From seizing Afghan compounds to thriving behind bars, Ant Middleton has faced many battles. Throughout them all, he discovered that – more than any physical superiority – mental strength was his greatest weapon. MH spent a day with the former SBS sniper to learn from his bulletproof mindset. He was more than happy to unload.
You can grab the July issue - our Adrenalin Special - on shelves now, but to whet your appetite we've selected a handful of Middleton's most resonating life lessons to help you conquer your day, week, month or year.
1.“I’ve failed a lot in my life and I am going to keep failing. I embrace that”
If you're feeling lost, helpless and lonely or struggling at home or in the office, Ant's approach to continual failure is inspiring. Behind every big win is a mountain of failures, each teaching you a lesson that you'll never forget.
2. "When I do my work, I’m 100% work. When I’m being a husband, I’m 100%
It's important to remember the position that you're in - whether you're a father, a partner, a boss, a leader or a mentor. There's no benefit to half-assing one thing, go all in and reap the rewards.
3. “Leadership is taking charge of yourself before taking charge of other people”
You may count yourself as a leader of your group, but how strong is your grip on your psyche? Not as solid as you think, we'd wager. Think about it - you would, theoretically, readily write a glowing appraisal of a friend or a colleague, but would you do the same for yourself? Take ownership of your mind and your actions will follow.
4. "We say: ‘I can’t do that,’ or ‘I’m not fit enough to do that.’ It all starts with believing in yourself."
Look around - you'll see it everywhere, from one man struggling with a heavy weight at the gym to another getting crippled from the pressures of every day life. Take a step back and recognise what you can and, crucially, what you cannot do. Start building from that and you'll make real gains - at home, at the gym and at work - quicker than you think.
5. "Resilience is that repetition. Failure is an everyday part of our lives. We’re petrified of that word – failure. It’s a dirty word."
... but it shouldn't be, should it? If you can't recall the last time you saw something through, set yourself smaller, more attainable goals that will help you build towards the bigger picture and a regimented routine. Get comfortable with failure, too - everyone fails, so it's unfair to think you shouldn't.
Find all of this and much, much more inside the July issue of Men's Health - out now!
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