3 Techniques to improve your Mental Toughness

There's a reason why special operations forces use grueling, nearly torturous selection courses...they want to weed out the quitters and the weak...those without the mental toughness to keep going, even when they're completely, totally and utterly exhausted.

If your will is broken, you're done for.

Mental fortitude is the oft undervalued trait that more often makes the difference between triumph or defeat.

Even in every day life, you need self discipline and willpower to do what you need to and keep making progress towards your goals. 

Most of our caveman brains have a hard wired aversion to things that are difficult, uncomfortable or downright painful...even if they're things we know and believe we should be doing. Instead, our brains want the easy, quick fix.

Case in point: physical training of any kind. Everyone knows you should exercise--but how many people don't do it, or struggle to do so consistently.

Our brains are awesome at coming up with reasons for why we shouldn't do those hard, uncomfortable things:
"I'm too tired."
"I'm too busy."
"I deserve a break."
"This isn't worth it."
"I'm not having fun."

It's natural. It's normal. There's a big part of our brains that wants us to sit around and eat donuts. Eat, drink and be merry.

But, guess what? You can't let that part of your brain win.

Luckily, there are simple mental techniques that you can use help to overcome your inner weakling. These may seem like minor, but they're used by some of the toughest, disciplined and successful people in the world.

Here are three of my favorites:

A large number of big, daunting problems can be daunting, discouraging and overwhelming.

Breaking those problems down into smaller, more manageable pieces can make them easier to handle. Focus on the obstacle right in front of you; get over it and move onto the next.

That can mean breaking things down to one day at a time, one minute at a time or one footstep at a time. However small and manageable you need to in order to make progress.

Small goals lead to small victories, and small victories add up fast.

"Just get through the next day and you're golden."
"Just make it to the top of that next hill."
"Just one more step...one step is no big deal."

I've read dozens of accounts of special operation soldiers, survivors and others, and this is one of the most commonly used and powerful coping mechanisms.
Just Get Started
This ties in with compartmentalization. You can't make progress if you never start, and starting is often the hardest part. Maybe it's overwhelming, maybe you're tired--whatever. 

So, tell yourself that you just need to do one, small thing--that's it--and then you'll be done.

And then you do that one thing, and hey--not so bad. Why not keep going?

I do this frequently with PT, when I'm tired and don't feel like diving into an hour long workout session. I'll tell that inner weakling to just do the one main exercise--squats, deadlift or bench--and then it's okay to be done. That way I'll at least get my workout in.

Sure enough, 95% of the time, that turns into the full workout session.

Give it a try.

Remember the Big Goal
"A lifetime of glory is worth a moment of pain." -- Unbroken

Keeping your eye on the prize--your ultimate goal--is a powerful motivator for making progress. Adopt the attitude that you are going to achieve that goal, no matter what--because it's worth doing whatever it takes.

Great, meaningful victories require work. A lot of work. Years or even lifetimes of work.

That could be success at physical training, winning some competition or making it home to see your family again.

Visual reminders of your goal or motivation can be inspirational here. Arnold or Bruce Lee posters slapped on wall of your home gym. A picture of your family tucked in your wallet. Whatever you need to help keep you focused and working towards your goal.

Have another technique that helps you stick to your plans? Favorite motivational quote, person or book you'd like to share? Let the TEOTWAWKI Tribe know in the comments section.


Recommended Viewing: Expedition Overland

File this one under off roading, adventure, awesome gear and amazing cinematography. Last season, the crew explored their way through British Columbia and Alaska...this time, they're heading south of the border, through Central America and back again.

They're well funded and have sponsorships for some great brands (Triple Aught Design this year), so they've got pretty much the best outfitted vehicles and gear for the journey. And, knowing their audience, they dive into the details of vehicle outfitting, med kits, tool kits, food and personal kit and clothing...all very comprehensive and well thought out. If you're like me, you'll eat this stuff up.

It'll also make you want to grab the 4x4 and head out in search of adventure...and that's part of the point.

Central America will prove interesting--there's the jungles, the many countries and of course security concerns. They'll be rolling $100K off-road rigs through some pretty corrupt, dangerous and primitive places. Watching from home, that makes things interesting...and draws some more parallels to a crap hits the fan scenario.

Worth your time...watch and discuss in the comments below.


Classics...and Congrats

Via Ed's Manifesto >

And huge congrats to Ed for his successful ventures into the world of escapology and knife training -- including a recent Black Box course hosted by Triple Aught Design.

Ed is an awesome dude, longtime friend of the T-Blog, and devilishly creative to boot. If you're not following him, you should be.


Surviving a Government Debt Crisis

Introduction / The Greeks - Summer of 2015
The Greek government has been teetering on the brink for a while now, and we'll find out within the next few days what direction the country is going to head -- slash spending and take more bailout money or drive themselves further down the path of economic ruin.

First up, Greece is only a very small part of the world's economy (44th highest GDP), and investors have had a long period of advanced warning to pull money out or otherwise game plan for a government collapse. At this point, the risk of a Greek government default and subsequent troubles has been largely priced into the market. Thus, there is little risk of a Greek default triggering economic meltdowns across the world. Some bad days on the market, yes, but nothing apocalyptic.

It is, though, instructive to watch how events have led up to the current situation and watch how they will unfold in the next few weeks. Government defaults follow similar progression and if you know the signs and eventual progression, you can prepare for them that much better.


Zyon Systems - Escaping the Urban Jungle

Cool opportunity from Zyon Systems for those in a major metropolitan areas. They're looking at doing a training run of bugging out from a city, and are looking for a volunteer to host.

Here's the details from Zyon:

I am interested in conducting some real world urban escape scenarios from a major metropolitan area. Our base camp, Boise, Idaho, does not fit the bill. If you ever wondered what it would be like to make it home on foot from your office during a major disaster or emergency, here is your chance to test your route and emergency gear. I'm looking for a host city and someone on the ground who is willing to help with logistics.

Here are the criteria I am looking for:

Population of 1,000,000 or greater
Major public transportation infrastructure
At least 15 miles to reach our designated safe zone
At least 1 overnight bivouac site en-route to our designated safe zone
Great food and attractions to enjoy after the scenario is complete!!

If you think your city will provide a good training opportunity and your up to the challenge, let me know. I would be stoked to start planning with you. As a perk, if I choose your city for the scenario, I'll give you one of our Professional Lite Kits for hosting the training.

If you're up for the job, head on over to the Zyon Systems blog to give 'em a heads up.

Not quite dead yet...

Damn...it's been 20 days since my last post. That's the longest I've gone in...well, years and years.

I am, happy to say, alive and well. Did some travelling and been busy keeping up with real life. Blog took a bit of a back seat for a while -- thanks to the faithful for hanging in there, and for the handful of folks who reached out to make sure I was still alive and kickin'.

I am alive, and I'm back at the keyboard...kids have torn several of the keys off said keyboard, but hey.

I am, though, assessing the go-forward plan for T-Blog and my writings and ramblings. Feel the need to re-adjust.

Various possible avenues to pursue...I may take a hiatus from survival blogging to re-visit my fiction that you guys keep poking me for; might focus on quality versus quantity -- 1 or 2 longer form posts / week; may change up platform/format -- switch over Tumblr, for example. Or might go back to same post frequency / length as before.

Welcome demands / inputs from the Tribe on what you'd like to see.

Wolf out.