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Mental Athleticism

Habits That Lead To An
Exceptional Lifestyle

Joey Tawadrous

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About The Author

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Hi, I'm Joey Tawadrous

Over the years I've learned so much and picked up many great habits from a great many of sources. All of which I write about in this book.

I'm a software developer, interested in products, execution & deadlines. I'm also a fitness advocate, cooking nut, and a follower of any and all manner of self-improvement & productivity techniques.

I also LOVE building things. The ideas for products, apps & businesses are constantly flowing through my mind and you can always find me working on a challenging idea!

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Chapter 1
About This Book

Before we begin I should clarify what this book is about and who it was made for. It's not for everyone.

It's no secret that there are many people in our world who are absolutely on top of their game. They wake up every morning with a will and determination that many can only dream of. They work hard and achieve results. They don't talk about it, they just do it. They focus on the positive and deal with the negative. They bring out the best in everyone they meet. These people are in control of minds that are ahead of our time. They show us how life is meant to be lived.

In this book I go through many different topics such as the mind, your body and health, your career, relationships, recreation, and personal development, discussing the skills, lessons and techniques that I have found useful when working at 110%. This info has been gathered from my own experiences, countless books and research, friends, colleagues and family, and also from the written and spoken material of some of the greatest minds of our time.

This book is for the people that have an unquenchable thirst for reaching milestones that the majority of others don't even think about. People that do not buckle under pressure or give up when it gets tough. This book is for people that want to lead an exceptional life, and will never stop fighting to earn what they know is within their reach.

This book is not for anyone who is looking for an easy route to reach their goals. If you only kind of want to succeed and you're not willing to dedicate the best years of your life to creating an exceptional lifestyle, don't read on.

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Section 1: The Mind

Your brain power. your creative interests, your ability to learn and remember pieces of information in different situations.

Your level of intelligence, how you analyse situations to foresee events and how you reason complex decisions in short spaces of time. All of the above are controlled by our minds. Therefore, no matter what we do in life, we should always strive to foster a healthy and strong mind. We should regularly ask ourselves questions such as the following:

  • Do we exercise our brains regularly?
  • Do we partake in creative activities such as painting or drawing?
  • Do we find it difficult to think rationally under pressure?
  • How often do we feed your brain with new information?
  • How do we deal with strenuous cognitive activities?
  • How good is our short and long term memories?
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Chapter 2
A Healthy Brain

Discard Negative Thoughts

A study conducted in 2012 found that when we often treat our negative thoughts like physical possessions. We also gain a great sense of satisfaction when we rid ourselves of them.

Negative thoughts weight us down on a daily basis, sometimes so much so that we find it very difficult to go about our daily activities.

We must make a point to search for any traces of negative thoughts in our lives on a regular basis and pinpoint the source. We should then physically go through the action of pulling that negative thought from our head and throwing it out the window. It may sound silly but you will see that it does in fact work wonders once you have tried it a few times.

Foster A Happy Brain

It is very easy sometimes to become unhappy for any amount of reasons, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can just as easily train your emotions as you train your body or form a new habit. This takes time but it is definitely a worthy investment.

Next time your feel a negative thought creep into your mind, why not replace that thought instead with a positive one. Why not link negative events to positive experiences? Why not link negative occurrences to positive lessons learned?

The fact is even though you may have had a negative experience, there is very often if not always a positive lesson or side to the experience. You simply need to become used to finding the positivity.

Brain Food

Nothing is more important for your brain than providing it with the right nutrition or brain food. If your brain hasn’t been fed the proper fuel, various tasks that require high levels of concentration, for example, will become increasingly difficult.

Nowadays there is a great obsession with low fat diets, in a mad race to lose weight. But do you know that the brain requires fatty acids such as Omega 3 if it is to perform to its full potential? Making healthy fats a part of your diet is an absolute must, if you’re to have a super sharp brain. Have coconut oil, grass fed butter, salmon and almond butter in your diet.

These foods keep your brain high on energy, alert and fresh.

Think Big And You Shall Be Big

There is a lot of science backed proof that has established how important goal setting is. It's your best way to determine what you want and to ensure that you are always moving in the direction of achievement. If you have not already, you should immediately write down your one, five and ten year goals and stick them to the wall. Right above your desk.

Not only write them down, but write down bullet points on how you are going to achieve those goals. What are you going to do to get to where you want to be? What’s the knock on affect on one task or goal? How will it improve your future and help you reach supplementary heights?

The power of acknowledging a goal reached, one you previously thought was unreachable, is ultimately the driving factor in creating waves of momentum and motivation. Be sure to reward yourself for each goal reached while keeping an eye on how achieving this goal has improved your life.

Age Is Just A Number

One of the most important concepts we should all keep in mind is that age is just a number. The day you decide to take your age in your stride is the day you become unstoppable. Age can be an extremely powerful asset for you.

Embrace your youth wholeheartedly, accept that you are the young gun everyone wants to be and use your stamina and adolescent innocence to ask for forgiveness rather than permission.

If you are not young anymore, well then you’ve got a mountain of wisdom on your side. You’ve been there and done that. You can assess a situation far better than 95% of the younger generations due to experience, and you can do it twice as fast as they can.

If you believe that you can make it, well guess what? You will. It’s the Placebo Effect. Forget Murphy’s Law. You can and will use your age, education, intelligence, looks and anything else you can to achieve your goals. There is nothing that people want to see more than hard working, talented & intelligent individuals paving the way of the future.

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Chapter 3
Brain Power

Be Focused And In The Moment

How aware are you of whats happening around you? Are you often in the middle of performing one task, but thinking about another?

You should focus on staying in the moment. Focus on the present, on whatever you are doing right now. Don’t multitask or think about too many things simultaneously.

Finish one thing to a great degree of satisfaction, and then move on to the next. This keeps your mind calm and focused on what has to be done right now, rather than adding unnecessary pressure on itself by thinking too many thoughts at once.

I'll send you a series of exceptionally useful snippets from the book, Mental Athleticism.

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Chapter 4
Be Strong Minded

Learn how to create systems that work.

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Section 2: Body And Health

Our body is our second most important asset in this life, after our minds.

Our physical abilities such as strength, coordination, flexibility, endurance and so on are determined by our bodies make up.

How our body responds to illnesses, how it looks, how it feels are all things that we can control.

  • How can we improve our level of physical shape?
  • Are we engaging in habits which are damaging or harming our bodies?
  • How long has it been since we were last sick?
  • Do we feel confident with our current physical shape?
  • Are we eating foods which we know are causing harm to our bodies?
  • Do we want to be capable of what less than 1% of the population of the world is capable of? (The human flag, handstand push ups, back flips etc)
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Chapter 5
Never Forget

Don't Exercise Soon Before Bed

Most forms of physical exercise should not take place soon before bed. These activities will raise your cortisol and adrenaline levels, will might as well be called your awake hormones as your not going to fall asleep with high levels of either.

Think of yourself being totally pumped for a race, speech or your about to get in a fight. The last thing you want to do is fall asleep. Light Yoga, Meditation or breathing exercises on the other hand are perfectly fine before bed.

Avoid Bright Lights Soon Before Bed

Having bright lights turned on in your bedroom soon before bed can cause you trouble when trying to go to sleep. A laptop, tablet or mobile screen can cause the same effect.

Even when you are in complete darkness in your bedroom you can still find it difficult to fall asleep if it is too soon after either of the above.

The fact is even five minutes of any of the above activities before bed can shut off your melatonin (control’s the quality of your sleep) production for up to four hours. The trick is to dim the lights and read a book before bed, that way you are entertained, and you are already in bed ready to nod off.

Make Your Shower Count

Trust me this one is not a joke. When you shower your time is yours and yours alone. You have no one to communicate with in the shower but your own mind.

Showering is a great time to reflect on what you’ve achieved throughout your day. To time you’re following day. To decide what went well and what didn’t go so well.

Some people like to meditate and while meditation is less active it is similar to showering in the sense that it is simply you in your own mind with minimal outside distractions.

Some of the top minds in our world today have been known to come up with great ideas when in the shower.

Avoid Coffee Late In The Evening

Coffee has got to be one of the most effective legal ‘drugs’ available. It allows your brain to perform at heightened levels of precision for an extended period of time.

However your brain, like all muscles, needs to rest after a period of high-use and strain. Therefore, it is advised to avoid drinking to much, or any, coffee late in the evening. You should leave at least 6 hours between your last cup of coffee and when your head hits your pillow at night.

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Chapter 6
Sleep Like A Baby

Track Your Sleep Quality

With a plethora of apps out there today, and with the vast majority of us owning some form of smart device, there really is no excuse here. Simply open up the app store to your respective handset creator, whether it be Apple, Android, Microsoft, Blackberry etc. and find a ‘Sleep Tracking’ app that you like by searching for that exact term.

These apps will tell you how much deep sleep you are getting per night, how much time you spend trying to get to sleep and so on. Many of the free versions even present this information to you in helpful graphs and charts.

Learn how to be exceptionally strong minded.

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Chapter 7
Smart Thinking

You could be unstoppable.

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Chapter 8
Mind And Body Exercises

Check out Mental Athleticism's landing page to view this section of the book.

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Section 3: Friends And Relationships

If there is one thing that is certain in life, it's that the people you know and spend time with are absolutely paramount in your life.

People such as your family, your friends & friends friends, your colleagues and even random people you meet on the street. How you communicate with all of the above is essential in a healthy lifestyle.

We should always be asking ourselves questions such as the following:

  • Are we in a close relationship with our families?
  • Do we have many close friends that we enjoy spending time with?
  • Could we walk into a room of individuals, and feel comfortable communicating with all of them at once?
  • How do we communicate with strangers & do we find it easy?
  • How comfortable are we around work friends & colleagues?
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Chapter 9
The Best Kind Of Friends

Surround Yourself With Top-Notch People

There has always been a belief that you are the average of your three best friends. And it is completely true. For some people that may be their five best friends. For other’s it may be their team colleagues at work.

The bottom line is that no matter who you are you will always notice that the people you choose to spend time around will have an effect on how you feel and what you do on a day-to-day basis.

It said that if you hang out with rich people you will be rich. If you hang out with charismatic people you will be loved. If your best friends complain a lot you will be pessimistic. We can all relate to this.

So why not hang out with the people whom you wish to be like. While everybody is their own individual person, it’s importance to note that your friends do indeed have an effect on your lifestyle.

This can be either extremely beneficial or terribly troublesome or both. It’s up to you to decide who are the best people that you need in your life.

Learn how to create systems that work.

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Chapter 10
Be An Incredible Person

Smiles Are Contagious

Smiles are most definitely one of the most important actions we can take to spread happiness to the people we come into contact with. It takes literally no effort, and almost always results in receiving a smile back.

A simple smile also offer’s re-assurance to whomever you are speaking with. Not only that but it makes you feel more comfortable with the current situation, allowing more creative ideas to flow which in turn sparks a more meaningful conversation.

Plus if you are not actually really enjoying what’s being said, just smile anyway. I guarantee that after a few minutes you will feel more keen about the conversation at hand.

Learn how to be exceptionally strong minded.

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Chapter 11
Be A Nice Person

This book is packed full of exceptional material and advice.

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Chapter 12
Take Care Of Yourself

It's no secret that there are many people in our world who are absolutely on top of their game.

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Section 4: Personal Development

Our own personal development is one of the most important concepts that we will ever know in each of our lives.

It is the nature by which we focus on improving ourselves, and this can and should take place on a daily basis.

The very act of acknowledging what specific traits we would like to possess and what skills we would like to be great at is the first step in our personal development. Following those decisions we should work on those traits and skills as often as possible, in order to reach the highest level of self-fulfilment possible.

We need to reflect on our goals from time to time and ask ourselves questions such as the following:

  • Do we have a number of skills that we wish to get better at?
  • How often do we think about how far we have come with regards to particular skills?
  • Do we understand what we are good and what we are bad at?
  • Do we know what needs to be done ie the steps we need to take to improve ourselves?
  • Is our personal development a top priority in our lives?
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Chapter 13
Stay Focused

Why Should We Focus?

We all know what we want to be happy, or at least know what direction we need to be moving in to reach a certain level of happiness. So why not focus all our attention on achieving our goals that we know will make us happy?

We must focus only on a specific set of goals, and whether those goals are broad or narrow, we will be closer to achieving them and attaining a higher level of happiness for ourselves, simply by focusing on what matters most.

Remember, success, motivation and a glowing desire are incredibly clear and noticeable. They are so very often contagious, and as you spread your own upward spiral of success amongst people in the world, you give them permission to do the same, to other’s who you may have never even known.

You see your success is paramount, and it drives so many around you forward to achieve their own goals.

The point of this all you say? Ignore or deal with all distractions. Find your inner focus. Set goals & tear down your life around you until your reach those goals. No hesitation and plan b’s. Again, why you say? Well.. because nothing else really matters unless you are moving forward.

Learn how to make the best kind of friends.

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Chapter 14
Comfortable Is Confident

Wear Comfortable Clothes

There’s a famous quote that reads “Whether you think you can or you cannot, you're right”. I think it’s important to remember this quote when purchasing new clothes for the sole reason that when you wear clothes that make you feel comfortable, confident and relaxed, that is exactly how you will carry yourself.

It is how you carry yourself and how you act that essentially determines how you feel in the long run. You may get a burst of confidence here and there for different reasons such as a powerful song, movie or situation, however if you consistently wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself, you will always feel the power that you truly have within yourself.

And you hold the key to letting it free... or locking it up.

I'll send you a series of exceptionally useful snippets from the book, Mental Athleticism.

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Chapter 15
Expand And Advance

This book is packed full of exceptional material and advice.

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Chapter 16
Always Learn And Reflect

This book is packed full of exceptional material and advice.

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Chapter 17
Have A System That Works

This book is packed full of exceptional material and advice.

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Section 5: Career

In order to feel a sense of accomplishment in our lives, it is very important to like our careers.

We spend at least one third of our lives working, and so it is paramount that the career we have chosen is one in which we can learn and grow as people so that we do not become bored or wish that we did not have to work at that particular job in the first place.

  • Do we love, or even like our jobs?
  • How would we describe our work environments?
  • Do we feel our jobs are both challenging & rewarding?
  • What are our plans for the future & is our current job pushing us in the right direction?
  • How comfortable are we in completing daily tasks?
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Chapter 18
What Is Most Important

Create A Smart To-Do List

Begin by creating a smart to-do list that only contains the tasks that you have been avoiding. This will be the place that you list the tasks that you have been really avoiding but that you also really want to get done.

For every task on this list you must be sure that it was something you have had to do for a while now, but that you have been putting off, no matter what the reason. This will be the final resting place for those tasks.

It's no secret that there are many people in our world who are absolutely on top of their game.

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Chapter 19
Your Ideal Environment

Eliminate Temptation

In the age we live in, the computer age, there are millions upon millions of unique distractions that can keep us from completing our goals. It can sometimes be difficult to remove these distractions, but there are most definitely steps you can take to reduce the chance that you will be distracted.

If there is nothing floating around you that you may perhaps be distracted by, then you greatly increase the probability of completing your task. For example, if your television is off, your less likely to turn it on ie. to watch it. If your mobile is is on silent you less likely to look at it often, as you won’t hear messages or phone calls.

Learn how to make the best kind of friends.

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Chapter 20
Know Your End Goal

Learn how to make the best kind of friends.

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Chapter 21
Smart Work > Hard Work

Check out Mental Athleticism's landing page to view this section of the book.

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Section 6: Recreation And Creativity

In order to be our most focused and to get things done, we need to feel relaxed.

While some people work best under pressure, there is no doubt that the majority of us would at least prefer to cross items off their to-do list without bursting a nerve while completing each item.

Relaxation provides us with the juice or energy to charge our batteries and move forward in all other areas of our life. In a nut shell, how we take breaks, how we unwind & relax. How we spend our time, when its time to enjoy ourselves.

  • How often do we do something just for the fun of it?
  • Do we have a good work / life balance?
  • Can we substitute a hobby or two, for more constructive ones?
  • How many new hobbies have we picked up this year?
  • What pastimes excite us the most, and how often do we partake in those pastimes?
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Chapter 22
Don't Forget To Have Fun

Practice Meditation and Yoga

Yoga is different from cardio or weight training because it stretches the body in all directions, keeps the brain alert, active, involved and motivated, and this rewires the brain to the body, helping you gain a better sense of awareness of the present.

Your brain will likely be more focused after a session of Yoga and your concentration is will be a lot higher as well. Not to mention you are likely to do better at work or at studies as a result.

Meditation can have the same effects as Yoga. The great thing about Meditation is that you don’t have to be trained in order to take part, and you can pick up the various meditation techniques quite easily by yourself simply by reading about them.

Many of the top CEO’s of today such as Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page & Elon Musk all practice mediation.

It has worked wonders for them and their levels of concentration, and there is absolutely no reason why meditation can’t work work for you too.

This book is packed full of exceptional material and advice.

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Chapter 23
Let Your Brain Go Wild

Write Down Your Most Prominent Thoughts

If you’ve got anything on your mind, jot it down on a writing pad. Writing down your thoughts can be quite therapeutic and will give your brain a lot of relief, possibly relieving you from thinking about that thought at all until you are ready to deal with it.

For example, if you are in bed and you keep thinking of important things you either must do or say to someone else, those thoughts may keep you awake.

The best advice I can give you is to simply write them down on paper or in your phone (although it’s not advised to look at bright screen when you are trying to sleep) in order to release the though from your mind.

Learn how to create systems that work.

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Chapter 24
Get Stuff Done

Learn how to make the best kind of friends.

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Conclusion

So now that I've read the book, and learned some new concepts, what can I do next?

Good question. It's one that you're entirely equipped to answer on your own. In this book I went through so many different techniques to enrich your life, however the fact is that even though you needed the info provided to kick start your engines, you have always possessed all the strength and ambition necessary. You just needed to tap into that goldmine.

So now that you're equipped with what you need, why are you still here? You got what you needed, now go forth and achieve everything you ever wanted.

You know that it won't be easy, but you also know that you can do it. Nothing can hold you back unless you let it.

The fact is, no matter what happens to you, whenever or wherever you are, you always have at least two choices. You either buckle under the pressure or the pain that was applied, or you broaden your shoulders, keep you chin up and steamroll through whatever comes your way.