There is one inspirational quote that has a very strong impact if you really take it to heart.
What made an impact on me was the realisation that toughness depended exclusively on the decision I made. It depended on me only, not on the results I had, or the things I accomplished or failed at. If I want to be tough, I only need to decide to be tough. And that’s it.
Frequent practice makes it a habit. It makes it easier to say no to time-wasting activities, to harmful food choices, to laziness. The process is always the same – the decision to be tough and the following through.
I think the problem I had in the past was that I was too soft in the first phase. I found it difficult to commit and decide to be tough. I was afraid I may fail myself and preferred not to decide in the first place. This led to procrastination and ultimately to wasting time. What changed it for me? Those two simple words above. The fact that the decision depends on me and then it is impossible to fail – it
is the same as when you decide to go and drink some water in the kitchen. You get up, walk to the kitchen, pour some water and drink. That’s it. Just do it.
This realisation also brought more satisfaction because I felt more in control of my life. It is a process I can control and the results that come out of it.
Ultimately, it’s the increase of self-awareness that leads to a better quality of life. The more aware you are, the more you are able to decide the direction of your life.
If we return to chess, being tough means many things. It means doing the everyday exercises even if you don’t feel like it. It means refusing a draw in a better position against a higher-rated opponent. It means putting in the hours when you’d rather watch a film.
“There are tough players and nice guys, and I’m a tough player” is
what Fischer famously said. Be the tough player.