opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was
vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment."
"In a world that we don't control, tolerance is obviously an asset," Ryan Holiday, author of the forthcoming The Obstacle Is The Way,
told The Huffington Post. "But the ability to find energy and power
from what we don't control is an immense competitive advantage."
There's a maxim in the ancient philosophy of Stoicism, "There is no
good or bad, there is only perception," which was later echoed in
Shakespeare's famous line, "There is nothing either good or bad, but
thinking makes it so."
The way we perceive a situation has a
tremendous power to either help or harm us. So often, we react
emotionally and project negative judgments onto a situation, when the
first key to overcoming a challenge is to see things objectively.
Mentally strong people recognize that their entire life plans, and life
itself, could be derailed at any moment -- and they don't waste their
effort feeling wronged by destiny when things don't quite go their way.
"You could call it being in the zone, you can call it whatever you
want, but the idea is that if you're focused exclusively on one thing in
front of you, you're not bringing baggage to that situation and you're
considering only the variables that matter," says Holiday.
science has demonstrated that mindfulness really can boost your brain
power. Mindfulness practice has been linked with emotional stability,
reduced stress and anxiety, and improved mental clarity.
"The idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness
seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary
disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness," Mackay writes in The Good Life.
"Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is
sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which
make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice
little things that also happen to us, but they don't teach us much."
"In all those different contexts, one factor emerged as a secret to
success, and it wasn't social intelligence, good looks, physical health
or IQ. It was grit," Duckworth said in a TED talk.
"Grit is passion or perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is
having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in and day out --
not just for a day, not just for a month, but for years -- to make that
future a reality."
A mentally strong person can say to themselves, "I tried everything I
could in this situation, and now I can let it go," says Holiday. Just
as important as perseverance is the ability to recognize that you can
control only your own actions -- not the results of those actions. Accepting this fact allows us to resign to the things that are beyond our power.
Amor fati. Amor fati is a Latin term that translates to "love of fate," a
concept derived from the ancient Greek and Roman Stoic philosophers that
later reemerged in the work of Nietzsche. And it's perhaps the single
most important key to mental strength. "The idea is that you don't just have to tolerate the things you can't
control -- they could be the greatest things that ever happen to you,"
says Holiday. "You can find the joy in not just accepting, but in
embracing the things that happen to you."
"May you always remember that obstacles in the path are not obstacles, they ARE the path."