Training as an FBI agent never stops—whether its firearms, physical fitness, or polishing investigative techniques. Sound exhausting? It is, and failure to perform can have serious impact on performance ratings and future success.
The constant exercise of muscles, sharpening of thought patterns, and control of emotions that affect behavior were essential if we wanted to remain in peak shape as successful investigators.
Similarly, mental toughness is how you manage your thoughts, behavior, and emotions in ways that will set you up for success.
Whether you’re investigating the activities of a foreign spy, trying to navigate the politics of your work environment, or starting a new business—mental toughness requires keeping in shape to meet the challenges you will be facing.
While adding emotions as a component of mental toughness may seem at odds with the critical thinking that is required in the tough world of business today. But researchers are realizing that people who have little emotional intelligence are seriously disadvantaged in their overall well-being.
To ace life, you have to understand your emotions.
But this is the real secret: the key to lifelong success is the regular exercise of a single emotional muscle—gratitude.
Here is how the power of gratitude can lead you to success:
1. ATTRACT EVEN MORE GOOD THINGS IN YOUR LIFE
Gratitude can lead you to success because when you are grateful for all you have in life, your life will automatically attract more good into it.
The Law of Attraction states: I attract whatever I give my focus, attention, or energy to. If your attitude is a cesspool of what’s wrong in your life, guess what? That is what you’re going to attract.
If, however, you make a conscious decision to appreciate and acknowledge all that you’ve been blessed with and you will continue to attract even more things to be grateful for through the law of attraction.
2. COUNTERACT YOUR STRESSORS
Gratitude can lead you to success because it is an antidote to stress and one of the best ways to counteract it.
According to scientist Hans Seyle, being able to appreciate what is important to us is a valuable way of stepping back from the stresses we’re experiencing. When we do, we become more mentally tough because we are able to re-frame our thoughts, emotions, and behavior.
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances—The Bible, I Thessalonians 5:16
3. INCREASE YOUR HAPPINESS
Gratitude can lead you to success because research has shown the happiest people are those who take the time to appreciate the small things in life.
When we are grateful, we make time to stop and smell the roses. By spending the effort to appreciate the beauty around us, we are able to experience more feelings of well being and this produces happiness.
4. FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION ON WHAT IS IMPORTANT
Gratitude can lead you to success because it debunks the myth that we can multi-task and be more efficient.
Research has shown that the brain is incapable of multi-tasking. What really happens when we think we are multi-tasking is that are simply splitting our attention. We spin forward with the mistaken belief that getting more done will make us successful.
In truth, much of the quality of our life does not depend on getting more done; it comes from savoring those things we choose to pay attention to. Savoring is all about attention. Focus on the bad and you’ll feel bad. Focus on the good…and guess what?
5. HUNT THE GOOD STUFF
Gratitude can lead you to success because it forces you to look for the positive elements of your situation.
Researcher Martin Seligman is working with U.S. Military drill sergeants on how to increase mental toughness in their troops. Those participating are taught how to hunt the good stuff—to look for and appreciate the ways in which they are fortunate.
Gratitude is appreciating what you have, and giving thanks for the big and small blessings in your life. Basically, you see what you look for. You can train yourself to find the joy waiting out there, instead of passively waiting for it to come to you.
To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven—Johannes A. Gaertner
What in this post most resonated with you? What are you grateful for?
© 2014 LaRaeQuy. All rights reserved.
You can follow me on Twitter
Get my FREE 45-Question Mental Toughness Assessment
Get my FREE Mental Toughness Mini-Course