In life, we are often confronted with challenges that test our mental fortitude. It is during these moments of adversity that we discover our true strength and resilience. I have been fortunate enough to train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the past 14 years, and more recently have taken up ultra running. Both of these pursuits teach us an important lesson: we cannot quit. We must keep putting one foot in front of the other because the alternative is grim. This blog is a reminder to men over 40 who may have lost their mental fortitude that they have the power to overcome any obstacle and rediscover the joy that life has to offer.
Remembering the Source of Joy
If you find yourself in a rut or lacking mental fortitude, take a moment to reflect on what brought you joy in the first place. Make a list of the activities and hobbies that used to ignite your passion. Whether it's playing music, hiking in nature, or spending quality time with loved ones, identify those things and commit to doing them again. Often, we become stressed and overwhelmed not because we have too much on our plates, but because we have neglected the things that truly bring us joy.
The Power of Routine
Setting a routine is essential when trying to regain mental fortitude. Establishing a daily schedule provides structure and a sense of purpose. Start small and gradually build on your routine. If once a week is all you can manage, then make it once a week. Consistency is key, and as you regain momentum, you can increase your frequency. By incorporating activities that bring you joy into your routine, you'll find that the mental challenges become more manageable.
Start Small, Build Big
When attempting to rebuild mental fortitude, it's crucial not to overwhelm yourself with unrealistic expectations. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. Start small and gradually increase the difficulty. If you want to start exercising again, don't try to run a marathon right away. Begin with short walks or light jogs, and gradually increase the intensity and duration. By taking small steps, you'll build confidence and avoid overwhelming yourself, thus setting yourself up for long-term success.
The Power of the Mind
Your mind is a powerful tool, capable of either hindering or propelling your progress. When embarking on a journey to regain mental fortitude, you must trick your mind. If you start with something too challenging, your mind might convince you that it's impossible, leading to self-doubt and ultimately giving up. Instead, start with manageable tasks that gradually push your limits. By conditioning your mind to embrace challenges incrementally, you'll develop a resilient mindset that will carry you through the toughest times.
Communication and Connection
Never underestimate the power of communication and connection with your loved ones or those closest to you. When facing difficulties, sharing your burdens and seeking support can alleviate the weight on your shoulders. As the saying goes, "A problem halved is a problem solved." Opening up to trusted friends, family, or even professional counsellors can provide valuable insights, perspectives, and emotional support. Remember, you don't have to face your struggles alone.
Life is a series of seasons, with ups and downs, challenges, and victories. Embracing difficult pursuits builds mental fortitude, equipping us with the resilience needed to weather the storms that life inevitably brings. If you find yourself in a rut or lacking mental fortitude, remember that you have the power to change your circumstances. By rediscovering what brings you joy, establishing a routine, starting small, and embracing challenges incrementally, you can reclaim your mental fortitude and thrive once again. Don't be afraid to reach out and connect with others, for their support can be instrumental in your journey towards a more resilient and fulfilling life. Remember, tomorrow is a better day, and this too shall pass.