It taught me the art of discipline.
How disciplined are you?
If you pressed on the title of the article, there is a chance that you have dreams and goals you want to achieve. You want to be financially free, have a decent reputation, provide for your family, help your parents and much more. In order to reach these milestones, you have to take control of your life.
“Discipline equals freedom.” — Jocko Willink
I always had big dreams, visualizing my successes and being optimistic about my future. There always were excuses such as opportunities, the stars didn’t align and God isn’t on my side.
Your race, wealth, nationality and especially luck, should be taken into account, however, the puzzle isn’t completed until you add discipline to the formula.
David Goggins has proved that discipline, lots of work and consistency will increase the chance of your success.
This book helped me accomplish and surpass my goals for August. Here are my favorite lessons from the book —
#1: Accept Your Past.
Everyone is traumatized.
After reading this book I became very grateful for how I and my life turned out. Like every person, I had my insecurities and problems at school and with my family. However, you should always keep in mind the fact that there are people on this earth right now that suffer more than you.
Our ancestors and family had it worse than you.
David grew up in a house of extreme domestic violence. He was 6 years old and working full time for his father. He always watched his mother getting mistreated. At school, he want by the n word. His life was a mess.
He had it worse.
However, the difference between him and others was that he accepted his past.
Moreover, he embraced it, using it as fuel to keep him driven and achieve his goals. Never let the past haunt you.
#2: Take Your Life Serious
Mature and become disciplined.
David was doing very bad at school. He never learned anything, passing the classes by cheating.
After graduating high school he wanted to join the Air Force, however for that to happen he had to pass the ASVAB, where the old trick of cheating didn’t work.
He had to accept the truth, he had to slay the dragon.
In today’s society, accepting the truth has become a taboo. David wasn’t afraid to recognise the fact that he was fat and stupid. Instead, he started working on himself.
Going to the gym at 5 AM became his everyday routine. He spent all day learning at the kitchen table.
Face your fears and go to war. The truth and eventually regret will always meet you at the end. Either you face them now or later.
#3: Befriend Discomfort.
Always be exposed to stress.
Again, it all depends on your goals, but if you want to become better at anything in this life you have to always challenge yourself. It can be anything, from writing articles to running marathons.
The trick here is to not jump right into chaos.
I don’t think there are at least 1000 people on this earth who want to be exposed to stress as David has. He ran a 100-mile marathon without preparation. He was constantly doing stupid stuff that damaged his body and put him in extreme danger.
You shouldn’t do that!
What you should be doing instead is start slow. Let’s take reading for instance.
You have to start by reading a small number of pages. Start by reading 5 pages a day for 1 week. Afterwards or maybe earlier you can add 5 more. In a month you will be reading at least 20 pages a day.
Continue doing this and in one year you will be reading 5 books a month.
Start slow but always add weight to your challenges.
#4: The 40% Reminder
Have you ever reached 100% of your abilities?
Let me tell you a secret, you haven’t probably reached 40%.
We love doubting ourselves.
Humanity has always proven wrong themselves. Flying wasn’t possible, reaching the moon was not possible and finding cures for illnesses was also impossible.
We are capable of much more.
When we reach our limits, we have to constantly remind ourselves that it is only 40% of what we can do.
I started doing yoga 6 months ago and I could do a 10–15 minute session only. The sessions became 20–25 minutes, but that’s where I stopped. At the end of each practice, I was thinking this is my limit. I did that for 5 months.
After listening to David’s philosophy I started pushing myself and fighting with my own thoughts which would tell me that “it is enough”, “there is no need to push yourself”, and “you can’t do it”.
I am doing now a 60-minute yoga session and it is fun. Now I understand the real taste of yoga and I know I can do a 120-minute session as well.
Seeking physical discomfort will help you fight unexpected events in your life.
#5: Cookie Jar
Appreciate your improvements.
Working hard and pushing yourself is important but never forget to look back and watch your progress.
I’m pretty sure I have the “Impostor Syndrome”. That’s a feature of mine that I will never be able to take away. I rarely appreciate my wins and when I do is only for one day. The next morning I am again on the drive to achieve more and become better.
It is a feature that it’s hard to balance. I like it and dislike it.
That’s why I started writing the accomplishments every week. Until now I was writing only the goals.
However, you shouldn’t brag about your wins. No one cares. Use the wins to fuel your future goals. Because when shit hits the fan, you will need inspiration. In order to fight all those demons, you have to take into account your past successes.
Push yourself but don’t forget to eat a few cookies once in a while from the cookie jar.
This book has helped me accomplish, and surpass, all my goals in the month of August.
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Thanks for reading :)