Push Yourselves Through Constant Uncomfortable Moment
This lesson of mental deconstruction has its roots in a process that all Navy SEALs must go through — hell week. It’s the toughest period of SEAL training; trainees are put through 125 hours of continuous training, and typically get only two hours of sleep during that period. They’re constantly cold, wet, and miserable.
The idea is to drain the trainees physically and mentally, and then see what sort of decisions they make.
Use Your Cookie Jar
Goggins has a secret weapon that he calls upon when he’s about to break.
Like many others, he has a cookie jar that he reaches into for the occasional treat. But this jar doesn’t contain any of the things you might typically find; there are no Oreos or Chips Ahoy cookies in there.
Instead, it contains every setback he has overcome. He’ll remember that he’s a Navy SEAL, who’s completed hell week three times. He’ll remind himself that he’s been through this pain before — and survived. The obstacle in front of him is nothing compared to what he has faced.
“Remembering what you’ve been through and how that has strengthened your mindset can lift you out of a negative brain loop and help you bypass those weak, one-second impulses to give in”
Goggins never dwells on his accomplishments. The only time he revisits them is when he needs extra fuel for a push he’s making. He allows himself to reach into his cookie jar only when there’s a need. It’s never a treat.
In contrast, we often spend too much time admiring our own work and accomplishments when we really should be advancing to the next task. We stroke our own egos and feel good at the moment, but we aren’t getting anywhere.
We would accomplish so much more if we spent our time doing the work, and then occasionally looking back at how far we’ve come. The cookie jar should be used for fuel, and not a distraction.
Be Willing To Suffer
Up until 2010, David Goggins had been living with an undetected congenital heart defect, which essentially left him with a hole in his heart.
The condition leaves his heart functioning only at 75 percent capacity and typically prevents people from engaging in activities such as scuba diving or anything at high altitude. And yet, David Goggins has led an exemplary military career, with multiple athletic achievements in his name. He tells us that the world can’t hurt him, but really, he’s chosen not to let it.
It’s absurd what he’s been able to do despite the numerous disadvantages he was saddled with. Perhaps some of us are wired differently.
The only man in history to complete elite training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller, he went on to set records in numerous endurance events, inspiring Outside magazine to name him The Fittest (Real) Man in America.
FALL DOWN SEVEN TIMES, STAND UP EIGHT
Nana korobi yaoki jinsei wa kore kara da. (“Fall seven times, rise eight times, life begins now.”)
That life will knock you down several times, but all you need to do to win is to stand up one time more.
Pain tolerance can be the force multiplier — Amelia Boone, 3x World’s Toughest Mudder champion
“I’m not the strongest. I’m not the fastest. But I’m really good at suffering.”