We’re fashioned to believe life is a straight line. That if we work hard enough, play by the rules, aim higher than the blue sky, clean our bodies, and eat a Greek salad, we’ll create a blissful adventure. That we’ll cushion ourselves against the injustices that hover around us just waiting to rip us apart.
And yet, that’s not often the case. In fact, it’s rarely the case.
Somewhere in the shadows of uncertainty, something awaits: failure. Disappointment. Defeat. Tragedy. And no one is immune from these, even the best of us. There are no favorites here.
But whether they diminish you into a ball of bitterness or unveil the slab of titanium buried within you, is entirely up to you. You’ve got the power to overcome the odds and keep growing through it all. It helps to remember you are anything but powerless.
If you let them, these deep truths will set you free when you feel stuck at any point in your life.
1. Show Up Daily.
No matter how much it hurts, you’ve got to get up and show up daily, bleeding or otherwise. Sure, some days it will be hard just to get out of bed or to draw your curtains.
On such days, you need to tap on your last ounce of energy and use it as a lifeline to pull yourself out of the darkness. And here’s the thing: After a while, it all starts to get better. Everything starts to swim in focus. The load feels lighter. The darkness lifts.
2. Never Step Out Without Your Blinders.
Your fight is yours to fight in your own unique way, because your journey is specifically tailored to your life. As such, you must put on blinders and steer clear of the comparison game if you are to win the battle. Avoid sabotaging yourself by looking over the neighbor’s fence. There’s not much there that isn’t in your own life.
Instead, divert your energy, power, and time to grow and develop yourself. Funnel them toward the creation of the best possible version of your life.
3. Quit Waiting For The Right Moment.
Listen, if you wait for the stars to align, before you can get into the game of your life, you’ll be waiting a long, long time. The truth is, there will never be a right time to start. Whether that is working on your career, health, and fitness, dreams or simply dealing with the stinking issues in your life. Today’s your best bet.
Whichever way you start really doesn’t matter as long as you do. Start. Fail. Start again. Repeat. At least now you know what not to do again. That right there is enough. It’s all you need.
4. Elevate The Mound One Shovel At A Time.
To think you can change your life overnight is to spread yourself thin. Don’t get trapped in a web trying to change everything at once. Even Rome was not built in a day. Because before long, you’ll come crashing down like a strong wave against a rocky shore.
There’s a better, more effective way to alter the narrative of your life. It is to make small changes. It’s the micro-habits that transform your life.
5. Keep One Foot In Front Of The Other.
Growth doesn’t parade itself on the streets. It happens in solitude. The key is to keep it moving. Keep growing, keep working hard, keep moving your life upwards. As long as you are in motion, your past will continue to fade in the rearview. Before long, you’ll flip that thing on its head.
6. Learn To Carry Your Own Luggage.
The responsibility of taking your life to the next stage lies squarely in your hands. You are the only one who can bring lasting change. Sure, you can share the weight with someone else.
But that never lasts. Because everybody’s got their own dogs waiting to slit their throats. Eventually, you’ve got to find a way of dealing with your emotions. Hint: It’s possible to cut the cord that pulls you backward. It’s possible to find freedom. You won’t be the first.
7. Understand You’re In A Marathon, Not A Sprint.
When everything turns to dust, it takes time to rebuild. Sometimes it can take years of digging through the rubble. Understand that no one gets there overnight. It might take a while, but it is almost always worth it.
Because in its own way, the very process of digging transforms you into a worthy warrior ready for a true battle. It shapes your personality, realigns your values, and sharpens your drive.
8. Fix The Head And The Body Will Follow.
When you enforce a change in the aspect of your life screaming out for the biggest fix, you unclog the pipe for the next change to flow. One shift elicits a ripple effect that changes the other parts of your life.
Let’s imagine you want to get fit. You dedicate time to exercise, get stronger and slimmer. It makes you feel great. Your self-esteem shoots up. You start to feel confident enough to fix another aspect of your life. You begin to dress better, because you now feel this added zing of sexiness in your body. You start to feel worthy of a good, meaningful relationship. You then create a mental possibility of a happy marriage.
And the cycle continues.
All because you fixed one aspect of your life. A fit body ushered the way for heightened self-esteem, which in turn cleared the path for greater achievements.
9. Learn From Your Past.
For most of us, charting a new frontier is synonymous with groping in the dark. Because you only ever know the how after you’ve jumped the hurdles. Perhaps this is why life is best lived backward—it’s the only way the dots connect. You only arrive at tomorrow by reading from the script of yesterday.
When you sift through the experiences of your past, you are able to unearth valuable nuggets of truths, lessons, and wisdom which you can then apply to your future. The best part is, you can draw from other people’s pain too.
10. Adjust Your Perspective.
Everything becomes clear when you clarify the lens through which you view the circumstances of your life. In his book The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey explains: In choosing our response to circumstance, we powerfully affect our circumstances. Your perspective is the powerful force that will get you off the screws that life has pinned you on.
In the end, it’s not what happened to you; it comes down to how you look at it. There are only two ways to live. One involves taking your foot off life’s pedal and allowing it to take you in any direction. The other entails claiming your rightful place at the steering wheel of your life by pulling down the walls of obstacles.
I hope you choose the latter.