A favorite quote of mine:
People don’t rise to the occasion. They fall back on their training.
There are times you’re caught off guard and your thoughts spin out of control. No matter how hard you try you can’t turn off the negative thoughts spinning in your head. You keep hitting rewind over and over. Replaying and micro analyzing every detail. Your heart rate is up. Anxiety levels are off the charts. You haven’t eaten much. You wish it would all be over.
- Channel frustration into right action. Right action is putting all that energy and directing it towards something productive. I use the gym as a release valve. What I do is pick a machine and go until my muscles are shaking and I’m red in the face. I don’t keep track of any numbers. The whole point is to release that energy built up inside.
Wrong action, is doing something stupid like violence. Channel frustration into right action instead. In addition, I also write like crazy when I’m going through a tough period. Find your medium to channel that energy.
- Sheer willpower. I used this when I was going through a bad situation. It was so bad that I lost around 10 pounds and couldn’t eat or sleep because I was running on anxiety and adrenaline.
I was going through a nightmare that wouldn’t end. I told myself, “I’m not thinking about this shit for 1 hour — I don’t care how bad I want to I’m forcing myself to not think about it for 1 hour starting now.” It worked, then the thoughts came back — and they had lost momentum.
The truth is we all have enormous willpower. Science lies to us and says that humans are only capable of using a limited amount per day. While true, what most people do is use it as an excuse to exercise zero willpower.
Take a look at the 30 day challenges out there on the internet if you don’t believe me. If people can use willpower for 30 days, then it’s possible to use willpower for 1 hour or 1 day.
- Realize that it’s a battle with yourself. A battle with your mind more than it is with the other person or situation. You need your mind on your side if you are going to pull through. Think about it. It’s an unfair fight if everything is against you and you’ve lost your one true weapon, your mind. Your mind is the most powerful ally you have.
- Change your environment: mentally and physically if possible. The gym is a great place. Outside also works. If you can’t escape then use this 3hour YouTube video clip of “River Sounds.” The one below is my favorite. I used this a lot and still do.
I also write a lot. Writing is therapeutic and meditative. The sound of the keys clicking and moving around the mouse takes my mind off all the troubles I have. Sometimes I’m a writer by choice, sometimes I’m a writer by circumstance.
- One thing that is true: there’s always someone who has it harder than you. Someone who lost more than you. Someone who went through more hell than you. Find people with the same experience. Divorce, money problems, having everything taken away — those people somehow came through and are alive today. Find them either online or in real life. When you compare your situation to theirs — all of sudden your situation pales in comparison. It loses it’s steam and momentum.
- Your mind has done some amazing things. Think about it. If you’ve been around a while this is not the first time you’ve gone through something. Remember those times when you’ve won. Take account mentally.
Go through a mental list of your worst low points in life. Go back years ago. Chances are you don’t even care about what happened. It’s a faded memory now, but at the time it was a life or death situation.
When I do this mental exercise, I visualize myself in the future looking back on my current problems. I know that in a few years I’ll look back on today and laugh at how overdramatic I was acting.
- Read books on mindset so you’re prepared for anything. Anytime I’m in a tough situation or a bad one, I start reading books. I make notes. I analyze every paragraph. The simple act of reading eases my mind and takes my thoughts off of the situation. Books I read are: “Gorilla Mindset”, “The Power of Positive Thinking”, but any book will do.
Books are another form of productive meditation. Your mind has to be engaged to comprehend the words and you’ll have to pay attention to the content you’re reading.
When I’m going through a bad situation, I read and write.
- Realize that the final blow hasn’t hit you yet. The final blow is one we will all experience but you’re still here. You’re still going.
They say hell is meeting the person you could have become on the final day of your life. When I picture that person I see something amazing and aspirational and it takes my mind off my problems.
- Get on a plane and don’t make any plans. What I do is pick a spot on the map and just go. I’ll show up to the airport and I won’t have a plan. I won’t know where anything is, but I’ll figure it out as I go. The least amount of planning I do is to get a hotel, but that’s optional.
This month, I’m heading off to an island to stay with a friend. I booked the plane ticket and I’m not going to give it much thought until I start packing for the trip. Usually this is the night before.
Sometimes getting lost and going on an adventure is the best medicine for your mind and heart.
- Bury yourself in something or bury yourself in nothing. Out of all these methods, the one I rely on the most is channeling my frustration into taking right action. You can either bury yourself in busyness or bury yourself in nothingness. For me, staying busy allows me to move on quicker. Think about starting a blog or a website.
Start writing even if you’re not a writer. If you’d told me years ago that I would be writing everyday, I would have laughed. Now writing and blogging are things that keep my head screwed on straight. I’m a writer by choice some days, and a writer by circumstance on others.
Maybe this is you.
- Reframe the situation as an opportunity for growth. On some days, believe me, it’s hard to believe your own hype, ego, and bullshit you say to yourself everyday. Life will land a knockout punch and leave you winded. Reframe the situation. “Ok that was just training. Now I’m ready for the real deal when it comes my way.”
- Hit the gym. It’s hard to stay in a bad mood when you’ve got the good kind of energy flowing through you. Hitting heavy weights does this. Weights are God’s gift to man to use when he needs a release. If you’re in a bad headspace, do some pushups and get moving around.
- Go for a walk and talk. When I can’t get out of my own head, I go for a walk at a nearby campus. Usually campuses are full of trees and nice landscaping. I’ll do a few laps and just talk through my problems.
Sometimes, I’ll even get inspired and will be out of the mental hole I’d dug for myself.
- Bury yourself in your life project. You are the most important project you can work on. You matter. Your mission, if you can find it, will help you override obstacles and setbacks. It will give you fire and the will to keep winning.
There are going to be some situations in life where nothing I’ve written will work. In this case, you can always contact me and I will talk to you. Honestly, try all the things above because that’s what I do for myself.
The Abundance Mindset Exercise
Running on fear, your body and mind will naturally move towards a scarcity mindset. Instead of believing that the world is full of opportunities you start adding up all the things you’ve lost.
- In cognitive science this is called, loss aversion and it’s powerful stuff. Anytime you see a deal and someone puts a deadline on it, people will rush to that store to buy the item. These people don’t want to experience the loss of missing out on a good sale.
There’s nothing wrong with this, but it can bleed over into your everyday thinking.
Having a scarcity mindset means thinking the world is full of only zero options
Anytime you experience a breakup you will go naturally be in a scarcity mindset. Instead of moving on, you’ll over-analyze and think that girl or guy was your only option in life.
If you’re hooked on a business deal and it doesn’t fall through, you’ll be beating yourself up instead of just chalking it up to the game.
The Abundance mindset exercise
The one exercise that pulled me out of bad case of the scarcity mindset, is to take account of all the things you have going for you.
- What I do is I’ll just start talking out loud about all the stuff I’m thankful for. I’ll do this until I run out of steam. No matter how mundane or insignificant, I’ll be thankful for it.
For example, I’m thankful that I’ve got two legs and was able to walk to this cafe where I’m typing up this post.
There are people out there who can’t walk and I’m lucky in that sense.
I’m thankful I live in a country that allows me the freedom to come and go. In some countries, you can’t even walk across the street without a sniper taking your head off.
I’m thankful that I’m able to connect ot the internet and post this information. In some countries, the interenet is non existant.
I’m thankful for the people who turned me down for petty reasons. I’m thankful because I got to know someone for a time but just wasn’t their cup of tea. Many people just don’t even have social skills and aren’t in a mental space to even talk in coherent sentences.
I’m thankful for the failures I’ve accumulated in my life. I’m thankful because from these failures I’ve learned what to do and what not to do. These failures only leveled me up as a human and forged my mind into something more sharp.
I’m thankful the sky is blue. I’m thankful because some people are blind and will never experience what blue is. I’m lucky to have 2 eyes that work.
I’m thankful I live in an age where I can connect to thousands of people through the internet. At no point in time would this be possible. But today it is. It’s a great day to be alive.
I’m thankful that I have countless tools and resources to kill the game and succeed at life. There’s a book for everything, and if there isn’t someone has written about it.
Once I do this exercise all my troubles and losses seem dull in comparison to what I have. I’ve done this exercise for 15 minutes straight, just taking in all the things around me and finding ways to be thankful for it.
Eventually you’ll have a long enough list of things you do have vs the things you don’t.
This is the abundance mindset exercise.
Depending on how bad your situation is, you might have to go for longer, or do it every hour or morning.
I do it when I’m walking around outside sometimes.
All I know is this stuff works for me, and that’s why I’m sharing it. It pulled me out of a bad spot and I’m sure it will work for you.
Also visit Gofundme and search for somebody in need. Donating feels good and will remind you that we are all in this world together.
Today I just donated to a burn victim Courtney Cosper Waldon. If you can please help her out. After the fire her husband left her and her 4 year old daughter. The burns left her disfigured and I’m sure anything will help her to recover.