Success Hacks on How to Develop Mental Toughness
Stack your “Why’s” Hack – James Lawrence – The Iron Cowboy
James ran 50 Ironman’s in 50 days. Yes, you read that correctly, in 50 days!! After thirty days and 30 Ironman’s, he wanted to quit. He said it was tough because his body gave out, and he was on a side of the road, and went into a fetal position, with no desire to continue. Then, he started thinking about ALL the reasons he was doing this. James said, “I was doing this for my kids to show them how to be a great example. I was doing this for my wife to show her she’s got a resilient husband. And most importantly, I was doing it for the charity, and all the people supporting us. What would it be if I didn’t show them the ultimate character test, which is to finish what you start!” He continued, saying “I don’t think any one of those reasons alone would have done it. But when I started stacking all the reasons why I was doing this, it gave me the strength to get back up! And I didn’t look back after that.”
I would say for anyone that’s wanting to conquer their mountain, make a list of ALL the reasons why you’re doing it. Carry it with you thru your journey. Whenever that doubt creeps in, take a look at that list to remind you of why your started! It will reveal to you just how strong you really are!
Identifying your Why’s can help you see why you are putting yourself through the struggle to begin with. From there, it is important to break down your struggle into bite-sized chunks that you can take on one at a time. Winning those individual moments will build on top of each other in your mind, making you tougher as you go.
Win Building Hack – Iron Cowboy
Mental toughness is about having a vision and huge goals! From there, it about taking the vision and breaking it down into bite-size pieces. James has said that what got him to the point of doing 50 Ironman ‘s was 10 years of training. Taking one step at a time and running a 3-mile fun run, which he never wanted to run again, but it pushed him to get to do a marathon. All of those bite size chunk wins led to growing and improving to what most would call your unattainable goals, like the 50 Ironman’s were for him. He said “mentally, once I kept having success after success, and stacked those wins, verses all my insecurities, now, I don’t allow the negative voice in my head to interfere with what I’m going to do!”
Building little wins reminds ourselves that we are capable of hard work. When we think of someone that works hard, one thing we think about is their hands. Some one who put in a hard day’s work has rough hands, dirty and calloused from using them for hours upon hours. Mental toughness works the same way but instead of on our hands, we need to develop calluses on our minds.
Developing Calluses on Your Mind Hack – David Goggins
The generation that we currently have is very sad. However, this means that if you have any mental toughness, you will have a competitive advantage over the rest of the field. People asked David why he runs when he doesn’t really like to run. His answer is actually quite remarkable. He said, “I run because I don’t like to run. I run so I can train! I run so I can train the calluses on my mind to be prepared, so that when I get that call at two in the morning that my mom dying, or some other type of emergency, I’m mentally and physically prepared for what’s to come. When I run, I’m not running for a race. I’m running to win the game of life.” This is a skill set that we can all learn. But you must learn to endure the pain and be willing to go through the process to have that transformation where you can handle anything!
One of the other ways to define this, is to run towards the truth. David said, “I wasn’t very smart, but I realized I had to run towards the truth so I could do something about it!” People want to go read books where the answers are unique. Every day in your life is a page of your book of life, but you must be willing to expose the pain during those time of suffering.What you have to go through to get to this truth will change you and you will be one tough M-F!
Developing mental toughness is about doing what you have to do, even though you don’t want to do it. That is how we develop calluses, because we know our sacrifice is worth it in the end. Another way to see it is through the titular character in the “Rocky” series. How was he able to take the beating that he did but still go on with the fight?
Taking Away Their Soul Hack – David Goggins
Here is more insight from David regarding mental toughness. “When it comes to describing what mental toughness feels like, I always think about Rocky in the first movie! There’s a scene where it’s the 14th around and Apollo Creed is just beating the crap out of Rocky. The reason why I love Rocky is he was really not a very smart guy, but he just tried really hard. I can relate to that because I wasn’t the smartest guy, but I had heart and I could beat people by just lasting longer than them! So, Apollo keeps beating the crap out of Rocky and he falls down where Mickey (his coach) tells him stay down, stay down. Rocky doesn’t hear anything, and Apollo turns around and is waving his hands in the air thinking that he’s finally knocked down this animal he’s been battling and it’s finally over! He then turns around and sees Rocky is back up and he’s pointing to him saying come on! Come on! Right there is where the fight changes because Rocky took away his soul!”
“That’s sort of my definition of mental toughness. The ability to be able to not have the most talent, and you just outlast people that are more talented than you. Just by doing that, you’re not giving up! Going through the process is how you keep building on that skill set! To get pounded over and over again, falling down you do not hear a soul, and keep getting back up and finishing. When you do that, that tells your opponent (your Apollo), which are your doubts, insecurities, your worries, that you’re not going away, and you take away their power! That to me is the best way I can define mental toughness! Taking away their soul. And sometimes the person you’re struggling with the most in the one in the mirror!”
Rocky was able to outlast Apollo because of his mental toughness. He was able to endure everything that was thrown his way, because he knew what it meant was worth more than the pain he was feeling. From this, we can see that mental toughness is all about endurance.
Endurance Hack – Alex Dee
If you’re willing to see yourself suffer, you will be able to outlast others and endure! It also allows you to overcome most of your deficiencies! You have to honor the struggle! Realize that in order to achieve success, you will go through struggles! The struggle is all part of the process. Once we realize that it is part of the process, we no longer avoid the struggle, we embrace it as we develop our mental strength!
Endurance is the key to mental toughness. It gives us the perseverance and tenacity to do what we have to do to succeed in life. Just look at how Kyle Maynard was able to persevere.
Perseverance or Tenacity Hack – Kyle Maynard
The first Quadruple amputee to reach the mountain of Kilimanjaro. Kyle says the best way to describe the feeling is from the Finnish word – Sisu – the mental strength to continue to try even after you feel you’ve reached the limits of your abilities. When you feel you can’t go on, know that you’re just getting started!