13 Things Mentally Strong People Do


mentally strong brainTurning your brain from don’t to do can be a challenging but rewarding process.

LifeHack posted an article a little while ago called “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do“, which I quite liked (Edit: Update – I’ve since been advised that Amy Morin wrote this article first appearing on her site, AmyMorinLCSW.com – thanks Amy!)

In a discussion (albeit brief – but a discussion nonetheless) on LinkedIn with Grant Herbert we agreed that while the content of the article was great, it could possibly be more useful if recreated in a way that framed the points as positives (that is – “dos”) rather than negatives (don’ts).

Rather than stick with theory without demonstrating how we might do it, I thought I would have a go at re-writing those tips as positives rather than negatives.  Have a read of the original article and then see what you think of my attempt at re-framing the points.  I admit it was harder than I thought, but hopefully I captured the essence of the tips in a positive way.

The point of the exercise is to show how just changing the direction of your thinking can have a dramatic impact on what your mind focuses upon.

Here is my take on 13 Things Mentally Strong People Do.

1.Learn and Grow

Mentally strong people take their experiences and learn from them.  They use setbacks as an opportunity to grow themselves and others and to renew their energy to achieve the goal that they set.

2. Act without reacting

Accept that the way we respond to external stimulus is entirely up to us.  Our emotions are our own, and so our anger, resentment, bitterness and the like are all capable of of control, irrespective of what confronts us in our day.

3. Embrace Change

Welcome positive change and be prepared to be flexible.  Understand that change is inevitable and believe in your ability to adapt (NB – the original article had this basically in this format already).

4. Know your Circle of Influence

Mentally Strong people know what they can influence, and devote their efforts towards positive change within their circle of influence.

5. Do What is Right

Hear other opinions and weigh them up.  Listen to people and understand what they are saying, and their motivation in saying it.  Ultimately though make your own decision about what is the right course of action and take it.

6. Weigh Risk versus Reward

Risk is a component of growth.  Every action comes with risk and mentally strong people factor that in to their decision making.   Sometimes they jump, and sometimes they don’t.

7.  Onward and Upward

Mentally Strong People understand that today is today.  Their circle of influence extends to what they do now, and how they plan for the future.  They remain flexible in their plans and learn from the past without it dictating the future.

8. Always Learning

Embracing change, taking risk and moving forward will involve mistakes.  Mentally strong people take the steps needed to make the next project better than the last one.

9. Joy in Others Success

Mentally strong people take genuine appreciation and joy in the success of others, knowing that it is usually the result of hard work and devoted time to a course of action.  They use that success to invigorate and energize their own efforts to succeed.

10.  Keep On Truckin’

Bumps in the road do not slow down a Long Haul Truck.  It keeps going until it reaches the destination, irrespective of the obstacles in the road.

11. Silence is Golden

Mentally strong people enjoy time alone, and use it productively as mental and spiritual renewal.

12. Work for what you Want

Look for chances to achieve your goals.  Set them wisely and take hold of opportunities.  Accept that you will need to devote time and energy to get what it is that you aspire for.  Then go for it!

13.  Patience is a Virtue

Understand that working towards a grand goal will take time.  Energy and zeal allow you to devote your continued efforts to your project, and to stay the course for as long as is needed.


Well – that’s my attempt at turning some good tips framed into the negative into good tips (hopefully) framed in the positive.

Look forward to your feedback!