LRS 059: What James Clear Can Teach Us About Developing Mental Toughness

This is episode 59 of the Let’s Reach Success podcast. Let’s start the new year off with an episode that can help us excel at every aspect of life – mental toughness and how exactly to develop it. And to make sure the advice is solid, I’ll use the knowledge and experience of someone who’s already mastered that – James Clear.

Who’s James Clear?

A big figure in the personal development field online. He’s a writer, entrepreneur, photographer and teacher. His writings are based on research, studying the life of successful people, and his own experiments and conclusions.

He says this:

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‘I write about the hidden forces that shape our habits and performance. Basically, I tell the story of human behavior through words and images.’

The topics he covers the most, and the articles that reach millions of people monthly, are on behavioral psychology, habit formation, productivity, willpower, creativity, goal setting, health optimization from how to sleep and eat better to how to manage stress and do strength training right, and much more.

What I’ll focus on today, however, is mental toughness.

What’s this?

According to Wiki, it’s ‘a measure of individual resilience and confidence that may predict success in sport, education and the workplace.’

But it goes way beyond this.

In fact, I can even say that mental toughness is the single most important trait that makes or breaks a leader, a successful entrepreneur, student, athlete, or else.

It’s not about talent, or intelligence, or connections. It’s all about how determined you are to achieve a long-term goal, how motivated and dedicated you are to the idea. This is also called grit, and luckily, it’s something you can get to know better, and even master. Once you do, you’ll be seeing progress in anything in life you set your mind to, no matter how impossible it might seem.

These qualities and powerful mindset mean that you’ll make the necessary sacrifices to move forward, won’t let distractions get in the way, will stay on the right track long enough to actually see your goal become a reality, and will be disciplined and ruthless.

So, let’s see what James Clear can teach us about the grit and how to develop it:

Show Notes:

  • Who’s James Clear and what he writes about [0:26]
  • What’s mental toughness [1:17]
  • What mentally tough athletes, leaders and artists have in common [2:48]
  • 3 steps to developing more grit [4:07]
  • Here’s how real reward and success look like in daily life [6:00]


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So in order to build mental toughness, know why you do what you do, and define what the reward looks like. When you find a way to fight your inner demons daily and take action regardless of the resistance, that’s when you become a stronger individual and future goals will be a piece of cake.

Hope you enjoyed this episode. I love analyzing concepts like that. We often don’t know how to change something or get better at something only because we don’t understand it. It’s the same with procrastination, habits, success and failure, doubts, fears, and more.

Hope this episode of the LRS podcast opened your eyes for the real face of mental toughness a bit more.

What do you think?

Lidiya K

Lidiya K

Writer. Lifestyle designer.
Creator of Let's Reach Success.
Making a statement with my words, actions and business.
Click here to read my story.
Lidiya K


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  1. Thank you for such an great podcast, I’m always waiting for your new episodes. Also reading to your blog is so inspiring. I hope you keep writing more and more great articles and keep inspiring people.

    I have a query, I just hope you could help me out. There are some questions in my mind and so some problems which arise due to them which makes me ask you a few questions: How can one achieve such mental toughness, how to overcome the fear of the result which haunts one and thereby affects his/her performance, how can one train his/her mind that no adverse situation could distract him/her focus and concentration? It’s the implementation of the theory which becomes a problem. One might know his/her problems and even the solution to overcome but following that righteous is always a problem. I just hope you understand what I am trying to say!

    Thank you once again 🙂

    1. Hey Avi,

      Thanks for listening to the podcast, leaving a comment and sharing all this. Appreciate it.

      The questions you’re asking are big ones. It will take me many paragraphs and pages to cover the topic. With each peace of content I create I try to talk about an aspect of the whole idea of succeeding in life and developing a stronger mindset. Please head over to James Clear’s site and the resources I linked to, as his writings are super practical and related to real-life.

      1. Hello,

        Thank you for your reply!
        I did go through the links you have provided (James Clear’s site) and found it quite helpful. His writings are practical and related to real life, the way you suggested.

        This article “” of James Clear was the one very inspiring and highly practical.

        What I think is, working on to a piece of advice and implementing it is much more important rather than just reading to great blogs and articles and not being able to execute them. What do you say?

        I just hope that I be able to bring that change i.e. the proper implementation.

        By the way I did go through Mark Manson’s site as well, as suggested by you in one of your previous podcast episode. He has a completely different style of writing and explained the solution to ‘Feedback Loop’ pretty well(that’s the article I read).

        Listening to your podcast is productive; you should have mentioned that in one of your episode regarding productivity. Haha…….no seriously, they are just amazing. I always listen to them in my free time, as I am a student, and they always act as a booster. There is another podcast which is also quite helpful and inspiring, ‘Robin Sharma’s Mastery Sessions’ also dealing with self improvement and leadership. These are the only two podcasts which I listen to, including yours and would recommend that to all my good friends. Have you heard of Robin Sharma?

        1. Hey Avi,

          So glad I’m the reason you checked out James Clear and Mark Manson’s work. They have completely different styles and points of view, true. But I think reading and learning from both of them will be beneficial in many ways.

          I’m familiar with Robin Sharma, yes. I’ve read books from him back in the days, but haven’t really followed him after that. Thanks for mentioning him.

          I’m truly happy you enjoy the podcast. So, from what I see, you enjoy episodes where I talk about a successful and interesting person and share his life lessons, right?

          1. Hey,

            It’s not the talks based on successful and interesting people which fascinates me; it’s their principles, their struggle, their attitude towards their problem inspite of their hardships and adversities which made them successful. Their life itself is a lesson which teaches us not to give up at times of self doubt and confusion. Someone has already achieved that success which reminds us that it isn’t impossible to solve our problems too, every cloud has a silver lining!

            It doesn’t mean that one should imitate such people because copying them wouldn’t make one successful. Why?

            Why because every individual has his/her circumstances, situations which in no way can be same for other people. The actions, the ideology which favoured under a certain circumstance wouldn’t necessarily be effective for a different circumstance, situation or for someone having a different standard of living.

            One should learn from their never giving up spirit, that warrior instinct and their way of approaching to a problem rather than simply imitating them or copying them as doing that won’t make one Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. There can be only one Steve Jobs, there can be only one Bill Gates, there can be only one Lidiya K. and so there can be only one Avi Takiyar. I hope you agree to me on this and please do correct me wherever I go wrong, I shall be highly obliged!

            So, I like those episodes of yours more in which you yourself give a piece of advice, a valuable suggestion and an insight of life and success based on your self analysis. It’s the originality, the uniqueness of a person which makes them great and more appealing. Every person has something valuable to share, to express from his/her experiences.

            I would love to listen to those episodes of yours where you give a solution to a set of problems based on your own analysis or your own past experiences where you fought bravely like a warrior and those incidents which made you more wiser and the successful person you are now in life. I would love listening to such episodes because the actual person who had experienced so is narrating the incident and giving a lesson and advice on life; there is some kind of achievement in that, something to be really appreciated; there is an originality as such, something new to be learnt, to be felt and to be inspired. I hope you understand what I’m trying to say!

            I too want to be an entrepreneur and so I’m always eager to know more about handling such situations in life and so I’m also keen about reading to your blog.

            I’ve seen you on Quora but I guess you don’t write there. It’s a great site, maybe you’ll like it, just a suggestion by the way 🙂

            I really like that you reply to all the comments with sincerity and concern that too without keeping the other waiting! That’s so nice of you 🙂

          2. Wow, thanks for the kind words and inspiring comment. I was taking down notes actually, as you’re giving me valuable feedback on what to keep talking about on the podcast.

            Well said. Can’t agree more with everything you said. You got a short but motivational blog post in the form of a comment here actually 🙂

            As for Quora, it is a great site indeed. There’s just not enough time in the day and focus in my mind to be able to write for and dedicate time and energy to all good platforms out there where people can publish. Medium is another one, although not the forum-like thing.
            So I’m being selective. Still sharing everything I have to say, with different types of content, but here on the blog, hoping it will be found by the right people.


  2. Hi,

    I am so glad to hear that you are taking down notes of my feedback and suggestions based on your podcast. 🙂

    Thank you so much for considering my comment to be valuable and up to that mark. I think I should give a try writing any such articles (or blog). I am not much into writing but I guess trying doesn’t have any harm either. What do you suggest? By the way do you accept voluntary articles and publish them on your blog? I’m keen to know that.

    I have lots to share, lots to discuss and lots to ask from you but I’m a bit busy these days due exam pressure. I would be free only after the end of May and would be back to you with great and knowledgable discussions and some more questions, hope you wouldn’t mind me asking them. Till then I have decided not to use much of the Internet expect listening to your podcasts in my free time so as to avoid any type of distraction and so I wouldn’t be able to comment or give a suggestion either.

    It’s always good to have a great discussion which is full of great ideas and thoughts that too with wise, enthusiastic and inspiring people like you. It’s a charm talking to you. 🙂

    See you by the end of May. I hope you wouldn’t mind me sending you an email or messaging you on the Instagram at that time, would you?

    Keep writing and keep inspiring, there is a quote: “To be inspired is great, to inspire is incredible”.


    1. Avi,

      Focus on your studies now, and contact me via email whenever you feel like. Yes, you can write a guest post for LRS in May or whenever you feel inspired, and let me review it.

      Best of luck with everything,

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