I think that there’s a lot that goes into being mentally strong, but today I got some great advice on what it means to be mentally strong from a Master Chief.
We were sitting around a table listening to Master Chief talk, some people were just waiting to be released and weren’t really paying much attention, but he had a lot of great stuff to say.
He lived an interesting life, and obviously had a lot more experience than my peers and I had. There was a good reason why he has the rank he does and it wasn’t just the time he had in service.
Master Chief told even told us about the personal struggles he had gone through that I couldn’t even imagine having to experience, and in addition to all his stories there was one thing he told us that really stuck with me.
He said, “being mentally strong is about waking up everyday with a positive attitude and taking on the world.”
That was powerful. Even though there’s more that goes into having a strong mind, he was absolutely correct about having a good attitude.
Your attitude largely determines the outcome of your life. Having a positive attitude doesn’t mean ignoring whatever problems you may have or ignoring the negative aspects of your life that may be affecting you.
Having a positive attitude means getting out of your bed every morning and going out into the world to face your challenges ready to take them on, not feeling sorry for yourself, not being moody, not trying to do just enough to get by, but putting on a smile and being willing to work despite the adversity.
Life is difficult, but the way you take it on can make it more or less so. Having a good attitude, being a go-getter or as we call it, a “hot-runner”, makes all the difference.
You may not like your job or you might feel like a victim of the hand you’ve been dealt, but having a positive attitude and doing what you need to do even when you might feel that way will improve your situation. It may take time, and it may be difficult maintaining a positive attitude in a situation like that, but eventually it will pay off.
I knew people in many of the different jobs I worked over the course of my life who had a poor attitude and it never benefited them. The people with good attitudes get more done, they’re better liked by their colleagues and superiors and they are usually the ones who get promoted because they are well liked and have a good work ethic.
The people with bad attitudes aren’t well liked because they tend to be energy vampires, they suck at their jobs and when they are dealt the results of their crappy attitudes, they use it as an excuse to further victimize themselves and justify their bad attitude.
Even before I knew the term “hot-runner” I took all of my jobs on with that attitude. I didn’t complain, I learned all I possibly could and I was ready and willing to put in the work it took to be good at whatever it was I did.
At my first job at the tender age of 15, I was a bus boy. I bussed tables, washed dishes and cleaned like there was a fire under my ass. I didn’t complain, I got along great with all my managers and got promoted in a couple of months, and then again and again until I was the youngest guy on the grill (highest position in the kitchen besides manager) in less than a year of working there.
My coworkers who were jealous were the same ones who had shitty attitudes, put in the minimal work and had been there for years wondering why some kid was making more money than them.
The same thing happened at all my other jobs. I became the second chef in a fancy restaurant. A 19 year old kid bossing around older guys because I was a hot-runner who wanted to do the best possible job I could.
Then I became a sushi chef at 20 years old and in two years I became the head chef because I came to work ready to learn, put out my best effort and made everyone who interacted with me feel good.
Having a positive attitude isn’t hard, maybe it’s hard to break out of the habit of being negative all the time, but once you see how a negative attitude literally makes life unnecessarily difficult, it’s easier to break out of it.
Having a positive attitude may not be the only thing that makes you strong mentally, but having a negative attitude is definitely a weak way to live.
All it might take for you to live a better, more fulfilling life may be improving your attitude and to refuse to do so because you’d rather think negatively and play the victim is definitely a weak way to live.
Maintaining a positive attitude is a sure sign of mental strength. When life throws a wrench your way and you can take it to the face and still be a good person and make an honest effort to be better is mark of mental strength.
Choose to have a positive attitude. Acknowledge the bad, but don’t let it continue to weigh you down. Having a negative attitude has no benefits, and if your a rational human being, that should be enough of an argument for you to try and have a positive attitude everyday when you get out of bed and take on the world.