Mental Toughness: How to evolve competing into creating

Playing not to lose is the mindset you want to avoid.  There is no difference between you and someone more successful than you - except that they were willing to think, and act, bigger.

"But wait a second, didn't you say not to be competitive, and be collaborative?"

Yes, completely.  This goes with that, not against that.  See, playing not to lose is a mindset that has you focusing on what you don't want.  You want to shift that focus to what you do want.

Playing to win doesn't mean you care who else is playing and how well they're doing, you're simply doing it to be the best you can be.  Playing to win means you cannot fail, because how you define winning is by playing and learning.

Your ego is not your fuel, your love and passion is.

Recommended Viewing: Peaceful Warrior
(Or get the book)

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
How could you best encourage a blogger to blog?

Mental Toughness: How to be confident

Many believe that confidence is something people are, not posses.  This is partly true.

While confidence is an internal skill, it is still a skill.  Like all behavioral patterns, it is one that at some point took practice, and now is done without effort.  Shyness is a learnable skill.  Bravery is a learnable skill, etc.

Cultivating confidence is one of the things martial arts is fantastic at.  And, if you are not already training in an empowering martial art, I would highly recommend it as part of your awesome-training.

Recommended Reading: What to say when you talk to yourself

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
How could you best encourage a blogger to blog?

Mental Toughness: How to practice curiosity

For many, curiosity is seen as a trait, not a skill.

Being able to practice and improve one's curiosity is an excellent way to increase one's wealth, and happiness.

Being of a childlike mindset which screams "teach me" is a fantastic way to learn that which others think they already know.  The result, is a life filled with tiny tidbits of knowledge everyone else does not posses.

All those tiny tidbits add up into a brilliant idea, a unique circumstance, and, ultimately, a very different life.

Also, people love to teach what they know to curious, enthusiastic people.  Think about it - they were the same way in this particular field, once.  That's why they know what they know, now.  You being curious about their life implies that you have a similarity of purpose, or, at the very least, a similarity of passion.

People like people who are like them.  If you are curious about someone's life, and how they've managed to perfect their particular area of expertise, you are increasing your like-them-quotient, and ergo your likability quotient.

That isn't why to do it, but its a nice side benefit.

Curiosity is also one of the better forms of praise.  Are you curious how a friend of yours got to be so amazing?  Ask them a specific question, and follow it up with the reason you are asking

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
How could you best encourage a blogger to blog?

Mental Toughness: How to become cooperative

Let's face it, many of us live in the perception of a competitive workplace, a competitive dating scene and a competitive life.

The fact of the matter is, in all areas of life, those who compete are generally losing, and those who cooperate are generally winning.

Its kind of unfair, that the ones who the status of "winning" means so much to, almost never do - and the ones who are joining together to make a collaborative, cooperative piece of awesome on this planet are the ones generally "winning".

I see this a lot in martial arts, as well; when people start focusing on "getting that next belt" their performance invariably starts to go down hill.  They start training for me, instead of for themselves.  They start trying to prove themselves to me, instead of improve themselves.

When we take the focus off of the improvement, or the project, and start putting the focus on the reward or the big payoff, invariably the project itself suffers.

Competition comes from a lack & scarcity mindset.  It sends out the feeling that there can only be one winner, that life is scarce of awards etc.  In reality, the biggest winners are the ones who help others to win.  Think about it in financial terms:  Who would you want to give your money to?  An investor who keeps 90%, or an investor who keeps 10%?  Who else feels the same way?  So how many people would give the latter all their money for their amazing returns?

The same is true with praise, with recognition, and with project management.

A great theme to live by, is that when things go right, they did it.  When things go okay, we did it.  When things go wrong, I did it.  Taking responsibility for your own reality takes guts.  It doesn't mean that your mistake can't be hiring the dufus who threw the monkeywrench into your gears, and, it doesn't mean that taking responsibility for that can't include firing his sorry butt.

All it means is that you own up to things, and spread the wealth.

Remember:  Wealth is merely a measurement for how much value you are able to give to the world.

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
How could you best encourage a blogger to blog?

Mental Toughness: How to suspend disbelief

Being willing suspend your disbelief and take in new information is a skill that gets harder with practice, not easier.  The reason is, the longer you're alive, the more you "know".

"Master, the cup is full, it can hold no more tea!"
"you must empty your cup to receive more tea."

Checking your ego at the door and simply listening to an idea to its entirety, that is, until the speaker is finished, is truly a skill.  So many of us want to add our two bits in, or disprove of an idea before its even fully been pitched.

Assume that people are as smart as, or smarter than you, when they are teaching you, and weigh what they have to say after they're done.

Observe the world as a child, process your observations as an adult.

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
How could you best encourage a blogger to blog?

Mental Toughness: How to understand the difference between Logic & Emotion

You've heard the expression that there is no place for emotion in business.  This simply is not true.  People are motivated by emotion, and justify their motivation through logic.

Otherwise, let's face it, there would be no Ferrari, no Rolex etc.  (OMG, look at that link, its a $12,000+ watch... it must tell really, really good time, eh?)

Nearly every purchase is motivated through emotion, then rationalized with logic.

Think of logic as the car, but emotion as the fuel.  Logic is great for planning & strategical thought, but emotion is great for the doing.

Last I checked, things got done from doing, not planning.

Recommended Viewing: Miracle (watch the coach's approach)

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
How could you best encourage a blogger to blog?

Mental Toughness: How to be consistent

As a boss, you do not want to reward spurts of good work - instead, you want to reward those of whom good work has become a habit.

In life, so often we notice and reward the underachievers for being "normal".  As a society, we've grown accustomed to it.

As an awesome individual, you must train yourself to be consistently amazing.  Think the Tortoise and the Hare, but the Tortoise has been working out.  You out distance the Hare in the beginning stretch, and keep going for the whole race.

Steady wins the race, not slow and steady.

Mental clarity comes from purpose, and is sustained by passion.

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
How could you best encourage a blogger to blog?

Mental Toughness: How to Embrace Fear

When you can't, you must.

A simple creed, but an effective one for stretching yourself past your comfort zone.

I'm not saying become an extreme sports enthusiast or do psychotic things.  I'm saying that if you fear doing something like public speaking, or asking a girl out, then you must do this thing and grow.

As long as nobody's safety is endangered, there is really no logical reason to be afraid.  Take risks, try new things, and develop courage.

Recommended activity: Take Martial Arts

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
How could you best encourage a blogger to blog?

Mental Toughness: How to be classy

Being classy is actually a pretty difficult thing for most of us to achieve.  The issue becomes that of familiarity.  You grow accustomed to being a certain way with certain people and mentally "relax".

There's nothing wrong with mentally relaxing.  It only becomes an issue when you relax past someone you'd rather not be.

You shouldn't have to "turn on" your class, you should simply be who you are.  Not to say that different environments don't cultivate certain filters, or methodologies of speech - but they are still, nonetheless, you, acting within your integrity.

For example, if you were a teacher, you would of course have one way of dealing with students, another with friends, and yet another with family.  But, you would still be the same person in all three cases.  Your language and presentation of that language might change, but the over all ethics, passion and character should remain consistent throughout.

If you consider yourself to be less-than-classy, meaning that you badmouth people, are rude, or crude, think about how it makes those people feel, and, how that makes you feel.  Think about those feelings and decide if you want to stay that way.

Most times, negative projections of thought come from fear.  It could be that you're harming others to protect yourself.  Its either them, or you...?

Shed yourself of that, and understand that nobody can hurt your soul but you.  Nobody can violate your character but you.  Think about who you'd want to be, and how that person would act.  Grow into the role.  Visualize.  See yourself interacting with your environments and, either change your environments to suit you, or find new environments that already suit you.

If you're not sure where to start, you can sign up for this free newsletter.

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
How could you best encourage a blogger to blog?

Mental Toughness: How to Embrace Adversity

The next time you catch yourself saying "crap!" (or something similar) immediately ask yourself "What could be great about this?"

Look for the hidden opportunity in life, and recognize that all your life's challenges have been put there to make you the person you are today - and all of tomorrow's challenges have been put there to make you the person you'll be then.

It was a heck of a lot of effort to learn to walk, but, you grew from the experience, no?

Learn to replace the word "problem" in your vocabulary with "challenge" or "adventure".

Recommended Reading: Man's Search for Meaning

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
How could you best encourage a blogger to blog?

Mental Toughness: How to practice gratitude

Few view gratitude as a skill, or a habit - but it is both.

There was a day, not too long ago, where everything seemed to go wrong all at once, and I was caught up in this fever of negative momentum.

Swearing and cursing and fumbling, and ultimately causing more delays because of my state, I suddenly stopped, and felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude.

I realized that the only possible reason I could be having this reality, was because I was attracting it.  And the only reason I chose to believe that I would attract such a reality, was because of the alternative.  If I hadn't had that crappy day, and if I'd made it home on time, perhaps I would have been hit by a car or some other extreme negativity would have happened which would have put all this day's adversities into dramatic perspective.

This simple thought, correct or otherwise, changed my state, and allowed me to perform properly, effortlessly, and joyously once more.

Gratitude is not just something you feel when someone gives you your birthday presant.  It is a state of being in which you love life, and are grateful for every part of it.  Every lesson, every challenge, every joy.

An excellent exercise I enjoy, is going for a light jog or walk, and simply smiling and being grateful for all the wonderful things in my life.  I mentally list them off, and sometimes out loud say things like "I love my life" and "I am so rich" as I jog.  I find 4 syllables work really well for running mantras.

Ultimately, you can be thankful that you can see or hear the world, regardless of the state it is in.  You can be thankful you have feet or hands that you're using to move in the first place.  You can be thankful for the time you've been born into, filled with limitless opportunity.

Heck, you can be grateful (or, as sometimes I enjoy spelling it: Great-full) for indoor plumbing if you really think about it.

Try thinking about something you're the most grateful about, in fact, think of 10 somethings, write them down, and every morning look at the list and even read it out loud with a sense of joy.  After about 10 days, you'll see some pretty neat results.

Recommended Reading: Go get 'em, electron boy

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
How could you best encourage a blogger to blog?

Mental Toughness: How to Compartmentalize Emotions & Projects

Awesome people do a lot of things.  They deal with a lot of people.

As a result, they must learn to mentally separate the pieces from each other, for fear of overlap.  If you have a miscommunication with one person and they bark at you, that shouldn't effect your real estate deal, your strategic merger, or your dinner with your children.

Learning to compartmentalize your emotions, and projects, and funnel the appropriate mental states into the appropriate areas is an incredible skill, not easy to to master.

Imagine you are Jack Bauer, or the president of a country.  You are met with 100 high-priority tasks that all need your attention now.  Each situation seems to have a downside, and time is running out.  What do you do?

You must compartmentalize each situation, and use logic.  Using your emotion will simply make you yell "damn it!" a lot.

Before looking at the projects, be aware of what outcome you want for your life, your year, your month, and your day.  Look at the projects and rate them in order of importance in relation to your desired outcomes.

Do a quick mental scan and ascertain which is the most important (not most urgent) project, and start there.

Do the math, not the emotion.  What is the best possible outcome that would match up with your previous outcomes, and is there a creative thought that could improve that outcome.

After that, delegate, and move on to the next one.  If people have ideas about your decisions, welcome them if they are constructive or helpful towards the desired outcomes already stated.

Once you are done, focus on the solution and implementation.  If you were wrong, adjust and rectify.  There is no point is agonizing over the decision, as hesitation can cause more harm than incorrect action many times.

Recommended Resource: The Emotional Revolution

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
How could you best encourage a blogger to blog?

Mental Toughness: How to Embrace Relativity

People in your life mean well, but what they are unconsciously or even sometimes consciously doing, is bringing you to their level.

If they happen to be higher than you, that's usually helpful - but ultimately, people bring you to their reality.  They attract you to what they perceive as being a good life.

Say, for example, you were privy to the dinner conversation that would take place if Hitler, Gandhi, George Bush, Michael Jackson, and Rosanne Bar all sat down together.  Quite the conflagration of obscenities, viewpoints, and the occasional "hoo!" and "ach!" to make a point, I'm sure.

The point is, we are all simply doing what we think is best.  That's what I'm doing right now, writing this blog - bringing you to my reality.  That's what your parents do when they either encourage or discourage you; bringing you to their reality.

Imagine this scenario.  You are on cloud 9.  You've just come up with THE BEST idea... in the world.  It will make you kajillions of dollars and everyone will love you.  Your idea has no flaws whatsoever.

What would someone close to you do?  They care for you, they love you.  What would they immediately look for?

Flaws.  They would want to bring you down to their level, instinctively.  You're SO MUCH MORE EXCITED than they are... that they instinctively want to bring you back to their level.

Conversely, you are so excited that you want to bring them up to your level.  Often, one succeeds.  Sometimes a compromise is made and a halfway point reached.

Now, let's take this exact same scenario, but, you have another, worthless, crappy idea that'll go nowhere.  You suck at most things anyway, who would buy that crummy thing from YOU?

What would a loved one do?  They'd bring you up to their level, or, you'd bring them down to yours, or, a compromise between the two would be reached.

So, the next time someone says you have too much time on your hands, or that something looks too hard, or they say you're way too happy, or anything of that nature, I dare you to reply "compared to what?"

Recommended Viewing: Rudy (compared to what?)

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
How could you best encourage a blogger to blog?

Mental Toughness: How to learn to love growth

Take baby steps towards greatness.

Not everyone enjoys personal growth, and, as foregin a concept as that is to some of us, we can appreciate that its a challenge at first.

Reflect.  Take a minute and think about some of the biggest challenges in your life that you've overcome.  Think about how great you felt afterwards.  Think about how you grew as a person.  Think about all the interesting things that happened as a result of your actions.

Realize, without that growth, where you would be.

Think about a huge area you want to grow in - perhaps a daunting task.  Break it up into small, bite sized pieces, and pick one you can accomplish in 5 minutes.  Could you schedule an event?  Could you make a phone call?  Could you write a title?

Growth has a momentum to it.  Start small.

Recommended Viewing: What about Bob?

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
How could you best encourage a blogger to blog?