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The most recent episode of the Huberman Labs podcast puts this into laser focus. The guest is David Goggins. 

The central takeaway is that there is nothing but the doing. Nothing else matters. As David said, there will come a day when his body say, "No more running." Until then, there is only running.

The post title comes from Star Wars. Yoda tells young Luke, "Do or do not. There is no try."

Fear of failure is not uncommon. I believe it is connected with expectations, be it ours, or those of others. We expect that we should achieve and succeed, and that means we have a goal and we are determined to perfect it — often right out of the gate. We leave no room for doing without expectations.

There is no time for deliberation. There is only do, or not do.


In time we adapt. This is one of the best things about the human condition. Our bodies work hard to adjust and get used to things. But they also thrive on challenge.


Without challenge, there is the conscious awareness of boredom. Deep inside the brain, we also "know" it is not worth living to stay flat. The brain likes us to push. Huberman named the brain region: the Anterior Mid-Cingulate Cortex. Go to the link to watch the clip:

Huberman Lab: David Goggins clip

It's the region where we push hard to live — to make ourselves do what we don't want to do. It is screaming for us to not try, but to do.

As Huberman says, to invest in the things we don't want to do. If you hate the cold water, then this region grows. It is largest in the people who face despairing challenges over and over again.


There is really nothing I can add to what he said. I can only say that every word resonates. What I can offer is that my life is not like his. I did not come from a 300-lb. physical disadvantage. I didn't have that far to go. For him it's like the immigrant scratching and clawing to find their way from the third world country to a good place in the States. I did not come from that kind of set-back. So no, I do not comprehend that kind of intense pressure. I have no excuses. David might say that none of us do.


He said that if you are content with where you are, then fine, I accept that. I concur. Some folks just have resolved to live with it. He said that you might get to be 90 years old, and look back saying, "Why didn't I do that?" He said, that nobody can make you do anything. It's on you. It's on your will. That thought has passed my mind many, times in this way: nobody needs a health coach. Why? Because those who really want it are already after it looking for the solution, and they will find it. They will make it happen. Seek, and ye shall find. Ask, and it shall be given to you. So true. Only those who crave coddling really need a health coach. Everybody else who wants it bad will open their mouths and ask the questions that get it done. This is one of the many things — maybe the biggest thing — that has kept me from going all in to being a health coach. Why waste my time just to hold someone's hand? My belief is that a switch has to trip in your brain before you will act. I call it the "Awakening" and I had mine. That's not to compare me to Goggins by any stretch. But I understand what it takes to change. It takes an intense shock to the system. After, nothing is the same again. But if you are not sick and tired of your present state — damned exhausted with it, truly sick of the shit — you will not change.


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