Developing Your Mental Strength For Physical Gains Part 3 – Willpower Is A Lie

By November 22, 2017 Fitness

Mental Gains Precede Physical Gains

We see stories of incredible people who ignore conventional thinking and defy all odds. When interviewed, these giants generally admit they are just normal people. Dan Reynolds, lead singer of the Imagine Dragons tells of this experience in their song “Thunder” below – check it out for some inspirational candy. LISTEN TO OR READ THE LYRICS ON THE SIDE . So if these incredible people are “normal” what are they doing that normal YOU isn’t. Figure that out and set yourself free!

GET READY TO THROW OFF YOUR CHAINS because that is exactly what we’ve set out to help you with in this series – Figure out how to improve your mental strength for gains in the physical world. We wanted to show you what sets the highest achievers apart so that you might learn from their examples and reach your loftiest goals.

In this series we’ve taken a closer look at what these standouts are doing that makes them “Special”. If you read Parts 1 and 2 of this series, you know that these people share common traits and that their success comes more from mental strength than hard work, natural ability and talent.

Just a young gun with a quick fuse
I was uptight, wanna let loose
I was dreaming of bigger things
And wanna leave my own life behind
Not a yes sir, not a follower
Fit the box, fit the mold
Have a seat in the foyer, take a number
I was lightning before the thunder

Kids were laughing in my classes
While I was scheming for the masses
Who do you think you are?
Dreaming ’bout being a big star

THUNDER Lyrics - Continued

You say you’re basic, you say you’re easy
You’re always riding in the back seat
Now I’m smiling from the stage while
You were clapping in the nose bleeds

Written by Alexander Junior Grant, Benjamin Arthur Mckee, Daniel Coulter Reynolds, Daniel James Platzman, Daniel Wayne Sermon, Jayson M. Dezuzio • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

Have you ever wondered why some successful celebrities and athletes seem to make obtaining success so easy. Take Usain Bolt for example, a man with unbelievable natural talent, he looks almost nonchalant in his approach and training. When he races the 100 meter he makes winning look so easy. Yet we know it takes more than simply talent to win gold medals and smash world records. When Bolt was just twelve years old, local priest Reverend Nugent overheard the him bickering with his friend, Ricardo, over who was the quickest runner. Nugent decided to up the stakes in a bid to persuade the would-be sprinters to commit to the contest: free lunch to the winner. The pair were sold, and Usain Bolt tore to victory. As the priest departed and Bolt tucked into his spoils, Nugent told the young Jamaican: ‘If you can beat Ricardo, you can beat anyone’, changing Bolt’s perspective forever. When we looked closer at successful people we discovered one more characteristic to mental strength that is not often discussed or maybe people aren’t even aware of:

A Winning Perspective

Successful people look at life differently than what conventional wisdom, the people around them and the media dictate. They don’t listen to what “THEY” say. What “THEY” (the proverbial “THEY” refers to convention) say is you need to exhaust yourself in the gym, starve yourself and follow strict protocols to reach your fitness goals and muscle gains…but as many of you found out it’s not enough. You suffer and go without yet you don’t ever get to where you really want to be, ultimately faltering, feeling the failure and giving up. Listen to this song by Steve Angello and Inspirational Speaker T.D. Jakes to gain a clear understanding of what I’m saying. Many people say this unique song has changed their lives.


As Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson once famously said, “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” Willpower is simply your brain’s capacity to stay true to a goal, and actually fades as your day goes on because you deplete it through making hundreds of small daily decisions and actions. How many times have you tried to ignore the negative environmental triggers around you during the day, only to give in by the evening? For instance, you may have resolved to stick to your meal plan, but by the end of a rough work day and after fighting through the gym, you find the fast food or ice cream calling your name and think “I deserve this. I’ll get back to my goals tomorrow.” Changing your PERSPECTIVE, the way you look at and live your life is the single greatest catalyst of change.

So does that mean if you change your mind set the universe will morph, bending itself to your whims; in short – YES. However, if your perspective is the same one you have now or even worse a losing one then the universe will conform and grant you that which you deem truth. Therefore, when you change your perspective, change it to a WINNING PERSPECTIVE. One such perspective is outlined for you below.

The Tools of Success: Decide – Believe – Plan – Live As If – Execute

To DECIDE is to begin. Instead of relying on your old ideals you must first set your new life in motion by making the strong DECISION to OWN your goal and hold on to it by making it YOU. The first step in achieving anything is DECIDING to change.

Next you must BELIEVE. You must BELIEVE that inside, you ARE already, what you set out to achieve, and that going through the process is just the steps to bring to the surface that which lives inside you. You must believe this strongly even though “THEY” are constantly telling you otherwise. Friends, co-workers the media can conspire to knock back your decisions and beliefs. In quiet ways they put you down, they doubt you, place you in situations with a high probability for failure…DO NOT let their weaknesses become yours. If you really want to get bigger, stronger, smarter, or whatever, you have to change your environment, your perspective rather than hope your willpower will hold up.

Next PLAN out your path to reaching your goal. If you fail to plan you plan to fail, such a cliche, but so, so true. If physical gains are your objective layout all the elements and schedule them. Do your research, you can find great goal oriented fitness plans here, create a diet that is high enough in calories and protein it will your new physique. Body Goal Guides Plan your routine at the gym to work on the muscle groups which will give you the body you envision. Find the supplements that will facilitate the muscle growth and fat loss you need to get to your ideal body faster. Make a map for your new life and follow it.

LIVE AS IF, bring people and objects into your environment that help you live your goals now, that help you hold strong to your decision and belief in them. This is one reason why affirmations and prayer are so powerful, but go beyond that, hang new pictures in your home or office that constantly remind you of the new being you are bring to the surface. Clean up the clutter in your environment and make it easier to find focus on the thoughts and emotions the new being you want has. Act as if you have already achieved your goals and you are living that new life now. You may not have the 6% body fat level or the mansion you want yet, but when you start acting like you do you’ll be amazed at the speed of change.

EXECUTE on your plan and your new way of life. If Knowing Were Doing, Then Paupers Would Be Princes. I won’t lie to you this part is hard, but you already know that. This is the part you’ve been doing before you adopted a new perspective and applied the tools above. Its the WILLPOWER part, the energy, determination and discipline to hold on to the new while it becomes a habit, before it becomes the new you. You will be tested, probably to the point you wonder if it’s worth it…just keep moving forward, do not quit and you will be rewarded. If you decided to achieve your goal, if you believe it’s in you to do so, if you’ve made a plan and stick to it because you have set up your new environment and are living as if you already have that life; then the universe will shift. Its only a matter of time, a period that passes much faster than you ever thought possible.

Mental strength precedes physical gains every time. It can be harder to strengthen your mind than your body. But when you change your perspective to a winning one and start living life like a high achiever success quickly becomes within reach. We hope this series makes you aware of how the mental aspects of your life affect the physical. We hope you learned something about changes you can make which will make a meaningful difference in your life. And most of all we look forward to seeing not only your new physical gains but the personal growth that ensues.


  • Oscar Colmenares says:

    Thank you for this article. Very inspirational and worthy to imitate.

    • James Strong says:

      Hi Oscar-

      Thank you for your kind words – they inspire us.

      Thank you again…

    • Frank says:

      Great advice,it’s sounds like it came from Vince Lombardi himself!!

      • James Strong says:

        Thank you for your comment Frank! Then I’ll leave you with this:

        “Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.” …VL

        Thank you again for your comment…

  • Sharma says:

    Indeed the ability to succeed lies in the stories we tell to ourselves or the stories our mind tells us . We subconsciously make these stories ourselves , and they keep on repeating like in a corroded hard disk which can not take in new and speedier programs When the story lines change towards a happier , richer and qualitatively better life styles, then we start feeling differently, which enable us to move into different habits – habits which make us fearless, innovative , daring etc

    • James Strong says:

      Hi Sharma-

      Thank you for your comment. I think you’ve got it. Willpower, or exerting energy and discipline on the wrong perspective works, its just you end up building the wrong perspective.

      Thank you again for your comment…

  • J.D. says:

    Absolutely inspirational great job.

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