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Mental Toughness


Hi guys, Michael here.

Life is hard, really hard. There are forces out of our control, there are things we cannot predict, and sometimes tragedy falls upon us. Life was never meant to be “easy”, life is a gift. The fact that we are on this planet breathing air is reason enough to be content. You could have been a plant or a bird or a rat. You are lucky enough to be on earth as a human being that can make cognitive decisions! Many of us fall victim to depression, slumps, and ruts.

We spiral out of control with the “woe is me” attitude. We cry when we feel cheated, we tell our friends and family that life isn’t fair.

It’s not supposed to be fair. It’s just supposed to be.

Life doesn’t owe any of us anything. We are all just specs of dust in an endless galaxy. We mean nothing to the universe. Our sole job on earth is to continue to progress. Build up mental tools and walls to combat what this world has to throw at us. Learn to love every experience and cherish the people close to us.

Appreciate the gift that is breath on earth instead of folding up at every bump in the road. This is where MENTAL TOUGHNESS comes into play.

My definition of mental toughness:

Making a decision, a firm and permanent decision, no matter what happens – I mean no matter what, for however long that takes. I will always be mentally tough. I will not let life drag me down. I will not break with pressure. I will bend and adjust. Tragedies and failures will make me stronger. They will help me to build up my walls so I can more easily overcome the next hurdle in my path. I will be patient and understand that perception controls the way I see the world and events around me.

If you decide to make the decision to be mentally tough, you can start to see the world through more clear eyes. With every action, there is a logical reaction. With every problem, there is a reasonable solution. With every failure, there is something to be learned. With every death, there is a gift of life to be appreciated.

Of course there are extremes; there are terrible things that can happen throughout life. We can’t just sink down and let the darkness overtake us though. That doesn’t help ourselves, or anyone around us. When you are mentally tough, you are a pillar of strength and inspiration to those around you. You help yourself and others by keeping your shit together and guiding everyone through dark times. The easy route is to shut down, slow down, and slip into darkness. This is for the weak – the mentally weak.

Choose to be mentally tough: decide that you will set the example. Appreciate the little things in life. If not for yourself, than for those around you. Your children, your family, your friends, your pets! People around you pick up on weakness. Human beings & animals can sense it. Show them strength.

Our ancestors had to deal with so much worse than us. Our computer crashes in the middle of a project and we act like the world is against us. Those before us had to hide in caves to keep themselves warm and safe from predators. There are places in this world where people have to fight famine and disease daily. They live without homes yet we complain about social media. There have been wars that have resulted in millions of deaths yet we cry that we don’t make enough money. Right now, there are troops overseas fighting and missing their families yet we are worried that we won’t get into college to pursue a career we know nothing about.

Enough with the excuses. Enough with the weakness. Enough with the sob stories. Sack up, and make the decision.


Watch your life change for the better.

– Michael

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  1. Yes, yes, yes! I was just having this conversation with a friend yesterday. Life can be hard and it sucks. But life isn’t supposed to be easy. If it were, you’d never appreciate the good. Wise words M!

  2. Love this! Great man! This is what everyone needs…a partner who’s always mentally tough, tough enough for their partner to lean on too. Change your mindset change your life is my motto! So many people are controlled by fear and the what ifs or fall into the victim card. Anytime my life got down I looked at the clients I served, foster youth…it was a daily reality check to be grateful even now that I’ve been recently laid off and I TRULY LOVED my job, but no fall back plan (no partner) and my car needs work, apt too expensive on unemployment, and my pet just had emergency (expensive) surgery. Broke…and no idea what’s next…I’m thankful and smiling. Life is a journey. Thanks for the reminder Michael!!

  3. “The easy route is to shut down, slow down, and slip into darkness. This is for the weak.” This really resonated with me. I think that the ease of technology in some ways has been a big drain on motivation. When everything’s wicked easy (eg: you no longer have to physically go to a library to research, or instead of calculating macros in a food journal you can just fire up My Fitness Pal), sometimes we lose the drive to fight against our lazier, baser instincts.

    I really enjoyed this post, there was a lot of lil’ insights that everyone SHOULD know but many people don’t (or just haven’t considered).

    Thanks, Michael!

    1. Hi Beryl, I am really glad you liked the post. Thank you for reading and commenting. I agree with you on the technology front. While it has made many of aspects of our life easier, we must always remember what it has changed so that we can stay accountable to ourselves.

  4. I really enjoyed the first part of this, and I really think I needed this today, but I’m not sure I agree with you at all on the second half. Some people ARE dealing with really tough shit even in the first world in our time period, and not being mentally tough enough to deal with it does not make people weak

    Steph –

    1. Hi Stephanie, thanks for reading and thank you for your input! I am not calling anyone weak I am simply pointing out that being mentally tough and making the decision to stay in that mindset will help us through the toughest of times. In this context I am using mental weakness to refer to a state of mind that makes life harder as we go through hardships. Thank you for the comment!

  5. Yes. this is so great Michael. Thank you for this, in the midst of things like wedding planning, busy schedules, and just living in 2016 one can tend to forget these things… I love TSC so much, all around inspirational. all the best to you, Lauryn and the pups.

  6. Wow, this was so perfectly stated, needed, and true. Thanks for posting this Michael. A great reminder and refresher on how to approach life.

  7. We are worried that we won’t get into college for a career we know nothing about!! <3 Michael this was such a good read, thank you!!!

  8. YES! It’s hard but you can decide how you react to hard situations. I wrote a post about mental toughness when my grandfather was dying and I had to choose whether I fell apart or soldiered through. I completed my work, went to classes and handed in assignments all while grieving greatly.

    Experts say the more stress you experience early in life, the better you are able to handle it later and it actually leads to a longer life.

  9. Love This! Michael you are wonderful, I always enjoy listening to your opinions on The Him & Her Podcast. Great advice! So true that animals and people pick up on stress/weakness/etc…

    Positive vibes and mental toughness is the way to be!

  10. Good goddess, thank you for just telling it like it is and not coddling the shite out of your audience – thanks for knowing we’re better than that, as well. For the first few moments of reading it, it was almost a bit jarring merely because most things you read these days almost encourage some odd (and inaccurate) form of victimization – so everyone walks around the internet walking on eggshells half the time, loathe to offend any microorganism on the planet, ya know? Gimme some straight-up honesty sometimes, hold the ice and water, man!

    I appreciate your message here and I enjoyed hearing it. Write on!

  11. This is such a deep message and I’m so happy that you were able to deliver this in such a motivational/inspiring way. I hope you stop by more often. Again thank you so muchmuch!

  12. While certainly, deciding to be mentally tough can have positive effects/change your outlook on life, its not that simple. People suffering from Anxiety & Depression cannot choose to be mentally tough & miraculously have a positive outlook on life. Mental illness is a caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain & cannot be willed away. In fact, telling someone who suffers from mental illness to be ‘mentally tough’ can, in fact, be more damaging to their being. ‘Mental Toughness’ ignores the complexities of human existence.

    1. Michael isn’t talking about people with mental illness. This is geared towards people who do NOT have mental illness. Thanks for reading! x

  13. I really needed this slap in the face today. Thank you so much for writing this and for being so raw and honest. I’m dealing with some really huge stuff, deciding to move, change jobs, etc., and I’ve really lost my mental toughness throughout the process and when things didn’t go as planned I found myself resorting to “why me?” instead of figuring out a different plan. This really helped me see the bigger picture, and I know it’ll help me with the life-changing decisions in the next few short weeks!

  14. Greetings from Barbados! I must say I never ever thought I read such powerful words on TSC ( no disrespect, till now TSC is for light reading, homemaking stuff) Thank you, needed to read this.

  15. What a Monday morning inspiration and for exactly what i am going through. A breakup, of course, and it still being fresh, my mind is weak and all I did was feel terrible all week and weekend. This was a great read first thing and helped a lot! It’s definitely something to work at but I envy all those who can.

  16. Kudos Michael. I love this post. I always look forward to the posts where you write. Not because your cooler than Lauryn, definitely not hehe. But I find ya’ll to be the perfect match, supremely entertaining, the perfect balance of a couple, your the rose to Lauryn’s ray oyster. This post especially resonated with me. Always choose the positive path in life and make the best of what you can when dealt with a shitty situation. What you did not add in this post… is any personal shitty experiences of your own? What is one of the biggest stories in your life that felt like the bottom for you and how did you stay positive and climb the mountain back to the top?

  17. Yes, life is hard! I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 38 and had it come back again at 40! But you know what happened, besides all the surgeries, chemo and radiation, I became happy, stronger and created my own business! Day to day I struggle with pain, but I work through it and find the good and Live Life Now!

  18. YES! I always try to look at the positive of every situation because I believe if you put positivity out into the world, you’ll attract positivity back. Thank you for this post Susan!

  19. I feel like this message is more relevant than ever with the pandemic. I’m a professional actress, and I’ve lost work due to covid 19. Reading this definitely puts things in perspective and is a great motivator!

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