I enjoy studying legendary people who started from the bottom and whose wildest dreams have come true. I find their paths to success fascinating, and I have constantly wondered for as long as I can remember what makes one man more capable than the next. When I study the commonalities amongst greats, one trait stands out to me more than any other: mental toughness. The ability to endure mental and physical pain by passionately focusing on the ultimate goal is difficult and rare.
I wonder if these unique individuals were born with this skill or if it something they acquired. How can each one of us work to strengthen our mental toughness each day? Not dissimilar from physical training, practice and pushing ourselves enables us to go a little farther, be a little better, and accomplish a little more each day. Our tolerance for pain goes up, and what we considered impossible previously becomes the ordinary and expected.
Each day, we have the ability to focus our energy on anything we choose. Of course we have jobs, children, obligations, and responsibilities. These are unavoidable, but there are still moments in the day when we have time to ourselves. Wouldn’t training our minds to get more out of the finite energy we have be a wise investment? If we can learn to absorb the stresses and failures of life more effectively, wouldn’t this lead us to living fuller and happier lives?
This Forbes article outlines six elements of mental toughness that one can develop in order to become more mentally tough. If you’d like, try consciously implementing one or two in your day-to-day to see if it has a positive effect.
“Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory.”
– Bill Russell