We spend the majority of our lives inside our own minds.
Our minds are made up largely of our thoughts, and thoughts are things: they are things you can control and shape.
Strong minds develop strong thinking patterns.
Here are five:
1. Strong-minded people never lose sight of their living potential
Do you still possess, as you did when you were a child, the sense of colossal expectation and the unshakable belief that your life is important and that great things await you?
Do you still see for yourself, no matter your age, a bright and dazzling future?
No living thing begins by giving up — and in the springtime of life, all humans see for themselves a big and bright and sparkling future.
All, in the beginning, possess the belief that their existence matters.
It is true that only the rarefied few hold this conviction for a lifetime — most selling out or succumbing to bad habits or one kind of dogma or other, whether religious or political. And yet, no matter how difficult or rarified, it is this colossal sense of expectation for life’s potential that the strongest — and only the strongest — never relinquish.
2. Strong-minded people never aim too low
Strong-minded people aim beyond what they’re capable of, because they have a near-total disregard for where their abilities end.
They know that greatness is not some rare DNA strand.
They know that talent, like intelligence, is willed, and that there is no real limit to human achievement.
3. Strong-minded people don’t mind being alone — even for long periods of time
They know that there’s dignity in loneliness, as there’s dignity in thought, and ultimately for the same reasons.
Contemplation is the highest occupation of the human species.
4. Strong-minded people don’t deify self-sacrifice
They know that the development of the race depends upon the development of the individual, and that it takes a thoroughly selfish age to deify self-sacrifice.
They know that where the self-development of each person has ceased to be the ideal, the intellectual standard hits rock bottom, and it’s then only a matter of time before it’s all completely lost.
5. Strong-minded people are independently minded
They prefer to think for themselves.
They are not afraid of thought.
Thus, strong-minded people don’t accept things on the basis of consensus or faith — both of which amount to the same thing — because on some level all strong-minded people know that the cost of conformity is colossal, the choice to think (or avoid it) life or death.
Excerpted from Whiskey Wisdom: The Art of Being Interesting