The story of America’s founding fathers is an amazing example of what can be accomplished through mental toughness. While George Washington gets much of the credit for winning the war and leading the country, many historians say it was John Adams who was the driving force behind the revolution. John Adams is mostly known for being the second President of the United States, but the truth is he was much more than that. Adam’s mental toughness and ferocious tenacity combined with Thomas Jefferson’s social polish and ability to write and speak with world-class eloquence was a force to be reckowned with until the two best friends were divided by their philosophies. Watch this video post and the movie I’m recommending to all my mental toughness clients, even if you’re not an American. The mental toughness lessons of 200+ years ago can still be applied today.    Steve Siebold

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Steve Siebold
Author and Professional Speaker since 1997. Past Chairman of the National Speakers Association's Million Dollar Speakers Group. Author of 11 books with 1.4 million copies in print.

7 thoughts on “Mental Toughness from America’s Founders”

  1. Here’s a link to an article on the classical education of the founding fathers:

    Needless to say the masses of working class people passed on trades and businesses grew that supported those trades. It’s a different world today – and a dynamic world with so many cultural life/business styles globally. Capitalism – the kind of free enterprise ala USA democracy – has led the world in being the place people want to come to for freedoms they can’t get in their countries.

    The world is changing – resetting – adjusting – we’ll see what happens and play parts in it.

    In public education for over 20 years I watched government run programs use billions of dollars as drop out rates increased, programs were dumbed down to bring in below average students, and top quality programs stopped when changing them from what they were to having all kinds of quotas – not always racial or gender based – caused them to lose the high standards of excellence they had known.

    Did billions of Title I and II money turn the public school into Utopian Educational Systems? Contrary! And so on.

    And through out the 80s and 90s up into today millions of parents put their kids in home schooling programs and privately run schools – and the trend continues.

    As the trend continues, public education up through the mass production of people graduating from colleges and universities with huge bills to pay back and minimum wage jobs waiting for them is going to change dramatically in the coming decades – much going the way of Newsweek.

    Technology plays a big part in these changes of course.

    So for now the public schools in many cases cook the books to show progress and enhanced gifted programs, increased graduates – just lower lower lower the standards – and neither democrats or republicans have done much to improve the situation. But that may be impossible anyway.

    I was always an inspired teacher working inner city – I saw that there was no teaching to become self reliant, to become entrepreneurs. Kids were being led down the liberal arts go to college route across the boards.

    My experience was limited to one system – it may have been different in other systems – and I taught along side many dedicated teacher who poured their minds and hearts into their jobs.

    My biggest joy was my relationships with my students- I loved them and they loved me because I respected them from day one – they didn’t have to earn it they only had to lose it and it could always be regained.

    And I made class fun, I was an inspired teacher and it was natural for me, and I could turn grammar and all the basic writing skills into something magical.

    There’s some rambling on the subjects at hand – Stevee starts great threads that should stimulate everyone’s thinking.


  2. Mike,

    I think it can happen. The agenda that has brought us to this point was over 100 years in the making. Constant effort and critical thinking/mental toughness can get this people back on track, even if it takes just as long.

  3. Good stuff. One thing I love about the founders is how flawed they were. Yet there was a special power (divine providence?) at work in and through them.

  4. Yup – mostly! I began promoting that in the 80s and got a lot of flack from teachers, etc. – the union – everyone as I was a Black Sheep.

    Let the private sector and home schooling take it over – I would love to see that and I believe it would work.

    Will it happen? It’s been happening and will continue to speed up happening because of technology and people’s changing values.

    I could post a lot on this but will stop with that.

    Everything else you posted would help us get on track also.


  5. ” . . . lack of critical thinking in this administration . . .” Steve So many people deny that and cover it up with rationalizations and defensive mechanisms because either they lack critical thinking skills or because they have agendas which exclude that kind of conversation.

    Do you think as long as we have freedom of expression and press so all ideas get represented we can hold our heads above water?

    I haven’t seen the movie.


    1. Mike,
      I don’t know the answer to that. I hope so, but we’re literally losing little pieces of our freedom every year. I don’t blame the Obama administration for all of it. The republicans share the blame, too. I think the only thing that can bring America back is good old common sense. Minimize government substantially, starting with repealing the health care bill. Abolish income tax all together, or create a fair tax. Privatize social security, the post office, every other government agency possible. Let the private sector make a profit on these services…aka…the American way.

      Here’s my question to you, Mike. What about the school system? What about taking the government completely out of schools and let the private sector finance them and the teachers dictate the curriculum? Do you think that would work?

  6. We watched “John Adams” quite some time ago on rented DVDs, and I agree, it is outstanding! We hadn’t known all that much about John Adams beforehand, just that he was one of the founding fathers and president after Washington. We were surprised that more isn’t taught about his impact on our Constitution and the founding of our great country. He made tremendous personal sacrifices to ensure our liberty. We recommend this video set very highly to everyone.

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