Many times toughness is associated with sports figures. While the conditioning in our society does use real life and fictional sports figures to paint the “how tough are you” mentality, the mental toughness to “have what it takes” can apply to everyone. (Side note – yes, I have seen “Rudy” dozens of times and will always watch it to the end. If you have not seen “Rudy”, please stop reading this and go watch it!)
So, how do you know if you have what it takes? I recently read a fascinating article by Jon Morrow, titled, “7 Life Lessons from a Guy Who Can’t Move Anything but His Face”. He describes, “Since the day I was born, muscular dystrophy has given me a daily beating.
The upside? It’s made me incredibly strong. I can take any punch life throws at me without even breaking stride.”
Imagine that? Now the point is not that you need to suffer from Muscular Dystrophy to overcome adversity. He point is that pain is power. All the physical and emotional pain that you have suffered can be your greatest gift in helping you reach the level that you desire. If you have suffered during your life, you can use that experience of being so low to elevate you to new levels. This is the advantage of pain. The more you experience, the more you can handle in the future, and the less it knocks you off your game. The degree of success you achieve in life is directly proportional to the amount of pain you can tolerate.
If you want to become a stronger and more capable person, the smartest thing you can do is systematically (and safely) increase your pain tolerance.
The opposite is also true. My new mentor Tim Ferriss recommends lying down in the middle of a crowded public place like a supermarket or a coffee shop. You’ll feel like a fool, but the experience will condition you to deal with embarrassment and discomfort in the future. If you ever want to accomplish big things like building a successful business, becoming the best in your field, or changing the world in some way, you need to start training yourself to endure the pain all those things require.
Who knew all the pain you have suffered in your life would prepare you to be the person who has what it takes?