Humans Are Not Mentally Broken
This article was written by Jack Yee. He is a listener of Latest in Paleo, and I have corresponded with him privately on many occasions as well as on public comment threads. Jack’s upbeat personality and well-grounded sensibilities always make interactions a pleasure. When I asked him if he’d like to write a guest article, I wasn’t expecting him to deliver such a gem for us.
Ever since I started my blog mentaltoughnessguy.com, it strengthened my belief that humans are not mentally broken by default. I’ve received many emails from my readers describing the great adversities that they have had to overcome. Some of them were so heartbreaking and personal that I wouldn’t even share them with my wife. The common lesson with all these inspirational stories is how people learn to fight back. When hardship first struck them, they were emotionally and mentally devastated with nowhere to turn. They could have accepted this misery as just one of life’s tragedies that was beyond their control, but they didn’t. These people needed to heal and the only way to end their pain was to learn how to fight through it.
I’ve learned much from Latest in Paleo that dramatically improved my life. The most memorable ones for me out of all the podcasts are the shows covering Lucy’s birth. I listened to all the shows in reverse order, so I knew the happy outcome of the struggles Lucy faced. As I listened to Angelo narrate the whole ordeal, I felt the pain and fear that he and Amy experienced during Lucy’s first days. At the same time, I admired their grit and courage to help Lucy battle back against the health issues that threatened her. One thing is for sure: that Lucy is a natural fighter. I can’t believe she just turned two!
People that have the ability to overcome great obstacles have constantly fascinated me. I was always curious to discover what triggered them to go forward even when the odds were greatly against them. On the other side of the equation, I wondered about all those other people that didn’t forge on when faced with a devastating blow in their life. It’s as if these people have accepted their misfortune and have become apathetic. They seem to believe that being mentally worn down is just a normal process of life. In my past when I was mentally fragile, I too used to believe that misery was the norm and that there was nothing we could do about it. But, as I began to improve on my perseverance skills and to study the success stories of people overcoming terrible adversities, I am now convinced that we all possess the ability to become mentally stronger and live happier lives.
This is why as a trainer my number one priority is to teach my clients to become mentally tough. However, the majority of them could care less about being mentally tougher. A common response from my female clients is “I don’t want to be tough; I just want a tighter butt.” The males that I meet are just as superficial. “Dude, I don’t want to be a football linebacker. I just want to get cut up for the babes.” There is a misconception that being mentally tough is about being a macho rough neck. This is hardly the mental toughness I teach my clients. Mental toughness is the ability to persevere. It is a skill that can be honed and strengthened.
The problem is that most people don’t see how advantageous it is be mentally strong. They think toughness development is only for competitive athletes. However, you all participate in the cruelest sport of them all: life. Just living day to day is full of painful ordeals and unfairness. If you are weak, the harshness of this world can destroy your spirit. When adversity strikes, it does not discriminate by age or gender. This is why we all need to take a refresher course on how to persevere with our physical and mental health, particularly as we get older.
Most people when they age they begin to accept their declining health issues as a normal process of aging. This is the “inherently broken” theory that the masses have accepted when it comes to the human body. Instead of fighting back, they blindly accept having joint pains, gaining weight, being less energetic and taking medications to slow down any serious health issues as normal. The same thing applies to the mental aspect. With all the major disappointments from life, we begin to accept that depression, fear, and a lost sense of hope are normal. We’ve arrived at this sad state of accepting our physical and mental decline due in part to the misinformation that’s been forced upon us. When it comes to health issues, conventional wisdom has it so wrong. If you are a regular listener of Latest in Paleo, you already know how backwards mainstream society is when it comes to food. It is no wonder why our culture has an obesity issue and modern diseases are on a rise. We’re just told so many lies that, instead of making us better, make us sicker.
I think many of us turn to the Paleo lifestyle as a last resort for health. I know for me, I was tired of being on medication, being overweight and constantly feeling lethargic. When I found out the truth that I was so unhealthy due to all of this misinformation, I was livid. So I decided to make a change. I vowed then and there to heal myself. This is how I learned to fight back.
As I begin to learn more about how to overcome adversity, I realize that you must discover the fighter within. Dealing with huge obstacles is a constant struggle and will lead to massive frustration. But, when you learn how to stay in the fight and topple the problem, nothing in life is more rewarding. I’m sure Angelo and Amy will always remember the day they brought Lucy home. For me, my clients and readers of my blog, we’ve learned how crucial perseverance skills are for obtaining joy in life. We are all living proof that one doesn’t have to live mentally broken, but can become mentally stronger. It’s just so empowering when you know that no matter how bad your day is or what terrible circumstances you will face, you have the ability to get through it.
When you have this fighting spirit, you have a lot to be happy about.
Be sure to head over to Jack Yee’s blog for more fantastic articles about the psychology of how to get over adversity. Jack’s article was timely for me. Currently, my family and I are in the midst of making some big, bold, tough, and even scary new moves. How about you? Any advice on mental toughness?