6 Lessons I’ve Learned From Staying In A Place That You Want...

6 Lessons I’ve Learned From Staying In A Place That You Want To Escape

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6 Lessons I've Learned From Staying In A Place That You Want To Escape
Image Credit | digitaltrends

“Purgatory” is my own personal nickname for the hometown I’ve been shackled to for so long. In purgatory, there is no good and no bad, just endless, drab waiting.

In my hometown, you wait and wait until you’re old and grey, and then you die, confused and angry.

Here are the 6 lessons I’ve learned in trying to escape this place and live a life of color:


1. Never waste opportunity

Opportunity can be fickle. For some, it never seems to stop coming along. For others, it has to be created. If you want to have an easy life, don’t allow opportunity to slip through your fingers. I don’t care if you’re 15 or 55, there’s no excuse to opt out of an opportunity to create a better life. If you’ve got a good gut feeling about it, go for it.

I’ve been given opportunities quite a few times in my life, and I wasted every last one because I either couldn’t see them for what they were or didn’t take them seriously. Hindsight is 20-20 they say, but I can tell, looking back, that my biggest problem was always my cocky attitude. I never thought opportunities would stop falling into my lap. Silly me.

To not let opportunity pass you by unnoticed, humble yourself enough that you take every possibility seriously. Don’t think that you are above anything or that you deserve better just because it isn’t ideal. Life is never truly ideal; get over it and make a move.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls, and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison

2. You never do it alone

This isn’t a world that you can flourish in by isolating yourself. Everything that you could possibly want in this life, you can more easily get by knowing the right people. Everybody says that you should walk the walk instead of talking the talk, but talkers get a lot done too.

Is it your goal to land a job or start a business? Knowing the right people can help you with that immensely. What about excelling at a particular talent or sport? Knowing an expert and getting involved in the right community will set you on your way with that as well.

This rule applies to everything. When it comes to socializing, always seek to expand, never contract. What I mean by this is that you should always be reaching out as much as you can to meet new people and get to know the people already in your life. You’ll be surprised by how things turn out when you do!


3. It’s all about the end result

Forget “The Journey.” You can start enjoying your journey once you start succeeding, but until then you’ve got to stay focused and angry enough to make it happen. Yes, anger is your weapon (see below).

When you start thinking about it as a journey, you lose focus. It becomes a “lifestyle” and not something that you’re starving to move forward in. Maintaining some sense of equilibrium while trying to enact major change is an oxymoron, and you will sabotage yourself if you’re not willing to let yourself get obsessed.

Stephen Covey

4. Knowing how to use knowledge is more important than knowledge itself

I learned a ton of things in school, but only apply about 10% of it in my day-to-day life. Logically, this makes it all a massive waste of time. I could have just researched into what I wanted to know on the fly; it is the age of information. Even if you were to go on to college or university, there’s always more money to be made from going into business and creating your own income. This applies before or after your schooling. If I were to go back to school though, I would go with an in-demand trade and start getting paid sooner than later.

The exception to this is experience. If you have experience in a money making skill like sales or marketing, you have a real leg up in making money in many many ways.

Having a lot of knowledge isn’t what makes someone a genius. A genius is someone who brings a new perspective to the table, and does things a little differently. They can use knowledge in new and creative ways to create solutions and become a leader in their field.

There is no right answer to how to use knowledge. Once you understand that, you’re one step closer.


5. Suffering doesn’t mean you’re moving forward

Suffering is just the passing of misfortune. Suffer enough, and you can become delusional, and start to think that you’re paying the price for success. You are not. Only taking control of things and improving your situation is moving forward, and this is especially so when you’re in a situation that causes you to suffer.

I’ve been through many difficult situations which caused me to suffer. Eventually, I started thinking that this is just how life is going to be for me, and that I gained something from going though hardship. Well I did,  after many difficult years of the same old crap, I finally learned that I can refuse to suffer anymore.

Get in the mindset of refusing to suffer. Sure, do what you gotta do to get where you’re going but never confuse that with pointless suffering. If there’s nothing to gain, you don’t need pain. We all go through some rough patches, but don’t ever let yourself start thinking that it’s just something that you have to put up with forever.

“Better be wise by the misfortune of others than your own” – Aesop

6. Anger is how you save yourself

When the going gets tough, the tough get angry. When all else fails, anger will keep you on your feet and pushing you forward. It is the great useful emotion that gives you the power to do more than you thought you could before.

Anger works because it is a state of strong discontentment. “I’m not happy with how things are going, and  I’ll fight to make a change.” With this deep burning to make a change driving you forward, it really becomes possible. A lot of us have been conditioned to not experience strong anger so easily. You have to break this conditioning. Use this exercise: Think about a situation where you were treated particularly unfairly, and allow yourself to experience the spark of anger from this. Focus on this emotion and learn to cultivate it. Repeat this exercise over and over, and soon enough you will have much easier access to your own anger.

Don’t be afraid to unshackle the chains society has placed on your emotions. These limits only serve to hold you back and homogenize your soul. Let your rage show in all it’s burning glory!


Thank you for reading my article. Please leave your comments below!
Chris Turner is someone who bet his future on obsessively learning and moving forward- particularly when it comes to all things moneymaking, rather than taking the normal, "traditional" route. He writes about what he's learned from his struggles and successes at his blog, unhappyinvalid.com.


  1. Well written Chris. I agree with your points, specially on using anger in your favor to over come being stuck.
    I would also add: Don’t complain about the place you are in or the people you are surrounded with. But identify what best the situation has to offer and utilize it to the maximum. There is always something that can be used in your favor to escape the situation. Complaining makes us focus on the bad stuff and prevent us from identifying the opportunities.

  2. Wow Chris,

    Brilliant post. It really resonated with me. I too agree that anger will pull your out of complacency and into action. I have however got the great gift of motivation, when I found what I wanted to create and where I wanted to go. I get the start of your post with never miss an opportunity because it gets delivered in overalls and it looks like hard work. Right on.

    Your right about going against the grain when you say it is about the end result and not the journey. I do agree to a point. Because once again it circles in that lifestyle, relaxed mode. However I think you can remain focused and spirited in your work and develop the skill set you have when angry so that you get an all round win. I don’t want to have that anger all the time, but I certainly want that fire to keep me going, to keep it real.

    For me whenever failure seems to sit me on my butt, of late I have this in built mechanism that keeps reminding me it is only a day and it will pass. Like the depths of this belief is real. Thanks again, I like your straight up, don’t mess about attitude, it is refreshing.


  3. Thanks Chris for this great post. I can relate so much to being in a place I want so badly to escape from but I also learned that life sometimes put us in uncomfortable situations. Unfortunately too many of us surrenders and choose to suffer when that’s the time we should be fighting our hardest. I have been there and done that and I am now learning not to accept suffering as normal.

  4. This article is definitely one I can relate to!!! The part about when the going gets tough the tough gets angry….Angry enough to go harder for your goals. This article has definitely boost me 1000 to keep achieving my goals. Keep them coming!!!

  5. I really like this article because it’s different. I havent read too many articles that state that knowing hot to USE knowledge is more important than knowledge itself. I also think that knowledge is only the stepping stone to power, while action is the true culprit to power. These is some great information. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Great article, Chris! I identify most with #6 and how anger can drive you, but in a healthy way of course. This is something that I use often and work to not let it get to me, but rather place it into something worthwhile and healthy. Thanks Chris!

    • Anger is ugly and chaotic, just like life. Whenever I’m angry, I feel like I’m more in touch with life in general. You have to “get it” to get it.

  7. Great choices of lessons. You Never do it Alone – Sometimes people are focused so much on moving forward, they pay no mind to the people they are pushing down to get there. Help enough people get what they want and you get what you want.

    It’s about the end result – This a powerful message. When I first read it in the “Seven Habit of Highly Effective People”, it put a lot of things in perspective for me.

    Thanks for the article

  8. Great article! and the anger part, i really do love it, while i don’t particularly agree in rage for advancement, i do agree in major discontent being the driving force; I mean really what else sparks change, right? But I also focus that discontentment into excitement, and getting really really pumped up for the change that I’ll be making. Everyone is different in the driving force of their success, but discontentment with one’s current situation seems to be the common ground that people have for change.

    It’s like the obsession for bettering lives, it’s so congruent with what people are meant to do in this world, It’s freakin bad ass, I love that mindset.

    • There’s many ways to get motivated, but in my experience anger is the best way to not allow a difficult situation to crush you. It has absolutely worked for me.

  9. Hey Chris, great article with a number of very points. I agree with most of them except “anger” and “it’s all about the end result.” Anger can be a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing. You need to know the balance between letting the anger fuel your drive and not becoming angry about the life and what it is dealing you. There’s a very thin line. You have to be kind of a a psycopath in a way to get it right.

    As far as not enjoying the journey and focusing on the end result. It is again about keeping the balance.To me, enjoying the journey is about being grateful and appreciating life, rather than remaining unhappy with life because I have not achieved the end result. I have found that, that can actually delay the end result.

    It is said that “success is shy,” … and I have found that it comes much faster when you’re not continually focused on it.

    • Agreed. Self awareness is key.

      A balanced life is that of a normal person. You have to be exceptional to get exceptional results like success. You can feel however you like about it, but keep your eye on the prize. It’s easy to be lead astray.

  10. Wow, this is gold!

    “something that you’re starving to move forward in.”

    As soon as I read this, I pulled out my notepad!

    Keep them coming! 😉


    Heitem Ak

      • That’s true but, for example, a soccer player who needs money to travel abroad for achieve his dream to become professional can be blocked in his progress cause of lack of money

        • A lot of life is still dumb luck. Even if he has talent, he might not be provided the answer to such difficulties while still young enough to excell. The will without the means is no good.

          I don’t know much about being a professional in soccer but if traveling is all it takes, the cost should only be in the thousands- possible for your average working man. The first step may instead be to learn an in-demand trade- a ~2 year investment that makes you much more employable(be sure that it is in demand though). Again I don’t really know what it takes exactly but hope this helps put things into perspective.

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