Developing Mental Toughness – Part 6

Developing Mental Toughness – Part 5
August 29, 2018
Developing Mental Toughness – Part 7
August 31, 2018

Developing Mental Toughness – Part 6


here is nothing complex that is not structured. The more complex a thing is, the more it relies on structure. I think one of the most complex things ever created is the human body. If you just studied the eye alone for example, you will be amazed that there is no camera ever developed even in the modern world that can equate to the eye. What does this message of structure teach us about mental toughness? Quite a lot.

Mental Toughness

I continue researching this topic, it gets more interesting. Yesterday I read this definition by author A.C. Drexel. This is what he said:

“Mental toughness is the deciding factor that distinguishes between those who are good and those who are great. It is an essential factor, ant it can even outweigh any inherent talent”

―A. C. Drexel

I couldn’t agree more. If you want to be great at what you do, it goes without saying that you will have to count on your mental toughness. That is why it is absolutely important to start developing this mental toughness. What I am learning is that mental toughness requires you to linger around the uncomfortable long enough to conquer it.

Where It Is Needed

  • You need mental toughness to get started with something that you don’t feel like doing.
  • You need mental toughness to keep going when your brain is screaming for you to stop
  • You need mental toughness when you feel discouraged especially when you start comparing your progress to that of others
  • You need mental toughness to start again when you have accomplished something you had wanted to.

The Power of Structure

When we are talking about structure, we are talking about organization. It narrows down to what you do with your day each day. If there is no structure in there, there is no room for developing your mental toughness. It is amazing to see great human beings (and by this I mean the wonderful creature that is the human in terms of the body, the mind and the spirit), walking around the earth with no intention, no plan, and no structure for their day or week or month! When you have a plan of how your week will churn out, right there and then you have engaged the growth of your mental toughness. When you don’t, you have engaged in mediocrity which never develops the mind.

Related Article: The Power of Intention

Why Structure?

The mind needs a problem to solve or a project to mull over at all times. It is therefore interesting to note that all that people are looking for is vacation. Man was not created to vacation. Man was created to work and after work to rest. That is the order. Having structure in the way you will live means having a time table of sorts. This means that you are compelling yourself to do some things following a particular order. This means that you are putting pressure on yourself to be orderly and productive with your day. Productivity too is a function of mental toughness. That means that when you have structure:

  • You have focus on what matters
  • You have priority on your day
  • You respect your day
  • You are able to say “No” to requests that do not contribute to your productivity (and saying “No” is a sign of mental toughness)
  • You are able to track your progress
  • You are able to review your day/week/month.

Creating the Structure

It is good to have long term, medium term, short term and immediate term look at your life. The long term will determine what you will do in the immediate term and so on and so forth. Of course the long term might have great goals and they might be many. However, the immediate term might have just a few things. Knowing what you want to do dictates what kind of structure you are going to set up. If you do not know what you want to do, then there is no impetus to have structure which in turn dictates that you will not be building your mental toughness.


  • For the immediate term, I might say of September: “When this month is through, I will have successfully started a podcast for Life Signatures with at least six episodes”. What that does is that it puts me on high alert. It is even better if I went public with that goal so that I can be held accountable to. Other things such as quality of content, finesse and so on will follow the goal. It will therefore force me to break down September (which I consider immediate term) into a structure that will allow me to do this goal as well as to continue doing what I have always been doing.
  • For the medium term (3 months to one year), I might have this goal. “I will be publishing a book on “Discover your Purpose” complete with on online class and workbook. This is no mean feat. It will compel me to start preparing myself for this. I will need not wait for feelings before I can get started, for there is a time limit. Immediately you impose a deadline on a project, you engage your mental toughness to deliver it. Now, I will be forced to have structure in my day, month and year in order to support that goal.


I hope you get to see how critical having structure is. Not only does it help you develop mental toughness, it also helps you to be productive. If anything, the mental toughness is bound to be a byproduct of the structure. You do not set up the structure ostensibly to be mentally tough. You set up the structure because you want to be productive…but before long, you realize that to be productive, you have to be mentally tough!

The following pointers should help you in setting up a structure:

  1. Set an agenda for your life. Whether it is long term, medium term, short term or immediate term
  2. Determine what your “non-negotiables” are.
  3. Build a time table centered around your agenda and your non-negotiables
  4. Create a pattern or a rhythm
  5. Get started
  6. Track your progress daily

Let’s pick this up in the next article.