Guest Episode
January 1, 2024

David Goggins: How to Build Immense Inner Strength

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In this episode, my guest is David Goggins, retired Navy SEAL, highly accomplished ultramarathoner, best-selling author, and influential public speaker.

David explains how he mastered his inner dialogue to build extraordinary levels of discipline and mental and physical toughness.

He describes how confronting his early hardships, including physical and mental abuse, learning disorders, and obesity, became a practice of deep and excruciating self-reflection — eventually allowing him to transmute those experiences into a superhuman work ethic.

This conversation is a unique window into David Goggins’ process in that it focuses both on the underlying science and how David manages and directs his inner dialogue.

It’s a conversation that will inform and inspire anyone wondering how exactly to go about building discipline and confidence and reach their potential.

Note: This conversation includes profanity. Some content might not be suitable for all audiences and ages.

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About this Guest

David Goggins

David Goggins is a retired Navy SEAL, highly accomplished ultramarathoner, best-selling author, and influential public speaker.

  • 00:00:00 David Goggins
  • 00:03:22 Sponsors: Maui Nui, AeroPress & Eight Sleep
  • 00:07:58 Learning, Studying & Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • 00:14:59 Writing & Learning, ADHD & Focus
  • 00:20:35 Friction, Focus, “Conqueror’s Mindset”
  • 00:25:16 Early Hardships, “Haunted”
  • 00:30:48 Anger, Social Media; Growth & Challenges
  • 00:36:14 Sponsor: AG1
  • 00:37:11 Stick vs. Carrot, Negative Inner Dialogue, “Stay Hard”
  • 00:42:39 Inspiration, Characters & Self Image
  • 00:46:09 Willpower & Anterior Mid-Cingulate Cortex
  • 00:53:23 Friction & the “Suck”, Willpower
  • 00:59:14 Building Willpower, Brain & “No Days Off” Mentality
  • 01:08:52 Sponsor: InsideTracker
  • 01:09:54 Losing Weight, Challenge & Willpower
  • 01:18:47 Self-Criticism & Discipline; Recovery; Stutter & Building Confidence
  • 01:26:45 Relationships & Honest Conversations, People Pleasing
  • 01:34:49 Self-Reflection & Empowerment
  • 01:39:06 Unseen Work, Real Passion & Purpose, Medicine Cabinet Analogy
  • 01:46:32 Feeling Lost, Self-Reflection & Individual Process
  • 01:54:11 Challenges & Two Internal Voices, Misunderstood
  • 01:59:32 Running, Smoke Jumping; Success; Willpower & Perishable Skills
  • 02:07:04 Self-Reflection & Action, Distractions
  • 02:15:27 Inner Dialogue; Failing Properly
  • 02:24:59 Introspection & Unconscious Mind, Cleaning “Cupboards”
  • 02:35:19 Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, YouTube Feedback, Sponsors, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter

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ANDREW HUBERMAN: Welcome to the Huberman Lab podcast where we discuss science and science-based tools for everyday life. 

[MUSIC PLAYING] 

I'm Andrew Huberman, and I'm a professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine. My guest today is David Goggins. David Goggins is a retired Navy SEAL who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He's also a highly accomplished ultramarathon runner. 

For those of you that don't know, ultramarathons are distances longer than 26 miles and, in David's case, often longer than 200 miles. For his achievements in athletics, he has been inducted into the International Sports Hall of Fame. He also held a Guinness World Record for the most pull-ups completed in 24 hours. I should mention that not only was David a decorated Navy SEAL, but he also graduated from Army Ranger School. 

David is also a highly successful writer, having authored two books, the first entitled "Can't Hurt Me" and the second entitled "Never Finished," both of which are best sellers. David's books cover many topics, including his autobiographical description of what can only be described as an incredibly challenging child and young adulthood. His home was abusive. His school environment was abusive. He essentially had no positive resources directed his way and. 

In his 20s, he found himself to be obese, that is, more than 300 pounds working a job he despised for minimal pay. And it was at that point that David began an inner dialogue that forced him to explore the demons born out of his childhood but also the position that he found himself in as a young man and then began the journey to navigate that dialogue and transform himself into the Navy SEAL, the ultramarathon runner, the bestselling author, and the extraordinarily positive and influential man that he is today. 

As some of you may know, David has done various public lectures. He's a familiar face online because there are so many clips of him on YouTube. And he has done podcasts before. However, I'm certain that you'll find today's discussion to be very different than previous podcasts that David has been featured on. 

The reason is that-- of course, we get into his accomplishments. We talk about the mindset that allowed him to achieve those things. But, today, David really lets us under the hood. He lets us into the form of inner dialogue that he has to embrace, indeed that he has to grapple with on a daily basis, sometimes multiple times throughout the day and night in order to impose the sort of self-discipline that he is so well known for. 

We also get into some of the scientific mechanisms underlying willpower. And we talk about David's current endeavors that include, for instance, his own exploration of science and medicine for which he has become an intense scholar and practitioner. I should mention that multiple times throughout today's discussion you will hear curse words. 

Now David and I both acknowledge that cursing isn't for everybody and that cursing itself is different than cursing at somebody. Nonetheless, we do realize that many people, parents perhaps especially, might not want to hear cursing. If you don't want to hear cursing, well, then this podcast episode is probably not for you. 

However, if you are comfortable with cursing or if you can tolerate it, I assure you today's discussion is highly worthwhile. Before we begin, I'd like to emphasize that this podcast is separate from my teaching and research roles at Stanford. It is, however, part of my desire and effort to bring zero cost to consumer information about science and science-related tools to the general public. 

In keeping with that theme, I'd like to thank the sponsors of today's podcast. Our first sponsor is Maui Nui Venison. Maui Nui Venison is the most nutrient dense and delicious red meat available. I've spoken before on this podcast and there's general consensus that most people should strive to consume approximately 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. 

Now when one strives to do that, it's important to maximize the quality of that protein intake to the calorie ratio because you don't want to consume an excess of calories when trying to get that 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Maui Nui Venison has an extremely high quality protein to calorie ratio. So it makes getting that 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight extremely easy. It's also delicious. 

Personally, I like the ground venison. I also like the venison steaks. And then for convenience when I'm on the road, I like the jerky. The jerky has a very high protein to calorie ratio. So it has as much as 10 grams of protein per jerky stick, and it has something like only 55 calories, so, again, making it very easy to get enough protein without consuming excess calories. If you would like to try Maui Nui Venison, you can go to mauinuivenison.com/huberman to get 20% off your first order. Again, that's mauinuivenison.com/huberman to get 20% off. 

Today's episode is also brought to us by AeroPress. AeroPress is similar to a French press for making coffee, but it is, in fact, a much better way to make coffee. I first learned about AeroPress well over 10 years ago. And I've been using one ever since. AeroPress was developed by Alan Adler, who was an engineer at Stanford. 

And I knew of Alan because he had also built the so-called Aerobie Frisbee, which I believe at one time, perhaps still now, held the Guinness Book of World Records for furthest thrown object. And I used to see Alan, believe it or not, at parks around Palo Alto testing out different Aerobie Frisbees. So he was sort of famous in our community for developing these different feats of engineering that turned into commercial products. 

Now I love coffee. I'm somebody that drinks coffee nearly every day, usually about 90 to 120 minutes after I wake up in the morning, although not always. Sometimes if I'm going to exercise, I'll drink coffee first thing in the morning. But I love, love, love coffee. And what I've personally found is that by using the AeroPress, I can make the best possible tasting cup of coffee. 

I don't know what exactly it is in the AeroPress that allows the same beans to be prepared into a cup of coffee that tastes that much better as compared to any other form of brewing that coffee, even the traditional French press. The AeroPress is extremely easy to use. And it's extremely compact. 

In fact, I take it with me whenever I travel. And I use it on the road, in hotels, even on planes. I'll just ask for some hot water, and I'll brew my coffee or tea right there on the plane. If you'd like to try AeroPress, you can go to aeropress.com/huberman. 

That's A-E-R-O-P-R-E-S-S dotcom slash Huberman to get 20% off any aeropress coffeemaker. AeroPress ships anywhere in the USA, Canada, and over 60 other countries around the world. Again, that's aeropress.com/huberman to get 20% off. 

Today's episode is also brought to us by Eight Sleep. Eight Sleep makes smart mattress covers with cooling, heating, and sleep tracking capacity. I've spoken many times before on this podcast about the fact that sleep is the foundation of mental health, physical health, and performance. 

Now a key component of getting a great night's sleep is that in order to fall and stay deeply asleep, your body temperature actually has to drop by about 1 to 3 degrees. And in order to wake up feeling refreshed and energized, your body temperature actually has to increase by about 1 to 3 degrees. One of the best ways to make sure that those temperature changes occur at the appropriate times, at the beginning and throughout and at the end of your night when you wake up, is to control the temperature of your sleeping environment. 

And that's what Eight Sleep allows you to do. It allows you to program the temperature of your mattress and sleeping environment such that you fall and stay deeply asleep easily and wake up each morning feeling incredibly refreshed and energized. I've been sleeping on an Eight Sleep mattress cover for almost three years now. And it has dramatically improved the quality of my sleep. 

If you'd like to try Eight Sleep, you can go to eightsleep.com/huberman to get $150 off their Pod 3 mattress cover. Eight Sleep currently ships in the USA, Canada, UK, select countries in the EU, and Australia. Again, that's eightsleep.com/huberman. 

And now for my discussion with David Goggins. David Goggins, welcome. 

DAVID GOGGINS: My man. Good to see you again, man. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Great to see you. It was late 2016, early 2017, I believe, when you were in my lab at Stanford. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Yes sir. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: We did a little work later that day down in San Jose. And, gosh, see you everywhere, but it's not enough. So great to have you here. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Thanks for having me on, brother. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Yeah. You embody discipline and doing hard things. I think we should just start right off with-- 

DAVID GOGGINS: Yeah. Let's just go there. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: --the bold truth. But right before we went hot mics, we were talking about learning. Right now, you're spending some time learning and doing things that I think most people probably don't typically associate David Goggins with. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Right. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Why don't you tell us about that? 

DAVID GOGGINS: Well, most people just look at me as the guy that runs and yells as he's running. While I do that to motivate people, but people don't understand that my day is broken up into segments. I work out. I eat. I sleep, but I spend most of my time studying. 

So like I'm in the medical world. I'm a paramedic in Canada. But I spend a lot of my time trying to nuke every single thing about it because I'm not trying to just be a paramedic, learn about veins, and arteries, and how the heart pumps, and stuff like that. I'm trying to learn to the point where I can save someone's life. 

And even though paramedics are doing that all over the world, I'm trying to be that paramedic that can really dissect exactly what's going on and figure out what medication goes where, just trying to learn the algorithm of what's going on, man. So I spent a lot of time with it. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: I love the word algorithm because when I teach biology or try and learn anything that's related to biology and especially the human body, I need to know the nouns. But it's the verbs that matter. And that's really what you're talking about. Just saying that sits there, that brain part there, doesn't tell you how it all works together. 

So what does your process for studying look like? If we dropped a camera in the room, brought a microphone into your inner dialogue-- gosh, wouldn't we all love that. But if we dropped a microphone into your inner dialogue, are you waking up looking at the books and going, yeah, fresh day, let's learn or is some of the same resistance that you've talked about coming up around physical work, is that coming up from time to time? 

DAVID GOGGINS: You know what, I was nervous at first. I'm going to keep it real. I'm going to keep it real. So I'm not a real smart guy. And what I mean by that is I was born with ADD, ADHD. Like my brain cannot retain information. I'm not some genetic freak when it comes to running, when it comes to lifting weights. I am absolutely the bottom of the barrel. 

And people will never believe me. And they can just whatever. Believe what you want to believe. So when you ask me this question about what does studying look like for me, I have to go over the same page over, and over, and over, and over again, while Jennifer can look at that page while she's quizzing me, she'll learn it right then as she's-- she didn't know anything about it. She will quiz herself or quiz me and learn it as she's quizzing me. It's the most frustrating thing in the world how my brain works. 

So what I do is I literally sit there with a pen and paper. And I have my books. And I go through and have to write everything down every single day. I will study the same page until it's photographic memory from writing the same thing down. And then from there, I'll go back through and relearn it again. So I'll learn the bulk of it. 

But then I'll go through and learn the small things within that. So if it's a medication, I'll learn what the medication does. First, I'll learn how to even say the medication because these medications aren't like albuterol. No, it's very big words. So I'll go through, learn how to say the name. 

Then I'll go through learn what the dose is. Then I'll go through-- and this is like every single day. So it's not like, oh, I got it. Let's just go through-- no, nothing is I got it. Every single thing-- so I can't wait to get in this conversation because everything I do in life, it sucks. 

Everything I do in life, it sucks. That's why when I was 300 pounds and 24 years old, it wasn't like I had some big epiphany of let's just go be a Navy SEAL, and let's lose some weight. No, I knew my entire life was going to be a struggle, which is why I just ignored it. 

And I said, I'm not even trying to jump off any of this shit and learn how to read, how to write, how to memorize, how to become something I am not. But through that process, something happened to me. And I realized-- this is why I feel sorry for no one. In this podcast, they're going to really not like me because people are going to think that I am maybe lying or maybe fibbing or exaggerating. No, I am literally-- I was the lowest form on Earth, no talent, no ability to learn. And I literally know what it is to be rock bottom and to build that up. 

So that question about learning is the pain in my ass. And I don't have to do it. Just think about it. I'm 49 years old, and I'm a multi-millionaire. I don't have to do anything. So all I thought about when I was growing up is, man, I can't wait to one day get to the point where I no longer have to do this stuff. 

But what happened as I got older, it became a way of living. So how I do every day is how I do every day. It's a discipline. It's a regimen. It was a choice I made. 

And the choice I made was what are you willing to sacrifice, and what are you willing to give up to find every bit of who you are as a human being? And I was willing to give up everything to do that. So studying is no joke. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: I love that you're studying. I recall a few years ago, I heard some interview or podcast with you. And you just threw out like I don't know what I'll do next. Maybe I'll be a scientist. 

And I went yeah. Because I knew-- because I know you a bit. And I see your work out there, but we had met before, that if you decided that you were going to do it-- and learning medicine, which is what you're doing, learning human physiology is so detailed. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Very. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: And people out there have to understand when you look at a textbook and you see the veins and the capillaries different colors, when the body is open, they're not different colors. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Right, right, right. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: So I mean, some things have different color contrasts, but it's not like it's all labeled when you pop it open. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Exactly. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: And so the process of writing things down by hand is important for you. So you go back and read those notes. Do you think about that stuff on your runs too or are you segmenting your day like when you're done studying, are you heading out for a run and thinking about other things? Or are you still rehearsing the material in your head? 

DAVID GOGGINS: So when I write it down, I write it down, and I'm able to-- I'm actually looking down at this table right now because I'm back to writing. So I'm actually there right now as I'm speaking to you. I write it down in a way that I'm memorizing page 69. So I'm writing it down. So then writing it down and that page sync together in my brain. 

So I'm looking at the book in my brain right now. That's just how it works for me. And I have to do it over and over again. So that page is stuck in my mind. So I'm literally flipping through pages as I'm taking these tests. And I'm taking these national tests to become a paramedic or become an advanced EMT or whatever. I'm literally as I'm taking that test I'm going through. And I'm like-- now I'm flipping pages in my head where that page was. 

And how I do that is just from how I write it and how it's on the page. When I run, I can't recall any of it. I cannot bring any of that because I'm running. How my mind is wired now is that everything I do is what I do. Because the focus it takes for me to-- right now, I'm running. 

I'm not like a great runner. I'm not like injury free. So like my first 20 minutes of the run I'm limping. I'm literally limping because I've had several knee surgeries. And my body was twisted. And so now it's untwisting. 

So people look at me, oh, looks, like he's limping when he runs. I am limping when I run. My body is jacked up so I'm focusing on how to get the best out of a broken body. So everything I do is a total focus on what I'm doing at that point in my life. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: So it seems like you've really trained away or somehow gotten away from the ADD that you mentioned because what you described is like a deep trench. It's like a V shaped trench. I'm imagining like there's a ball bearing, and it's like, phewp, and it can only go forward in that trench or back. And it goes forward. It's not like sliding around at the concave at the bottom, zip-zip-zip, like a tension. 

So it's like you trained that up. Is there a similar feeling when you're in the full focus of running versus full focus of studying? Does it kind of feel like, oh yeah, that's the same groove but different thing or is it just completely different world? 

DAVID GOGGINS: It's a completely different world. Both of them for me is suffering, but it's suffering a whole different way. Like when I was going through school, I never forget-- I think I was in third grade. And back then, ADD, ADHD, wasn't like here's this medicine or here's this thing. They want to put you in a special school. So for me, I was so far behind in learning that their big thing was let's just put him in a special school because he'll never learn. 

And through that process of like I don't want to be in a special school, I don't want to be treated any differently, it really-- like I never took medication. I've never taken medication for this. That's why right now you see me looking right in your eyes. What the hell is Huberman saying right now. 

And that's why I don't feel bad for people who have ADHD, who have learning disabilities. And some are impossible because you just can't. But a lot of them you can. But people don't want to go through the process of focus, of teaching yourself how to truly focus. This is where my message gets lost. It gets lost because I may say MF or F because that's the passion that comes out of me. It takes everything for me to learn a sentence. 

So when I speak about David Goggins, I can't speak about David Goggins in a way that's just calm and cool. Because when I wake up, I know the journey that it takes for me to find my greatness. And it's hard. Nothing is easy. Nothing just like, oh, I wake up, and I just do this or I do that or it just-- no, I watch people every day go through life, and it's so easy. 

For me to be where I'm at today, it takes every bit of me. So when I speak about it, and as I get going here, you'll start seeing me-- the tempo will rise. The passion will come out because I'm back there. I'm doing what I do every day to become a human being. And so nothing is easy. 

Like running is running. It sucks. But you have a choice to make. Do you want to sit down and go back to that guy you once were? No. So this is what it takes. 

It takes that misunderstanding of people. And they'll never get it because they were never David Goggins. So that is what it takes for me to do what I do. It may take you something differently. 

So for me, everything has to be in the study. Everything has to be into this. Everything has to be in-- everywhere I am it has to be there, me, focused where I am. That's why you're my second podcast I've done since Rogan, since the book came out. I don't have time for that shit because if I want to be great, I'm not trying to maximize money or maximize people knowing me. I do these things because maybe someone out there will understand me and get it and say, I can grow from this guy, and others just won't. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Sounds like friction is something you're very familiar with. It's a word just I feel like is like cast above us right now in bold face, highlighted, underlined letters. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Friction is growth. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Friction, like you're up in the morning. And I imagine David Goggins going to the coffee maker, stretching out, good morning, sunshine. And you're telling me from eyelids open there's friction. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Yes, and that is the thing that people don't-- they don't fucking get. The biggest misunderstanding about David Goggins of all time-- it's like whether you believe in God or not-- I do-- he put this lab rat, which is me, on this planet and said let me fucking see what a beat up, abused kid who can barely learn, barely learn, who has a twisted body, messed up genetics, sickle cell, this and that, let me give him everything that pretty much disqualifies you from the military. 

But back then, it wasn't as-- and let's put him in this and see what comes out of it. So to do that, friction-- you don't wake up in the morning time and go to the coffee maker. Matter of fact, sometimes you don't even sleep. What it requires is when I'm at-- 2 o'clock-- it's 2 o'clock in the morning. And my brain is thinking about a fucking drug. And I got to get up and look in my book to see what that drug is, how I remember it. 

And this is every day of my fucking life. That's why when I train a fighter or I train someone, I'm like, you have no fucking idea how great you really are because you are using such minimal, minimal of what you have. And if people can learn to focus, this is what's possible. While it may not be pretty-- like people want to do a documentary on me. I go no. 

I don't want to do a documentary on me because I will have normal everyday people picking me apart. Oh, his life is miserable. Who wants to live like that? It's crazy how he-- it's almost like he's sick. He's psychotic. 

The most frustrating thing in the world for me is when normal people judge a man like myself on what it really takes to extract greatness from nothing. It takes every bit of who you are if you choose that route. If you don't, Merry Christmas, do what you got to do. 

But, yeah, all these things for me-- like I told you, man, I'm going to keep it real. I'm not coming here to talk about perform without purpose because I go through-- when I write these books, I go through, I try to dumb down David Goggins. How can I give normal people-- and I'm normal. But I found something that most don't want to find. How can I speak to people and give them something from this crazy psychotic brain that I've developed? How can I give them that? 

So I sit down with Jennifer for years and write down perform without purpose, callus your mind, armor your mind, the cookie jar, the accountability mirror, shit that people can fucking use in their lives. No, no, I'm glad it helps you. But the barbaric life that I live that you have to live, the almost obsession that you must have to be great, you can't put that shit in a fucking book, bro. You can't put in a book. You can't. You can't write about it. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: It has to be experienced. 

DAVID GOGGINS: It has to be experienced. And you can't even-- after you experience it, to write it in the book, it would seem like he needs to be locked up. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Too gory. 

DAVID GOGGINS: It's too gory. Doesn't make sense for a guy that everything, every second of the day he is trying to extract more from something. He's constantly thinking. He's constantly, constantly disciplined, never going off the path. Whatever is injured on him, he figures away. It's a conquerors mindset. 

And very few people, if any, can really understand what that is. Like I'm almost 50. And I've been this way for almost 30 years. Like what do you do for fun? These questions, I don't get them. I don't understand them. I don't-- so yeah. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: I get asked that sometimes, what do you do for fun. I start listing off all this stuff like podcasting, reading, working out. So some of that resonates. But I think what's so truly unusual about what you're describing, your process is that from go it's hard. And I have to ask was being 300 pounds, having essentially-- I'm using the words you've described. 

DAVID GOGGINS: No, do it. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: You've said it before. You had a tendency at one point in your life early on tell lies, try and get people's approval. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Lied my ass off. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Crazy haircuts, attention seeking, and yet all of that triggered something that now is extraordinary. Do you think those hardships were necessary to flip the switch? 

DAVID GOGGINS: I don't know if they were necessary, but it was something that made me feel-- I didn't feel good. It was easy. The brain that I was given as a child, it was easy to go home and think about, how do I want to be a freak today? How do I want to show up to school today and be a freak? It didn't require me going home and opening a book up saying, it's going to take me all year to learn this fucking page. 

So instead of learning that page, I learned how to become a character. And maybe that character that I created, that 300 pound, insecure guy that used to fake it till I make it type of guy, let me become your friend, let me lie to you until you like me type of guy-- when you have any manhood, womanhood, a human being, a soul, a spirit, any-- I must have just this much pride because that's exactly what opened the door for me. Because every day, you were a character. 

Every day, you were a clown. Every day, you opened that Spanish book or that science book or English book, and you looked at it. It looked like a foreign language. And you're saying, where do I start? Where do I start? And, obviously, it was necessary. The more I talk about it, it was necessary because what happened is I became haunted by the mere fact that this is my existence. 

And you got to live with that. And I lived with it for a lot of years. And so I sat back and said, OK, all right, I know what this takes. And when you sit back, as fucked up as I was-- and I had a laundry list, a table like this of what I have to do to become just a human being that can make ends meet, that can make $1,000 a month. 

Just to get there was like, oh my god, dude, like how-- I'm 16, 17, I can't read. I can't write. Oh my god, I'm so behind the power curve. And my brain is about being depressed. And my dad beat-- my mom's not home. And kids are calling me nigger at school. 

And I'm like, oh my god, man, what the fuck do I do? And it wasn't like someone came around and said, hey, man, you can do this. This is all me. 

Some people want to know where does this cold man come from. I'm not trying to be cold. It's the reality of my life. It's the reality of a lot of people's lives. And so, yeah, that had to happen for me to be haunted, to be haunted, to pull out, to extract the guy that I am today. That haunting is something that's still there today because no matter how much you improve, no matter how much you change who you are, it's not permanent. 

You don't just wake up and say, oh my god, man, you're David Goggins. You break records. You do this. You do that. People want to know, how are you able to just be so hard? Because I never turn the fucking thing off. 

Because once it turns off, I go right back to the David Goggins that is. And that's the guy that I'm constantly fighting every day. And it's a choice. And that choice makes you misunderstood. It makes you crazy. That's why I hate fucking social media. 

In 2013, people wanted me to write my book. I did it in 2018. Took five years. And the reason why I didn't do it-- I sat at the table, and Jennifer was there. This was before she started working for me, I started dating her or whatever. And all these people were there. And they're like, man, you got to go on social media. 

And I was like, fuck you, man. It's poison. It's poison because I knew what I did to get where I am. And I'm going to have these people, these normal, everyday people, fat, lazy, exactly who I was judging me. Because I know it because I was once them. 

All my hard work, all my dedication, I'm going to have some normal dude get his little brownie, his little Ding Dong, Ho Ho, Twinkie, sit there with his coffee picking me apart. Oh, he must be unhappy. Do you know how hard it is to put these shoes on every damn morning? And I'm gonna have you pick me apart? 

So, yeah, there's so much that goes into this that I was like fuck this. I never wanted anything to do with it. So anyway. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: I'm not a psychologist. But knowing your story from what you've written, what you've said on social media, and elsewhere, podcasts and here now especially, it's amazing to me, and, frankly, it pulls at my heartstrings a little bit I realize that's not what you're trying to do but that in the course of your childhood and in your young adulthood that no one ever got between you and the world. 

I forget where I heard it that if a kid has just one person that believes in them-- and I had my trials and tribulations. But I had great coaches, great mentors. I attached to them. I found them if they didn't necessarily find me. But I'm realizing that your situation was no one's ever said, hey, I'm going to stand here next to you or get in front of you, put a shield up. 

And so it's almost like you've got these different-- it's all you, but there's versions of yourself-- that like you knew social media-- like I don't know that I have the wherewithal in 2013 '14, '15, '16, '17 to get in front of myself while doing all this because I've already got so much going on in here. Is that about right? 

DAVID GOGGINS: That is right. But I had developed a lot of anger. And I still have it. And it will never go away for the normal human beings of this world because when you put yourself in the sewer like I was in-- and please, if someone saved me, come out and announce it to the world. There was no one. There's no one. 

So when you know that-- and then I'm sitting at the table with all these smart people who are telling me what to do and shit and guiding me through my life now when I'm 40 fucking years old. It's 2000-- I don't know 40-something years old. Now I'm 49. And I'm looking at them all. And they're now trying to guide me on what's right on this poison. 

And so, yeah, what you say is right. But for me, it was more of I know now. I don't need you to guide my future. I know what's good for me and what's bad for me. And for me, it took every bit of focus I could. 

And I know social media-- that's why people love to go on there because they want to show you the good side of life. I'm not teaching good side of life. So I had to figure out a way when I came on 2016 of teaching you what life really is for the majority of us is hell. 

And so while people love to show you the cars, and the house, and the vacations and shit, all that's good. All that's happy. I'm going to show you the side that I know most of you are going through. And people hide very well. I don't want to hide anymore. I hid it for 24 fucking years. 

So that's why now when I told you we can talk about whatever you want because as human beings, the first thing we have to learn-- I also stuttered real bad growing up. So if you hear me stutter every now and then, it's because that was part of my life also. So it's funny. Human beings want to show you the best side. And they want to hide the worst side. 

For me, I'm going to teach you how to be vulnerable because that's the only way you fix yourself. You don't fix yourself by coming out here and me selling you some fucking books. That's why I don't have them. I forgot them. I'm glad people got something from the book. I want you to learn that the only way you grow is how to look at yourself and say, OK, like I did, table longer than this, what the fuck I have to do to get somewhere? 

There was nothing good on there, nothing. Yeah, I loved playing basketball. I left that out. That's something I love to do. I don't care about that. That didn't make the fucking list because the list that I had to live by was the very list that was going to get me at this table with you to talk to you to the normal human beings, which I once was, about how you can get somewhere and how it looks. It looks very ugly. 

There's no fucking passion. There's no fucking motivation. There's no, oh my god, man, I fucking-- no, it's every day of your life just doing, no passion, no discipline, no motivation, all these words. I hate that so many people fucking use these words now because it's watered. 

Someone sitting in the room by themselves and they figure themselves out and say, god, this is going to fucking suck. Where's passion when you're 300 pounds? Where's the motivation when you can't read and write? Where is it? So how did this happen? I just fucking did. I just did. 

I said maybe at the end of this journey, there will be something there for me. If not, I can read. If not, I'm 185 fucking pounds. 

There was no magic potion. There was no, oh, let me wake up and look at some shit. No. All those words are overused. They're bullshit. It's all bullshit. 

Just do. You're living. How do you want to live? How do you want to die? How do you want to fucking be remembered? That's it. That's it. Period. 

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The word haunted is ringing in my head. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Yep. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: I think it's such a powerful word. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Yep. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Because I was about to m it seems like a huge part of your process, maybe the entire process, is it's all stick no carrot, you talk about the carrot, the positive thing. And then there's the stick, the thing you're trying to avoid. I feel like it's-- the way it's landing for me is it's all stick and gas pedal. 

DAVID GOGGINS: That's it. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: There's no carrot. You're not imagining, oh, when I'm a paramedic, when the book is published. And, obviously, you set those goals, and you make those targets. But it's all stick. 

DAVID GOGGINS: All stick. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: No carrot. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Think about that. I'm waking up right now studying. Like I have a test tomorrow. I already passed the fucking test. Think about that. Every day in my life, that's what I must do just to retain what I learned. 

Four hours plus a day, I go through and do that. There's no stick. Or there's only a stick. There's never been a carrot, which is why when I speak to people, I have to figure out a way to resonate with them. Because all I want to say to them is let me teach you the real life, how it really is. The reason why you're a loser and the reason why you're not fucking making it and the reason why you're trying to go to all these-- I go to all these fucking conventions, speak all the fucking time. 

I look in the fucking audience. And these people sign up, sign up, sign up fucking every year go to a convention, thinking they're going to learn something fucking different. No, you're lazy. You know exactly what to do, exactly what to do. Because even me in my state of I can't read and write, I knew exactly what to do. It just sucks doing it. 

It sucks to do it. It sucks to wake up every morning of your life and say, god, man, I'm not smart. So guess what I got to do. I got to study the same shit that I got one of the highest scores in the nation on and do it again, and do it again, and do it again. It's not just there. It's not just there permanently for me. 

So, yeah, it's all stick. It's all stick. The only carrot you have is like maybe, maybe. 

Because whenever I take these tests that are real hard, the back of my brain is like a good chance you're not going to make it, Goggins. This ain't you, bro. This ain't you. You weren't born like this. This ain't you. The real you, bro-- study all you want to. 

But the second that fucking computer comes on with 150 questions, this ain't you, man. And somehow, comes back. I passed. I passed again, passed again. But that real me back here every fucking time is saying that ain't you, bro. That ain't you. And I have to outwork that voice. 

When I'm taking that test and I get to a question I don't fucking know the answer, I'm like fuck, man. And then say, see I told you, man. That ain't you. You're 300 pounds, man. You sit at home. You figure out how to do your hair. That's what you do, how to come to school with the reverse baldness when you're 16. That's you. 

So there is no get out of jail free card. This is why I say stay hard. Because when you weren't given the gifts, the only thing you can do in life is stay hard. And I know people cannot stand me. They can't stand this talk. This is all you can do. 

There's no magic pill or a magic potion. All you can do is outwork the man that God created or woman in you. And what that looks like is unfun. That's why I said, do not do a documentary on me because people will not see the truth. They will see what they want to see is I don't want to live like that. Good, good. And you will live exactly the way you live now, questioning who you are, wondering what is possible, wondering what you are capable of doing. 

That's how that looks or you can be me, which am I happy? I don't know. Never really thought about it. Don't really care about it because all I really cared about was when I looked in that fucking mirror, I saw a piece of shit. 

Happiness wasn't on the mirror at 16 or when I was 300 pounds. It wasn't like, I'm looking for happiness. No, I'm looking at myself in the mirror and say, all right, motherfucker, you did it again today. You're a bad boy because that shit sucks. 

I have about a couple of minutes of that that I got the carrot. The second I lay down and go to bed, the carrots gone because I'm waking up all through the night to check the work I did that day. Did I get this drug right? Did I get this right? 

Did I get that right? What did I do? Oh my god, fuck, I'm already losing it. Stick. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: That stick's haunting you. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Haunting me. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: It's following you around. So no picture of Jordan on the wall. You're not listening to YouTube inspiration video. 

DAVID GOGGINS: No. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Those would be all your voice anyway. 

[LAUGHTER] 

You're not listening to your top 10 favorite songs just to get rolling and then lace the shoes, hit the books. It's all in here. 

DAVID GOGGINS: All in there. I used to do that when I was fat. Rocky, I mean, that was my thing. Round 14 was my thing. And as I got older and older and older, that started to go away. 

And I started to create-- I had all these people that I used to watch. Rocky was one, Barnes, Elias from "Platoon," Jack from "A Few Good Men" when he's on the stand going crazy. I saw a lot of these characters that I looked at and I was like, man, I ain't got none of that. But they were characters. 

After a while, I lived a life so disciplined that every body that I once looked to, these fake characters, I built that as a man. And when I was younger, I had this image in my mind of what does a man look like to me? And I got all these people who are badasses, characters. 

And in my mind, I became that. And that's what kept me going a lot was I had this pipe dream of becoming a little bit of this and a little bit of that because when you have no parents raising you and you have no role models growing up, it's not daydreaming. You start to create a reality like, mm, maybe I can be that. 

And after becoming this guy, that is the biggest thing I can ever do in my life is I became that guy. That I once looked at all these, guys and now I look at myself like, god, who the fuck can do that? I can. But what it takes is a discipline that no one can ever even-- they don't understand it. They don't understand it. But everybody has the ability to do it, but they just don't want to. They want to keep asking questions and keep going to seminars. 

And the greatness is right in you. And that's why once again-- I say this a million times here, I do not feel sorry for you. I will not sugarcoat what I'm going to say to you because all of you know what I'm saying is the truth. Everybody knows it's the truth. This is what it looks like. And you know it too. You know it too. 

If you ain't got nothing, I hate to tell you what it looks like. It's ugly. It's not a documentary. It's not an HBO special. You ain't going to watch me like, hey, man, you guys gotta watch this. No, it's like, oh, god, this looks like a train wreck. It's like a nightmare. 

This looks like this guy's got-- no, that's what it looks like. Hard work looks horrible. It's not motivating. It's not motivating at all. It ain't like Rocky round 14 where he gets knocked down and goes like this to Apollo Creed. Looks like a man being stuck in a fucking dungeon. And there's no fucking way out. 

But you have the fucking key. But you refuse to use it. And that's nothing motivating about that. So, yes, no documentary on David Goggins. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: The real life-- 

DAVID GOGGINS: The real life. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: --David Goggins is the documentary. It's already being written. You're it. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Right. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Yeah, I'm going to share a little neuroscience tidbit. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Love it. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: But I think it's one that you'll appreciate. Most people don't know this, but there's a brain structure called the anterior mid-cingulate cortex. As we pointed out before, that's a noun. It's a name. It doesn't mean anything. We could call it the Cookie Monster. 

But what's interesting about this brain area is there are now a lot of data in humans, not some mouse study, showing that when people do something they don't want to do like add three hours of exercise per day or per week or when people who are trying to diet and lose weight resist eating something, when people do anything that they, and this is the important part, that they don't want to do, it's not about adding more work. It's about adding more work that you don't want to do. This brain area gets bigger. 

Now here's what's especially interesting about this brain area to me. And by the way, I'm only learning this recently because it's new data. But there's a lot of it. 

The anterior mid-cingulate cortex is smaller in obese people. It gets bigger when they diet. It's larger in athletes. It's especially large or grows larger in people that see themselves as challenged and overcome some challenge. And in people that live a very long time, this area keeps its size. In many ways, scientists are starting to think of the anterior mid-cingulate cortex not just as one of the seats of willpower but perhaps actually the seat of the will to live. 

DAVID GOGGINS: See, now we're talking. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: And when I learned about the anterior mid-cingulate cortex, I was like almost out of my seat. And I've been in the neuroscience game since I was 20. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Now we're talking. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: We're the same age. And I was so pumped because I've heard of the amygdala, fear, prefrontal cortex. It's planning an action. I could tell you every brain area and every-- I teach neuroanatomy to medical students. But when I started seeing the data on the anterior mid-cingulate cortex, I was like, whoa, this is interesting. 

And all the data point to the fact that we can build this area up. But that as quickly as we build it up, if we don't continue to invest in things that are hard for us, that we don't want to do-- that's the part that feels so Goggin-esque to me, that we don't want to do. Like if you love the ice bath-- yeah, I love the ice bath-- and you go from 1 minute to 10 minutes, guess what, your anterior mid-cingulate cortex did not grow. 

DAVID GOGGINS: None. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: But if you hate the cold water, if you're afraid of drowning and you get into water and put your head under and survive, then the anterior mid-cingulate cortex gets bigger. But if you don't do it the next day or if you do it the next day and you enjoy it because, hey, hey, I did it yesterday, woo-hoo, happy me, Merry Christmas as you would say-- 

DAVID GOGGINS: Right. Merry Christmas. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: --guess what, the anterior mid-cingulate cortex shrinks again. To me, this is one of the most important discoveries that neuroscience has ever made because it's that I don't want to do something but do it anyway that grows this area. And it's almost like-- I have a friend. He's been sober 30 years from alcohol. 

And he always says, the amazing thing about addiction is there's a cure. The problem is it only works one day at a time. And so you have to renew it every day. 

DAVID GOGGINS: That's right. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: So the anterior mid-cingulate cortex to me-- when I learned about it, two things went off in my head. Whoa, this is super interesting. And, two, I got to tell David Goggins about this. And I waited until now-- 

DAVID GOGGINS: I'm glad. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: --to tell you because I felt like, well, for obvious reasons I wanted to tell you and I wanted to tell you here. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Well, I love that because that's how I've lived my entire life. I don't know anything about that. But people go, man, you have such a strong will. It's something that you build. Like I never forget I was on a podcast one time. And this dude goes you were blessed with a strong mind. Like the hell are you talking about I was blessed with a strong mind? 

That's something that you have to develop. You develop that over years, decades of suffering and going back into the suffer. That's why a lot of people who graduate Navy SEAL training, they want to know-- I talk about it very openly all the time. A lot of guys don't want to go back into that water, don't want to go back into the hard stuff. And maybe not-- anything hard, anything hard in life, once you get through it, it's like you become a POW. 

Like how many POWs you know want to go back to POW camp? None. When something sucks so bad in life-- this is on this that we're talking about now-- very few people want to go back. They're happy they graduated. 

I realized I'm the same way. I don't want to go back. I have to go back. I must go back because that is exactly where all the knowledge of my life exists was back there in what you're exactly what you're talking about. 

Well, I didn't know anything about this. But how I grew a will was constantly doing these things to now it's just life. I wake up. While it still sucks, it's just life. You don't sit back and like, oh my god. Like I have days I don't want to do. But I know I'm going to do it. I know from years of just doing it. So that's beautiful. 

And this is why I came on here with you today. And I'm glad that you're talking about this because human beings need to hear this. They need to stop hearing these hacks on this and that. There's no fucking hack, bro. There's no fucking hack. Yeah, you may this and that and saunas and all this shit that they-- yeah, it's great. 

There is no fucking life hack. To grow that thing-- how do you grow it? Do it, and do it, and do it, and do it. That's the hack. The hack is going to fucking suck. And that's what I realized. That's what I realized. 

That's why I wanted to come on here today. I didn't want to come on here and talk about no fucking passion and purpose and how to get the fuck out of bed and how to hit a fucking alarm clock, all this catchphrase bullshit because that wasn't how I lived, wasn't how I lived. I lived, I woke up like every human being does and goes fuck, man. I'm a fucking piece of shit today. How the hell is this going to work out for me? 

And you fight that. And you fight that. You don't override it. There's no override button. It's the conversation in your head. So how do you do that? 

We don't have enough of these conversations about the real conversation that every human being is having. And they have no idea how to get out of it. But they do is that shit right there, man. You got to build your will. How you build your will? Exactly what you said, man. Exactly what you said. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Well, I feel like knowing the name of something, anterior mid-cingulate cortex, doesn't fundamentally change us. But one thing I like about biology is that willpower, if somebody feels they don't have it, feels like this thing that other people have. But everybody, unless they're brain-damaged, like a hole through their head, has two anterior mid-cingulate cortex, one on each side of their brain. Everyone has one. They have two. So I feel like it's just a question of opening the portal. And the portal-- again, I'm going to say 10 times, and forgive me-- is I think people go, oh, I do hard things. I do sets to failure. 

And then I do forced reps. I love training with weights. I love doing sets to failure. I even like forced reps. But guess what? I like forced reps. So I'll tell you, they don't build my anterior mid-cingulate cortex because I like to do it. Anything you like to do is not going to enhance this aspect of willpower. And it seems so obvious once you hear it. You kind of go, oh yeah, of course. 

But I think you really close that loop for people when you share what you're sharing today and what you've shared elsewhere before as well. When you're trying to explain the friction is the critical ingredient. And I think people think, oh, if it's effort, well, then I'm getting better. That's part of it, necessary, but not sufficient, as we say in science. But the suck part, the haunt, being haunted, the stick, they're really unpleasant terms. These are probably the most unpleasant terms we've ever used on this podcast. 

Those are the-- those are the levers. Those are the gears. And without those, this thing that you're talking about, David Goggins, as a verb-- I sometimes make the joke, but it's not a joke. Goggins is a name, and it's a verb. People go, I'm on to Goggins that. But that's, I think-- again, I'm not a psychologist. But I think that's what you're talking about, the stick, the friction, being haunted. It's the suck part that grows this anterior mid-cingulate cortex. 

DAVID GOGGINS: So now you know why there's so many people that fail in this world to figure out their purpose, their purpose in life. Where do I go? Because to grow that, now, you may not look like me, how my daily life looks. It don't look fun. Don't look fun. So it's a choice that people have to make in life. 

But what's so funny about it is even the richest of rich, who have everything, they always ask me this question. I feel like I'm missing something. I don't feel like I'm missing shit. I don't have what you all have. But you will never in my life hear me tell you I'm missing something. And everybody is. They're missing this feeling. I found it a long time ago. And I found it right there in that willpower thing. 

When you're nothing, nothing, and change yourself into something, like me, you call it happiness, peace, whatever the fuck you want to call it, people are missing exactly what went on with David Goggins. Why don't you smile? I do. I do. But I figured something out. That's why I am never-- you never hear me say, I'm missing something. I found it years ago. 

You find it in the suck. You find it in the suck. And you find it repeatedly in the suck to the point where you know exactly who you are. Most people are missing something because they don't know who they are. They never examined themselves. They've never done this experiment on themselves. The lab rat. We're all lab rats. But you're also the scientist. 

You create your own self. Most people are missing something because there's so much trapped in there. I don't even want to say potential. I think that's a word-- it's used out too much too. There's so much in you that God or whoever the hell you believe in or if you're an atheist in you that you have not unlocked, that you walk around with this gorgeous wife or great husband and all this money. You're like, god, I feel like I'm missing something. 

Yeah, because it's about 75% of you is still fucking in there, still chained up because you just didn't want to find your willpower, didn't want to find your soul, your will, your heart, your determination, your guts, your courage. And what that looks like, it looks scary, like you're little scary lab that went in. Scary to wake up every day and say, I'm stupid, but I'm going to figure out a way to be smarter versus saying, man, I just can't do that. So you limit this box. 

So your box becomes so small of things you can do. My box wasn't even a box. It was a fucking little pinhole. And then through examining myself, getting some willpower, some courage, it became bigger than this table. But that's what we all do. That's why I wanted to come here today and talk to you about real shit, not no fucking hacks. There's no hacks, bro. It's you against you. You against you. 

And if you misunderstand that, you have a real problem, real problem. I can understand you misunderstand me, running down the street, shirt off, fuck this, no. Yeah. I can get it. I get it. If you misunderstand what I'm saying right now today, the problem is you. And you don't want to fix it. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Well, the children of wealthy people are a case study in how not having enough friction can destroy a life. 

DAVID GOGGINS: True statement. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: I mean, I could list off prominent names in the press. But those are actually the least interesting. What's probably more interesting, as an example, is all the ones we don't hear about because we never hear about them. They just dwindle and wither. 

Or I think there's this big category of people, I'm realizing, as we have this conversation today that they're not super successful. They're not struggling. They're successful enough that they never have to-- you can get to the point where you don't have to impose friction. You even said it. Your bank account is in a place where you don't really need to do all the things you do, probably not even a small fraction of them. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Do nothing. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Right. But you realize the stick and being haunted is the fuel and the engine. And you'd be a-- you'd be truly crazy to give that up because you've internalized all that. But most people, they're good enough for them. And so they don't actually want to be better badly enough in order to start going rung after rung. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Well, think about when you build willpower. And think about how much I've built. Now that you know about this-- I didn't know about this. But think about how much I've built. Everything I've ever done in my life, I didn't want to do. Everything every day. I'm a lazy piece of shit. And I'm one of the hardest working people to ever step foot on this planet Earth. And I'm saying that very proudly because I know what I do. It's not cocky. I'll tell you I'm stupid. 

And I'll also tell you the exact opposite of what I've done. It's the truth. It is the truth. So imagine how much I've developed in that time frame. But this is the scary thing. Why most people don't want to do that and build that willpower is because it is scary. It unlocks a whole bunch of things about who you are and who you're not. And a lot of people don't want to go down that journey to discover who they are and who they're not because it's not a pretty journey. 

I mean, I've gone down it. It's not like I went down it once. I go down it all the time. And when you unlock that-- and you can't just turn it off. Like, people say, hey, how come you haven't retired yet? I built all this willpower. Do you think it's going to let me just retire because my knees hurt? It is telling me every morning-- I wake up, and I'm like, man, my knees hurt. My legs hurt. My body hurts. But you can still run. So why aren't you running? 

If you can still run-- there will be a time when you can't lace them up anymore. But you can still run. So I still run. When the time comes I can't run, the body will say, you just can't run. But if I can still do something, that willpower that I have created, it makes me do it every fucking day. And that's what they don't get. What builds a human being is you start with the small building blocks. And before you know it, man, you become something that it doesn't even make sense to most people because it's just who you are now. 

That's why I can still run at 50 with broke-- at 49 with broke down knees and broke down body because my body knows you still can. Therefore, I do. Second you stop, the willpower is gone. And that's beautiful. I'm so glad you brought that to me because I always wondered, what's this separation thing now? At 24 years old, I started building something that I didn't even know was going to be what it is now at 49. And that's all it was. It was just that. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: This structure, anterior mid-cingulate cortex, has inputs and outputs from a bunch of places. But you'll probably not be surprised to learn that it's strongly activated when we move our body when we don't want to move our body. I feel like it's like the David Goggins structure. 

DAVID GOGGINS: It really is. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: It is. And it also has strong connections to the dopamine reward pathway. And everyone goes, yay, dopamine. Everyone loves dopamine. I'm partially responsible for people knowing a bit more about dopamine. But dopamine's badly understood. Everyone thinks dopamine, dopamine hits. It's about reward. It's about motivation and drive. And there are pain inputs to the dopamine centers of the brain. No one talks about that. 

Everyone's like, oh, you want the chocolate, chocolate, sex, cocaine. Yeah, that's all true. It'll release dopamine. Pain releases dopamine. The anterior mid-cingulate cortex can trigger the release of dopamine in response to this thing that we're calling friction. And that's a learned thing. That's something that no animal or human being comes into the world learning. We all are averse to pain. And like pleasure, like sugar, fat. Don't like hot surfaces. 

But this is a structure that learns. It has neuroplasticity, the ability to change throughout the entire life span. And here's the part that I think, again, is just neuro nerd speak for what you already know and have done and exemplify, is that people say, oh, it has plasticity. You can change it. But guess what? It has plasticity in both directions. It can grow. But just as easily as it can grow, it's like Silly Putty, it can shrink. So it requires constant upkeep. 

And that answer isn't one that people are going to like. They're like, give me the energy drink. Give me the supplement. Give me the-- give me the sauna protocol that's going to make my anterior mid-cingulate cortex-- there's someone out there right now who's going, wait, if I took transcranial magnetic stimulation and I stimulate-- yeah, you'd probably-- actually, they've done that. 

They stuck a little wire during neurosurgery into this structure. This was actually discovered by a colleague of mine, Joe Parvizi. Stimulate. And the patients go, I feel like there's a storm coming. And they go, oh, is it scary? And they go, no, I want to go through it. They come off the stimulation, and people are like-- this is the seat of what we're talking about. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Right. Exactly. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: And it learns. So the fact that you've kept this brain structure-- I'm convinced if we imaged your brain, it'd be large, and it would be larger in two years, in a year. But this is the no days off rationale because it can grow, and it can shrink. 

DAVID GOGGINS: I know. What you're saying right now, I didn't know any of this. And I never-- and I always talk to you. But I wish I could just put this on paper. And you're saying it in a way that people can understand. I can never put it into words on what I built and the power that is within all of us. But you put it so in a scientific way. Most people, for me, he's just crazy. 

That's why I don't like talking about it, man. I know I'm not crazy. I know what I had to do to get where I had to go. People look at it as crazy because there are people that just-- if you can't imagine yourself doing something, if you can't imagine yourself doing something, the person that's doing it is crazy because in your mind, the logic behind it, it doesn't compute. Therefore, you have to give somebody a title. 

And the title for me is usually he's crazy or he's this, he's that. No. No. For some reason, me wanting to be somebody so fucking bad in my life, I created that. And I've been trying to figure out years of my life trying to explain to people. But even though you're explaining it now, this is the easy fucking part. Them listening to this shit is the easy fucking part. 

The part that why they're always be the ones of ones is because putting that practice, putting that into actual work, no, man. No. No. That's where the demons come in. That's where you're like, I don't want to be better. I don't want to be better. If this is what it takes to be better, I don't want to be better. So everybody's-- that's why there's a lot of average. 

And it makes me so fucking mad. Every day I walk this Earth, and I see average all over the fucking place. And they want to ask me, how did you do it? I can't tell you how because you're not going to fucking-- you're not going to do it. You're not going to do it you. You're just going to-- You're going to continue being like this every day you wake up. Like you said, it's like, get the coffee. Make the pancakes. Kiss the girl. Kiss the kids. 

You wake up, right to work. Immediate, your mind is in action. No one wants to do that. No one. And I don't blame them. But don't be mad when you're laying there in your fucking bed, and you're in the fucking hospital, and you're 70, 80, 90 years old. And you're thinking, man, I feel like I didn't fucking do something. Because you did. You didn't do it. You didn't do shit. 

You may have lived a great life, man, but you're always going to feel empty inside. I don't feel empty. So call me what you want. There's not one empty bone in my fucking body because I have figured out that really-- the magic potion, at least to my life. And it's very rewarding. 

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People like to talk about what they used to be able to do. I hear this a lot. You should have seen me in high school. I always laugh. Like, yeah, OK. Got it. And it's not just guys. You should have seen me working out in high school. I was super fit. People will look back to a time where they felt like they were capable of something. And now they're not. And you kind of want to just grab them and go, wait. That was you then. It's you now. And but people tend to think about how the conditions that were around success must have been part of it. 

And you can understand why. It's very rational. I was in that situation. I was successful. I'm in this situation. I'm not. That was the past. This is the present. Ergo, capable. You see how people get into these loops. And as you mentioned, you spent the first 20 years of your life in extremely challenged circumstances. And then you can see how people get to a point where everything feels hard. Like, when you're 300 pounds-- I haven't ever been 300 pounds. But I can't imagine it feels good to get up and move around. 

DAVID GOGGINS: It's defeating. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: I got a friend. He's in excess of 300 pounds. We've been trying on him for years. But no win. And he's got crazy psoriasis on the back of his calves. And he actually smells bad sometimes because he can't wash as well as he would. He's big, big. 

And it pulls all my sympathy. But life is very hard for him and getting worse. He's a young guy with a lot of medical issues now, for obvious reasons. And so I think people like that think, well, it's already hard. Why would I make it harder? Your message is a little different. And you have the life experience. 

DAVID GOGGINS: It's a lot different. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: You've been there. So for me, saying, oh yeah, lose weight-- I was a skinny guy who got to be a less skinny guy. So I don't really have a foot to stand on. What do you say to those people who are like, listen, getting up in the morning is hard. Trying to not dissolve into a puddle of my own tears and my own misery is hard. 

DAVID GOGGINS: You know why people connect with my books so well? For some reason, God put me in almost every fucked up situation on the planet Earth. So when I talk to people, it's not sugar-coated because I'm not saying it from I was a 175 pounds my whole life. I don't say much to those people. Maybe you're a piece of shit. Maybe you want to be nobody. Maybe you're happy exactly where you are in life because obviously, you are. Maybe you don't have the determination to be somebody better than who you are. 

And if you want to live with that, I'll support you in that. If you're good with being who you are, that every day you wake up, and every day, you smell like shit because you can't wash your body well, and your skin is messed up because your health's so bad, and you can't put your clothes on right, you need help with that. You need help like-- when I was 300 pounds, I needed help wiping my ass. That makes you feel good? Nothing I can say to you. If every day you wake up with this-- see, people are haunted. 

But they obviously like horror films because they keep watching the same fucking movie. I don't like horror films. A lot of people like horror films. So I don't say much to them. I say exactly what I said to you right there because I was once you. I didn't like horror films, so I changed it. Some people are just-- they become-- like you said, it gets real small when you're lazy and you're fat, your will. 

Their will is so small that they don't have any. And you can't give it to them. There has to be something-- this is what I'm talking about now because this isn't a hack. This has to be in you. Something in you has to wake up. And usually, the only person that can wake it up is you. Sometimes you can read a David Goggins book because I was all this shit and then a lot more of fucked up. 

But if you don't have a little flame, just barely-- you're done. I can't light it for you. And that's the harsh reality of this life that I want to get across so fucking bad. You can watch me. You can watch you. You can watch fucking Rogan and Cameron Hanes, all these motherfuckers. You can go to Tony Robbins's fucking bullshit, all this shit. You can do all this shit. 

You're going to keep going back and keep spending money and spending money and spending money with no results. You're going to wonder, wow. Maybe let me go try out David Goggins. He ain't going to fucking help you. You have to explore, examine the insides of yourself. And what do you really want out of life? Your friend and a lot of people out here just don't fucking want it. 

So guess what? Have fun with your life. Go from 300 to 350 to 400 to 450 to 500 because you don't want it. And that's the harsh reality. I can't give you shit. You can't give them shit. We can give you ideas. But end of the day, when I was losing the weight, I had to miserably wake up every morning in the cold because it was Indiana, November, when it started. I was miserable. 

This is your new life. Take it or leave it. There's no happiness about it. There's no peace behind it. It sucks. It just fucking sucks. And that's the one thing, if I could teach anybody anything, it just fucking sucks. And it's going to continue to suck. And then one day, you'll get to a special part in your life that it might get a little bit better. 

But to lose the weight you have to lose, my friend, sorry. It's going to suck every fucking day because then when you're 300 pounds, you're going to go out to lose weight, you could probably get injured. So then you got to work on the injury. And then you get even more depressed. This is what I went through. And then you're hungry because now you're depressed. It's just a vicious cycle. And if you're not strong mentally and you have no willpower, you're going to continue falling back in this hole versus the man that sits back and goes, all right, motherfucker. 

This is why I cuss because this is what is in me. This is what it took for me to be me. Sorry. It didn't take, hey, OK, we're going to do this today. No. This fucking really sucks. This is real, dude. This is real. And every day, I'm set back. I'm set back. I'm set back. I'm set back. So this is what I would tell your boy. This is exactly what I'd tell him. Every day you wake up, you're going to probably be set back for the first four weeks before you lose significant weight because the mind is going to be fucking with you the whole time. 

There's no dopamine. There's no dopamine in there at 300 pounds. You got nothing. Your hormones are shot. You have to envision something that is more powerful than you. Something has to get you out of bed. And you have to create it. It has to be false because you're not it. You're a fat piece of shit. And that's the reality of it. So you have to create a false reality, to live in that just to get to work on yourself. That's the reality. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: He'll see this, and he'll appreciate that message. We'll see what he does. 

DAVID GOGGINS: We'll see. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: So far, last 13 years, it's been no movement. But I have had other friends who were drug and alcohol addicts who quit after one conversation. Never went back. 

DAVID GOGGINS: That's awesome. That means they want it. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Yeah, just one guy, I won't out him, but walked up to me at a party in 2019, July 4th party, and said, I'm a pile. And I go, what? And he goes, I'm a pile. Look at me. I'm 60 pounds overweight. And I go, do you drink? He goes, every day. I go, how much? He goes, a case. He goes, I smoke a lot of weed. But he's successful in other areas of his life. And so I said, well, here's what I know. Quit alcohol and weed for you. I'm not telling people what to do. 

Don't eat until 2:00 PM. Get on an exercise bike, and pedal in the morning like someone's chasing you with a poison dart until you want to puke. And I was kind of half-joking. And then two months later, he was, like, I haven't had a drink. I lost 30 pounds. He lost those 60 pounds. He never went back. Now, he's super fit. It's amazing. So some people flip the switch. He is very self-critical by nature. 

DAVID GOGGINS: That's what flips-- 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: He's super self-critical. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Yep. That's what flips the switch. Think about it, man. We know what to do. We don't need Andrew Huberman to tell us what to do. We know what to do, every one of us. That's why he flipped it so fast because he knew what to do. He didn't go by your exact protocol. He didn't go by the exact-- no. He knew exactly what to do. And you just saying some shit to him, it woke something up. He knew what to do. And that's the thing that people need to get that. You know what to do. Why aren't you doing it? 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: And I'm talking about myself now. Those modes of just kind of passive consumption, they're so easy to wash over us. I used to have this thing, and I'm fighting this now because I knew we were going to have this conversation today, where I like to start things on the hour or the half hour. Worst practice in the world for me because if I miss that half hour, I'm like, oh, it's 12:33. I'll start at 12:45. Ah, it's 12:45. I'll start at 1:00. I just lost time. And so this is so stupid. 

And the other day, I was like, man, I got to tell David about this because my new thing is I start no matter what time it is. If I wake up in the middle of the night-- I got a friend. He paints in the middle of the night. I'm like, you're an insomniac? He's like, I don't know. I just do it. Then sometimes he goes back to sleep. Sometimes he doesn't. Everyone's got their thing. But I thought about this. I'm like, no more am I going to say I'm starting at 1:00 because I know me. If I miss the 1:00 ding and then my pen's not hitting the paper or I'm not typing on the keyboard, I'm not going to do it. But That's a self-admitted weakness. 

DAVID GOGGINS: I love it, man. I had that for a lot of years. I know I'm going to do it. That's the haunting part is that it's going to happen. It has to happen. And that's a fact. Like, there's no get out of jail free card, bro. None. Like, that is a life that I don't know. I don't have that ability. Or I have the ability. 

I don't have the-- I'm not good enough, smart enough. I'm not talented enough to do that. Some people are. Some people can start at 1:00. Some people don't have to start at all. If you lack talent, you can't sit back and say, I'll start in half an hour. I can't do that. I got to start now. 

And after I get back from starting, I got to start again. And then when I get done with that run or that study session, if it wasn't good enough, I got to go back again because repetition is what taught me everything. So you can honestly outwork anything. But it's that you, obviously, are a very talented man. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Well, I have worked hard at certain things and built up some things that I've been good at most of my life. 

DAVID GOGGINS: You're amazing. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Gathering, organizing, and disseminating information's something I've been doing since I was a little kid. I used to give lectures at school on Monday about stuff I learned over the weekend. 

DAVID GOGGINS: See, check that out. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: But they took me to a psychiatrist. We're the same age. Back then, if you got sent to a psychiatrist, people thought you were crazy. 

DAVID GOGGINS: I was one. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Yeah, exactly. 

DAVID GOGGINS: I was one. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Exactly. So I remember feeling like a freak. Also, I didn't have a stutter, but I had a grunting tic. It comes back when I'm tired. And the only thing that helped that was hitting my head on something, shaking my head, which is why skateboarding was good because I'd slam, and I'd feel like, oh. I feel good. But that's not healthy. That's not good. Or just work. Work is what gets it out. It's like an-- it's like an RPM or high. [REVVING SOUND] Anyway, that's me. 

But yeah, I think certain things over time, I feel like talent or gifts or whatever you want to call them, but there are many things that are exceedingly difficult for me. And I have learned from your example. I know that you are very both humble and very clear that you don't have-- you say, you're not going to get it by examining you. But I think the way you're sharing today and the way you've shared it on other podcasts before, there are pieces that really help people feel into the process of what you're talking about today. 

We're elaborating on it, I think, a lot, this notion of being haunted and the stick. I mean, of course, of course, now it makes so much sense why you don't want to talk about sleep or rest or recovery because that's-- sure, that's important. I've heard you say, yes, you sleep. Yes, you eat. Yes, you hydrate. Yes, you will stretch your psoas or whatever. But it's funny how that becomes the viral message. 

DAVID GOGGINS: That's why I said fuck that today. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: But that's not the unique-- that's not the unique message that you carry. Like, anyone can talk about that. So do I have that right? That you're acknowledging sleep is important. Recovery is important. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Yes. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: But that's not what you're about. 

DAVID GOGGINS: You have to forego something. Yes. Ice baths. Saunas. Sleep. Nutrition. All this shit's so fucking important, dude. I don't have time for some of it. To extract what I had to extract, something had to give. Like, you talk about you when you were younger. You would give these speeches and stuff. The same age you were giving speeches, I was trying to figure out how to say the without stuttering. 

And I realized, as I got older, that all these things are important. But for me to stop stuttering, I got to build fucking confidence. And speech therapy didn't help that. Nothing helped that. I have to forgo a lot of shit to be as fucked up as I am to build confidence, for me to stand in a fucking room of 10,000-- of one person, and not [STUTTERING SOUNDS] and be like, oh, and put my head down. Let me look around. 

Let me read these paragraphs first. And then before I read the paragraphs, because they're calling me next, let me just leave the room because I'm going to stutter. That's a miserable life. And that's one of many things I did besides lying, besides being insecure, besides being immature, besides being fat, besides being one of the only Black kids in my school. There's a lot of things I had to overcome to gain confidence. 

And in doing so, a lot of that had to go. A lot of it. So I became the guy that became, once again, misunderstood. You only sleep four hours a day, two hours a day? Sometimes you don't sleep at all? Like, what's this, and what's this, and what's this? I know it's all important. I can't. Something's got to go. 

For me to get confidence, because confidence is the building block of where I'm trying to go, for me to gain confidence in myself, this fucked up kid has got to do a lot of fucked up shit to gain confidence. And along the way, the stutter went away. And I gained confidence. And now, my life is a little bit more-- there is no balance. There is no balance. It's a little bit more what it should be for a lot of people. 

But there'll never be balance because confidence is something that you're constantly-- confidence and belief you're building every day. And so something's got to give. And I'm willing to forego a lot of things to have that because I know if you want to give somebody kryptonite, take that shit away from them. 

So yeah, I don't sleep sometimes. And sometimes I don't eat the right way. And sometimes I don't do this and do that and whatever, man. But you put me in a room of 10,000 people any time of the day, and I'll walk in there thinking I'm the baddest motherfucker in here because I know what it took to be on this stage. And a lot of people would not do that. So that's what it takes. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: There's a question I've been wanting to ask you since we started. And I thought about coming in here. And I've been thinking about in the weeks ahead of this. And I'm going to just come clean and say I don't exactly know how to ask the question. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Just ask it. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: It's about relationships. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Oh, do it, man. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: So I know in myself that my discipline is much higher when it's just me. But that's because I had certain things early on. But then I was a terrible student. Barely finished high school. But then when I got serious, I got serious. But I did that by staying away from everybody. And anyone's who's ever had a relationship of any kind, but in particular, romantic relationships, knows that, yes, you can derive tremendous support from those. 

Like, you got this, baby. You can go. And you're like, yeah. I got this. She said I got this. Feels great to finish something and share with someone, share a meal, get the hug. But there's another side to all of that that I'd like to learn more about from you, which is there's a warm body next to you in bed in the morning. You don't want to get up. They also have needs. You've got your mission that people sometimes need things from us. 

But also, oftentimes, the people that love us most, that truly love us and that want to support us, don't understand this thing. And they're the first people to tell us, like, listen. Take a day off. And then this whole cycle, at least in my head, goes off, like, you just want a vacation. And then it's almost like a paranoia. I'm not saying anything nice about myself right now. 

DAVID GOGGINS: All good, man. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Former girlfriends are going to be like, yeah. Like, they remember that. And so support of people close to you is critical. This could be friends. Could be romantic partners. Whatever. But they're also-- the knife cuts both ways. It can be the thing that can really undermine this thing that you're talking about because people that care about us also want to see us comfortable. They want to see us happy. They want to see us peaceful. They want to see us wake up from a great night's sleep. And they want things too. So how do you untangle that whole bit? 

DAVID GOGGINS: Well, it's funny, man. I'm unbalanced, but I'm mostly unbalanced towards the family side, which people don't get about me. I'll start being unbalanced. I get all my stuff in. But what I do is I make sure that my family has everything they need, everything they need, those who want to be part of my family. Some don't. Some family members don't want to be part of David Goggins. I get it. I got it. That's life. 

Those who are part of my family, I give them everything they need so they can leave me the fuck alone. I make sure you're happy as fuck because I got to go to work. And I don't mean smokejumping. I don't mean running. I mean all of it. It takes every-- I can't have you in my fucking shit. I can't. So I know for me to have a family, I gotta make sure that you realize I'm going to give you everything you need. So when you start bitching at me, I'm going to say, look, hang on. 

I dedicated my life to give you everything you need. I need this time right here for me to be the best I can be because this journey started without anybody. And I make sure everybody knows that who comes in my life. I've been left-- think about it. I was left alone at a young age to figure this shit out. I figured it out for myself and have been very successful for myself. No one's going to come in here and fuck with my shit. 

That's why I make sure I will take care of whatever you need. Whatever you need from me, you got it. Money, house, my love, my support, I'm going to give you everything you need. That said, I do it the highest level possible. And I'm saying that with Jennifer in the next room. So please come here and say something if it's wrong, Jennifer. I don't give a fuck. Say what you got to say. So then when it's time for me to go to work, I expect you to do the same for me because it takes every bit of me to do what I have to do. 

So I make sure that I'm very unbalanced from my family so I can be exactly that unbalanced for myself. And that's how I do it. I let people know right up front, I'm not what you want in a man. I guarantee that. There's going to be a lot of late nights, a lot of early mornings, a lot of times where I got to be by myself thinking about the process that is next in my mind. I can't have aggravation. I can't have this. Can't have that. There's a lot of things. But I let them know up front. I'm very vocal about that. 

Sometimes relationships work for me. Sometimes they didn't. But that's who I am. One thing I did wrong in my life was I tried for so many years to please people. And I did it at the expense of myself. I was leaving a lot in the tank. And when you do that, you stop living. But the person in your life is happy as fuck because you're giving them everything they want. They have their-- their life is full. 

But you feel empty. And that's not a relationship to me. So for me, it's important that you know exactly who I am because this is what life made. And I'm not trying to change it because I just figured it out. So I'm not trying to compromise David Goggins. I would never, ever compromise David Goggins. That doesn't mean I won't give you what you need and what you want and what you desire. But I don't need money. I don't need fame. I don't need shit. So I give it all away. 

What I do need is to make sure that that willpower is worked on every fucking day and every night for the rest of my life because that's the one thing that's going to keep me feeding you, keeping you where you need to be, because once that willpower is gone, 300-pound David Goggins, he may not look like it, but I will walk around with it. So the things that are important to you in life, you must do always. Or you're nobody. And that's how I handle relationships. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Amen to that. Something I could personally work on is that upfront, clear communication because it resonates that feeling of there's something inside that's not getting worked out that, when I'm on my own, it's a lot easier. But then, of course, wanting relationships and family, I think that's a healthy part of being human too. And obviously, you've worked it out. So I appreciate you sharing that. I don't think I've ever heard you talk about it that way before. 

DAVID GOGGINS: People are scared of that conversation with their wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend. But why are you scared of it? Why are you scared to tell a motherfucker, your wife, your husband, who you are, who you are, exactly who you are? And that was the problem I had-- that's a problem that a lot of us have in life. No one knows who you really are. No one knew who I really was. 

I went to a school where there were a lot of Black kids. A lot of Black kids didn't want to be in special ops. I never talked about special ops to Black kids. Why? I was wondering what-- I'm not going to fit in. That's not what they do. A lot of Black kids don't do that kind of shit. So whatever I wanted to do, no one really knew the real me growing up because I never wanted anybody to know the real me. I was always afraid of what you might say or how you're going to feel or whatever. You got feelings. 

You have a life that you have to live. So it's important that whatever's on your mind, you let that person know. Therefore, you're giving them the option to be with you or not. This is who I am. If you don't like it, that's good, man. I got it. But this is David Goggins. So that honest conversation is very important, man, so everybody knows where they stand. That person may not be for you. And that's all good. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: This world could use a lot more of that upfront, completely honest conversation. I feel like so much of the world's problems are because everyone's dancing around these issues. 

DAVID GOGGINS: It takes a lot. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Recently in the news, seeing people losing their job because they won't say something publicly. You can tell they kind of what it. It's like, people just, I think, deep down really crave the direct message. Like, what are you about? What are you not about? But I think now, everyone's afraid of getting canceled. It's a big deal, getting canceled, that people think, oh, I can't work if I am who I am. Or if I'm not pretending to be somebody else, then silence is considered agreement. There's all sorts of complicated stuff. 

And I do feel for the generation coming up because we didn't have social media and all of that. Again, just walled off from that. There's a real benefit from just not paying attention. 

DAVID GOGGINS: People love to lie. People love to lie. You know, I thought I was only a person-- when I was growing up, I thought I was the only person that lied because I lived in a bubble. And people love to lie about who they're not. They love to lie about who they're not, dude. And that's, for me, the reason why I'm so vulnerable, and I'm so real and honest. Find somebody to come out and tell me I'm lying about my fucking life. And for me to come where I came from and have the resume I have now, you know the confidence you get? 

How I don't care who-- you're going to-- you're going to judge me? You're going to judge me? What have you done in your life? So me, being so honest and so upfront and so truthful, that came with me finally figuring out who I was, but also conquering David Goggins, the demons of David Goggins. Therefore, now, you're just an open book. You look at somebody, look them right in the eye. Tell me exactly who the fuck you are. You walk away. I'm good, bro, because I know exactly what this journey took to get here. 

And that gives you a fire and a passion that people can call you nigger, they can call you-- if you're a lesbian or gay or bise-- call me whatever the fuck you want. If you put yourself in the fire and you come out every fucking day like this, brush it off, not scared to go back in there again, come on, man. Your truth is real. You come out every day, man, with a way of talking to people that people don't have because there's no truth behind them. And the truth is the starting line. 

When you sit down the ugly mirror and say, I'm this, I'm this, I'm this and this, you finally started your life. Maybe 40 years old. Maybe 40 years old, five, six kids, wife. But the second you look in that mirror and you say, I'm this, I'm this, I'm this, I'm this, I'm this, well, basically, I'm not this, I'm not this, I'm not this, I can't do this, I can't do this, I'm all these insecurities, your life finally started. 

And once you start that life, man, the truth comes out big time because you no longer care. So that's the problem. Most people just don't want to have that conversation to the point where they can go on stage and a million people and say, I'm all of this. And have a good day. See you. It's empowering. It's very empowering. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: I feel like the way we're educated in school, but also outside of school, is we're trained, as human being, as these young brains, to try and figure out how to get positive feedback from other people. It's like we're little dogs. You have a bulldog. 

DAVID GOGGINS: That's right. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: I had a bulldog. Saw the picture of your bulldog. She's great. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Charlie dog. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: They're an amazing species. 

DAVID GOGGINS: They are. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: I think of them economy of effort or amazing breed, excuse me. They're an amazing breed. Economy of effort. They don't do anything unless it's necessary. It's the exact opposite of everything we're talking about. It's kind of interesting. And they're kind of hedonists. Now, it is true that they'll die to protect you. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Oh, yeah. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: And it's an instinct. I saw that with Costello. I'm sure that-- 

DAVID GOGGINS: I saw it with Charlie. Yeah. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: It's an instinct. But if they're not in that position, if there's no need to exert effort-- 

DAVID GOGGINS: They're resting. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Yeah. So your bulldog's resting for you. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Yes. Got it. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Exactly. So you don't need to rest because-- 

DAVID GOGGINS: Active recovery Charlie. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Perfect. 

DAVID GOGGINS: That's it. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Perfect. That's going to be your answer from now on. People go, does he sleep? Does he rest? Go, no. He somehow worked it out so his bulldog does it for him. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Right. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: But we're sort of indoctrinated into this way of being from a time that we're young, where, of course, praise feels good. Someone tells you, hey, I like that shirt, or good job today, or nicely done. Or for me, because growing up in a big pack of friends growing up, and I was never the greatest athlete, wasn't terrible, wasn't great, et cetera, like, a fist bump, or, like, feeling crewed up. And you're just like, yeah. 

But you've talked about this before in reference to the SEAL Teams. We both know a lot of people in that community. And the Teams component is a big part of it for a lot of people. And it's a wonderful thing. But there's a danger to that dopamine hit, for lack of a better way to put it, from we can only derive when it's coming from the outside. 

You're talking about being able to either say, good job, but also, just look to one's own personal history and say, I've done hard things. And I can do it again and again because I do it again and again and again. You're talking about parenting yourself, inspiring yourself, scaring yourself, all of that from the inside. So very different than the way we're raised, which is to figure out how to get the biscuit. 

DAVID GOGGINS: It's funny, man. People want to know how I'm always motivated. It's the unseen work, which you just said is a true statement. Those are false dopamine hits that people are giving you, man. There's no belief in that. These are teamwork dopamine-- like, I'm out running at 2 o'clock in the morning, 1 o'clock in the morning in the gym, long sessions by myself. That's real. I'm able to extract dopamine, the good dopamine whenever I want. 

Man, I've trained 99% of my life alone. No one patted me on the back. I did all of the work alone. And while I'm still hard on myself, I know what I did. So whenever times get bad for me, people are all this, who's going to carry the boats and lo-- that's real. I hate that people know me for that guy because that guy is not every fucking day. When they see me, they want that energy. That's not me every day. 

I can extract it immediately when I need to because when you train alone-- and I lived alone for so many years in this misery. And you're able to get out by yourself. I can take myself to such a level of real passion and purpose. And the feeling I get is something I can't even explain by mys-- I don't need anyone. That's why people come to me to motivate them. No one can motivate me. 

I have a resume full of fucking motivation that whenever I'm down, I'm like, oh hang on, motherfucker. Oh, you know the truth. You know the truth. You know the darkness of the fucking dungeons and the fucking demons that fly. And then from there, it's like, OK. You were there. You know this. There was no one there to pick up the rucksack, to pick up the boat, to pick up the log, to go in there. It was you. It was you. There was no pat on the fucking back at 300, at 275, at 250, at 220. No. That was you. 

So those things that come out of me, that extract from me in the darkness, people are looking for that pat on the back. Where is it? Oh, I don't need it because what I've done is in the fucking unseen work. I built Frankenstein. So whenever shit gets nasty, David Goggins goes, you had nobody anyway, motherfucker. So see how I'm talking to myself right now? That's me. That's shit fires me the fuck up. That shit makes me fucking nuts. 

You had nobody anyway, motherfucker. Look around you. There was no fucking team. It was you. There was no weight loss program or mom and dad waking you up, saying you can do it, you can be better, trying to build belief. You built belief when you had nothing. Rock bottom. You did that. So as times get hard for me, the truth comes out. And my truth is powerful as fuck. It's real. It's tangible. 

I feel it. It comes out of my brain as I speak about it. I'm reliving every single dark moment of my life to be here. So that is what people don't get. That is what motivates David Goggins is the unseen work. But everybody needs that pat on the back. They need that training partner. They need that accountability coach. I don't need that shit. And neither do they. But it's what we've trained ourselves to believe that we need. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: It's almost like there's this pill on the shelf. I'm speaking in analogy. And we take it, and we get jazzed up. And we're like, yeah. But there's this other medicine cabinet behind there. And it's in us. You're saying the real medicine cabinet is inside. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Oh, yes. When you continue to overcome-- and I had so many obstacles to overcome. So it's actually a benefit to me. But the benefit, it's not like a benefit like that. You have to have the courage and the patience to overcome and overcome. Before you know it, man, you have a whole medicine cabinet. But there's no medicine in the motherfucker. There's no pre-workout. I don't take none of that shit. 

All I got to do is flip my brain. Put my finger in there and say, OK, that's a good one. It's all I got to do, man. I got the Rolodex. I'm just like, go fuck yourself, Goggins. And oh, but you won. Let's do that one today. There's nothing I need. And this is the thing that people don't get about David Goggins. I can't teach it in a 1-minute video. We all have this ability to have our own medicine cabinet. 

But unless you go in there and put the medicine in there, it's always going to be fucking empty, man. You're always going to need the pre-workout. You're always going to need the-- I don't drink coffee. I don't do ca-- I don't do none of that. I don't need it. I can run for 70 hours, and I have before, no caffeine. I got all this wonderful shit that I overcame on my own, by myself, in the darkness, that, man, when it's cold, I'm hot. 

When it's hot-- I can feed myself all the time. That's why when people say, man, why aren't you missing anything, I can't explain it to you, man. Can't explain it to you. You'll never understand. That's why I don't do all these podcasts, dude. I love you, man. That's why you-- my first book, you did a blurb for me. That's why I'm here. I love what you're doing for people, man. 

But I can't explain this. I can't. I can't explain this because people don't want to do this. They don't want to do this, man. But I don't know, man. I get jazzed up even talking about it, man, because so many people think my life is just so, oh god, his life is horrible. Don't follow him. He's crazy. Really? 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: But there are a good number of people, I would say, and that's an under-- that actually do. I think what I'm hearing today, and it's really sinking in, is that a great many people either partially or completely misunderstand you. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Yes. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: I'll put myself in the partially category. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Big time. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Because I thought it was about just forward center of mass, carrot, carrot, carrot, carrot. But it's the stick. 

DAVID GOGGINS: It's the stick. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: And it's being haunted. And you know, I do have examples from my own life, which is not what today is about, about being really afraid and then turning things around. My biggest fear is getting comfortable. I do not have as much of a stick-oriented approach. But today's conversation's changing the way I think. I'm not going to step away from this and think, OK, there are 25 neural circuits that can explain 10 of the things that David's talking about. 

And what I'm thinking about is the fact that everybody has a brain. They have a mind. Forget the brain. The brain's just the physical structure. But what that manifests, what that creates is the mind. And everybody has that. So I do believe that everyone has the capacity to do what you're talking about at some level. 

I also will be the first to confess that I think you are highly unusual. Let's just say maybe even n of 1, as we say in science. Sample size of one. Somebody who has created this process for themselves and keeps them in this-- themselves in this forward center of mass with the stick battering the back of their head all the time. Highly unusual. 

But this internal medicine cabinet that you're talking about building up, true confidence, not needing anything from the outside, I like to think that people want that. They want to be known. They're afraid. But that they want to be known for who they really are and that you're describing the path to do this. And I will say I'm immensely grateful that you're talking to us this way today about things that you've talked about before. But we're hitting it a little differently, I like to think. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Very differently. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Because what you're talking about is a process. It's verbs. It's all verbs. 

DAVID GOGGINS: All action. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: And it's not about success. It's more, actually, about keeping that friction dialed to 10. And no energy drink, no supplement. People often misunderstand me. They think-- like, I'm big on people getting sunlight in the morning so they set their circadian rhythm and get better sleep and so they can-- et cetera. But then people always think-- they go straight to the supplements. What should I take? And then, of course, people think I'm all about supplements. And supplements are one piece for me. But it's like tiny fraction compared to the doing, the do's and don'ts. 

DAVID GOGGINS: That's why I didn't want to talk about that today. That's why I'm glad we're talking about this. This is it. This is it. Like, the brain is the most powerful weapon in the world. And it's crazy how a kid that wasn't real smart, I was forced to go only internal. External had to go away. The external world had to go away. In living so deep inside myself, it was me in this brain and figuring out how this thing works. 

And so many people are doing exactly that, the supplements, the this, the that. And I agree, it helps. But once you figure out your brain, you become unstoppable to almost anything. Yeah, you can't beat death. You can't whatever, whatever. Your brain is amazing. 

Once you feed it the right conversation, the right mental nutrients, the right mental supplements, the right internal dialogue at the right time with the right hit, with the right proof of what you've done in the past, and you send that right to the right circuit, dude, you're a fucking beast. A beast. 

But once again, you just can't read about it. You can't sit back and be a theorist. You have to be a fucking practitioner. And in that practice is where that becomes proof-positive of what I'm saying. It's like, god, David Goggins is blowing my mind. What is this? He's not crazy. 

And so many people, a lot of people, have listened to me the right way. And they come back, and they're like, I'm totally on board. It happened. It happened. I'm like, it'll keep going, man, if you keep doing it. But that is it, man. There's no sun. There's no glory. There's no carrot. There's no victory. 

But there is all of it in one. I just can't explain it real well to people, man. But what you get the other end is something that you're always found. You're never lost anymore. Doesn't mean the journey is easy. Doesn't get any easier. But you're always found. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: I love that. I just want to hover on that for a sec the same way we hovered on haunted and the stick. I think people feel lost. I've certainly felt lost at times in my life, many times. And yeah, there's that thing. I don't think there's a neuroscience or a psychology term for it. Someone will put it in the comments and say, oh yeah, that's what so-and-so said. But like you said, we're not trying to be theoretical here. We're trying to be practical. The business of finding yourself and knowing, oh. 

But it's sort of like I'm safe because I'm in danger, and I've been in danger before, and I got myself out. It always seems to come back to verbs. Again, I don't have a language for this. For once, I'm lost for words. There's like-- it's about a process, the algorithm. And the reason-- here, I'm just kind of trying to make sure I'm understanding things correctly. One of the reasons why it must be uncomfortable for you to be who you are publicly is because people want to focus on the running or the swearing. 

And by the way, the swearing is welcome. I'll tell you, I came up through laboratories where all three people I worked for swore a lot. But there was one rule. I couldn't swear at people. So my graduate advisor, brilliant woman, unfortunately, she died early, they all died early-- I'm the common denominator. I had that internalized for a long time. Anyway, she said, but if you swear at people, you're out. But you can swear as much as you want. 

So that's the rule I have. It's like, you can swear as much as you want. Just don't swear at people. And if you swear at people, better be ready to fight. Definitely not going to fight you. So you can swear at me, get away with it. But the fact of the matter is that it must be frustrating that people-- because I know people go, oh, it's all about supplements and ice baths. Listen, I like supplements. I love supplements and ice baths. But that's not the full picture. It's just a gravitational pull. 

It's the swearing. It's the running. It's his feet that are all messed up. It's the fact that he got a Triton. He's a SEAL guy. Talk about that too. And there's a gravitational pull for people. And they're missing-- that's the tip of the iceberg, is what I'm realizing. I'm realizing that today thanks to the way you're phrasing things because the bigger vessel is all in here. And as you said, how do you put that in a book? 

DAVID GOGGINS: It's impossible. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Because it's highly individual. You do it your way. And you're saying, everyone needs to go figure out how to do it their way for them. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Yes. And the thing about being misunderstood, it's very frustrating, more than I can even imagine. I can't even express how frustrating it is when the cussing and everything comes from a place of real. I can't explain what I do without it. The passion comes out of me. It's almost like speaking in tongues because when you put that much work-- and people go, oh yeah, there's been this basketball player, this football player, this-- dude. No. No. 

Everything, everything is work. Everything. And people don't believe it. So when I speak, the motherfucker and the fuck and the shit, that is what it took for me, what it takes for me, the anger, the passion, the jaw-dropping-- just it takes that because I'm not that. 

This is how I look at it, man. What built this guy? Let's imagine being in the coldest water you can possibly take. I always go back to Hell Week with this. I hated that water. Hated it. You're sitting there locked arms, and you're in the water all the time. And they're bringing you in and out of the water, in and out of the water. 

When you have this dialogue in your head, and these people are judging me off a freaking 1-minute video, and you're constantly your whole life, when you figured it out at 24, that I got to-- I just got to, just fucking got to, and this is just going to suck. Every day it's going to suck. And live like that to be better. And I put it this way. I'm in the water. The water is going over my head, the Pacific Ocean. It's freezing. February. Cold as shit. Been through three Hell Weeks. 

For you to constantly win, win, win, when this voice over here, the real you, is saying get the fuck out of here, go, you're nobody. You've always been nobody. And it's true. People don't hear that. That's a true voice. That's a real reality of David Goggins at 24 years old. It's not a false reality. 

And then you had to create another voice over here that is saying, you're better than that other voice. And you're in the freezing cold water that both voices don't want to fucking be in. But you win. Then goes from the water to the studying to the running to the losing weight to how you eat to how you function as a man. Every day of your life, you're winning these battles. 

And then I have normal people who only have one voice. Never created the second voice. The winning voice is the second voice. They have one voice. And that's just, I'm a piece of shit. And that's all they hear. And then they judge people like me who are out here trying to be better. It's something that I can never really-- it's a frustrating thing for me because I know the majority of people. 

I know what goes on in the brain because I studied the mind more than almost-- more than you because I'm a practitioner. So for you to be a piece of shit and come out of that, you don't just come out of it. You spend decades studying your mind and the human mind on how it functions in good environments, bad environments, stressful environments, patient environments. You study it all because you had to put all this together to create the mind to become successful. 

So I had to-- it wasn't like God blessed me with this brain. I had to create a mind. And so in doing so, I figured out every piece of shit human being in the world because that's what I was going off of for myself. So I know why you go on Instagram. I know why you-- because you just have the time. You have the time because you don't want to put that time into bettering oneself. 

So I know why I'm misunderstood. I'm misunderstood by people who have plenty of time on their hands to misunderstand me because they are exactly where I once was, which is a low-life, lazy piece of shit. And it's the harsh reality of people who troll you, who go after you. They have nothing better to do with their lives. It's not some after school special. It's the truth. 

But I once was that way. I know where it all comes from. That's why it's frustrating to me now because I'm not so frustrated at the fact that I'm being trolled. I'm frustrated by the fact that you don't have the courage, the courage to try to be somebody better than what you're not. And that's the frustrating part. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: It's interesting because earlier, we were talking about relationships. And you said, in a very candid way, and I really appreciate you sharing that, that you make sure that the people close to you, your family, has everything they need and that they also understand that you're going to take what you need to continue to build you period. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Period. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: In some ways, it seems you've also included the general public in that family. You're saying, listen, I'm going to give you what you need. I'm going to give you as much of myself as I can, except I'm going to stop right at the line that if I were to cross it is going to prevent me from continuing to build myself. And by the way, this relationship only exists because I don't cross that line. 

And I think as much as there are detractors out there or people that try-- I mean, whatever they're doing is pretty feeble, in my mind. I mean, it's like cap gun fire, it that. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Very feeble. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: So many of us, men and women, old and young, hear something and feel something in your message. Like, yeah, it seems kind of crazy. Gosh. Doesn't he ever just relax? What about his sleep? Look at his feet. He's going to-- he's going to injure himself. Listen, I'll be very direct. I got friends who were in the Teams who just go, what's he going to do when he can't run? And I know the answer is keep running. 

DAVID GOGGINS: That's right. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: But it's more comfortable for people, even high achievers-- 

DAVID GOGGINS: Especially high achievers. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: --to believe that if you took one thing away, that it would all go away. It's absolutely clear that's not the case with you. I'm 100% convinced. I just know that because we're talking about this. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Do you know how many times I haven't been able to run? Two heart surgeries. Multiple knee surgeries. And after every knee surgery, they said, you're not going to run again. And I'm fine with that. There's no running up here, bro. None. This was what it was all about. That's what they lost. What if you can't run? Give a fuck. It was never about running. Why do you think I run? It's the worst thing. I hate doing it more than anything. Hence the willpower. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Right. Your anterior mid-cingulate cortex 

DAVID GOGGINS: Hence the willpower. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: --would start to regress if you loved running. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Think about it. Every day, I wake up. I don't just run a mile, two miles. It's the one thing I hate the most to do. And I do it like I love it. 250, 260, 300-mile runs at one time. No sleep. And every step, when I get to the-- think about this. I get to the fucking start line cussing at Jennifer. Why the fuck am I here? I hate this shit. 

After 70-some hours of running, every fucking question I ever had is answered. Every question I had is answered. I capped success. People go, what do you mean, you capped success? For me to be who I am-- so when I go smokejump, I smoke jump three to four months out of the year, sometimes five. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Could you, just for those that aren't educated about-- just give us a brief description of what smokejumping entails. 

DAVID GOGGINS: So basically, you jump into fires. Not into them, but you jump by fires that people can't get to. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: So out of planes and helicopters. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Right, out of planes. I parachute. It's all parachuting. So you parachute out of airplanes. And then you fight the fire, you and sometimes four other guys or maybe eight other guys, guys and gals. And you're putting this fire out. So I lose millions of dollars every summer to do this. It blows people's minds. Why the hell are you doing this? 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: And you're breathing soot. 

DAVID GOGGINS: I'm breathing soot. Knees are jacked up. Hitting the ground. Hurting. Whatever. Talking to normal people, they'll never get it, so I don't even explain it to them. But this is why-- this is why I call it capped success. I'm talking financial success. 

For me to continue having that willpower, the second I just become a speaking monkey and travel around and speaking gigs 12 months out of the year, put camps on, do this, put on lectures, get supplement lines and do this and write more books and shit, I've ruined the exact thing I worked on my entire life. 

And while I didn't know it until the day, but something always told me, this is a very, very, very perishable skill, this willpower that you have, because I do have a willpower that I have never seen in anybody in my life. It is a haunting force that just keeps me going. And I know that that is my strength. If you have that-- so that's worth every dime I've ever made in my life is the fact I can look a man in the eye finally and have a real conversation without going like this because I'm lying, or I'm a piece of shit. 

Or I know-- you know how a person-- and so many people do this shit. They're talking to you on who they want to be. They're lying to you. And they walk away-- I've done it so many times. You walk away like, god, man. If I could just tell them the truth. Why the hell can't I just tell him the truth? 

Know how good it feels for me now to look at you in your eye and every man I see because women won't get this. Women will not get this. Man to man, that man shit, when you look another man in the eye, and you know that everything you're fucking saying is real, and it comes from a real working place, something that you earned, it's the best feeling in the world. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: You can say that actually happened. Like, I know with certainty what I'm saying actually happened. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Actually happened. Who I am and who I say I am, I am. No more lies. No more skirting the truth. No more bullshit. And that is worth every dime I've ever made in my life. And I swear to God on that. Every dime I've ever made in my life, building who I built, so I capped success because I know that if I ever go 12 months out of the year and don't put several-- every day, I'm going at it. 

But several months out of the year, I go right back to ground zero, which means I'm just fucking David Goggins. No Goggins. No carry boats, fucking logs bullshit. It's just pick up that fucking Pulaski and dig. Hey, get that fucking pump. Walk down a mile. Put it in the fucking water. Mosquitoes beating-- you're just David Goggins. You're nobody because that's where my growth is. That's where my willpower comes from. And that's where it stays. 

That's why when I talk to you now-- and can't nobody talk like this, dude. People don't talk with this kind of passion because it ain't there. It ain't there. They're regurgitating some shit from 30 fucking years ago. I'm regurgitating shit from an hour ago. Hour ago. Come on, man. It's just be real. And I can't be on these podcasts. I can't talk to anybody without being real. I'll go away. I'll just go away because I can't give you what I want to give you. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: You said perishable skill. I think that's another set of words I want to highlight because skill implies behavior. And when we were just talking a second ago about the deep, true bedrock sense of confidence that comes from looking someone in the eye and telling somebody something that you absolutely know it's true because it happened, you're talking about actions. Not talking about perceptions. You're not talking about what you believe happened. You know it happened. 

And there's something really concrete about actions. I mean, that's what's so interesting is we're talking about the mind. But actions are the manifestation of the mind. And the stuff that just stays in here, people die with that. It doesn't go anywhere. Long ago, somebody said-- I forget what the context was. It was a neuroscientist. He said, most emotions, they're just emotions. They're just in there. You don't have to do anything with them. 

And I think certain emotions you want to do something with. But I think people forget this. They feel miserable, like they're going to dissolve into a puddle of their own tears. No one ever died from an emotion. But they feel-- they overwhelm us as if it's a tidal wave. It's going to pull us under and drown us. It's so interesting to me because I think what people-- listen, you have a gravitational pull. People can feel the energy. I think, yes, you're either completely badly or partially understood. There's only one guy on the planet that truly understands you. 

I think there's one woman, Jennifer, who probably understands you as much as anyone's going to. And then the rest of us are kind of grasping, trying to figure it out. But you're saying, go inward. So first, go inward. And then it's actions. Inward and actions. Now, the inward piece is something I'd like to just spend a little bit of time on because there are a couple of characters from history, people that were in concentration camps. Nelson Mandela. I mean, I'm not sure he had Instagram in there. I'm pretty sure he didn't. 

And I don't think there was anyone coaching him on, hey, you're going to get out someday. And actually, you're going to lead an entire country. I'm pretty sure that's not how it worked. He had to find it here. He had to find it between his ears. And there are other examples. But that's an important one. 

So the process of going inward, does it, for you-- and here, I will ask for suggestions because I think people want-- there are those of us who want to build this skill. Wall yourself off. Phone off for big portions of the day, perhaps. Texting off. The requests, the this, the that. Anyone that knows you knows that-- we've communicated a few texts, but most of it comes through a filter. She's great. She knows you. And she knows how to protect your time. 

DAVID GOGGINS: And that hurts people's feelings. People get mad about that. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Hey, God bless-- God bless you, Jennifer. Cutting oneself off, when you're in there, you say it's just you. And the voices that come up are not pleasant. And then at some point, it converts to action. OK. What is the process of picking the action? That's the piece that I feel like there's, like, a bridge to build here, if you can, if you would. 

DAVID GOGGINS: So the action being, like, what's next? 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Yeah, so when you go to sleep at night, when that happens, you know what you're going to do the next day? It's pre-planned? 

DAVID GOGGINS: Yes. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: OK. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Yes. It's always the same thing. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: You're not building it on the fly. 

DAVID GOGGINS: No. Nothing's on the fly. So how it works internally for me is I'll put it exactly how it is. I'm an artist. And every day, I'm painting Mona Lisa. Every day. And but it's a different one. It's not the same painting. So every day I wake up, even though I'll do the same thing, it takes a different way to get there. 

So every day, in my mind, I'm going through my mind. I'm just like-- and a good painter will not just paint. He needs to create. And you can't create with phones and everything going around you. So you got to block yourself off. You only do two podcasts in a year. You block yourself off. And you're painting this thing inside. And you're going through all these different colors of paint and everything else. 

And you can only figure out the right painting if you spend the correct amount of time in your brain. So every single day, I'm literally going through my mind, and I'm painting. I'm creating this masterpiece. And the masterpiece is always myself. And but to do that, you cannot have any distractions because if you're talking to an artist and he's trying to think about the next painting, he can't. It's impossible to listen to you and listen to what your mind and body are telling you we must do. 

Because people don't do enough of. They don't do any of it. They don't have passion. They lack passion, drive, determination because you haven't spent time with yourself. Your mind will tell you what is next. But you haven't spent the time to go, all right, let me just figure this out. You're looking for let me Google this, and let me Google that, and let me-- you're not going to find it there because there's billions of people in this world. And they're all supposed to be individuals. 

But we have a pack mentality. That's why you're so fucking lost. Why am I so unique? I'm being exactly what the fuck I was supposed to be. I ain't follow shit. And when I did follow shit, I was like everybody else. The second I said, OK, man, hang on, dude, you don't like this, you don't like this, you don't like this, who are you, David Goggins? Who are you supposed to be? 

Miraculously, all these things just-- I couldn't even-- the list of shit I had to do, just, wham. It's like, fuck. OK. Wow. Once you sit down with yourself and say, OK, I don't want to be like Michael Jordan or Jim Brown-- they're both born on my birthday. So I looked at their birthday. I said, oh, maybe I can be one of the-- I can't. I'm going to be David fucking Goggins. And that looks like this. It just came. Everything flooded. 

So every single day of my life, there's a different thing that comes up that I have to do. But no one knows what to do because everybody else is following steps. Like the Republican and Democratic parties. I'm not political-- 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Neither am I. 

DAVID GOGGINS: --at all for this reason. Republicans are going to vote Republican. Democrats are going to vote Democrat. You're not even a human fucking being, bro. No way all you fuckers agree with all the same fucking shit. And I know I don't. So once you figure out yourself and who you are, all the answers come. 

So every night, a different painting is being painted. And it's a beautiful painting for myself. I'm like, OK. That's it. It may look the same to most motherfuckers. But the end result is very fucking different. That's why my-- if you look at what I've done in 49 years, it's more than most people will ever do in their life because they were a race car driver. And that's what they did. They drove a fucking car. It's great. 

I was all kind of shit because that's exactly what the painting was saying to do. It's what the mind was saying to do. Wasn't saying just drive a car, so then that race car driver didn't know what the fuck to do. He retires from being a race car driver, and they're lost. People go, how are you still-- I don't get it. 

Dude, you're never going to fill your list. But you never found your list because it never was presented in front of you because your head was cluttered with shit because you never just stopped for lots of minutes, lots of years, and just said, all right, it's me and you. Let it go. And it just-- bam. It's right there. It's right there. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: I'm not a psychologist, as I mentioned before. But I'm going to venture a hypothesis here. I think that you've mastered the process of internal dialogue. But when I say dialogue, I think most people think, oh, the inner voice, the chatter. But that's just one half of a dialogue. A dialogue is a two-way street. 

So I completely agree because I know from experience that when we go inward, oftentimes, we hear things, if we're really honest with ourselves, it's like, oh no, I don't want to think about that. No. And then we start looking outward. Or we start trying to shift our attention or distract. And there are a million reasons that are handed to us, excuses, and seemingly good justifications to be able to do that. 

But dialogue is a two-way street. And it hit me while you were just saying what you were saying, I was paying very close attention. And I realized David Goggins is talking about the voice that comes up, including the terrible stuff that no one wants to hear about themselves from themselves. But then he's also got the dialogue down where he knows the counter voice. He goes, yeah, you're right. And so I'm going to do this. Or maybe no, remember this. 

You're in a dialogue, a two-way dialogue in there, not a one-way chatter dialogue. There are books written by famous psychologists about chatter, trying to shift your internal narrative. You're like, bring the internal-- the internal narrative, that's what going inward is about. But it's not one voice. Again, there's a hypothesis. And I'm not claiming to be all-knowing. Lord knows I'm not all-knowing. But you've mastered the dialogue. 

And if there are three voices, strong, medium, and weak, in there, you're like, let's all come to the table. So you've got a symphony of voices in there that are all you, that you know to be you. And you know how to have those convers-- you're not afraid to be in those conversations. And then you know what the outcome of that committee decision is, and you put it into real-world action. And the world only sees the action. 

DAVID GOGGINS: That's it. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: And only you can know your internal dialogue. And only I can know my internal dialogue. And the only way to, quote unquote, "know it" is to spend a hell a lot of time there. 

DAVID GOGGINS: That's right. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: OK. 

DAVID GOGGINS: A lifetime. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Got it. 

DAVID GOGGINS: A lifetime. Like, think about it. For me to be sitting here in front of you, you're not going to call 300-pound Ecolab guy to come sit here. You might. I don't know. Maybe. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Probably not. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Probably not. Think about this. What we teach people is kind, kindness to yourself. Do you think if I taught myself kindness-- and I agree with it. God, so many people-- so many people take me out of context, it's ridiculous. Take it however the fuck you want to take it. When I was 300 pounds, where do you think that conversation would that got me if I spoke kindness to myself? 

I'll tell you where it gets me. Right back to 7-Eleven with another box of mini chocolate donuts and a chocolate milkshake. That's the one voice. That's the one voice that most of us have that you're talking about. If you don't have a conversation in there, the other voice that you create that says, OK, how does this look? Looks very ugly. That kind conversation for me went away a long time ago, which is why the dialogue is now what you see. A lot of action. 

Because most people have inaction because there's one person talking. And that one person is always leading you down the same path, the path that makes you feel very comfortable and happy with yourself. The second you create the other voice, there's conflict. Just battles. Just wars. Just defeat. 

One thing I learned, and I taught myself this, and people go, I don't understand what you're saying, I'm going to try to break it down real quick. I didn't teach myself victory first. I taught myself failure. I taught myself how to fail. And people like, that's so depressing. Is it? When you're 300 pounds and you can't read and write and you're fucked up, you know how many times you're going to fucking fail on that process? 

So if you don't know how to fail, there is no victory. I never talked about winning because I knew the path to winning was going to be years of failing first. So I taught myself how to fail properly. No one teaches you how to fucking fail. But if you're going out for insurmountable fucking odds that make absolutely no fucking sense, a Black kid that can't swim, 300 pounds-- going to be a Navy SEAL. OK. 

You better teach yourself how to fail first because if you sit in failure for too long, you will never come out of it. So the first part of my success was learning how to fail properly. And then eventually, I started getting a few victories. But that's what people don't get. When you have buried yourself in such a deep fucking hole, you better first talk about the failures you're going to have first. And that's when that other voice comes up. 

It tells you, we've got to do something. But it also tells you, boy, I'm not going to lie to you, Goggins. You're in for a fucking climb, bro. You're going to get your ass handed to you, made fun of, the outside noise, the inside noise. Both voices are going to be fucking telling you to go fuck yourself. You are in for hell, bro. I am. So I better learn to fail. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: So this is what you mean when you say that whatever anyone says, it's insignificant? 

DAVID GOGGINS: Insignificant as fuck. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: It's the cap gun fire because it's just like it-- because the voice in your own head is far worse. And I should say, sorry, one of the voices in your head. I'm being very detailed, almost surgical about that because I think this thing about inner dialogue we think is one voice. But you're making it clear it's many voices. 

DAVID GOGGINS: It is. And the thing about it is, you have to be really-- and sometimes all the voices are telling you the wrong shit, man. But through years, years, not a podcast or listening to a book or reading a book, years of sacrifice, of suffering, of diligent pinpoint fucking work on what you want to do for yourself, not like, oh, let me just do a bunch of shit. Let me-- I want to be in every task possible. 

No. Pinpoint what I want to do with my life. What happens is you have all these voices that are telling you you're fucked up, and this is going to be hard. But for some reason, you put so much practice into you that you can ignore every one of them that are telling you you're not going to fucking make it. And still be able to fucking make it because you have put the practice in that you know this is the process. 

It's such a daunting task that all the voices are saying no. But you still have the conviction that I know I can do this. And that's what it took for me to get here. 20, 30 years ago, I had this-- 35 or whatever it was, 25 years ago, pipe dream. And ever since then, every voice was like, you're a fucking nut. But when you put that practice in every day, you lace them up. And I mean, run. It's just a metaphor for life. 

When you lace them motherfuckers up every day, pretty soon, you win. Pretty soon, you'll fucking win. If you have the courage and the heart and the dedication and the mindset of everybody can go fuck themselves, I know what I know. I've listened to myself enough to know. I know what I know. None of you can hear what I'm hearing. And that's what people don't do enough of. They don't listen to their journey. They listen to everybody else's shit. 

Before you know it, I'm crazy. But if I'm so fucking crazy, why am I so successful? How that happen? But I'm so misguided and fucked up. And don't listen to him. Why am I the only one to do a whole bunch of shit? Why am I a trailblazer? Why? How is that possible? How can you be fucked up and also self-made at the same fucking-- no. No. 

Obviously, you're not looking at the truth in front of you. The truth in front of you is it sucks. It's painful. It's fucking mind-numbing. And that is the truth. And that's why a lot of people don't like listening to me because this is what it takes, creating another voice and sometimes going at it alone. All the time going at it alone because no one's going to believe in you. And that's that. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: What I'm about to say is not conjecture. And I can say that with confidence because I did a four-episode guest series with a brilliant psychiatrist, a guy named Paul Conti. He's from Trenton. He's a Stanford, Harvard-trained guy. He's also got a lot of street in him. He's had his own hardship, real hardship. He's brilliant. And he said something that I'll never forget, which is, we think that the forebrain, the part of our brain that creates strategy, et cetera, is the supercomputer. 

He said, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. No, no, no. He's like, the supercomputer of the brain is the unconscious mind. It's the part of our mind that's controlling most everything. And most people, unfortunately, don't do the work to understand how their unconscious is controlling them. And that's a scary thing, this idea, like your mind is controlling you. And I'm not going to get into the free will debate. I believe in at least some will. 

I believe what you're describing and this internal dialogue, I think you have access to your unconscious mind by listening to the dialogue, going inward. We know this is true in sleep, in dreams, in meditation, and just by shutting out everything else, shutting out all the external noise, which is filled with things that pull us to it. Noise makes it sound bad, but it's the gravitational pull of all the things that allow us to distract ourselves without knowing. The ice cream. The have a cookie. The Merry Christmas. 

The unconscious mind, this huge piece of the iceberg underneath that Paul calls the supercomputer, he's saying that with knowledge as a neurobiologist, psychiatrist, psychologist, so he really knows, that's the piece that if one does real introspection, he calls it the cupboards. You got to look in the cupboards. And it's often really scary what you find in there. And most people are just like, I don't even want to know the cupboards are there. But you're pulling all the cupboard doors open. 

And then you're-- and you're extremely deliberate with what gets put into action. You're not just going, oh, like, I'm pissed, so I'm going to act pissed. Or I'm tired, so I'm going to act tired. It's you're picking very carefully what to do. And that's a process that I'm guessing came to you. Does it come to you as a, OK, it makes sense why running makes sense. It makes sense why smokejumping makes sense. 

So it seems like a huge portion of your time is spent understanding yourself and making sense to you. And so when people don't understand you, it's got to be extra frustrating because most people don't understand themselves. So then we're all running around going, you're this, and you're that because most people are just unwilling to look inward. 

And I'm including myself, by the way. I mean, I've done a fair amount of introspection. But I'm inspired today, that word, inspired, but it's true, motivated to start going inward further because it is scary. It's like, we don't know what's in those cupboards, and it's terrifying, especially because we don't know. 

DAVID GOGGINS: And those are the first ones to open up. And like you talked about, you got to go through those cupboards. I do spring cleaning every fucking day in those dark cupboards. Those dark cabinets are the ones I start with first. That's the real me, man. That's the real me. That's why I'm not ashamed. I don't hide. I used to hide. I don't hide anymore. 

He's exactly right. I don't know all the fucking science behind shit. I know what I know. That's why I don't listen to anybody anymore. I don't listen to shit. I think most people are full of shit because I know. I know the deep, dark secrets of those fucking cupboards. It's ugly, man. And every day, I'm talking to them. Every day, I'm cleaning them. I'm cleaning them, and I'm talking to the same demons that came out of those fucking cupboards as I'm cleaning them. Sometimes they go right back in them again. 

It's not easy. And this is why most of us just-- why I am misunderstood because what comes out of those cabinets that I'm cleaning, sometimes they see on Instagram. Sometimes they'll see it in a podcast. Sometimes they see it in this one. I turn people off. Open up your own cabinets. And then go talk about it. Let me see how pretty it looks. Let me see how pretty you sound. Let me see how put together your words are. 

I bet you a fuck or a motherfucker comes out because for you to go back in there again to clean the same fucking cabinet that the demon came out of takes some big balls, bro. To do it every day of your life. To go back in there and spring clean every day, not once a fucking year, once every decade. Every day you know it gets dusty. And every day, you don't start with the victories. You don't go, oh, this is nice. Look at my-- look at my I love me wall. Let me clean up. This is a little dusty. 

No. I go right for the things that are going to keep me buried. And I go right there first because if I don't clean those out first, the day doesn't start. So what are you saying to me is truth. And like I told you many times today, I can never figure out how to explain this shit to people because I'm not neuro nothing. I'm just a guy that said, OK, we got to start in the dungeon. 

And we got to stay here for the rest of our lives. For you to become successful, the dungeon is a place that has to be clean. And it's the scariest place to be. That's why I'm misunderstood because I'm speaking from the dungeon. That's why I am successful because I go there every damn day. And that is the truth, what he says. It's the exact truth. Those cabinets are fucking dusty, dirty, and scary as shit. Broken glass, fucking dark, spiders, cobwebs. 

But most of all, your biggest fears, the biggest things that put you in a fucked up place you are today are in there. That's why we all like to keep them shut. You like to lock them up. Act like they never happened. That's why you never grow. You never improve. You never have real conversations like we're having right now. Never. Never. Oh no. No, no, no, no, no. Let's not-- no, no, no. Let's not go there. 

I talked to so many people who tell me that. Let's talk about this. Because they'll tell me, but they can only say it once. And they'll say it in passing. They won't get deep in the weeds with it. Like, you can't just clean it. Motherfucker, you got to spit shine that motherfucker. You got to relive it, every fucking detail of it. You can't just be like, oh yeah, yeah, my dad beat me. And it is what it is. 

It ain't is what it is, motherfucker. It's killing you. It's taken over your whole fucking life. But that's the conversation. Yeah, my dad beat-- but I'm fine now, though. I'm good. OK. All right. No, you ain't. You ain't fine. You ain't fine. This is real talk. People don't have that. So your boy's right. 100% right. Scary as shit. It's scary as shit. But it makes you who you're supposed to be. 

And that's the test. We forget. We think we're supposed to breathe air and have kids and pay the bills and shit. But what's this life about? That makes no sense. We're being tested, my friend. Tests come when you have not studied. Tests come when you think that you're in a great place. 

That's the test. The test is every day of your life. And most of us fail because we don't know why we're here because we don't go inward to say, oh. You gave me a lot of shit to fix, man. And this test sucks. But then you start. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: David Goggins. I don't think I could add to that. I know I can't. Thank you for sharing what you shared today. I mean, as much as your process or anyone's process can't be completely understood from the outside, you gave us a real window into this thing, this process that you-- as you said, God put it on you. 

I believe in God too. People can believe what they want. But somehow, your life, God gave you these challenges early on. And then there was a point where you went internal. And like you said, you developed a skill. But it's a perishable skill. And you clearly live in the process of opening those cupboards, reopening those cupboards, trying to spit shine those cupboards, understanding that they're never, ever really done, but that you can gain ground on them, that you can win day after day after day. 

And you really shared a lot of concrete things that I know people are going to be able to apply if they choose. And I agree with you. I think most people will be like, whoa. That was a lot. It's heavy. I think I want to just kind of bake myself in Netflix and Chex Mix instead. But there's also the reality that there are men and women, boys and girls who hear that and go, OK, and start cracking the cupboards open. 

And I just know that for myself, I'm extremely grateful that you're willing to put it all out there. You're so brutally honest, so brutally authentic. That word authenticity gets thrown around so much. And I can tell you that for me and for everybody else, that's really what resonates. So whether or not you want to, whether or not it's the purpose behind it or not, you're lighting the path. So thank you. 

DAVID GOGGINS: Respect Thank you. Thanks for having me. 

ANDREW HUBERMAN: Thank you for joining me for today's discussion with David Goggins. To learn more about David and to find links to his two fantastic books, "Can't Hurt Me," and "Never Finished," please see the show note captions. If you're learning from and/or enjoying this podcast, please subscribe to our YouTube channel. That's a terrific zero-cost way to support us. In addition, please subscribe to the podcast on both Spotify and Apple. And on both Spotify and Apple, you can leave us up to a five-star review. 

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