I recently saw an interview with David Goggins. Intrigued by the subject matter, "Mental Discipline", I watched, listened and learned.
David Goggins is a retired Navy SEAL and the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to complete Navy SEAL training, U.S. Army Ranger School, graduating as Enlisted Honor Man and Air Force tactical air controller training. On top of that, David has competed in and won numerous ultra-marathons and ultra-triathlons, with most races he competes in being over 100 miles that are run all at once, not in stages with rest periods. David also held the Guiness Book World Record for Pull Ups, performing 4,030 in 17 hours.
Reading this abridged list of David's accomplishments it is tempting to think he must be an incredibly gifted individual blessed with superior genetics. Actually, the exact opposite is true. According to David he has no special skills, is of average intelligence, was a horrible student in school, was picked on, bullied, physically, mentally and emotionally abused by his father and people in the small mid-west town where he grew up. He was one of only a handful of African American people living in a town that was a stones throw from the Ku Klux Klan headquarters. David was living down to everyone's expectations of him; spraying for cockroaches on the night shift while ballooning up to 297 pounds. One morning after getting home from work, David turned on the TV and saw a program about SEAL training and made up his mind to join the Navy and become a SEAL.
But it wasn't that simple. David had to lose 106 pounds in 3 months to be accepted into the Navy. He had multiple stress fractures and broken bones in his legs and feet causing him to have to repeat SEAL training three times on 18 months. In addition to physical challenges there were mental and emotional challenges as well. To qualify for his first Badwater 135 race through Death Valley in the summer, David had to run 100 miles in 24 hours or less. Being completely unprepared and ill equipped for running 100 mile straight, David sat down at mile 70 and his body collapsed. He was physically unable to get up and use the restroom as he lost control of his bodily functions, his blood pressure sky-rocketed and he lost all color. He still had 30 miles to go and could not get out of the chair. David quieted his mind, went inside himself and focused on what he needed to do. After getting some nourishment and water, David got up and started walking around the track on broken feet. He realized that he would never finish in the allotted time if he kept this slow pace. Through sheer will he began to run. When he did, David says his mind realized that he was not going to quit. Once his mind got the message it joined his body and propelled him around the track to finish 101 miles in 17 hours and 56 minutes.
Though most of us will never face what David has in his life, we are no different than him. We all have a mind that we either control or allow to control us. Either we deliberately give our mind the messages we want it to focus on, or we blindly allow others to do it for us. Others such as television, radio, facebook, twitter or any other method of mass media.
The bible tells us to set our mind in order to control what we focus on. Though you may not think so, we are no different than David Goggins. He is an example to us on what can be accomplished when we set our mind on what we desire and not let others set it for us.