One thing that I’m becoming more aware of is the importance of mental toughness. I consider myself highly motivated, but maybe I’m too generous in this self appraisal. I do work hard, but there are also times in my life where I just don’t do enough – this happens too regularly if I’m honest about it. Achieving something worthwhile in life often requires exceptional effort and sacrifice. I’ve no problem mustering a good effort, but a lot of my ambitions require more than this.
A few months ago I wrote a blog entry called, ‘The Price I Pay to be a Writer’. I was being honest about the sacrifices involved in my choice of career, but I have to remind myself that this is a path that I’ve chosen. I gave up a good career in nursing (and a not so financially rewarding career in teaching) to pursue this dream. Getting what you want is always going to come with a price.
Developing Mental Toughness
During the last few months I’ve devoted a lot of attention to learning Muay Thai. This martial art has provided me with plenty of demonstrations about the importance of mental toughness. I plan to step into the ring at some stage, and this has meant training at an intensity that is beyond anything I’ve ever dealt with previously. I’m finding that the training is a lot more mental than physical. Mental toughness is about pushing yourself even when every cell in your body is crying out to stop. Without this push beyond my comfort zone there will be no way that I’ll be ready to fight.
I’m finding that by developing this inner strength is just like developing muscles; the more you push yourself mentally the better you become at it. This mental toughness can then be used in every area of life. It not only means that I can work through physical pain. It also allows me to spend an extra hour earning money or doing those things that need to be done. By just pushing just that little bit my life improves and I feel good about doing it.