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The true profession of man is to find his way to himself. [Herman Hesse] To read an excerpt, click here.

How Does One Become Tough?

 Your first step to becoming tough is to go for a long walk and count every single fall of your right or left foot.  

There is of course more to becoming tough than that simple exercisebut not much more.  The basic pattern of the exercise, a mental activity performed in synchrony with a physical activity, is common to many body-calming, mind-toughening, and even enlightening techniques.

Who is Tough?  

 We have all seen people who possess a natural toughness we commonly call “iron will;” and we may have met people who live tough lives through spiritual inspiration or who have been toughened through the exercise of authority or the experience of adversity.  The less common, though perhaps more frequently wholesome, route is through exercising the mind into obedience.  I believe that whatever kind of toughness we seek, it is best achieved in the same way as any skill, through practice and study, that is, through training.

What is Toughness?

Mental/emotional toughness means the ability to resist distortions of thought caused by failures, conflicts, tragedies, and even good fortune.  

Behavioral toughness means the ability both to control one’s actions and to break through limitations to behavior, such as shyness and fear.

Physical toughness means possessing the fitness that among other things helps us withstand the stresses of everyday life, resist illness, and enjoy the huge variety of leisure pursuits modern life has to offer.


What Is Toughness?

Who Is Tough?

How Does One Become Tough?

Why Walk?

Foundation Of The Toughening Program

Part One:  Preparing To Be Tough

1  Tough Goals

2  Subjects To Make You Tough  

3  Controlling The Mind And Responses

4  Physical And Emotional Preparations

Part Two: Toughening Techniques

5  Focused Walking

6  Insight Walking

7  Breath Walking

8  Focused Sitting

9  Insight Sitting

10  Breath Sitting

11  Insight Reclining And Body Scanning

12  Extra Methods For The Mindful And The Athlete

Part Three: Toughening Program

13  An Overview And Schedule of Focusing Exercises

14  Sample Program: Dispelling Hate And Nurturing Friendliness

Notes And References

Personal Notes

How does one become tough?  The answer proposed in Becoming Tough is, “Whatever kind of toughness you seek, it is achieved in the same way as any skill, through practice and study, that is, through training.”  To that end, Becoming Tough presents simple exercises whose outstanding feature is their use of easy, repetitive physical movements to facilitate concentration.  Because a long-lasting physical activity is easier to sustain than a long-lasting mental task, the poorer one's ability to concentrate, the more important this assistance becomes.  Physical fitness is a significant by-product, not only because it improves physical health but also because it encourages social confidence and self-esteem.  Another exceptional feature is a toughening program that addresses the user’s long-term aspirations for change without interfering with personal beliefs that the user does not wish to change.  

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