Living with a SEAL: Lessons in Leadership From the Military


Business is starting to realise that you can learn a lot from the Military. It makes sense, after all, the Military have been training leaders for centuries. The implication of leadership failure is also a lot more serious in the Military. 

Living with a Navy SEAL

But at a personal level, you can learn a lot too.

I just finished the book “Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet”. Jesse Itzler, a successful entrepreneur, invited David Goggins into his home and asked to be trained by David.

David Goggins

David Goggins is a story all by itself. A ranger and a Navy SEAL, he started running ultramarathon as a fundraiser. In 2005, Goggins entered the San Diego One Day, a 24-hour ultramarathon held at Hospitality Point in San Diego. He was able to run 100 miles in under 19 hours despite never having run a marathon before. He was granted entry into the 2006 Badwater-135.

At the 2006 Badwater-135, he finished 5th overall, an unheard of result from an ultramarathon novice at a world-class event. Only three months after completing his first Badwater Ultramarathon in 2006, he competed in the Ultraman World Championships Triathlon in Hawaii. He placed second in the three-day, 320-mile race, cycling 261 miles in two days on a rented bicycle. Before training for that race, he’d never ridden a bike competitively.

He has suffered from asthma and had a congenital heart defect. He hates running and cycling.


This man is a beast. In the best sense of the word. He is the toughest man on the planet. It is all in his mindset and the power of grit and intent. He is a shining example of what the power of the mind can do.


I highly recommend the book. Here are a few of his lessons:

  • Every day do something that makes you uncomfortable.
  • I like to sit back and enjoy the pain. I earned it.
  • You need to feel the pace.
  • I don’t do shit for applause. I don’t do shit for fanfare. I do shit for me.
  • I don’t think about yesterday. I think about today and getting better.
  • It doesn’t have to be fun. It has to be effective.
  • When you think you’re done, you’re only at forty percent of what your body is capable of doing. That’s just the limit that we put on ourselves.
  • If you want to be pushed to your limits, you have to train to your limits.
  • If you can’t do the basics, you can’t do shit.
  • You can get through any workout because everything ends.
  • If you’re hungry, run faster. You’ll be home quicker.
  • Know what’s important to you and protect it at all costs.
  • I don’t celebrate victories, but I learn from failures.
  • I don’t stop when I’m tired. I stop when I’m done.

Extreme stoicism. The operating system of every entrepreneur.


I think we should include masterchefs in the mix. The ability to be creative, innovate and deliver food at consistent quality standards.

I would also recommend the book “Resilience, what you can learn from Master Chefs, Stoics and Navy Seals and why innovation, art and storytelling are important“. You can download the book for free from our Downloads section.

Here are a few more books I would recommend:

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