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14 Things Mentally Strong People Do Differently To Be More Successful

14 Things Mentally Strong People Do Differently To Be More Successful

We’ve all had our moments in life when we feel like we just can’t take it anymore. Life gets us down. We feel beaten, broken, and like there’s no way out. But what is the difference between the people who can turn it around and make lemonade out of lemons? It all lies in how you think. If you are mentally strong, you can be happy in many different situations. If you want to be one of those people, here are 14 things that they do in order to be successful:

1. They control their emotions.

Mentally strong people don’t let their emotions control them. That’s not to say that they don’t have emotions. They do. They just don’t let them overwhelm them in any given situation. They have the ability to step outside themselves and put their logical side in the driver’s seat, while keeping the emotional part of themselves on the passenger’s side.

2. They re-frame the situation.

Instead of looking at obstacles as problems, mentally strong people see them as learning opportunities. They don’t see tragedy, they see triumph. They realize things could always be worse. They know that other people are worse off than them. So they immediately (or eventually) re-frame the situation in more positive terms.

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3. They stay calm.

If they are facing a crisis, they don’t freak out for very long. For example, if they find out that they are going to be laid off from their job, they don’t sink into a deep depression or start crying and screaming about it. They simply breathe, center themselves, and decide that everything will turn out fine. Then they take action immediately to solve the problem (like starting to apply to new jobs).

4. They accept things they can’t change.

You have to pay taxes. You can’t change that. You have to pay your mortgage if you want to keep your house. You can’t change that. You have to get along with your spouse or co-workers. And you can’t change them. So all you can do is accept the things you can’t change. That’s what mentally strong people do. They know the difference between what they can and can’t change. And they simply accept it because to do otherwise would only be putting more negative energy into the situation.

5. They appreciate what they have.

I know a lot of people who have absolutely wonderful lives but the do nothing but complain about what they don’t have. Mentally strong people don’t do that. They know they are lucky. They look at what they do have and give regular thanks and appreciation for it all. The emotion of appreciation has one of the highest vibrations, and it brings more goodness into your life.

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6. They don’t dwell on the negatives.

Instead of seeing the glass as half empty or even half full, mentally strong people see the glass as always full – half liquid and half air. They focus on solutions. For example, if they have marriage problems, they focus on what they love about their spouse, not what they don’t. Then they work with the other person to find solutions.

7. They take personal responsibility for their thoughts and actions.

If something goes wrong in their life, they don’t point the finger at other people. Mentally strong people know that they are the only ones who are in charge of their successes or failures. They never see themselves as a victim.

8. They love themselves.

A lot of people think that self-love is the same as being conceited or having a big ego. That is far from the truth. People who truly love themselves don’t go around telling others how great they are because they don’t have to. People already know they are awesome because they see their greatness. And mentally strong people love themselves and believe they are capable of doing anything.

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9. They learn from the past.

Many people like to put their heads in the sand and ignore the past – especially when it is painful looking back. But mentally strong people know that their past has made them into who they are today. They look at what did and didn’t work in the past, and they do it better in the future. As Maya Angelou says, “When you know better, you do better.” Mentally strong people don’t see the past in terms of ‘mistakes’ or ‘failures,’ they see these things as ‘lessons learned.’

10. They change what they can.

As I said in point 4, some things you can’t change. But most of the things in life are changeable. So if a mentally strong person doesn’t like their job, they look for a new one. If their relationships aren’t up to par, they talk to the person so they can work on it. They don’t settle for being stagnant. They keep moving forward by implementing positive change.

11. They are self-reflective.

Mentally strong people continually examine themselves to understand why they are the way they are. It’s a skill that can be developed by almost anyone, but mentally strong people have mastered it. They know who they are and how their behavior is affecting their life and their relationships. You can’t change what you don’t recognize, and they know that.

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12. They have self-discipline.

Sure, we all have things we dislike doing. But while many people go into avoidance or procrastination mode, mentally strong people train their minds to do what they need to do. They don’t shy away from taking actions that might not be pleasurable if they need to be done. They welcome the challenge and hold themselves accountable.

13. They don’t get jealous of other people.

The ‘Green-Eyed Monster’ can be a terrible thing. Many people are constantly comparing themselves to others and thinking they are inferior. People who are mentally strong don’t do that. They appreciate what they have and realize that everyone is different. Everyone has their own path. They celebrate everyone’s success – including their own.

14. They keep going.

Mentally strong people never give up. They never see themselves as a failure. If things aren’t going according to plan, they just make a new plan. They don’t get stuck. They are always moving forward toward making a better future.

If you think you’re not mentally strong, don’t worry. You can get there. All it takes is the desire to actually do it. And practice. But it can be done. So make a decision right now that you not only can – but will – become mentally strong.

To your success!!!

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The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

“You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

What is the productivity paradox?

There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

He wrote in his conclusion:

“Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

How do we measure productivity anyway?

And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

Possible causes of the productivity paradox

Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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  • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
  • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
  • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
  • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

The paradox and the recession

The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

“Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

Looking forward

A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

“Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

“Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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