometimes I wussed out and had to deal with it at the Accountability Mirror. But facing that mirror, facing myself, motivated me to fight through uncomfortable experiences”

4. Limitations are there to be broken

“The reason I embrace my own obsessions and demand and desire more of myself is because I’ve learned that it’s only when I push beyond pain and suffering, past my perceived limitations, that I’m capable of accomplishing more, physically and mentally — in endurance races but also in life as a whole.”

5. No one can tell you what’s possible

“Most of us are extremely motivated to do anything to pursue our dreams until those around us remind us of the danger, the downside, our own limitations, and all the people before us that didn’t make it. Sometimes the advice comes from a well-intentioned place. They really believe they are doing it for our own good but if you let them, these same people will talk you out of your dreams, and your governor will help them do it.”

6. The only and toughest opponent is yourself

“I was my own worst enemy! It wasn’t the world, or God, or the Devil that was out to get me. It was me!”

7. Chasing death is the best way to prepare for life

“I had to accept the very real possibility that I might die because this time I wouldn’t quit, no matter how fast my heart raced and no matter how much pain I was in. Trouble was there was no battle plan to follow, no blueprint. I had to create one from scratch.”

8: Finally, you will be the only one. Get used to it.

“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 a given situation. There will be times when you feel alone. Get over it!”

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Joe Hunt

Written by

Joe Hunt

British Writer & MA Student of Buddhism — Making Sense of Mindfulness & Meditation in The Modern World: remind.substack.com

Age of Awareness

Stories providing creative, innovative, and sustainable changes to the ways we learn

Joe Hunt

Written by

Joe Hunt

British Writer & MA Student of Buddhism — Making Sense of Mindfulness & Meditation in The Modern World: remind.substack.com

Age of Awareness

Stories providing creative, innovative, and sustainable changes to the ways we learn

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