Saturday, June 20, 2015

Get Tough: Change and Grow


                                                                          (photo credit:

Everyone wants to be tough.

Many show toughness in small chunks, but they just aren't consistent.

We admire those who are consistently tough. They are relentless mental assassins. They assassinate negative thoughts. As the eloquent Macklemore wrote in his song titled 10,000 hours, "the greats weren't great because at birth they could paint; the greats were great because they paint a lot."

Malcolm Gladwell outlined the 10,000 hour theory in his book Outliers. You want to be a master at your craft, you say? For most, it takes an accumulation of 10,000 hours of training in that skill. The greats usually started young, but it's never too late to accomplish something great.

Mental conditioning is just like strength conditioning, you have to do something to get stronger. When lifting weights, muscle tissue that gets broken down repairs and regrows as bigger and stronger muscle (when observing proper rest, hydration and nutrition). Likewise, mental conditioning requires "breaking down" of our attitudes. Fortunately, this happens every day! We all have bad thoughts, attitudes and ideas. The key is knowing what to do with them, surrounding yourself with the right equipment, and growing!

Weight lifters can't have the same weight routines without reaching a plateau. The same is true in mental conditioning. We all must challenge, change, seek new knowledge, surround ourselves with new mentors, read new books, buy new audio tapes, and disable the systems that limit us.

Sometimes, growth cannot occur until we rid ourselves of our limiting beliefs or negativity that surrounds us, i.e. negative friends, co-workers, TV shows, movies, commercials, etc. These are all advertisements for our attitudes. If you're consciously working to become tougher, you've got to get rid of the junk.

Imagine you were working to lose weight, so you began lifting weight and running. But you kept drinking soda and eating potato chips. Eating healthy 80% of the time will get you marginal results. Thinking positively and aggressively 80% of the time will bring the same average results.

When you want to get tough, you must fear average.

Here are a few resources for improving mental toughness:

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