Procrastination – How to defeat it.




Procrastination – How to defeat it

By the summer of 1830, Victor Hugo was facing an impossible deadline. Twelve months earlier, the famous French author had made an agreement with his publisher that he would write a new book titled, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Instead of writing the book, Hugo spent the next year pursuing other projects, entertaining guests, and delaying his work on the text. Hugo's publisher had become frustrated by his repeated procrastination and responded by setting a formidable deadline. The publisher demanded that Hugo finish the book by February of 1831—less than 6 months away.

Hugo developed a plan to beat his procrastination. He collected all of his clothes, removed them from his chambers, and locked them away. He was left with nothing to wear except a large shawl. Lacking any suitable clothing to go outdoors, Hugo was no longer tempted to leave the house and get distracted. Staying inside and writing was his only option. 
The strategy worked. Hugo remained in his study each day and wrote furiously during the fall and winter of 1830. The Hunchback of Notre Dame was published two weeks early on January 14, 1831.
Image result for victor hugo
The Ancient Problem of Akrasia
Human beings have been procrastinating for centuries. Even prolific artists like Victor Hugo are not immune to the distractions of daily life. The problem is so timeless, in fact, that ancient Greek philosophers like Socrates and Aristotle developed a word to describe this type of behavior: Akrasia.
Akrasia is the state of acting against your better judgment. It is when you do one thing even though you know you should do something else. Loosely translated, you could say that akrasia is procrastination or a lack of self-control. Akrasia is what prevents you from following through on what you set out to do.
Why would Victor Hugo commit to writing a book and then put it off for over a year? Why do we make plans, set deadlines, and commit to goals, but then fail to follow through on them?
Why We Make Plans, But Don't Take Action
One explanation for why akrasia rules our lives and procrastination pulls us in has to do with a behavioral economics term called “time inconsistency.” Time inconsistency refers to the tendency of the human brain to value immediate rewards more highly than future rewards.
When you make plans for yourself — like setting a goal to lose weight or write a book or learn a language — you are actually making plans for your future self. You are envisioning what you want your life to be like in the future and when you think about the future it is easy for your brain to see the value in taking actions with long-term benefits.
When the time comes to make a decision, however, you are no longer making a choice for your future self. Now you are in the moment and your brain is thinking about the present self. And researchers have discovered that the present self really likes instant gratification, not long-term payoff. This is one reason why you might go to bed feeling motivated to make a change in your life, but when you wake up you find yourself falling into old patterns. Your brain values long-term benefits when they are in the future, but it values immediate gratification when it comes to the present moment.
This is one reason why the ability to delay gratification is such a great predictor of success in life. Understanding how to resist the pull of instant gratification—at least occasionally, if not consistently—can help you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
The Framework You Need to Beat Procrastination
Here are three ways to overcome akrasia, beat procrastination, and follow through on what you set out to do.
Strategy 1: Design your future actions.
When Victor Hugo locked his clothes away so he could focus on writing, he was creating what psychologists refer to as a “commitment device.” Commitment devices are strategies that help improve your behavior by either increasing the obstacles or costs of bad behaviors or reducing the effort required for good behaviors.
You can curb your future eating habits by purchasing food in individual packages rather than in the bulk size. You can stop wasting time on your phone by deleting games or social media apps. You can reduce the likelihood of mindless channel surfing by hiding your TV in a closet and only taking it out on big game days. You can voluntarily ask to be added to the banned list at casinos and online gambling sites to prevent future gambling sprees. You can build an emergency fund by setting up an automatic transfer of funds to your savings account. These are commitment devices.
The circumstances differ, but the message is the same: commitment devices can help you design your future actions. Find ways to automate your behavior beforehand rather than relying on willpower in the moment. Be the architect of your future actions, not the victim of them. 
Strategy 2: Reduce the friction of starting.
The guilt and frustration of procrastinating is usually worse than the pain of doing the work. In the words of Eliezer Yudkowsky, “On a moment-to-moment basis, being in the middle of doing the work is usually less painful than being in the middle of procrastinating.”
So why do we still procrastinate? Because it's not being in the work that is hard, it's starting the work. The friction that prevents us from taking action is usually centered around starting the behavior. Once you begin, it's often less painful to do the work. This is why it is often more important to build the habit of getting started when you're beginning a new behavior than it is to worry about whether or not you are successful at the new habit.
You have to constantly reduce the size of your habits. Put all of your effort and energy into building a ritual and make it as easy as possible to get started. Don't worry about the results until you've mastered the art of showing up.
Strategy 3: Utilize implementation intentions.
An implementation intention is when you state your intention to implement a particular behavior at a specific time in the future. For example, “I will exercise for at least 30 minutes on [DATE] in [PLACE] at [TIME].”
There are hundreds of successful studies showing how implementation intentions positively impact everything from exercise habits to flu shots. In the flu shot study, researchers looked at a group of 3,272 employees at a Midwestern company and found that employees who wrote down the specific date and time they planned to get their flu shot were significantly more likely to follow through weeks later. 
It seems simple to say that scheduling things ahead of time can make a difference, but as I have covered previously, implementation intentions can make you 2x to 3x more likely to perform an action in the future.
Fighting Akrasia
Our brains prefer instant rewards to long-term payoffs. It's simply a consequence of how our minds work. Given this tendency, we often have to resort to crazy strategies to get things done—like Victor Hugo locking up all of his clothes so he could write a book. But I believe it is worth it to spend time building these commitment devices if your goals are important to you.
Aristotle coined the term enkrateia as the antonym of akrasia. While akrasiarefers to our tendency to fall victim to procrastination, enkrateia means to be “in power over oneself.” Designing your future actions, reducing the friction of starting good behaviors, and using implementation intentions are simple steps that you can take to make it easier to live a life of enkrateia rather than one of akrasia
If you want more practical ideas for breaking bad habits and creating good habits, check out my course The Habits Academypremier training platform for organizations and individuals that are interested in building better habits in life and work.


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Credits
 The article was posted by JAMES CLEAR, 
 Original title: The Akrasia Effect: Why We Don’t Follow Through on What We Set Out to Do and What to Do About It



How to Sleep Better




How to Sleep Better

The Science of Sleep
Sleep is one of the strangest things we do each day. The average adult will spend 36 percent of his or her life asleep. For one-third of our time on earth, we transition from the vibrant, thoughtful, active organisms we are during the day and power down into a quiet state of hibernation.
But what is sleep, exactly? Why is it so important and so restorative for our bodies and minds? How does it impact our lives when we are awake?

The Purpose of Sleep
Sleep serves multiple purposes that are essential to your brain and body. Let's break down some of the most important ones.
The first purpose of sleep is restoration. Every day, your brain accumulates metabolic waste as it goes about its normal neural activities. While this is completely normal, too much accumulation of these waste products has been linked to neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.
Alright, so how do we get rid of metabolic waste? Recent research has suggested that sleep plays a crucial role in cleaning out the brain each night. While these toxins can be flushed out during waking hours, researchers have found that clearance during sleep is as much as two-fold faster than during waking hours.
The way this process occurs is fairly remarkable:
During sleep, brain cells actually shrink by 60 percent, allowing the brain's waste-removal system—called the glymphatic system—to essentially “take out the trash” more easily. The result? Your brain is restored during sleep, and you wake up refreshed and with a clear mind.
The second purpose of sleep is memory consolidation. Sleep is crucial for memory consolidation, which is the process that maintains and strengthens your long-term memories. Insufficient or fragmented sleep can hamper your ability to form both concrete memories (facts and figures) and emotional memories.
Finally, sleep is paramount for metabolic health. Studies have shown that when you sleep 5.5 hours per night instead of 8.5 hours per night, a lower proportion of the energy you burn comes from fat, while more comes from carbohydrate and protein. This can predispose you to fat gain and muscle loss. Additionally, insufficient sleep or abnormal sleep cycles can lead to insulin insensitivity and metabolic syndrome, increasing your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
All of this to say, that better sleep is critical for your mental and physical health. Before we get too deep into this sleep guide though, let's pause for just a second. If you're enjoying this article on sleep, then you'll probably find my other writing on performance and human behavior useful. Each week, I share self-improvement tips based on proven scientific research through my free email newsletter.
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How Much Sleep Do You Need?
Alright, so sleep is important, but how much sleep do you really need? To answer that question, let's consider an experiment conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Washington State University.
The researchers began the experiment by gathering 48 healthy men and women who had been averaging seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Then, they split these subjects into four groups. The first group had to stay up for 3 days straight without sleeping. The second group slept for 4 hours per night. The third group slept for 6 hours per night. And the fourth group slept for 8 hours per night. In these final three groups—4, 6, and 8 hours of sleep—the subjects were held to these sleep patterns for two weeks straight. Throughout the experiment the subjects were tested on their physical and mental performance. 
Here's what happened…
The subjects who were allowed a full 8 hours of sleep displayed no cognitive decreases, attention lapses, or motor skill declines during the 14-day study. Meanwhile, the groups who received 4 hours and 6 hours of sleep steadily declined with each passing day. The four-hour group performed worst, but the six-hour group didn't fare much better. In particular, there were two notable findings.
First, sleep debt is a cumulative issue. In the words of the researchers, sleep debt “has a neurobiological cost which accumulates over time.” After one week, 25 percent of the six-hour group was falling asleep at random times throughout the day. After two weeks, the six-hour group had performance deficits that were the same as if they had stayed up for two days straight. Let me repeat that: if you get 6 hours of sleep per night for two weeks straight, your mental and physical performance declines to the same level as if you had stayed awake for 48 hours straight. 
Second, participants didn't notice their own performance declines. When participants graded themselves, they believed that their performance declined for a few days and then tapered off. In reality, they were continuing to get worse with each day. In other words, we are poor judges of our own performance decreases even as we are going through them.

The Cost of Sleep Deprivation
The irony of it all is that many of us are suffering from sleep deprivation so that we can work more, but the drop in performance ruins any potential benefits of working additional hours.
In the United States alone, studies have estimated that sleep deprivation is costing businesses over $100 billion each year in lost efficiency and performance. 
As Gregory Belenky, Director of the Sleep and Performance Research Center at Washington State University, puts it: “Unless you’re doing work that doesn’t require much thought, you are trading time awake at the expense of performance.”
And this brings us to the important question: At what point does sleep debt start accumulating? When do performance declines start adding up? According to a wide range of studies, the tipping point is usually around the 7 or 7.5 hour mark. Generally speaking, experts agree that 95 percent of adults need to sleep 7 to 9 hours each night to function optimally. Most adults should be aiming for eight hours per night. Children, teenagers, and older adults typically need even more. 
Here's a useful analogy for why sleep is so important.

The Theory of Cumulative Stress
Imagine that your health and energy are a bucket of water. In your day-to-day life, there are things that fill your bucket up. Sleep is one of the main inputs. These are also things like nutrition, meditation, stretching, laughter, and other forms of recovery.
There are also forces that drain the water from your bucket. These are outputs like lifting weights or running, stress from work or school, relationship problems, or other forms of stress and anxiety. 
The forces that drain your bucket aren't all negative, of course. To live a productive life, it can be important to have some of those things flowing out of your bucket. Working hard in the gym, at school, or at the office allows you to produce something of value. But even positive outputs are still outputs and they drain your energy accordingly.
These outputs are cumulative. Even a little leak can result in significant water loss over time.

How Sleep Works

The Sleep-Wake Cycle
The quality of your sleep is determined by a process called the sleep-wake cycle.
There are two important parts of the sleep-wake cycle:
1.     Slow wave sleep (also known as deep sleep)
2.     REM sleep (REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement)
During slow wave sleep the body relaxes, breathing becomes more regular, blood pressure falls, and the brain becomes less responsive to external stimuli, which makes it more difficult to wake up. This phase is critical for renewal and repair of the body. During slow wave sleep, the pituitary gland releases growth hormone, which stimulates tissue growth and muscle repair. Researchers also believe that the body's immune system is repaired during this stage. Slow wave sleep is particularly critical if you're an athlete. You'll often hear about professional athletes like Roger Federer or LeBron James sleeping 11 or 12 hours per night. 
As one example of the impact of sleep on physical performance, consider a study researchers conducted on the Stanford basketball players. During this study, the players slept for at least ten hours per night (compared to their typical eight hours). During five weeks of extended sleep, the researchers measured the basketball players accuracy and speed compared to their previous levels. Free throw shooting percentage increased by 9 percent. Three point shooting percentage increased by 9.2 percent. And the players were 0.6 seconds faster when sprinting 80 meters. If you place heavy physical demands on your body, slow wave sleep is what helps you recover. 
REM sleep is to the mind what slow wave sleep is to the body. The brain is relatively quiet during most sleep phases, but during REM your brain comes to life. REM sleep is when your brain dreams and re-organizes information. During this phase your brain clears out irrelevant information, boosts your memory by connecting the experiences of the last 24 hours to your previous experiences, and facilitates learning and neural growth. Your body temperature rises, your blood pressure increases, and your heart rate speeds up. Despite all of this activity, your body hardly moves. Typically, the REM phase occurs in short bursts about 3 to 5 times per night.
Without the slow wave sleep and REM sleep phases, the body literally starts to die. If you starve yourself of sleep, you can't recover physically, your immune system weakens, and your brain becomes foggy. Or, as the researchers put it, sleep deprived individuals experience increased risk of viral infections, weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, mental illness, and mortality.
To summarize: slow wave sleep helps you recover physically while REM sleep helps you recover mentally. The amount of time you spend in these phases tends to decrease with age, which means the quality of your sleep and your body's ability to recover also decrease with age.



When Should I Go to Sleep?
If you're getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep, does it matter when you get it?
“The time of night when you sleep makes a significant difference in terms of the structure and quality of your sleep,” said Dr. Matt Walker, head of the Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab at the University of California, Berkeley.
The ratio of REM to non-REM sleep changes through the night, with non-REM sleep dominating cycles earlier in the night and REM sleep kicking in closer to sunrise, Walker said. That means a late night could result in insufficient amounts of deep, non-REM sleep. As we discussed earlier, it's crucially important to get healthy amounts of both REM and non-REM sleep.
So how early do you need to be to bed to get enough of each type of sleep? Walker says there's a window of several hours, about 8 p.m. to midnight.
The best time for you, though, will vary.
Till Roenneberg, a professor of chronobiology at Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich who studies the biological roots of sleep, says each person has a unique internal timing profile called a sleep chronotype that determines where on the scale from “early bird” to “night owl” we fall. Your chronotype is largely genetic.
When choosing your bedtime, try not to fight your physiology. The best bedtime will differ a little bit for everyone, but it's crucial that you pay close attention to your internal clock and what your body is telling you. As long as you're getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep, just focus on finding the time that works best for you.

How to Sleep Better

How to Fall Asleep Fast
Develop a “power down” ritual before bed. The light from computer screens, televisions, and phones can hinder the production of melatonin, which means your body isn't preparing the hormones it needs to enter the sleep phase. Specifically, it is the blue wavelength of light that seems to decrease melatonin production. Developing a “power down” routine where you shut off all electronics an hour or two before sleep can be a big help. Additionally, working late at night can keep your mind racing and your stress levels high, which also prevents the body from calming down for sleep. Turn off the screens and read a book instead. It's the perfect way to learn something useful and power down before bed. (Another option is to download an app called f.lux, which reduces the brightness of your screen closer to bedtime.)
Use relaxation techniques. Researchers believe that at least 50 percent of insomnia cases are emotion or stress related. Find outlets to reduce your stress and you'll often find that better sleep comes as a result. Proven methods include daily journaling, deep breathing exercises, meditation, exercise, and keeping a gratitude journal (write down something you are thankful for each day).



Daily Habits for Better Sleep
Next, let's talk about how to sleep better by harnessing the power of a few simple, daily habits.
Get outside. Aim for at least 30 minutes of sun exposure each day.
Turn out the lights. When it gets dark outside, dim the lights in your house and reduce blue or full-spectrum light in your environment. F.lux, a free software app for your computer, makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.
Avoid caffeine. If you're having trouble falling asleep, eliminating caffeine from your diet is a quick win. If you can't go without your morning cup of coffee, then a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is “No coffee after noon.” This gives caffeine enough time to wear off before bed time.
Stop smoking or chewing tobacco. Tobacco use has been linked to a long line of health issues, and poor sleep is another one on the list. I don't have any personal experience with tobacco use, but I have heard from friends who have quit successfully that Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking book is the best resource on the topic.
Use the bedroom for sleep and sex only. Is your bedroom designed to promote good sleep? The ideal sleeping environment is dark, cool, and quiet. Don't make your bedroom a multi-purpose room. Eliminate TVs, laptops, electronics, and clutter. These are simple ways to improve the choice architecture of your bedroom, so that sleep is easier and distraction is harder. When you go to the bedroom, go there to sleep.

Natural Sleep Aids
Exercise. There are too many benefits to exercise to list them all here. When it comes to sleep, exercise will make it easier for your brain and body to power down at night. Furthermore, obesity can wreak havoc on your sleep patterns. The role of exercise only becomes more important with age. Fit middle-aged adults sleep significantly better than their overweight peers. One caveat: avoid exercising two to three hours before bedtime as the mental and physical stimulation can leave your nervous system feeling wired and make it difficult to calm down at night.
Temperature. Most people sleep best in a cool room. The ideal range is usually between 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 21 degrees Celsius).
Sound. A quiet space is key for good sleep. If peace and quiet is hard to come by, try controlling the bedroom noise by creating “white noise” with a fan. Or, use ear plugs.
Alcohol. This one is a slippery slope. It is true that having a drink before bed — a “night cap” — often does help people fall asleep. However, while it makes it easier to fall asleep, it actually reduces the quality of your sleep and delays the REM cycle. So you fall asleep faster, but it's possible that you'll wake up without feeling rested. It's probably best to improve your sleep through other methods before resorting to alcohol to do the job.
Final Thoughts on How to Sleep Better
Cumulative sleep debt is a barrier between you and optimal performance. If you want to know how to sleep better, the answer is simple but remarkably underrated in our productivity-obsessed culture: get more sleep.

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Credits
 The article was posted by JAMES CLEAR, 
 Original title: The Science of Sleep: A Brief Guide on How to Sleep Better Every Night



Habits that will make you a stronger person



Habits that will make you a stronger person

In 1914, Thomas Edison's lab burned down, and years' worth of his work was destroyed. This could easily be described as the worst thing to happen to Edison, but the inventor instead chose to see it as an energizing opportunity that forced him to rebuild and re-examine much of his work. Edison reportedly said at the time: "Thank goodness all our mistakes were burned up. Now we can start again fresh."
"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."
He's talking about mental strength, a difficult-to-define psychological concept that encompasses emotional intelligence, grit, resilience, self-control, mental toughness and mindfulness. It's something that Edison had in spades, and it's the reason that some people are able to overcome any obstacle, while others crumble at life's daily challenges and frustrations.
The ability to cope with difficult emotions and situations is a significant predictor of our success and happiness. The most capable individuals in this way are able to turn any obstacle into a source of growth and opportunity. And while much has been made of what mentally strong people avoid doing -- things like dwelling on the past, resenting the success of others and feeling sorry for themselves -- what do they actually do? What tactics do they use to overcome adversity time and time again?
"Things that we think are obstacles are actually opportunities to do something," says Holiday. "[To] be rewarded in some way that we never would have expected, provided that we address and don't shirk from that obstacle."

Here are 9 essential habits and practices of mentally strong people that can help you get through any challenge or hardship.

1.They see things objectively.
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.
"You can have the greatest plan in the world, but if you don't see the situation clearly, it doesn't matter," says Holiday.
Holiday studied countless examples through history of individuals who overcame obstacles that would seem completely insurmountable to most of us, from being falsely accused of triple murder to intense discrimination based on race or sex. He found that mental toughness came down to three things: Perception, action, and will.
"What's required [for mental strength] is some sort of philosophical framework that allows you to look past your emotions or what your first impressions of a situation might be," Holiday said. "So the elements of that are, 1) Your perception. Can you see things clearly and evenly? 2) Can you think about creative or out of the box kinds of solutions or actions? And finally, what is the kind of determination or will you can apply that action to the situation with?"

2. They let go of entitlement.
We all deserve happiness, but we don't deserve a life free from obstacles or setbacks. An attitude of entitlement -- thinking that we deserve to get what we want most or all of the time -- can make it much more difficult to deal with challenges when they come around and take you by surprise. This is a particularly common roadblock for Generation Y, according to Gen Y expert Paul Harvey, assistant professor of management at the University of New Hampshire, who observed that many Millennials have "unrealistic expectations and a strong resistance toward accepting negative feedback."
"Generation Y was sold a certain mindset about how the world was going to be at any and all times," agrees Holiday. "In previous times, the framework that people were given was not just a humbler one, but one that understood how unpredictable and inexplicable the world could be."
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.

3. They keep an even keel.
Mental strength is not so much about always being happy as it is about "keeping an even keel at any and all times," says Holiday.
Emotional stability and the ability to keep a cool head is an enormous asset when it comes to dealing with challenging situations. Fortunately, emotional stability tends to increase with age -- and it should come as no surprise that we become happier as a result.

4. They don't aspire to be happy all the time.
Excessive preoccupation with happiness can actually lead to an unhealthy attitude towards negative emotions and experiences. Mentally strong people don't try to avoid negative emotions -- rather, accepting both positive and negative emotions and letting different feelings coexist is a key component of resiliency.
"We so value optimism and happiness and all these positive traits, which are themselves abstractions, that we get caught by surprise and can't deal with their opposite," says Holiday. "If we were more middle of the road, things would be better and we'd be able to take advantage of the things that happen to us because there's more objectivity."
Australian social researcher Hugh Mackay argues that our cultural obsession with happiness can be dangerous, and that instead of worrying about being happy, we should concern ourselves with being whole.
"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."

5. They're realistic optimists.
Mentally tough people make a habit of getting up after they fall. Instead of getting upset, feeling hopeless and giving up in the face of obstacles, they take the opportunity to put on their thinking caps and come up with a creative solution to the problem at hand. Mentally strong people tend to be realistic optimists -- they have the hopefulness of optimists and the clarity of pessimists -- which gives them both the motivation and the critical thinking required to come up with creative solutions.
"Every time [realistic optimists] face an issue or a challenge or a problem, they won't say 'I have no choice and this is the only thing I can do,'" researcher Sophia Chou told LiveScience. "They will be creative, they will have a plan A, plan B and plan C."

6. They live in the present moment.
Being present -- rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future -- allows you to see things as they really are. Whether or not they have a formal meditation or mindfulness practice, mentally strong people tend to have a mindful, attentive way of engaging with the world.
"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.
The 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.

7. They're persistent in the pursuit of their goals.
We've all heard inspiring stories of amazingly successful people who overcame significant hardships and failures to get there. They're exhibiting one of the most fundamental qualities of resilient people: Perseverance, or as psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth puts it, grit.
In her studies of students in a number of different educational environments, Duckworth found that grit more than any other single quality (IQ, emotional intelligence, good looks, physical health) accounts for students' success. She also studied teachers and workers in various professional environments to determine what accounted for their success.
"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."

8. But they know when it's time to let go.
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.
There's an idea in Stoicism, Holiday explains, called the "art of acquiescence," which is yielding to the things that you can't change and making the best of them, rather than allowing them to upset or frustrate you. We need strength, determination and perseverance, but these aren't the answer in every situation. The mentally strong person lives by the Serenity Prayer -- they change what they can control, accept what they can't control, and know the difference between the two.
"Sometimes, the solution to the problem is to accept the problem and to bend yourself around that problem rather than crashing yourself repeatedly into it until you break," says Holiday.

9. They love their lives.
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."
Mentally strong people are grateful and appreciative of obstacles because of the simple fact that obstacles are life itself. Shortly before her death, Seattle-based author Jane Lotter left that advice with her family in a powerful self-written obituary.
As Lotter put it, "May you always remember that obstacles in the path are not obstacles, they ARE the path."
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Credits
 The article was posted by Carolyn Gregoiref,
 On: 
https://www.huffpostbrasil.com
 Original title: The 9 Essential Habits Of Mentally Strong People


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