what is mental toughness

What is mental toughness?

It’s the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and American gymnast Kerri Strug takes one of her final vaults in an attempt to win gold for her home country. She runs and she leaps, while a nervous crowd watches in silence. They’re holding back cheers but are on the verge of unleashing as soon as she lands jump.

She runs. She jumps. She flies into the air, off the hurdle and thwack! She lands in a seated position, not gracefully on her feet as was expected, and hoped for.

Strug injures her ankle.

This did not go the way everyone wanted it to go. That includes Strug, who in one moment see years of dreams and late nights training dashed.

The crowd thinks it’s over. Strug knows it’s not. Moments after the injury, she vaults again on a broken ankle. It’s a mind blowing spectacle.

And she wins……………..GOLD!

Krug is the definition of “mental toughness“. It’s a term used commonly by sport psychologists and more recently in the context of business.

In the world of sport it’s defined as a “developed psychological edge that helps athletes deal with the demands, pressures and distractions of their sport”. Basically, mental toughness really is the prerequisite if you want to be one of the few that make it to the National or International level.

In the context of business, it’s much the same. You want to win in business? You want to climb the ranks in your company or field? Then, becoming someone who owns this quality we call “mental toughness” is critical. No wait, it’s key.

But what does “developed psychological edge” really mean? And how do you get it.

What does the term “mental toughness” really mean?

Mental toughness is trained like any other skill. It’s a practice of learning how to ‘one up’ the biological barriers and mechanisms – like fear and the negative habits that don’t serve you. What most people don’t consider is that your body reacts to your environment faster than your conscious mind can catch up. This is why we don’t always behave the way we’d like to (ever laid on the couch and watched tv when you knew you should have been working out at the gym?)

When you learn mental toughness skills, you train your brain to take back control. This gives you the ability to move past any emotions barrier that stop you.

So, in the context of business…

If you’ve ever had a moment where you were afraid to speak in front of a large group or to walk into a meeting or make a cold call, and instead of doing what you wanted in that moment you avoided the situation altogether or flubbed up, that’s where mental toughness skills come into play. When you learn how to think objectively – separating your emotions from your reality – and to communicate with influence, you become a master of your environments at all times.

Leaders and teams that train in mental toughness skills work together with more ease, efficiency, innovation, and joy, and they increase their aptitude for success is all areas. Here’s why…

6 Pillars of Mental Toughness Training – What mental toughness training gets you…


Stay relaxed and non-defensive and maintain humor even in the face of upset or challenge. If you fail in your core objective look for new ways to achieve the results, not just the tried and true. Be creative and imaginative. Look at problems from a new perspective. Innovate. Sometimes impending failure demands new thinking to a difficult problem.


At all times remain engaged when a challenge arises. Do not lose focus and be ready to adapt. Watch for, and react to, challenges and threats. Seek to define new trends and react accordingly. Prepare for all possible scenarios and have a backup plan; And have a backup plan for your backup plan.When the scenario changes suddenly, be willing to innovate in the moment. Stay nimble, aware and focused so that nothing throws you off your game.


All champions, especially in business, demonstrate the ability to counteract any force thrown at them. Exert and resist with equal or greater force when under pressure. Use that power to keep going even when the odds seem against you. Develop an ability and endurance to keep going even when it looks like you may lose. Sometimes the victory is not apparent, but can be had in the last moments of a deal, the fiscal quarter, or the last moments of a business challenge. Bringing all your force and effort can snatch a last minute victory from the jaws of defeat.


Do the right thing for your team and the integrity of the company. Suppress the impulse to take shortcuts.Do not undermine others in an unsportsmanlike manner, simply to come out on top.Play by the rules as the rules are written, knowing you won through perseverance and effort and creativity and strength, and not because of some technicality. This will make your victories all that much sweeter.


Develop a hardiness so you can endure the bad times, difficult matches and ugly moments. Stay optimistic when dealing with adversity and be ready to adapt when the environment changes for the better or the worse. Resolve to embrace challenges even if they are grueling. Figure how to do more with less. Rally when in a deficit position. Jump on opportunities. Love the game even when the deal, the day, or the fiscal quarter, doesn’t seem to love you. These six markers of mental toughness are important to remember in business, entrepreneurialism and/or your work. They are important skills for all business champions to possess, regardless of industry, role, or experience. They serve interns equally as they do the C-suite. And apply to the smallest business owner to the largest corporate performer.


Keep your game face on and play hard. This is a rollover from performance psychology in sports, but it applies to business equally. Don’t let your competitors know you are suffering or struggling. Take the attacks and offensives with grace, and defend and counter attack with a fierce determination. Be humble and gracious when you lose a battle. Be humble and gracious when you win. Support your colleagues, your reports, and your superiors, and fill in as needed, especially when they stumble or fall. It is difficult to win when teams are fighting among themselves. Be cohesive and indivisible.

Want to know more about mental toughness training and what it can do for your company? Email me and I’ll send you some free training materials so you can experience mental toughness firsthand and see how applying these skills make a massive difference. Email is [email protected]

More info at: http://www.mentaltoughnessinc.com/corporate-mental-toughness/


best questions for couple

100 questions for couples to ask each other

best questions for couplesThese 100 best questions for couples can be used when you first get to know each other, or they can be used as refresher for people who have been together for a long time. Some makes sense to ask when you first meet. A few questions are better asked when you get more serious. Some may be more appropriate for married couples.  Communication is the best tool to help develop intimacy, so ask these questions, or make up variations, or invent your own questions and then use them on each other!

Best questions for couples to ask so they can grow closer

  1. What are your best qualities?
  2. Which are your worst qualities?
  3. When did you first have your heart broken?
  4. Are you still friends with any of your ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends?
  5. Are platonic friendships possible with members of the opposite sex?
  6. How read to be monogamous? And if so why?
  7. Can you define cheating?
  8. What are your unfulfilled sexual desires or fantasies?
  9. If you won the national lottery, how would your life change?
  10. What’s your fondest memory ever memory?
  11. Describe the scariest moment of your life.
  12. What is your biggest fear?
  13. Do you have any phobias?
  14. What can instantly make you feel better if you get bad news?
  15. Which tricks do you use to fix a bad day?
  16. What is the most amazing advice you have ever received?
  17. Besides or parents, who do you respect most in your life? Why?
  18. Are you a cat person or dog person?
  19. Are good or bad at keeping secrets? Give me an example.
  20. When is it ok to tell a lie or fib?
  21. Do you bottle things up or do you ever over share?
  22. What do you wish you knew more about?
  23. If you went back to school or could study anything what would you study?
  24. Which of your body parts do you like the least?
  25. Which of your body parts do you like the most?
  26. Would you ever have cosmetic surgery?
  27. What are you most passionate about in life?
  28. Would you say you live to work, work to live, or neither?
  29. How would you respond if one of us got a job that required a lot of travel?
  30. Would you be willing to relocate for a job? For your partner’s?
  31. Would you prefer to run your own business or to work for someone else?
  32. What is the best customer service experience you ever had?
  33. What was the worst flight you ever took?
  34. Do you like to work more during the morning or in the evening?
  35. How many hours of sleep do you need to fully function at your best?
  36. What was your first pet’s name?
  37. From this list of best questions for couples, what has been your favorite so far?
  38. How often do you like to see or speak to your parents or siblings?
  39. Have you ever lost someone or something you truly loved?
  40. What’s your ideal weather or climate?
  41. Describe your ideal holiday: Sun, snow, city or beach…or other.
  42. What would or best day ever be like? Start from when I opened my eyes
  43. How do you feel about travelling with other couples?
  44. Condo or house?
  45. What drives you every day?
  46. Do you know purpose in life?
  47. What do you value more: planning or being spontaneous?
  48. Do you prefer certainty or uncertainty?
  49. Do you believe in life after death? Or reincarnation?
  50. Do you believe in a god or a higher power?
  51. Do you believe in ghosts?
  52. What religion were / are your parents? How devout were / are they?
  53. How would you react if we had a problem getting pregnant (or getting pregnant again)?
  54. Would you consider adopting children?
  55. How many children do you want, or how many more do you want?
  56. Do you want to raise your children in a particular religion or form of spirituality?
  57. Would you ever be a stay at home parent?
  58. Do you expect a partner to be a full time parent?
  59. How do you feel about hiring someone to help with childcare, cooking or housecleaning?
  60. Are birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays important to you?
  61. How do you expect to split holidays between your family and your partners?
  62. Which chores do you most like to do the most? The least?
  63. Are you a saver or a spender?
  64. How much debt do you have? Or would you like to have in a year?
  65. What was your first job?
  66. What was your worst job?
  67. Were you ever fired from a job as a kid?
  68. Who was or favorite teacher or professor?
  69. What age do you want to retire?
  70. Where do you want to be and what do you want to do when you retire?
  71. When you die: Cremation or burial?
  72. Favorite boy’s name?
  73. Favorite girl’s name?
  74. Are there any twins in your family?
  75. What names would you give twins?
  76. Are you scared of pregnancy or giving birth?
  77. What was your worst date?
  78. Have you ever been interviewed in TV or radio or for a newspaper?
  79. Who was or best boss ever?
  80. What group of kids did you  hang out with in high school?
  81. What dish would you like to learn to make?
  82. Who was your first kiss?
  83. Guns keep you safe? Gun control keeps you safe?
  84. What was the most zen moment of your life?
  85. Which behavior from others makes you angriest?
  86. What question from this best questions for couples list would to like to be asked that I haven’t asked you yet?
  87. If you wrote this list of best questions for couples, what questions would you add that is missing?
  88. What makes you most happy?
  89. What books were you into when you were a kid?
  90. Tell me about the most profound book you ever read?
  91. What is the one memory that makes you cry?
  92. What kind of parent or grandparent do you think you will be?
  93. If I died, would you remarry?
  94. What is the hardest thing you have ever done?
  95. What would be the title of your autobiography if you ever wrote one?
  96. If money was no object where would you live?
  97. What is the one thing on Amazon that you want right now that you would buy if you had a $500 gift certificate?
  98. Have you ever skydived? Would you?
  99. Would you ever edit or children’s genes? To change their looks?
  100. Elvis or the Beatles? Discuss.

Related: Free relationship tool, complete with questions for couples

Quarter Life Crisis Book

Quarter Life Crisis Books

Quarter Life Crisis Books
Here’s a list of Quarter Life Crisis books that help explain what the phenomenon is and how to deal with it. You can find on Amazon.com and the web.

Quarter Life Crisis Escape PlanA Simple 5-Step Solution to a Life of Freedom, Success and Meaning

Quarter Life Crisis Escape PlanSummary: If you are between the ages of 20 and 40 you may have found yourself at a point of confusion, indecision, paralysis or frustration with your life, your career or your relationships. This is the new accelerated midlife crisis that comes earlier in life. Generation Y and Generation Z are confronted by how to move forward in their lives. That’s important when they want certainty, clarity, and confidence. This is thanks to a faster pace of life, new pressures, expanded job and career options.  Kay Walker provide a way to manage, distill and overcome these choices. Her 5 step solution is easy to implement. It also provides an opportunity to discover an even better life. The one you want.
: Kay Walker
Where to buy this book: Amazon (Kindle) ALC direct download (PDF)

Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties

Authors: Alexandra Robbins and Abby Wilner
Summary: While the midlife crisis has been explored well, there’s another period in adult development, called the quarterlife crisis. It can be just as devastating. When young adults graduate from almost 20 years of school, they encounter an overwhelm. The number of choices in careers, finances, and homes is high. There are also new liberties and unlimited options. They can feel helpless, panicked, indecisive, and apprehensive.
Where to buy this publicationAmazon

20-Something, 20-Everything: A Quarter-life Woman’s Guide to Balance and Direction

Author: Christine Hassler
Summary: The mid-20s through the mid-30s can be a time of difficult transition: the security blanket of college and parents is gone, and it’s suddenly time to make far-reaching decisions about career, investments, even adult identity. When the author experienced their quarter-life crisis, she foundshe was not alone. In fact, an entire generation of young women and men are questioning their choices. They are unsure if what they’ve been working toward is what they really want. They’re eager to set a new course for their lives. Even if that means giving up what they have.
Where to buy this book: Amazon

The Quarter-Life Breakthrough: Invent Your Own Path, Find Meaningful Work, and Build a Life That Matters

Author: Adam “Smiley” Poswolsky
Summary: How do you actually find meaning in the workplace? How do you find work that makes your heart sing, creates impact, and pays your rent? After realizing that his well-paying, prestigious job was actually making him miserable, Adam “Smiley” Poswolsky started asking these big questions. The Quarter-Life Breakthrough provides fresh, honest, counterintuitive, and inspiring career advice for anyone stuck in a quarter-life crisis (or third-life crisis), trying to figure out what to do with your life. Smiley shares the stories of many twenty- and thirty-somethings who are discovering how to work with purpose (and still pay the bills).
Where to buy this: Amazon

Which of the Quarter Life crisis books do you recommend?

If you have one of your own favorite publication that fit in the category of quarter life crisis books send us a link for consideration. We will look at it and if we like it too, include it in this page.


How to beat procrastination

How to to beat procrastination once and for all

Let’s face it, putting off the tasks you need to do to get in action so that you can get the results you are are looking for, and your dreams realized, is one of the top battles we have with ourselves. So dominating procrastination is critical to living a productive your life. Here are five experts on procrastination who have the best tips to deal with this dream killer and to help you once and for all get in action.

Apprentice with an expert procrastination beater

Apprentice with a master

The lifehack.org website doesn’t just have one key procrastination tip, but 11. The site is full of all kinds of life hacks, but we love #5 and #8 because it calls on the skills of other people who have mastered procrastination to train you. Once upon a time if you wanted to learn a skill you’d seek out a master. This was true for trades. You find a master electrician and apprentice under him. Or pledge fealty to a master chef and convince her to take you under her wing. The training was free but your master would keep the fruits of your labor. You would live with them, be fed by them, clothed, and perhaps you’d receive a small stipend. Today you no longer have to pledge your allegiance body and soul to them, still the best way to pick up a great habit or learn a tactic to is to apprentice with someone. Either formally ask them to train you or informally hang out with them and learn to copy their behaviors. See all 11 tips here. 

Do the worst task firsthate doing paperwork or tatxes



This tip at RealSimple.com is one of our favorites as it gets the worst out of the way. You simply choose the most unpleasant or difficult task on your list and get to it. It’s not the only awesome time on this site, but a series of great procrastination beating tips that you’ll really find useful. I love what the author of the book The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Things Done has to say about getting the worst item on your list done. It’s pure genius and makes a whole lot of sense from a psychological perspective. Here are  all the tips from RealSimple: How to stop procrastinating


Use the two-minute rule to knock if off your list

Cross it off the to do list
For those of you who need a visual step by step guide to beating procrastination, then you’ll find utility in this post from WikiHow.com. Scan your list and see if there are any quick win tasks, like taking out the garbage, or changing the toner in the printer. They should take more than two minutes. Then get it done now…it will make you feel like you have made progress on your list and it will empower you to attack the bigger tasks, there’s nothing more satisfying than a line through an item that you’ve been putting off on your to-do list.   We also like tip 4 and LOVE tip 5. Just don’t dwell on tip 5 for too long! How to Stop Procrastinating

Time travel through upset

How to easily get through an upsetting or ugly time in life

Time travelThe Time Travel Reality Hack

If you want to learn how to get through a tough time in life, then here’s an incredible reality hack that you can use to deal with a bad day or difficult situation.

I call it the the Time Travel From Upset tool or the TTFU tool.

If you think this seems crazy, then you are not alone. When I share this incredible method, some people think – at least initially – that it is silly. But trust me it works.

Now, I am not talking here about opening up a wormhole in the space time continuum and leaping through it into a future moment in time to escape a high level of stress, or an unpleasant situation, or even great sadness.

All those things are escapable with the TTFU, but we’re not messing with physics here. We are simply using the power of your mind and your consciousness and the human experience of time.

Here is how it works.

First a bit of background and a small exercise:

I want you to jot down on a piece of paper what time you got up out of bed on June 6, 2011 or pick a date at least 6 years ago.

Don’t remember?

Ok, then how about this: What outfit did you wear on the afternoon of June 27, last year? Not sure? No peeking at photos or your calendar. Just use your memory.

Unless either of those dates were very special days, like your birthday, your anniversary, or the day you got a medal from the President of the United States (or which ever political leader runs your country if you are non-American) then there is a very good chance you have no clue.

Let’s make it easier. What did you have for breakfast last Tuesday? You can probably guess, but even a week ago it’s hard to remember details, even if you cooked the meal.

Frankly, I have a hard time remember what I did yesterday.

Ok, hopefully you got my point. Details, even basic details about your day are hard to recall, even as recently as 8, 10 or 12 hours ago. There are too many things to keep track of in life so the mundane daily details don’t matter.

So now, try this. What was the last fight you had with your spouse, or boyfriend or girlfriend? Or if you’re single, then recall a fight with a friend or coworker? You might remember the nature of it. But you couldn’t speak it word for word as if it were a script. Most human beings don’t have that level of recall. If something is emotionally charged, there might be a better chance of recalling details for a period of time. However, the memories don’t linger. They fade over time and in the course of a lifetime the may be erased by the brain’s natural process of reconfiguring itself.

Neuroscientists tell us that short term memory is really temporary. And long term memory is very coarse. Humans can remember places and events, and maybe a few details, and certainly general emotions. But not much more than that.

That’s really good news when you are going through a tough time. That’s because even though your present experience may be extremely unpleasant and even seemingly unbearable in the moment, it’s actually fleeting.

The secret is to remember that fact when you are suffering. All experiences are fleeting. Good, bad and indifferent. Time marches on. So this moment may be unbearable, but the next moment it may not be.

And if you are having the worst day of your life, you can use the Time Travel From Upset tool. Here’s what is to do.

  1. Acknowledge that you feel awful, or sad, or afraid, or miserable to yourself.
  2.  Now remember the information above. That time is fleeting. That unpleasantness is transient and that some point in the future, perhaps tomorrow, next week or in 93 days…you will experience that today’s unpleasantness will be the past. Things will have changed in your life.
  3. Project yourself into the future. Imagine yourself looking back on this unpleasant moment and imagine what it will be like looking back on this unpleasant day. You might feel relief. You might realize that it’s true that today is not the worst day ever. That it just felt that way. But your FUTURE SELF might smile at the naivety of the thought that today is the worst day of your life. And really it could be.
  4. IMPORTANT: The moment the day is over and you wake up the next day, become aware of the fact that yesterday – the worst day of your life – is gone and has been swept into the past. Celebrate that it’s over. And from you new vantage point in your yesterday’s future (now turned into your present), think about what happened.
  5. Remember again that that awful moment in time is gone and that suddenly you are in the future (yesterday’s future). Reflect on how easy it was it to suddenly arrive at “tomorrow”.
  6. You can shore up this process by doing it again a week later – recall your bad day in the past. And mark it in your calendar so you can remember it in a month’s time. You might even recall it three months later or a year later. This will demonstrate to yourself that suffering is temporary and time moves quickly. And the next time you have an upset or miserable moment, use this technique to travel in your mind into the future, and know that this present will soon be a distant and vague memory. This will become really easy after a while and you can use the technique to take the edge of any moment, event or circumstance that is upsetting.

I will leave you with this final story on how I used it in a very effective way in my life. More than six years ago (as I write this in 2016) I was going through a very uncomfortable and upsetting divorce. It dragged on for months and I could barely stand it day in day out. I had to live in a house with my very angry and uncommunicative soon to be ex-wife. But I reminded myself that it would pass, and soon the whole miserable experience would be in the past.

The divorce was negotiated several months later. I moved out. And fast forward to today, I married  Kay Walker (the gorgeous and brilliant founder of this website) and we have a fantastic toddler son. So that ugly upset, all those years ago, is now ancient history for me. The time I was longing for then, has now arrived. I live happy in my future. And the ugliness is behind me. That experience gives me the ability now to deal with any day of my life.  Time travel works. You just have to let it.

Would you like the TTFU worksheet? CLICK HERE or the button below, and join the Awesome Life Club and get the tool, plus tons more awesome life changing tools ( Joining the Awesome Life Club is free!)