Daily Grind 20: Mental Toughness


Have you watched basketball games where both teams are tied and the one shooting the free throw would decide the outcome of the game. If you’ve seen Michael Jordan, Larry Bird or Kobe Bryant during those crucial moments you will know what I mean. A great player is calm during the most tense moments of the game.

It’s called Mental Toughness.

When you see a leader in the midst of a crisis still calm and leading – that is mental toughness.

When you see a man calm and leading in a dire family predicament- that is mental toughness in action. 

You can’t excel at anything before you train your mind. Ask any Olympian who have won a gold medal. The difference between those who got a medal and those who lost – mental toughness.

I have an Olympian friend, Lee Concepcion who represented the Philippines in the Olympics. He told me of how he had beaten his classmate in the University of Berkley when they were young. He was faster and more talented than his friend. 

But in the Olympics were both of them joined, his friend won the medal. Looking back now, he realized the answer why the other guy won the medal and he did not is mental.

My friend Lee’s wish was to join and be part of the Olympics. His friend dream was to win a medal. Big difference. 

It’s what you call mental toughness.

This is a characteristic of grinders. They are mentally tough because they are mentally prepared. 

Physical strength  can make you great in some things but mental toughness makes you unstoppable in almost all things.

If you get your mind strong and your body follows. If you decided in your mind that you can’t do it, chances are you can’t. But if you give yourself a fighting chance for what seems impossible- there is a probability you would succeed.

That’s why the Bible tells us in Romans 12 to renew our mind by God’s word because God has called us to do great things. That’s why I love reading Bible. It infuses faith in me that nobody else can. It tells me who I am in Christ (self- awareness). It tell s me to be patient ( Galatians 5:22) and it tells me to work hard ( book of proverbs)

I am reminded of the story of William Carey- one of the first missionary in India. In the midst of hardship, he persevered because in his mind he knew God called him to India. 

His wife can’t take the hardship. Some of his kids die of malaria but it did not stop him from pursuing God’s call in his life. 

William Carey did the impossible during his time, bringing the gospel to the side of he world where no one wants to go. He later penned these strong words:

“Expect Great things from God, attempt great things for God.”

How about you- how do you prepare our mind for the great work God has called you to do? Do share our thoughts on the comment section below.

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