Cant Hurt Me - Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds
David Goggins

by

Jack Shields

Themes
Themes are described as ideas that dominate a particular piece of literature. In almost all cases, pieces of literature will be centered a theme or a number of them.
Failure vs Success

Failure allows a person to appreciate his/her weaknesses and work toward improving them. It is only through failure that a person can learn of certain vital things and develop the mental fortitude to emerge out of that situation with valuable lessons. In Cant Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds, David Goggins had to learn from his mistakes and improve on his areas of weakness in order to make progress in his life.

Firstly, David failed the Delta Selection, as he was day dreaming of his imminent graduation instead of focusing at the task at hand. As his mind wandered away, he realized that there were six targets on the range and not the usual five targets, hence, he had wasted a lot of time day dreaming instead of completing the training. As a result, David was let go despite his previous impressive records. Secondly, David failed in front of millions of viewers watching him attempt to break the Guinness World Record. Ultimately, these failures pushed David to come back stronger and this was only achievable with the right attitude and temperament. Failure was not a means to an end but a pathway to success.

Resolute on never giving up, David successful became an armed forces officer with a distinguished career in the Navy SEAL. He is widely acclaimed as the only military officer to successfully complete the rigorous SEAL training, U.S. Army Ranger School, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training. These achievements are a testament to David's military and physical brilliance. Additionally, David has completed numerous physically demanding challenges such as ultra-marathons, triathlons, and ultra-triathlons. He has not only participated in these events but also performed impressively in these races by setting new course records and regularly placing in the top five. He is a former Guinness World Record holder for completing 4,030 pull-ups in seventeen hours.

Determination

David Goggins is depicted as a highly determined individual who is willing and able to conquer all the odds to fulfill his goals. This personal attribute is succinctly depicted during the treacherous Frozen Otter Race. David’s mental strength helped him overcame tremendous physical pain and finish the race. He was determined to win the race at all costs even if it meant personal injury and future incapacitation.

The Hell Week training David underwent also exposed his immense determination. David soldiered on and motivated his teammates to complete the program. Even though he suffered a serious injury on his knee, he did not let this slow him down but rather he decided to instigate his sympathetic nervous system to pull him through. As he continued to participate in the training, he aggravated his injury and had to leave the training and go home to recover. In these difficult circumstances, he still had an indomitable spirit and chose to return to the BUD/S training upon recovery. He had an easier option of becoming a firefighter but he did not want to go down that route as all he wanted was to be a SEAL. Upon return to training, he was required to redo the entire course, which meant going through the dreaded Hell Week again. Without any hesitation, he agreed to the conditions and joined class 235 where he successfully graduated from the program to be a Navy SEAL.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering is a major theme in David Goggins’s biography. It started in his early childhood when his father, Trunnis, physically abused him along with his mother and brother. As an adult, David had to preserve a lot of pain in BUD/S training, Hell Week, and the many races that he participated in. In most of these activities, he got various injuries such as broken toes and had to persevere through the pain to meet his goals. Quitting was not an option in these circumstances. To this end, David was haunted by the time that he quit military training as he feigned being concerned about his medical condition. In the real sense, he was just mentally weak to surmount the challenges that he faced. He learnt from this mistake and decided not to quit but preserve the pain and suffering.

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