tough

7 paths to domination and 1 big way to fail

You’ve got to pay the price

Simple words. A big challenge.

All of a sudden it hit me. I needed to toughen up a little. I needed a little more mental discipline. I was letting my fears destroy my vision. It reminded me a of story I had been told about a soldier in World War II.

Apparently:

A team of soldiers were fighting inch by inch for a painfully embattled strip of island. Day after day they fought — losing men and gaining little headway. Each day their supplies ran lower and several of the men started getting sick. The classic symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting would be bad enough if enemy snipers and cleverly booby-trapped minefields weren’t even more dangerous.

Each night, a few brave soldiers would swim back to the battleship anchored two miles off shore to get more supplies and ammunition. Many never made it back.

In the middle of this sad, miserable jungle, Sam fought side by side with his band of brothers. While others became feverishly sick with dysentery, he raised morale with his wit and charisma. Things seemed to be getting better. The enemy was being pushed back and the team was alive. And then things got tough for Sam.

He became ill. Very ill. Sam got so sick that he could barely move. As the rockets and mortars crashing overhead as he lay in his foxhole, it seemed like a matter of time until one landed too close. And then it happened.

Sam said that you could always tell by the sound of a mortar overhead how close away the round might be. Your senses perked up when the difference between death and inches is just a few seconds and quick movement. And in a weakened state, lying pathetically at the edge of a foxhole, Sam and his partner had little time to move. The round crashed into the back of the foxhole where Sam’s partner sat huddled. The shrapnel completely obliterated Sam’s partner and gouged deep flesh out of Sam’s back and buttocks and legs.

Blood soon mixed with diarrhea and infection set in. Sam had to get back to the boat or die. There was no other option. No one was able to carry him back. To live, he had to go it alone.

And so when darkness fell, he crawled from his foxhole to the beach and into the saltwater — salt ripping deep into open and raw wounds. And the unbelievable happened.

Sam swam the 2 miles back to the boat and lived. In spite of the odds, in spite of his weakened state, Sam made it.

What kept Sam alive is the same thing that will help you dominate — mental toughness.

There wasn’t a cheering section waving flags and rooting for that soldier on the last 200 yards. There wasn’t a friend putting SuperPoke “You can do it” messages on his Facebook page. And forget about any Tweets with the words “crush it”, “good job” or “best of luck”.

It was icy water, diarrhea and deep wounds, infectious fever, and a ravenous determination to live.

Mental toughness is a process of muscle growth like physical exercise. There is NO magic potion. You have to intensely focus on a few key repeatable exercises. Here are a few of them:

  1. Avoid the need to blame others for anything — Mean, small-minded people know that they suck. That’s why they are so cranky and eager to point out your mistakes. They hope that by causing you to feel inadequate, everyone will forget about how woefully off-the-mark their own performance is. Stop the habit of blaming anyone for any reason ever. It’s a bad habit.
  2. Stop working on things that just don’t matter — Not everything needs to be done in place of sleep. If you work for a boss, then you owe them solid time. You can’t cut that out. You can however cut out the television time, board meetings, and anything else that gets in the way of you staying focused on your destiny. Replace entertainment with activity toward your goal.
  3. Find the positive side of any circumstance. It’s there — Find a negative person and you’ve found a mentally weak person. It takes no mental courage to say that something “won’t work.” Frankly, that’s the easy route. What does take mental effort (lots of it sometimes…) is to believe in something when you are the only one in your cheering section. Make it a personal challenge to find the best in every situation. And tell someone when you find it.
  4. Refuse to let yourself wallow in self-doubt. You’re alive to succeed — Stop comparing your problems to your last 18 failures. They are not the same. You are not the same. Here’s something to remember: Your entire life has been a training ground for you capturing your destiny right now. Why would you doubt that? Go conquer. Stop whining.
  5. Ask yourself “what can I do better next time?” and then do it next time — Guess what? Spend a decade or two earnestly trying to “be better”, and that’s exactly what will happen. The next best thing to doing something amazing is not doing something that’s stupid. So learn from your mistakes and use the lessons to dominate.
  6. Actively take time to do things that fuel your passion (e.g. exercise…) — Living in the moment requires you to live at peak performance. A huge part of mental fitness is physical fitness. So go fight someone. Or go running. Mental motivation gets accelerated by physical activity.
  7. Say thank-you for something that you have taken for granted in the past — The exercise of gratitude is a powerful ignitor of creativity. Selfishness limits our ability to work at peak performance. When you think only of yourself, you miss out on the real key to world domination — help other people.

The quickest way to fail is to let your fears and doubts get in the way of your passion. It’s what happens naturally. If you want to dominate, control your thought, young Jedi. You’ll find yourself conquering more.

P.S. If you liked this post then you’ll like my books as well. You can get them on Amazon.