In this post, we are continuing our pursuit of mental toughness. As a reminder, mental toughness is not about how physically strong you are. You are mentally toughness when you remain in control regardless of the situation surrounding you.
In our first installment, we talked about developing self awareness. Next, we talked about defining the neutral set of values that guide your decisions in life. In our last installment, we started applying those values to situations we encounter day-to-day. In other words, mental toughness requires preparation.
A common misconception is the mentally tough people never have fun, never cut loose, and are boring. Fortunately, that isn’t true at all. In fact, mentally tough people have a calm authentic happiness about them. It’s like they are constantly fulfilled in all that they do. But, how is this possible?
For starters, when we are talking about happiness associated with being mentally tough, we aren’t talking about experiencing super highs and super lows. That impulsive happiness is like getting angry when you get caught in traffic on your way home from work. We are not mentally tough when we have big swings in mood and emotion.
Instead, we are talking about a long lasting happiness that we choose to experience. This kind of happiness has two primary charateristics:
First, it is a happiness that is a by-product of living through our values. It isn’t a goal in life. Second, it is an active happiness. This is in contrast to mere pleasure that happens to us like eating, drinking alcohol, or indulging in things like sex.
Bringing Everything Together
So, how does happiness really fit with mental toughness? Mental toughness is living life under control. You do this by defining your values. Living through your values creates long term happiness in your life. Thus, being mentally tough also means having an unflappable happiness.
3 Steps to Creating Unshakable Happiness
Here are three steps you can take to increase your unshakable happiness while you develop your mental toughness:
- Plan activities that are consistent with your values. Maybe this means finding ways to volunteer your time.
- Spend time contemplating and emulating the qualities you admire in other people. We don’t admire empty qualities in other, like someone’s ability to manipulate others. The qualities we admire are wholesome and genuine.
- Practice gratitude for EVERYTHING you have. A good rule of thumb, if you can imagine someone who wants what you have or what you get to do, be grateful for it. It is impossible to be grateful and angry at the same time.