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141 – Mental Toughness…a reminder.



Today I just wanted to have a little reminder episode.  Sometimes it’s good to just stop, and remember what we are up to here…what this whole being a better man thing is all about.  If you have been listening for awhile then you are going through your life looking for opportunities to be a better man each day.  You are thinking about it, you are becoming it.

Human nature dictates that when we do something good we often have a tendency to pat ourselves on the back and then rest on our laurels.  It’s a natural thing, and something we all need to watch out for, myself included.

You know what I mean?  You make some great strides.  You notice your behaviors gradually changing for the better, you are seizing opportunities to be a better man.  You get so proud of yourself that you start to feel like your done, like your dedicated commitment over the past two weeks are so wonderful that you can relax a bit.

It isn’t always a conscious choice, sometimes we are just informed by our own subconscious, and that’s why we need to be on the lookout for it.  This is where mental toughness comes into play.

A lot of people go through life spending energy trying not to displease or disappoint certain people; our boss, a parent, a spouse or friend.  The problem with that, is we can be crafty…we can hide things from these people at times.

That’s why it’s important for you to become that person you don’t want to displease or disappoint.  It’s much harder to hide things from ourselves because we know all our secrets, and that is where being mentally tough can help you.

Mental toughness means that you become your own drill sergeant.  You become the supervisor, of yourself.  You make the intellectual decision each day to take stock of yourself, to set objectives, make assessments and implement corrections. 

It may take some practice, but if you can learn to separate your intellect from your emotional mind and treat yourself objectively, then excuses no longer work.  Justifications are made irrelevant and you are able to stand before yourself completely naked.  In that moment…you have the opportunity to make improvements.

For many, many people this is a brand new skill.  Like any new skill it requires effort, repetition and practice to gain mastery over it. 

It’s kind of like learning to play a musical instrument; you practice and practice and gradually, you start to learn the chords.  Gradually you are able to put a melody together.  Your own ears, and anyone else listening will be able to hear your progress.

The difference is, in this case the only person who can hear or interpret your improvement is yourself.  That’s why it requires a whole different level of mental toughness and accountability.  Your success or failure in this skill is completely, absolutely up to you and you alone.

It isn’t something you can approach in a willy-nilly fashion.  Rather, It is something that needs to be done daily.  It is most helpful to establish a routine, a ritual.  A certain time of every day when you stand before yourself and make an assessment. 

It might be in the morning when you are just waking up, or in the evening when you are going to bed, or on your lunch break, or a combination of these things.  Whatever works for you, the important thing is that you set this time aside and become religious about doing it every day.

That will prevent you from being able to run a game on yourself that makes you feel like you don’t need to improve any further.  That you are a better man than most and therefore…good enough.  The fact is that we can continue to improve as people and as men until the day we die.

To further remind you of what is at stake here, I’ll tell you this.  You are doing this for yourself, by yourself, but ultimately the benefits of this are much broader.

By being in a state of perpetual improvement every conceivable area of your life will also improve; your finances, your professional life, your love life, and your physical,mental, and emotional life as well. 

Not only that, but you will become an example for other men and boys to follow.  You will set the standard in your circle.  You will be an exemplary example of what manhood is regardless of who is watching…and that will have an impact on the world in some way.  That is the legacy of a man; to impact the world in some way, through our example, through the life we lead that causes others to emulate us.

There are no big awards for doing this, no grand recognition, other than the peace we feel in our own minds.  The knowledge that we have done what we can to be a better man today than we were yesterday.

Now head out into the world and be aware of yourself.  Establish a routine and make regular assessments, apply mental toughness and be accountable and keep on practicing until you gain mastery over yourself as a human being…and then keep on doing that.

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