Here is a story of Frank and Chris. Frank was an internet fraudster. He had made over $300,000 scamming people over the internet. When he was finally caught and asked why he resorting to crime, his response was, “I graduated with a first class degree but there are no jobs for graduates. No one was willing to help me. I had to survive. That was why I resorted to internet fraud”
This may seem like a genuine reason for some people until you hear Chris’s story.
Chris runs a successful technology company with about 25 employees. His business generates over $300,000 in annual revenue. When asked how he came about his business, his response was, “I graduated with a first class degree but could not get a job within the first few years. I took responsibility to survive. So I learned to code and took up freelance jobs as a software developer. My software company grew from there.”
From these two short stories, you can see that the same circumstances lead both Frank and Chris to take opposite paths. If you ask an average criminal and a successful people how they ended up where they are, most often, you will find that what motivated them are usually similar circumstances.
So why do some people make positive decisions while other make negative decisions in the face of adversity? This is usually because of their level of mental toughness. Just as physically strong people can lift heavier weight than averagely built people. Mentally strong people make better and smarter decisions in the face of adversity.
You may be asking yourself, “am I a mentally strong person?”, “How do I know if I am mentally strong?” In today’s video, I’ll share with you 10 signs that show you are a mentally strong person. Before we get to it, be sure to subscribe to After School Africa for more insightful video like this.
- You Don’t Expect Immediate Results
It is scientifically proven that children who can delay gratification are more likely to become successful when they grow up than those who can’t. In a world of fast results, where people are not willing to stay and make relationships work, or finish what they start, mental toughness demands perseverance, patience and discipline.
Whether they are working on improving their health, raising a family or getting a new business off the ground, mentally strong people don’t expect immediate results. They understand that great things take time to build. Instead, they focus on daily efforts to apply their skills and time productively because they understand that real impact takes consistent effort.
- You Don’t Waste Energy on Things You Can’t Control
Let’s say you have tried your best to get a job, but the job is not forth coming. You can decide to blame the system for being hostile to job seekers. And then waste your energy complaining about the government for refusing to create jobs. The problem is that these are things that you cannot control. If your government is bad, you can’t really do anything about it while you are still struggling to meet your basic needs.
A mentally tough person will rather accept that may be there is something he or she is not doing right. May be there are skills he needs to develop or that she needs to work on her networking skills. Or maybe they haven’t been good with managing their finances. These are things that you can control. Mentally strong people recognize that in most circumstances, the only thing they can control is their attitude.
- You Appreciate Alone Time
In our ever busy life of hustle and bustle, most people barely take time alone to process how meaningful their life pursuit has been. They live their lives on autopilot and wear busyness like a badge of honor. Mentally strong people know that busyness does not equate productivity. They understand the value of taking time off their busy schedule to reflect on their life goals, and decisions.
Spending quality time alone sparks creativity; it builds independence and help reduce stress and anxiety, if done right. It allows you to reflect on your lives decisions and to have discussions with yourself. It is important to note that being alone and feeling alone are two different things. Mentally strong people are comfortable being alone with their thoughts. They aren’t afraid of their own company and aren’t always dependent on others for companionship and entertainment.
- You Don’t Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Yourself
The difference between people who live ordinary lives and people who live extraordinary life in a chaotic world is how mentally strong they are. Life is tough and the bulk of life’s struggle is dealt mentally. It takes mental strength to endure the tough and rigorous demands of being a grown-up. It takes mental strength to learn to dance in the rain, rather than waiting for the storm to calm. It takes mental strength to make the tough decisions that you know are for your own good.
While people like Frank give the reason for the live they choose hoping to appeal to people’s emotions, mentally tough people like Chris don’t sit around feeling sorry about their circumstances or how others have treated them. Instead, they take responsibility for their role in life and understand that life isn’t always easy or fair. Mentally strong people don’t waste time looking for people to understand and feel pity for them. They accept life for what it is and take positive steps to better their life.
- You Don’t Resent Other People’s Success
Do you believe rich people are bad? Do you resent other people’s success and wish they were yours? These are not attributes of mentally strong people. Instead they appreciate, celebrate and are challenged by other people’s success in life. They don’t grow jealous or feel cheated when others surpass them. Instead, they recognize that success comes with hard work, and are willing to keep working hard for their own chance at success.
- You Don’t Worry About Pleasing Everyone
Often times, young people resort to negative lifestyle just to please their friends or peers. Even when such people make comments like, “I don’t care what people think about me”, they are actually conforming and trying to please another group of ‘woke’ people.
According to Mahatma Gandhi “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony”. Mentally tough people don’t ignore their inner voice, even when it is contrary to what people around expect of them. They recognize that they cannot please everyone all the time. And they’re not afraid to say no and stay true to their purpose.
- You Are Comfortable Taking Calculated Risks
There is a difference between taking calculated risk and taking reckless or foolish risk. Resorting to a life of crime is a reckless risk. The consequences of being caught usually outweigh the momentary gratification. Deciding to keep aside your excellent academic qualification to start learning a new skill and building a business takes calculated risk. Your business may fail or success, but it’s a risk worth taking. Mentally strong people spend time weighing the risks and benefits before making a big decision, and they’re fully informed of the potential downsides and profit before they take action.
- You Don’t Dwell on the Past
“If only I had rich parents.” “If only I had studied a different course”, “If only I was not abused” With all due respect to people who have suffered one form of abuse or the other, but these are not statements you hear from mentally strong people. Bad things happen to good people. There are things we cannot change; the chief of them is your past.
Mentally strong people don’t waste time dwelling on the past and wishing things could have be different. They acknowledge their past and take what they can learn from it. However, they don’t constantly relive bad experiences or fantasize about the glory days. Instead, they live for the present, and make decisions with the future in mind.
In conclusion, mentally strong people don’t wait for life to happen to them. They go out and create the life they want regardless of the circumstance they find themselves. Before you decide to make a negative decision because of your life experience, remember that someone somewhere going through a similar experience is making a decision to stand firm and stay strong. If you found this video helpful, we’ll appreciate if you’ll like and share it with someone. If you are yet to subscribe to After School Africa, now is a good time to hit the subscribe button. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!