Mental fitness : A reference to one’s state of psycho-social well-being. A healthy and strong mind allows us to handle the challenges and opportunities that life puts in front of us, but often neglected over physical fitness by almost 90% of the folks.
Surprisingly, mental strength decides our recovery rate from a major life event or stress and depression. It allows us to use our mental abilities to our fullest extent, allowing us to be more creative and approach stressful situations more calmly and with less anxiety.
So, what can we do to build strong mental strength?
Before answering this question I would like to tell a true story of a boy named Kabir, who cracked UPSC (Second hardest exam in India) in his second attempt despite tons of difficulties in his life.
Kabir belongs to a typical Indian middle class family, whose father works in banking sector. Everything was going pretty well until the day when Kabir’s father lost his job in false accusation of fraud.
Within few months of that incident, his family went into debt and all the relatives stopped helping them. To fulfill their everyday needs, they sold their “own” house and went to a small rented house. His father started doing blue collar jobs and his mother started doing multiple jobs to support Kabir’s education. A knock on the door by money lenders and a squabble with them was a usual thing for his family.
Kabir used to travel New Delhi thrice a week for education purpose via trains, he had to wake up at 2:00 AM in the morning to catch the train to Delhi at 3:00 AM, while keeping in mind to reach his coaching classes at 10:00 AM.
His life wasn’t supposed to be this difficult but slowly and steadily it was getting back to normal when another setback happened when his father met with an car accident. Now, the need was to collect more and more money for his father’s oppression, somehow our hero (Kabir) collected funds by community support, but deep inside he was tired of all this but the fighter in him was not giving up.
Finally, he got admission in one of the government colleges with hundred scholarship. Simultaneously, he was preparing for UPSC ( Second hardest exam in India) and used to sleep barely for 4 hours. After tons of efforts, he had made it to the interview stage ,his friends were optimistic about his selection.
Finally, the day of results arrived – his friends relentlessly scrolled through the list but alas! His name was nowhere to be seen in the list. They were moist, they couldn’t gather enough courage to look at the person who had given his everything and yet, gained so little.
Someone asked : “What will you do now”?
“Study harder” : He replied.
That was it. Within an hour, he was on his study table, putting the exact amount of efforts. After a year or so, again he was selected in interview stage, but this time he cracked that too, and scored second highest marks all over the India.
Now , he is earning in 6 figures, bought his “own” house, paid all the debts and gave his family gratification.
Now, lets jump to the actual topic of this article, how he was able to tackle all the problems without getting a single tear in his eye? How he has managed to keep his focus on the right things even after so much of troubles? What are the principles he used to stay mentally strong and where he got such principles?
In an interview he revealed about his secrets of mental strength :
Take yourself seriously Your highest priority is yourself; no one will take care of you if you don’t take care of yourself. Know what you need to achieve in the short, medium and long term.
Forget the past, and welcome the future as a wholly new experience The past is useful for what you learn from it,but that’s it. If recalled repeatedly, if can break our confidence and mental strength.
DO EVERYTHING FOR A PURPOSE Not for an emotion. Emotions are the enemy; control them, don’t let them control you.
KEEP MOST OF YOUR CORE BELIEFS TO YOURSELF He said – ” I never mention them (core beliefs) to anyone, especially my thoughts about organized religion. These beliefs work for me, but I also believe that other good people can believe in organized religion as long as it works for them. I never claim that my beliefs work for others ; they just work for me. “
ALWAYS LISTEN CAREFULLY Remember that smart people can say and do really dumb things, and wisdom can come from idiots.
FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT Perception beats reality. Before you start doing something challenging, apply this principle. If the goal is too keep yourself mentally strong, don’t hesitate to believe you are.
Act of kindness Act of kindness interestingly and impressively increases the level of happiness.
SET GOALS Setting a goal makes life more meaningful and it’s not hard to find one. For instance, identify one of your bad habits and let it be your goal to defeat it. This goal doesn’t have to be a big deal such as quitting smoking or porn. It can be committing to giving up that bag of chips you eat at lunch every day.
Be aware of small wins Our life mostly consists of ordinary moments. However, if you have the awareness of difference regarding small wins, you will have a good state of mind.
don’t fear taking calculated risks Don’t take reckless or foolish risks, weigh the benefits before making decisions and if it’s okay to you, don’t fear from taking the calculated risk.
Don’t fear alone time Everyone needs to spend time alone, it can be relaxing for your mind and body.
Don’t expect immediate results Good things take time. Be patient.
These are the core beliefs of Kabir who has struggled a lot but at the end of the day, he has achieved something which is inevitable.
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