Mike's Common Sense
When I was in high school, I was a wrestler. Practices were long and hard. The endurance that these practices built up, were both for physical, and mental endurance. After dragging your jock-strap off the mat after a few of these practices, if you didn't quit wrestling altogether, you knew you could handle the last minute of the third period.
When I was in the Marines Officer Candidate School, the mental conditioning was much more rigorous than the physical. The Marines were not about to turn the resposibility for a company of men, over to someone who would fold up under fire.
So it goes for any rigorous endeavor, the mind has to be trained, at least as hard as the body. No matter how physically strong you are, it doesn't mean a thing, if the mind is not strong enough to push it when it is truly needed.
In today's tough, ever changing world, a strong mind, and firm will, are more necessary than ever.
Self motivation, and discipline are also needed if one wishes to grow spiritually.
Few people realize this, but living, and coping in our rough and tumble world, is actually building character, and making us mentally stronger, preparing us for the day when each one of us will become a spiritual teacher, guardian, or way shower. Just as the Marines won't give command to someone who will fail his men in battle, God will not entrust the growth of souls to someone who has not passed the trials themselves.
If your life just seems to go from one crises to another, in a seeming endless string of challenges; rest assured you are being prepared, forged under fire for greatness.