I’ll often watch and draw wisdom from the following video of Cary Kolat discussing an encounter with a Mongolian wrestler who took an ice cold shower without flinching.
I’ll sometimes post some grandiose self-congratulating declaration on Facebook about my recent progress towards a goal. For example, I’ve been posting recently about the number of takedowns I got in training. I made a goal of getting 200 takedowns in 5 weeks.
These Facebook updates are a sign of my struggling to build a habit of a tough task. Once the habit is built, and it becomes part of my daily life, it no longer will be dramatic enough to necessitate any kind of acknowledgement. I just do it, quietly, day after day. That’s what drilling has become for me. It’s a very taxing activity mentally and physically, but I got used to it.
I think that’s what mental toughness is. It’s not something you have to convince yourself of having in a sudden rush of motivation. It’s something you build slowly by doing a challenging/uncomfortable task every day, day after day, without exceptions. It’s simple. Then the ice cold shower that Kolat talks about is no longer a surprise. It’s just a way of life, a welcome twist in our shot stint here on this little planet.