1/02/2009

Develop mental toughness by starting your day with an act of courage


In my previous post I shared a video where a man encouraged his viewers to begin each day an act of courage. His suggestion on how to do it was to take cold showers. One reason why he suggested cold showers is so we can overcome the need to instinctively want to seek the comfort of a warm shower first thing in the morning. In fact, we normally tend to seek comfort in much of what we do throughout the day.

I've been taking cold showers for the past week or so. The act of choosing step into frigid water in the morning is one of the most difficult things you'll ever have to do. Your first instinct is to flee the very moment the water hits you. If you don't remain steadfast in your decision to follow through in your cold shower, you will quickly revert to pacifying yourself with warm waters.

The great thing about cold showers is that the longer you stand under the cold water, the less painful the experience. Your body increases blood flow to help raise the body temperature. Soon you find the the excruciating feeling of standing in cold water no longer holds the same value. All of the sudden you are able to handle the experience and what follows is worth its weight in gold. There is nothing like coming to the realization that you have overcome the voices in your head that tell you to run quickly into the arms of warm soothing water. A rush of excitement will fill your senses as you find that you've conquered the demon that is cold water.

Mental toughness is the ability to push through even when you do not feel like it. Its knowing that the discomfort you are feeling is only a representation of fear and not worthy of your attention. Mental toughness is not a trait that one can develop overnight, it comes from making choices that normally don't come easy for us. Not only is mental toughness difficult to develop, its even harder to maintain. That is why making a choice to do something that challenges your mind every day is crucial.

For me, developing mental toughness comes in the form of a cold shower. For you mental toughness can be getting up at 5:00 am every morning. You might decide to workout every morning to toughen your mind. Whatever it is, I encourage you to take on your act of courage in the morning before your day begins. When you do so, you are sending a powerful message to the mind that you are willing and fully able to take on challenges without so much as even a flinch. You've already conquered your most difficult task of the day and everything else is just a bunch of details. Decide this moment what actions you will commit to doing daily as a way of challenging yourself. By adding mental toughness to the ever growing list of your character traits, you're allowing yourself to take on the world with a whole new set beliefs about what you can and cannot do.



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