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“Don’t let your body or mind do exactly what it wants to do! Take control!” – David Goggins
David Goggins believes in accountability. If you want to be successful in life, you’ve got to take full control of your decisions and stay true to whatever you believe in—and that includes owning liability for whatever will happen in the end.
David Goggins is a lot of things—an athlete, motivational author, speaker, retired U.S. Navy SEAL, and former U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Controller. In all of this, he is a remarkable inspiration. His personal stories of hardships and sufferings are daily reminders that we are all capable of overcoming challenges.
But did you know that Goggins doesn’t really want to be called a “motivational speaker?” While there are tons of motivational speakers out there, he believes that the real motivation you need is inside you. You can spend the whole day watching TED talks or reading self-help blogs, but your dreams won’t come true unless you get out there and make them real.
This is why, in most of his speeches, you will hear him tell you that you’ve got to take action. He will hold you accountable for slacking, and you will eventually realize that he is right.
How does a person become great? What do you need to do to become successful? Action is the answer.
In this article, we bring you the best and most notable David Goggins quotes that can help you live a more successful and satisfying life. While motivation is an essential part of taking that leap of faith, accountability is equally important.
Let’s check them out!
What You Will Learn
David Goggins Quotes On Suffering and Weaknesses
“It’s so easy to be great nowadays, because everyone else is weak. If you have any mental toughness, if you have any fraction of self-discipline; the ability to not want to do it, but still do it; if you can get through to doing things that you hate to do: on the other side is greatness.”
“For me to fix this, I gotta read my book. Okay, I’m afraid of my shadow. How can I overcome that? – Go in the military. Get your ass kicked. Do things you hate to do. Be uncomfortable every f***ing day of your life.”
“Suffering is a test. That’s all it is. Suffering is the true test of life.”
“You have to build calluses on your brain just like how you build calluses on your hands. Callus your mind through pain and suffering.”
“The Buddha famously said that life is suffering. I’m not a Buddhist, but I know what he meant and so do you. To exist in this world, we must contend with humiliation, broken dreams, sadness, and loss.”
“It's a lot more than mind over matter. It takes relentless self-discipline to schedule suffering into your day, every day.”
“When you’re exhausted, weak, and tired and everyone around you looks just as bad as you or even worse – that’s the perfect time for you to make a statement. You let everyone around you know that when their life ends, that’s when yours begins.”
“Pain unlocks a secret doorway in the mind, one that leads to both peak performance, and beautiful silence.”
“Everybody wants a quick fix like 6-minute abs – you may get some results from it, but those results won’t be permanent. The permanent results come from you having to suffer. You have to make that a tattoo on your brain so that when the hard time comes again, you don’t forget it.”
You probably have already heard this a million times, but it is worth repeating because there is truth in it—if you want to be successful, you have to be willing to go through pain and failure. There is no other way to get to the top of your game.
No one is born successful. You need to work hard and face every challenge that may come your way. And you can only do this by embracing your inner strengths and weaknesses while taking full control of and responsibility for your pain and suffering. Only then will success come knocking at your door—and all you have to do is seize it!
This brings us to our next set of quotes, which are about limitations and success. Once you are within reach of your goals, don’t stop. Maintain what has been accomplished while still pushing to the limits.
David Goggins Quotes On Limitations and Success
“We all have the ability to come from nothing to something.”
“Always be willing to embrace ignorance, because that is the only way to expand your body of knowledge and body of work. It’s the only way to expand your mind.”
“Even if you are hurting, never let your competition see the look of defeat or even vulnerability on your face.”
“When you fall down, focus on the solution, not the problem. You might quit or fail 100 times. Keep that clear picture of where you want to be.”
“Tell yourself the truth! That you’ve wasted enough time, and that you have other dreams that will take courage to realize, so you don’t die a f*cking p*ssy.”
“Don’t limit expectations of yourself and settle for anything less than what you are truly capable of achieving.”
“If you want to be one of the few to defy those trends in our ever-softening society, you will have to be willing to go to war with yourself and create a whole new identity, which requires an open mind.”
“This one’s for the unusual motherf*ckers in this world. A lot of people think that once they reach a certain level of status, respect, or success that they’ve made it in life. I’m here to tell you that you always have to find more. Greatness is not something that if you meet it once it stays with you forever. That shit evaporates like a flash of oil in a hot pan.”
“We are all great. No matter if you think you’re dumb, fat, been bullied, we all have greatness. You gotta find the courage. It’s going to be hard work, discipline, and non-cognitive skills – hard work, dedication, sacrifice – that will set you apart.”
“The only reason why I became successful was because I went towards the truth. As painful and as brutal as it is, it changed me. It allowed me, in my own right, to become the person who I am today.”
Perseverance and grit are key achieving and maintaining success. You don’t back down or stop when you reach the finish line. You have to build a path to the next one. Rest if you must, but never stop.
When you know that your life has meaning and you are live for something, happiness and contentment follow.
David Goggins Quotes On Living a Purposeful Life
“We live in an external world. Everything, you have to see it, touch it. If you can for the rest of your life, live inside yourself – to find greatness, you have to go inside.”
“Having lived the life I’ve lived, and seeing the other side, not being afraid to attack what was in front of me has made me happy.”
“The only person who was going to turn my life around was me. The only way I could get turned around was to put myself through the worst things possible that a human being could ever endure.”
“Be true to whoever or whatever you are and wear it like a badge of honor. Fit in with one person and one person only: yourself.”
“We all want to take this four-lane highway, but we always step over the shovel. All I did was pick up that shovel and made my own path.”
“Life is a battle between trying to find more of yourself knowing that the real you is afraid, likes comfort, likes to be patted on the back, and doing what you need to do to get better.”
“I don’t stop when I’m tired. I stop when I’m done.”
“A warrior is a guy that goes ‘I’m here again today. I’ll be here again tomorrow and the next day.’ It’s a person who puts no limit on what’s possible.”
“Thicken your skin. Become more of a human being. Don’t be afraid of the reflection in the mirror.”
“Stop making excuses. Stop being a victim. Take personal responsibility. Hold yourself accountable. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable. And finally, make your dreams come true.”
“Every day you’re trying to find more of what you’re capable of – and that’s the big question. What are you capable of? Stop doing the things that you do every day. If you run every day, go swim.”
Final Words on David Goggins
It is hard to live a fulfilling life that is dependent on others. You’ve got to take control and be accountable for yourself.
As our favorite quote from Eleanor Roosevelt says, “No one can make you feel inferior except you.” If you understand your pain and suffering, and if you admit and accept your mistakes and shortcomings, living a happy and satisfied life becomes a lot easier.
Did any of the quotes above resonate with you? We’d love to hear which one! Feel free to share it in the comments section below.
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Be like David Goggins—stay true to your goals and believe that you can reach them. You are well on your way.
Finally, if you want to use these quotes to make a lasting change to your life, then check out and recite these 57 affirmations for success.