It was Henry Ford who said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you right.”
The quote alone shows that whatever plan we have, whatever dreams we wish to aspire to, and the position we aspire to reach begins with the mind. That’s how critical our mind is. When people count their assets, they often think of their bank accounts, real estate holdings, stocks, and tangible assets that they have acquired over the years, and yet, they forget to add their mental toughness to the list, which can be more important than all of these other external things.
Several factors contribute to an individual’s success in life: fulfillment of basic survival needs, education, and time are important factors contributing to a person’s well being. However, mental energy is the most important as people lack the drive and physical energy to conquer their dreams without it. This is why scientists and researchers all over the world stress one’s good mental health, and even more so during times of academic and life pursuits
Does mental toughness outrank one’s talent and intelligence?
More often than not, it isn’t talent and intelligence that helps an individual succeed in their endeavors. Instead, it is the passion and perseverance, the grit, that makes all the difference. This drive and motivation to finish what they started are why some people make it, and some don’t.
By that theory, we don’t mean talent is overrated because it is not. But hard work, perseverance, and commitment to practice one’s craft consistently can help an average Joe outrank his prodigiously gifted peers. Talent and intelligence can take someone so far, but a lack of mental grit and toughness can hold them back from achieving their true potential. This theory applies to several fields.
A University of Pennsylvania study found that students who have more mental toughness than those with more intelligence scored higher in their SATs and had higher GPAs.
So how can mental toughness be instilled and applied in a variety of fields? Here are some pointers to increase your mental toughness.
1. Build Good Habits
Motivation is one of the essential factors in developing one’s mental toughness. However, it can be fickle and can come and go. However, if an individual is motivated enough to form good daily habits, they are able to stick to a rigid schedule and work towards their goals with commitment. Building good habits, such as doing yoga every day, has been found to help create change in people’s lifestyles and even fix chronic diseases. Consistency is key to developing one’s mental toughness.
Successful people are able to overcome their daily challenges and distractions and manage to get back on track. This is usually possible because they’ve developed a system through which they can focus on their important stuff. When one develops a routine set in stone, they can stick to it regardless of the amount of motivation they have on that particular day. It is human to slip off one’s routine time and again, but mentally tough people pick themselves up and get back on track as soon as possible.
2. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a great therapeutic skill that can help individuals get a better sense of what they want through an awareness of their own thoughts. Mindfulness and meditation also works to reduce anxiety and depression. People can make mistakes due to a brief moment of weakness or stress. The best way to deal with such obstacles is by practicing mindfulness.
The art of mindfulness is a practice that has been practiced for the past 2000 years or more and is a scientifically proven way to bring your awareness into the present. By simply existing and reveling in your existence, you can strengthen your mind and its strength.
3. Set Your Goals
Mental toughness can mean different things for different people. For some people, it is finishing an obstacle course; for others, it can mean studying a certain number of hours every day. For some, it can mean resisting the urge to pick up a cookie, while for others, it can mean picking up and eating a cookie without feeling any guilt. What works for one person doesn’t necessarily mean that it works the same for someone else! It is crucial for you to decide on your own goals.
Being mentally healthy is not a tangible quality, but it is tied to tangible actions. By consistently setting goals on what you want from yourself and committing to making them happen, you can mold yourself into having a more vital mental capability. One cannot only be tough by thinking about what they’re going to do. They have to actually put in the work to make them happen.
4. Recharge Yourself
Many have to face several challenges on a daily basis that can drain us of our mental energy. One of the best ways to recharge yourself is through adequate sleep. Studies show that an individual’s mental energy is replenished by 100% when they have the right amount of REM sleep.
Another great way to recharge yourself is through the company of people who make you happy. Friends who can help you when your inhibitions are low and lift you are vital for one’s mental health. Surrounding yourself with positive people boosts your mood and motivates you to achieve your dreams and goals.
Most of us like to think of ourselves as invincible, but the truth is our mental energy can drop quickly throughout the day. This is why we need to cherish and harvest our mental toughness to better deal with anything that life throws our way.
By Alina Burakova
Alina is a tutor, career coach, and writer who also specializes in mindfulness. Check her last CreativeLive review, which you may find helpful when choosing photography, art, design, craft & DIY, marketing, business, and entrepreneurship courses online.
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