There are two main determining factors in whether or not someone is successful in a given activity. The first is intelligence. This is the amount, quality and speed of information stored, processed and retrieved in your brain. The second is strength. This includes the ability to deprive yourself, to resist temptation, to follow through, to endure, to tolerate to motivate and to inspire yourself. Both of these are equally important, however I have seen many people who seem to lack a sufficient amount of strength. This used to be a problem of mine also. I used to rely too much on intelligence and focused mostly on solving my problems with more information and with more thinking and learning. I found out a while back that this was only half of the equation and I was focusing my energies too much in one area. I then began a rigorous program of listening to my feelings more, listening to what they told me to do, and learning to use the word “no” more often to create boundaries for myself and others. I learned to resist the temptation to feel self-conscious or give in to another’s expectations of me and I learned to stand up for myself and my own boundaries. Like any muscle, your mental strength must be exercised and it starts by learning how to say no to yourself and others.