Developing your mind muscles – Tribune Online

Have you ever admired guys with solid six-packs and wondered how they did it? Or anyone that you admire for the giant strides they are making in their endeavours and it looked like they are living in the reality of your wildest fantasies while it appears you cannot reach the same heights?  Can anyone relate with this?

Champions are not made in the ring. They are only celebrated there. Nobody gets 6-packs by staring at a magazine for body builders! And no one climbs the ladder of success with arms akimbo or in his pocket! I am yet to see anyone make significant progress moving forward while constantly staring into his rear view mirror

There are five mindset muscles that you have to develop if you must have the required “success six-packs”

The first is your ENDURANCE MUSCLE.

What this means is staying on and persevering even when you are tired. Your eyes are bulging. Your muscles are tense. Your heart is pounding and saying “STOP! It doesn’t seem like it’s going to work. You will pass out if you stretch it any further. Those who work out will tell you that that point is actually your development point. It is where your comfort conflicts with your ideal. That is the point where you must determine who wins – convenience or purpose/priority

In working your endurance muscles however, two things must never be taken for granted. They are: REST and RECOVERY.

Just like running a marathon, if you don’t know how to pace yourself and take some necessary breaths, you will quickly run out of steam! If you do too much too soon, the result is burnout. Many people who hit the gym crash out early because they try to do too much in their first few attempts. They end up being so sore for days that very often they don’t go back to trying. My first few golf games left me so sore that I almost gave up playing!

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The second mind muscle to build are your POWER muscles. This has to do with going over and beyond the normal run of things. It’s about placing higher demands on yourself and doing some HARD THINGS that others run away from. Have you ever watched weightlifters in practice? Or sprinters? They attempt incredible feats of strength and speed.

To develop power muscles, you must never shy away from taking on bigger and tougher challenges and responsibilities. Be where you need to be on time! And STAY THE COURSE!!

In this era of social media and multiple commitments and membership of so many platforms that flood you with messages, many of us have lost sense of direction and ability to commit to and prioritize important things and meetings. Sometimes, we are in three meetings simultaneously, meaning that we are only involved but never committed!

Building Power muscles demand a lot of effort and CONSISTENCY. It is not easy at all. But the dividends are very high when you get to the level of rewards!

The third has to do with your BRAIN MUSCLES. If there is anything you must prioritize in your life and SPEND TIME and MONEY on, it is SELF-DEVELOPMENT. No man can function beyond his knowledge. Education and information are two separate things. There is so much inundating and overwhelming information out there. Yet there is little learning going on! The difference? Information simply tells you facts. Learning translates to conduct. Learning has only taken place when behaviour is affected.

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There must first be a WILLINGNESS to learn new things/skills and the belief that you are never too old or too knowledgeable to learn something new. Next is the opportunity to learn by PRACTICE or DOING. This is the hands-on approach. The former President of Afghanistan is a world-class scholar who wrote a book on how to rebuild a failed state! Then he was given one to fix by trying out his theories. You know the rest of the story!

The best way to build your brain muscles is by learning and doing.

The next muscle to build is your COURAGE muscle. This has to do with moving against your greatest fears!

We all have those moments when our hearts are literally in our mouths especially when we don’t have a clear picture of the future or the possibilities of attaining a vision we have seen. The start of a new business. Job shift. Getting married. Moving from one city/state to another. Taking on a new role etc.

All champions face it. But they simply move against it! Courage is nothing but fear that has said its prayers!!! It is about understanding that even though failure is a possibility, it is not an option. Without this muscle, it is like saying that you’re not ready for the next level yet!

Whenever you do something you’ve never done before, you will face the fear factor. It’s your brain’s natural defense to keep you safe. The courage muscle allows you to move IN SPITE OF your fears.

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The final muscle you need to develop is your HEART MUSCLE.

This is the one that actually undergirds all the others. You can never deliver the package if your heart is heavier than the load. Even though intangible and not easy to define, those who do business with you or who you relate with will know when your heart is connected from the enterprise that connects you with them! We all can tell when we do business with people or establishments where “heart” is missing and only statistics rule!

To develop this muscle which is so fundamental to success and your life 6-packs, the following things must come into play:

  1. Empathy – compassion, a desire to actually help real people to solve real problems
  2. Passion, infectious enthusiasm, inspiration
  3. Strong, advocacy-inspired core values that set a code of conduct that shows that you place people before profit.
  4. Self-confidence that comes from having a deep-seated feeling that “I was born for this and for a time like this to solve a problem like this”!!! No one else can ‘do it like me’ even if someone else is doing it!

Finally, let me say that the success 6-packs is not anyone’s monopoly. We all have the innate capacity to grow those muscles. Those who have them didn’t bring them from heaven. They grew it here from what they have!! It’s in you too. But the hard question is this; “can you do those sit-ups, push-ups and other necessary endurance exercises that stretch you and your capacity to the fullest?

Remember, the sky is not your limit, God is!




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