While explaining the concept of a strong mind to a group of students after a chemistry class, a professor started to fill an empty, glass beaker with water. The students looked on earnestly as the volume of water began to rise and spill onto the marble counter-top. He poured the water down the drain and asked the students if they notice anything different about the empty beaker.
After a number of Nos and a series of nonchalant shrugs he said, “A strong mind is somewhat like an empty, glass beaker. It’s bound to be filled with things, even to the point where it overflows. But when all is said and done, it remains intact and strong—unbroken by the weight of things and ready to emerge victorious again when the cycle is repeated.”
Before you can build a strong mind, you need to have a mind of your own. This means to have your own thoughts, ideas, opinions, and viewpoint. Let there be a why behind your decisions, actions, and motives. Don’t subscribe to other people’s way of thinking because what will work for someone may not work for you. Form frequent reading habits to learn how to deal with people and situations, acquire knowledge, and broaden your mind.
You stand a better chance of dealing with your emotions if you know exactly what you’re feeling. Put a name to your emotions to decrease their intensity—that which makes your heart beat faster could be fear; and sweaty palms are often indications of anxiety. Also, pay attention to how these emotions affect your actions. Some people make impulsive decisions when they’re happy and others become irrational when hit with anger.
When you’re goal oriented, you remain steadfast in the face of distractions and obstacles. A glimpse into your future is enough to keep you focused and strong-minded. When you have a goal for your life, you’re not easily swayed or deterred by outside forces because you are motivated intrinsically. To have long term goals, map out a few things you’d like to accomplish and turn those dreams into SMART goals.
Don’t let the opinions of others cause you to feel sadness or question yourself. Master the art of feeling unbothered by the negativity around you. They are designed to tear you down, make you lose faith in yourself, make you lose sight of your journey, and waste valuable time. Learn to take things with a grain of salt and make a firm decision to move past the things that intend to hold you back or destroy you.
Don’t sit around feeling sorry for yourself. To be mentally strong also means to have the courage to take responsibility for your actions and the strength to make changes.