Book: Mental Strength - Mentally Strong Through Personal Growth by James O'Donnell and Rayne Hallcategories: Book, Self-Help, Personal Development, Non-Fiction, Mental Strength, Psychology, Focus, Mental Fortitude, Mental Toughness, Emotional Strength, Personal Growth
Rayne Hallabout this book: Co-authored by James O'Donnell and Rayne Hall, this book shows you step-by-step how to get the mental toughness that will see you through life's challenges.
Here's an excerpt:
Train Your Willpower Muscle
The key to mental strength is willpower. Your willpower unlocks the doors to focus, self-control, healthy habits, problem-solving, courage, grit, resilience, achievement and success.
You have willpower already. The ability to withstand impulses is what separates humans from animals. But you may not have as much as you need.
Willpower is like a muscle: if you use it, it stays in shape, and if you neglect it, it shrinks. Small challenges make it grow, but it collapses when faced with a too-heavy load.
To build willpower, exercise it. Your willpower workout needs to be easy enough that you pass the tests you set yourself. Increase the difficulty level bit by bit, and it will grow fast. Soon it will be be able to take on the big challenges and win.
Here is something for you to do right away. Yes, now, before reading on. Do you have the willpower to get out of your chair?
Carry out a simple task, something you do every day—but do it with your non-dominant hand. If you're right-handed, use your left, and if your left-handed, your right. Choose from one of these:
- Brush your teeth.
- Wipe your kitchen countertops.
- Unbutton and re-button your shirt.
- Eat a bowl of cereal with a spoon.
- Comb your hair.
Have you done it? Good job, you've passed your first test!
How did it feel? Probably awkward. Your mind almost certainly suggested that you make the job easier by using the other hand. But you persevered and did what you set out to do. You exercised willpower.
Your willpower muscle has just grown. A few minutes into this programme, you have already increased your mental strength.
Pick a task to always carry out with your non-dominant hand for the next week. Use the unfamiliar hand to brush your teeth, get dressed or prepare breakfast every morning.
This exercise has two extra layers of challenge built in: First, you need to remember to do it—and that's not easy, because you have to overcome the habit. Each time, you need to override the default programming of your mind. Second, you have to conquer your inner laziness, that tempter whispering that you're too tired or in too much of a hurry and should skip it this time.
When you've succeeded in your progress assignment, create your own programme of challenges. Choose a new trial for every day.
You know best what will be a challenge to you: an ice cold shower? Getting up an hour early? Using your computer mouse with the other hand for five minutes? A twenty-minute jog in the rain? A day of fasting? An afternoon without social media? An evening without TV?
Vary the nature of the tests. Choose a difficulty level you can cope with, and pace yourself. Some days you'll be able to take on tough challenges, while at other times, something simple like eating an apple with the other hand is enough.
Beware—willpower is a limited resource. Once that muscle is exhausted, it won't be ready for hard work until it's had a rest. So don't deplete your reserves if you know you have a challenging life situation ahead of you that day. We'll talk more about this 'willpower budget' in Step 10.
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