A Story on Mental Toughness
When I was in my mid-twenties, I worked as a junior engineer of a Fortune 100 company that supplied computerized navigation systems to the US Department of Defense (DOD). These navigation systems or GPS, if you will, were installed on various aircraft from military airplanes to space shuttles to nuclear warheads.
One day, our director told me that I was up for promotion. However, the position requires a top secret clearance, and one of the qualifications is that the applicant needs to be an American citizen.
I was a green card holder for five years at that time, and therefore, I am eligible to apply for citizenship. However, I wanted to be sure that that is what I wanted. So I asked my boss to give me some time to go back to my country, talk with my parents and decide if I want to become an American and take the job.
My parents were ecstatic that I came home and would love me to stay if I decide to do so. But, not my father’s business partner. At the welcome home party for me, he told my dad that he should take away and hide my passport and green card so I won’t be able to return to the States and then, I would end up working in their company.
I overheard my dad’s reply. He said, “you don’t know my daughter, she is strong-willed like her mother, and she believes that where there’s a will, there’s a way. If she wants to go back to the States, she will find a way. Case in point, she wanted to migrate to the States and be on her own, and she found a way to do that.”
Now, why I am telling you this story? Because I wanted to illustrate that powerful phrase, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Yes, It is not an easy path to travel, but working through the challenges, being persistent and creating a plan that eventually led to what you wanted is an incredible feeling, it embodies MENTAL TOUGHNESS.
Mental toughness isn’t something we are born with. It develops over time with each action we take in the face of failure, mistakes, criticisms or whatever else life throws our way. Some people call it “grit.” Some explain it as “being resilient.” No matter how it is defined, it is something that we need to get through the challenging and hard times.
So, what do we need to do to develop mental toughness? It requires consciously working on ourself in many different areas. Here are five of them:
We Must Have Clear Goals
First and foremost, we need clear goals because if we do not know where we are going, how do we know if we got there? They should also be meaningful, motivational and tied to your life purpose.
We Must Have Self-Discipline
Secondly, we need self-discipline so that we can focus on our goal even in the face of challenges.
We Must Have Strong Motivation And Willpower
Third and fourth, we need a high level of motivation and strong willpower to push us forward and to make us stay on the right track. Positive self-talk gives us the encouragement to move forward.
We Must Be Fully Committed
Fifth, commitment to remain moving forward. We can have small steps towards success but that won’t help even a little bit if you do not follow those steps with massive effort. Small steps do not mean small effort.
Our mental toughness grows stronger through the passing of time. Remember to start with small steps by doing something that makes you feel a little uncomfortable, then put in massive action – small steps doesn’t mean little or no action. Eventually, with more experience, you will gain more knowledge and understanding that can help you get through life’s toughest challenge
To learn more about mindset, empowerment, how to deal with challenges and how to increase your productivity, like and follow my Facebook page where I will be sharing these topics and more by FB live or with recorded videos.
By the way, I did go back to the States, become an American citizen, got my DOD top secret clearance and my promotion. End of story!