“It’s so easy to be great nowadays because most people are weak.” – David Goggins; ultramarathon runner, ultra-distance cyclist, triathlete and former Navy SEAL.
I didn’t hear these words until just a few days ago when I stumbled upon an interview conducted by Tom Bilyeu on David Goggins, and you can find it here. After doing some research on David, it’s clear that he definitely has the credentials to back a bold statement like that: the man’s completed Navy SEAL training, U.S. Army Ranger School, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training (and is the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to have done so), has served as the bodyguard for Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, set a new pull-up world record in 2013 (4,025 in 17 hours), participates in ultramarathons, ultra-distance cycling races, is a triathlete, and has raised over $2 million for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which awards scholarships and grants to children of fallen special operation soldiers.
Yeah. He can say that. But wait, there’s more.
On top of the work and dedication that went into accomplishing such feats, he had a lot of obstacles to overcome, taking the shape of both physical ailments and difficult circumstances during his childhood. To name a few wouldn’t do his battle for greatness any justice, so here they are: asthma, sickle-cell trait, psychological and physical abuse during his childhood, graduating high school with a 1.6 GPA, battling with obesity twice in his life, a congenital heart defect (hole in his heart which required surgery), and as if that wasn’t enough, he has a natural dislike for running and cycling.
After listening to and reading about what the man went through in his life, it’s hard not to devote a post to him, at the very least. He’s got a unique story which people should hear, and this is one way to spread his story. Make sure to check out his website, davidgoggins.com, to find out more about him and read his story.
So what exactly does he mean when he says how these days, it’s “easy” to be great?
What he means is that today’s generation is a softened one. Our world has slowly become one in which people would not only rather have things handed to them than work for such things, but they expect it. A world where, as David says in the interview, people are becoming more easily influenced by others. One mistake, one scolding, one discouragement, and they’re ready to throw up their hands and quit whatever they were trying, a lot of the time before they’ve even started.
So is it easy to be great? No, no way. Is it easy-er? Yeah, thanks to so many people who give up nowadays as soon as conflict arrises. When “the going gets tough”, they get soft and quit. Because it’s easy to run from a challenge. It’s easy to be normal, to stay at the bottom and never aspire to make something of your life. And that’s fine, no one says you have to. You don’t have to do anything.
But if you want to be great, if there’s a certain degree or form of success that you’d like to attain, you need to adopt a different mindset. A mindset that doesn’t scare easily at the thought of an obstacle or the potential of discomfort. Whatever you’re trying to succeed at, the odds might be stacked against you, it might seem impossible.
But then, think of how many people there are that aren’t even trying in the first place. That’s sure to narrow the playing field.