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A former Navy SEAL reveals 4 secrets to boosting mental toughness

I think we can all agree that mental toughness is one of the most important skills in life.

In fact, according to Navy Seal instructor  and martial arts expert, Mark Divine,  mental strength is “more important than any physical ability you may possess.”

Yet, a lot of us don’t know how to develop it.

But don’t worry, Divine says that mental toughness can be improved with a few simple habits.

Below, we’ve summarized his 4 strategies to boost mental strength so we can live a happier and more productive life.

1) Focus on yourself first.

Divine says that self-awareness is perhaps the most important trait to develop. He recommends keeping a journal to enhance your self-awareness. Even just 10 minutes a day will allow you to reflect on who you are and what you want in life.

He says that writing has a way of “clearing your mind and organizing your thoughts.”

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He also recommends 10 minutes of deep breathing to center yourself. It’s important that you treat these two activities as a reliable habit like brushing your teeth.

2) Figure out your purpose.

It’s important to understand what your purpose is life so you can align your actions with your values. Divine recommends asking yourself the following questions to understand what your purpose is:


(We just released a new eBook: The Art of Resilience: A Practical Guide to Developing Mental Toughness. We highlight 20 of the most resilient people in the world and break down what traits they have in common. We then equip you with 10 resilience-building tools that you can start using today–in your personal life or professional career. Check it out here.)


What have you been conditioned to think you’re supposed to do with your life?
What do you think you are really supposed to do with your life?
What do you feel you are really supposed to do with your life?
Is there a tiny voice of doubt deep within you suggesting you are on the wrong track?
Is that same voice nudging you forward with the sensation that you are on the right track?
What ONE thing do you think you are here for? What ONE thing would you focus on if you had nothing holding you back?
What would you do differently if you knew you had one year to live?

What do you do with the insights that follow? Let it provide guidance to pursuing your real dreams in life.

3) Determine your path.

If you want to achieve high performance in whatever you do, Divine says that it’s crucial to tune into your true self. It’s important not to be swayed by what others think of you.

Many of us chase goals that are imposed by others. Don’t let this be you.

If you answer the questions above, you’ll begin to understand your purpose and you’ll make sure your path is aligned with this.

4) Support your new purpose with a healthy lifestyle and support others.

Divine says that many people are on the wrong path and therefore lack the energy to make a fitness program part of their daily life or a diet that fuels them with energy.

Again, he says that self-awareness is key. It’s a key sign of emotional maturity.

If you understand yourself and your goals in life, you’ll take care of your body in a complimentary way. Once you do understand yourself, you can let go of all those insecurities that have been plaguing you for too long. You can use that energy to focus on your purpose and help others!

Divine also says that finding like-minded people who have similar goals will support you and give you the extra energy that you need.

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Written by Justin Brown

I'm the CEO and co-founder of Ideapod, a platform for people to connect around ideas. I'm passionate about people thinking for themselves, especially in an age of information overload.

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