I was recently on a road trip to California with some friends, and somehow our conversation topic landed on our futures, being successful, and then working hard in general. Two of my friends were both amazed with a common book they had read, “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins about putting in hard work and they mentioned it to me. Fast forward a couple of months and I am in English class, and I need a non-fiction book to read and analyze. This same book they had mentioned a couple of months ago came to mind and I thought I would give it a shot. And I was absolutely blown away. It is seriously one of my favorite non-fiction books!

“Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins is an autobiography focused on David’s journey from childhood abuse, through extreme military training, and finally onto becoming a super athlete and ultra-marathoner. David starts his life being physically and emotionally abused by his father. He runs away with his mother and struggles through middle school and high school. David is not super smart, but he somehow finds his way into Navy SEAL training. The rest of the book takes the reader through multiple Hell Weeks, military exercises, and ultramarathon successes and failures.

“Since that night in Hell Week, I’ve deployed the Taking Souls concept countless times. Taking Souls is a ticket to finding your own reserve power and riding a second wind. It’s the tool you can call upon to win any competition or overcome every life obstacle… Taking someone’s soul means you’ve gained a tactical advantage. Life is all about looking for tactical advantages, which is why we stole the Hell Week schedule, why we nipped Psycho’s heels on that run, and why I made myself in the surf, humming the Platoon theme song. Each of those incidents was an act of defiance that empowered us.” – pg. 120

David not only tells his story, but he teaches his audience how to become tough, hard-working, and how to “callous their mind” along the way. David uses his memories to describe his own journey towards becoming superhuman and to back up his advice for the reader. So, if you are interested at all in overcoming challenges, learning to be tough, being a better version of yourself, or even if you aren’t interested at all, I would still 100% recommend this book to you!

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Christopher Aguila
November 3, 2021 4:05 am

Dear ALEX:

Your post “Can’t Hurt Me” Book Review, pumped me up because this book has been on my radar for the longest time! Your review helped me make the decision on whether or not I should purchase the book. I’m happy to say that I placed my order for the book today and I cannot wait until it arrives in the mail because I’m looking forward to reading that book; this was long overdue. 

One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “So, if you are interested at all in overcoming challenges, learning to be tough, being a better version of yourself, or even if you aren’t interested at all, I would still 100% recommend this book to you!”. When you made this statement, I knew that I had to purchase the book. I’m also striving to become a better version of myself and I feel that through this book, the process of doing so will be much easier. 

Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because I strive to surround myself with people who want to better themselves. Many people settle too early, which prevents them from reaching their full potential. Thanks once again!

Chris Aguila

Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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