You’re More Powerful Than You Think

“If you want to be tougher mentally, it is simple: Be tougher. Don’t meditate on it.” These words of Jocko’s helped one listener — a drug addict — get sober after many failed attempts. The simple logic struck a chord: “Being tougher” was, more than anything, a decision to be tougher. It’s possible to immediately “be tougher,” starting with your next decision.”

-Tim Ferriss and Jocko Willink in Tools of Titans

Imagine a superhero who can fly, become invisible, and turn dirt into blueberry pancakes. Amazing powers, right? But what if this person never used their powers? What if they visibly walked on dirt instead of invisibly flying around eating pancakes?

Why would they choose to do that?

Well, we could ask ourselves the same question, because that person is you and me. Okay, I admit we don’t have those particular superpowers, but we do have enormous power to change the trajectory of our mood, day, and life. We don’t always use it because we forget about it and fall into old routines of passivity.

Passive Minds Can’t Break Free

Stop thinking about what you’ve done wrong recently. Stop thinking about how you can’t exercise or improve your skills because you’re too undisciplined. Stop thinking that you should be in a better position than you currently are. Stop believing that you’re stuck — there’s a wide open lane to your left and you just have to decide to take it.

Problem: a passive mind can’t think beyond what it has already experienced.

A passive mind won’t consider new and exciting possibilities. A passive mind won’t think about breaking its own limiting rules. A passive mind can’t grow and become greater, it can only wallow through and regurgitate its own past. That’s because passive minds don’t create new things, they merely observe and comment.

Nobody is immune to having a passive mind, and nobody is sentenced to carry it their whole lives. We all have the ability to overcome this life-sapping way of thinking.

-Stephen Guise

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