Can’t Hurt Me — Book Review

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Cross-posted from Goodreads.

There are plenty of books on productivity that teach you to achieve more in less time. Modern literature on the topic strongly advises against working your arse off driven by punishing schedules. Books like Deep Work and Atomic Habits emphasize doing meaningful work over mundane tasks that keep us busy. I subscribe to that philosophy.

I believe in the importance of deep work. I agree that it’s impossible to make a lasting, meaningful impact with only quick fixes and daily drudgery. Fortunately or unfortunately, we live in a knowledge economy: a world where knowledge is rewarded over labor. Modern productivity advice applies wonderfully to knowledge work and creative pursuits. However, at times you are faced with hard, physically demanding goals. That is where most deep work tactics stop applying. And that’s where the word of Goggins shines.

Goggins, a retired Navy Seal, tells a tale of hard work, the sort that movie heroes are made of. Throughout his military career, he pursued things to separate himself from the crowd by doing what others deemed unachievable or even foolish. From becoming a Navy Seal to running ultramarathons to (twice) attempting the Guinness world record for pull-ups, Goggins explains the secret behind his superhuman endurance. He presents a simple framework for achieving one’s full potential when it comes to real, dreadfully hard work.

What I liked

  • Honest and plain talking style.
  • Powerful introduction.
  • Baring inner feelings and mistakes without shame.

What I didn’t like

Not much here.

Key learnings

The one I remember most distinctly – moving your governor.


Highly recommended! Even if you aren’t going to do physically demanding activities as athletes do, it’s still inspiring to read the story of a nobody who became a revered social figure by taking control of his life.

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