Developing Mental Toughness
Its been 42 days since I consciously made a decision to do 60 pushups every morning and always taking a bath with cold water.
We have decided to do many things.. started with it, and gave up halfway. Its easy to get distracted. The world is full of unlimited things To do, limitless distractions.
It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped
– Tony Robbins
Why do some people follow through to the end and some just give up and go home? Our decision making muscles are weak. We sometimes lack Mental Toughness.
Mental toughness is about your habits, not your motivation. Motivation is fickle. Willpower comes and goes. It isn’t about getting an incredible dose of inspiration or courage. It’s about building the daily habits that allow you to stick to a schedule and overcome challenges and distractions over and over and over again.
Navy seals are not super humans… they are trained to withstand pain, their decision making muscles are exercised to the point of perfection.
I am by no means like those guys, I can’t even stand NYSC DRILLS but the ability to just follow through with a consistent decision , unwaivering can lead to a stronger decision making muscle. Research has shown.
Our hypothesis that grit is essential to high achievement evolved during interviews with professionals in investment banking, painting, journalism, academia, medicine, and law. Asked what quality distinguishes star performers in their respective fields, these individuals cited grit or a close synonym as often as talent. In fact, many were awed by the achievements of peers who did not at first seem as gifted as others but whose sustained commitment to their ambitions was exceptional. Likewise, many noted with surprise that prodigiously gifted peers did not end up in the upper echelons of their field.
I am starting with easy decision like choosing to do pushups each morning or shower with cold water can make the journey easy.
What does Grit and Mental toughness mean for You?
From Navy Seals point of view, its for each person to complete their training.
For you, it might be…
going 60 days without missing a workout
going one week without eating Junk food
delivering your work ahead of schedule for two days in a row
meditating every morning this week
finding and working with a mentor
calling one friend to catch up every Saturday this month
spending one hour doing something creative every evening this week
Whatever it is, be clear about what you’re going after. Mental toughness is an abstract quality, but in the real world it’s tied to concrete actions.
You can’t magically think your way to becoming mentally tough, you prove it to yourself by doing something in real life.
You can’t become committed or consistent with a weak mind. How many workouts have you missed because your mind, not your body, told you you were tired? How many reps have you missed out on because your mind said, “Nine reps is enough. Don’t worry about the tenth.” Probably thousands for most people, including myself. And 99% are due to weakness of the mind, not the body.
All the time I hate having to pushup, it hurts by the time you get to the 45th push, getting to 50, then 60 is the hard part.
Doing this consistently has been improving my mental toughness.
Many tasks seem so big and insurmountable , but taking on them 1% each day will compound the effort over time. Like a Woodpecker Bird that just Keeps hitting one spot till it drills through.
I can’t see the effect of the pushups yet? I don’t look like hulk yet. One thing I know for sure is that my writing is improving. I am applying this same technique.
Mental toughness is like a muscle. It needs to be worked to grow and develop. If you haven’t pushed yourself in thousands of small ways, of course you’ll wilt when things get really difficult.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Choose to do the 60th pushup when it would be easier to just do 40. Choose to create when it would be easier to consume. Choose to ask the extra question when it would be easier to accept.
Prove to yourself — in a thousand tiny ways — that you have enough guts to get in the ring and do battle with life.
Mental toughness is built through small wins. It’s the individual choices that we make on a daily basis that build our “mental toughness muscle.” We all want mental strength, but you can’t think your way to it. It’s your physical actions that prove your mental fortitude.
People don’t have to be more courageous, more talented, or more intelligent to strengthen their decision making muscle — just more consistent.
Mentally tough people develop systems that help them focus on the important stuff regardless of how many obstacles life puts in front of them.
It’s their habits that form the foundation of their mental beliefs and ultimately set them apart.
What decision are you going to make right now and follow through consistently in order to get stronger mentally?