Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hypothetical Scenarios


Here is an excerpt from my upcoming e-book, the NO-MIND FITNESS Self-Mastery Guide. Here, I list only two of the six hypothetical scenarios in the e-book.

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HYPOTHETICAL SCENARIOS

The following hypothetical scenarios demand serious mental toughness and an elite positive attitude. Although I have faced adversity in my own way, I have not actually experienced the following intense, extreme situations. In comparison, my life is pretty easy. Nevertheless, I think my analysis of each situation holds true.

However, one may object, “Talk is cheap; action is everything.” That is, it’s easy to talk about or analyze these scenarios, but it’s extremely difficult to actually experience them and take the necessary action. And I would fully agree: action is everything. Nevertheless, I still think my analysis holds true. I will allow you to be the judge.

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SCENARIO ONE

You’re a 12-year-old growing up in the ghetto. Your single mother is working multiple jobs in order to make ends meet. You have not seen your father in years. Your neighborhood is plagued with gangs, drugs, and violence.

You are entering junior high (seventh grade).

You essentially have two options.

Option 1: Surrender to your circumstances. Join a gang. Smoke marijuana often. Sell drugs. Lead a life of crime. Commit violence. Eventually end up in jail. Flush your life down the toilet.

Option 2: Fight for a better life. Relentlessly pursue excellence in the face of adversity. Demonstrate an elite positive attitude.

Excel in junior high and high school. Study diligently and rigorously. Get straight As or close.

In addition, find positive role models and mentors (e.g. successful lawyers, doctors, bankers, teachers, professional athletes, military service members, etc.).

In order to defend yourself from thugs, learn some form of martial arts. Work out regularly and consistently, even if it’s only calisthenics. Play only one or two sports in junior high and high school. Focus on them and excel in them.

In junior high, high school, and college, do not drink alcohol, smoke, or do illicit drugs. Do not party unless it’s good, clean fun.

Furthermore, meditate daily and read a lot on the side for your own enrichment.

Prepare rigorously for the SAT or ACT, and get a relatively high score. Apply to the best universities and liberal arts colleges. If you push yourself really hard and maximize your focus, discipline, motivation, decisiveness, consistent action, and positive self-talk, you will likely get into a top-10 university or liberal arts college. And even if you do not get into a top-10 university or liberal arts college, you will still benefit greatly from the focus, discipline, motivation, etc. that you have developed over time.

In college, continue to study diligently and rigorously. Get straight As or close. DO NOT get complacent, especially if you’re attending a “prestigious” university or college. You can always improve.

Continue to seek out positive role models and mentors.

In addition, network with students of different races, backgrounds, and social groups: intellectuals, athletes, artists, dancers, etc.

Moreover, NEVER feel sorry for yourself because of your socioeconomic background. NEVER feel inferior. Eliminate any inferiority complex. This is especially true if you attend a top university or liberal arts college that has many students from middle-class, upper-middle-class, and affluent families.

Yes, you have grown up in the ghetto. But you have persevered and overcome serious adversity. In doing so, you have developed serious mental toughness. When your college peers are freaking out about a “bad” grade on a paper or test or are gossiping about so-and-so hooking up with so-and-so, you remain unfazed. You keep things in perspective and focus on improvement, progress, and growth. You are always moving forward.

If you choose the second option, if you choose to fight for a better life and never surrender, then you are acting from a place of inner strength: mental toughness and an elite positive attitude.

Your attitude is your ultimate weapon.

With an elite positive attitude, you will not fail but succeed. You will not die or merely survive, but thrive.

“In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail.” -- Navy SEAL Creed [1]

“I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity… If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.” -- Navy SEAL Creed

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SCENARIO TWO

You are Pat Solitano in the film The Silver Linings Playbook [2]. You have been married for several years. Although your marriage is not perfect, you do truly love your wife.

However, one day, you return home early from work and find your wife having sex in the shower with another guy (one of your coworkers). To make matters worse, they were listening to your wedding song while they were hooking up in the shower.

You almost kill him.

You get arrested and charged with aggravated assault. You get diagnosed with bipolar disorder and sentenced to a mental institution.

While you’re living in the mental institution, your wife divorces you and files a restraining order against you. You eventually get released from the institution, and you move back in with your parents.

You essentially have two options:

Option 1: Feel sorry for yourself. Fold under pressure and emotional duress. Act like a victim. Allow your ex-wife to emotionally cripple you and sabotage your future.

Allow yourself to have a nervous breakdown. Wallow in self-despair and cry endlessly. Out of desperation, forgive your ex-wife and try to restore the relationship, even though she has long lost all respect for you.

Option 2: Fight. Refuse to surrender. Refuse to act like a victim. Harness your anger and frustration. Use it for constructive purposes, not destructive purposes. Develop self-mastery: the ability to manage, control, and direct your thoughts, emotions, actions, and habits.

Rigorously improve yourself. Meditate at least thrice per day. Work out consistently and seriously. Develop new, meaningful hobbies.

In order to tackle your bipolar disorder, take the necessary medications, meet with your psychiatrist weekly, and meditate intensively. Once again, meditation is an extremely powerful tool that will help you develop self-mastery.

As you develop self-mastery over time, your psychiatrist will likely decrease your medications.

While living with your parents, always behave properly. Demonstrate that you are 110% committed to improving yourself and developing self-mastery.

Start looking for a job, or launch your own business. Start making money and gradually accumulate savings over time. Eventually, get your own place. In time, you will be back on your feet.

Never, ever contact your ex-wife. Stay far away from her. Avoid her like the plague. Focus on rigorously improving yourself. Once you have developed self-mastery to a sufficient degree, you can date other women but make sure they are mentally healthy. Continue to improve, progress, and grow, and continue to develop self-mastery to a greater degree.

If you choose the second option, if you choose to fight and never surrender, then you are acting from a place of inner strength: mental toughness and an elite positive attitude.

Your attitude is your ultimate weapon.

With an elite positive attitude, you will not fail but succeed. You will not die or merely survive, but thrive.

“In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail.” -- Navy SEAL Creed

“I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity… If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.” -- Navy SEAL Creed

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Footnotes

[1] Divine, Mark. “SEAL Code: A Warrior Creed.” NavySEALs.com. Web. Accessed 30 Jan. 2014.

[2] If you’re a female reading this hypothetical scenario, you can reverse the roles: you return home early from work and find your husband having sex in the shower with another woman (one of your coworkers).

Silver Linings Playbook. Dir. David O. Russell. Perf. Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro. Starz/ Anchor Bay, 2013. Blu-ray.


Last revised 5/6/2015

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