I was recently reminded the other day of the amazing wheelchair Ironman and all-around athlete, Steve Maclean. If you’re not familiar with his story, can I recommend you get acquainted with it -it’s an awe-inspiring read.
But, in a nutshell – at the age of 22 years old, he was struck by a truck while training for a triathlon, becoming a paraplegic in an instant. Though despite this, Steve willed himself forward and went on to become one of the most accomplished wheelchair athletes in the world in many different sports and at the highest level.
However, his greatest accomplishment to date would have to be on the 26th of October 2014 when he completed the Nepean Triathlon as a conventional athlete, leaving his wheels behind.
It’s mind-blowing what he has achieved to date and continues to.
However, he describes in his book that his success hasn’t just been a sheer act of will on his part, it’s been largely due to the people he’s surrounded himself with and, what he feeds his mind each day.
Your mind is the most powerful thing you possess – not your body.
It’s so easy when life gets busy (and it usually is with a myriad of different competing demands, commitments, and responsibilities) that we don’t make time for the things that will actually sustain and power us to meet our demands, commitments, and responsibilities to our greatest potential and to propel us forward to achieving the dreams and goals we have for ourselves (or have these been lost in the busyness of it all?)
Many of us are heads down in the trenches, rarely coming up for air, let alone looking up and take stock and do something to replenish ourselves – physically and mentally.
Often, it takes a major life event to make us realise where we’re really at.
Your thinking will determine your future.
You can’t just rely on sheer willpower. It’s not enough.
You need positive influences speaking into your life each day, laying the foundation and building upon it, layer by layer, so when you really need to dig deep, you’re mentally prepared already.
Here are 4 things you need to do to grow and sustain a positive mindset:
1. Surround yourself with people who are positive and believe in you.
You become like the people you choose to surround yourself with. Iron sharpens iron.
Who are you surrounding yourself with right now?
2. Spend 15 minutes a day reading a positive or educational book or blog or listening to a positive podcast.
Empower your mind each day. This is a disciplined daily behaviour to strengthen your mind.
What content are you consuming right now? Is it helpful?
3. Get someone to lead you (a mentor).
Ask someone who you respect, trust and admire, to speak positivity into your life, who will support you, encourage you, and share with you their wisdom and advice.
Who leads you right now? How is it going?
4. Get outside and do some exercise.
There have been countless studies on the benefits for our mental health by getting outside, getting some sunshine and fresh air on our skin, and moving away from our screens. I walk my puppies between 3 – 5km each day, religiously. It gets me away from everything. I have time to think clearly and it’s a major way to de-stress, plus helping me to maintain my fitness.
Are you making time to exercise regularly outside? If not, what do you need to change to make it happen? Even if it’s a 15-minute walk at lunch….start small.
Personal change is an inside job that requires discipline. Everything of great worth in life often does.
Can I encourage you to pick just one of the strategies I’ve outlined today and start there?
Our mind is our greatest and most powerful asset and we become what we feed our mind.
What are you feeding your mind?
Take care and keep climbing.
**Note: If you’re struggling to lift your mood, to see light at the end of the tunnel, or just feel down a majority of the time, you’re not alone and you may need to seek professional help. Beyond Blue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.
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