I’ll highlight each part of the MFC (in no particular order) and give my thoughts. If you’re taking the Mental Fitness Challenge, I’d love to hear your feedback on it so far. As I get feedback, I’ll incorporate it into my review.
The Mental Fitness Challenge is a success system designed around the 13 Resolutions as laid out in Orrin Woodward’s book, Resolved – 13 Resolutions for LIFE. The 13 resolutions, broken down into three categories are,
1. I resolve to discover my God-given purpose.
2. I resolved to choose character over reputation anytime they conflict.
3. I resolve to have an attitude of gratitude.
4. I resolve to align my conscious (ant) with my subconscious (elephant) mind towards my vision.
5. I resolve to develop and implement a game plan in each area of my life.
6. I resolve to keep score in the game of life.
7. I resolve to develop the art and science of friendship.
8. I resolve to develop financial intelligence.
9. I resolve to develop the art and science of leadership.
10. I resolve to develop the art and science of conflict resolution.
11. I resolve to develop systems thinking.
12. I resolve to develop Adversity Quotient.
13. I resolve to leave a legacy by fulfilling my purpose and vision through living the 13 Resolutions.
Each week focus is put on one of the resolutions starting with the first and finally making it through all 13. Check out my review of Resolved: 13 Resolutions for LIFE.
The Components of the Mental Fitness Challenge
The self-assessment test included in the MFC is composed of 130 questions (10 for each resolution) in random order where you rank yourself between 1 and 10 (10 – totally describes me, 1 – doesn’t describe me at all). The results are then plotted on a circular graph. An anonymous test result is shown below:
There was obviously a great deal of thought put into the self-assessment test. For me, it did a great job at highlighting blind-spots and weaknesses. However, many of us fall into one of two categories: either we severely overrate ourselves or, like the example above, we’re overly hard on ourselves. As just a self-assessment, there can be a lot of error. To get more accurate results, the MFC also includes unlimited, 360-degree feedback.
If anyone is familiar with any sort of corporate review practices, many include a form of 360-degree feedback. 360-degree feedback basically means having your peers review you anonymously (to get honest answers). Typically this is a very tedious process and extremely costly. Surprisingly, the Mental Fitness Challenge includes unlimited 360-degree feedback. So far I am a big fan of how it is structured. Inside the MFC webpage, which you have full access to when you purchase the challenge and even in the 7-day free pre-challenge, there’s a link that allows you to enter the names and emails of the people that you’d like to have take the challenge on your behalf. In their email they get a message inviting them to take the assessment on your behalf and that all answers are anonymous. This feedback has been huge in my experience with the challenge so far! It is eye-opening to see how other people view me in the 13 Resolutions. After you send it to a good handful of people, you get a very accurate view of how others see you since all 360-degree feedback responses are averaged and shown alongside your self-assessment results. In the picture above the light grey are the averaged results from the person’s peers. The red represents the self-assessment results. Overall, I’ve very impressed with the self-assessment as both a tool to identify your blind spots and also in its ability to convict the person taking it to start the self-growth journey.
Goal Setting and Tracking
Creating any sort of positive change requires knowing where you want to go and where you’re starting. The self-assessment test does a good job of the latter. The former is handled by the goal setting sheet. The closest most people ever get to any sort of personal development goal is a new year’s resolution. We all know how well those go. Why do they usually fail? Well one reason is that most will probably never write their goals down and track their progress. I was excited to see a goal setting and tracking sheet included with the MFC. Just the act of writing down goals drastically improves one’s chances of achieving that goal. These sheets are meant to be printed off so they can be looked at and filled out every day. This may seem like a trivial part of the MFC, but if you’ve ever studied the differences in the success rate of achieving goals, writing them down and tracking them versus just thinking about them is a night and day difference. This is a critical part of the MFC and, again, is well put together.
I think the accountability system built into the Mental Fitness Challenge is as important as the previous few parts of it. When you’re accountable only to yourself, it’s much easier to justify why you didn’t do what you needed to do. When you have people you respect as accountability partners, it’s a lot harder to make excuses. A key point here: to make the accountability portion of MFC work how it is intended to work, you need to pick accountability partners with whom you have a high degree of respect, and that won’t let you lower the bar on yourself. You’re not going to feed someone you respect dumb excuses as to why you’re not doing what you said you were going to do. The system is managed through the website. You can shoot a quick email to those that you want to be your accountability partner. They can either accept or decline. When they accept they can choose how to receive updates on your progress – either a text or an email. It’s an easy, streamlined process. Well thought out and put together.
Mental Fitness Challenge Modules
This is the meat and potatoes of the Mental Fitness Challenge. There are three Modules that make up the MFC. The modules are broken down to match the different categories of Orrin’s resolutions: Private Achievements, Public Achievements, and Leadership Achievements. There are 16 CDs included in the set, most of them are exclusive to the Challenge and have never been released before. There are also three books included – Resolved: 13 Resolutions for LIFE by Orrin Woodward, Rascal by Chris Brady, and Launching a Leadership Revolution by Orrin and Chris, a NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, Business Week, and USA Today best seller.
I’m not going to review each CD separately, but I will say that I am impressed with the quality of each. These are definitely not recorded in a garage. Some of them are recorded from large, live events, made obvious from the audience heard in the background. Others are done in a studio and sound professionally done. I enjoy both formats, but find the live talks inspiring and lively. They speakers on the CDs are all polished, engaging and when appropriate, humorous. I’m pretty blown away by the quality of the content as well. I’ve found that as I listen to them I want to take notes and listen to them over and over again. Each time I listen to them I learn something new. There is a lot of subtle nuance. I found out that as I grow, I hear the material at a higher level and get even more meaning out of it. It’s much like when you read a book for the second or third time and pick parts out that you didn’t even notice the first time around. Again, I’m impressed with the forethought and effort put into making quality recordings with a wide variety of speaking and teaching styles.
Everyone learns differently. Some will learn best from a book, some through audio and others through video. By the time I discovered the videos that supplement the reading and listening, I wasn’t surprised. There are 22 videos in all. They are emailed out to participants in the MFC regularly. They are more frequent at the beginning of the challenge and taper off near the end. The videos are professional quality videos with great content and visuals to help bring the audio and reading to life. As the videos come in they are stacked in the media tab of the Mental Fitness Challenge website if you want to view them again later. Outside of the CDs, the videos are my favorite teaching part of the MFC.
Throughout my career as a Mechanical Engineer and self-employed business owner of a software development company, I’ve been through a lot of management and leadership training. Some of the stuff I’ve been through include hanging from ropes with peers, learning leadership through working with horses and coworkers (while at Spectranetics), multiple 2-week, $2000+ public speaking courses, a $4,000 leadership training course with LTF, and multiple classes on leadership and management at Kettering University (minor in management). At this point in my life I have not come across anything as powerful as the Mental Fitness Challenge. I was honestly blown away at the $220 price tag. Perhaps what I like best about LIFE’s approach with the MFC is the idea of small bits of information, in multiple formats, presented over a reasonable amount of time by different personalities. This approach allowed me to dig deeper into the topics and implement them into my life before moving on to the next. It wasn’t about blasting me with information, but giving me bite size nuggets of information with which I can build positive habits into my life. After all, habits will determine where we go in life. If a self-development program isn’t designed to develop lasting habits, it isn’t worth any amount of money or time. The founders of LIFE, Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, Tim Marks, Bill Lewis, Claude Hamilton, George Guzzardo, and Dan Hawkins did a fantastic job in putting together a quality product designed to help people finally create the change in their life that they’ve always wanted.