Can’t Hurt Me Book Summary - Can’t Hurt Me Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Can’t Hurt Me summary

David Goggins

Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds

4.2 (999 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

Can't Hurt Me by David Goggins is a memoir that tells the story of a man who overcame immense adversity to become a Navy SEAL and ultra-endurance athlete. It offers insights into the power of mental toughness and how we can all push past our limits.

Table of Contents

    Can’t Hurt Me
    Summary of 6 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 6

    David Goggins’ early life was blighted by his violent, demanding father.

    For many American children, childhood is a carefree time full of play, security and parental love. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way for David Goggins.

    Born in New York in 1975, Goggins never knew the simple joys of childhood. Instead, from the tender age of six, Goggins, along with his mother and older brother, was a slave to his tyrannical father, Trunnis. A self-made businessman, Trunnis owned a roller-disco rink, and his workforce was none other than his young family.

    Almost every night of the week, Goggins’ father took his wife and kids out to his skating rink, where he made them work tirelessly until midnight. Between the ages of six and eight, David’s job was to look after the skating shoes. His mother would cook their dinner over a hot plate in the rink’s office, and after the children had finally finished work at around midnight, she would put them to bed in the office too. Unfortunately, the thumping music from the dance floor made sleep almost impossible, and Goggins regularly fell asleep in school, unable to concentrate on his lessons.

    While this grueling routine of school and late-night work would have been intolerable for any young child, the sickening brutality of Goggin’s father made life all but unbearable. David often witnessed his father beating his mother with a belt when she dared to disobey him. Once, when David contracted a bad ear infection, she dared to take him to the hospital. Trunnis hated spending money on his family, even when his children’s health was at risk. When his mother returned from the hospital, Trunnis beat her senseless. Whenever David tried to intervene to protect his mother, he was belted too. He often had to hide the bruises and angry red welts his father’s belt had given him.

    Thankfully, when David was eight years old, he and his mother escaped from their tormentor. His mother sweet-talked his father into letting her get a credit card in her name, and with the help of a sympathetic neighbor, she planned her escape. After hurriedly leaving Trunnis’s house, David and his mother drove to the small town of Brazil, Indiana, where they started a new life free from Trunnis. But their newfound freedom was bittersweet. Why? Because David’s older brother decided to stay with their father, despite his cruelty, meaning that David saw him little after they left.

    Unfortunately, David’s life in Indiana wouldn’t be free from hardship either.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Can’t Hurt Me?

    Key ideas in Can’t Hurt Me

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Can’t Hurt Me about?

    Can’t Hurt Me (2018) is the inspirational true-life story of David Goggins, one of the world’s fittest men. The blinks explore the key life events of this inspirational athlete and military man and provide a fascinating insight into a truly focused and unbreakable mind.

    Can’t Hurt Me Review

    Can't Hurt Me (2018) by David Goggins is an extraordinary memoir that pushes us to overcome our limits and tap into our untapped potential. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Packed with relentless determination and resilience, it shows how Goggins transformed himself from a depressed, overweight young man into a Navy SEAL and ultra-endurance athlete.
    • Combining raw honesty, reflection, and practical advice, the book provides a roadmap for breaking through self-imposed barriers and achieving greatness in all areas of life.
    • With its unflinching portrayal of Goggins' physical and mental challenges, the book is a gripping and inspiring account that proves the power of the human spirit.

    Best quote from Can’t Hurt Me

    I became just the thirty-sixth African American to successfully graduate from Navy Seal training.

    —David Goggins
    example alt text

    Who should read Can’t Hurt Me?

    • Fitness freaks looking for fresh insights
    • Those wanting tips on how to triumph over adversity
    • Anyone interested in inspirational life stories

    About the Author

    David Goggins is an ultramarathon runner and the former world record holder for the greatest number of pull-ups completed in 24 hours. Goggins is also a former US Navy SEAL who saw active duty in both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

    Categories with Can’t Hurt Me

    Book summaries like Can’t Hurt Me

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Can’t Hurt Me FAQs 

    What is the main message of Can’t Hurt Me?

    Can’t Hurt Me is about pushing beyond your limits and discovering your true potential.

    How long does it take to read Can’t Hurt Me?

    The reading time for Can’t Hurt Me varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Can’t Hurt Me a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Can’t Hurt Me is worth reading because it provides powerful insights on overcoming obstacles and achieving personal growth.

    Who is the author of Can’t Hurt Me?

    The author of Can’t Hurt Me is David Goggins.

    What to read after Can’t Hurt Me?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Can’t Hurt Me, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Never Finished by David Goggins
    • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
    • The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
    • Endure by Cameron Hanes
    • The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel
    • Deep Work by Cal Newport
    • 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin
    • Super Human by Dave Asprey
    • The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
    • How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie