It’s All Mental

Everything is mental. 

Even the stuff you don’t think is mental is mental. 

Recently I went on an eight-mile run where I ran down to the lighthouse about 5 miles from my house.

I noticed a pattern that I go through whenever I do something long or difficult. I call it “mental gymnastics.”

Whenever you’re doing something hard, when you first start out, inside your head you say things like “Yeah! We’re gonna do this!”

That’s usually like the first 100 yards of the run. 

Then your mind says things like “Oh, man, this is gonna suck. Do I really want to do this?”

You go a little further and your mind says “Man, this really, REALLY sucks right now. When’s this gonna be over?”

Then, usually at about the halfway point, you say to yourself, “Well, I’m halfway there. I might as well just keep going.”

Finally, when you have about 10%, left to go, you often pick up speed and finish off the project.

The key – at least for me – is to get to and through the “hump” in the middle as quickly as possible. If I can get momentum, I can usually follow through all the way to the end.

The funny thing is, this is almost entirely a mental process. As long as you know the route you want to take and the result you want to create, the physical part only represents about 10% of the journey.

Everything else is mental.

Whether you’re writing a sales letter, or running eight miles, or trying to lose 80 pounds, it’s all mental. It all starts in your head.

I don’t care what it is. Whatever you want to do, it’s mental. 

You’ve got to win the mind game before you can win the external game.

You must believe you can be the person who can get the results. You must believe you can accomplish what you’ve set out to do.

My buddy Stew Smith writes a lot about “mental toughness” in his work training future Navy SEALs. 

The biggest tip I’ve ever gotten from him is that you’ll never think about quitting if you focus on competing. You can’t think about quitting if you’re focused on winning. 

That means if you focus on the prize, the result, or the payoff that you want to achieve, you can’t think about quitting. 

You just can’t do it. You can’t hold two thoughts at the same time. Either you’re focused on winning or you’re focused on quitting. You can’t do both!

By the way…

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