"I wasn't there to compete. I was there to win." -- Arnold Schwarzenegger
You can spend time in the gym lifting weights to get physically stronger, but how much time are you spending to create a mind that is just as powerful?
As nice as it may be to boast huge muscles, getting fit -- becoming successful in general -- requires perseverance, focus, and a cool head in the face of challenges. In other words, your journey toward achievement asks that you travel the road to mental toughness.
After becoming discouraged from the lack of progress he was making with a particular exercise, American author and entrepreneur, Tim Ferriss, spoke with former men's gymnastics national team coach, Christopher Sommer. Sommer's response offered powerful encouragement and wisdom -- here are three important things to know as you travel the road to remarkable mental toughness:
1. Remember the essentials.
"Dealing with the temporary frustration of not making progress is an integral part of the path towards excellence," says Sommer. "In fact, it is essential and something that every single elite athlete has had to learn to deal with." Your journey will not be all success, all the time. Once you understand that "achieving the extraordinary is not a linear process," you will be able to deal with frustration and failure without effort.
2. Know what you want.
According to Sommer, "The single decision is one of the most powerful tools in the toolbox." If you maintain one decision, instead of small decision after small decision, you will have "fewer opportunities to inadvertently drift from your chosen goal." Simple.
3. Refuse to compromise.
Sommer says that it really is "clear, simple, straightforward." Be patient with frustrations, decide what you want, and remain steadfast. Nothing will be able to sway you from your purpose if you marry a work ethic to indomitable will.
Overall, according to Sommer, the secret is to show up, do the work, and go home.
Learn to appreciate the process and the journey, and keep in mind that in order to become mentally tough, "quality long-term results" will require "quality long-term focus."