(The following excerpt from The 9 Essential Habits Of Mentally Strong People by Carolyn Gregoire recently appeared on huffingtonpost.com. To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)
In 1914, Thomas Edison’s lab burned down, and years’ worth of his work was destroyed. This could easily be described as the worst thing to happen to Edison, but the inventor instead chose to see it as an energizing opportunity that forced him to rebuild and re-examine much of his work. Edison reportedly said at the time: “Thank goodness all our mistakes were burned up. Now we can start again fresh.”
“In a world that we don’t control, tolerance is obviously an asset,” Ryan Holiday, author of the forthcoming The Obstacle Is The Way, told The Huffington Post. “But the ability to find energy and power from what we don’t control is an immense competitive advantage.”
He’s talking about mental strength, a difficult-to-define psychological concept that encompasses emotional intelligence, grit, resilience, self-control, mental toughness and mindfulness. It’s something that Edison had in spades, and it’s the reason that some people are able to overcome any obstacle, while others crumble at life’s daily challenges and frustrations.
The ability to cope with difficult emotions and situations is a significant predictor of our success and happiness. The most capable individuals in this way are able to turn any obstacle into a source of growth and opportunity. And while much has been made of what mentally strong people avoid doing — things like dwelling on the past, resenting the success of others and feeling sorry for themselves — what do they actually do? What tactics do they use to overcome adversity time and time again?
“Things that we think are obstacles are actually opportunities to do something,” says Holiday. “[To] be rewarded in some way that we never would have expected, provided that we address and don’t shirk from that obstacle.”
Here are 9 essential habits and practices of mentally strong people that can help you get through any challenge or hardship.
They see things objectively.
They let go of entitlement.
They keep an even keel.
They don’t aspire to be happy all the time.
They’re realistic optimists.
They live in the present moment.
They’re persistent in the pursuit of their goals.
But they know when it’s time to let go.
They love their lives.