David Goggins is a retired Navy SEAL and is the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training (including two Hell Weeks), the U.S. Army Ranger School (where he graduated as Enlisted Honor Man) and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training.
He is also an accomplished endurance athlete who has completed over 60 ultra-marathons, triathlons, and ultra-triathlons, setting new course records and regularly placing in the top five. In addition, he once held the Guinness World Record for pull-ups completing 4,030 in 17 hours, and he’s a sought-after public speaker.
In an interview with Ed Mylett titled “Win the War in Your Head and Find Peace”, he shares his life story, from his traumatic childhood to his time spent in the navy. Intrigued? We were! Let’s get into David Goggins: 3 Things You Can Learn from Him!
1. David Goggins on How Childhood Experiences Affect Your Life
David Goggins had a very traumatic childhood that affected his academic life. He had an alcoholic father who used to beat him, his brother and his mother. The beatings were so bad that there were days that his mother would write notes to the P. E teacher with excuses for him and his brother to miss P.E.
Being in an abusive household also caused him to be constantly absent from school. This led to him having several learning disabilities, being held back in second grade and not being able to read. In addition, aside from dealing with his trauma, his mother’s trauma affected him.
He and his mother eventually left their father but he was constantly alone since his mother left for work. As a result, it was very easy for him to miss school and flunk classes without his mother knowing.
This point resonated with me because it shows how what happens at home affects many other aspects of one’s life. It also reveals how the experiences of one’s parents can influence a child’s behaviour. Furthermore, David Goggins’ childhood is a reminder that the role childhood plays in one’s life should never be underestimated.
2. Nobody is Going to Save You
David Goggins learnt this lesson when his mother got a letter from his school that he had missed 25% of school. It was even a more humbling experience when the principal of his school told him he was going to flunk school.
This led to him asking his mother to get a tutor so that he can get his grades back on track. Before the tutor was in the picture, he had a fourth-grade reading level and he was very slow and unable to retain information.
Until, one day, his tutor who was probably joking said he will probably have to write out the information a thousand times before it could stick in his head. However, he took what his tutor said to heart and started practising it. This helped him in retaining information and to be able to pass the ASVAB test on his second try.
This point resonates with me because it serves as a personal reminder about how with many of our struggles, we will have to go through it alone.
We will have to ‘fight’ to do the work to overcome these struggles. The responsibility to ensure that this does not affect other aspects of our lives will be on us since nobody is going to make it their issue or struggle.
3. There is More Beneath the Surface
David Goggins mentions in this interview how there is more to him than being seen as the world’s toughest man. In this part of the interview, he describes what life was like for him after he was medically removed from the military due to having sickle cell anemia. During this time he worked as an exterminator spraying cockroaches.
He was also at his heaviest (297 pounds) and unhealthiest as well. For instance, during his 45-minute commute back home, he bought a box of doughnuts and ate it with a milkshake every day.
As a result, when he wanted to go back to the Navy again, he had to lose weight and be exactly 191 pounds. In addition, he also had to take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test twice and get a 50% on the mechanical part to meet the full requirements to be able to join the Navy again.
This point resonates with me because it shows how we as human beings only see the end or final product of other human beings but never see what they had to endure or the work that they had to do to become the person that they are today.
Want more great, quick-dive selections from leading authors and speakers? Then check out more of my psychology-oriented, motivational articles too!