Dealing Better With Hard Times

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vuudu

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What separate those who are able to deal with hard times better than those who struggle? My parents were all about preaching mental strength and saying that is what sets us apart. Over time, I have come to question if there is a such a thing as mental strength. I think those that are able to deal with very difficult and hard times, those that shake us to our core do it with a better coping strategy than others.
The usual exercising, spiritual life focus and obtaining sufficient rest are all good tools but I have come to realize that shifting your thinking and keeping it on positives if you have any is a tremendous stress reliever.
So the point is about strategy and not an inherent mental strength. Thoughts?
 

IllegalContact

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Careful with that right-wing propaganda! You might spread that individual responsibility/mental strength to others that do not wish to be independent, and self-sufficient!

I'm to your left and can guarantee that not only am I more self sufficient than you, I have mentored many more to be self sufficient than you have.....relatively speaking, blue states are self sufficient.......red states are not

But that's not really the gist of the convo........
 

IllegalContact

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What separate those who are able to deal with hard times better than those who struggle? My parents were all about preaching mental strength and saying that is what sets us apart. Over time, I have come to question if there is a such a thing as mental strength. I think those that are able to deal with very difficult and hard times, those that shake us to our core do it with a better coping strategy than others.
The usual exercising, spiritual life focus and obtaining sufficient rest are all good tools but I have come to realize that shifting your thinking and keeping it on positives if you have any is a tremendous stress reliever.
So the point is about strategy and not an inherent mental strength. Thoughts?


there's a certain randomness to it........I grew up surrounded by alcoholics......financially, they were self-sufficient, but my involvement was at times necessary or else they would have killed themselves and quite possibly others.....they were no help in my development

I have a brother........subjected to the exact same environment, and we could not be more different......he would disappear, I would deal with it....it had to do with compassion as much as anything else......'mental strength' is a general term......the underlying conditions such as selfishness vs empathy/compassion.......I couldn't stand them, but they needed my help......did that prepare me better to take care of myself? maybe, but my bro is successful by his own right.

there's also luck......my opportunities were handed to me....all I had to do was take advantage, as it was not hard.

mental toughness becomes the top issue only when someone gives up and even then, you have to look into the conditions that caused the break

intellect and foresight that it takes to be prepared for tough time can make 'tough times' see relatively easy.......my biggest hassle is when I go to the store and they don't have what I am looking for.
 
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LuRkeR1978

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
I'm to your left and can guarantee that not only am I more self sufficient than you, I have mentored many more to be self sufficient than you have.....relatively speaking, blue states are self sufficient.......red states are not

But that's not really the gist of the convo........

Prove it. This should be good...
 

vuudu

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there's a certain randomness to it........I grew up surrounded by alcoholics......financially, they were self-sufficient, but my involvement was at times necessary or else they would have killed themselves and quite possibly others.....they were no help in my development

I have a brother........subjected to the exact same environment, and we could not be more different......he would disappear, I would deal with it....it had to do with compassion as much as anything else......'mental strength' is a general term......the underlying conditions such as selfishness vs empathy/compassion.......I couldn't stand them, but they needed my help......did that prepare me better to take care of myself? maybe, but my bro is successful by his own right.

there's also luck......my opportunities were handed to me....all I had to do was take advantage, as it was not hard.

mental toughness becomes the top issue only when someone gives up and even then, you have to look into the conditions that caused the break
Gives up... I did not consider that, but that is a good point. I believe it is in those moments a strong support system can help. I agree with you that it is not a simple matter, but there are several factors that can affect the end results.
 

IllegalContact

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Gives up... I did not consider that, but that is a good point. I believe it is in those moments a strong support system can help. I agree with you that it is not a simple matter, but there are several factors that can affect the end results.

I have 2 tenants who have not paid me full rent for 6 months..........they do what they can........they forge on because they have someone backing them and they don't have to leave in the morning wondering where the roof is going to be. The situation is easy for me to absorb so I do......their 'luck' is in the fact that they have a landlord who has both the ability and the desire to do that. If they didn't, what then?
 

Patsfanin Philly

Pro Bowl Player
Your true character comes out in a crisis ( in both red and blue states). I am in my 60s and my parents grew up dirt poor in the Great Depression and dad served in WW2 and mom worked for the Navy as a civilian at age 16!!!!. He came home started a business and worked 6.5 days a week t move up to upper middle class. In his 40s, the government decided they wanted to build the SouthWest Expressway and took the land by eminent domain giving him pennies on the dollar. ( They never built the highway and they leveled the property and it is a field now). He moved to the suburbs, started over and built a successful business but there some very lean years in my teens and that has stayed with me......save for the rainy day, have a six month fund, and live below your means....
He had two mantras, "that's life, deal with it." and " nobody said life was fair". Harsh but he didn't raise any snowflakes.
Growing up my mother told me of people collecting cans during WW2 to recycle. A neighbor cut his hand, got tetanus and died ( this was before the vaccine). At the funeral, the mother screamed, " it should have been one of you, not my child."... You never know how you would react until you are in that situation. Unfortunately my wife and I were in that exact one in 1993 when our son died suddenly...I thought of that woman and my wife and I never would have ever even thought of saying that...... You reveal your true character in a crisis. When this hit and the shuttered my business for 12 weeks, we took the attitude that we will deal with it, we've seen much worse....
 

maust1013

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There is no one path to being good in a crisis / better at dealing with hard times. Nature, nurture, life experience, intellect and even the life partner someone shares their journey with are all reasons some are better at managing expectations or coping during difficult times than others.
 

betterthanthealternative

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This is the EQi model of emotional intelligence which I've found helpful in many ways. Think of it as your emotional muscles. Some are well developed and others less so. Stressful times finds the weak spots, and we generally need to find our strengths to keep from getting derailed.

The last set is called "Stress Tolerance" but I think that's an insufficient label.

Self-Perception:​

Self-Regard
Self-Actualization
Emotional Self Awareness

Interpersonal:​

Interpersonal Relationships
Empathy
Social Responsibility

Decision Making:​

Problem Solving
Reality Testing
Impulse Control

Self-Expression:​

Emotional Expression
Assertiveness
Independence


Stress Management:


Flexibility
Stress Tolerance
Optimism
 

PatsFanInVa

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What separate those who are able to deal with hard times better than those who struggle? My parents were all about preaching mental strength and saying that is what sets us apart. Over time, I have come to question if there is a such a thing as mental strength. I think those that are able to deal with very difficult and hard times, those that shake us to our core do it with a better coping strategy than others.
The usual exercising, spiritual life focus and obtaining sufficient rest are all good tools but I have come to realize that shifting your thinking and keeping it on positives if you have any is a tremendous stress reliever.
So the point is about strategy and not an inherent mental strength. Thoughts?
Keeping your thinking on positives might be good, but I am much better at finding the absurdity in the negatives and having a good old-fashioned rant or two every now and then. Not necessarily online... just basically have fun with the absurdity of the situation, however bad it is. When I had my first big-boy health scare, a heart attack, I was one of those guys joking and being totally inappropriate, and I am sure I pissed off some people. Now I'm not saying that heart attack was tough times like you're talking about -- I had good insurance, I got good medical care, it hurted owie owie but then I got better (with a couple of stents.) But I did have a moment when I felt bad for being flippant, but this one doctor said, "no, I get it, if you laugh at it it can't hurt you."

Huh. Guess that's true, at least to your brain.

A couple of other tricks, not exactly strategy, more like tactics:

- "What's the worst that could happen?" 90% of the time, for me, it's something that I've dealt with before, successfully (using "I'm still here" as the bar for success.) That other 10% I don't wanna think about thank you very much...

- Similar to the above: Whatever I think is wrong in my life, or could be wrong b/c I have really effed it up now, I go to some equivalent to "there's people starving in China." Come on man, you know that whatever it is, someone's got it worse.

And the last one, and it's the master skill that I am personally too lazy to seek out opportunities for...

- Find somebody who needs you, somehow, and do for them. It might be difficult, it might be "thankless," whatever, but it makes you powerful. If you have kids, you might always want to do better for them... but doing for them and keeping the worry from them makes you the grownup. If you have sick people in your family, and you help them out or just attend to them... it makes you strong, because if they knew *you* were in question, well what would happen to *them*?

I'm a selfish guy. But I find that selfishness must have some commonality with self-loathing, because I can imagine letting everything go to hell for just myself... but NEVER for someone I'm responsible for.

I think... *think*... that this is a fairly common experience.

Now I'll add that it's also the source of the most horrible, heart-breaking stories one hears, when you get so low that you let down people who depend on you... and I KNOW that's also a common thing.

What makes you tough when you're facing worse crises than I've faced? By definition, I don't know. I can trot out the ones I have faced, but I think a healthy dose of "there but for the grace of God go I" is something we all absolutely need in this life, and it's precisely what's been publicly bashed by the vulgarians these past few years.

America's great when it's good.
 

IllegalContact

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This is the EQi model of emotional intelligence which I've found helpful in many ways. Think of it as your emotional muscles. Some are well developed and others less so. Stressful times finds the weak spots, and we generally need to find our strengths to keep from getting derailed.

The last set is called "Stress Tolerance" but I think that's an insufficient label.

Self-Perception:​

Self-Regard
Self-Actualization
Emotional Self Awareness

Interpersonal:​

Interpersonal Relationships
Empathy
Social Responsibility

Decision Making:​

Problem Solving
Reality Testing
Impulse Control

Self-Expression:​

Emotional Expression
Assertiveness
Independence


Stress Management:

Flexibility
Stress Tolerance
Optimism

something missing in this is planning/preparation/organization

I’ve always had a plan, I’ve almost always been prepared, and I’m organized.....I’ve reduced my organizational effort through simplification ..... for example, I don’t have to organize my sock drawer since it is all one type of white sock and one type of black sock......I haven’t paired socks for years....I have 7 identical pairs of jeans....my suits are the same but 3 different colors....I have my pantry organized so I can probably go in there with my eyes closed and get what I want.
 

Patsfanin Philly

Pro Bowl Player
something missing in this is planning/preparation/organization

I’ve always had a plan, I’ve almost always been prepared, and I’m organized.....I’ve reduced my organizational effort through simplification ..... for example, I don’t have to organize my sock drawer since it is all one type of white sock and one type of black sock......I haven’t paired socks for years....I have 7 identical pairs of jeans....my suits are the same but 3 different colors....I have my pantry organized so I can probably go in there with my eyes closed and get what I want.
Boy does that sound familiar. And I am guessing you have an emergency kit in the basement you update with at least 3 days of food, water, flashlight, crank radio, first aid kit etc......
 

Nikolai

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there's also luck......my opportunities were handed to me....all I had to do was take advantage, as it was not hard.

Agree with a lot that you said, but this is a huge one. Often times, for those not already fortunate enough to grow up in a truly wealthy family, I've observed the odds of success are directly associated to the degree to which people take advantage of the opportunities afforded them.

As I've had success, I work to provide opportunities for others, be it job offers, growth opportunities, education, etc. Unfortunately, I have had few takers. I'm not sure if it's my ability to communicate the advantages of taking some of these opportunities, risk aversion from the people I'm reaching out to, or a combination of both.

It's not hard to take advantage of opportunities, but there is a mental strength component. Often, opportunities seem scary or seem to carry a degree of difficulty or risk that, once taken, really wasn't difficult or risky at all.

I strongly suspect most people do not take opportunities to better themselves, and suffer for it, even if just a little.
 

IllegalContact

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Agree with a lot that you said, but this is a huge one. Often times, for those not already fortunate enough to grow up in a truly wealthy family, I've observed the odds of success are directly associated to the degree to which people take advantage of the opportunities afforded them.

As I've had success, I work to provide opportunities for others, be it job offers, growth opportunities, education, etc. Unfortunately, I have had few takers. I'm not sure if it's my ability to communicate the advantages of taking some of these opportunities, risk aversion from the people I'm reaching out to, or a combination of both.

It's not hard to take advantage of opportunities, but there is a mental strength component. Often, opportunities seem scary or seem to carry a degree of difficulty or risk that, once taken, really wasn't difficult or risky at all.

I strongly suspect most people do not take opportunities to better themselves, and suffer for it, even if just a little.

it's not just opportunity, but allowing yourself to take 'educated risks'

I did not grow up in a 'wealthy family' ..... my dad ran a machine shop (and drank) and my mom was a seamstress (and drank) .... the opportunities I was handed were from people along my professional path and I freely admit that more of it was right place/right time than anything that was earned......which how I pay it forward. Family, my tenants, my neighbors, strangers on the street (in that order). I recognize my path (as an adult) was unusually easy and how truly lucky I was/am. Part of what I did with taking advantage was taking risk that made sense to me.......in 1988, I bought a triple decker on gates in southie for pretty cheap ..... within a year, I leveraged the equity into a 2nd triple decker purchase....I repeated the same formula 2 more times and numbers-wise, I was up against it for a bit, but I had minimal no rent months form any units and it worked out.......people though I was nuts at the time, the typical Lithuania schadenfreude was prevalent all around me......but it worked and I spread the benefit because I was never one to let my money keep me hostage

the reason I openly proclaim the alcoholism around me in my formative years is for my own benefit.......I used to keep it bottled up and all it did was create resentment......the alcoholics are mostly all gone now, ashes in my closet
 

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