We’ve discussed that true success requires perseverance, which means taking on four challenges, beginning with psychological capital. Now, let’s address mental toughness and physical strength.
The concept of mental toughness is as old as the hills, and there has been a particular emphasis on it lately in areas such as sports training, the military, and martial arts. There is no question that behavioral perseverance requires mental toughness. You can assess your current mental toughness by visiting disciplinestrategy.com.
As with other things we’ve been discussing, mental toughness is a combination of elements, including personal strength, optimism, healthy habits, self-confidence, and resilience.
This means that developing mental toughness will take every resource you have, and besides your mind, the most important resource you have is your body.
Since the ancient Greeks, and probably before that, humans have known the body and mind are connected. If you have poor health, especially poor cardiological and respiratory strength, this will negatively affect your mental toughness.
It’s not that it’s impossible to be mentally tough and physically weak. It’s that being physically strong helps strengthen your mind.
So, I offer suggestions to build both mental and physical health. Obviously, this involves nutrition and exercise.
As we are learning more and more, the typical Western diet of high sugar, fat, and carbs is bad for both body and mind. Purge your home and office of junk foods. Do you have a bag of chips with fifteen ingredients (mostly sugar and salt) printed on the side? Toss it.
There are literally thousands of weight-loss plans out there. We’re not talking about dropping twenty pounds in three days. This is about giving your body the proper nutrition it needs to function at its peak, and for that, there are no mystery formulas or super-pills.
- Eat your vegetables, especially the green ones.
- Use healthy oils in cooking, like olive, flaxseed, coconut, and avocado.
- Lay off the juice and keep to about two fruits a day.
- Stay away from hydrogenated fats, high-fructose corn syrup, processed rice and crackers, and low-fat salad dressings.
- Avoid foods that you suspect are not healthy, such as those with ingredients you can’t pronounce.
Our bodies evolved to move around, not sit all day. But starting a new fitness program requires care to avoid injury. Remember to prefer stamina to bouts of strength. Resistance training protects joints, builds muscle, increases your metabolism, and helps you maintain longer periods of focus during work sessions.
If you can afford it, I recommend you hire a weight trainer and that you listen to them. If that’s not for you, join a gym, but make sure you actually go at least twice a week with one upper-body and one lower-body routine. Or you can just make your own workout regimen from YouTube videos and other online resources.
Above all, you just need to get moving. Walk an hour a day, take up jogging or biking or swimming.
I recommend buying a fitness tracker. They’re inexpensive and keep you from inflating your figures. Walk at least 10,000 steps a day, but remember to build up cardio health, which means pushing your heart with short burst of extreme movement, such as sprinting or going full-tilt on the stationary bike for a few minutes.
Building up your body will aid in the mental toughness you need to keep on the straight and narrow path to your goals. It’s also just good for your health.