October 24, 2011

How’s Your Mental Fitness?

Take This Quiz and Find Out

“Competitive golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course, the space between your ears.” – Bobby Jones

How fit do you consider yourself? You can be fit in any number of arenas–financial, health, physical, etc. You consult doctors, financial planners, chiropractors, CPA`s, tax analysts, bankers, stock brokers, nutritionists, tennis pros, golf pros, physical therapists, fitness trainers and anyone else who might be able to help you raise your particular fitness quotient.

But have you ever thought about the level of your mental fitness? Have you stopped to consider that it might make sense to take an inventory of your mental fitness?

Mental Fitness and You

Most people know their IQ, but how many know their MFQ? (your Mental Fitness Quotient). Mental fitness is not about one`s intelligence level or about one`s level of education. Mental fitness or mental wellness is the state of being robustly resistant to stress, hardy enough to challenge head-first the many challenges of life, and having the ability to enjoy the entire process and look forward to more.

Top Ten Mental Fitness Factors

In my years as a coach, researcher, trainer and consultant, I have identified these ten factors as being highly contributory to the mental fitness of peak performers. These high-performing people use their minds intentionally, in specific ways and look at the world in a strategic manner.

To find your MFQ, simply read each factor and give yourself a rating on it from 1 (I do not have this skill) to 5 (I have this skill somewhat) to 10 (I really have this skill), or anywhere in between. Total your score and see the chart at the end for your MFQ.

1. They View Life as an Adventure: They have reflected on what they want out of life and have decided that life is to be an exciting adventure, and they remind themselves of that daily.

2. They Live Life With a Healthy Sense Of Urgency: They realize that life is short and they are going to wring out all the excitement, quality and grandeur life has to offer.

3. They Make Meaning Out of an Often Meaningless World: They know that for life to hold significance, they must form a worldview that makes sense with their values and priorities.

4. They Cultivate and Maintain a Strong Sense of Humor: Many people have not developed the ability to laugh at themselves or at life when it goes sour. This is a skill that peak performers use as a major stress buffer.

5. They Place Things in Perspective: Peak performers use “Percentage Thinking” to see things in context so they can choose how to react to events in their day. They know all items don`t cause the same stress.

6. They Develop Mental Toughness: Peak performers live by this credo: “Don`t hope for an easy life; strive to be a strong person.” Can you apply this to your life?

7. They Are Supreme Problem-Solvers: They have the flexibility and adaptability to solve, avoid or reduce the problems we all face. They welcome these as avenues to growth.

8. They Maintain Focus Under Pressure: Top performers live in the present moment, and even though they reflect for planning purposes, they live in the here and now.

9. They Recover From Stress Intentionally: They use the principle of periodization to renew their reserves so they can go out again and “do battle”.

10. They Continually Reinvent Themselves: Peak performers endlessly re-formulate goals and their vision of life as they achieve each step in their master plan.

Scoring Your MFQ

If you scored 0-25 you are in the beginning stages of learning how to become stronger mentally. Absorb all you can.

If you scored 26-50 you are making some headway, but still have much to learn. Jump in head first.

If you scored 51-75 you are building a solid mental fitness program. Keep up the good work.

If you scored 76-100 you have quite a strong mental fitness profile. Congratulations!

The Next Step Is Yours

Will you make the decision to improve your mental fitness starting right now? If you do, the results will astound you.

Begin by asking yourself these questions:

1. What factors from the above list can I begin doing or improve on right now?

2. What larger changes do I need to make in my life to reach the upper levels of a solid MFQ?

Let me know how you are doing. I`m interested in your progress. Good Luck!


Reprinted with permission
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on peak performance, mental toughness and coaching, is founder and CEO of Procoach Systems, a consulting firm that helps organizations and professionals achieve more success in business, life and sports. He is a Wall Of Fame Honoree, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published book author and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. www.MentalGameCoach.com.

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