Here are some of the best lessons from David Goggins on discipline. David Goggins is an ultramarathon runner, ultra-distance biker, triathlete, public speaker, and author from the United States. He is a veteran US Navy SEAL and former member of the US Air Force Tactical Air Control Party who served in the Iraq War. Can’t Hurt Me, his book, was published in 2019.
1. Accountability is crucial to progress
If you want to employ self-discipline, you MUST create accountability. This means having crystal clear goals, deadlines, and a method of tracking progress.
Ask yourself these 3 important questions:
- Where am I now?
- What do I intend to accomplish?
- What measurement of progress can I use to hold myself accountable?
2. Willpower will help you overcome anything
Goggins admits life can be unfair and that the cards are stacked heavily against you.
However, with ambition and willpower, you can achieve remarkable feats.
To be exceptional at anything, you must go beyond the norm.
“Nothing wants to stand in front of anything that is relentless”
3. Take pride in your accomplishments
Whatever it is you are chasing, whether it’s financial freedom, physical fitness, or a successful career, it will be tough.
Most people will quit before they even come close.
But remember that each time you feel the urge to quit, persevere. Like adding gasoline to the fire. Keep going.
4. Most of us quit too early
Whatever skill you’re attempting to master, you can achieve far more than you think is possible.
Self-discipline is about embracing a curious attitude towards growth, not a fixed one.
Instead of playing it safe, disciplined people, like Goggins, explore beyond their limits to discover their true potential.
“You are in danger of living a life so comfortable and soft, that you will die without ever realizing your true potential.”
5. Earn your place every day
Every day, people talk about doing something that “sucks.” Or you may do something you despise. Assuming it’s something beneficial to you.
Our minds may be both our best friend and our worst enemy. Every day, I notice myself talking myself out of my daily habits.
“I should study this morning. Maybe I’ll run later.” Answer: No. Get up earlier and study then, if I have to.
6. Use bad experiences as fuel
“Going forward it became very important for me to rehash my life, because when you examine your experiences with a fine-toothed comb and see where your issues come from, you can find strength in enduring pain and abuse.”
7. Always look toward your next mission
Your brain will always look for the simple way out. Once you’ve completed a milestone, it’s easy to let standards slip.
Therefore Goggins argues we should always have a goal to look towards because it keeps us from becoming complacent.
Whether it’s running your first 5k, writing a novel, or landing a new client, you must keep looking forward to the next growth opportunity.
Not only has David Goggins conquered self-discipline and achieved insane physical feats, but he refuses to become complacent. Despite having earned every excuse to spend the rest of his life relaxing on a sunny beach, he keeps getting after it.
Be more like Goggins.
Read also: Key Lessons from “The Psychology of Money” by Morgan Housel