I am not your self-help guru and I’m not going to pretend I am one.
It would be stupid of me to sit here and pretend that you have to go through hard times to reach success, if I hadn’t done that very thing myself. So I’m going to lay it all on the line for you. I’ve just gone through two bad break ups, continually been told I’m not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough and clever enough at business.
The thing is I know what I am, and who I am, so I can’t give in to the lies and neither can you. I deserve all of life’s pleasures, and so does everyone reading this as long as you understand the hard times.
This tall white boy that is obsessed with success has had more hard times than you can imagine. That doesn’t make me special, but it does give me the credentials to preach to you all about what they’ve taught me. All I have left is my lessons and experience. I’m 100% sure it will be valuable to you.
Because of hard times, this is what I learnt:
1. Get comfortable with not feeling good
When hard times strike, it’s time to implement your action plan. Everything that you would do in an emergency needs to happen during hard times. You’ve got to know what it’s like to starve of motivation for a while, and to welcome the feelings that totally suck.
The more you can get okay with being uncomfortable, the better prepared you’ll be for hard times.
2. Set a new goal
Your frustration and pain that comes from hard times can be used to get you a new goal. I’ve found that hard times are a perfect opportunity to set a new goal. I made a choice, during my recent encounter with hard times, to finally get some momentum with my public speaking.
I have a dream now of attending the Toastmasters Public Speaking Finals in Las Vegas. I believe I can be the best and I’m sure you can achieve a similar goal.
3. Do what you did in the dark, in the light as well
My hard times struck last week. They knocked me flat on my face. I thought I was prepared to feel like total garbage, but I really wasn’t. I panicked and did what every book I’ve ever read told me to do: ring someone who is way smarter than you.
So, I rang a guy called Joel Brown who is the founder of the Addicted2Success motivational website. I told him “Mate, sh*t just got real and I have no idea how to come back from this.” I’m supposed to be the guy that has the answers, but in this moment I had nothing.
Joel’s advice was freaking timeless and came at the perfect time. He said,
“Tim do what you did in the dark, in the light as well.”
What Joel was trying to tell me is that I’ve got to maintain my habits. All the blogging, green juices, coaching, reading and exercise must continue on. If I break my habits, then the downward spiral starts. Joel told me about a really low point in his life where everything went wrong for him.
He went to the gym and didn’t feel like training. He lost heaps of weight. He wasn’t drinking enough water. He realised that even when the hard times hit, we’ve got to keep doing what made us successful in the first place.
For me, the one thing that made me happy and gave me a reason to do what I do was gone. In a heartbeat, life felt like it may have got as good as it was ever going to get. The one thing that made me feel like a million bucks, and like I mattered, was suddenly gone for good.
If that thing was there even part-time, it would have been okay, but to be gone for good is the definition of hard times. If for no other reason, hard times tell us to maintain our success habits to keep ourselves going.
4. People forget quickly
When hard times strike, your friends, mentors and colleagues will be there for you. Well they will be there for you for the first week. Unfortunately, everyone forgets very quickly about a catastrophic event in your life.
People move on quickly, but it’s likely that you won’t. So what I’ve learnt about hard times is that you have to pretend that you’re on your own. You’ve got to bring yourself back from the darkness, and not expect anyone else to do it for you.
5. Cold Shower The F Up
While you are going through hard times, you’ll find yourself not giving an F about a lot. This is the best time to cold shower the F up and feel what it’s like to be uncomfortable.
6. Keep moving
Exercise is one of the pillars you need to cope with hard times. These days, I don’t feel very gym-like, so what I did instead was start walking.
“On day one of hard times I walked ten kilometres. I went back to the old success strategies I used five years ago”
I walked around my neighbourhood late at night, listening to Tony Robbins on my now old school 2009 iPod that feels ancient. I let Tony’s voice give me reason. Just because I had come so far since my last lot of hard times, doesn’t mean that I was too cool to use what had worked for me before.
There’s something about Tony’s passion and way of talking that helps keep your mind together. As you exercise, you teach your mind to keep moving forward.
The worse thing you can do is lie in bed and stop moving. Your body begins to become lethargic if you do this. Get out there and move soldier!
7. Archive the past
Hard times are the best point in your life to archive memories. On the day my hard times reared their ugly head, I went onto my Mac and archived all the stuff that made me unhappy. I deleted 500 gig of files, and cleaned my Mac so that it was fresh.
I took anything in my house that made me feel unhappy and gave it away. Hard times are when you should give yourself a new beginning.
8. Remove addictions
An awesome question to ask yourself when you go through hard times is, “What’s something great I could take from this?” For me, I had some annoying addictions that I wanted to drop. I used my hard times to give me the negative energy and motivation to give away these addictions.
Now that I don’t have these addictions, I can use that wasted time towards more positive endeavours. What addictions are holding you back?
9. Start a training course
Education is a fantastic way to take your mind off hard times. I tried reading, but it didn’t work. I found that putting some headphones on and doing Tai Lopez’s 67 Steps was very refreshing. I learnt new skills, and got to know a man that I now think very differently about in a positive way.
New friends and connections are valuable during hard times. Over a weekend I joined three new meetup groups so that I could get out of my head. It’s challenging to be distracted by your own mind chatter when you are surrounded by fresh faces and have to make people appreciate you quickly. Again, the worst thing you can do is stay home and do nothing.