I often write about the things I believe we all should be doing, trying or experimenting with in order to maximize our success and happiness. However, it’s not always the things we do that make the biggest difference in our lives; it’s often the things we avoid doing that have the biggest effect. As human beings, we have a strong aversion to not doing; we feel that in order to produce results, there must be an initial action.
However, because we are almost always doing something, piling on more and more often has a negative effect, rather than a positive one. Among the mentally strong, there are several actions that are avoided in order to produce the greatest benefit in the shortest period of time.
These actions are those that the mentally strong avoid, and that we should consider adapting as our own:
1. Dwelling On The Past
Mentally strong individuals focus on the present moment and on the near future. They understand that the past is out of our control and the far future is about as predictable as the weather this winter.
2. Remaining In Their Comfort Zone
The comfort zone is a dangerous place, a dark abyss where anyone who remains there for too long loses his or herself entirely. Staying within your comfort zone is giving up on life.
3. Not Listening To The Opinions Of Others
Only the foolish believe themselves to be sufficient in all regards. When it comes to brainstorming, ideas can’t so much be forced as they can be caught. A good idea is a good idea, regardless of whether or not you came up with it. Don’t let your ego get the better of you; if someone has great advice to give, take it.
4. Avoiding Change
What the mentally strong understand that the mentally weak do not is that change is unavoidable. Trying to avoid the inevitable is pointless. Therefore, trying to avoid change is pointless; it's a mere waste of time and energy.
5. Keeping A Closed Mind
You don’t know everything. Even the things you believe yourself to know are likely to not be entirely true. If you keep a closed mind, you are preventing yourself from learning new material. If you stop learning, you stop living.
6. Letting Others Make Decisions For Them
Only you should be making your own decisions; you can’t allow others to make them for you. All this does is shift the responsibility from you to someone else, but the only person failing in the end is you. If you don’t have the courage to fail, then you don’t have the courage to succeed.
7. Getting Jealous Over The Successes Of Others
When others succeed, you should be happy. If they can do it, so can you. The success of others does not, in any way, lessen the chances of you succeeding. If anything, it should motivate you to keep pushing forward.
8. Thinking About The High Possibility Of Failure
Our thoughts control our perspective; our perspective controls our results. The mentally strong understand this and use this to their advantage. There’s always the chance you may fail, but as long as there is the chance you may succeed, it’s worth trying.
9. Feeling Sorry For Themselves
Sh*t happens. Life can be hard. People get hurt; others die. Life isn’t all roses and butterflies. You will fall off that horse again and again and again. The question is, are you strong enough to keep getting back on it?
10. Focusing On Their Weaknesses
Although working on our weaknesses does have its benefits, it’s more important to focus on banking on our strengths. The most well-rounded person is not the person that gets the furthest in life. Being average in all regards makes you average. However, mastering a certain skillset or trait will allow you to beat the competition with less effort.
11. Trying To Please People
A job well done is a job well done, no matter who is judging the final product. You can’t please everybody, but you can always manage to do your very best.
12. Blaming Themselves For Things Outside Their Control
The mentally strong know the things they can control, understand the things they cannot control, and avoid even thinking about that which is completely out of their hands.
13. Being Impatient
Patience isn’t just a virtue; it is the virtue. Most people don’t fail because they aren’t good enough, or aren’t capable of winning or succeeding. Most people fail because they are impatient and give up before their time has come.
14. Being Misunderstood
Communication is key in any properly functioning system. When it comes to people, things get a bit more complicated. Simply stating information is never enough; if the receiving party misunderstands you, your message is not being properly relayed. The mentally strong do their best to be understood and have the patience to clear up misunderstandings.
15. Feeling Like You’re Owed
You aren’t owed anything in life. You were born; the rest is up to you. Life doesn’t owe you anything. Others don’t owe you anything. If you want something in life, you only owe it to yourself to go out and get it. In life, there are no handouts.
16. Repeating Mistakes
Make a mistake once, okay. Make a mistake twice… not so okay. Make the same mistake a third time, you may need to consider giving up alcohol and drugs. You’re either stupid or permanently high.
17. Giving Into Their Fears
The world can be a scary place. Some things frighten us with good cause, but most of our fears are illogical. If you know that you want to try something, try it. If you’re scared, then understand that being scared of failing must mean that succeeding means a whole lot to you.
18. Acting Without Calculating
The mentally strong know better than to act before completely understanding the situation at hand. If you have time to ponder over something and cover all your bases, then do so. Not doing so is pure laziness.
19. Refusing Help From Others
You’re not Superman; you can’t do it all. Even if you can, why should you? If others are offering to help, let them help. Be social. Listen to their ideas and watch how they do things. You may learn something. If not, then you can teach them something and do what humans are meant to do: socialize.
20. Throwing In The Towel
The biggest weakness in all of humanity is giving up -- calling it quits, throwing in the towel. The mentally strong go about things in such a way. Only do things if they are important to you; forget the things that aren’t important to you. If they’re important to you, then pursue them until you succeed. No exceptions, ever.
Photo credit: Netflix/House Of Cards