What started off as an article that went viral has now transformed into a bestselling book: 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do. Written by psychotherapist Amy Morin, this book teaches you how to kick bad habits, toughen up and ”train your brain for happiness and success.” Because the one quality all happy and successful people share is mental strength. Today, I’m here to talk to the woman behind this extraordinary book, Amy Morin, about happiness, success, self esteem, activism and how it all leads back to mental strength. Everybody, take note!
What is happiness to you?
To me, happiness is about feeling like your life has meaning.
Do you think mental strength is linked to happiness?
Mental strength is about living according to your values, which is necessary for true happiness. Also, when you’re mentally strong, you’re better equipped to handle adversity, which for many people prevents them from being happy.
What simple things can we do every day to become more mentally strong?
Gratitude is one of the easiest ways to build mental strength. Spend a few minutes taking note of what’s good in the world and you’ll increase positive emotions and help keep negative thoughts at bay.
How will being mentally strong benefit our lives?
Mental strength is linked to everything from better decisions to a longer life. It prepares you to deal with whatever life throws your way and is the key to being your best self.
One of the ”13 things mentally strong people don’t do,” is resent other people’s success. Can you explain why we get jealous of people’s success?
Many people measure themselves against other people. Rather than paying attention to their characteristics and qualities, they think they’re only as good as their achievements or material possessions.
Social media tends to fuel those comparisons. It’s easy to think you’re not good enough when you see other people on social media look happier, wealthier, or more successful.
How can we change that behavior?
Focusing on self-worth, rather than self-esteem, is the key to changing that behavior. When you feel worthy about who you are, you’ll be much less concerned about what other people have.
Many studies say that spending time with animals can improve our lives. Do you agree with that?
There’s a lot of research about how pets can reduce our stress and improve our health. So I’m definitely a proponent of spending time with animals. My cat sits on my lap almost all day when I’m working.
How can we become more authentic and honest people?
Well, I think it starts with self-awareness. You can’t be authentic until you know what your values are. Then you can prioritize your life accordingly.
There seems to be a lot of misconceptions about being authentic. Some people think being brutally honest is about being real. But that’s just being rude. You can still be authentic and kind to others.
Do you have any advice for activists on how can they can be more effective in making a message stick and changing people’s views?
Whether it’s trying to change their spouse’s opinion, or it’s trying to persuade their boss to change a policy, I think many people struggle to listen. When they feel like they aren’t being heard, they get louder.
I think listening to someone else’s viewpoint and trying to understand is the key to getting your message heard.
How can people stay positive throughout their activism journey?
Even if people or policies don’t change, you’re planting seeds. It may take months or years for people to really look at things differently and you might not always get to see the fruits of your labor. So I think it goes to the 13th thing mentally strong people don’t do – expect immediate results.
If you could send a message to the world, what would it be?
When you build mental muscle, you’ll change your world.
Get your copy of Amy Morin’s book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do here.