Build Your Mindset Muscle with JJ Virgin
JJ Virgin knows that life can throw some pretty hard curve balls, but guess what? You can build your mindset muscle to be strong and resilient so that you can always be ready to face any challenge head on.
As a celebrity nutrition and fitness expert, JJ teaches clients how to lose weight and master their mindset so they can lead bigger, better lives. She is author of four New York Times bestsellers, including The Virgin Diet, and her new memoir, Miracle Mindset.
JJ believes that your life is either growing or going, and you have to continue to build your mindset or else it will limit your ability to succeed in life.
About that curve ball that JJ experienced? Her son Grant was the victim of a brutal hit-and-run accident, an experience that forever changed their lives — but for the better, she says. Her mindset muscle was put to the test, and her family thrived despite the painful difficulty of helping Grant overcome a traumatic brain injury.
The Day Everything Changed for JJ Virgin
The story of that fateful day is riveting. JJ shares what happened in her own words:
“My son was the victim of a hit and run, left for dead in the street at 16 and we overruled the doctors at the hospital to get him the help he needed to save his life. It was the start of a long four-and-a-half year process.
“My son is bipolar and he wasn't having a good day. He wanted to go to martial arts, but he hadn't gone to school, so I told him that he couldn't go. He stomped out of the house and said, ‘Mom, I'm not as strong as you think I am.’ He crossed a couple of streets and got hit by a car going about 40 miles per hour. It was a hit and run. The woman got out of her car and saw him, then gasped and drove off.
“Fortunately a neighbor saw it and called 911. He was airlifted to the hospital. When we got there, we were told that he had a torn aorta, which kills about 90 percent of people on the scene. It was going to rupture in the next 24 hours and that would kill him. But they couldn't do the surgery that they needed at that hospital because it was a very specialized surgery and he was in a deep coma.
“We had a ticking time bomb where we had to get him fixed, but he was super unstable, plus he had 13 fractures.
“The doctors said you can't airlift him because he's never going to survive the flight. And even if he was to survive the airlift, he's not going to survive the surgery. And even if in some way he was able to survive both of those, he'd be so brain damaged that it wouldn't be worth it.
“My younger son, who was 15 at the time, looked at that doctor and says, ‘So like a 0.25 chance.’ And the doctor says, ‘That's right, son.’ And my son says, ‘We'll take those odds.’
“We overruled the doctors and got him to the other hospital, which had an amazing team there. One doctor accepted the case and in the middle of the night, assembled five different surgical teams. Talk about a miracle mindset, he walks up to me and says, ‘I got this. Don't worry, I can fix him.’
“We saw the neurosurgeons and they didn't think he would ever wake up. I couldn't listen to them. We stood in the ICU and told Grant that he was a warrior, and that's what his name means. We were all in this together, fighting for him and he was going to be 110 percent. And this would be the best thing that ever happened to him and us.
“I was scared to death and I know that this was a ridiculous thing to say. But it was scary, dark, bleak and I needed some big stretch goal to hold on to and to fight for. I wasn't going to fight for him to just pull through the surgery — I was going to fight for a way bigger life for him.”
Stepping into the Miracle Mindset
When I heard this life-changing story, I realized that JJ had to pull from deep within herself to have the courage to help Grant heal. Where did this strength come from?
JJ shares that if you believe that your mindset is a muscle, you need to continuously expand and grow it. We all will face challenges in life, from divorce to bankruptcy to life-threatening illnesses, but we don’t have to go through these situations unprepared.
By adopting a miracle mindset, you create healthy habits for thriving through life’s challenges.
“The people who inspire me the most are those who have gone through challenges and stepped up,” says JJ. “And they tend to be the happiest people and the most successful people. That's what the resilience studies show.”
So how do you use the miracle mindset?
You need to start developing the following miracle mindset strategies now so that they become healthy daily habits. When a challenge comes your way, you’ll instinctively practice these positive habits:
- Ask for help. Send an SOS out to your support system for resources to help you through the crisis.
- Take action. You can make decisions even though you’re scared.
- Think abundantly for a good outcome. JJ wanted Grant to be 110 percent well, and she actively strives for that goal.
- Be courageous even when you're scared. You are strong and you can do this.
- Be resilient. You can find a way through anything.
- Be present and listen to your inner self. Self-care is critical during challenges.
- Show gratitude. Every day, write down three things you feel grateful for in your life.
You’ll want to create these habits now as a part of your daily life. It's difficult to create new habits during times of chaos.
Now age 21, Grant is thriving by creating art and taking on an ambitious backyard hydroponic gardening project. And he continues to research ways to heal his brain, from biofeedback to stem cells to meditation.
Brain injury is a silent epidemic because you look fine, but you may be experiencing depression, anxiety and even rage. But luckily, these things can be managed in many different ways. Your mindset is the key to healing for any life challenge, giving you the strength to move ahead every day.