How to Become A Stronger Person
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:
- Muscular power; vigour
- Durability; toughness
- 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:
- Physical Strength
- Mental Strength
- 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.
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.
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.
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
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.