Recently I was saddened to learn that a friend had backed down to a situation where, in my opinion, she should have stood firm. While I will spare the details, due to the private nature of the matter, it’s a good subject for a difficult time.
While physical strength is an asset, it’s also a choice. When someone works out, develops muscles, eats right and gets their body in great physical condition, people tend to marvel at the outcome. “Wow, they look great. Wish I could look like that.”
Mental strength is an equal asset. Though it’s often confused with intellect, it’s just as hard to attain as physical strength. Mental strength is gained over time, after hard work, and as a result of intentional conditioning and testing of the mind.
Its easy to understand why many are not as physically strong as someone who appears chiseled and fit. Most know what has to be done and few are willing to do it. Those are personal decisions, and each person will choose to align their decisions to match their level of commitment to their bodies. If it were easy we would all be body builders.
Mental strength is often attributed to education, which is a key area where the mind is strengthened, information is expanded and people learn. However, there are many additional ways to develop the mind and to become mentally stronger everyday.
First, learn daily. If you need to take a class, take it. Listen to experts. Read books, learn your field, learn a new field. Don’t be a bystander and hope to catch a few tips here and there. Be proactive and take measurable action. Become a sponge in the area you need to learn, and take advantage of the innovative ways technology makes so many things available in an instant.
Second, don’t be a wimp! This is necessary for mental strength. Too many back down when things become difficult. Make one good decision at a time and follow through. Give up a food that is bad for you. Stand up to one difficult person. Be tough on that child who you know needs discipline. Talk to your boss about your career. Sign up for that night class. Tell that bad habit you are finally done and be done with it.
Nothing produces weakness like giving up and giving in. If you want to be fit, you eat right, you work out, every day you get stronger and have more energy. If you want to
be mentally strong, you do the same. You learn, you grow, and you stand firm in your decisions and you feel more confident each day. Don’t try to see five years ahead, just do today better than yesterday.
It’s easy to be weak, it requires little tenacity. Dig deep, make one hard decision at a time, then stand firm. Within you is exactly what you admire in others. You just have to develop it.