Who is David Goggins?
David Goggins is a retired Navy SEAL who served in the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is an endurance athlete; in particular, his specialties are ultramarathon, triathlon and ultra-triathlon; he was included in the Guinness Book of Records for his 4,030 pull ups completed in 17 hours. He is also a motivational speaker, giving speeches for large companies, professional sports teams, and students.
David Goggins did it, and this was thanks to hard training (which reshaped his body) and inner strength (which shaped his mind). He did it because he learned to dominate the mind and not be led by it anymore. He learned to go beyond suffering and pain, overcoming limits that were not real, but only present in the mind.
David is convinced that all of us, on average, give up after doing only 40% of what we could actually do. Even when we think we no longer have strength or energy, we are wrong: there is always 60% of potential in each of us that remains unused and dormant. Once you understand how it works, it is enough to test ourselves and resist the first impulses to give up, whatever it is, be it sports training or an endless task at work. Just take that extra effort and do not listen to all the self-limiting stories that the mind tells us, only for fear of failure. And this challenge is never won once and for all: it's not that David Goggins joined the Navy SEAL, and he somehow felt "he’d arrived" or "he was okay".
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We can all do it and achieve the impossible, with hard work, shaping the mind and getting up early in the morning!
David has an approach to excellence that is fundamentally based on the idea of taking responsibility for one's life; he has a stratagem that he calls Accountability Mirror, the mirror of responsibility, to be understood as honesty and transparency towards oneself. The first step is to put aside our ego, which would like to delude us that we are fine the way we are. Let's look at ourselves in the mirror and be honest with ourselves: do we like what we see? Do we like the life we are leading? If we don't like it, there is nothing wrong, because we can always change things, as long as we are willing to make a commitment to ourselves and carry it out.
Once this is done, we must remember to escape as much as possible from our comfort zones, setting ourselves increasingly difficult, more challenging goals, in a gradual but constant way. We must know that it is not possible to suddenly change our life, but with planning, hard work and perseverance, it can be done. On this route, the comfort zones are dangerous. The more we challenge ourselves, the stronger we become, and the more our self-esteem increases - not because we are convinced, but because we have concrete evidence that we can do it. Challenging the limits means having the courage to face fatigue, effort, and even pain, feeding a virtuous circle of continuous improvements which, in turn, attract other improvements. To facilitate the business, we can help ourselves by always keeping in mind the businesses we have already been able to do, the obstacles we have overcome and the determination that has guided us.
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Always be ready to get up and know that obstacles and difficulties are part of life
Buddha says that life is suffering; even if we are not Buddhists, we can be honest enough to recognize this truth. Each existence has its share of suffering, it is inevitable. But what can be avoided is getting stuck in a life that is too comfortable, not very stimulating and not authentic. Our limits can become our worst prison, even if the dominant culture would like us to remain locked in the stakes of predictability. The external limits are not the real problem, just as people are not; the real limits are those that we set ourselves, and that only we can break. They do not break from one day to the next, with only positive thinking, but they break first of all when we wonder: "what if..." and then when we act upon these doubts. The next time we want to do something new and we happen to run into a limiting belief of ours, let's try to ask ourselves: "What if it were possible?" And then we act upon it.
In life, we may happen to be laughed at, to feel insecure, not to be the best; there will be situations in which we will be the only person of color, or the only white person, or the only woman, the only man, and there will be times when we will feel terribly alone. We can overcome these moments, because our mind is incredibly strong, and we have access to unimaginable resources and the only war we have to fight is against ourselves and our unwillingness to become who we really are.
We must have an open mind, challenge the identity that we have built for ourselves and that over time has nailed us to a static and immutable figure, which prefers to remain dissatisfied, but comfortable, rather than experiencing the wonders of which it is capable. For example, if we have become so good as to be able to run for 30 minutes in a row and we feel perfectly comfortable doing it, it means that the time has come to run 40. Never stop, never be satisfied, let's remember that there is always 60% of potential waiting to be released; not all at once, but step by step, with constancy and with continuous commitment. Excellence is not something that is achieved once and for all and which remains with us forever, it disappears if we do not continue to cultivate it; to become extraordinary we must excel every day, in ordinary situations and never stop doing it.
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