“13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do” by Amy Morin | Book Summary (2/2)


For some of us, thinking about the past triggers overwhelming feelings of remorse.

“Lingering guilt, shame, and anger are just a few of the feelings that keep you stuck in the past. You might subconsciously think, If I stay miserable enough, I’ll eventually be able to forgive myself.”

On the other end of the spectrum, we might sometimes catch ourselves romanticizing the past to a great degree; reminiscing about the good old days- exaggerating how wonderful the past used to be compared to our present circumstances.

Both of these approaches not only prevent us from living in the moment, but they also cloud our thinking about the future- leading to feelings of discontentment regarding life in general.

Here’s what you can do instead:

-Set aside time to think about a troublesome past event so that you can give your mind time to process it adequately.
-Keep sight of your future goals.
-Focus on lessons learned rather than the emotions experienced.

“When you review your past, examine what other ways there are to look at the same situation. The same story can be told countless ways and still be true. If your current version is upsetting, see how else you can look at it.”

-Make peace with the past by practicing forgiveness. Forgive others as well as yourself.

“Refusing to dwell on the past doesn’t mean you pretend the past did not happen. In fact, it often means embracing and accepting your experiences so you can live in the present.”


Stubbornness, impulsivity and comfort with old ways cause us to repeat our mistakes. It not only frustrates others but also causes the problem to perpetuate, making you stuck in the same place.

You can follow the steps outlined below to prevent yourself from making the same mistakes over and over.

-Reflect: Take a moment to ponder upon the contributing thoughts, behaviors and external factors leading up to the undesired action. Also, think about what you could’ve done better and about what you can do differently next time.

-Try a different perspective:

“When you view mistakes not as something negative but instead as an opportunity to improve yourself, you’ll be able to devote time and energy into making sure you don’t repeat them.”

-Create a plan: Decide which behavior will replace the old one. Identify warning signs that might indicate you’re headed down the same road. Finally, find a method to hold yourself accountable.

-Practice self-discipline: It is of extreme importance to tolerate the discomfort that comes with practicing self-discipline.

“Self-discipline isn’t something you either have, or you don’t. Instead, everyone has the ability to increase their self-discipline. Saying no to a bag of chips or a couple of cookies requires self-control. As does exercising when you don’t feel like it. Avoiding those mistakes that can derail your progress requires constant vigilance and hard work.”


Our insecurities, as well as feelings of real or imagined injustice, can at times make us resent successful people. We might also wrongly assume that success comes more easily to others and overlook the grit involved.
It is problematic because it causes a decrease in life satisfaction since there will always be someone with more money, looks or who appears to have everything figured out.

Here are some steps you can take to curb your feelings of jealousy:

-Formulate your definition of success. Recognize that each of us has a unique journey.

-Avoid comparisons with other people.

“Comparing yourself to others is like comparing apples and oranges. It isn’t an accurate way to measure your self-worth.”

-Don’t minimize or downgrade other people’s success.

-Focus on cooperation rather than competition.

“You’ll stop worrying that someone else’s success will make you look bad once you accept that you aren’t in direct competition. When you’re happy about other people’s accomplishments, you’ll attract- rather than repel- successful people.”


We associate failure with shame and often let one failure define us. Therefore we quit, and prefer to do something we are comfortable with, all the while missing on a lot of excellent opportunities for growth.

Some helpful tips to keep yourself motivated:

-Change the way you view failure

-Focus on your efforts rather than the outcome.

“While being too hard on yourself can lead to the resignation that you’re just not good enough, and being too easy on yourself may lead to excuses for your behavior, self-compassion strikes the right balance. Self-compassion means viewing your failures kindly yet realistically. It means understanding that everyone has shortcomings, including you, and that failure does not decrease your worth as a person.”

-Try again, using a different approach.


Having some time to yourself each day, increases empathy, creativity, as well as productivity. These numerous benefits, however, are often overlooked and being alone is given a negative connotation in the modern era. Some consider it a waste of time; others associate it with sadness/discomfort and do everything they can to keep their calendars booked.

Here’s what you can do to get comfortable with alone time:

-Start journaling. It helps develop greater self-awareness.
-Start meditation and mindfulness exercises.
-Take a break from technology. Constant communication with other people has been shown to lead to increased stress and anxiety.


A false sense of entitlement does not always stem from convictions of superiority; it often arises from feelings of injustice and a victim mindset. “I deserve better because life has been cruel to me” or “I deserve better because I am better than other people” are in reality, opposite sides of the same coin.

Why is it a cause for concern?

“You won’t be able to accept responsibility for your behavior when you’re focused on trying to stake your claim over what you think the world owes you. You’ll also make unrealistic demands of other people.”


“Instead of experiencing the joy of giving, you’ll be too fixated on what you’re not getting. When you don’t get everything you want, entitlement can lead to feelings of bitterness as you’ll think you were victimized.”

When you feel entitlement creeping into your life, remind yourself that even if you are the smartest person on the planet, still it does not make you more deserving of good fortune than anyone else. Recognize that your problems aren’t unique, and you can deal with disappointing things in your life without developing a victim mentality. Focus on being a giver than a taker, and give some thought to how you make other people feel. Lastly, don’t keep a score of your good deeds or of the times you were wronged.

“When you stop demanding that you need more and are able to be satisfied with what you have, you’ll reap tremendous benefits in life. You’ll move forward with a sense of peace and contentment without experiencing bitterness and selfishness.”


Whether you have started a new business venture or are hoping to improve your marriage, expecting immediate results can set you up for failure.

Why we do it?

Today’s fast-paced world has made us impatient, we have gotten so used to technology achieving results quickly that we have started to expect the same from all areas of life. Moreover, overnight success stories have, in some part, caused us to over-estimate our abilities.

Expecting immediate results cause one to abandon efforts prematurely, seek shortcuts and be short-sighted, all of which aren’t progressive towards achieving one’s goals.

“A person who is unable to get a business off the ground in a year may decide he’s a complete failure in the business world because he didn’t make any money. But in reality, he just didn’t give his start-up enough time to turn into a viable business venture.”

Some useful reminders:

-Have realistic expectations:

“You can’t lose 25 pounds in time for swimsuit season if you wait until May to begin exercising. And you probably won’t climb the corporate ladder during the first year at the office. But if you have these type of expectations, you may never reach your goals.”

It’s also helpful not to underestimate how difficult the journey will be and to be flexible about your approach without putting an absolute time limit.

-Don’t expect your desired result to transform your life magically. It won’t.

-Delay gratification and create a plan to steer away from any temptations that may come along the way, don’t depend on your willpower alone for this purpose.


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