Monday, March 22, 2010

UNDERSTANDING MENTAL TOUGHNESS

While surfing the net for the latest developments in peak performance, I had somehow "strayed" into an interesting website.

In it, I had found an intriguing perspective about "mental toughness".

A peak performance consultant, Steve Harris, operating out of the African continent, used the analogy of the fire & the ice to illustrate the term.

"... They embodied the metaphor that I have come to believe is central to mental toughness: fire and ice.

For me, central to an understanding of mental toughness is the seemingly contradictory relationship between fire andice: people who are truly mentally tough have fire in the belly and ice in the brain.

They combine a gut-felt enthusiasm and drive to achieve with a clear and calm cognitive demeanour.

The fire component is associated with qualities of heat, power and assertiveness.

On the other hand, ice is associated with the qualities of cold, patience and unflinchingness.

In the image of fire and ice, two seemingly opposite truths are bound together into a new truth, a new set of conditions where inner intensity and outer composure enable success.

However, while fire and ice can thus be mutually reinforcing, they can also short-circuit each other if they are not held in balance: fire melts the ice which in turn douses the flames..."

Wow!

Readers can go to this link to read the author's original piece of writing, which also happens to be Chapter I of his book entitled, 'Mental Toughness: The Secrets of Fire and Ice'.

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