Ready for a harsh truth about life?
You can’t control anything except your mind. What happens to you, how people behave, and whether your dog vomits on your carpet are outside your control. The only thing you have power over are your thoughts, attitude, and responses.
Ancient stoic philosophers call this the Inner Fortress.
It’s unbreakable from the outside – but can be corrupted from the inside.
That’s why mental resilience is so important. It has helped me reach my biggest goals and survive the darkest times.
But staying unbreakable is difficult when life dumps a garbage truck full of elephant poop on your head. Yet, these are exactly the times that make or break you.
Use these simple lessons to stay mentally resilient whatever happens.
Understand This Simple Truth About Stress
Most people view stress through the wrong perspective.
- “My job is so stressful.”
- “I have so much to do, I’m losing my head.”
- “My relationship is in a tough spot, it’s killing me.”
I used to live with constant stress. Running a business alongside a trauma-based relationship took a toll. Every evening, I went to bed with my thoughts racing.
At night, I woke up with my legs kicking and head spinning, one nightmare away from losing my mind.
This wasn’t because of external circumstances, but how I handled them.
You are the only person who can stress yourself out.
The world will throw a lot of shit at you – but how you take it is up to you.
Most of the time, you think things should be different. You think you’re not moving fast enough, worry about what tomorrow may bring, and get stuck in endless what-if spirals. This corrupts your inner fortress.
But once you understand you create stress in your head, you take the power back.
Stressing and worrying don’t improve your situation – they just make you miserable for extra time.
Let go. Relax. Whatever tomorrow may bring, it brings.
You’ll handle it when the time comes.
So don’t stress yourself out before.
“Choose not to be harmed – and you won't feel harmed. Don't feel harmed – and you haven't been.” – Marcus Aurelius
Don’t Mix Up The C-Words
Like so many of us, I’ve been searching for something.
I wanted satisfaction, power, money, love, and good looks. I wanted to belong, to feel good about myself, to go to bed at night and say, “Everything’s alright.” But I looked in the wrong places.
- When I felt lonely, I watched porn
- When I got bored, I scrolled social media
- When I was unhappy, I smoked weed
We look for the cure to our pains on the outside. We inhale an ever-increasing amount of quick fixes for a short glimpse of the promised land. We consume, which leaves us empty.
The answer lies in creation, not consumption.
When you’re feeling down, ask yourself what you can create.
I know it feels weird to create when you’ve got nothing left to give. But that’s the funny thing about creation. It fuels the world and you.
Write down your thoughts. Draw a picture. Build something with your hands. Call a friend to tell them you love them. Create a new habit that replaces the toxic behaviors.
Creation makes you feel powerful, accomplished, and like you matter.
It’s the answer to the feelings of loneliness, sadness, and failure we often get.
You are the creator of your life.
Get to work.
“Consumption may fill your pocket, but creation fills your soul.” – Ryan Lill
This Realization Completely Changed How I Viewed Emotions
Most human misery grows from the same root.
We’re afraid of pain, rejection, failure, and all the other things that make the ego go “screw that.”
I’ve experienced it again and again. Instead of facing my demons, I built protective walls and ran away.
- Procrastinating to evade failure
- Closing myself off to avoid rejection
- Numbing myself with drugs to escape pain
A few months ago, one of my friends said something that shifted my perspective forever.
Emotions are safe.
It’s as simple as mind-blowing.
Even if you experience the biggest hurt, there’s no reason to run from your emotions.
Will you feel like shit for a while? Yeah. It’s been two years since my last breakup and this morning I had a nightmare that brought back tons of painful memories.
But if I allow myself to feel them and let them be, they vanish and I’m fine a few minutes later.
Emotions can’t harm you – it’s your resistance that causes suffering.
So allow yourself to feel.
“Feelings are never wrong or right. They simply exist. Just acknowledge them, and then choose how to respond.” – Jill Bolte Taylor
Everything Is A Choice
Life is not supposed to make you happy.
I’ve achieved a ton of cool shit. Living five minutes from the beach. Making money doing what I love. Guess what?
It didn’t make me happy.
Yet, we tell ourselves this bullshit story again and again.
- “If only this thing wasn’t this way, I’d be happy.”
- “Once I’ve achieved XYZ, life’s gonna be good.”
- “I just want $200k to be happy.”
It’s a load of bullshit.
Happiness is an internal choice.
You can choose whether you focus on what you lack or what you have. You can choose whether you let something drag you down or use it as fuel to thrive. You can choose whether you accept the present moment or resist it.
So why do we so often choose to be unhappy?
Because the ego thrives on it. It loves making you worry about stuff and telling you BS stories about how happy you would be if you only had this and that. Don’t listen to it.
You can choose to be happy right now.
And even though it’s not always easy, it is your choice.
You control your mind, not the other way around.
“You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” – Nightbirde, singer and songwriter who died from cancer
Summary To Help You Become Mentally Unbreakable
Mental resilience is the key to creating the life you want.
When things get tough, remember these four lessons:
- You are the only person who can stress yourself out – you choose your reaction to external events.
- The answer lies in creation, not consumption – one fuels you, the other drains you.
- Emotions are safe – feelings don’t hurt you but your resistance to them does.
- Happiness is an internal choice – so shift your focus and be happy with what is, right now.
Keep the walls of your Inner Fortress strong and nothing will be able to conquer it.