It’s easy enough to build our muscles through deliberate exercise. The same is true for our inner strength, though the means are different.

Eugen Sandow is considered by many to be the father of modern bodybuilding. He did not have the rippling muscles you will find on today’s champions. But, he had clarity of purpose and created a field where one did not exist. His method? He concentrated on “giving each individual muscle a movement, and of so arranging the form of the exercises that when some muscles are brought into play others are relaxed and left without strain.”

In other words, he isolated the muscles he wanted to develop and worked them while other muscles were relaxed.

Applying this to inner strength, it is helpful to choose the attributes you want to develop and pay focused attention to them while allowing other aspects of inner strength to relax. In other words, don’t try and do everything all at once.

Some of the qualities of inner strength are compassion, self-esteem, resilience, and renewal. Is there one that speaks to you now? Focus on one of these by welcoming circumstances that challenge your ability, not too much but not too little. Enough that you must exert concentrated effort to see results. Then, when your exertion is complete, give yourself time to rest, recuperate.

“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways – either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.” – Dalai Lama