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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Moses,Steve Jobs,Lew Hollander ,and Mental Toughness

"None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone."– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Throughout history there are numerous examples of historical figures that have demonstrated mental toughness, will, courage, perseverance, grit, while dealing with extraordinary and unique situations.  Thinking back to the Old Testament, the Prophet Moses comes to mind.  From birth to death he demonstrated over and over, the ability to persist and endure. Even though he was inspired by God, he still faced human struggles from dealing with the Egyptian Pharaoh to leading the undisciplined Israelite slaves into the desert for 40 years.  It is easy to admire his strength, his determination, in accomplishing this Herculean task of leading his people from slavery into freedom.
Other famous figures that come to mind include Alexander the Great, Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan the great conquerors of peoples and cultures.  Not to overload their ruthlessness, aggressiveness, and brutality, these men were not only leaders but also demonstrated mental and physical toughness. These tyrants were mostly feared while on their war campaigns.
Another individual from history that stands out Is Joan of Arc the French peasant, who led her people in battle.  The fact that she was divinely inspired does not in any way diminish what she accomplished.  One can easily say that she was one tough woman, who demonstrated the ability to endure pain and fight against insurmountable odds.
We also look to fairy tales and find examples of toughness of mental quality.  How about Cinderella, who demonstrated and put up with unfair physical and mental abuse?  Certainly the mean stepsisters treated her inhumanely and apparently did not think anything of it.  Cinderella bit her tongue, while being treated second class, to say the least.  Now in the fairytale, there is an intervention and she winds up with Prince.  We know that does not always happen.
In my book, “It Has Nothing to Do with Age”   Lew Hollander is a good example of an individual that fits the characterization of being mentally tough.  For those of you who do not know, Lew at age 81 this year completed the Hawaiian Iron man resulting in him being the oldest to accomplish this task.   Read his story especially about his early childhood for clues and secrets into his psychology .Secretariat’s toughness and competitive nature comes to the surface when he is racing somebody on the trail.  He wants to win, and it does not seem to matter if he knows the person or not.  Oh by the way, his older brother used to pick on him when he was a kid and of course that changed when he became older and stronger.  Steve Jobs’ competitive and mental toughness was also apparent.  Such things as being adopted, intelligent, aggressive, and experiencing failure over and over likely contribute to his toughness.
How does a person develop being mentally tough?  Does it have something to do with childhood i.e. Moses being adopted, reared in royalty, going through an identity crisis, finding God, leading unruly  and undisciplined slaves in the desert ?  Not everyone is neither mentally nor physically tough.  The “why “and the “how “a person becomes or develops this persistence or grit is a subject worth exploring. Don’t you agree?


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