Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins [Actionable Summary]

This is a comprehensive summary of the book Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins. Covering the key ideas and proposing practical ways for achieving what’s mentioned in the text. Written by book fanatic and online librarian Ivaylo Durmonski. Supporting Members get full access.

The Book In Three Or More Sentences:

Can’t Hurt Me is a book that tells a brutally honest story of the tough life of David Goggins. How he transitioned from an overweight thug to an unbreakable Navy SEAL who’s running 100 miles for breakfast. What are the lessons learned from this remarkable transformation and tips on how you can become better, faster, stronger yourself.

The Core Idea

You can make it work. Even when things are hard and you think you should stop. The human body is capable of handling a lot more than we think. Once you realize this fact, you can become whatever you want in life. You simply need to keep going, keep pushing, and become addicted to hard work. By doing so, you’ll go beyond pain and suffering and pass your perceived limitations.


  • Passion and talent can only get you to a certain point. What you really need is hard work.
  • If you get too comfortable you’ll stop improving. In life, there is no real finish line.
  • We avoid the truth like a plague. But only by hearing what we need to hear most, we can realize where we’re lagging.

5 Key Lessons from Can’t Hurt Me:

Lesson #1: Self-help And Pep Talks Are Just A Temporary Fix

Watching motivational videos and listening to inspirational podcasts from the comfort of your home surely feels blissful. You just hit play, hear the other person talks about passion and goals and a little voice inside your brains starts convincing you that you’re somehow better than the other fuckers who are simply scrolling on their phones liking pictures.

But are you better?

Well, not particularly.

The self-help industry can surely inspire you and even help you pursue your goals but it won’t do the hard work for you. It’s up to you to get up and start pondering on them ambitions.

Motivation and pep talks are only useful if you have the work ethic to back them up with real labor. Or in other words, the only thing standing between you and your desired future is your willingness to get the job done.

It’s not rocket science. If you want something, you need to focus on execution. Motivational programs and life-hacks can help too, but they shouldn’t be your focus. They should come secondary.

“Motivation changes exactly nobody. The bad hand that was my life was mine, and mine alone to fix.” David Goggins

Lesson #2: You’re Either Getting Better or You’re Getting Worse

Graduating from regular school and later high school feels like the end of an era. It feels like it’s time for rest and time to lay back and wait for this big tech company to hire your ass and pay you tons of money just because you wore a robe once and you threw a hat in the sky. But that’s a fantasy.

The end of school is usually the beginning of something new. And that’s not just for school. The end of something is usually the beginning of something else.

  • Finishing a single article should make you start another one.
  • Finishing a race should trigger а desire to participate in another one.
  • Doing 100 pushups today should mean doing 110 tomorrow.
  • Writing a book should motivate you to write another one.
  • Singing a single song in front of an audience should inspire you to participate in other events.

You see, one single event, no matter how big and grandiose, won’t make you successful by itself. It can improve your odds for world-fame but it’s not the dominating factor.

You need to continuously improve your results to stay in the game.

“No matter what you or I achieve, in sports, business, or life, we can’t be satisfied. Life is too dynamic a game. We’re either getting better or we’re getting worse.” David Goggins

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