I can't even count the number of times I've been told how lucky I am or how much of a miracle I am in the past year. People who don’t know me tell me this. Even people who know me well tell me this. I do appreciate the sentiment from people. But, is someone who gets Leukemia really lucky? Did I really survive due to a miracle? I’m going to share with you my thoughts on this and some of you will see it as being negative. I see it as telling the brutally honest truth of life.

There's no such thing as luck. People like to think there is, but I completely disagree. Usually the lucky people are the ones who work the hardest, believe in themselves and want it the most. So, if I don’t believe in luck, you can bet I don’t believe in miracles either. I've had people close to me sit down and tell me I was a miracle. They even somehow thought I was capable of creating miracles. Think about it this way. If I was capable of creating miracles, don’t you think I would have avoided the whole Leukemia thing to start with?

The reality is I was just the guy who got Leukemia. I wasn’t unlucky in getting it and I wasn’t lucky to live through it. Life is unpredictable. Life seems to be about statistics. Statistically people get Leukemia and statistically people live through Leukemia. Who lives and who dies? I have no idea how that is determined. All I know is someone has to make up the good and bad part of all statistics.

I've always been a real believer in the power of positive belief. Notice I didn’t say positive thought. A thought is an idea in my book and nothing more. A belief is something that you know to be true. I truly believed I was going to live. Now, did my positive belief alone keep me alive? Hell no. Many doctors, nurses, friends and relatives played a huge role in my living. They too, believed I could do it.

Where does the mind part from the title come into this? Without belief you're left with luck and miracles. Here's an example:

I had been struggling to walk a mile for a long time once I started my rehab. I had struggled with getting to the mile barrier for about four months. Then, I started to write my book. I had to look back at what I had been through while undergoing chemotherapy. After realizing all I had been through, I decided I could walk five miles. Within three weeks of making up my mind to do it, I walked the five miles.

The mind can really limit you when you let it. I had been letting my mind limit how far I could walk. My belief wasn’t there. But, once I got it in my head, the five miles came quickly. It was simply a matter of my believing I could do it. Once my mind had accepted that I could do it, my body followed along with my goal. How does this apply to your lifting?

I've seen many strong lifters who mentally were scared of big weights. Their bodies had the lift in them, but their mind didn’t. Dave Tate had joked with me that the only “miracle” he had ever seen from me was my 540 pound bench. Back then I had a raw bench of 405. A carryover of that much was unheard of back in 1998 with a bench shirt. The thing I remember about the 540 is I knew I could do it. No one else thought I could do it, but they didn’t matter. I knew in my mind I could bench 540 and I went out and did it on the platform.

What's my point? Luck and miracles won’t lift weights for you. You need to truly believe in your mind that you can do it. Once your mind accepts that you are capable of a PR lift, your body will comply. You need to have that belief. If you truly believe that your body can do something, your body will find a way to do it. You want to know what's holding back your lifting? It’s not your program, your equipment or even bad luck. It is your mind set. Do you have it in you to truly believe you can achieve that which you statistically shouldn’t? In other words, are you mentally strong enough to be as physically strong as you want to be?