Mental Fitness

It is January already and many of us are/were busy with setting new years’ resolutions. Whether it is fulfilling a long waited dream or just starting a simple daily routine, aspects such as commitment, excellence and persistence are defiantly needed. I always believe that we can get great motivational and inspirational lessons from athletes.

I came across this good piece of advice, which was shared by a friend, about ‘Mental Fitness’.

“And just like physical fitness, mental fitness can be trained. In fact, physical fitness and mental fitness are similar in both must be trained consistently. Training, whether mental or physical, is a task you must attack every day. There are hard training days and easy training days for both. On some days your mind says, “I can’t do this”. That’s hard mental-training day. You must train your mental fitness to get through this. These are the days that ultimately determine your success as a triathlete”.

Most of the time, getting the right physical fitness is attainable. Within business professional context, that can be getting another degree or attending a training course. But, very few of us work on developing the right mental fitness.

Achieving a big goal is not only linked to training our bodies, or equipping ourselves with more degrees and certificates. It needs mental training as well. In a study that was conducted by Dr. Graham Jones and published in Harvard Business Review, he found that the most successful Olympic podium-places have the below characteristics in common. They:

  • “Paid meticulous attention to their goals;
  • Had a strong inner drive to stay ahead of the competition;
  • Concentrated on excellence;
  • Were not distracted by other people or athletes;
  • Shrugged off their own failures;
  • Rebounded from defeat easily;
  • Never self-flagellated;
  • Celebrated their wins;
  • Analyzed reasons for their success; and
  • Were very confident of their abilities”.

This list provides a very good insight into the kind of mental faintness that we need to develop in order to achieve our dreams. The next time we need to achieve a goal, we need to start by a dream; actually a big one. Then, we need to practice commitment, dedication, discipline, confidence and finally, patience to view the goal as a long-term project.


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