David Goggins and the One Thing Stopping Your Success

What’s the number one thing stopping you from fulfilling your Life’s Work?

It’s not what you think. It’s not a lack of time, a lack of passion or a lack of opportunity.

David Goggins has been called the toughest man on the planet. He has the answer.

Who is David Goggins?

David GogginsDavid Goggins is a Retired Navy SEAL and the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training, Army Ranger School, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training.

He has completed more than seventy ultra-distance races. Plus he’s completed 4030 pull-ups in 17 hours to break the Guinness World Record.

But it wasn’t always like this. Goggins had a tough upbringing. He had an abusive father and was overweight until he started his SEAL training.

What David Goggins Said

In his book, Can’t Hurt Me, he shares how he has pushed himself to his limit to discover what he is truly capable of. This quote can summarise that book:

“You are in danger of living a life so comfortable and soft that you will die without ever realizing your true potential.”

This is the number one thing stopping you from fulfilling your life’s work.

It’s not a lack of time, a lack of passion or a lack of opportunity. It’s not what’s stopping you, it’s you stopping.

My 28-Day Challenge

David Goggins Book - Can't Hurt MeThis summed up my life. I was being soft. I was being comfortable and I was not living up to the standards I held for myself.

This is why I hadn’t finished my book and art projects. I hadn’t put in the time and effort to do so. Instead, I’d given in to my feelings of tiredness, my excuses and my complaints about how hard life was.

Something had to change if I was to fulfil my Life’s Work. I decided to train like David Goggins for 28 days.

Your 28-Day Challenge

Step 1: Make a List

I started by listing a series of things where I was not living up to the standards I’d set for myself. It became a list of three things:

  • The Unfinished – all the things that I hadn’t completed. This included my books and art projects. It is a long list.
  • Below Par – this was a list of things where the quality of my efforts was not what I expected of myself. For instance, I was meditating each morning. This was good. But I was lying in bed to do this when I knew I meditated more effectively when I did a seated meditation.
  • Cutting Corners – this was a list of things where I wasn’t going the full distance. I had said I would do a kettlebell routine each day. But I only did this when I felt like it. And I was doing one set of Yoga Asanas when I really wanted to do five sets.

Step 2: Pick One

Next, review your lists and pick something to focus on for the next 28 days. There are two things to consider.

  1. Pick something that will directly contribute to fulfilling your Life’s Work. For me, that could be writing each day – this directly helps me finish my books. (In the previous post, I refer to these as On-Field actions)
  2. Or you can pick a skill you want to develop. I wanted to develop my mental toughness so I chose physical activities to do each day. (These are Off-Field actions that help you be at your best).

I finished up choosing 3 different physical activities. One was repeated twice a day giving me 4 things in total. One thing to focus on is probably enough. Be wary of picking too many.

Step 3: Create a Scoreboard

Scoreboard Blank + Day One
Left – The blank Scoreboard, Right – Day One completed

Next, create a visual reminder or scoreboard of your progress. In the video, I showed the simple scoreboard I created for my game. My game was for four weeks or 28 days. This translates to seven columns (seven days) and four rows (four weeks). This gives me 28 squares to fill in.  My game had four actions to take each day so I simply split each square into four giving me a grand total of 112 squares.

Once you have created your scoreboard put it in a prominent place where you’ll see it every day. This will remind you of the game you are playing.

I did it! – The Completed Scoreboard after 28 days

Step 4: Take Mighty Action

Now for the important piece – take the action. Do it. Every day. No excuses. And when you complete your action mark it on your scoreboard as ‘done’.

For bonus points, celebrate your success to build a habit out of your actions. To celebrate: smile, clench your fist and strongly say ‘done’. This will help wire your emotional state in your brain to this activity making it more likely you’ll want to do it again.

And once you’ve done it for 28 days, rinse and repeat. Either keep going with the same action and/or pick something new to focus on.

More on How to Fulfil Your Life’s Work

To help you fulfil your Life’s Work, read these blog posts next:

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