You guys! I should have read this book BEFORE I freaked out in the Southwest boarding line and didn't get on the plane for Disney. It is full of helpful tips and suggestions and is written in a really straightforward and approachable way.
I took this really great How Mentally Strong Are You quiz and found that (NO SURPRISE) I have a hard time taking calculated risks. I also need to work on controlling only what I can control-- and let me tell you, this has been a thing I have been working on for years. YEARS. You should take this quiz because the results are fascinating and really accurate-- at least they were for me. Because the results are broken down by area-- giving away power, taking calculated risks, shying away from change, wallowing in self pity, etc-- the quiz provides a very thorough explanation at the end which helped bring to light the principles Morin discusses in the book.
According to Morin, mentally strong people do not
- Waste time feeling sorry for themselves
- Give away their power
- Shy away from change
- Focus on things they can't control
- Worry about pleasing everyone
- Fear taking calculated risks
- Dwell on the past
- Make the same mistakes over and over
- Resent other people's success
- Give up after the first failure
- Fear alone time
- Feel the world owes them anything
- Expect immediate results
Far from a simple checklist, these traits (or, rather, the negative description of positive traits the reader can think mentally strong people DO possess) serve as the organizing principle for Morin's book. Each chapter opens with a case study from Morin's own therapy practice and a discussion of the trait in general, then provides a description of how readers can improve their mental strength in each area.
Morin opens the book with her own powerful story and discusses how she came to be a mental strength expert. She does a good job of using examples from her own life and her own practice throughout the book to humanize her advice and break up the monotony of bullet points. This was a quick and engaging read, but I wonder why Morin uses negative phrasing throughout. As a rhetorician who is interested in Kenneth Burke, I think it is too simple to argue that if one thing is NOT true, its opposite must be true. Perhaps this is Morin's point, that mentally strong people display their strength is a myriad of ways, but I couldn't help but hear Tolstoy in my head ("All happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.") I was put off by the negative phrasing throughout which sounded quote awkward at times.
This is a small complain, though, because the over all message of the book was excellent, and I am so happy I read it.
Check out an audio clip of the book here