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How to Become A Stronger Person

Updated on June 1, 2013
Is this true strength?
Is this true strength? | Source
My guide.
My guide. | Source

Definition of Strength

According to my (worn-out) version of the Funk & Wagnalls Standard Desk Dictionary, Volume 2, the definition of strength is divided into three main areas:

  1. Muscular power; vigour
  2. Durability; toughness
  3. Vigour or force of intellect, moral power

Simply put, I believe that there are three core elements of strength that need to exist for a person to be considered strong. These are:

  1. Physical Strength
  2. Mental Strength
  3. Spiritual Strength

Each of these elements is as important as the others. They are core areas of life that exist in all people, and that need to be developed to become a well-rounded person.

Physical Strength

The physical layer of strength is not related to physical ability, but rather is related to your lifestyle.

For a person to be considered strong, it is essential to treat your body with respect and develop the physical capabilities of your body. Obviously this would include healthy eating and exercise.

Consider that the health of the human brain, the organ that creates and develops mental and spiritual strength, is dependent upon the health of your body. It therefore stands to reason that the better your body functions, the more likely it is that you will be able to excel in developing the other two layers of strength.

Mental Strength

The second layer of strength, being mentally strong refers to your ability to weather day-to-day life.

It is important to realise that your intelligence is not a true indicator of mental strength. If you struggle to understand some things, but approach your life with patience, persistence and virtue, you are mentally strong. Conversely, if you excel at mental tasks (...such as writing), but cannot cope with stress, then you may not be as strong as others.

There is hope however. To be mentally capable is a monumental task, but it only takes practice to become the best you can be.

The Christ of the Abyss (Which I'll be writing about soon).
The Christ of the Abyss (Which I'll be writing about soon). | Source

Spiritual Strength

Spiritual strength is distinct from mental strength, and is not associated with religious beliefs, but can be developed through religious observance. Instead, this layer of strength focuses on how you interact with the world around you. Spiritual strength refers to your ability to understand yourself and your actions.

Spiritual strength usually comes last in the development of these three layers of strength, because it is the product of a capable and inquisitive mind. If I were to write a summary of these three elements, it would be this:

  • Physical strength produces a strong and capable mind.
  • A strong and capable mind is inquisitive of the world around it.

An inquisitive person with mental capability and physical strength? Sounds pretty strong to me!

So What Does All This Mean?

Firstly, strength is a subjective term. It depends a lot on personal experience and opinion. What one person considers strong, another may consider weak. The point of being strong is to learn to be happy, free from narcissism and desire.

Much like a Buddhist's journey to enlightenment, the path to becoming a stronger person is never truly realised. For most, the goal of becoming a stronger person simply provides the motivation to try and excel in all areas of life.

The aim of becoming a stronger person is to one day be able to sit down and honestly say to yourself, "I am the strongest version of myself that I can be."

If you can do that, you are a strong person.

Elliot Hulse's Four Layers of Strength

Look Above

While not a perfect analogy, this video by Elliot Hulse touches on many aspects of strength. In his video, Hulse talks about how strength is not dependent on physical ability. He believes that character integrity is also very important in the development of a strong person.

It's also pretty motivational! If you are reading this article, your education can not be considered complete until you have seen the above video.

Which Area of Strength do You Need Improvement In?

See results

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    • Jared Miles profile image
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      Jared Miles 4 years ago from Australia

      @WalterPoon, it takes great discipline to devote yourself so purposefully to exploring your faith like that. I'm sure you'd have a great number of stories to tell of your travels, am I right?

      Truly it would be a good thing to be free of stress like you claim. I envy you for that peace of mind.

      @SidKemp, thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my Hub. If we all try our hardest, we can aim to become stronger in all areas of our life, throughout our entire lives. The process never really stops.

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      Thanks, Jared. I always grows stronger as a person. Surviving adversity does that. I hope my body grows stronger, too, and I'm doing what I can to make that happen.

    • WalterPoon profile image

      Poon Poi Ming 4 years ago from Malaysia

      Jared Miles, I even went on a 2-week novice monkhood, just to have a feel of what being a monk is like. It did change my whole outlook in life, either for better or for worse, because nowadays, the material world does not fascinate me much. It takes the joy out of living, as well as the stress.

      One thing I find "odd" about Buddhist meditation is that it does change my whole outlook of life. In the beginning, when I first started, I felt as if my brain was rearranging itself. And after that, I stopped asking whether God exist, because it no longer bothered me.

      As you may already have known, Buddhist meditation is not about health but rather about experiencing suffering, impermanence, and the so-called ignorance. We are not allowed to move and after half an hour, the pain in our legs can be very excruciating. That's suffering. If you persevere, it will go away, even though the agonizing pain seems like it loves you so much that it will never go. And that's experiencing impermanence. As for ignorance, it's subjective as to what constitutes ignorance and is debatable.

    • Jared Miles profile image
      Author

      Jared Miles 4 years ago from Australia

      Haha, sad but true!

      I had no idea that you followed Buddhism so devoutly. If I had, I probably would have drawn upon more than my past Grade 11 understanding of Buddhism! In all seriousness though, I think it's very fascinating that you travel to monasteries for such a large portion of the year, I hope to be able to visit one at least once in my lifetime.

    • WalterPoon profile image

      Poon Poi Ming 4 years ago from Malaysia

      Jared Miles, you are right. I spend 8 months in and out of monasteries, trying to practise Buddhism and trying to reduce my attachment to material things. And I can see my "hubscore" falling further and further in the eyes of society, LOL.

    • Jared Miles profile image
      Author

      Jared Miles 4 years ago from Australia

      You make a good point WalterPoon, I'll be sure to make that minor adjustment when I'm next able. Also, it is true that spiritual strength might detract from a persons ability to see the world from a materialistic view.

      But it's for this reason that it is perhaps the most important. Buddhism for example teaches that attachment is a key cause of suffering, so being spiritually strong would allow a person to be a more overall happy type of person and transcend that attachment to material goods... Would you agree? :)

    • WalterPoon profile image

      Poon Poi Ming 4 years ago from Malaysia

      Jared Miles, I was looking at the results of the poll at the end of your hub. I think you should have omitted the 4th option because the question is "Most". Yet, including it is not fatal because the answer does tell its own story.

      Spiritual strength is the hardest to achieve, at least in my opinion, but it's not something that we appear to need urgently. Or could it be that spiritual strength detracts from our materialistic outlook? I'm therefore not surprised that no one picks it.

    • Jared Miles profile image
      Author

      Jared Miles 4 years ago from Australia

      Truly, the path to becoming a strong person is a lifelong journey. Thanks for commenting SidKemp, I appreciate your opinion.

      It's good to hear that you're gradually recovering from the effects of stress and illness. Hopefully, you can continue to grow stronger as a person.

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      Thanks, Jared, for sharing this inspiring and insightful hub on the many levels of strength. Myself, I've focused on all of them for many years. Spiritually, mentally, and emotionally (I would separate that one out), I seem to have done well. Physically, I am getting better, but as this body was severely weakened by stress and illness, the way ahead to a normal, healthy life is still a long one.

    • profile image

      Connor R. 4 years ago

      Interesting and well worth the read. Thanks for the video too!

    • Jared Miles profile image
      Author

      Jared Miles 4 years ago from Australia

      Thanks Paul, I appreciate you sharing my work and for taking the time to watch Hulse's video, it means a lot in these early stages.

      Hopefully I can live up to the expectations of your followers! :)

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 4 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      jaredmiles,

      This is a very interesting and useful hub. You presented your argument for strength in such a great logical and convincing way. Hulse's video was also very motivational and inspirational. Voted up and sharing with followers.

    • Jared Miles profile image
      Author

      Jared Miles 4 years ago from Australia

      I'm a little jealous, you just did a better job of summarising all that than I did, haha.

    • bydojo profile image

      Ramona Jar 4 years ago from Romania

      I am a woman, so physical strength is pretty limited for me. But I do consider that the mental/spiritual strength is the most important in life. You don't need to be a huge strong person, a well adjusted mind and lifestyle can really do wonders.