Tom: Hey everybody, you are about to watch an amazing episode of Impact Theory with David Goggins. I love this episode more than I can tell you

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Tom: Hey everybody, you are about to watch an amazing episode of Impact Theory with David Goggins. I love this episode more than I can tell you. I absolutely am blown away by David Goggins himself, but I want to give a full disclaimer. First of all, this man swears a lot, and when I say that, you know it's an issue, so if you have kids around you, now would be the time to get them out, also his world view is ultra hardcore. I'm not recommending that everybody do what he does, which is pretty extreme, but I just wanted to give everybody a full warning ahead of time, but I think this man in incredible, but let it be said, you have been warned, and now, welcome to Impact Theory with David Goggins. Hey everybody, welcome to Impact Theory. You are here, my friends, because you believe that human potential is nearly limitless, but you know that having potential is not that same as actually doing something with it, so our goal with this show, and company, is to introduce you to the people and ideas that will help you actually execute on your dreams. All right, today's guest is wildly considered to be the toughest man on the planet, and one of the greatest endurance athletes of all time, but if you're tempted to dismiss him as the product of amazing genetics, great parenting, or even performance enhancing drugs, think again. He grew up in an abusive household, spent his high school years as one of only a small number of black kids in a tiny Indiana town, roughly 20 miles from where the KKK was founded, he had to endure relentless bullying, and he barely managed to graduate with a 1.6 GPA. He struggled with obesity twice in his life, weighing in at over 300 pounds, had severe allergies, sickle cell trait, and a congenital heart disease that left him with a hole in his heart the size of a poker chip. He grew up feeling soft and weak, with no self esteem, but despite all of that, one day he decided he was going to stop saying, "Woe is me," and start kicking some ass. That set him on a path to transforming himself into the hardest man alive. Did he do it? Well, he's the only member of the US Armed forces to complete SEAL training, the US Army Ranger's school, and the Air Force Tactical Air Controller Training. He's completed the infamous destroyer of men, known as Hell Week, three times, including two in a single year, and one that he started and finished with multiple stress fractures and a hernia. He served in combat in Iraq, was the body guard for the Iraqi Prime Minister, he once held the Guinness World Record for most pull-ups in 24 hours, at 4,030, he's run eight consecutive 100 mile races, over eight back to back weekends. He ran over 7,000 miles in a single year, and that is the equivalent of running 267 marathons. I think it is abundantly clear that this man is a self-made beast, so please help me in welcoming the man who once ran an ultra-marathon with pneumonia, the king of no excuses, David Goggins. Thank you so much for coming on. David: Thanks for having me. Tom: My pleasure, I assure you. The things you've done are absolutely incredible, but what I find fascinating is, if you just read your litany of things that you've accomplished, you do just assume, oh you must be really gifted. You're shredded, you're in great shape, but when you see the before picture it's pretty startling. David: Right. Tom: So what was that moment like, looking in the mirror the day you decide, "Wait, enough is enough." David: Well it was pretty crazy for me. It took a while to get to that point, where enough was enough. What happened, I came home one night from work, spraying for cockroaches, and long story short I turned on the Discovery Channel, I saw some guys going through Navy SEAL training, and they're going through Hell Week, and they're getting their ass just beat. In and out of the water, guys ringing the bell, they're suffering, and I was weighing like 297 pounds, and I had to make a change in my life. I was at an all time low, and I wasn't going anywhere, and I was exactly what everybody said I was gonna be, which was nothing, so I had to make a change. Tom: What was it about suffering that ... That's really interesting, and I actually get it, but I want to hear you explain it, why suffering was the thing that triggered that thought. David: For me, growing up, I came from a horrible background, I got called "nigger" every day of my life growing up, lived in a small town. The Klan Headquarters, at that time, was about 20 minutes from where I lived. One of the high-ups in the KKK's son sat behind me in two classes, so he called me "nigger" all the time. Got my first car, they spray paint "nigger we're gonna kill you" on it. So I was just an insecure, scared kid, and the only way I could find myself was through putting myself through the worst thing possible. Tom: How'd you have the insight though? Like that's so counterintuitive, like most people, that's precisely what they're trying to get away from. David: Right. Tom: So what was it in you, at that moment, you're overweight, you've been bullied essentially your entire life up to that point, what makes you go, "All right motherfucker," like, "That's what I've got to do?" David: Well, no one was helping me out, so my Dad made my Mom kind of irregular, so she worked three jobs, went to college full time, so she was never around. One time this person drew a picture of me and said, "We're gonna kill you nigger," on my Spanish notebook, and I took it to my principal, and my principal said, "They spelled 'nigger' 'niger'." That was the best advice they could give me, so long story short, what I realized was no one was here to help me. The feeling I had every morning, I started shaving my head when I was 16 years old, and the feeling I had every morning, I looked in the mirror, was horrible, and I didn't want to feel like that anymore. And how I felt was like a kid going nowhere, a kid that was scared, and most kids will accept that and look for help, but the best thing that happened to me, no one helped me, no one felt sorry for me, no one looked at me and, like this day and age, they'll tell everybody, "Stop picking on this person," back then they didn't care. The KKK marched in our Fourth of July parades. They had to stay 100 yards back, but they marched in it. Tom: Wow. David: That's how this town was, and my Mom cared about me, but my Dad took our soul. She did the best she could. I had to figure out, I wasn't gonna be a punk kid all my life, so the only way I could turn around was to suffer. I had to build calluses in my brain the same way I built calluses on my hands, so I broke the Guinness World Record for most pull-ups a long time ago, but I failed at it twice, and I did 67,000 pull-ups in trying to break this record, so to do 4,030 pull-ups, I had to do 67,000 for training for that. Tom: Wow. David: So what I realized is, for me to become the man I wanted to become, I saw myself as the weakest person God ever created, but I never blamed God for anything he did to me, so I wanted to change that to be the hardest man ever created. Am I that? I don't know, but you had to have a goal, and my goal, when I was sitting there, not going to school, being bullied, having no self esteem, my goal was, the only person that's gonna turn this person around is me. The only way I can turn it around is put myself through the worst things possible a human being can ever endure, and that would be the only way that I can build this brain to handle anything that comes in front of it. Callusing my mind through pain and suffering. Tom: That's so powerful. It's such an amazing insight. Obviously listening to some of the stuff that you're talking about, and one thing that you say often is, it's hard to stay hard, or get hard when you're living in, you even said at one point, in a big mansion in Beverly Hills, right? I was sitting there thinking you're absolutely right, but what I find so interesting is how we, as a species, run from pain, we run from suffering, and one of the reasons I've talked about this before, but one of the reasons my wife and I don't have kids is I firmly believe that you need something that is brutal, is difficult, is hardship, it knocks you off center, it makes you feel bad, because in the process of rebuilding, and clawing back from that, climbing up, then you can become something. But unless you've been tested, unless you've gone thought the ringer, you've got no hope, so how do you take somebody that you love and force them through that? And I think that what you've done is maybe the ultimate expression of that, which is how do you put yourself through it? You didn't have to do any of that. So, in the end, what would your advice be to that 16 year old kid, who's staring in the mirror, does not like what he sees, but is still running from adversity? David: My biggest advice to him is that, first of all, he won't like what I say to him, because I'm gonna say the exact opposite of what the world, today's world, is saying. So we read a bunch of books nowadays, as humans we want to find out how to be someone else. What we don't do is we don't go inside, so literally turn yourself inside out, read the book that's in ... Like we're writing a book every day of our lives, but we never read that book, so what I would challenge this young man, or young woman to do is you have to look inside of yourself to see what you really want. What are you passionate about? We use these words, and these little phrases of, "Only the strong survive," and all this other crap. They're all just fucking words. I get so tired of hearing people just talking. Like right now, someone may think, "Goggins just talking," you don't know me, so when I speak, I speak from passion, I speak from experience, I speak from suffering. I have to tel this young man or woman that the only way, I believe, and this is my experience in life, the only way you're ever going to get to the other side of this journey is you have got to suffer to grow. To grow you must suffer. Some people get it and some people don't, but they have to see what their journey is to start their journey. Several people live to be 100 years old, they have great lives, and they have great kids, their kids go to college, and all sorts of other stuff, but somewhere in their life there was a point where they had a decision to make, they can go left or right on this path. Left was the easy route, right was the hard route, a lot of people take the easy route, and they had a good life that way, but the better life was going to the right side. And you may have 20 years of pain and suffering to get past it, but a lot of us die, never truly starting our journey, and I would tell this young person, "You gotta start your journey. It may suck, but it will come out the other side [we are coasting 00:11:24]." Tom: I want to go back to what you were saying about we write our own book every day, but we actually don't take the time to read it. As you were saying that here's what I was thinking, tell me if this is where you were going, that basically you're writing down these things that are becoming your identity, about being weak, about avoiding suffering, about being soft essentially, all the things by default that are in that camp, and as you were saying that I was imagining you taking that pen and beginning to write your own story, and writing things that you knew, looking back on, that you would be proud of. David: Right. Tom: Like going through the military and doing the hardest training, some of the ultra-endurance stuff that you've done, on broken feet, which is so crazy, in fact ... One, is that what you meant by writing the story? David: What I meant by that is like every day we're seeing who we are as people. When I was growing up I lied for people to accept me, because I didn't accept myself, so I would make up stories so that you would accept me into your world. Everything that I did was for someone else to like me. It wasn't until I started reading my own book about how pathetic I was as a human being, I could blame my Dad, I could blame kids at school, I could blame having health issues, ADD, my Mom not being around, great mom, but she was doing her thing. I could blame a lot of people, and that's the book I was reading, and I put it off on everybody else. It wasn't until I said, "You know what, for me to fix this, I gotta read what the fuck is wrong with David Goggins," not blame anybody, read my book, and say, "Okay, I'm afraid of my shadow, how can I overcome that? Go in the military, get your ass kicked, do things you hate to do, be uncomfortable every fucking day of your life, roger that." "I'm not the smartest kid in the world, okay." Instead of somebody saying, "Oh, no, you're smart. Don't say that to yourself." I said to myself, "No, I'm a dumb motherfucker. Okay, roger that. How do you get smarter? Educate yourself." So the things that we run from, we running from the truth. We're running from the truth man, so the only way I became successful was going toward the truth. As painful, and as brutal as it is, it changed me. It allowed me to become, in my own right, who I am today. Tom: One of the most powerful things I think anybody can do ... I used to struggle with self esteem, and my thing was I focused on being smart and I just wasn't that smart, I focused on being right and I was wrong a lot, and so it created this weird thing in my life where I would constantly try to put myself around people who were less and less intelligent so that I could feel good about myself, and the bad news is that's a really good strategy for that. Being around people that were less intelligent than me really made me feel good. I felt good about myself, but I literally referred to myself at the time as the kind of remedial jobs because those were the only obs that I could really shine at. David: Right. Tom: And it wasn't until I realized I can actually change what I build my self esteem around, and I can start building myself around, instead of being right or being smart, I can build myself around being a learner, and being willing to admit when I'm wrong, and so the thing that I began to build my self esteem around was being willing and able to stare at my inadequacies. What you said, I fully understand ... This interview is gonna be, you warned me ahead of time, this interview is gonna be bifurcating, people are gonna love it, and some people are gonna hate it, but dude, I so believe in the notion of looking at yourself, and if you are pathetic, owning it, and saying ... 'Cause my thing is that you can change it, right? Which you have proven in no uncertain terms. David: That's it. Tom: But if you don't admit it, you're never gonna be on the path to changing it. David: Exactly. Tom: Walk us through, because this is one of those crazy stories, I can't imagine how you pulled this off, your first ultra-marathon, which you got into like really fast, and why you did it, 'cause I think that's incredible. David: The first ultra-marathon wasn't smart at all, at all. Basically, what happened was, I was at military Free Fall School with Morgan Lutrell. Marcus lutrell, if you guys don't know, was the lone survivor, was the guy, was in a bad OP that went bad, he was the only Navy SEAL that lived, long story short, gotta get the book "Lone Survivor," great story. Morgan is Marcus Lutrell's twin brother, and I was there with Marcus. What happened was, myself and Morgan were in Free Fall School, at the same exact time, Marcus was in the worst incident in SEAL history, so I knew that Marcus might be dead. He wasn't dead, everybody else was dead, so I actually told Morgan, "Hey man, your brother was in a bad incident. I don't know if he's alive, I don't know what's going on." Long story short, Marcus is alive and I go on to want to raise money for families. All these guys died, they all had kids, I want to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. It's a foundation where 100% tuition goes to these kids to go to college, full tuition, whatever. So I found this great foundation, I'm gonna raise money for it, so I say, "You know what? I have to Google something that's evil, something very hard." I knew nothing about ultra-marathons, I hadn't even run a marathon. I knew nothing about this world. So I Googled the top ten hardest races in the world, and what comes up is a Badwater 135. It's 135 mile race through Death Valley in the summertime. I thought it was a stage race. I thought it was a race where you run like 20 miles, set up camp, barbecue outside, and then go run some more the next day, so I called the race director up at the race and said, "Hey Chris," his name is Chris Kostman, "I want to do your race." So we had a long conversation, I was much heavier then, and I hadn't put running shoes on in over a year. Tom: How heavy are you at this point? David: I'm around between 240 to 270. Tom: Whoa. David: I'm in there, I'm in that range. My weight has varied a lot through the SEAL teams, and out of the SEAL team, so I was a heavy guy, but the long and short of it all was I hadn't put running shoes on in over a year. I was a big time power lifter, I lifted weights heavy, that's what I did. I got back home from Iraq, went straight to Free Fall School, and then this happened, so I call Chris Kostman up on a Wednesday, he says, "Look man, the only way you can qualify for my race is to run 100 miles at one time, in 24 hours or less." There happened to be a race that Saturday, so four days later, and he said, "If you qualify, by running 100 miles or less in 24 hours, I will consider you in my race." I'm gonna cut to the chase, I signed up for this race, it was called the San Diego 1 Day, where you run around a one mile track for 24 hours to see how many miles you can get. My goal was 100 miles. I got to mile 70 and I cleared 70 miles in like 12, 13 hours, pretty quickly, but I was done. My feet were broken, I was stress fractures, shin splints, muscles were tearing, I was in bad shape. I was eating Ritz crackers and drinking Myoplex, that's all I had, no water, didn't know what the hell I was doing out there, had on some tube socks, it was just ridiculous, it was a clown show. I sat down at mile 70, and at this time I was married, and I look at my wife, and I was like, "I'm messed up bad." I literally start to turn white, and when a black guy turns white you're pretty fucked up. So here I am, I'm all fucked up in this chair, I'm at mile 70, they got 30 fucking miles to go, I'm jacked up, I gotta go to the bathroom, and the bathroom's like 20 feet from me, it's a port-a-potty, I can't get out of the fucking chair, so I'm peeing blood down my leg, pooping up my fucking back, and I got 30 miles to go, and I can't stand up 'cause my blood pressure's all messed up, I had been in three Hell Weeks, Ranger School, overcome so many obstacles in my life, this last 30 miles of this race is when I realized a human being is not so human anymore. We have the ability to go in such a space, if you're willing to suffer, and I mean suffer, your brain and your body, once connected together, can do anything, and this 30 miles was the life changing moment. I was out of it, I was in the worst pain in my entire life, I was, to me, on the brink of death, and I was able to chunk this 30 damn miles into small pieces. I was so driven, I'm not gonna say motivated 'cause motivation's crap, motivation comes and goes, when you're driven, whatever's in front of you will get destroyed. So I sat in this chair, and I was so driven to succeed in this race, and at this time, everybody goes, "Were you thinking about the guys that died," and I'm not gonna lie to you, I wasn't. This became a personal thing. This became me against this race, me against the kids that called me nigger, me against me. It just became something that I took so violently personal, and I broke this thing down into small pieces, I said, "Okay, I gotta get nutrition, I gotta be able to stand up before I can get off this curb and get off this chair and be able to go 30 miles." So I went through all these small steps and I was able to stand up, and then from standing up I was literally walking around with my wife at the time, and she goes, "You're not gonna make the time." She goes, "I mean you're walking like 30 some minute miles." I got to my 81, and the second she said that I'm not gonna make the time, I ran the last 19 miles, nonstop, and I could show you right now, when we get done with this, matter of fact, I'm want to show you right now, this was years ago, and I had to put compression tape on my ankle. Tom: Whoa. David: So this was years ago. I had literally the size of half dollars, I had to get compression tape, and I taped up my ankles, and I taped up my feet, and that's how I got through that race. Tom: Was it like a hematoma, I mean what was happening? David: What had happened was, my shins hurt so bad from having stress fractures, that the only way I could continue on was I taped it so I wasn't doing the flexor motion that activates your shins, so I taped my ankles, and my shins up, and I got that because of my third Hell Week, they weren't gonna let me go back through training anymore, so I literally went through all the BUDs, my last SEAL training, with stress fractures and shin splints, and how I did it was I would tape my ankles all the way up to my calf every morning, so for the first hour the pain was excruciating, but what happened is my feet would go numb. I did that every single day for six months. Tom: Whoa! David: And that's how I got through my third Hell Week, 'cause I was so broken from the first two that the commander said, "Hey, the CO said this is your last time we're sending you through," so that's how I got the idea to do that, and people may listen to this and say, "This guy is sadistic, he's crazy." No, if you know how I came up, you realize I was just a scared kid that found drive and passion to be something much better than what he thought he was. That's all it is. Tom: God, I'm gonna ask the question, I don't know if you have a good answer for this, I don't know if there is a good answer for this, but even I want to know, how do you find and cultivate that drive? Like there is a kid right now watching this man, and they feel like you felt, they feel lost, alone, broken, stupid, lazy, like they're never going to amount to anything, and what you're talking about is the closest thing to a fucking superpower that this kid has ever heard, and right now he is on the edge of his seat. How does he like force himself to take that first step? David: I'm very fortunate that I grew up in a time when there was no phones, and there was no social media, and I suggest, yes I'm on social media on a very limited basis, because I have a story to tell, and it's a great platform, use it as a platform, don't use it as your life. My biggest advice to get everybody in the world is, like I say, we live in an external world, everything is, you gotta see it, touch it, it's external, if you can, for the rest of your life, live inside of yourself, stop listening to people who are calling you fat, gay, transsexual, nigger, everything that is makes no sense, all these insecure people putting their insecurities on you, you gotta flush it out. You gotta just be whoever the hell God, or whoever the hell you believe in, if you believe in nothing but yourself, I don't care what it is, you gotta take everything and throw it away. You have to believe in one thing, and that is yourself. I'm not saying don't believe in God, or what you believe in, but right now, for you to find greatness in yourself, you're not gonna find it by looking in a book, or by even hearing me. I may give you the spark, but you've got to go inside yourself to find it, and that means you gotta be quiet. Shut the fuck up, go in a room, stop talking, search your soul, search your mind, search your abilities and you'll find it. But if you're not looking for it you won't find it, so you gotta go start your journey, and the journey starts with you finding why the hell am I here on this planet Earth? Why am I here? If you don't know that you will live the rest of your life searching, always asking the question "why." Tom: On that last 19 miles? David: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Tom: Feet are broken, ankles are taped, shin splints, stress fractures, what are the words that are going through your mind? Are you in the cookie jar? David: I'm deep in the cookie jar, and the cookie jar is something that I've made up of all the failures of my life, all the things that I failed and I went back, I failed and I went back, and I finally succeeded, all the things that kicked my ass, I put them all in the cookie jar, 'cause at times of hell, even the hardest men, in times of suffering what we do is we forget how hard we really are, 'cause that's what suffering is, suffering's a test, that's all it is. Suffering is the true test of life, and so that cookie jar travels in my brain, so whenever I get put in a situation where I have poopy pants, the woe is me mentality of, "Oh my God, life sucks," I take the one second decision, I step out of my life for one second, go in the cookie jar, pull up, "Oh, motherfucker you were in three Hell Weeks and finished two. One of those Hell Weeks a guy died because it was so bad. Oh, you are a motherfucking badass. You are!" I put it back in the cookie jar and I remember who the fuck I really am. I'm not the kid that was called nigger, I'm to the scared kid, this is who I am. It's a reminder of who your truly are at the core of yourself. But what I was saying to myself the whole time on that track, and this is what I say to myself, self talk and visualization are two keys to my success, I believed, for that last 19 miles, I was indestructible, 'cause I took my self in that chair, crapping up my back, peeing blood down my leg, shin splints, stress fractures, I used all that for motivation versus negativity, I used it for motivation. I said to myself, "Who on this fucking Earth would still be going right now? You are. You are. You gotta be the hardest motherfucker on the planet." Is it true? I don't give a fuck. At that time it got me to the finish line of that fucking race. I believed it. I believe it today. I believed it enough to where my body said, "He's not gonna stop." I took all the negative things, "I need to go to the hospital, this, and that," and I used it. "Who the hell could even get out of that chair? You did. Who the hell would even think about taping stress fractures up? You did." All those things I used for motivation. Tom: I'm gonna use them for motivation. I mean that's so fucking powerful. Talk to me about the dark side. It's something that I'm sure you take a lot of heat for, it's something that I think a lot about, I believe people should intentionally be motivated by beauty and rage, and so many people are afraid of the negative. What power have you found in the darkness? David: First off, before I answer that question I want to say everybody listening to this, I'm the happiest man on the planet, so people may take this as so many people do, we live in a very weakened society, so when they hear a throw back guy like me, from back in the ancient days of Granimals, they often think, "This guy is just whatever," so if you think that I'm some unhappy guy, you're wrong. Having lived the life I've lived, and seeing the other side, not being afraid to attack what was in front of me has made me happy. Tom: Say that again. In fact, let me make sure I understood it. Getting to the point where you're not afraid to face the thing on the other side of the door that wants to attack you has made you happy. David: Right. Tom: That's really powerful, I hope people heard that. David: Right. It made me very happy. So basically, I just don't walk around with a doggone smile on my face all the damn time, so Merry Christmas. But basically, what the dark side is, is we all have a cookie jar, and we all have a jar of fuck. Tom: That's it's official name. David: It's a jar of fuck man, where shit just ain't going right. In Hell Week, what they do in Hell Week, okay, this is where I really went to the dark side. What they do in Hell Week is they design Hell Week to find your flaws, and they do a really good job of that. It's 130 hours of continuous training, you may get two hours of sleep, and they beat the shit out of you, and find everything wrong with your mentality, and then they start Hell Week, and that's the beauty of it. For me, I'm not some [naturally 00:30:24] God given guy, I don't have a great bit of talent in anything, so what got me through horrible times was the dark side. My name is David Goggins, I created Goggins, Goggins is the guy that can take anything that you put in front of him. You want to break my motherfucking legs so be it. I have a way of going to a place, like I did in that race, where all the pain and suffering that they put on top of me in Hell Week, I will reverse that pain and suffering and I will take your soul. So ever instructor that put me through BUDs, my job, what drove me was I wanted you to go home that night, after you beat the living shit out of me, and I smiled in your face, and I wanted you to feel worse than I did, and you were going home to a nice, warm bed, with your wife, or your kids, and a nice meal, and I was still out there in the grip, suffering for another 100 hours. I wanted you to think about me, knowing that I'm comfortable being very un-fucking-comfortable. And I want you to think about when you went through fucking Hell Week, how uncomfortable you were, and how bad you wanted to quit, knowing I'm not thinking that fucking way. So the dark side is something that I designed, it's an evil place I can go that very few things can hurt me. I use the hurt you're trying to put on me, I flip it upside down, and use it, you trying to use it for kryptonite, no, it's power pillage for me, I'm using it for strength. I just flip negative into positive, that's all it is. Tom: I heard you doing an interview one time, and the person was trying to see the sort of empowerment, or the beauty in that, and you were like, "No, no, no, it's darkness." I'm like utterly fascinated with comic books, and one of the reasons that I'm so intrigued by Batman is he literally uses the darkness, the sickness that he has over what happened to him and his family to propel him forward for decades to keep driving, and most people are broken by the bad things that happen to them, but every now and then there's a Goggins, there's somebody who knows how to use that power to ... Understands how, as a human being, it fucking drives you. Revenge is powerful, like to be able to tap into that, in a way that's controlled. David: That's right. Tom: But to be able to bring it in, to use it, to feel the energy, there is an intoxication to rage, and I don't think people are honest about it when they talk about it. There's a fucking intoxication to that, and if you can tap into it, and leverage it, not get lost to it, which is why I know you always caveat it saying, "Look, I'm a fucking happy guy, like that's not what we're talking about right now, but I'm a happy guy," so you can't get overtaken by it, but it's there, and it is so fucking powerful. David: It's real. That's why when you said, before this whole things started, you said I can be me. The second you said I could cuss and be me, and cussing, people say, "You cuss all the fucking time, why?" Well, I hate to say it, the best way for me to get how I feel across. I can't sit here and say, "You know, yeah, I went through Hell Week and it was really hard." No. That motherfucker takes your damn soul, rips it inside out, and then they say, now we're going to fucking start. It allows me to express where I was at, at a point in my life. If I don't give you all of me, why the hell am I here? Why? How will you learn from me, people take so much offense to me, you will never learn from people if we always tap dance around the truth. Tom: Oh God, I love that. David: We tap dance around the truth by finding the right words so I don't hurt you 'cause you have thin skin. No. Tighten up people, it's okay, trust me, it's okay. You might be called nigger one day, it's okay. You might be called some Jewish word, or some faggot or gay word, it's okay, let them call you that. What are you gonna do now? They don't own your life. How are you gonna control that now? How are you gonna flip it upside down and say, "Roger that. Now I'm gonna harness this shit, and you'll read about me years from now." How? That's the question, how are you gonna do that? Thicken your skin, become more of a human being, don't be afraid of the reflection in the mirror, 'cause that's all you can be afraid of, once you overcome that reflection in the mirror, you've done it. Tom: I love that man. You once said that if you were growing up in this generation, that you would have a field day, because you would take their souls. What did you mean by that? David: The younger generation quits, not everybody, people get their butt hurt, so not everybody, most of this generation quits the second they get talked to. "You did this wrong, or you did this wrong," or they get yelled at. It's so easy to be great nowadays, 'cause everybody else, most people are weak. This is a softened generation, so if you have any mental toughness, any ability, if you have any fraction of self discipline, the ability to not want to do it but still do it. People have a hard thing to understand. I hate to run, and what makes me so crazy, it doesn't anymore, people go, "Well why do you run if you hate it?" What are you talking about? I don't want to take showers and eat either, I hate that too, that's life man, and it wasn't until I changed that mentality that I became somebody. I hated going to school, so guess what, I was dumb as shit. One plus one is two. But if you can get through to doing things that you hate to do, on the other side is greatness. That's what people don't understand. By me running, I'm callusing my mind. I'm not training for a race, I'm training for life. I'm training for that time when I get that two 'o clock in the morning cal that my Mom is dead, or something happens tragic in life, I don't fall apart. I'm training my mind, and my body, and my spirit so it's all one, so I can handle what life is gonna throw at me, because the life I've lived, it throws a whole bunch at you, and if you're not physically and mentally prepared for that you're just gonna crumble, and you're good for nobody. Tom: Talk to me about what it takes to be on one side of a door in Iraq, or anywhere, knowing that people who are not afraid of you, they're ready for you to come in, and they have guns, and you still have to breech that door? David: That's a great question. That's a very scary situation. When you are on one side of the door, and your mind is racing, because on the other side of that door it could be no one, it could be four guys with four AK-47s, that door your about to open could be booby-trapped, so once you open it, boom, your legs are gone, so there's a thousand things you think about when you're the first guy, second guy, third guy getting ready to go in a room and flood it, and that's why I talk about the warrior mentality, and that's why so many people are lost when I start talking. You have the right, you're lucky that you don't have to think like warriors think. You're very privileged. I chose this world, to be a warrior, and I would choose it again if I came back to this world, but the mentality of a warrior is very different than a normal mentality. You must be that person on that door, getting ready to open it, thinking to yourself, "If I die, so be it." The only way you can go in that door is knowing there's a great chance you're gonna die. Like being a SEAL, you train with live ammo, you jump out of airplanes, everything you do you could die, so to be a warrior, why people don't understand me, I'm glad you don't understand me, Merry Christmas, good on you, because being a warrior takes a whole different mindset. A whole different mindset to know that there's a great chance I may not be ... Like I was in for 21 years. I'm lucky. I'm very lucky that I'm alive, able to talk to you, able to still run, but when you sign up on that dotted line to be like a SEAL, your mentality changes. I may not live. You gotta accept that. And that's the mentality we have. And that's what makes you a warrior. If you're scared to die you're a bad warrior. Tom: What do you use to push through? Is that a Goggins moment, is that a finding the darkness, I'm going through hell, I'll find the devil if I have to, like what is that moment? What are you pulling up inside? David: I'm pulling up a lot of the dark side of me, but I'm also looking at the guys to my left and to my right realizing that we're here together man, and I have to be strong for them, and they gotta be strong for me. A lot of people, either you like me or you don't, even in the SEAL teams, but when you get to that door, or you get on that mission, or you get in that OP, all that shit's out the door man. You do it honesty, you see it all the time in these movies and shit, you really out there fighting for that guy beside you, and you can't be a coward, 'cause you know what, and this is how I look at everything I do now in life, and this sums it up, I hated jumping out of airplanes, I hated shooting guns, I hated the job as a Navy SEAL, but I did it because I wanted to change myself. Everything I do I'm not really comfortable doing, but if you chose to go that route, to go be a Navy SEAL, you may as well go be the hardest motherfucker in the world, 'cause if you're choosing to do something ... You have two routes, you can be a little, weak person, and get through barely, and that's your reputation, or you can go through the hardest guy you can possibly be and that's your reputation, so my whole thing is if you're gonna choose to open that fucking door in Iraq or Afghanistan, open the motherfucker and go in hard, because they're gonna remember you by slowly opening it and peeking in. If you're gonna open it, and you made the mind to open it, don't crack it open, open the fucking door and go in, that's with life. If you're choosing to do something, attack it, because they're gonna remember you as not attacking it. I want to be remembered, you can hate me, but there's one thing you can't say about me, I didn't attack it, so that's the mentality to have. If you're gonna do something you might as well attack it, 'cause you're gonna do it anyway. Tom: Right. Do you use that in civilian life, like do you still employ the "I'm gonna attack it. I'm gonna take their souls," Like how does that play out in a non-combat zone? David: It still works for me in life, as far as attacking things, because no matter what avenue I choose, I want to be the very best. And the very best might not be, "I'm number one," the very best is, "Did I leave everything inside of me out there?" So attacking is not like, "Oh, I want to win this, or win that, or be the best," the best is, "I'm running against myself in everything I do, and that's why I attack. I attack myself. I'm always questioning myself. I'm always holding myself accountable. Tom: Talk to me about the accountability mirror. David: So that accountability mirror is something that I kinda came up with in high school. Like said, I started shaving my head when I was 16, and I got caught up in trying to impress so many people, because no one liked me, so I developed so many different identities. Let me sag my pants. Okay, let me pull my pants up. Let me talk this way, or act this way, or be this way, or whatever the hell it may be. God, there were so many different things I did to try to fit in with so many different groups that, when you look in the mirror, that's the one person you can't lie to. So every morning I would shave my head thanking God, I would reflect back on some of the lies I may have told somebody, or some of the ways I acted that I didn't feel comfortable doing, and I did it to impress other, normal people. The keyword there is normal, everyday people. I was trying to make other people like me. How pathetic is that? So this mirror would always tell me, I'd look at my reflection and say, "God, you are a pathetic man." How's that feel every day to be this way? So I would just start holding myself accountable. "How did I attack today? How did I attack yesterday?" And if I didn't do something I was proud of I write down on a sticky note, and I would fix it, so then, my senior year in high school, it was a totally different David Goggins. Tom: Can you give an example with something that you wrote down and fixed? David: All right, there was a lunch table, I wanted to sit at the cool guy lunch table, you know, everybody was always calling me nigger all the time, I wanted to try to act like somebody I wasn't so I could fit in, and I sold my soul to the devil trying to act like ... No, I'm David fucking Goggins, that's who I am, and so I wrote down on a piece of paper, "Fuck the table, sit by your fucking self." And that's what I did, and guess what happened? My table became a table people started sitting at, 'cause a whole bunch of people in that lunchroom felt exactly like I did. I had a laundry list of things that I just would write down and then fix, so I'd write it down and fix it. Tom: Were there things that you look to for role models, people that you were like taking ideas form, like why pull your pants up, if that's the popular style. Either you are the single most insightful person I've ever met, which by the way is entirely possible having listened to enough of your material, or like you had a treasure trove of people that gave you great ideas. Even if they were like fictional, or movie, or athletes, or whatever, but ... David: It was funny, one movie I watched all the time was Rocky. Tom: Great choice. David: Rocky I, and I related to Rocky a lot, because, you know, one of the smart guys, tried real hard, and the one scene that I related a lot of my life to, still to this day, was Rocky I, round 14, and this is where I got taking souls from. If you look at round 14 of Rocky I, Apollo is beating the shit out of Rocky, Rocky falls down in his corner, Mickey's saying, "Stay down, stay down," Rocky didn't hear a fucking soul. Apollo, after he knocked him down, turns around, hands in the air, like, "I finally knocked down this animal." Tom: Right. David: Apollo doesn't know it, but Rocky's getting up. Apollo turns around the second Rocky gets up, and Apollo looks at Rocky, Apollo looks at him with a look of like Rocky just took his soul. Apollo shakes his head, and Rocky has his gloves, and he motions towards Apollo, "Come on motherfucker, I'm still here," and this song comes on, that I played ... So when I broke the Guinness Book of World Records, it took me 17 hours to do 4,030 pull-ups. I listened to one song for 17 hours. Two minutes and 17 seconds. (sings). I listened to that song for 17 hours non-stop, on repeat, so the image in my mind of a man was not one that had earrings, sagging pants, I had this image in my head and I was going to fulfill that, and I didn't do any trends, I stopped trending, I stopped being this guy, whoever was new, fuck it, that's not what I believe in, I'm doing this, this is what I want to be, this is what I'm gonna be. Tom: It's incredible. How do you experience beauty and joy in your life? What situations do you put yourself in? What makes you laugh? What's the fun stuff for you? David: It's funny you say that. I just retired from the military November of 2015, and I was going, and going, and going, and going, and I never really ... I was a happy guy, but I'm never in the moment of like sitting back and I want to travel here to have fun, or do this, or do that, I've never been that person, but the first time I really got a chance to experience true happiness, and true peace was, I was ... Like so what I did to myself to become who I am today, it takes a great toll of your body, so I believe God gave me time to rest, and he took me out of commission. Not even the mind of Goggins could get me back up, so I had about a good six, seven months that I was out, and when I was out I had time to reflect on all I'd accomplished, and that was the first time in my life where I sat back and said, "Wow." 'Cause only I, I may be telling you some of the story, I know the exact truth of how brutal my life was, and how I shouldn't be on this show today, and how the mind, and how beautiful it is. So what brings me joy and happiness is knowing how beautiful the mind is, and I'm one of the few people that didn't read about it, didn't experience it through some drug, I got to experience the beauty of true, fucking willpower. True, fuck you, I'm gonna fail, I'm gonna fucking fail, I'm gonna fucking fail, I'm gonna fucking fail, and I will succeed. Just me talking about that gives me a feeling, I know what I did, and I don't need to travel somewhere, or to have this, have that, I have it all here in my mind. The beauty is remembering this young, dumb, what people called nigger, is now where I'm at today, and that is, when you finally get to that point, for me, it's forever lasting peace. I could die right now on this show and I'm gonna be a happy man. That's my happiness is my reflection on the suffering of my journey, knowing I never quit, or was I guided by anybody on this Earth, I was guided by something more powerful, and I listened, and I chose the path of most resistance. Talent not required. Tom: I love that. You said you live the life of a monk. David: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Tom: What does that mean? What does that look like? Why do you do that? David: So I stretch out every day for at east two hours, I don't drink, I don't go out, my regimen is I wake up, have oatmeal, run, come back, hit the weights, I'm a big sports guy, I don't leave the house at all, but to do stuff like this, and I stretch out at nighttime. I find people that I trust, which is a very small group of people, people who are honest and true to me, people who would die for me, and I would die for them, which is a fucking small, and everybody else man, you know, do you, and I stay to myself, and I let you do you, I don't judge people, I criticize you, you want to be a douche bag and be an ass and not love this country, whatever you're gonna do, I don't care man. I fought for this country for you to do you, and I am all about you doing you 'cause I want to fucking do me, and I'm gonna do me til I'm fucking dead, and I believe I earned the right. A lot of people haven't earned the right, just 'cause you live in this country doesn't mean you earned the right, you gotta live a little bit, live, and then have something to say, or shut the fuck up. Tom: So if you had, this may be impossible to answer, but if you had that same kid form earlier, and he wants to take that first step, you want him to go experience some life, what one specific thing would you tell him to go do? David: I would first ask the kid, "Who are you, at the core of your soul?" And if he can't answer that question our conversation's over, 'cause I can't say shit to him. If you don't know who you are, if you don't know who you are I can't tell you who you are. Tom: What's the next phase of your life look like? You can't imagine how intrigued I am to watch you over the next five to ten years. David: Well, honestly, I'm blessed enough to have survived the life I lived, and to come out the other side with a bunch of knowledge, so hopefully I can help people that believe that they're much less than they truly are, help them find greatness in themselves, and greatness isn't running 200 miles at a time, or doing 4,000 push-ups, or being a SEAL. Greatness is whatever the hell you dreamed of in your own mind. You gotta first see it, you gotta first create this vision in your mind, and then that's when I come in to play. Once you create this vision in your mind, it's how am I gonna get there now? And that's when I come in to play, but first you gotta create your own vision, and it's not external, the vision created is inside of you, so until you create that I'm nobody to you. Tom: Are you writing a book? David: I'm slowly writing a book right now, it's taken me four or five years 'cause I have so many things to talk about, it's gonna be probably several books, but the first book will be probably about my life story, how I came up and a few lessons learned along the way, but I have so much to talk about, and so much to say just to give people a lot more than hope. Tom: All right, before my last question, where can these guys find you online? David:, Instagram is David Goggins, Facebook's David Goggins, @DavidGoggins, you'll find me, go on there, look for David Goggins, Google me. Tom: They will find you. There is so much amazing stuff on you. All right, so, last question, what is the impact that you want to have on the world? David: The impact I want to have on the world is ... That's a great question man, and it's a question I've been asked a million times, and I have several answers for it, but the biggest one is we are all great. No matter if you think you're dumb, if you think you're fat, no matter if you are fat, no matter if you've been bullied, or no matter if you just got back from Iraq or Afghanistan, and you have no legs, or your arms, or whatever, we all have greatness. You gotta find the courage to put your Bose headphones on and silence the noise out of this world and to find it 'cause it's out there, but it's gonna take hard work, courage, self discipline, it's gonna take all the non-cognitive skills, all the non-cognitive skills to be great. Smart is good, all this stuff is good, that's all cognitive. It's the non-cognitive skills that set you apart from everybody else, and that's what it's all about. Tom: David, thank you so much for coming on the show man, that was incredible. Guys, this is one of those times where, as I was researching him I literally felt like I should be doing this is a bucket of ice water or something, and I'm actually only mean that sort of tongue in cheek, I fasted through most of my prep because it felt right to put myself in a more difficult situation while I was doing that, it really makes me want to find more ways to go through hardship, and that's one of the things I really hope you guys take away from him is how you can totally create yourself, and I experienced him in reverse. I saw all of the amazing things that he had done, all of the races that he had won, going through Hell Week three times, the succeeding in three different branches of the military, nobody every doing that before, the pull-up record, all of it, and then found out that he had struggled through everything, and you realize how insidiously, and how quietly the idea that somebody is just better than you, they're more genetically gifted than you slips into your mind, as a way of letting you off the hook. Not as a way of making them more extraordinary, but you make them extraordinary as a way of letting you off the hook, and so hearing all the things that he had to go through, and one thing that didn't even come up in the show, he did most of the amazing endurance stuff before he had his heart fixed, so his heart was literally existing at 60% capacity, he still did all of that. This is a man who peed blood and got up and kept running for 30 more miles. If that kind of thing doesn't inspire you to look inward, and to really take control of your own story, to realize that you can sculpt yourself into anything you want, it doesn't have to be Goggins, but to see in that the power of both beauty and rage, to see in that the malleability of the human spirit, to see in that the power of the human spirit to turn you into anyone that you want to become, that is this man's story, and I hope that you guys heard it, there were so many incredible things, so many times that I got the chills, so many times that I saw another tool that I could take and use in my own life, and I hope you guys got that much out of it as I did. If you haven't already be sure to subscribe, and until next time my friends, be legendary. Take care. Hey everybody, thanks so much for joining us for another episode of Impact Theory. If this content is adding value to your life our one ask is that you go to iTunes, and Stitcher, and Rate and Review, not only does that help us build this community, which at the end of the day is all we care about, but it also helps us get even more amazing guests on here to show their knowledge with all of us. Thank you guys so much for being a part of this community, and until next time, be legendary my friends.
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