What Mentally Strong People Are Doing Right
Sorry to start with the bad news. Mental strength, a key success factor, which is also required urgently in times like this, is not a human emotion. It is also not hereditary.
Now, the good news! We all can develop mental strength. It is not the monopoly of anyone.
After last week’s piece on what mentally strong people do not do, I suspected I would be pushed to do this by some readers: what mentally strong people are doing right.
So, here we are. I have carefully collected, from various sources, the essential attributes of remarkably successfully people around the world. The following are common to them:
Keep Walking: They never give up on their dreams. No pity parties; and as I often tell people, they don’t make any attempt to write a book of lamentations. Rather than waste precious time lamenting, and getting yourself depressed, count your blessings. Yes, many people your age or much younger have made it, but a far greater number of people are struggling. Some have even not been lucky enough to be alive. They died at a much younger age.
So as the experts advise, take a second every night before you turn out the light and, in that moment, quit worrying about what you don’t have. Quit worrying about what others have that you don’t.
Think about your achievements or what you do have. You have a lot to be thankful for. Feeling better about yourself is the best way of all to recharge your mental batteries.
The past as valuable training and nothing more: The past is valuable. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the mistakes of others. Then let it go and keep walking towards your dream.
When something bad happens to you, see it as an opportunity to learn something you didn’t know. The past is just training; it doesn’t define you. Think about what went wrong but only in terms of how you will make sure that next time, you and the people around you will know how to make sure it goes right.
Be resilient: Truly successful people bounce back under the worst circumstances. In psychological terms, resilience is an individual’s ability to properly adapt to stress and adversity. Stress and adversity can come in the shape of family or relationship problems, health problem, or workplace and financial stressors, or failure at a task.
Resilience can be learned and developed by virtually anyone. There is a common misconception that people who are resilient experience no negative emotions or thoughts and display optimism in all situations. The truth is that that resiliency is demonstrated within individuals who can effectively navigate their way around crises or cope effectively.
People-pleasers: Most people live their lives pleasing others rather than believing in themselves to live their dreams. People-pleasers tend to live the dreams of others, rather than their own dreams they are wired and gifted to achieve.
Don’t put things off: Do it now! So often we have a list of things and slide it to the other side of our desk and say, “I’ll do this later.” Then something else hits your desk and your other list is completely forgotten. When you have a list, start chipping away at it right away and get it off your plate so you have room for more.
Total control: It is popular practice for people to pray for their needs/wishes and pray their challenges away. While not discounting the power of divine intervention, the holy books do not tolerate indolence and procrastination.
Popular pastor, T. D Jakes advises that we don’t seek magical divine intervention for physical issues. When you overwork yourself, you will be tired. You can’t pray that away. I like this too: a quote often credited to Ignatius: “Pray as if God will take care of all; act as if all is up to you.”
The same applies to luck. Many people feel luck has a lot to do with success or failure. If they succeed, luck favored them, and if they fail, luck was against them.
Most successful people do feel good luck played some role in their success. But they don’t wait for good luck or worry about bad luck. They act as if success or failure is totally within their control. If they succeed, they caused it. If they fail, they caused it.
By not wasting mental energy worrying about what might happen to you, you can put all your effort into making things happen.
A beautiful quote credited to Globacom CEO, Mike Adenuga, is that “the harder you work, the luckier you become.” People, who have read about his sojourn in the United States during his student days, know he didn’t just run into wealth. You can’t control luck, but you can definitely control you.
Put aside things you have no ability to impact: Mental strength is like muscle strength–no one has an unlimited supply. So why waste your power on things you can’t control? Be your own change–but don’t try to make everyone else change.