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Toughness: An Acquired Trait

 When asked to characterize toughness, people will give you a lot of answers. Is a football player tougher than a baseball player? Or is a father of two physically challenged children tougher than both? What is toughness? We won't waste time trying to define it. We can instinctually discern toughness within others. However, how does one acquire this trait, if possible? In truth, toughness is not an genetic predisposition but rather a learned characteristic. The events in your life, the way you treat others and are treated by others, your lifestyle, your economic well being and your interests - these are all relevant variables in how "tough" your character may or may not be. There are several common characteristics that psychologists observe in individuals who are respected and regarded as being "tough". Performance psychologist James E. Loehr, author of the book "The New Toughness Training For Sports" (Penguin, 1994) notes one specific characteristic o