There are “Six Steps to Successful Menu Planning,” “Ten “Easy” Steps To Financial Success,” even “7 Steps to a Successful Bake Sale.” And that’s just the tip. But when Amy Morin, a psychotherapist who specializes in parenting issues, wrote about the 13 things mentally strong people don’t do, she couldn’t have guessed how popular it would become.
What is it about Morin’s list that so resonates with readers? Undoubtedly part of the explanation is that most of us already agree with much of what she says. We know it’s pointless to waste our energy worrying about things totally out of our control and that dwelling on the past won’t change it. We may still do them anyway, but intuitively we recognize the futility.
Article Continues Below
Another part of the explanation lies in the fact that it is not a list of ‘shoulds’ we have little hope of following, even if we were to agree with every item on the list. If our own success was dependent on cheering on a competitor without even sometimes a twinge of regret we weren’t the winner, Morin’s list wouldn’t have received the applause it has.
Instead, she says, here’s what the mentally strong don’t regularly do. It’s a populist mix of common sense, a bit of stoicism, and a strong dose of American can-do spirit. Although some read into her list the implication that if you are doing any of these things you are weak, more see it as a good reminder of what we should try to avoid. Being mentally strong doesn’t depend on never doing any of the 13 things on her list. We are only human. Instead, like a workout circuit at the local gym, it is a list of the 13 exercises that will help us get in shape mentally and emotionally.