I ran into this article and found the title eye catching. You can read the article here. The term “mentally strong people” isn’t something that I’ve heard commonly used in any circles. The article had some great points and I liked number two the best, “They don’t give away their power.” Power is something that a lot of people have but never realize it or use it. Thus, they give their power away without knowing it. There’s books you can read about it (i.e. 48 Laws of Power). One way that I’ve seen people give up their power is by losing their cool in a situation that they don’t like. Stressful situations are never enjoyable but they get worse when people totally flip out over something that they can’t change in the moment. It’s at that point that you’ve lost control and it’s in those situations that people sometimes have to intervene and make choices for you. Coming from a background in mental health, that choice often meant putting someone in the hospital involuntarily. Needless to say, the article has some great points and I think that they all are true. But by the same token, it’s ok to not be mentally strong all the time and to seek assistance when you need it. Ignoring something doesn’t mean it goes away. Even if you are “mentally strong.”
During my work career I’ve worked with the elderly and those with terminal illnesses. One common theme is that many of them have regrets. These regrets range from something as significant as getting married to something as trivial as having dessert before their actual meal. Many of my patients would talk for hours about what they wished could have been. They wanted a different life but reality and circumstances interfered with their plans. Even though I’m decades younger I still think about how my life could’ve been different if I had made different decisions. While I’m not extremely disappointed in my decisions up to this point, I could probably be at a different place in my life if I made other decisions. More recently I’ve found myself asking this question once again. It’s not a regret and I would call it a wish of sorts. I wish that although the world is small it was a bit smaller in a way that would allow me to pursue an opportunity. I’m not usually extremely disappointed in missed opportunities because it’s a part of the human experience and I am usually able to put that information in perspective. I guess this opportunity was different because it really felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity without any chance of it reappearing again. It’s almost as if fate has a mind of its own. Circumstances keep us from what we would truly want in an ideal existence. But that’s not the world we live in. Our lives aren’t perfect and we don’t live in a happily ever after movie. Sometimes we won’t be able to capitalize on opportunities regardless of how much we want to. I think those kind of disappointments are the kind that stay with you for years after the actual event. They color your world and you wouldn’t be who you are without them. Fate is fate and sometimes that can’t be changed.
I’ve always been a person who has had respect for people in power. I also think that it’s possible to have power without being in a position of power. In our world, many times power comes with money. The more money someone has, the more their opinion or perspective is respected. Because of this power, they can also influence others to a great extent. Power can also come from the set of initials behind or before your name. Initials like “M.D.” “J.D.” or “PhD” are generally more respected than “B.A.” “B.S.” or “M.A.” A few weeks ago I received a professional license that I’ve worked toward for the past 6 years. Along with credibility, one of the things that this license allows me to do is to sign a piece of paper that can hospitalize a person involuntarily for a certain period of time for evaluation. While there are certain parameters and guidelines that dictate when this option is appropriate, I get the opportunity to use my clinical judgment to see if those guidelines are met and I sign a piece of paper that can turn someone’s life upside down. My decision affects a lot of people including parents whose child is being taken out of their custody. Family members, friends and other people involved are all entities who can be impacted by the decision that I made. The thing about power is that it can be used as a means for good or for evil. It’s not a bad thing in itself, but it can be misused and mishandled. This can be especially true when people who are insecure are given an extremely large amount of power. All their decisions are made through the lens of their own self-identified deficiencies and the results are usually disastrous. I think that this is one of the reasons why it’s important to know who you are because power will only magnify your true character and your flaws or strengths will be showcased in your decisions.
Lately, I’ve been working on becoming more self aware. One part of this process was taking a personality test. I had to take about 4 of them in my undergraduate program because it was required and my teachers wanted us to all be aware of our various personalities and how it would affect our careers. Since then, I haven’t taken other test except for one that told you what your personality was after you picked colors in a certain sequence. That being said, this new test that I took really was eye-opening. It was called the DISC assessment and I had never heard of it before but apparently it’s pretty popular. Scoring the test after I took it was pretty intense but I was somewhat surprised with the results. I scored almost exactly the same for two of the personality types. I was a “C” for conscientious and “D” for dominance. And while these personality types were both task oriented, the “C” was more analytical and methodical in finding information. In contrast the “D” was more dominant and more likely to act out of impulse when making decision and was also more ego-centric. The test was actually pretty accurate and I could see situations where both personality traits were used. I was somewhat surprised at the Dominant aspect because I’m not someone who has to always be applauded. Sure, I like power and influence, but who doesn’t? I do love a good challenge and if I don’t think that I can do it, I’m always going to push myself to the limit to see if it’s possible. I like to work independently and I’m pretty decent at managing troubles. In fact, I once was able to convince a stranger over the phone not to press legal action on the place where I was working. I really feel as if my personality is a mixture of my environment and social interactions and I’ve noticed that I’m somewhat of a chameleon and I can easily blend in when I’m with groups of people. If you haven’t taken a personality test, I’d definitely recommend it. You’ll learn a lot. Guaranteed.