LaRae Quy, a former undercover FBI agent, recently wrote a book breaking down the factors that constitute a strong mind. She identifies five factors:
Confidence – speaks for itself. For instance, people admire that I’m not shy about giving a speech. I can assure you that I was not born with it. I had opportunities to speak early in life. Small speeches before small groups. The more I did it, the more my nervousness subsided. The more I tried, the more I developed an ability to connect. Quy says you gain confidence by starting small and building. One step at a time.
Commitment – the ability to make a decision or choice and stick with it. No meaningful accomplishment comes easy. When the challenges come or the obstacles arise, it is easy to change directions or make a new decision. Commitment causes us to stay the course in the face of challenge.
Courage is not letting fear keep you from acting. We all know people who never try anything new, make a new start or make a hard choice because of the fear of the unknown or because they see all that can go wrong. Most of the stuff we fear never materializes. Courage allows you to act and to progress.
Control is knowing where you can act and being responsible for your actions. Many things are outside our circle of influence. The strong minded aren’t distracted by the things they can’t control. They are focused on acting on what they can get done.
Purpose is the final characteristic. The strong minded are characterized by strong, intentional targets in their life. If you aren’t aiming at a target, you won’t hit it.
I like these characteristics. They form a good model for establishing a stronger mind.