Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory. Bill Russell
Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles… Alex Karras
Spirit has fifty times the strength and staying-power of brawn and muscle. Mark Twain
“Toughness” can best be described as having an attitude and a spirit of not giving up or quitting. Carrying it a little further, it incorporates an aspect of getting back up when knocked down, physically, mentally and spiritually. Being tough means we have endurance and we learn to handle whatever comes our way.
In sports, a good visual image of “toughness” is a boxer. They take blow after blow after blow, getting knocked down, getting back up and continuing to fight on. The conditioned boxer does not give up, does not surrender, and does not say, “I give up”. The boxer is able to do this because of the intense training that has given him the physical and mental endurance that is required to make it in the ring. Life can be much like the boxing ring. Our opponent is Life with all its obstacles, adversities, hardships and disappointments. Sometimes it comes at us hard. We find ourselves at its mercy. It can seem that we are confronted by all of our “adversaries” all at the same time, and are fighting against insurmountable odds. The struggle can get so intense, that we cannot help but wonder how we will survive. It takes everything we have just to make it moment by moment. We cannot see through the storm clouds to the eventual sunshine waiting on the other side.
Many of us have had periods in our life where the intensity of the “fight” seemed to take everything that we had. Somehow, we seemed to survive. In the process we got “tougher”. As we got tougher, we became better conditioned for handling even bigger challenges. We are in continuous training. It never stops. Throughout our lives, we will experiences trials, tribulations, hardships and myriads of difficulties. Life requires that we learn to cope and fight on through our tough times. It is a continuous struggle and in many respects, a continuous test of endurance. The tougher we are, the more stamina we will have to battle through more hard times. This toughness comes from taking on Life and everything it has to throw at us.
A common saying is “that which does not kill you, makes you stronger”. Learn to handle and take Life’s best punches. When the going gets tough, those with toughness keep on going. There is always sunshine on the other side of the storm clouds.
Challenge: How do you fare in Life’s boxing ring? You will have to handle your share of punches and blows that come your way. The more conditioned you are; better trained and equipped, the more capable you become. The place to start is to acquire an attitude of toughness. Equip and train yourself to be mentally tough. Develop the attitude of someone who does not quit, gets back up and keeps on going. Learn to live to fight another day.
Wisdom: Burning desire to be or do something gives us staying power – a reason to get up every morning or to pick ourselves up and start in again after a disappointment. Marsha Sinetar
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:3, 4
Be of good courage, and He will strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24
God does not promise that life will be easy. He promises he will not let life test us beyond our abilities. In some ways he is like our coach and is trying to help us increase our strength and endurance. If we will listen to him and follow his teachings, we will acquire all the strength and endurance needed to handle anything that comes our way. With God’s strength empowering us, we will still be standing up when Life’s tests are over.
Prayer: Help me to keep my hope in you, especially when Life seems so tough and makes it difficult to hope.