Power is the greatest aphrodisiac. This was said by Kissinger, a Nobel Prize-winning politician, and everyone’s experience confirms it: we are attracted to people who have a strong character and a congruent personality. These charismatic people were formed by overcoming the inevitable failures because only in extreme situations do you find out what you can do. How to be a strong person is learned through repeated lessons both practically and theoretically, accessing memory, will, and discipline.
Character is formed as a result of decisions made over time. You have the power when you emerge victorious from the struggle with temptations, fears, and prejudices when you lose illusions and yet you do not lose yourself.
Can you learn to be strong? Yes, because destiny is not a fatality, but an act of creation, when a person assumes responsibility for his own happiness. We all have emotional legacies about the past – maturing means accepting what can no longer be changed and taking on control and change what is possible.
How do you become a strong person?
1. Strong people do not blame anyone for the failures of their lives, they take responsibility. They do not blame themselves, punishing themselves with regrets and depression, but they know how to lose. It is an exceptional quality of a strong person: to accept failure without actively or passively taking revenge on others or yourself (self-destruction by excess is a form of self-punishment).
2. Strong people are persevering despite all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities. That means work, effort, and discipline. They choose the pain of discipline instead of the pain of regret.
Talent and potential are a burden if not put into action. Performance specialists say that to achieve mastery in a field requires 10,000 hours of work – that is, discipline and perseverance.
3. Strong people control their pleasure and tolerate momentary frustration. The process is called delayed gratification – that is, they do not seek pleasure at all times, but are willing to suffer now under future pleasure. They understood that the Buddha was right (life is suffering) but they developed a stoic optimism, also understanding that no pain, no gain.
All life is, in fact, a pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain. But there are complex pleasures (social) that you get when you accept the frustration of simple pleasures of the moment. For example, the pleasure of having a beautiful and healthy body means controlling your diet and being physically active – by tolerating the frustrations of the moment you will get the satisfaction of the future when you reach your goal.
4. Strong people accept the lack of control over life and others, realizing that the only control is over their own instincts, thoughts, and emotions. You can’t control how people treat you, but you can control how you respond to what they do. You can’t control your partner but you can control your jealousy and fear.
5. They know how to be alone and prefer solitude when they have a choice between being in toxic relationships or being alone. They understand that no matter how much love and friendship you have in life, loneliness is the beginning and the end of our existence. They think for themselves, they fight and reconcile with themselves, they disintegrate and they rebuild. The struggle is never with loneliness but with social fears and prejudices.
6. They have mature defense mechanisms in the face of life. They do not even defend themselves from life, but see it and accept it with lucidity and dignity, humor and self-irony being the only “revenge” for life. They do not take refuge in invented emotional narratives but see life in all its madness and absurdity, go through debauchery without mentally breaking down into a symptom, accept the rules of the game and adapt continuously.
7. Nothing human is foreign to them. They embrace sadness, despair, and disappointment but always get up and moving on. Psychological immunity develops from confronting and exceeding unrealistic expectations that we all have. We will all be disappointed at some point by parents, friends, partners, and ourselves – over time you streamline disappointment and adjust your expectations correctly.
8. I make decisions and make changes. Indecision and procrastination induce anxiety and decisional paralysis – endlessly analyzing the pros and cons of wanting to risk nothing is the worst decision.
9. Strong people consider criticism – not of anyone, but of those they admire themselves. Their discussions are not about justice but about the debate. They know the limits of their own ignorance and are open to learning, to question their knowledge, to change their principles and beliefs.
10. Strong people accept that human nature is an amalgam of good and evil and learn to identify evil (lying, manipulation, hypocrisy). Suffering comes when our expectations are not adapted to reality. If the individual believes that all people are good, sincere, fair, or professional, they will be constantly disappointed.
What does a strong person do with emotions?
11. Do not run away from vulnerability because vulnerability is in itself a force. Relationships of love or friendship are built on genuine emotional openness.
12. They don’t always live in frustration and dissatisfaction but accept that what cannot be changed must be embraced. Prolonged revolt subscribes person to drama and depression. An eternally dissatisfied person unable to see and good things will be avoided in time by those around him or will isolate himself.
13. They sublimate their negative emotions and destructive impulses through healthy actions. Aggression is released through sport or physical work, sadness, and longing through artistic expression, revolt on injustice through activism for a humanitarian cause.
14. They build their relationships on authenticity, not on hypocrisy and manipulation. When a person lies or manipulates, they develop the imposter’s syndrome and lives in fear of being exposed.
15. Tolerates differences of opinion, beliefs, and choices. They do not judge but observe and analyze and do not impose their own choices on others.
16. Study constantly, learn, and learn. They change their beliefs and principles, adapt to change, and do not get stuck in the past.
17. Take responsibility for your own emotions and feelings. Emotions are biological and largely instinctive reactions – their control begins with understanding their origin – can thus be partially influenced by adopting a healthy lifestyle, because many of our bad conditions are actually the result of poor biochemistry. The next step in controlling them is not to turn them into feelings – feelings are the cognitive interpretation of emotions.
For example, you may wake up in the morning with a state of anxiety, or longing, or sadness – these may be the result of lack of sleep, poor diet, alcohol or drugs, deficiency of certain substances in the body. If you do not understand the biological component of emotion, the mind will interpret this state and assign it a wrong cause: usually, something we do not have or lack – love, friends, success, luxury, etc., depending on the happiness scenario you have. we have.
Many people ignore this biological reality and downplay it. Depression in people with intense physical activity is less common, even if they have a genetic predisposition to develop depression and anxiety. Eating and sleeping are also important predictors of mental health. Control of stimulants (alcohol, drugs) is also important.
Taking responsibility for your emotions means putting in place everything you need to eliminate the biological causes of negative emotions.
The next level of emotional control is the x-ray of our fears and expectations. The fear of failure makes you not make decisions.
The fear of loneliness makes you stay in compromise relationships. The fear of love makes you not totally in a relationship. The fear of death makes you a hypochondriac. At the next level, expectations unadapted to reality induce disappointment and anger.
If you expect not to be lied to, you will be intolerant and outraged. If you expect all people to be logical and rational, you will be left alone with justice in your arms. If you expect people to keep their promises, you will wait in vain. If you expect all people to be good, you will not identify evil and you will not know how to avoid them.
Even if these expectations are essentially correct, they are not adapted to reality. You will be more cynical when you have expectations congruent with reality. Basically, we have to choose between two sufferings – that of cynical realism or that of eternally disappointed idealism. Cynicism can be sublimated into humor and self-irony while disappointment breaks down into sadness.
The last level of emotional control, after identifying fears and expectations, is their cognitive integration in the form of feelings. This cognitive interpretation is full of errors in most people – because thinking is an evolved algorithm for efficiency and speed, not for the correct reflection of reality. Most people apply quick thinking – which works through shortcuts in the form of stereotypes and prejudices, associations (imprints and patterns), generalizations.
Correct thinking is slower – because it involves analysis for and against, attention to errors of logic, abstraction through perspective, and empathy (at least cognitive if not emotional).
Emotion control is obtained when we educate and control thinking. For example – if you are afraid of loneliness and as such you are in an inappropriate relationship, incorrect thinking will generalize your romantic experience so far (if we had 2-3 failed relationships this means that all will fail in the future and then better stay that way).
Or you will borrow the fears or statistics of others – if they haven’t found them, I won’t find them either. Or you will be vulnerable to the prejudices of others (what will the world say?).
If you have educated thinking, you will understand that: the failure of the past does not predict the future, especially if in the meantime you have learned from mistakes; that the experiences of others are not relevant to you;
That the world judges through the prism of their own fears and helplessness and that anyway they judge you for a few seconds after which they are occupied by themselves, not by you; that society is changing rapidly and what is taboo today will be a normality tomorrow and a banality tomorrow.
That’s what a strong person does – They choose the sufferings they can live with. Some suffering is constructive, others are destructive. The suffering of discipline is preferable to the suffering of regret. Suffering from loneliness is preferable to suffering from toxic relationships. The suffering of realism is preferable to the suffering of idealism. The suffering of lucidity is preferable to the suffering of selfishness. The suffering of understanding is preferable to the suffering of ignorance.