Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary
Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Groggins
Can’t Hurt Me Summary
Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary Can’t Hurt Me Summary
1. I SHOULD HAVE BEEN A STATISTIC
My bad cards arrived early and stuck around a while, but everyone gets
challenged in life at some point. What was your bad hand? What kind of
bullshit did you contend with growing up? Were you beaten? Abused?
Bullied? Did you ever feel insecure? Maybe your limiting factor is that
you grew up so supported and comfortable, you never pushed yourself?
What are the current factors limiting your growth and success? Is someone
standing in your way at work or school? Are you underappreciated and
overlooked for opportunities? What are the long odds you’re up against
right now? Are you standing in your own way?
Break out your journal—if you don’t have one, buy one, or start one on
your laptop, tablet, or in the notes app on your smart phone—and write
them all out in minute detail. Don’t be bland with this assignment. I
showed you every piece of my dirty laundry. If you were hurt or are still in
harm’s way, tell the story in full. Give your pain shape. Absorb its power,
because you are about to flip that shit.
You will use your story, this list of excuses, these very good reasons why
you shouldn’t amount to a damn thing, to fuel your ultimate success.
Sounds fun right? Yeah, it won’t be. But don’t worry about that yet. We’ll get there. For now, just take inventory.
2. TRUTH HURTS
I tacked Post-It notes on my Accountability Mirror, and I’ll ask you to do
the same. Digital devices won’t work. Write all your insecurities, dreams,
and goals on Post-Its and tag up your mirror. If you need more education,
remind yourself that you need to start working your ass off because you
aren’t smart enough! Period, point blank. If you look in the mirror and see
someone who is obviously overweight, that means you’re fucking fat!
Own it! It’s okay to be unkind with yourself in these moments because we
need thicker skin to improve in life.
Whether it’s a career goal (quit my job, start a business), a lifestyle goal
(lose weight, get more active), or an athletic one (run my first 5K, 10K, or
marathon), you need to be truthful with yourself about where you are and
the necessary steps it will take to achieve those goals, day by day. Each
step, each necessary point of self-improvement, should be written as its
own note. That means you have to do some research and break it all down.
For example, if you are trying to lose forty pounds, your first Post-It may
be to lose two pounds in the first week. Once that goal is achieved, remove
the note and post the next goal of two to five pounds until your ultimate
goal is realized.
3. THE IMPOSSIBLE TASK
The first step on the journey toward a calloused mind is stepping outside
your comfort zone on a regular basis. Dig out your journal again and write
down all the things you don’t like to do or that make you uncomfortable.
Especially those things you know are good for you.
Now go do one of them, and do it again.
In the coming pages, I’ll be asking you to mirror what you just read to
some degree, but there is no need for you to find your own impossible task
and achieve it on the fast track. This is not about changing your life
instantly, it’s about moving the needle bit by bit and making those changes
sustainable. That means digging down to the micro level and doing
something that sucks every day. Even if it’s as simple as making your bed,
doing the dishes, ironing your clothes, or getting up before dawn and
running two miles each day. Once that becomes comfortable, take it to
five, then ten miles. If you already do all those things, find something you
aren’t doing. We all have areas in our lives we either ignore or can
improve upon. Find yours. We often choose to focus on our strengths
rather than our weaknesses. Use this time to make your weaknesses your
Doing things—even small things—that make you uncomfortable will help
make you strong. The more often you get uncomfortable the stronger
you’ll become, and soon you’ll develop a more productive, can-do
dialogue with yourself in stressful situations.
4. TAKING SOULS
Choose any competitive situation that you’re in right now. Who is your
opponent? Is it your teacher or coach, your boss, an unruly client? No
matter how they’re treating you there is one way to not only earn their
respect, but turn the tables. Excellence.
That may mean acing an exam, or crafting an ideal proposal, or smashing
a sales goal. Whatever it is, I want you to work harder on that project or in
that class than you ever have before. Do everything exactly as they ask,
and whatever standard they set as an ideal outcome, you should be aiming
to surpass that.
If your coach doesn’t give you time in the games, dominate practice.
Check the best guy on your squad and show the fuck out. That means
putting time in off the field. Watching film so you can study your
opponent’s tendencies, memorizing plays, and training in the gym. You need to make that coach pay attention.
If it’s your teacher, then start doing work of high quality. Spend extra time
on your assignments. Write papers for her that she didn’t even assign!
Come early to class. Ask questions. Pay attention. Show her who you are
and want to be.
If it’s a boss, work around the clock. Get to work before them. Leave after
they go home. Make sure they see that shit, and when it’s time to deliver,
surpass their maximum expectations.
Whoever you’re dealing with, your goal is to make them watch you
achieve what they could never have done themselves. You want them
thinking how amazing you are. Take their negativity and use it to dominate
their task with everything you’ve got. Take their motherfucking soul!
Afterward, post about it on social and add the hashtag #canthurtme #takingsouls.
5. ARMORED MIND
It’s time to visualize! Again, the average person thinks 2,000–3,000
thoughts per hour. Rather than focusing on bullshit you cannot change,
imagine visualizing the things you can. Choose any obstacle in your way,
or set a new goal, and visualize overcoming or achieving it. Before I
engage in any challenging activity, I start by painting a picture of what my
success looks and feels like. I’ll think about it every day and that feeling
propels me forward when I’m training, competing, or taking on any task I
But visualization isn’t simply about daydreaming of some trophy
ceremony—real or metaphorical. You must also visualize the challenges
that are likely to arise and determine how you will attack those problems
when they do. That way you can be as prepared as possible on the journey.
When I show up for a foot race now, I drive the entire course first,
visualizing success but also potential challenges, which helps me control
my thought process. You can’t prepare for everything but if you engage in
strategic visualization ahead of time, you’ll be as prepared as you possibly can be.
That also means being prepared to answer the simple questions. Why are
you doing this? What is driving you toward this achievement? Where does
the darkness you’re using as fuel come from? What has calloused your
mind? You’ll need to have those answers at your fingertips when you hit a
wall of pain and doubt. To push through, you’ll need to channel your
darkness, feed off it, and lean on your calloused mind.
Remember, visualization will never compensate for work undone. You
cannot visualize lies. All the strategies I employ to answer the simple
questions and win the mind game are only effective because I put in work.
It’s a lot more than mind over matter. It takes relentless self-discipline to
schedule suffering into your day, every day, but if you do, you’ll find that
at the other end of that suffering is a whole other life just waiting for you.
6. IT’S NOT ABOUT A TROPHY
Take inventory of your Cookie Jar. Crack your journal open again. Write it
all out. Remember, this is not some breezy stroll through your personal
trophy room. Don’t just write down your achievement hit list. Include life
obstacles you’ve overcome as well, like quitting smoking or overcoming
depression or a stutter. Add in those minor tasks you failed earlier in life,
but tried again a second or third time and ultimately succeeded at. Feel
what it was like to overcome those struggles, those opponents, and win.
Then get to work.
Set ambitious goals before each workout and let those past victories carry
you to new personal bests. If it’s a run or bike ride, include some time to
do interval work and challenge yourself to beat your best mile split. Or
simply maintain a maximum heart rate for a full minute, then two
minutes. If you’re at home, focus on pull-ups or push-ups. Do as many as
possible in two minutes. Then try to beat your best. When the pain hits and
tries to stop you short of your goal, dunk your fist in, pull out a cookie,
and let it fuel you!
If you’re more focused on intellectual growth, train yourself to study
harder and longer than ever before, or read a record number of books in a
given month. Your Cookie Jar can help there too. Because if you perform
this challenge correctly and truly challenge yourself, you’ll come to a
point in any exercise where pain, boredom, or self-doubt kicks in, and
you’ll need to push back to get through it. The Cookie Jar is your shortcut
to taking control of your own thought process. Use it that way! The point
here isn’t to make yourself feel like a hero for the fuck of it. It’s not a
hooray-for-me session. It’s to remember what a badass you are so you can
use that energy to succeed again in the heat of battle!
Post your memories and the new successes they fueled on social media, and include the hashtags:
7. THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON
Whether you are running on a treadmill or doing a set of push-ups, get to
the point where you are so tired and in pain that your mind is begging you
to stop. Then push just 5 to 10 percent further. If the most push-ups you
have ever done is one hundred in a workout, do 105 or 110. If you
normally run thirty miles each week, run 10 percent more next week.
This gradual ramp-up will help prevent injury and allow your body and
mind to slowly adapt to your new workload. It also resets your baseline,
which is important because you’re about to increase your workload
another 5 to 10 percent the following week, and the week after that.
There is so much pain and suffering involved in physical challenges that
it’s the best training to take command of your inner dialogue, and the
newfound mental strength and confidence you gain by continuing to push
yourself physically will carry over to other aspects in your life. You will
realize that if you were underperforming in your physical challenges, there
is a good chance you are underperforming at school and work too.
The bottom line is that life is one big mind game. The only person you are
playing against is yourself. Stick with this process and soon what you
thought was impossible will be something you do every fucking day of
your life. I want to hear your stories. Post on social. Hashtags:
#canthurtme #The40PercentRule #dontgetcomfortable.
8. TALENT NOT REQUIRED
It’s time to compartmentalize your day. Too many of us have become
multitaskers, and that’s created a nation of half-asses. This will be a three
week challenge. During week one, go about your normal schedule, but take
notes. When do you work? Are you working nonstop or checking your
phone (the Moment app will tell you)? How long are your meal breaks?
When do you exercise, watch TV, or chat to friends? How long is your
commute? Are you driving? I want you to get super detailed and document
it all with timestamps. This will be your baseline, and you’ll find plenty of
fat to trim. Most people waste four to five hours on a given day, and if you
can learn to identify and utilize it, you’ll be on your way toward increased
In week two, build an optimal schedule. Lock everything into place in
fifteen- to thirty-minute blocks. Some tasks will take multiple blocks or
entire days. Fine. When you work, only work on one thing at a time, think
about the task in front of you and pursue it relentlessly. When it comes
time for the next task on your schedule, place that first one aside, and
apply the same focus.
Make sure your meal breaks are adequate but not open-ended, and
schedule in exercise and rest too. But when it’s time to rest, actually rest.
No checking email or bullshitting on social media. If you are going to
work hard you must also rest your brain.
Make notes with timestamps in week two. You may still find some
residual dead space. By week three, you should have a working schedule
that maximizes your effort without sacrificing sleep. Post photos of your
schedule, with the hashtags #canthurtme #talentnotrequired.
9. UNCOMMON AMONGST UNCOMMON
This one’s for the unusual motherfuckers in this world. A lot of people
think that once they reach a certain level of status, respect, or success, that
they’ve made it in life. I’m here to tell you that you always have to find
more. Greatness is not something that if you meet it once it stays with you
forever. That shit evaporates like a flash of oil in a hot pan.
If you truly want to become uncommon amongst the uncommon, it will
require sustaining greatness for a long period of time. It requires staying
in constant pursuit and putting out unending effort. This may sound
appealing but will require everything you have to give and then some.
Believe me, this is not for everyone because it will demand singular focus
and may upset the balance in your life.
That’s what it takes to become a true overachiever, and if you are already
surrounded by people who are at the top of their game, what are you going
to do differently to stand out? It’s easy to stand out amongst everyday
people and be a big fish in a small pond. It is a much more difficult task
when you are a wolf surrounded by wolves.
This means not only getting into Wharton Business School, but being
ranked #1 in your class. It means not just graduating BUD/S, but becoming
Enlisted Honor Man in Army Ranger School then going out and finishing Badwater.
Torch the complacency you feel gathering around you, your coworkers,
and teammates in that rare air. Continue to put obstacles in front of
yourself, because that’s where you’ll find the friction that will help you
grow even stronger. Before you know it, you will stand alone.
10. THE EMPOWERMENT OF FAILURE
Think about your most recent and your most heart-wrenching failures.
Break out that journal one last time. Log off the digital version and write
them out long-hand. I want you to feel this process because you are about
to file your own, belated After Action Reports.
First off, write out all the good things, everything that went well, from
your failures. Be detailed and generous with yourself. A lot of good things
will have happened. It’s rarely all bad. Then note how you handled your
failure. Did it affect your life and your relationships? How so?
How did you think throughout the preparation for and during the execution
stage of your failure? You have to know how you were thinking at each
step because it’s all about mindset, and that’s where most people fall short.
Now go back through and make a list of things you can fix. This isn’t time
to be soft or generous. Be brutally honest, write them all out. Study them.
Then look at your calendar and schedule another attempt as soon as
possible. If the failure happened in childhood, and you can’t recreate the
Little League all-star game you choked in, I still want you to write that
report because you’ll likely be able to use that information to achieve any
goal going forward.
As you prepare, keep that AAR handy, consult your Accountability Mirror,
and make all necessary adjustments. When it comes time to execute, keep
everything we’ve learned about the power of a calloused mind, the Cookie
Jar, and The 40% Rule in the forefront of your mind. Control your
mindset. Dominate your thought process. This life is all a fucking mind
game. Realize that. Own it!
11. WHAT IF?
Whatever failures and accomplishments pile up in the years to come, and
there will be plenty of both I’m sure, I know I’ll continue to give it my all
and set goals that seem impossible to most. And when those motherfuckers
say so, I’ll look them dead in the eye and respond with one simple question.
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