Book Review: "Can't Hurt Me," by David Goggins

A book that has impacted the way I think about business and/or leadership is "Can't Hurt Me," by David Goggins. As with any good motivational or leadership book, its principles can be applied to business strategies, but more importantly, they can be applied to everyday life.

The way Goggins describes his battle throughout the tough periods of his life is nothing short of amazing. He went from being overweight and depressed to becoming a record-breaking athlete, inspiring military leader and world-class personal trainer. There are phrases in this book that always pop into my head when I'm going through tough times either at work or in the gym. It's almost as if Goggins is standing next to me like a drill sergeant pushing me to new heights of toughness and determination. The beginning of the book can make a reader feel a bit uncomfortable as Goggins talks about the stories of his early childhood. However, the story can grab you as a reader and helps you understand you grow stronger with every challenge thrown at you.

Running a business and managing employees can be tough, and there are a few key components this book can help business owners with. Staying mentally tough and positive when everything is going wrong is what you have to do in business and in life. This book demonstrates what it takes to help you on that journey to mental toughness. Goggins on life: "As a young man you're taught lessons, and if you're lucky, you're taught them by someone wise. But to actually learn them, you have to live through failure of your own."

Goggins always describes the "40% Rule" throughout the book. The 40% Rule is simple: when your mind is telling you that you are done, that you're exhausted, that you cannot possibly go any further, you are actually only 40% done. Only 40%! There are many words to describe what this can help you with, but what it helps me with is my grit, perseverance, dedication and ambition to grow and build something great with my business. The human mind is an amazing thing. It both propels us forward and holds us back. The 40% Rule reminds us no matter how exhausted we might feel, it is always possible to draw on an untapped reserve of energy and drive that we all possess.

In his book, Goggins routinely compares our minds to that of a car with a governor. According to Goggins, like a car with a governor that places a ceiling on the car's performance, we too have a governor that impedes us from reaching our true potential. In his own words, "Our governor is buried deep in our minds, intertwined with our very identity. It knows what and who we love and hate; it's read our whole life story and forms the way we see ourselves and how we'd like to be seen. It's the software that delivers personalized feedback -- in the form of pain and exhaustion but also fear and insecurity, and it uses all of that to encourage us to stop before we risk it all. But, here's the thing, it doesn't have absolute control. Unlike the governor in an engine, ours can't stop us unless we buy into its bulls--- and agree to quit."

Just as in life, business has its ups and downs. This book helped me realize that when things are tough and days are long in the office, that specific instance is actually a chance to callous my mind and push past the previous "limit" I set on myself. As stated by Goggins, "Victory or success often comes down to bringing your very best when you feel your worst." I think about that all the time when I'm exhausted after 40+ patients in a day but have a new acute lower back patient in front of me who needs my full attention and ability to make them better than before they came into the clinic.

Whatever business you are in, I think we can all relate to this book and its unique way of relaying advice to its readers. In the words of Goggins, STAY HARD!