David Goggins callus your mind: Power of mental resilience

Often described as the toughest man alive, David Goggins, has a popular concept known as “callus your mind”. When you train your mind it will provide mental reinforcement that allows you to perform at your best even when you don’t feel like it. We will cover who is David Goggins, what David Goggins callus your mind entails, and the key learning takeaways from this concept.

Who is David Goggins?

David Goggins is well known for his philosophy on mastering the mind. His content is all over social media promoting discipline and hard work which inspires others to achieve their goals. David Goggins is a retired Navy Seal, competed in over 70 ultra-distance races, and has held a world record for performing 4030 pull-ups in just 17 hours.

David Goggins has accumulated a serious array of achievements over the years, including being a best-selling author for his book Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds. He is proudly the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training, Army Ranger school, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training.

What is meant by “Callus your mind”?

To explain the David Goggins callus your mind concept. I will first explain what a callus is. A callus is a thick, hardened layer of skin that develops when the skin tries to protect itself from friction or pressure.

Calluses are a sign that someone has worked hard and consistently. They are a physical sign that you have experience in a physical discipline. Calluses form in the palm from years of lifting heavy weights, or in the knuckle from years of combat training. These calluses allow the person to perform better and for longer.

David Goggins believes we can callus our minds with consistently performing uncomfortable tasks. By performing them to the best of our ability regardless of how we feel. By doing things we don’t want to do, and finding comfort in uncomfortable situations, we callus our minds.

Building calluses within our minds allows us to better endure the pain. Overtime through discipline and repetition these hard activities become easier, and we push our definition of “difficult”.

How to callus our minds

Here are some ways we can callus our mind;

The main way we callus our minds is by doing things we really don’t want to do. If it’s raining outside and you said you’d go for a run, you go anyway. If you’ve told yourself you’d have an ice bath but you’re scared to get in, you do it anyway.

We can also callus our minds by identifying behaviour that we enjoy and purposely cutting it out temporarily, to tell our brains it’s okay to go without this. Whether this is quitting drinking or smoking, or removing meat or sweet treats from your diet. This mindset activity will help you become more comfortable with change and help tame the behavioural patterns that you think your mind controls. Instead, you take full ownership of your decisions.

Important takeaways

There are many benefits to strengthening your mind and getting comfortable with the uncomfortable, and I believe the following are the key takeaways.

Better deal and cope with adversity

When times get tough (which is inevitable) you are better equipped to deal with and overcome the challenges you are faced with. You will know how to dig deep and perform your best when it matters most, this will inspire growth. Overtime, this growth will compound and result in seriously impressive character-building and behavioural traits.

Detach from our emotions and perform regardless

When we feel like quitting, the memories of continuously overcoming adversity and pushing through will give us the confidence to perform. Regardless if you feel sad or in pain. Your purpose and long-term goals will take priority and you will see it through to ultimately achieve what you set out to do.

This is an incredibly important skill to have as it could mean;

  • performing when required at work to achieve a promotion or attain that bonus
  • looking after your loved ones during times of stress
  • remaining consistent with exercise to achieve better health

Better equipped to achieve our goals

Greater mental toughness better equips our minds to achieve our goals. Repetition after repetition helps us remain focused when it really matters. This ability to perform under pressure and to perform consistently regardless means we make more progress towards our goals.

Make sure your goals are meaningful and truly align to what you want in life. Of course, life is not all about work and progress, we need a balance of rest and work. But I do believe to give life deep meaning we need to work in alignment with what we believe our purpose is.





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