It is said – That The only way to discover our limits - is to go beyond our possible-zones to the arena of the impossible.
We all know of people who have beaten what the humans[till that time] thought impossible – AND - the number of THESE incredible PEOPLE ARE NOT one, two or few – they are in thousands, in every country – who have defied and redefined what human BODY is capable of by accomplishing unbelievable physical feats.
All of us are awed by the physical-performance - while Watching the Olympics.
Rarely we see and connect their physical performance with their mental, psychological and emotional - power, stamina, endurance and limits.
To a certain degree our many limits are physical – like if your Muscles aren't conditioned for a certain task, they may tear under stress higher than you have handled – YET – THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN DO IMPOSSIBLE PHYSICAL TASKS – IS BY MAKING YOURSELF TOUGH MENTALLY & Emotionally.
Let us define - What does the mental + emotional + psychological toughness – actually means
- 1.Mental toughness ultimately comes down to our habits of mind and discipline
- 2.Mental toughness is not about our motivation. Because Motivation is fickle and Willpower can only be stretched so far.
- 3.Neither Mental toughness is about getting an incredible dose of inspiration or courage. It's about building the daily habits that allow you to stick to a schedule and overcome challenges and distractions over and over and over again
- 4.The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us but those who win battles we never see them fight [almost all the globally known athletes and successful people have gone through their own battles and wars]
- 5.Mentally tough people don't have to be more courageous, more talented, or more intelligent — just more consistent
- 6.So often we think that mental toughness is about how we respond to extreme situations. How did you perform in the championship game? Can you keep your life together while grieving the death of a family member? Did you bounce back after your business went bankrupt? – YES - There's no doubt that extreme situations DO test our courage, perseverance, and mental toughness … but what about everyday circumstances?
- 7.Mental toughness is like a muscle. It needs to be worked to grow and develop. If you haven't pushed yourself in thousands of small ways, of course you'll snap when things get really difficult.
- 8.Mental toughness is built through small wins. It's the individual choices that we make on a daily basis that build our "mental toughness muscle." We all want mental strength, but you can't think your way to it. It's your physical actions that prove your mental fortitude
- 9.Our mental toughness can be defined as the ability to maintain the focus and determination to complete a course of action despite difficulty or consequences—to never quit.
Some of the toughest human endurance tests in the world – where people go and test their limits are – I have given the toughest ones
- 1.Self-Transcendence - Runners cover 3,100 miles in 52 days by running 5,649 laps around one block in Queens, NY, passing the same playground, ball fields, and high school, all on punishing concrete. Successful runners have to cover 60 miles a day on an average
- 2.6633 Arctic Ultra - The 6633 Arctic Ultra is known as one of the hardest, coldest, windiest long- distance footraces humans have undertaken. Competitors must support themselves over 120 or 350 miles, both of which cross into the Arctic Circle Runners must complete the course in 191 hours.
- 3.Grand to Grand Ultra - 273 km (170 miles). 6 Stages. 7 Days
- 4.Barkley Marathons - The Barkley Marathons is an approximately 100 miles race held in Frozen Head State Park in Tennessee. Runners have 60 hours to complete it.
They are six types of people in varying types Mental-Toughness– broadly – although many of us may use all the 6 types in different situations and with different people
- 1.Intrinsically motivated self-starters - They need little encouragement to give their best effort – as they normally have passion induced internal self-propelling and self-generating energies and motivations
- 2.Challenge/pressure motivated – some of the folks can actually shine when the pressure of competition is on. They revel in the chance to compare themselves with others.
- 3.Success/Opportunity Driven - Research has established that if all things being equal between two competitors, whoever has a higher achievement motivation will be the final winner or the champion
- 4.Avoid Failures/Loss Type – They only move out of their comfort zones, when the danger of big loss
- 5.Ego driven people - These respond to challenges that threaten their egos
- 6.Forced/Need driven types
The 7th type would be those – who won't budge – no matter what.
How to be GO BEYOND YOUR LIMITS
- 1.Identify your powerful WHYs of Purpose, Existence, Living – all the people who can identify their Whys – have the Constant Intrinsic-Inspiration and Motivation
- 2.Visualize – this NLP tool is great – when you are going for difficult, unknown, never-done-before, earlier-failed tasks
- 3.Meditate Correctly – by understanding the purpose of meditation
- I.The 1st purpose of meditation is to understand yourself and being fully comfortable with yourself.
- II.2nd objective is to be conscious of all the thoughts passing through your brain as an external observer [and not trying to control, suppress, negate or unduly getting worried]
- III.3rd purpose of meditation is the ability to introspect objectively
- IV.4th reason to meditate is to go into thoughtless-ness state => To be calm
- V.5th benefit of correct mediation is trying to solve problem – by getting your sub-conscious to guide your solution process
- 4.Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
- 5.Anticipating and Being prepared for higher levels of challenges/obstacles, than it is at stake - Endurance athletes have a saying - Nothing new on race day - Meaning if you've prepared yourself for everything, you'll be ready for anything
- 6.Anticipating all the challenges, probable obstacles/difficulties and problems that may arise – and creating multiple solutions along with fine-tuning ourselves by having several pilot run real-time
- 7.Continuous and consistent practice – in case a new skill or talent is needed to be acquired
- 8.Raising the bar for yourself – in small byte-sized incremental increase in the endurance level, everyday basis => both physical as well as mental
- 9.Learning to withstand pain - We almost never come close to our physical limits. Look at the second/third - place Olympic champion – are they dead – NO - It means they could have done better - By pushing themselves physically and mentally EVEN FARTHER
- 10.Always working on improvement – even if you have attained the world's greatest level by Believing improvement is still possible
- 11.Go ABOUT FINISHING IN SMALL INCREMENTS – all those tasks/responsibilities/actions/decisions- which scares you as well as those which seems impossible. That is by breaking them in smaller milestones – which are stretch but possible.
- 12.KEEPing OUR EYES OFF THE CLOCK While practicing to increase your endurance level
- 13.FIND Your Own MANTRA – that anchors within you the motivation to go beyond your limits
- 14.Identify what YOU LIKE ABOUT THE SENSATIONS of pain that you are experiencing - While going for beyond your comfort zones – do it till your body is sore and learn THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN INJURY AND NORMAL SORENESS - Running on a cramp is uncomfortable, but it's not unsafe. You can't find your limits without testing them, and you can't test them unless you're willing to push through soreness
- 15.Seek Struggle and Challenges Proactively – instead of avoiding them
- 16.Believe in the 40% Rule of US Navy SEAL – which says that when your mind is telling you you're done, you're really only 40 percent done - The next time you're physically struggling, wanting to give up with every fiber of your body, think of this rule.
- 17.Expose yourself to stressful, painful and uncomfortable situations – consciously – to condition you to that level[ when you do it knowingly, the stress does not become harmful
- 18.Avoid – all the unavoidable Unhealthy stress
- 19.Enjoy experimenting – be Open to newer experiences everyday by regularly taking calculated risks, challenging yourself and trying new things
- 20.Learn to Ask the right internal as well as external questions
- 21.Understand the rewards of stretching and going far beyond your comfort zones in every area of life – like success, happiness, good relationship, high self-esteem
- 22.Your Physical Limits Reveal Your Mental Limits – they're tangible– which means they're also fragile, stretchable and breakable
- 23.Create a journal – where on day to day basis you note down your newer feats of achievements – by writing all that You were not able to do But Now You can. When you first start out doing the impossible, you can't do much. You might fail. But consistently keep doing and over time you actually are able to do things, even those which you thought not possible for you to do
- 24.Be a DOER - You might be confident, you may think you can do it, you may even make yourself believe that you can do it - but you won't actually know until you actually do it
- 25.BEAT YOUR RESISTANCE - Even if it sucks and your mind tells you it is not for you – just do it – IF YOUR whys SAYS THAT YOU OUGHT TO DO IT - It takes a strong desire, discipline and determination to dig into the depths of self-development and really work on ourselves and it is the easiest thing to put off doing
- 26.Some of the greatest accomplishments throughout history are marked by our capacity to push through incredible amounts of physical and mental pain to reach new heights and new goals of pleasures. Few Examples
- I.Thomas Edison – Do you think it was stressful and painful for him to fail thousands times - on his way to inventing the light bulb?
- II.Roger Bannister – Do you think he was pushing himself to the breaking point when he finally - broke the 4-minute mile?
- III.Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norway – Do you think they felt the pain, the joy, the exhaustion and exhilaration upon reaching Everest
- You and I share the same common abilities as these great pioneers.
- 27.Challenge yourself to take one more step – Every time you feel you are at your limit
- 28.When you fail – it will only hurt your self-esteem. The Real fun is in getting up and trying till you succeed
- 29.Nothing changes until you take the first step which needn't be a huge one – BUT - It can be a move to overcome your fears and doubts
- 30.Understand that your Pain is temporary, the self-satisfaction is much longer lasting and that Everything in life that is worth something requires hard work to achieve it. There is a huge difference between climbing the highest mountain of Africa and the highest mountain of Asia. Never underestimate the effort it takes to get to the top.