Why aren’t there mental gyms yet?

I’ve been thinking about the kind of person I have to become in order to do the things I want to do.

My answer: A person who consistently takes action with chutzpah, resiliency, and outrageousness. A person who delivers WOW!

I thought about how exactly I’m going to train myself to become that person. Is there a faster way than just, say, getting over myself when I have to get on a sales call?

And I realized mindfulness meditation is the only proactive exercise I know to do.

In physical fitness, we train, i.e. go to the gym everyday, so we can sweat more in training to bleed less in battle.

But in mental fitness… Outside of meditation, we just go about our day, wait for things to happen to us, then try to resist our impulses.

This is like working really hard to last longer while climbing the Great Wall of China instead of training for it!

It’s crazy and very ineffective. But that’s how we deal with mental and emotional challenges. We wait ’til we get in the battle to do our mental training:

  • Think positive before the sales call!
  • Resist the cheese cake!
  • Just write a really shitty draft when you face the blank paper!

There’s got to be a better way.

I think designing a mental gym where you can train daily and proactively in mental gymnastics such as overcoming fear, developing resiliency, and building mental toughness is a very good idea.

Some important characteristics would be:

  • There’s a schedule — You go to the gym 4x/week
  • There’s a program — 3 main exercises (e.g. purposefully get rejected, publish a shitty blog post, perform an activity you don’t enjoy) 5 sets x 5 reps
  • There’s a way to track progress and measure results

I’d love for something like this to exist. Or even create it. Maybe I’m not just aware?

Do you do proactive training in mental toughness? If so, please share in the comments.

  • Taras Bondarenko

    Have you tired keeping a personal journal? It will serve as a “warm up” and will show you where the weak areas are. Also it is a measuring device of your psychological growth – pay attention to patters in entries.

    It also helps to find a “trainer” wether in a “system/framework” or an actual person. Cognitive therapy is another option.

    • Hey Taras, thanks for stopping by :)

      Funny you mention, I just started one half a month ago (I’ve tried and stopped millions of times before) Yes, I do want to keep writing, enough to actually see useable data and patterns!

      What do you mean by trainer in a system/framework?

      • Taras Bondarenko

        A coach, a guide, a teacher. Helps with initial disorientation and having some structure so it is not just random exercises, but a goal oriented practice.

        • Do you know any coaches or websites that provide some sort of structured mental training?

          • I will be creating something that hits these exact benefits in the coming months.

  • Justin Lawler

    Great post :)

    I personally love the idea of James Altuchers ‘daily practice’ – or keeping your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual minds all healthy. I’ve been trying to keep to this for the last 6 months or so and its been an extremely positive experience for me so far.

    • OH YEAH. Good point! James’s system is sort of what I’m looking for. It’s proactive and it’s regular. Thanks!!

      I did try to start but then stopped…This may sound stupid but how did you stick with it?

      • Justin Lawler

        Hey – not strictly sticking to it every day :(. I use lift app on my phone to track everything, which really helps, I built it up slowly also. And i do journaling instead of brainstorming ideas – I try brainstorming, but its just too painful at times. I know – I gotta push thorough the pain ;)

        Gratitude is something that comes & goes. I really feel the benefit when I do it, but sometimes I completely forget, or just don’t feel like it. I need to take a more deliberate approach to it….

        I guess main thing is – if you stop, then try to restart as soon as you can :)

        • About the brainstorming, it’s crazy! Cause it really shouldn’t be hard, no one’s really judging what you’re putting on there. It isn’t a test you have to pass or anything like that but it’s still hard so this really resonates with me.

          Yep, thanks Justin. Great conversation :)

          • Justin Lawler

            Thanks – great feedback :) Yea great conversation, great blog post :)

  • Noah Kagan developed the Failure Olympics as part of one of his private courses. All about getting rejected on purpose. Really gets you over the fear quickly.

    Love this topic.

  • Mark Manson has developed such a system, but only focusing on dating. Then there is fearbuster.com. I have no experience with his system, but it´s clear that something worked for him. As Mike mentioned the Failure Olympics, but I think they are quite “easy” and quick to solve. Then there is the “4HWW”.

    I like the cognitive behavioural method, because it´s less pain than ordinary systems and the principles of Brené Browns´vulnerability.

    I like to have a collection of unusual stuff, coming from all those sources and some of my one creations. I think that accountability can not be achieved solely on your own. But this seems a good idea for a new course product. I thought entrepreneurs and freelancers have figured that all out.

    Today our security subway employees mentioned that I should not lie on the floor, especially when the camera only cachtes my feet.

    • Haha that’s funny about lying on the floor, Basti.

      What do you think about Brene Brown’s vulnerability principles?

      And yeah, I didn’t know about Fearbuster and Mark Manson’s stuff. Will check them out, thanks.

      • I believe that it´s one very efficient way to work on ones issues. The book has a quite soft approach and doesn´t show the whole spektrum of being vulnerable.

        “Vulnerability Rewritten For Entrepreneurs” – Saying No, to low gigs and too much work. Charging what your work is worth, publishing a blog post, book, a product makes you all vulnerable. Your not hiding that stuff. And we all know how important that is. In the end it just means being cool with yourself, with all those traits we all have.

        Look at Gary V – He has kind of a aggressive attitude. But he isn´t hiding it. Look at Richard Branson with his super strong feminine radiation. They don´t care about it, being just themselves. But one guy tops them all, James Altrucher. You can think of him what you want, but he´s truly himself and although you might think that he has a lot of flaws, he´s totally cool with his awkward presence. And that actually makes him cool in the perception of many others.

        • Cool man. Thanks. by the way, I love the “vulnerability rewritten for entrepreneurs” headline!

        • Fucking great reply.

          Love the Altucher. Unabashedly a huge geek, and owns it. He even says, “when you look like me, you HAVE to get good at salesmanship.”

          =)