I’ve been trying to read up a lot on successful people – where they came from, how they got to where they are, what happened along the way. There was a pattern that I could see in many of them: there was a major setback before their big success.

  • LeBron and the Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks the year before they won back-to-back championships.
  • Steve Jobs literally was “excused” from his own company before he had his major comeback and boosted Apple to what it is today.
  • J.K. Rowling was denied over one dozen times before Harry Potter was ever sent to print.

To find the success you want, you have to stop giving up. The ONE thing that you MUST give up, a major limit that you must NIX, is giving up. The only way to guarantee that you will never get a result is to stop trying. Otherwise you will get there.

Though your brain is an organ, your mind is a muscle and you might not want super-cut biceps but you DO want a swole mind. Mental toughness should be a major priority for your development. That comes through consistent practice.

4 Ways to Strengthen Your Mental Toughness

  1. Memorize MORE
    It sure is easy to find information, right? Between Siri, Alexa, and your thumbs you can find any fact or trivia in minutes! That’s amazing! Google has become a verb and though it is an incredible advantage, it presents a challenge as well.

    Don’t let yourself be solely dependent on Google. Know things. Challenge yourself to memorize things. It’s ok to look things up but then challenge yourself to remember.

    How does this strengthen your mental toughness? Challenging yourself to do things yourself! You will need to have levels of independence and expertise in the work you end up doing. You do not want to be the one always asking the questions. Seek to be someone who others turn to for the answers.
  2. Promote More Positivity
    Here’s a truth (and a limit): You listen to yourself way too much and don’t talk to yourself nearly enough.

    You read that right. Stop only listening to yourself, that’s why people give up and settle so often. Start talking to yourself! Promote more positivity within yourself to produce more results.

    This starts by inserting more positivity into your routines. Most skip over these important moments without a second thought and that is exactly why the results skip over them.

    When you begin a work shift. What do you think about? When you sit down for a test, begin studying, or walk up to speak with an advisor or teacher, what do you tell yourself? Build into your routines (that means doing it every single time) by telling yourself more positive things before beginning.

    Does it seem “fluffy”? Get over it. Insert statements that start with “I will…”, “I can…”, “I am…”, or something similar. Before you start performing, prime your mind with positivity.
  3. Start (and Finish) a Project You Don’t “Want” To Do
    In your life, you will be faced with projects and challenges that will not… let’s say… be your favorite. There will be reports you have to compile, new research to find, and more and more and more.

    There will also be things that you need to do, things you know you must do because of the result it will bring, You must start the habit now to find the mental toughness to get things like this done.

    Pick one. Start it, and then finish it. This could be something simple as cleaning out the mysterious piles underneath your bed, completing that last item on the “Summer Chore List” to clean out the garage, or even to FINALLY rid yourself of the 1500+ unread emails in your inbox. Identify a task that you don’t necessarily want to do, but that you know will bring you a good result, and then do it. See it through and you’ll start seeing more results too.
  4. Wait for It
    A (bad) habit that limits mental toughness is giving yourself rewards when you haven’t earned them. You need to NIX that limit right now.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am all for giving yourself rewards. Have a test to study for? Go ahead and bring that candy bar as a reward for after. Just wait until after to give it to yourself.

    If you have never tried this, do it! Think of something you do regularly because you enjoy it. That could be running, playing video games, sorting your spoon collection… whatever. Give that hobby to yourself as a reward for work well-done. Change your routine to enable you to put the work in first.

    That’s not something that is typical. It’s not something that is standard. But remember, average is the standard… so if you want average go ahead and do the standard.

If it doesn’t feel natural to do these things, that means there is growth in store! Start taking action. Start doing. I know it is more. I know it isn’t what most of your friends will be doing, but remember that doing more helps you get more.


Let’s go get more.

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