I discovered the answer to mine question during the two years ns sat in a jail cell.

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I"ve always been unending optimistic, and the form of human being who believes a class is learned in every experience. Attitude and also perspective matter. V the appropriate perspective, friend can think that every difficulty will existing a silver lining.

I got in prison through a similar attitude. The an outcome has to be a stronger, an ext focused, refined version of my previous self.


Some civilization get grounding in the vicious jail cycle, pass blame, go in and also out their whole lives, and choose not to learn their lessons. People ~ above the roads can enable themselves to come to be so overwhelmed in life that the seems impossible to conquer anything. Neither person has actually mastered their psychological strength, but with the suitable tools and techniques they deserve to smash v these challenges.

Here room some tough mindsets I learned when doing two years that have made me mentally unstoppable:


1. Self awareness.

“Conquer thyself; till you hast excellent this, you art yet a slave.”

Replace words “slave” v “inmate,” and you deserve to see mine point. Civilization want to change the world, but they can’t change themselves. Until you understand yourself, you won’t be able to master anything.

Mental toughness is based approximately oneself. The very first step in mastering this psychological strength is mastering your own physical, emotional and spiritual states. Exactly how do you react to an unfavorable situations? just how do you display up in life? just how do you look to various other people? do your dreams and goals align v your day-to-day actions and also decisions?

This first step is me reflection on an ethical inventory the the person you are right now.

Related: Why perspective Trumps Strategy Every Time


2. Self image.

Self image starts by believing in yourself, and also believing you deserve to accomplish great things. I review this in a book:

“Self image is not psychological trickery. The is a scientifically proven certified dealer of control. The self picture identifies and motivates the essential behavior and also connects it come the preferred outcome. The key is to produce the self photo desired, decide that you desire to be and also how you desire to live, and then continuously tell yourself that you have actually what the takes come be that person. The self-image will certainly guide and also direct actions and also behaviors until the self-image becomes the reality.”

You will act like the kind of human you desire to be. Will certainly power is no the answer, self photo is.

3. Confident self talk.

The psychic has around 60,000 thoughts every day. Mental toughness is centered around your thoughts. Anyone has negative thoughts, however the truly mental challenging are may be to record those an unfavorable thoughts and also replace lock with optimistic ones. The much more positive thoughts you have, the more success you obtain.

Let’s perform some quick math: 60,000 thoughts every day x 365 days every year = 21,900,000 thoughts per year. To have actually a positive healthy emotional state, your optimistic thoughts need to outweigh the negative. That way you need to have at least 10,950,001 positive thoughts per year.


In cold circumstances the psychic is vulnerable to more negativity. The is vital in those time you focus also harder on acquisition those thoughts captive, and also discipline you yourself to change them with confident thoughts. While in prison, ns would usage this psychological trick ns learned:

When a negative thought came into my mind, ns would use some sort of device or tool to get it out. For instance, “I’m never ever going to be able to achieve my startup purposes while sitting in this prison cell.” rather of letting that assumed fester, I would certainly envision the assumed as a huge pile that rubbish, and envision a bulldozer pushing the thought and pile that trash, ideal out of the sheet of mine mind.

I supplied all different types of objects to visually to escape myself of an unfavorable thoughts. Use this trick.


4. Nothing to lose.

“It"s only after we"ve lost every little thing that we"re totally free to execute anything.” - Tyler Durden.

There"s flexibility in purging her life of all the you own. After 2 years in prison I had actually lost everything, and left through $200.00 come my surname (note: the joy of freedom has no price). Ns lived with a friend when I got home, and also worked easily to begin a business. I negotiated relentlessly, functioned hard and offered it everything. What walk I have to lose?

Nothing come lose has afforded me boundless possibility. The jail experience allows me come be grateful for the things I execute have.

5. Comfortable in the unknown.

The prison trip is a mix of unknown stop at every turn. One inmate is continually moved about the system, gift with brand-new situations and cellmates, various tiers v different human being all throughout his or her prison stay.

The just certainty is uncertainty. Figuring out exactly how to adapt to the an altering environment and changing scenarios, empowered me to get comfortable in the unknown.

Most of the moment we gain upset, or reaction negatively come a situation, the is because that case didn’t go as we to plan it. Think earlier to a case that you reacted negatively towards, and also 90 percent of the time you can pinpoint the reaction to her expectation of how that situation was an alleged to occur.


Realizing this, and living in the uncertainty, allowed me to be fluid with my expectations. Don’t take it this the dorn way, that doesn’t average I just let life happen to me, however rather I managed the things I could control (like myself, my reaction to situations, and my discipline) and released regulate of things I could not control. Because that instance, quite than get upset when the garden was locked down since of riot or fight, which resulted in me to miss my workout, I made decision to work out in my cabinet instead.

This skill has actually translated to mine startup success, as a startup is complete of uncertainty and also unknowns.

Related: 3 Truths girlfriend Must adopt to Lead her Team to the Summit

6. Distraction free.

“I was many happy once pen and paper were taken indigenous me and also I to be forbidden from doing anything. I had no anxiety about doing nothing by my own fault, my conscience to be clear, and also I was happy. This was once I was in prison.” - Daniil Kharms.

Our complex, miraculous and intricate brains were not designed to deal with nagging bosses, paying bills or watching Kardashian repeats. An remarkable thing happens once you eliminate the distractions. You obtain some serious psychological clarity. The human being makes an ext sense, your dreams end up being clearer and your assumed patterns gain stronger.

Removing distractions offers you mental clarity. Mental clarity gives you psychological strength.


7. Flexibility through captivity.

“Nobody desires to get locked up, although "locked up" is a issue of perspective. There deserve to be civilization who are out who space in prison mentally and emotionally and also worse off than those who are behind bars.” - Wesley Snipes

Some the the calmest, most peaceful, intelligent civilization I’ve ever met are law life in the penitentiary. Let"s get metaphysical here. There"s an ancient prison trick that has been used thousands of years and dates back earlier than Confucius. Because that the captive who enables it, enlightenment happens.

There"s a details freedom in grasping this somewhat allusive reality: nobody have the right to take your mind prisoner if girlfriend don"t permit it. We space all totally free to think and feel how we choose. Be way in your choices.

8. Lively thoughts.

Dark gray cells, dark gray clothes, dark gray food, dark gray food trays, dark gray bunks, whatever is dark gray in prison. Which leaves it approximately the individual to check out in color.

There is one inherent advantage to generating the mental focus yourself. Civilization learn quicker by visualizing success rather than through watching that on tape. In strong training, research mirrors that every minute of intuitive realization is worth seven minutes of physics practice.

When sitting in mine dark gray cell with mine books, newspapers and magazines, while writing, reading and researching the tech sector, I would certainly visualize myself in Silicon valley at partner meetings, through my brand-new startup, raising capital from prominent undertaking capitalists.


I supplied to handwrite short articles to be posted on lasignoralaura.com. I’d visualize myself ~ above the cover of lasignoralaura.com, Inc. Magazine, Wired and also Fast Co. I still use these visualization methods to accomplish goals. At the bottom that this article, I’ve listed a pair examples.

9. Relentlessly train her mind.

I establish that, also in prison, my schedule and time were in my control. Unlike my other inmates who spent their time play cards, watching TV and also “shucking and also jiving” every day, I concentrated on training my mind.

In those two years: I read 197 books. I wrote 2 books. Ns learned a brand-new language (Korean). I taught my other inmates all about business and also startups. Ns studied physics and history. I wrote every solitary day for two years straight. I incessantly trained and disciplined mine mind.

My routine became the saving grace that allowed me come relentlessly train mine mind.

Related: This Simple an approach Trains Your mind to Conjure her Best-Ever Ideas

10. Sewage solution-based mentality.

I met limitless problems, and relentlessly focused on services to every one of those problems.


Research shows that most people accomplish solution concentrated thoughts around 40 percent of the time, while people with sewage solution focus replace 100 percent of an adverse thinking v thoughts concentrated on solutions.

When obstacles come her way, do you accept the problems, or focus on solutions?

11. Overcoming obstacles.

After efficiently accomplishing two years in prison i felt invincible. Conquering major life hurdles will provide you an limitless supply of self confidence and also self worth. I left with, and also maintain, the mentality the if ns can achieve prison, i can accomplish anything.

Use her experiences effectively. Allow the negative catapult friend to the positive. Here space some key takeaways:

1. What is one point that you keep talking about doing? number out just how to execute it today. Prevent procrastinating. Procrastination is a thief that robs girlfriend of self control. This will assist you take it one action in overcoming yourself. It deserve to be as minor as gaining up 20 minutes earlier and beginning the day by reading, or as major as planning exactly how to quit your job. Figure out exactly how to take earlier control the one area of your life.

2. Take five minutes today to sit under in a quiet location and completely visualize the success the a goal. Because that instance, I have an athletic competition coming up following weekend. For the previous two weeks, I’ve been visualizing myself competing, going with the course, emotion the excitement and visualizing myself effectively accomplishing the various movements the the event. I start with the beginning of the occasion with as plenty of details together possible, to warming up, putting on mine shoes and also even drink my Progenex force pre-training formula, all the method to the end of the event, where my team obviously wins. Ns see us celebrating, receiving the award and allow myself to feel the excitement and joy the winning. I replay this reel in mine mind throughout the day. When I have a minute to stop and think, I’ll sit diligently and focus on the reel. I’ve additionally been law this through my wedding (which is in two weeks). Ns imagine the civilization there, the sounds we’ll hear, the food we’ll eat, the music playing, the excitement and joy.


3. Number out what distractions you have actually in life. Focus on the different locations in work and your personal life. Compose down those distractions, and also remove them. Because that instance, ns no longer have Facebook or Instagram apps on mine phone. I would uncover myself walking to these apps in between meetings, or while waiting somewhere. Now, I rather use mine visualization methods to emphasis on an ext positive thoughts. This small productivity hack has actually saved me countless hours of society media distractions. Shot it.

Mental strength is a skill that can be taught and acquired. That is based on self awareness, self image and positive thoughts. Any kind of time you feeling angry, sad, frustrated or just generally uncomfortable, repeat positive thoughts over and over again. It could take a million thoughts to develop the habit, yet stay at it.

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Welcome an adverse experiences, difficulty yourself and technique your psychic to it is in the mentally toughest version of yourself. It will pay off in methods you can’t also dream or imagine.

Related: Express Gratitude for wherein You Are ideal Now, and Say It the end Loud


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Andrew Medal is the founder the The record Chase, i m sorry is a bi-weekly newsletter. He is one lasignoralaura.com and angel investor.