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I absolutely loved this book! This is a book about the difference between average people and extraordinary people.

What makes someone one of the best in the world? If it good genetics? Is it luck? The author used to a be a top 500 worldwide tennis player and he came to the conclusion that the only reason he did not became a top 10 player is his mindset. Is mind was not strong enough to compete at this level.

The author then started to study everything he could find on the topic of peak performance and everything that he discovered is in this book.

“Amateur performers operate from delusion, pros operate from objective reality. The great ones’ habits, actions, and behaviors are totally congruent with the size and scope of their ultimate vision. That’s why we call them champions.”

This is the main premise of the book. The elite level athletes are working WAY HARDER than the mid level athlete. The difference between the two is actually HUGE.

One of the things he discovered is that most amateurs suffer from mild to severe delusion in relation to their efforts and competencies. In other words, they delude themselves into thinking they are working harder than they are, and that they are way more competent than they actually are.

The author says there are fire levels of consciousness; poverty, working, middle, upper and world. He says that those in the middle class (in terms of self consciousness) suffer the grandest delusions.

People in the poverty level are barely surviving. The working class have are operating in a way that the only thing they are hoping for their retirement and are not expecting much from life. People operating in the middle class are the most incongruent with their reality. They operate at a high enough level to be aware that a higher level exists, but they don’t really expect to get there even though this thought crosses their mind from time to time.

Because they have low expectations, their actions are incongruent with their desires. They basically want to live like the elite, but they are unwilling to pay the price to get there. Facing reality is way too hard so they delude themselves into thinking that they are working hard enough. They basically lie to themselves.

If you ask them, they will tell you they are putting in FAR MORE TIME than they are in reality. They will tell you they are extremely focused on their vision, but in reality they are not.

177 mental toughness secrets bookThis is the main difference between the elite and the rest of the population; the world class is brutally honest with themselves. They are able to look reality in the face. They are well aware that to perform at such high level, you must first operate from a mindset of objective reality. Self-deception and delusion have absolutely no place inside the elite’s mind.

This is the key difference between the top 1% and the rest of the population. The top 1% is much better at facing reality. They have a ridiculously high level of self-awareness.


World-Class Consciousness — 5% of population

Upper-Class Consciousness — 10% of population

Middle-Class Consciousness — 70% of population

Working-Class Consciousness — 10% of population

Poverty-Class Consciousness — 5% of population

“Are my habits, actions and behaviors congruent with the vision I have for my life?”

The mindset is extremely important. Yes, some people come from difficult backgrounds and it makes it much harder to climb the ladder of success, but in the end, the main difference between the top 1% and the rest of the people is not their economical background, but their MINDSET background.

Rich people have different beliefs than poor people. Top level athletes have different beliefs than average athletes. Not enough people talk about this. We always hear about economical background, but we don’t often hear about the difference in the mindsets between the 1% and the rest of the population.

A long time ago, Karl Marx was convinced that the working class would eventually rise up and overcome oppression if they had a chance. What Karl Marx didn’t realize is that the poverty driven thought process of the people is WAY MORE IMPORTANT. If you give 1 million dollar to someone who thinks like a poor person, chances are high that in a few years that person will be broke again. People are controlled by their self-image. It has nothing to do with reality; it’s all about the perception in the mind of the performer.

The world class have a laser like focus

“Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all of your energies on a limited set of targets.”

177 mental toughness book reviewThe world’s elite are really good at concentrating their energy and effort on what they want and blocking out anything or anyone who threatens their focus. Champions are obsessive about their goals.  They are well aware that achieving their vision takes HARD WORK and they are willing to put WHATEVER IT TAKES.  The average performer thinks they put a lot of work but in reality, they are NOT. They are not grounded in reality.

Champions know that sustained concentration if the key to success.

The great ones have the belief that happiness is all about learning and growing, whereas average people have the belief that being comfortable with where they are in life is the key to happiness.

Average people make a commitment and approach like a hobby, whereas the elite approach it like a war, being completely aware that they will have to endure an unknown level of suffering along the road of victory.

Another main difference between amateurs and champions is consistency. Days after days, champions perform at the very highest levels because their actions are congruent with the size of their vision. The amateurs don’t do that. They lie to themselves and THINK they work hard but in reality they don’t. Deep down they know it, but they live in a world of illusion.

It’s all about mastering your emotions

The author says that one of the fastest ways to differentiate an amateur from a pro is to observe how they respond to criticism. Most of the time, amateurs are shocked and hurt when they are criticized. On the other hand, champions expect criticism as part of being a champion and are not hurt by it.

Champions are rarely seen criticizing other people also, because they are too busy working on their own vision. People that criticize other people all the time are people who live in delusion. They know they could achieve much more in their life but they just can’t take action for some reason and it makes them really, really negative.

The elite have amazing dscipline

“With self-discipline anything is possible. I believe discipline is the ultimate key to success as it determines your approach toward every day. Discipline keeps you focused and keeps you performing at a world-class level.”

The elite have positive rituals that make it easy to perform for long period of time at a high level. Amateurs are using their willpower. The problem with willpower is that you only have a limited quantity of it every single day. Becoming a world’s champion is EXTREMELY HARD and it requires A LOT of energy and it is IMPOSSIBLE to get to that level with willpower alone.

What you need are rituals. Rituals are basically the same things as habit. Habits are a way for your brain to save energy. When a certain ritual becomes a habit, like tying your shoes for example, you have to spend WAY LESS of your mental energy  to achieve your outcome (tie your shoes in this example).

World’s class people have built a series of positive rituals that makes it easier for them to perform at a high level for a long period of time.

Amateurs perceive discipline as a painful chore that needs to be avoided at all costs whereas the world class sees it as a TOOL to achieve greatness.

This is just a summary of the book and I highly recommend you to read the book. It was a real eye-opener for me. Click HERE to see the book on Amazon.

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