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6 Qualities To Create Insane Mental Strength

6 Qualities To Create Insane Mental Strength

Believe it or not, it takes more than the gift of intelligence to be successful in life. Even those who were lucky enough to be born with a special gift have to actually do work in order to put that gift to good use. Regardless of how gifted you are, you can find success on your own terms by developing mental toughness. Mental strength helps you push forward beyond your natural intelligence. Those who have the will to survive and keep pushing will certainly end up being more successful than those who were born into a talented body but do nothing with it.

1. Develop emotional intelligence

As children, we experience a wide range of emotions, and often have no idea why we feel the way we do. As we grow older, it’s important that we begin to acknowledge our feelings, and discover exactly what makes us happy, sad, angry, or upset. When a person is able to harness his emotions into mental strength and change a negative mood into a positive one with a few quick switches, he’ll be on the path to true success.

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2. Be confident

You can have all the talent in the world and still get absolutely nowhere if you don’t have confidence in your abilities. In The Matrix, Morpheus tells Neo: “Don’t think you can; know you can.” Confidence isn’t something you can fake; people will see right through it. But if you have faith in not only your abilities, but in the knowledge that you’ve put in the effort required to succeed, your mental strength will radiate from you wherever you go.

3. Embrace failure

Of course, you won’t succeed every time you set out to do something. But failure is not the end of the world. In fact, most of the time you can learn more from failing than you can from succeeding. Picture yourself getting a math test back after your teacher has graded it: If you earned a 100%, there’s nothing more you can learn about that specific topic (at least as far as the class goes). However, if you got only 50% of the questions right, there’s still a lot to learn. Although a 50% is a failing grade, that does not mean you’re a total failure; you can always learn what you haven’t already.

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4. Don’t dwell but still reflect

If you don’t reflect on your past mistakes, you won’t learn anything. And you certainly won’t continue to grow if you keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Figure out what went wrong, and do everything in your power to correct these missteps. In the case of the math test: Did you not study enough? Did you study the wrong information? Did you stay up too late the night before? Once you pinpoint the exact moments that led to your downfall, you’re in a great position to fix them. It will take work, but it will be worth it the next time a similar situation arises.

5. Don’t hold back

Once you embrace the idea that failure is simply a stepping stone toward success, you won’t fear it as much. You’ll start taking chances where you would have held back in the past. Instead of wondering “What if I screw up?” you’ll think “What if I never try?” In almost all cases, it’s better to have tried and messed up than to have simply given up in the first place. You’ll always regret the things you never tried in life, so do as much as possible while you have the chance.

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6. Stay positive

Of course, being mentally tough means you have an overall positive outlook on life. This requires some work on your part. You definitely need to cut toxic friends out of your life; they only breed negativity, and will hold you back from your true potential. When things aren’t going your way, you can’t crawl into bed and wait for the problem to pass; it won’t. You have to face it, and treat every moment of your life as it is: a learning experience.

Featured photo credit: Malay Mail Big Walk – amrufm via farm1.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on September 11, 2019

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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  • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
  • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
  • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
  • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

Benefits of Using a To-Do List

However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

  • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
  • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
  • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
  • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
  • You feel more organized.
  • It helps you with planning.

4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

1. Categorize

Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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2. Add Estimations

You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

3. Prioritize

To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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  • Important and urgent
  • Not urgent but important
  • Not important but urgent
  • Not important or urgent

You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

4.  Review

To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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Bottom Line

So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

To your success!

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Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

Reference

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