I want to take the time to talk about a book that I have started reading, Wrestling Tough by Mike Chapman. The book focuses on the mental aspect of one of the most grueling sports around. For those of you that know me and/or workout here at Spartan know that I like to train extremely hard and enjoy sports such as MMA, wrestling, and football. This book is intriguing to me because the mental game of sports and fitness are important to me and I am always looking for the perspective of those have competed or worked at the highest level of sport and business. I want to take the next couple of weeks to blog and maybe give some insight on how the mental game of wrestling can help us all out no matter our walk of life.
“The most important thing is to love your sport. Never do it to please someone else, it has to be yours. That is all that will justify the hard work needed to achieve success.” (Peggy Fleming, Olympic Gold Medalist) This quote really hit home for me when I think of my career and fitness goals. I really love going to work everyday; I have decided to make a sacrifice of the free time and security in a corporate job to pursue a dream of owning a business. I made it my own and love it. In the fitness industry I meet people everyday with different fitness goals and ideas of what they would like to accomplish in the gym. Some see the goals realized and some fall short. We must keep this quote in mind when thinking of goals that we want in life, is this something I love and really want. Am I doing this for myself or because someone has pressured me into it. We must really love and desire a goal with our whole being if we can expect ourselves to make the life changes and sacrifices that it takes to achieve our goals. There are going to be obstacles in life are we willing to make the hard decisions? When it comes to success, no factors weigh as heavily as your commitment, your desire, and your mental toughness.
When it comes to wrestling, fitness, or even business a successful person has to have a certain degree of toughness. Now toughness doesn’t mean that you could whoop any in a street fight or withstanding subzero temps. Toughness has more to do with mental state, being able to perform at ideal state of mind and body. Emotions play a huge role in a person’s toughness. Everyday I hear people saying things such as, “I’m tired, I’m not a morning person, I’m sore, it was a bad day at work, etc.” They go on and on. These are all negative emotions that we are carrying with us because of some event of feeling that we had during the day. No, these are ways to push the blame onto something other than where it should be, on one’s self. Emotions of empowerment associated with challenge, drive, confidence, determination, positive fight, energy, persistence and fun are emotions that we should draw on when in tough situations to help us persevere and be successful.
Let’s look at my favorite excuse; I’m not a morning person. If you find that you have to workout in the morning because that is the only time you can, instead of looking at it as I have to get up so early, I will be tired all day, I just want to sleep in. Look at it as a challenge for you to get better. Find determination to overcome an obstacle and become a stronger person. Being able to look at negative situations from a positive perspective is the trait of tough individuals. After you have gotten up, eaten and got through the workout you will gain confidence to do it again and better each time. “Most people give up too soon. They are unprepared for the plateaus and the emotional problems they meet there.” (Thomas Tutko)
The last point on toughness today is the ability to be an effective decision maker. “Anybody who is successful must be a decision maker. You’ve got to make up your mind on what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it…The successful people seem to have blinders on. Everything is strait ahead. They go forward and know exactly what they’re going to do once they’ve made up their mind to do it, and by God they don’t look sideways.” (Jack Nicklaus) If you want to lose weight, win a fight, or get a raise you are going to be faced by several tough decisions along the way. There will be parties, travel, and several other life situations that will make it hard to eat right and exercise, but it boils down to how determined are you of accomplishing your goal. Are you going to give in to temptation and make a poor decision? We have the power through our decisions and commitment to accomplish anything in life. We must take responsibility for our actions and even if we make a poor decision we can learn from the mistake and make a better one the next time the situation is present. We all have it in us to be great; it is the commitment and dedication to that goal that makes the difference. “Focused action and a firm commitment to success are the keys to a great future. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about fitness or fighting; academics or career success-success starts on the inside and works its way outward, not the other way around.” (Paul Brown)