Your Mental Strength Test
Ever witnessed this happening to people as they begin to change their life? Maybe even yourself?
You start out with a commitment to improving your situation and circumstances only to find yourself 3 months later still going around in circles. You fail to progress because you do not give yourself time to develop your mental muscle.
I remember in high school how I used to convince myself that I worked best under pressure and would always leave my serious projects until the last minute.
The night before I would be sweating, under pressure, sitting up until 2 am to finish what would invariably turn out to be a sub-standard report or project. It was like trying to squeeze a thousand push-ups into one day so I could wake up tomorrow physically fit.
Your brain is not dissimilar from any other muscle in your body in terms of what it can handle. Many people suffer burnout as they approach exams in school, deadlines on projects and engaging in their first major financial transaction.
This habit of thinking that great things can be done in one major burst is like gambling on lotto numbers.
People can spend their whole lives trying to get it right in one instant rather than working with the discipline that is required to create the body of health, the mountain of wealth and to build that mental muscle. Success requires constant daily discipline and attention.
Whether it’s a physical body or a mind that is being developed: the rules are about the same.
Trying to cram for an exam is not as effective as studiously preparing oneself over the course of a semester.
Stripping 20 kg’s from an overweight body is not something that can be achieved overnight.
So how do YOU build your mental muscle so you can consistently perform at a new level?
Start building YOUR mental muscle TODAY ?Refuse to cram when it comes to success. Whatever you can do to prepare yourself, do sooner rather than later. It is rare that someone comes out of the blue, with little preparation and achieves great success.
Go with the numbers. Do a little everyday and watch the magic happen.
You must make the deposits into this account early if you want to experience the benefits of compound growth. Most people understand this principle when it comes to money. You can’t go through your whole life broke and suddenly try to save a fortune in the year before you retire and expect to live financially abundant “Golden Years”.
For people that achieve great success in any field, you have to realise they have been preparing themselves for years when they finally reach the heights that has them recognized with greatness amongst their peers. It is few that hit the hole-in-one on their first round of golf. The only reason these types of success stories make the news is because they are so rare.
Read for 30 minutes a day and build it up to an hour a day. At this rate you will be reading around a book a week, which are 52 books a year in a world where less than 3% of the population even have a library card let alone read a book.
Do you think that will give you an edge? You bet it will. Within 5 years you will be a recognised “guru” in your field. 7 years and famous success expert Brian Tracy says you’ll be an “International Expert” – all from just one book a week on a particular subject.
Listen to audio programs or podcasts in your car or when out on a run. First do it for an hour of driving time and each week increase this amount by 30 – 60 minutes until 70-80% of your day is spent listening to information that will transform your thinking. You can literally get a university of success education on wheels just by choosing what you listen to carefully.
“There is not one successful person that I know that doesn’t listen to success programs in their car.”
Listen to your mind like you would your body. I believe most people can tell when they have physically exhausted themselves. Your mind is the same. You will reach a point of saturation and you will just need to take ‘time out’. Listen to music or just enjoy some peace and quiet. We are all human and we all have moments where we begin to overload. Practice noticing this overload early and maintain the balance and rest that is required to build your mind into the ‘Mr. Universe of Minds’.
Never confuse a *Character Building Opportunity* with exhaustion.
“Your talents and abilities are gifts handed to you but your character is formed under fire and tested in turmoil.” – Les Brown
Your BIG Mental Test
I know I have had times where I have been somewhat negative towards a situation and the last thing I wanted to listen to was Anthony Robbins in my car telling me to “hang in there” and “change my physiology”. This is ‘the’ test for us. And god damn it, Robbins is right. It is in these moments that I force myself to listen to tapes or read something positive or uplifting. Refuse to stay stuck in misery, complaining and blaming. See if you can snap yourself out of it. And see how quickly you can do it.
Know When To Switch Off
There are times however when I have simply listened to about as much as I can take. My mind is bombarded with ideas and input and I need some time to process what I have been taking in. We all reach this point at different times. I know I can absorb hours more than I could when I first began listening to tapes and reading books all those years ago.
This important distinction has served me well. It took me many years to recognize the difference and I used to keep going when I was exhausted and needed to rest. This lead to burnout and times where I just needed to sleep for about 12 hours and have a couple of days off just to recuperate.
Know the Difference
You must get good at noticing when negativity energy has gripped you.
It is in these moments you must do something that every cell in your body will want to fight. It is in these negative times that you must shake yourself up, turn on the CD or pick up that book and read. You won’t want to. In many cases you would prefer to stay put and complain and moan. But this is critical if you wish to really achieve great levels of success.
It would be easy to think that it is the deals we make, the people we connect with. But all of these are symptoms of great positive attitudes. And these attitudes are formed by you and you alone. When you develop this ‘steely’ characteristic you will never be sucked into the whirlpool of misery and left to drown ever again. Having the guts and determination to go against the grain and turn those CD’s on when you feel miserable is the hallmark of incredible mental strength.
Test # 2 – “Apply”
In my book the “Power of Subconscious Goal Setting” I talked about the importance of giving yourself time to grow. It’s not how many books you churn through that will make the difference… it’s whether you learn and APPLY the lessons you learn that counts.
I would never have been able to write that book had I not taken the time over the past ten years to complete each of the exercises I had learned.
I now treat this learning phase in the same way I treat my running program. Hard days are followed by recovery days. I never do two hard days in a row. And it doesn’t necessarily mean a recovery day is a day off either. It’s a light day. One where I keep moving forward. I also know when to stop and just rest. You will learn this through experience only. It’s not something any amount of writing or advice I give you is going to help with because you will be starting at a different level of mental fitness to anyone else.
Actions Speak Louder Than…
You will find it is the people who act on the information they are presented with that have the BIGGEST impacts and achieve the greatest success. You can go to the gym and stare at the weights for as long as you like but the muscle won’t grow without you doing something.
It is quite often not just on Sundays like I used to want it to be. My brain needs a break when it needs a break. Stay fluid and flexible and keep pumping out the repetitions. Keep adding to your bank. The results will come. You can’t stop progress when you act this way.
This is your mental strength test.