With the addition of two other categories to the blogs home page I thought it would be best to christen the Mental Health one. So as the title will tell you this post is about mental toughness, how to build it and how to use it.
Mental toughness for me is simply being able to put yourself through situations and experiences not because you don’t feel the pain but because you understand what lies beyond the pain. A simple and fitness related example would be pushing for the last rep while exercising- it may be painful and you may feel that you cant do it but you know that if you do complete the final rep you will be stronger for the future. Another example would be studying for an exam- the studying may be boring however its if you look beyond the exam and look at what will come after, that is what being mentally tough is for me.
An amazing story all about mental toughness is the story of David Goggins. He is currently the only member of the US armed forces to have completed Navy Seal training, Marine training and the US Army Ranger School. But his story is even more remarkable than that… he was bullied in school because of his race,he then became obese . Then one day he saw a documentary tracking the progress of new recruits during the hell week section of Marine training. He had to make a change. At the start he saw himself as the weakest person God ever created and that doing all these highly taxing things was the way to make him stronger, fitter for life. A goal was what brought this about, an aim.
A goal is what will form mental toughness because you know, you can identify what lies beyond the pain and the suffering. A goal is the key- that is what will drive you.
I shall leave you with a brilliant analogy by Les Brown. The Chinese Bamboo Tree takes a total of 5 years to grow- watering and fertilising the ground. However, for 4 years and 7 months you will see nothing. Only in the last 5 months of its life does the Bamboo shoot break the ground and grow to over 90ft tall. The question is, does the tree grow in 5 years or 5 months? 5 years because if at any point you stopped watering and fertilising the ground that dream, that tree would have died in the ground. That watering and fertilising the dream is the toughness that you show to achieve that dream.