Sep 7, 2011

Posted by in Featured, Healthy Mind, Positive Reinforcements, Self Progression | 8 Comments

Mental Strength is the Key to Success

Mental Strength is the Key to Success

Last night, I watched a recorded episode of ABC’s show “Take The Money And Run”, and oddly, it really spoke to me.

This show is a mix between a reality show and a game show.  The 2 players are given a suitcase filled with $100,000 and they have 1 hour to hide it anywhere in their city.  At the end of the hour, they are taken into custody by the 2 police officers (and sometimes even retired detectives) that are also in the game.  The officers have 48 hours to try and find the suitcase.  If the officers find it they get to keep the money for themselves, if not, the players keep it.  It’s really an exciting and intriguing show.

The difficult part for the players starts when they are literally locked in a cell for 48 hours and interrogated about the whereabouts of the suitcase.  Many times people crack under the pressure and end up telling the details of where the suitcase is, just so they can be released.  Other times they stick to the story they’ve come up with to derail the cops and they’re successful in keeping them from finding the money.  The detectives have only the coordinates of the trip they took in the car to hide the money, any receipts that were accumulated during the hour, and the cell phone records to help them crack the case.  So, many times the players will purposely derail them with the route they take, the calls they make, and the receipts they receive to keep the cops following a false trail while the time runs out.

Mental strength becomes an advantage when having to deal with the confines of the jail cell and the interrogation process.  The interrogators literally play mind games with the people to make them as uncomfortable as possible, with the intention of breaking them down.  Some people get totally disarmed by the process and allow the techniques to get to them.

Last night I watched as the self-proclaimed stronger of the two players completely crumbled at the hands of the interrogators tactics.  He started to get irritated by the conditions of the cell.  He was hungry, he needed a shower, and he was tired of being in isolation.  On top of the that, the interrogators were invading his space by questioning him in his cell instead of having him taken to the interrogation room.  They saw his irritation and decided to capitalize on it.  Since he was complaining about needing a shower and being hungry, they took his toothbrush and his book, so the little bit he had left was gone.

That sent him over the top.  He started feeling claustrophobic, he couldn’t take it anymore and he just lost it.  I watched as his conditions began to consume his mind.  He couldn’t look passed his immediate surroundings.  He just kept replaying over and over in his head how awful the whole experience was and he couldn’t let it go.  So he quit and he told the interrogators where the suitcase was, ultimately losing the money, because at that moment all he wanted was to be free of that cell.

In that instant I saw that he lost sight of his goal.  He already had $100,000 because only he and his partner knew where it was.  If he had even stopped for a second, just to take a few breaths, he could have allowed time and space for his mind to clear.  He could have chosen to take that alone time to visualize all the wonderful things he would be doing with that money when he got out, instead of concentrating on his current conditions, and he would have been able to stick it out to the end.

It’s all in your mind.

I used to get pissed when I would hear that saying if I was already mad at something.  I would say, “It’s NOT in my mind, it’s reality!”  The truth is, it’s really all in your mind.  Whether you’re miserable or happy is based on what your mind believes.  If you believe that your current conditions are your only reality, you will inevitably fail.  You have to keep your eyes on the prize in order to reach the end.  That is why it’s so important to learn to control your mind.

“When the voice and the vision on the inside, become more profound, and more clear and loud, than the opinions on the outside, you’ve mastered your life.” — Dr John Demartini

No matter what circumstance you are in, there will always be outside forces that can bring you down, and some of them even deliberately like the previously mentioned situation.  It is imperative to take the time to build your mental strength against any and all forces that can come against you.

Personal mind control is developed by constant meditation, positive affirmations, positive music, reading books, etc.  This is why I’m so passionate about these things.  When you immerse yourself in positive and empowering activities, they start to influence your mentality about yourself and your life.  You learn to stay calm in crazy situations and stay focused on your success, no matter your conditions. 

When you take the time to intentionally control your mind it keeps you in a proactive position instead of being susceptible to anything that happens to you and in turn only able to react to it.  I feel like the player on the show was an example of the latter.  And to be honest, as quickly as I could see exactly what was going on with him, I could relate.  I have had many a breakdown.  I used to be one of the biggest reactors and OVER-reactors I knew.  I am so glad that I’m finally learning to retrain my mind and build its strength so that it is prepared for all situations, not just the ideal ones.

The negative thoughts are going to come in, it’s what you do with the thoughts that shows the measure of your maturity.

And let’s not get it twisted.  Just like the statement above suggests, no matter how evolved or mature you are, the negative thoughts WILL ALWAYS COME.  It’s up to you to constantly derail them.  I think that’s where I’ve gotten caught up at times.  I felt that because I’m participating in so many positive activities that the negative thoughts shouldn’t even appear.  But now I’m seeing that they are inevitable, and learning new and different ways to block them keeps me feeling like Wonder Woman deflecting them with my wrist shields. LOL

Remember, no matter what you’re going through, keep those shields up against the outside forces and negative thoughts!  By the way, if you would like additional tips for success check out the follow up to this post: The Keys to Success Continued…

Share your thoughts in the comments: Have you seen “Take The Money And Run”?  What do you think of the show?  What are your favorite ways to block out negativity?  What do you do to calm, train and control your mind?

Peace, Love, & Positive Thinking,


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  1. As one of the interrogators who ‘cracked’ Ron in this episode I wanted to add a couple of things. In talking with Ron (the contestant who broke) after the show, he told me the thing that worked on his head the most was (right before I took his toothbruch and other stuff) when I told him Beau (the other contestant and Ron’s significant other) had been cooperating with us and was in a ‘better place.’ Ron took this to mean Beau was living it up in a hotel room while he (Ron) was still stuck in his cell. This created raging feelings of jealousy, which contributed significantly to his eventual breakdown.

  2. One of the things many viewers of Take The Money And Run don’t realize is that during the course of the game there is over 80 hours of film shot by seperate camera crews with the hider contestants, the interrogators, and the seeker contestants. All of this has to be edited down to 44 minutes (plus commercials to round out the hour), so a lot of significant stuff can get left on the cutting room floor.

    It really isn’t easy to spend time locked up in a jail cell with nothing but your own thoughts. This type of isolation is so different to our current everyday lives filled with electronic gadgets and the noise of society. Plus there is pressure from having all of your freedoms taken away — you can’t leave, you can’t eat what you want, you can’t do things you want to do.

    There is also the bad food. Game show rules insist the hiders must be fed three times a day. i said great, we’re going to feed them five times a day, the same meal every time because We don’t want them getting breakfast burrritos and knowing it’s morning. Throwing off the hiders conception of time is important. The big plus comes in, however, when the hiders refuse to eat the first meal — what happens? Their bllod sugar plummets and they become emotionally vulnerable.

    Add in professional interrogators (believe me, we are no fun) having the ability to relentlessly question you for hours at a time any time we want, and it all becomes the stuff of nightmares — even if you aren’t guilty of anything more than applying to be on a game show.

    Thx for your insights in your post.


  3. Thanks for sharing! You gave great insight into the details of the show. I think you brought up some great points. The fact that you told Ron that his significant other was in a better place was simply a thought planted in his head. It was not his reality. So the fact that it contributed to his breakdown, further proves my point of learning to block outside influences and be strong enough mentally to stay positive no matter what.

    And I’m sure that the conditions are definitely brutal. I don’t doubt that for a second. But again, mental strength and personal mind control comes into play when having to deal with such harsh conditions. I’m glad you mentioned about people being so used to the noise of society and electronic gadgets. I think it’s so important to pull away from the noise on a daily basis to create a sense of calm in the mind and the body. When you create a balance in your life, you are not so attached or addicted to the noise and the gadgets and you are better able to deal with being without them. So again, meditation and other mind calming activities are definitely beneficial, even if you’re not going on a game show. You never know what life might throw at you and it’s always best to be prepared.

  4. What a great discussion and insight! Love it! Thank you Paul for filling in the blanks! Thank you Alexis for enlightening food for the soul!

  5. Amen, amen, AMEN! I hear you! I studied sociology for years, always hearing that “reality is socially constructed,” but failed to realize that each of us has some true power in that construction. I read Napeoleon Hill’s “Think & Grow Rich,” and the point was driven home: It’s not always what happens to you, it’s what you think about it.

    I can’t change the past, but I can work on how I look back on it, I can learn from it, I can forgive myself. I can’t control the outside world, but I can control my mind and my mental health in a way that makes even the worse days affect me less and less. I have noticed a change in the way I face life since grasping my own mental power for prosperity.

    Loved the post and high fives to you! :) Great job Alexis!

  6. Thanks Shannyn! I love the quote from Think & Grow Rich “It’s not always what happens to you, it’s what you think about it.” That is so true! And I love that you can see the growth in yourself. Doesn’t it feel awesome? I feel so good about myself when I can look back and see how much I’ve evolved.

  7. Excellent post. I don’t watch TV, and am not sure we have that show over here anyway, but it would certainly be interesting.

    It is amazing the affect our thoughts can have on situations. The commentors above involved in the show, thank you for your extra insight!

    I am competitive and do not take my eye off the goal easily, but in a situation like that, I think I might just crack.

    Our thoughts and perception on things can be so different and it is about the only thing we really have control over. We can choose to react negatively or positively.

  8. I love that you said our thoughts and perceptions are the only things we have control over. That is so true, which is why mental strength is so important. As a viewer of the show, of course I think I could win it lol. But it’s always a different story when you’re in it. So who knows. But what I DO know is that I would definitely practice as many mental strengthening activities as possible! lol

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