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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 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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