Extreme Athlete and Former Navy SEAL David Goggins Explains His Secret to Mental Toughness

The bestselling author has some epic advice for conquering life’s obstacles.

If you learn one thing from David Goggins, one of the toughest athletes on the planet, the author of a book titled Can’t Hurt Me and an ex-Navy SEAL who also completed U.S. Army Ranger School, it’s that he has earned the right to drop some knowledge about what mental toughness is and how it happens. He does it brilliantly in the Fight Mediocrity video above. 

Goggins didn’t just blitz through two of the toughest special forces training programs in the world—he has also finished more than 60 ultra-marathons (endurance races of 30 miles or more), triathlons, and ultra-triathlons, often placing in the top 5 finishers. 

David Goggins/Beyond Motivated

Oh—and for a time, he held the Guinness World Record for pull-ups, knocking out 4,030 in less than 24 hours (17 hours, to be exact).

Goggins, 44, often appears on podcasts as well, including the Joe Rogan Experience.

In the Fight Mediocrity video, Goggins is energizing and relatable. 

And when he talks about hardening his psyche against an abusive father and later his own insecurities, he refers to building “callouses in his mind” and it’s hard to not immediately understand his point.  

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Goggins continues in this inspiring vein. “I realized … that in order for me to become the man I wanted to become,” he says at one point, “I saw myself as the weakest person God ever created.”

What you learn from Goggins both on the Fight Mediocrity video and the Rogan podcast is the man has used going through personal hell to power a personal ethos of overcoming and enduring that many can hardly conceive of. 

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His trials are his own, but everyone has something they’ve had to suffer through—if nothing else, David Goggins may teach you that those trials aren’t inherently negative. Sure, life kicking your ass can drag you down, but it can also be converted into fuel that powers overcoming problems later.

In his case, that fuel long ago went nuclear.