The Lessons of David Goggins

Name: David Goggins

Born: February 17, 1975

Occupation: ultramarathon runner, triathlete, author, public speaker, wildland firefighter, retired Navy SEAL

Accomplishments: ultramarathon athlete (winning third place at Badwater 135), former Guinness World Record holder for pull-ups in 2017, author of two inspirational books, retired Navy SEAL who was “the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training, Army Ranger School, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training”

For more information, check out:

Why do you get up in the morning?

The number one purpose in life is to better yourself.

If you’re not trying to better yourself, then you need to ask why.

Examine the intentions behind your goals. Don’t make excuses.

While most people can become better, they settle for mediocrity:

They “refuse to get off that couch, refuse to study a few more hours, refuse to go deeper and to go further… And that’s where I gain the advantage. It’s so easy to be great nowadays, my friend, cause most people are weak. Most people don’t want to go that extra mile. Most people don’t want to find that extra because it sucks. It’s miserable. It’s lonely” (Goggins, Williamson).

How do you stop caring about what other people think?

The more you progress, the more people will become aware of you.

The negative people who “usually critique you aren’t where you are” (Goggins, Rise Above). You may want to fight back or explain yourself, but it is more beneficial to get to a higher level of self-knowledge.

Look at the haters. Study their destructive patterns before you react. Because they are suffering, they will inflict their suffering on others. Instead of engaging with their negativity, be honest with yourself.

Before you criticize anyone, look at yourself. You’re a flawed human being just like them.

“There will be people out here who are commentating about people [celebrities] who are fucking up out here… and I don’t know how they’re able to do that when I guarantee your skeletons are not being out there. If I were to open up your fucking door, motherfucker…. People love to talk shit about somebody and keep themselves out of it” (Goggins, Rise Above).

How do you feel motivated when you are all alone?

“[I was] Alone. Alone out there running in cold, in heat; suffering in pools, trying to swim; in a room by myself, trying to teach myself how to read and write, how to study. You know, no one saw that. There was no video camera, there was no podcast. There was no ‘Who’s David Goggins?’” (Goggins, Inspiring Squad)

You are always going to bring yourself wherever you go. That is why you must discipline your mind.

To discipline your mind, you have to challenge yourself. Until then, you will always be searching for peace without ever finding it. You will be seeking out a teacher, guru, or some “nice kind book that guides you beyond all your personal suffering, and that miracles your fucking ass to peace” (Goggins, Inspiring Squad).

Discipline will bring you peace, even though it will be hard.

Most people want to be around other people. They want to party and chat and have fun.

But are they satisfied with their lives?

Sometimes it’s necessary to remove yourself from distractions like parties and social media. It’s more important to focus. You have to test your character by “going to war with yourself” (Goggins, Inspiring Squad). Only then will you be proud of what you have accomplished. Instead of wondering later on if you could have done more with your life, you should be doing more now.

What is your stretching routine like?

Create a routine that fits well with your lifestyle and body type.

Start with the fundamentals.

“Everything I do is very basic” (Goggins, Dreams Achieved).

Even though it will be hard to find the time to stretch, you have to do it. It is too easy to come up with excuses for not being disciplined. But “life is all about sacrifice to get what you want” (Goggins, EsM).

Be consistent with your routine:

“I’m in the best shape of my life right now from stretching out… I stretch every night for two hours….” (Goggins, EsM).

If you can, learn from practices like yoga:

“Yoga is the shit. I have kind of invented my own yoga for what my body needs. I have done hot yoga several times. I’m big into holding [my poses] for a long period of time… I’m trying to get a full range of motion” (Goggins, EsM).

What is your diet like?

“The biggest thing for me is timing…. I shut off meals at 6:30 PM…. For breakfast, I’m a big believer in having small meals throughout the day with protein in every one of my meals. Very little carbohydrates unless I’m running big mileage” (Goggins, Dreams Achieved).

People tend to worry too much about their diets. They think that they have to follow an elaborate plan or hire a trainer. While some people will benefit from those options, they can start their training right now. They can make progress by going for a walk or cutting down on their calories. Everyone can take simple steps to be better than the day before. It’s just a matter of commitment.

A lot of people are afraid of doing something wrong with their diet or exercise routine. They’re afraid of overtraining but “you gotta train first before you can overtrain… Get out of your own head. Stay hard.” (Goggins, Motivation 4Us).

If you don’t want to change your life, if you don’t want to improve yourself, then continue to follow your same unhealthy patterns. Eat junk food and drink beer if it makes you happy. Not everyone can be David Goggins.

What is your advice to young people?

Learn about who you are. When you try to fit in with the group, you will lose yourself. You can’t pick the conditions you were born into, but you can become better. When you hide from your past, you will only suffer more.

“Don’t try to be David Goggins. Just try to be your best self. If people at school or in life don’t like you, hey, you are probably doing something good. And if you don’t mind them not liking you, you are a million steps ahead of everyone else because you have confidence in yourself to be who you want to be” (Goggins, Dreams Achieved).

Work Cited:

1. Goggins, David. Dreams Achieved. “David Goggins — Q&a Diet, Stretching, Next Book, Movie etc.(Video Quality Gets Better 6 Minutes In).” YouTube, 24 Sept. 2019,

2. Goggins, David. EsM. “David Goggins — the Importance of Stretching for Health.” YouTube, 1 Apr. 2019,

3. Goggins, David. Inspiring Squad. “I’m a Lone Wolf, so What? | New David Goggins | Motivation | Inspiring Squad.” YouTube, 6 Feb. 2023,

4. Goggins, David. Motivation 4Us. “David Goggins Motivation — NAVY SEAL DIET FOR a DAY (Best Motivational Video).” YouTube, 10 Apr. 2021,

5. Goggins, David. Williamson, Chris. “David Goggins — How to Get up Early Every Day.” YouTube, 7 Feb. 2023,

6. Goggins, David. Rise Above. “The Simple Way to STOP Caring About What Others Think of You | David Goggins.” YouTube, 19 Dec. 2022,


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