While chipping away on my basement this weekend I tuned into a Joe Rogan podcast featuring David Goggins. David Goggins is the hardest man on the planet. I’m not even sure this is debatable. If you’re unfamiliar, get familiar. As a snapshot, Goggins is the only member in the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training, Ranger School and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training. He also set the world record for the most amount of pullups completed in 24 hours with 4,025. He sets course records for running races that are 150 miles long. He graduated high school with a 1.6 GPA, was born with a hole in his heart, and served in Afghanistan and Iraq.
At one point in his conversation with Rogan, Goggins pointed out a deep desire to be uncommon amongst uncommon people. He stated that the softest people in the world are those who say “go all in on your strengths.” Instead of living your life around what you excel at, Goggins believes we need to run towards our fears because it presents a challenge. If we like bench pressing and hate running, he would tell us to run instead of going for a new PR on the bench. While his marathon accomplishments are overwhelmingly impressive he has stated throughout his career that he hates running. This is the reason he obsesses over it.
What struck me about his ideology was how, on the surface, it seemed in stark contrast with what many business people claim. “Going all in on your strengths” is exactly the Gary V mantra I’ve bought into over the past few years.
I can’t help the fact that naturally I’m garbage with numbers and math. Without a calculator I’m about as useful as a left-handed smoke shifter. With a calculator I’m slightly better.
Does this mean I should labour intensely to improve my mathematical prowess? What would Goggins say?
Initially, these two approaches seemed like diametrically opposing viewpoints. Upon further reflection I believe that one is a better business practice and the other is a better life practice. I think Goggins’ approach outside of the work-force makes total sense. We should run towards our fears in an attempt to callous the mind, break through mental barriers and accomplish things we never thought possible.
Playing to your strengths seems to make sense as a better business practice because the reality is I probably wouldn’t make a good accountant just like a serial killer wouldn’t make a good priest. If you have someone who can communicate with anyone and make people laugh/smile, they would likely do better in a sales role than stuck behind a desk being a stock analyst.
Do you run towards your fears? Do you play towards your strengths? Let me know and stay positive.