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6 Qualities To Create Insane Mental Strength

6 Qualities To Create Insane Mental Strength
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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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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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