“13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do” ~ a Book Review

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I picked up Amy Morin’s book because of the title, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do. I bought it because of the dedication on the first page, “To all who strive to become better today than they were yesterday.” I do believe living an elegant life includes a desire to be our best, and it all starts in our minds.

Morin, a licensed clinical social worker, college psychology instructor, and psychotherapist, published 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do in 2014. It’s a book I take from my shelf time and again. Sometimes I just need a quick reminder of the thirteen don’ts. Other times, I settle in for a deep-dive into one of the lessons. (I’ve practically memorized Chapter 5; the struggle is real!)  

The 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do ~

  1. They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves.
  2. They don’t give away their power.
  3. They don’t shy away from change.
  4. They don’t focus on things they can’t control.
  5. They don’t worry about pleasing everyone.
  6. They don’t fear taking calculated risks.
  7. They don’t dwell on the past.
  8. They don’t make the same mistakes over and over.
  9. They don’t resent other people’s success.
  10. They don’t give up after the first failure
  11. They don’t fear alone time.
  12. They don’t feel the world owes them anything.
  13. They don’t expect immediate results. 

Each chapter fully examines the idea and gives strategies for developing more positive thoughts and behavior in everyday situations. In the conclusion, Morin writes that mental strength isn’t about being the best at everything, earning the most money, or achieving the biggest accomplishments.

“Instead, developing mental strength means knowing that you’ll be okay no matter what happens,” she writes. “When you become mentally strong, you will be your best self, have the courage to do what’s right, and develop a true comfort with who you are and what you are capable of achieving.” §

“Developing mental strength is about improving your ability to regulate your emotions, manage your thoughts, and behave in a positive manner, despite your circumstances.”
~Amy Morin

 

The Elegance of New Year Intentions

I gave up on making new year’s resolutions. For several years, I’ve instead adopted a word of intention for the new year. The idea is to choose a single word that can serve as a guiding light for all areas of life for the next twelve months. This carefully chosen word provides focus and clarity to holistically live more intentionally, and ultimately, more elegantly.  

My past words have included simplicity, joy, nature, seasons, and peace. Each new year, I post the word in several places to be reminded of my intention and do my best to infuse the word into my daily life at every turn. Do I fail at times? Of course, but attention to the word helps me consciously make more choices that lead to living my best life. 

My word for 2022 is wisdom. I’m turning sixty this year and poised to embrace the wisdom I’ve gained from growing older. At this stage of my life, I’m pleased to say goodbye to things that used to seem so important, and I now count wisdom as one of my greatest values. I’ll have no shortage of challenges as I attempt to apply wisdom to everything I think, say, and do. A good place to start is with Socrates’ wise counsel, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”

Do you have a word for the new year? Maybe I can help. There aren’t any rules, but here are some questions you could ask yourself to help you find your perfect word for the new year. How do I want to feel when I wake up each morning? What do I value most? How do I want other people to feel when they’re around me? What does my soul crave? What are my goals? What would make me happier? What is no longer serving my life? What is (and isn’t) my responsibility right now? What am I uniquely able to offer others?

Here are some powerful words to get you thinking – positivity, adventure, presence, creativity, gratitude, fun, courage, relationships, empower, relax, cheerful, learn, strong, balance, focus, grow, kindness, acceptance, passion, generosity, change, happy, organized, grace, confidence, quiet, home, relationships, calm, faith, motivation, wellness, energy, mindfulness, clarity, love.

Do any of these words resonate with you and your hopes for the new year? Once you’ve chosen a word, think about specific ways it might positively affect your daily round. How could a clear focus on your word influence these areas of your life?

  • your attitude 
  • your relationships
  • your home and possessions
  • your personal style
  • your work 
  • your physical, mental, and spiritual health
  • your activities and pursuits
  • your contribution 

With some soul-searching and contemplation, 2022 holds 365 chances to live our happiest, most intentional, and most elegant year. I am always inspired by Anne Frank, who wrote in her diary, “What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet!” §

Note to Subscribers: In my search for simplicity and elegance, The Simple Swan will no longer appear on Facebook or YouTube. I want to focus on writing my blog and newspaper column in the weekend edition of the Southern Illinoisan. Thank you so much for subscribing!

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Contact Me: Alicia@thesimpleswan.com