A former Navy SEAL explains his take-no-prisoners approach to life in this candid memoir/self-help book.
“I should have been a statistic,” admits debut author Goggins. A childhood marked by abuse and racial prejudice seemed to leave him destined for a life of struggle and failure. But after nearly flunking out of high school, Goggins got tough on himself, realizing that he’d never fulfill his dream of joining the military if he didn’t shape up fast. And shape up he did, eventually becoming a Navy SEAL, celebrated endurance athlete, and one-time Guinness World Record holder for the most pull-ups performed in a 24-hour period. Yet as a teen, Goggins barely made it into the Air Force after failing the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test twice. Later, he had to drop 100 pounds in three months in order to join the SEALs. His laundry list of accomplishments is impressive, and he tells his remarkable story in a direct, conversational way, though his language is often raw. Much of the book recounts the author’s experiences in military training and competing in ultramarathons and endurance sports, offering a fascinating peek into those subcultures (expect a few graphic photos of what toes look like after running a 100-plus-mile race). He also speaks frankly about his moments of doubt and failure. Each chapter ends with challenges to complete. The goal is to bring readers “nose-to-concrete with your own bullshit limits you didn’t even know were there.” According to Goggins, most people are operating at about 40 percent of their true capability, and he makes a convincing case that tapping into that unused 60 percent is largely a matter of mental discipline. Doing so requires fortitude and sacrifice—Goggins admits he “lived like a monk” to achieve his level of success—but will eventually lead to “self-mastery.” And through all the tough talk, he also offers words of encouragement: “Your small victories are your cookies to savor.” Some might find Goggins’ intensity a bit intimidating, but there’s no doubt his story is inspiring.
Guaranteed to galvanize more than a few couch potatoes into action.