Retired Navy SEAL: This mentality 'rubs everybody the wrong way' but it led to my success

Retired Navy SEAL: This mentality led to my success but it makes a lot of people angry
Retired Navy SEAL: This mentality led to my success but it makes a lot of people angry

David Goggins is the only member of the U.S. armed forces ever to complete training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger and Air Force Tactical Air Controller.

He's also a former Guinness World Record holder for completing 4,030 pull-ups in 17 hours. Today, at age 44, the retired SEAL is an accomplished endurance athlete, having competed in more than 60 ultra-marathons, triathlons, and ultra-triathlons and having won a handful of them. He's also the New York Times best-selling author of "Can't Hurt Me."

Goggins credits his success to what he calls the "day one, week one" mentality. He lives each day like it's the first day of the first week of a new job. While this mindset "rubs everybody the wrong way," he says, it works.

Think back to the last time you were trying to land a new position, he says: "Before you go to a job interview, you lay your clothes out. You've got your bowl out for your oatmeal, your protein shake, everything is laid out. You show up 30 minutes early. You're prepped. You studied."

Retired Navy SEAL David Goggins

When you're job interviewing or starting a new role at work, you tend to be at your very best. "You're an animal," says Goggins. "You're fighting for everything."

But that mentality can start to fade. It "may last for a month or two," he says, "but once you realize, 'I got the job and I'm good,' you start to fit in with everybody else."

Over time, the "day one, week one" mindset is replaced with what Goggins calls the "I arrived" mindset.

"Everybody has these bars," he says, whether they are work-related, like becoming the CEO, or appearance-related, like losing 25 pounds. "You have these bars and once you get there, you've made it. There's a party. There's a big celebration. People are invited. There's a trophy. Maybe there's a bonus check. Maybe you wear some big thing on your uniform. Who knows what it is, but it's a completion of something."

I feel guilty if I haven't achieved every day.
David Goggins
retired Navy SEAL and best-selling author

"I don't have a bar," says Goggins, adding: "I feel guilty if I haven't achieved every day."

No matter how many races he wins, books he sells or records he sets, he refuses to get comfortable or think he's "made it."

The "day one, week one" mindset can be alienating. He sets a high standard and, he acknowledges, "a lot of people don't want to wake up to a David Goggins every day."

"Trust me," he adds, "I don't have a lot of friends. And that's fine. But what I do know is, that's the kind of person that I want to work with in my life. I want a person that, every single day of their life, they have their suit out and they have their bowl ready to go."

Don't miss: Ex-Navy SEAL who wakes up at 4:30 am: How to get out of bed when you don't feel like it

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The Navy SEAL 'spiritual ritual' for overcoming laziness
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