Mental Toughness Life Skill #1 – Prepare Yourself to be the Aggressor (Part 13)

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(In this final installment on how to prepare your mind for life’s problem, I want to stress how important it is for all of you to do the morning prep work. It must be treated as a skill and be taken seriously. If you find yourself going through the motions with the self reflective questions, you will not benefit from this mental toughness program. It must become part of your daily morning routine. So get up, brush your teeth, take shower, make breakfast and get off your social media. Instead, prime your mind to face the landmines in your life that are waiting to blow up in your face. The more prepare you yourself to do battle with your new and old adversities, the better your chances of defeating them.)

By signing up for in this mental toughness program you have taking a defiant stand against those who want to have their way with you just for their amusement. When a aversive situation does arise and is about to hit you from behind, your mind will quickly reactivate your early preparation mode with the same thoughts that you had in the morning,  but now you will be in full force to let them provoke you to whatever action is needed. Instead of kneeling down like how you used to, you are now more than ready and eager to metaphorically put your foot down or stick it in the ass of the adversity. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to get ourselves in this aggressive battle mode every freaking day, 24/7 as we enter the deadly and sometimes fatal buzz saw of life. Unfortunately, we all have to learn the hard way there is more bad than good in this very imperfect world.

When you choose to become mentally tough you become a realist and begin to lose your faith in humanity. This all may sound like I’m suggesting we all live like pessimists hiding out in caves, but it’s quite the opposite. To be truly mentally tough, one is always optimistic about the future because they know they have the ability to turn any bad situation into a favorable outcome. By taking the initiative to fight back even before evil strikes, you already have the upper hand over your foes. In a sense, you have struck first, now you are reeling your fist back and ready to deliver a serious of harder punches. With the proper preparation you have a lot to be upbeat about, even in the direst of circumstances. So to be healthy, happy, and safe for you and your love ones, nothing is more protective and foolproof than having an aggressive mind  that is more than ready to handle any whatever life throws at you. That could be anything from getting a call from your doctor telling you he has some bad news about your blood test or you getting a pink slip from your crummy boss. Adversity is adversity. It all sucks. It is inevitable. So you got to be more than ready when your bad luck number comes ups. Instead of falling a part, mental toughness is all about the throw down. It doesn’t matter if the enemy is cancer or losing your self-esteem from being dumped by your spouse. You are ready to fight, recover and become stronger because of the adversity.
I highly suggest keeping a journal on how aggressively you handle your personal adversities like how you do with your WODs. Writing down your reflections will not only magnify your thoughts, but will lead to better and stronger insights to your mental toughness growth. This is why this training is not a “how to” handbook guide.  Toughness growth is never linear nor can it be scored. It is very subjective. You can never quantify the value of an intimate accomplishment. But, when you experience it, you know how amazing you will feel from it.  Once you begin to establish a pattern of overcoming daily obstacles, you must see the correlation with each accomplishment.  For me, sometimes I’m not able to articulate the reasons for my mental strength success, but able to discover the answers through journaling. For those who hate to express themselves through the writing process, keeping another journal on their personal experiences can be a huge inconvenience and very time consuming. If this sound like you then you don’t have to write about your personal experiences.

In order for you to succeed in this mental toughness program it must be sustainable and have realistic expectations on what you can or can not do. I’m already going to be asking more from you than you ever thought was possible, so if you don’t like writing, don’t do it. Just make sure your verbalize the responses to yourself. I have a client that likes to take morning walks and reflects on her mental toughness development. This process works for her and may work for you. Many people prefer a moving meditative process over a sedentary one which you sit down at a desk. I like to do both. I like to reflect on my mental toughness training while walking my dog and then going home and writing about. The key is to make sure you set some time every day so you can ponder on what is working for you and how you can expand on this toughness growth to more areas in your life.
During your refection and preparation time, you will be asking yourself a lot of questions. Learning the skill of drilling self-confronting questions is a skill in itself. If the questions don’t provoke you, move on with another one. Whatever questions you use or come up with yourself, try your best to come back to the central theme of mental toughness development.  This is the main goal of the training and you must always refocus and direct yourself to the purpose of getting your mind stronger than yesterday. I kid you not, that even I have to remind myself constantly of the primary purpose of correcting the mind first.  There are many days when I train and all I care about is getting a ripped up chest for the ladies. When I catch myself, I put myself in my place. Not that it is wrong to put emphasis on cosmetic needs. Vanity driven goals are very powerful. However, in order to get them, you must reprioritize your purpose and your pursuit for toughness development over everything else. Everything is second priority. In order to get your that body that turn heads, your life long dreams, and  personal fulfillment, you must first develop a strong mind that isn’t afraid to pull the trigger on aggressive action. When you can achieve a mind that is tough and uncompromising to mediocrity, everything else will follow.

Today’s WOD:

Strength Training

Work up to 80 percent of your one rep max. If you don’t know your one rep max, you pick a weight that makes doing 5 reps somewhat uncomfortable.

5 sets of 5 reps for each movement:

1. Deadlifts

2. Push press

3. Front squats

4. Good Mornings

5. Bent over rows

Acceptable substitutions:

1. You can replace the front squat with back squats

2. If you don’t know how to do push presses, you can do strict military presses

Scaled down version of the WOD

1. Do 3 sets and 3 reps for each movement