Facing challenge is an inevitable part of life. Without challenge there would be little impetus for growth. But how you react to challenge and, more importantly, failure can help predict your success in life.
Psychology professor Carol Dweck describes two distinct groups of people in her book Mindset. Those with a fixed mindset and those with a growth mindset.
If you have a fixed mindset, you believe talent and intelligence are set and you are only drawn to challenges that play to your own perceived strengths. If you have a growth mindset you believe in an ongoing process of improvement and you are drawn to challenges just beyond your current capabilities.
Dweck calls this the tyranny of now and the power of yet.
It should be obvious how this applies to your pursuit of health, fitness and longevity. Are you approaching each training session with the idea of getting better or are you just going through the motions? Are there certain skills and benchmarks that you setting as your 3 month, 6 month or 12 month goals or do you consider them beyond your reach because of age, gender, height? Are you happy when you work out hard and see improvement or do you look around at others and think that you just aren't quite as strong/fast/fit as _____?
The most important thing that Dweck teaches is that a fixed mindset is, in fact, not fixed. You can cultivate a growth mindset and learn to embrace challenge and the process of improvement.
Watch Dweck at the Tedx Norkipping: