I’ve got a list of failures, like a criminal rap sheet. It’s just another day living in paradise (no I’m not listening to Phil Collins right now but thanks for asking). Life can slap you around sometimes and my last twelve months have been somewhat of a challenge.
The old me would have gotten all frustrated and thrown in the towel. See, the funny thing is that once you discover personal development, you have a kind of discipline that stops you from losing your sh*t. Things are not always going to go your way.
I’ve hit the inevitable stumbling block that we all experience at different stages of life. The one thing I wanted blew up in my face yet again. It seems so hard to reach, yet I’m only millimeters away most of the time. Is it me? Am I somewhat inferior? These are the questions my mind ponders.
Not for long, though. Pretty quickly, my self-development brain kicks in and overrides the negativity that is building up. We’re designed to struggle, and we can’t avoid it. When your time comes, you have to be prepared. You’ve got to build your war chest up with self-development tools.
So what do I do now? Simple: I share what I’ve learned and how you can overcome this very same challenge. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again, cowboy. You just have to get back up on the horse and start all over again. It’s hard, exhausting, and emotionally draining. That’s what success is though, so get used to it!
Here are the 5 things you must do when you experience multiple catastrophic events all in the space of twelve months:
1. Practice discipline
When the hard times roll around, the easiest thing to do is give into temptation and addiction. All the nice things that you think will help you forget start becoming front of mind. The worst two are drinking and smoking. Stress and pain should be a trigger to ramp up your discipline, not scale it down.
“During catastrophic failure, you need your positive habits more than ever”
It’s not time to give up the green juices, stop exercising or invite troublemakers back into your life. You must stand guard at the door of your mind continually, and this time stand at that door with a freaking Uzi, ready to attack anything negative that tries to walk through.
My biggest challenge, when the tough times hit, is not giving into poor diet choices. There’s nothing better when you are feeling a bit off than to get into some nachos, or go and eat a hamburger. Instead, when I think of these bad habits, I go and double down on green veggies.
You need your mind clear, and bad habits will only fog the windscreen of your vision. You need to be able to see your challenge clearly for what it is, and not let your mind blow things out of proportion. Yes, you failed, but so does everyone at some point.
You can find success again, and you can choose to redefine your life any way you want. You’re in the driver’s seat, and it’s so crucial to stay in control. I know it’s difficult, but if you can keep your disciplined approach going, you will ultimately become indestructible.
When this happens again – and it will – you’ll know how to handle it. Stay focused. Stay positive. Never give up on yourself or your dreams.
2. Take two days off and volunteer
My go-to response to catastrophic events is to go and volunteer. This time around I’ve chosen The Salvation Army Homeless Shelter. They inspire everybody to help people in need.
By going and volunteering at an organization like The Salvation Army, you can surround yourself with positive people. Find an organization that has the same values as you, and offer two full days for free. Reach out to them via social media and tell them in one short sentence what your skills are.
These challenging times can be made so much better if you make smart decisions like volunteering. You must give as much as you can in everyday life, and during hard times you’ve got to double your giving. This will take the focus off your problems, and help you repair yourself.
3. There’s always a lesson
The frustrating thing about catastrophic times is that you feel like you’ve wasted your time travelling down a certain path that had now ended. Because time is limited, the failure makes us feel a sense of loss. What if you didn’t lose any time at all?
That’s what happened to me. While I suffered from failure, I learned so much about the world. Finding yourself and your purpose is about experiencing catastrophic failure more than normal. You’ve got to be committed to learning from every event, even when it seems like there is no lesson.
Through my own recent failure, I discovered more of my spiritual side, learned that I’ve become a really kind person, and I’ve seen how I can give it 110% which I never used to be able to do. It’s not all bad, you know. Learning and growing is what makes us happy. Use this happiness to defeat these catastrophic failures. Slay them like a dragon with your happiness.
4. Be prepared for sacrifice
One of the reasons we fail is because we’re not willing to budge on something. We have to get better at sacrificing, and not having everything our way. If we still fail, even after we have sacrificed everything, then we’ve done all we can do. It may be people or events that just can’t be controlled the way you would like them to be.
5. The tide will change again
The tide rolls in, but it always rolls out again. Hopefully, you’ve built the “ship of you” in such a way that the tide compliments your desired life destination rather than the other way around. I’ve seen the tide so many times now that it’s become like second nature.
I can almost predict its exact pattern. Even when you can see how events will play out, it doesn’t shield you from catastrophic events. All you can do is have faith in the process. Know that the tide will be back on your side before you know it.
The only other alternative is to give up and let this negative world win. That’s not even an option, so stop thinking like that. Contemplate how good it feels to see the positive in all situations. Remember how your optimism is the driving force in all things good. Remember that your optimism got you to this point in the first place. It’s how you might have met that special someone.