Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds
Do you know who you really are and what you’re capable of?
I’m sure you think so, but just because you believe something doesn’t make it true. Denial is the ultimate comfort zone.
Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. In every town, in every country, all over the world, millions roam the streets, dead-eyed as zombies, addicted to comfort, embracing a victim’s mentality and unaware of their true potential. I know this because I meet and hear from them all the time, and because just like you, I used to be one of them.
I had a damn good excuse too.
Life dealt me a bad hand. I was born broken, grew up with beat downs, was tormented in school, and called nigger more times than I could count.
We were once poor, surviving on welfare, living in government-subsidized housing, and my depression was smothering. I lived life at the bottom of the barrel, and my future forecast was bleak as fuck.
Very few people know how the bottom feels, but I do. It’s like quicksand. It grabs you, sucks you under, and won’t let go. When life is like that it’s easy to drift and continue to make the same comfortable choices that are killing you, over and over again.
But the truth is we all make habitual, self-limiting choices. It’s as natural as a sunset and as fundamental as gravity. It’s how our brains are wired, which is why motivation is crap.
Even the best pep talk or self-help hack is nothing but a temporary fix. It won’t rewire your brain. It won’t amplify your voice or uplift your life. Motivation changes exactly nobody. The bad hand that was my life was mine, and mine alone to fix.
So I sought out pain, fell in love with suffering, and eventually transformed myself from the weakest piece of shit on the planet into the hardest man God ever created, or so I tell myself.
Odds are you have had a much better childhood than I did, and even now might have a damn decent life, but no matter who you are, who your parents are or were, where you live, what you do for a living, or how much money you have, you’re probably living at about 40 percent of your true capability.
We all have the potential to be so much more.
Years ago, I was invited to be on a panel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I’d never set foot in a university lecture hall as a student. I’d barely graduated high school, yet I was at one of the most prestigious institutions in the country to discuss mental toughness with a handful of others. At some point in the discussion an esteemed MIT professor said that we each have genetic limitations. Hard ceilings. That there are some things we just can’t do no matter how mentally tough we are. When we hit our genetic ceiling, he said, mental toughness doesn’t enter into the equation.
Everyone in that room seemed to accept his version of reality because this senior, tenured professor was known for researching mental toughness. It was his life’s work. It was also a bunch of bullshit, and to me he was using science to let us all off the hook.
I’d been quiet until then because I was surrounded by all these smart people, feeling stupid, but someone in the audience noticed the look on my face and asked if I agreed. And if you ask me a direct question, I won’t be shy.
“There’s something to be said for living it instead of studying it,” I said, then turned toward the professor. “What you said is true for most people, but not 100 percent. There will always be the 1 percent of us who are willing to put in the work to defy the odds.”
I went on to explain what I knew from experience. That anybody can become a totally different person and achieve what so-called experts like him claim is impossible, but it takes a lot of heart, will, and an armored mind.
Heraclitus, a philosopher born in the Persian Empire back in the fifth century BC, had it right when he wrote about men on the battlefield. “Out of every one hundred men,” he wrote, “ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior…”
From the time you take your first breath, you become eligible to die. You also become eligible to find your greatness and become the One Warrior. But it is up to you to equip yourself for the battle ahead. Only you can master your mind, which is what it takes to live a bold life filled with accomplishments most people consider beyond their capability.
I am not a genius like those professors at MIT, but I am that One Warrior. And the story you are about to read, the story of my fucked-up life, will illuminate a proven path to self-mastery and empower you to face reality, hold yourself accountable, push past pain, learn to love what you fear, relish failure, live to your fullest potential, and find out who you really are.
Human beings change through study, habit, and stories. Through my story you will learn what the body and mind are capable of when they’re driven to maximum capacity, and how to get there. Because when you’re driven, whatever is in front of you, whether it’s racism, sexism, injuries, divorce, depression, obesity, tragedy, or poverty, becomes fuel for your metamorphosis.
The steps laid out here amount to the evolutionary algorithm, one that obliterates barriers, glimmers with glory, and delivers lasting peace.
I hope you’re ready. It’s time to go to war with yourself.