by | Dec 4, 2019 | Uncategorized | 6 comments

by K.J. Howe

I love audiobooks, especially business and self-help books. Long drives offer enjoyable lectures where I can fully immerse myself in a new topic. No road rage, no traffic frustration–just the joy of listening to an intelligent and thoughtful person sharing gems of wisdom in their area of expertise.

Recently, one book stood out, and I’d like to share a few highlights with you in the hopes that these tips might help you with any struggles you’re having. The book is called 13 THINGS MENTALLY STRONG PEOPLE DO by Amy Morin. Now Amy dives into each point in great depth, and it’s definitely worth taking the time to read her analysis of each point, but what I’d like to do is to share a few personal thoughts about each point.

1. They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves. 

Life is hard. We all have lousy days–whether it’s health issues, financial problems, family drama or…but every time I lapse into “feeling sorry for myself” mode, I try to reach out to someone–perhaps a friend or maybe even the cashier at the grocery store–and ask them how their day is going. Really listening, making them understand that I truly care. Connecting with another person who might also be struggling can help lift both your moods. We’re social beings who need that bond. Make someone’s day by surprising them with a small kindness. You’ll never regret it.

2. They don’t give away their power.

Whether it’s family or friends taking out their frustrations on you or a boss dishing out some harsh criticism, remember that no one can diminish you if you don’t let them. Don’t we have to be our own most fervent cheerleader in life?

3. They don’t shy away from change.

Adaptation is a survival mechanism. Growing up, I moved all over the world. Always being the new kid helped condition me to perpetual change. There are times when we all want our security blankets of the status quo, but if you view change as something good, a chance to experience a different life, it can really help you face both positive and negative events. Change is inevitable, so why fight it?

4. They don’t waste energy on things they can’t control.

Oh, boy. Isn’t it hard to let go of something that’s important to you even when you know there’s nothing you can humanly do to make an impact or change? But finding that peace-of-mind can save you many sleepless nights. Let go of the things you can’t change–and focus on the things where you do exert more control.

5. They don’t worry about pleasing anyone.

This is a tough one for so many people, me included. We’re all taught to make others happy, but if we don’t ask ourselves what makes us content, then we are missing out on so much in life. What makes you feel fulfilled? Are you willing to follow your heart even under the threat of disapproval from your loved ones?

6. They don’t fear taking calculated risks.

Adventure and travel are passions of mine. I love forcing myself out of my comfort zone to explore things that scare me a little. We should all try something new every month…it doesn’t have to be a big thing–a new food, a different sport, going out to dinner alone–the world is waiting for you to discover it.

7. They don’t dwell on the past.

Rumination. One word that dominates my thoughts. Who else relives embarrassing moments or mistakes over and over? Can’t we forgive ourselves and move on? Aren’t our flaws the things that make us all special and unique?

8. They don’t make the same mistakes over and over again.

Learning is a constant part of life. Can we stumble, dust ourselves off, and realize that we can do better? Take time to write in a journal and reread passages to remind yourself of lessons learned.

9. They don’t resent other people’s success.

There are so many opportunities available, and we all have our own journey to pursue. Encourage friends to follow their dreams, be their cheerleader and they can become yours. There is enough success for everyone–and success takes so many different forms. Whenever I meet someone impressive, I always consider the hours and hours they must have spent honing their skills. Overnight success is a rare thing, and we have no idea what others have sacrificed to reach their dreams. Ask the next successful person you meet about their journey. And congratulate them.

10. They don’t give up after the first failure.

Failure is the best teacher if we step out of the way of our egos. I love meeting people who are doggedly chasing a goal or dream, smiling and laughing when they talk about their stumbles. They understand that the only way we truly learn is to fail and fail and fail–until we finally succeed.

11. They don’t fear alone time.

Sometimes life is so busy that we forget to stop and re-assess. Are we in a rut? Have we lost perspective of our values? I love spending time alone, especially in nature, to consider what matters to me.

12. They don’t feel the world owes them anything.

Be grateful, not entitled.

13. They don’t expect immediate results.

Patience. If it were a commodity on the shelves, patience would sell out in ten minutes. We all have to think of the long game…and you’re proving that you have what it takes by making it to point number 13!

I hope you’ll take the time to read this book, as it tackles so many important points that we could all benefit from reminding ourselves about. Sending good thoughts your way.

Don’t Miss a Thing!



  1. Lisa Black

    I love this! I’m pretty good on some points, not so much on others.

  2. Karna Bodman

    What a wonderful summary of points to consider — (and to "live by" if we can). Looking over the list – just to add a light-hearted note: where it says "Change is inevitable" – I would reply, "Except from vending machines." Thanks for a great post, Kim!

  3. Robin Burcell

    Brilliant and timely post. Especially at such a busy time of year as we're all frantically trying to do our jobs, keep our house, deal with holidays and the stresses that go with them. I need to re-read this list every day!

  4. Debra Purdy Kong

    It sounds like a wonderful book. I've been subscribing to some of those things for a while. It's helped me survive as a writer. Other things I'm working on. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Jamie Freveletti

    I read this book last year and loved it! The "don't give away their power" is an excellent tip. Glad to see you liked the book as well!

  6. Norma Huss

    As a ninety-year old, I like your rules.