According to Matt’s research, the people best equipped to deal with a setback are people who have a realistic grasp of their situation. There is always a physical aspect to a comeback, but it is the mental fitness that allows people to engage in the activities to get themselves back on track when things are hard and challenging. Untrarealist live in the moment of where they are at and put aside where they have been in the past or long for where they want to be in the future. You are who you are in that moment which allows you to control the choices you are going to make for the future.
There are three main approaches that derail people from being ultrarealists: panic, catastrophizing and denial. These three mindsets allow the situation to take control by becoming “lizard brained” and not thinking well, believing things are worse than what they are and pretending that the problem doesn’t exist at all. Giving up your ability to make choices to change your situation will keep you stuck where you are at and make you feel powerless.
One of the biggest things that Matt writes about being able to help you think like an utrarealist is to practice mindfulness. There are many ways to do this, but in the book he explores the stories of Siddhartha Gautama (later to be known as the Buddha), Zeno of Citium, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Percy Cerutty. Buddha popularized mindfulness meditation, Zeno is said to have created Stoicism, Emerson championed transcendtalism and Cerutty created a coaching and training philosophy for runners in Australia in the early 20th century called Stotanism. The common thread for them all in a nutshell, is to be in the moment and change your mind to fit reality instead of trying to change reality to fit your mind and that moving towards hard things is the path to improving your mental fitness. I have always said to my sons that life doesn’t move in a straight line. It dips, turns, zigs and zags on your way from Point A to Point B in your journey of life. Coming to the realization that setbacks, detours and derailments is the normal and expected path and allowing yourself to be in the exact place on your individual path and no where else is an anchoring component of mental fitness and being an ultrarealist.