I almost decided to omit this challenge because it’s not strictly about improving yourself. Chapter Four of Goggins’ book is titled Taking Souls. It’s a little over the top, but it’s also revealing. Some of us, at least sometimes, are outward directed in wanting to achieve something.

In this chapter, Goggins describes some of the truly unpleasant tasks he performed during one of his Hell Weeks (he went through three of them). Goggins knew every officer and enlisted man supervising him during Hell Week was looking for a weakness they could exploit. Goggins turned the tables from what should have been an inferior position. He not only did what he was assigned, he did more and/or did it with more energy and enthusiasm than the instructors could stand. Along the way, they realized they could not break him and would sit him out of some of it. Goggins calls this taking souls.

Goggins’ fourth challenge, summarized, (from his book) is this:

Challenge #4 – Choose any competitive situation you are in right now. Who is your opponent? Is it your teacher or coach, your boss, an unruly client? No matter how they are treating you there is one way to not only earn their respect, but turn the tables, excellence.

That may mean acing an exam, or crafting the idea proposal, or smashing a sales goal. Whatever it is, I want you to work harder on that project or in that class than you ever have before. Do everything exactly as they ask, and whatever standard they set as an ideal outcome, you should be aiming to surpass that.

Whoever you are dealing with, your goal is to make them watch you achieve what they could never have done themselves. You want them thinking how amazing you are. Take their negativity and use it to dominate their task with everything you’ve got. Take their motherfucking soul?

Some of you contrarians will retort you don’t care what other people think and you are not exercising to impress anyone else. Fine. What if you are your own worst opponent? What is your worst criticism of yourself? What do you tell yourself you can’t do? Now, aim to surpass it.

This week’s music.