What I find amazing is how hard people are trying to live like the stars. What I find amazing is how no one can afford there lives and live off the names and titles of there parents and think they have something. What I find amazing is how people can watch television and dream of doing something with there boring lives and never once do a thing but dream. Now the difference between a lot of people and myself is the fact that they have a 9-5. Those individuals I excuse. They have kids to feed. I have my goats and so I wake up early. I have a good life now. I had a great life back then and I do a lot of reflecting on the good times. That is where most of my great art comes from, are the stories I have led. What I don’t like is when someone comes and tells me it did not happen the way I said it happened. That things are not really as bad as I make them out to be. That maybe if I change my thinking things might be better. That maybe if I was a little more mature, I would not have gone through what I did. That the bitterness in my voice is a bit out of place. That no one listens to an angry man.
Does not the truth set us free.
What I don’t like is how everyone is accepting Government disability and I am deemed a child in the mind because I won’t. What I don’t like is that the roads less traveled by are the most crystal clear and everyone is still going down the gravy train like, that is ok. What I don’t like is that I have this voice and no means in which to let it soar because of a past so marred and murky it is hard for anyone to get through the door. What I don’t like is this box of memories and a tornado barreling down the road and all anyone can say is, “There will be better days.” As time continues to creep and my children continue to not need me I am made to become the image of a man I never wanted to know or cared to be compared to and I don’t even look like. As a man, I love my identity and despise what stereotypical conversation has made me out to be. What I don’t like is what the federal stats say and philosophizers decree has become law and not a single person can bare the weight. What I don’t like is the similes in the action that went into making me, no fault of his own, haunts my son, no fault of his own, and has determined that when he turns seventeen he may never ask who his real father is because this generation does not care one iota about heritage, lineage, or legacy. I walk around and everyone acts as if in our lifetime we have not seen things as they are and learned how to deal with them. I’ve said this before and just don’t like repeating myself.
Asking those around me what constitutes an adult v.s. a child and it is deemed that a man takes care of his responsibilities, so then how can any of us feel we are adults in our mindsets and not emotional children when we can barely handle the tasks of daily life. When we don’t ask the questions that matter, and when we do ask, no one has an answer or they just never thought about it and call you a child for asking.
What I do like is that, I don’t have to be silent anymore. What I do like is that when this door was opened and all you began to listen there was enough of you out there with the very same tale, with the very same urge for change, with the very same means, and who strive daily not to let the sun shine and set on wasted opportunity. That there are some of you that do not get caught up in the hysteria that has flooded our media labels.
I have come to laugh at the women of the Feminist Community. They broadcast that women can live without the fathers of there children. Take care of a home single handily and then every single one of them leave the men they claimed to love as they had children seeking there dreams and every single one of them remarry because they can not handle the job of raising a family alone and have gotten tired of helping to refurnish the same home they grew up in since they were thirteen years old. It boggles the mind. I would not have anything to say about it, if I had not a first hand account for you. I would not say anything about it, if I had not seen how such mindsets turns families into non-communicative ground zero’s. It was because of this mindset the men that were given the task of raising me could not look at me without reservations. Teaching me to be reserved in my thinking and circumspect of everything and not trusting. Which mind you, in our day and age of vile and the ungodly, it serves well to not be trusting. Sometimes I don’t even trust myself and this just comes from making too many mistakes and mistakes come from lack of education and this proceeded from a father who could not teach me anything because he could not call me son. What a joke. The real laugh is the fact that they have talk show hosts, writers, movies, the whole nine, that show in a million ways what happens when you play around with unconditional love and begin to discard and claim you have found liberation. The real laugh is that there is nothing new I can add to this conversation because before I was born these things were set into motion and many of our families were born from them. This does not mean it has to continue this way. Sometimes I like to think that if I was just a little more forceful and demanding I could have been in my sons life, but as it is I had to let go of everything because of one mistake and still I am denied everything. I am on the outskirts of the Liberty City reaching for the last line of my own heritage and allowing the words of those that don’t like me, and they don’t like me because I don’t have a career, to dictate the soul of my seed. It is really not supposed to mean anything to me. I wrestled with this a long time ago.
Crazy, how maturity ties in with doing nothing. I have been wanting to bridge these gaps in my life for years, but maturity demands that I move on from it all. That I can not control people and should not seek to interact with those that do not have my best interest at heart. Even if they are family. For me, blood ties and personal relationships constitutes family. If I have called you friend, then you are apart of my family. If I have called you to dinner and have fed you and taken the time to listen to your ails and tried to make things better, than you are family. Even if you sell me up river to Crime Stoppers for 5,000 because you are hard up for money and think it will be good for a tax break.
Maturity insists that I bite the bullet and as a man care for my end of the bargain.
(Ps. You can develop the same habits to improve your own mental toughness.)
Mental toughness is a choice and a discipline, not an innate quality bestowed upon the lucky.3In this article, originally published on LinkedIn Pulse, Dr. Travis Bradberry shows you how to get tough.
We all reach critical points in our lives where our mental toughness is tested. It might be a toxic friend or colleague, a dead-end job, or a struggling relationship.
Related: 4 Characteristics of People Who Are Mentally Tough
Whatever the challenge, you have to be strong, see things through a new lens and take decisive action if you want to move through it successfully.
It sounds easy. We all want good friends, good jobs and good relationships.
But it isn’t.
It’s hard to be mentally tough, especially when you feel stuck. The ability to break the mold and take a bold new direction requires that extra grit, daring and spunk that only the mentally toughest people have.
It’s fascinating how mentally tough people set themselves apart from the crowd. Where others see impenetrable barriers, they see challenges to overcome.
When Thomas Edison’s factory burned to the ground in 1914, destroying one-of-a-kind prototypes and causing $23 million in damage, Edison’s response was simple:
Thank goodness all our mistakes were burned up. Now we can start fresh again.
Edison’s reaction is the epitome of mental toughness—seeing opportunity and taking action when things look bleak.
There are habits you can develop to improve your mental toughness. In fact, the hallmarks of mentally tough people are actually strategies that you can begin using today.
Emotional intelligence is the cornerstone of mental toughness. You cannot be mentally tough without the ability to fully understand and tolerate strong negative emotions and do something productive with them. Moments that test your mental toughness are ultimately testing your emotional intelligence (EQ).
Unlike your IQ, which is fixed, your EQ is a flexible skill that you can improve with understanding and effort. It’s no wonder that 90 percent of top performers have high EQs and people with high EQs earn $28,000 more annually (on average) than their low-EQ counterparts.
Unfortunately, EQ skills are in short supply. TalentSmart has tested more than a million people, and we’ve found that just 36 percent of these are able to accurately identify their emotions as they happen.
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t—you’re right.” – Henry Ford6
Mentally tough people subscribe to Ford’s notion that your mentality has a powerful effect on your ability to succeed. This notion isn’t just a motivational tool—it’s a fact. A recent study at the University of Melbourne showed that confident people went on to earn higher wages and get promoted more quickly than others did.
True confidence—as opposed to the false confidence people project to mask their insecurities—has a look all its own. Mentally tough people have an upper hand over the doubtful and the skittish because their confidence inspires others and helps them to make things happen.
Dealing with difficult people is frustrating and exhausting for most. Mentally tough people control their interactions with toxic people by keeping their feelings in check. When they need to confront a toxic person, they approach the situation rationally. They identify their emotions and don’t allow anger or frustration to fuel the chaos. They also consider the difficult person’s standpoint and are able to find common ground and solutions to problems. Even when things completely derail, mentally tough people are able to take the toxic person with a grain of salt to avoid letting him or her bring them down.
Mentally tough people are flexible and are constantly adapting. They know that fear of change is paralyzing and a major threat to their success and happiness. They look for change that is lurking just around the corner, and they form a plan of action should these changes occur.
Only when you embrace change can you find the good in it. You need to have an open mind and open arms if you’re going to recognize, and capitalize on, the opportunities that change creates.
You’re bound to fail when you keep doing the same things you always have in the hope that ignoring change will make it go away. After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Research conducted at the University of California in San Francisco showed that the more difficulty you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout and even depression. Mentally tough people know that saying no is healthy, and they have the self-esteem and foresight to make their no’s clear.
When it’s time to say no, mentally tough people avoid phrases such as “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” They say no with confidence because they know that saying no to a new commitment honors their existing commitments and gives them the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.
The mentally tough also know how to exert self-control by saying no to themselves. They delay gratification and avoid impulsive action that causes harm.
Mentally tough people know that, when all is said and done, they will lament the chances they didn’t take far more than they will their failures. Don’t be afraid to take risks.
I often hear people say, “What’s the worst thing that can happen to you? Will it kill you?” Yet death isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you. The worst thing that can happen to you is allowing yourself to die inside while you’re still alive.13
It takes refined self-awareness to walk this tightrope between dwelling and remembering. Dwelling too long on your mistakes makes you anxious and gun shy, while forgetting about them completely makes you bound to repeat them. The key to balance lies in your ability to transform failures into nuggets of improvement. This creates the tendency to get right back up every time you fall down.
Mentally tough people embrace failure because they know that the road to success is paved with it. No one ever experienced true success without first embracing failure.
By revealing when you’re on the wrong path, your mistakes pave the way for you to succeed. The biggest breakthroughs typically come when you’re feeling the most frustrated and the most stuck. It’s this frustration that forces you to think differently, to look outside the box and to see the solution that you’ve been missing.
Mentally tough people know that where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems that you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress, which hinders performance. When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy, which produces positive emotions and improves performance.
Mentally tough people distance themselves from their mistakes, but they do so without forgetting them. By keeping their mistakes at a safe distance, yet still handy enough to refer to, they are able to adapt and adjust for future success.
When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from comparing yourself to others, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When mentally tough people feel good about something they do, they won’t let anyone’s opinions or accomplishments take that away from them.
While it’s impossible to turn off your reactions to what others think of you, you don’t have to compare yourself to others, and you can always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. Mentally tough people know that regardless of what people think of them at any particular moment, one thing is certain—they’re never as good or bad as people say they are.
Mentally tough people don’t pass judgment on others because they know that everyone has something to offer, and they don’t need to take other people down a notch in order to feel good about themselves.
Comparing yourself to other people is limiting. Jealousy and resentment suck the life right out of you; they’re massive energy-stealers. Mentally tough people don’t waste time or energy sizing people up and worrying about whether or not they measure up.
Instead of wasting your energy on jealousy, funnel that energy into appreciation. When you celebrate the success of other people, you both benefit.
A study conducted at the Eastern Ontario Research Institute found that people who exercised twice a week for 10 weeks felt more socially, intellectually and athletically competent. They also rated their body image and self-esteem higher.3 Best of all, rather than the physical changes in their bodies being responsible for the uptick in confidence, which is key to mental toughness, it was the immediate, endorphin-fueled positivity from exercise that made all the difference.
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of sleep to increasing your mental toughness. When you sleep, your brain removes toxic proteins, which are by-products of neural activity when you’re awake. Unfortunately, your brain can remove them adequately only while you’re asleep, so when you don’t get enough sleep, the toxic proteins remain in your brain cells, wreaking havoc by impairing your ability to think—something no amount of caffeine can fix.
Mentally tough people know that their self-control, focus and memory are all reduced when they don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep, so they make quality sleep a top priority.
Drinking excessive amounts of caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline, the source of the fight-or-flight response. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response to ensure survival. This is great when a bear is chasing you but not so great when life throws you a curve.
When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyper-aroused state of stress, your emotions overrun your behavior. Caffeine’s long half-life ensures you stay this way as it takes its sweet time working its way out of your body. Mentally tough people know that too much caffeine is trouble, and they don’t let it get the better of them.
Mentally tough people know that life goes a lot smoother once you let go of grudges and forgive even those who never said they were sorry. Grudges let negative events from your past ruin today’s happiness. Hate and anger are emotional parasites that destroy your joy in life.
The negative emotions that come with holding on to a grudge create a stress response in your body, and holding on to stress can have devastating consequences (both physically and mentally). When you forgive someone, it doesn’t condone their actions; it simply frees you from being their eternal victim.
Keep your eyes on the news for any length of time, and you’ll see that it’s just one endless cycle of war, violent attacks, fragile economies, failing companies and environmental disasters. It’s easy to think the world is headed downhill fast.
And who knows? Maybe it is. But mentally tough people don’t worry about that because they don’t get caught up in things they can’t control. Instead of trying to start a revolution overnight, they focus their energy on directing the two things that are completely within their power—their attention and their effort.
Mental toughness is not an innate quality bestowed upon a select few. It can be achieved and enjoyed.
What else makes people mentally tough? How many of these 15 qualities describe you? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.