People with genuine mental toughness usually live by these 5 rules

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We all know someone who just seems to handle life’s ups and downs with a cool head.

They don’t crumble under pressure, and even when things go south, they find a way to bounce back.

This quality is what we call mental toughness. It’s not about being cold or emotionless, but about having a strong mind that helps you ride through life’s tough waves.

Some might think that mental toughness is only for top athletes or army generals.

But that’s not true.

Anyone can build mental toughness if they’re ready to step outside what’s comfortable and learn from life’s lessons.

It’s about growing stronger with each challenge, not running away from them.

People with this kind of toughness have some rules they live by. These rules help them stay strong when life throws curveballs their way.

They know life has its good and bad moments, and having the right approach makes all the difference.

In this article, we’ll share five key rules that tough-minded folks stick to. These rules are like their roadmap through the rough patches, helping them stay steady and come out stronger on the other side.

Rule 1: Embrace Challenges Head-On

Life is like a rollercoaster, filled with ups and downs. While it’s tempting to stay in our comfort zones where it’s cozy and predictable, that’s not where growth happens.

People with mental toughness know that challenges are not roadblocks, but opportunities to become better.

When a challenge comes knocking, instead of running the other way, they welcome it with open arms.

They see it as a chance to learn something new, to test their limits, and to become stronger. It’s like going to the gym but for the mind.

Every difficulty faced is a weight lifted, making them mentally stronger for the next round.

They also understand that challenges are a part of life, not something to be afraid of.

By facing challenges head-on, they learn to handle stress, solve problems, and adapt to change.

Over time, this approach helps them build a kind of mental muscle that makes them ready and able to deal with whatever comes next.

The first rule of mental toughness is simple: see challenges as opportunities, not threats.

When you start doing this, you’ll find that you’re not only becoming stronger mentally, but you’re also more prepared and confident to take on the next big thing life throws your way.

Rule 2: Keep a Positive Mindset, Even When It’s Tough

Life is full of ups and downs. There are days when things go our way, and then there are days when everything seems to go wrong.

It’s during these tough times that having a positive mindset can make all the difference.

Mentally tough people have a knack for staying positive, even when the clouds of adversity hover.

Instead of getting bogged down by what’s going wrong, they look for what’s going right. They focus on solutions, not problems. 

A positive mindset isn’t about ignoring the bad stuff. It’s about facing the bad, dealing with it in a constructive way, and keeping hope alive.

It’s about finding that silver lining, however thin, and holding onto it as a source of motivation to move forward.

For the mentally tough, staying positive is like having a fuel that keeps them going, no matter how rough the road gets.

They know that with a positive attitude, they can face challenges head-on, find solutions to problems, and keep marching towards their goals.

When you find yourself surrounded by negativity or facing a tough situation, remember to keep a positive mindset.

Look for the good, focus on solutions, and let positivity be the driving force that propels you forward, even on the hardest days.

Rule 3: Don’t Fear Failure, Learn from It

Mentally tough people don’t see failure as the enemy. In fact, they welcome it.

Most of us dread failure. It feels like a slap in the face, telling us we’re not good enough.

But tough-minded people see failure differently. They see it as a teacher, not a judge.

When they stumble, they don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves. Instead, they pick themselves up, dust off the dirt, and take a good look at what went wrong.

Imagine you’re learning to ride a bike and you fall off. You might get a few bruises, but you also learn what not to do next time.

Maybe you need to balance better, or pedal differently. The mentally tough take their falls, learn the lesson, and get back on the bike, ready to try again with new knowledge tucked in their pocket.

They know that each failure is a step closer to success, a lesson learned, a chance to grow.

While others might give up after a setback, they’re just getting started. They understand that failure is not a sign of weakness, but a part of the journey to becoming better, stronger, and wiser.

Failure isn’t the big bad wolf it’s made out to be. It’s actually a stepping stone on the path to success.

The next time you face failure, don’t let it scare you. Instead, take a moment, learn from it, and let it propel you forward.

With this rule in your toolkit, you’ll find that success isn’t just about winning, but about growing, learning, and becoming the best version of yourself.

Rule 4: Stay Committed, Even When It’s Not Fun

We all have dreams and goals. Maybe it’s landing a dream job, losing weight, or learning a new skill.

The journey towards these goals is exciting at first, but let’s be honest, the excitement doesn’t always last.

There will be days when motivation vanishes, and all that’s left is the hard, grueling work.

This is where mentally tough people shine. They stay committed, even when the going gets tough.

A few years back, I decided to run a marathon. The first few days of training were exhilarating.

But as weeks rolled by, the early mornings, sore muscles, and endless miles started to wear me down.

There were days when I wanted to hit the snooze button and forget about the marathon.

But I had made a commitment to myself, so I laced up my running shoes and hit the pavement, day after day.

And crossing that finish line made all the tough days worth it.

Mentally tough people have a knack for keeping their eyes on the prize. They know that reaching a goal isn’t always going to be fun or easy.

They’re ready to put in the sweat, time, and effort, even when they’d rather be doing anything else.

They don’t let bad days, setbacks, or lack of motivation derail them. Instead, they dig deep, find that spark of commitment, and keep pushing forward.

This rule teaches us the value of staying committed to our goals, no matter what. It’s not about how fast we reach our goals, but about not giving up on them.

Rule 5: Take Care of Your Tribe

Life is not a solo journey. Along the way, we have family, friends, and colleagues who become our tribe. They support us, cheer us on, and stand by us during the rough patches.

Mentally tough people know the value of these relationships and they make sure to take care of their tribe.

It’s easy to get caught up in our own goals and challenges. But being mentally tough also means having the heart to look out for the people who matter to us. It’s about being there for them, just as they are for us.

Whether it’s lending a listening ear, giving a helping hand, or just being present, these actions count.

Imagine you’re climbing a mountain. It’s a tough climb, but you’re not doing it alone. You have a team with you.

Now, say one of your teammates stumbles.

Do you rush ahead to reach the top, or do you stop to help them up?

Mentally tough people know that reaching the top together is way more rewarding than doing it alone.

They also understand that their strength comes not just from their own grit, but from the support and love of their tribe.

And they don’t take this for granted. They nurture these relationships, show gratitude, and give back the love and support they receive.

The last rule is perhaps the most human of them all. It reminds us that being strong doesn’t mean being alone.

It’s about building and taking care of a community that lifts each other up, no matter how tough the going gets.

So, as you work on building your mental toughness, remember to cherish and take care of your tribe. They’re a big part of what makes you strong.


Life isn’t always a smooth ride. Sometimes it hits hard, throwing curveballs our way when we least expect it.

But remember, it’s not about how hard life hits, but how well we can take the hits and keep moving forward.

The five rules we explored are the backbone of building a mental toughness that stands tall in the face of adversity.

They teach us to embrace challenges, stay positive, learn from failures, remain committed to our goals, and take care of our tribe.

Each rule is a stepping stone on the path to becoming not just mentally tough, but a better version of ourselves.

They show us that with the right mindset and a supportive community, we can face life’s storms head-on and come out stronger on the other side.

So, as you navigate through the highs and lows of life, keep these rules in your toolkit. They’ll help you build a resilience that shines bright, even on the toughest days.

And remember, no matter how hard life hits, with mental toughness, you’ve got what it takes to hit back harder and keep marching forward toward your dreams.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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