post written by: Marc Chernoff

40 Lessons for Finding Strength in Hard Times


40 Lessons for Finding Strength in Hard Times

Sometimes you have to die a little on the inside first in order to be reborn and rise again as a stronger, smarter version of yourself.

Nobody gets through life without losing someone they love, someone they need, or something they thought was meant to be.  But it is these losses that make us stronger and eventually move us toward future opportunities for growth and happiness.

Over the past five years Angel and I have dealt with several hardships, including the sudden death of a sibling, the loss of a best friend to illness, betrayal from a business partner, and an unexpected (breadwinning) employment layoff.  These experiences were brutal.  Each of them, naturally, knocked us down and off course for a period of time.  But when our time of mourning was over in each individual circumstance, we pressed forward, stronger, and with a greater understanding and respect for life.

Here are some lessons we’ve learned along the way:

  1. You are not what happened to you in the past. – No matter how chaotic the past has been, the future is a clean, fresh, wide open slate. You are not your past habits. You are not your past failures. You are not how others have at one time treated you. You are only who you think you are right now in this moment. You are only what you do right now in this moment.
  2. Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t. – You are who you are and you have what you have, right now.  And it can’t be that bad, because otherwise you wouldn’t be able to read this.  The important thing is simply to find one POSITIVE thought that inspires and helps you move forward.  Hold on to it strongly, and focus on it.  You may feel like you don’t have much, or anything at all, but you have your mind to inspire you.  And that’s really all you need to start moving forward again.  Read The How of Happiness.
  3. Struggling with problems is a natural part of growing. – Part of living and growing up is experiencing unexpected troubles in life.  People lose jobs, get sick, and sometimes die in car accidents.  When you are younger, and things are going pretty well, this harsh reality can be hard to visualize.  The smartest, and oftentimes hardest, thing we can do in these kinds of situations is to be tempered in our reactions.  To want to scream obscenities, but to wiser and more disciplined than that.  To remember that emotional rage only makes matters worse.  And to remember that tragedies are rarely as bad as they seem, and even when they are, they give us an opportunity to grow stronger.
  4. It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. – You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.  And a smile doesn’t always mean a person is happy.  Sometimes it simply means they are strong enough to face their problems.
  5. Life is fragile, sudden, and shorter than it often seems. – There may not be a tomorrow – not for everyone.  Right now, someone on Earth is planning something for tomorrow without realizing they’re going to die today.  This is sad but true.  So spend your time wisely today and pause long enough to appreciate it.  Every moment you get is a gift.  Don’t waste time by dwelling on unhappy things.  Spend it on things that move you in the direction you want to go.
  6. You will fail sometimes. – The faster you accept this, the faster you can get on with being brilliant. You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work.  Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  So get out there and try!  Either you succeed or you learn a vital lesson.  Win – Win.
  7. You have the capacity to create your own happiness. – Feelings change, people change, and time keeps rolling.  You can hold onto past mistakes or you can create your own happiness.  A smile is a choice, not a miracle.  Don’t make the mistake of waiting on someone or something to come along and make you happy.  True happiness comes from within.
  8. Emotionally separate yourself from your problems. – You are far greater than your problems.  You are a living, breathing human being who is infinitely more complex than all of your individual problems added up together.  And that means you’re more powerful than them – you have the ability to change them, and to change the way you feel about them.
  9. Don’t make a problem bigger than it is. – You should never let one dark cloud cover the entire sky.  The sun is always shining on some part of your life.  Sometimes you just have to forget how you feel, remember what you deserve, and keep pushing forward.
  10. Everything that happens is a life lesson. – Everyone you meet, everything you encounter, etc.  They’re all part of the learning experience we call ‘life.’  Never forget to acknowledge the lesson, especially when things don’t go your way.  If you don’t get a job that you wanted or a relationship doesn’t work, it only means something better is out there waiting.  And the lesson you just learned is the first step towards it.
  11. View every challenge as an educational assignment. – Ask yourself:  “What is this situation meant to teach me?”  Every situation in our lives has a lesson to teach us.  Some of these lessons include:  To become stronger.  To communicate more clearly.  To trust your instincts.  To express your love.  To forgive.  To know when to let go.  To try something new.
  12. Things change, but the sun always rises the next day. – The bad news: nothing is permanent. The good news: nothing is permanent.
  13. Giving up and moving on are two very different things. – There comes a point when you get tired of chasing everyone and trying to fix everything, but it’s not giving up, and it’s not the end.  It’s a new beginning.  It’s realizing, finally, that you don’t need certain people and things and the drama they bring.
  14. Distance yourself from negative people. – Every time you subtract negative from your life you make room for more positive.  Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  Let go of negative people, for they are the greatest destroyers of self confidence and self esteem.  Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you.
  15. Perfect relationships don’t exist. – There’s no such thing as a perfect, ideal relationship.  It’s how two people deal with the imperfections of a relationship that make it ideal.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  16. You must love yourself too. – One of the most painful things in life is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  When was the last time someone told you that they loved you just the way you are, and that what you think and how you feel matters?  When was the last time someone told you that you did a good job, or took you someplace, simply because they know you feel happy when you’re there?  When was the last time that ‘someone’ was YOU?
  17. Don’t let others make decisions for you. – Sometimes you just have to live not caring what they think of you, shake off the drama, and prove to YOURSELF that you’re better than they think you are.
  18. Resentment hurts you, not them. – Always forgive people and move on, even if they never ask for your forgiveness.  Don’t do it for them – do it for you.  Grudges are a waste of happiness.  Get that unnecessary stress out of your life right now.
  19. You’re not alone.  Everyone has problems. – To lose sleep worrying about a friend.  To have trouble picking yourself up after someone lets you down.  To feel like less because someone didn’t love you enough to stay.  To be afraid to try something new for fear you’ll fail.  None of this means you’re dysfunctional or crazy.  It just means you’re human, and that you need a little time to right yourself.  You are not alone.  No matter how embarrassed or pathetic you feel about your own situation, there are others out there experiencing the same emotions.  When you hear yourself say, “I am all alone,” it is your mind trying to sell you a lie.
  20. You still have a lot to be thankful for. – Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of brave people who are overcoming it.  Sometimes you have to forget what’s gone, appreciate what still remains, and look forward to what’s coming next.  Henry David Thoreau once said, “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.” Even when times are tough, it’s always important to keep things in perspective. You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night. You didn’t go to sleep outside. You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning. You hardly broke a sweat today. You didn’t spend a minute in fear. You have access to clean drinking water. You have access to medical care. You have access to the Internet. You can read. Some might say you are incredibly wealthy, so remember to be grateful for all the things you do have.
  21. Consciously nurture your inner hope. – A loss, a worry, an illness, a dream crushed – no matter how deep your hurt or how high your aspirations, do yourself a favor and pause at least once a day, place your hands over your heart and say aloud, “Hope lives here.”
  22. It’s better to be hurt by the truth, than comforted by a lie. – You must see things how they are instead of how you hoped, wished, or expected them to be.  It’s always better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie.
  23. It’s hard to tell exactly how close you are to success. – Connecting the dots going forward is nearly impossible, but when you look backward it always makes perfect sense.  Success is often closer than it seems, and arrives suddenly, when you least expect it.
  24. Not getting what you want can be a blessing. – Not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of good luck, because it forces you reevaluate things, opening new doors to opportunities and information you would have otherwise overlooked.
  25. Laughter is the best medicine for stress. – Laugh at yourself often.  Find the humor in whatever situation you’re in.  Optimism is a happiness magnet.  If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.
  26. Mistakes are important to make. – We’ve all made mistakes.  We’ve let people take advantage of us, and we’ve accepted way less than we deserve.  But if you think about it, we’ve learned a lot from our bad choices, and even though there are some things we can never recover and people who will never be sorry, we now know better for next time.  We now have more power to shape our future.  Remember, failure is not falling down; failure is staying down when you have the choice to get back up.  Get back up!  Oftentimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
  27. Worrying is literally a waste of energy. – Worry will not drain tomorrow of its troubles, it will drain you of your strength today.  Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
  28. Even when it’s hard to move, take small steps forward. – Especially in trying times, it’s important to continuously push yourself forward.  Because momentum is everything!  As long as you keep the momentum positive – even if you’re moving at a snail’s pace – you’ll eventually get to the finish line.  So celebrate every step you take today, no matter how small.  Because every step will lead you farther away from where you were yesterday and closer to where you want to be tomorrow.  Be it a better life or a dream we long to realize, we reach our destinations by taking many, many small steps in the same direction, one at a time.
  29. There will always be people who dislike you. – You can’t be everything to everyone.  No matter what you do, there will always be someone who thinks differently.  So concentrate on doing what you know in your heart is right.  What others think and say about you isn’t all that important.  What is important is how you feel about yourself.
  30. You are better off without some people you thought you needed. – The sad truth is, there are some people who will only be there for you as long as you have something they need. When you no longer serve a purpose to them, they will leave. The good news is, if you tough it out, you’ll eventually weed these people out of your life and be left with some great friends you can always count on.
  31. You are ONLY competing against yourself. – When you catch yourself comparing yourself to a colleague, neighbor, friend, or someone famous, stop!  Realize that you are different, with different strengths – strengths these other people don’t possess.  Take a moment to reflect on all the awesome abilities you have and to be grateful for all the good things in your life.
  32. You can’t control everything that happens to you. – But you can control how you react to things.  Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects — whether you’re happy or not depends greatly on which aspects you focus on.  For instance:  Did you catch a head cold?  At least it’s only a temporary virus and nothing life-threatening.  Did you lose a basketball game?  Thankfully you got to spend the afternoon with friends doing something fun and healthy.  Did your stock market savings go down?  It’ll bounce back in the long-term.  And besides, it’s great that you’ve been diligent and fortunate enough to save a nest egg of savings when many people are barely making ends meet.  You get the idea.
  33. Life is NOT easy. – If you expect it to be, you will perpetually disappoint yourself.  Achieving anything worthwhile in life takes effort.  So start every morning ready to run farther than you did yesterday and fight harder than you ever have before.  Above all, make sure you properly align your efforts with your goals.  It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it in the end.
  34. Your future is spotless. – Regardless of how filthy your past has been, your future is still spotless.  Don’t start your day with the broken pieces of yesterday.  Don’t look back unless it’s a good view.  Every day is a fresh start.  Each day is a new beginning.  Every morning we wake up is the first day of the rest of our life.  One of the very best ways to get beyond past troubles is to concentrate all of your attention and effort on doing something that your future self will thank you for.
  35. You are not trapped; you just need to re-learn a few things. – We all have doubts that make us feel trapped at times.  If you doubt your ability to make a life-altering decision, to take on a new chapter in your life, or to fend for yourself after years of being overly-fostered, consider this:  Surely if a bird with healthy wings is locked in a cage long enough, she will doubt her own ability to fly.  You still have your wings, but your muscles are weak.  Train them and stretch them slowly.  Give yourself time.  You’ll be flying again soon.
  36. Everything in life is two-sided. – There is good reason why we can’t expect to feel pleasure without ever feeling pain; joy without ever feeling sorrow; confident without ever feeling fear; calm without ever feeling restless; hope without ever feeling despair: There is no such thing as a one-sided coin in life, with which one can buy a pain-free, trouble-free existence.
  37. You always have a choice. – No matter what, there are always at least two options.  If you can’t physically change something, you can change the way you think about it.  You can sit in the dark, or you can find your inner light and discover powerful pieces of yourself you never knew existed.  You can view a crisis as an invitation to learn something new, viewing the shake-up in your outer world as an enlightening opportunity to wake-up your inner world.
  38. Let others in when you’re in a dark place. – No, they won’t always be able to pull you out of the dark place you’re in, but the light that spills in when they enter will at least show you which way the door is.
  39. If you ask negative questions, you will get negative answers. – There are no positive answers to, “Why me?” “Why didn’t I?” “What if?” etc.  Would you allow someone else to ask you the demoralizing questions you sometimes ask yourself?  I doubt it.  So stop and swap them for questions that push you in a positive direction.  For instance, “What have I learned from this experience?” “What do I have control over?” “What can I do right now to move forward?”
  40. The end is a new beginning. – Say to yourself: “Dear Past, thank you for all the life lessons you have taught me.  Dear Future, I am ready now!”  Because a great beginning always occurs at the point you thought would be the end of everything.

Photo by: Chris Schoenbohm

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117 Comments

  • Marc, I was delighted to read this post, many of the points resonate with my thoughts on adversity which I wrote about last week. I called the lessons from adversity blessings, because you emerge out of hard times so much stronger and surer about yourself if you face the hardship with courage and grace. Anyway, I have featured your site on my site in the past as one of my favorite blogs to keep coming back to. Thank you so much for being a source of inspiration.

    Regards,
    Suchitra

  • This is such a wonderful, inspiring post… as usual! Thank you for sharing ! Happy New Year!

  • Fabulous list with filled with hope and truth. Thanks for starting my year with positivity.

  • Thanks for changing my life again this week. Your blog posts always seem to line up with what’s going on in my life, it’s perfect. :)

  • Awesome beginning to the year! Thank you for lighting up my world.

  • I love the new ideas, and the reminders of things I know and forget. With the New Year upon us, the timing is perfect for this inspiring read. Thank you.

  • You guys are amazing! Thanks a lot for sharing this. Wishing you both great year ahead.

  • Thanks so much for this post - I’m going back to college for my winter classes on Tuesday and worrying about so many things that are absolutely scaring me right now. I needed this.

  • This is an really an awesome blog post! It definitely made a big difference in my attitude already!

    Thank you for always inspiring me. ♥

  • I’ve been going through a tough time over the last several months. A mistake that happened in a moment, has been eating away at me and overwhelming me for months. Your site has been helpful to me in many ways in dealing with that, and I THANK you for your inspiration.

  • Marc and Angel,
    Again, thank you so much for your wonderful, and inspiring writing. I wanna be a better person for the people I love, and your blog is definitely helping me!
    Happy New Year!
    Diana xx

  • I am so happy to have found your blog through a friend’s Facebook link. Your articles are so uplifting. This one particularly struck a chord with me. Thanks.

  • All I can say: Thank you, this is exactly what I needed to read.

  • As I was reading this, my eyes began to tear up because this advice perfectly fits my life right now and the problems I’m facing. I know I have it so much better than most people, but my problems overwhelm me and sometimes I forget that. This article has helped me remember and made me feel a lot better. Thank you.

  • You two are such an inspiration to me. Thanks for another amazing read.

  • This is just what I needed to read today - thank you for sharing such an inspiring and hope-filled list for the start of the new year.

  • Amazing! Quite honestly the perfect list to start my year off right.

  • Your site is more inspirational than church has been for me lately. I am dealing with a deeply troubling personal loss of the love of my life. I will admit publicly that she was the one who stated that she realized that she could never marry me, and just like that, I was out and another guy was in. I know that I am supposed to “man up” and not care about this sort of thing, but talk about getting the wind knocked out of you. Anyway, your blog reminds me that pain is temporary, that losses lead to strength, and that everything works out in spite of any immediate pain. I am blessed to have found your blog, and grateful that your posts appear at the exact moment that I most need inspiration in my life.

    -Richard

  • Just what I needed to hear at this time in my life. I have already shared with a friend and linked to it on Facebook. Thanks for the continued support.

  • Wow - A friend shared this on Facebook, and what a wonderful share. I love this post, and, I SO needed to read it. And as I behold the treasure trove of your other posts that await me, I just feel so blessed! Thanks!

  • Thank you for another great post. The true beauty of your blog is that you always seem to be able to provide inspiration for people regardless of where they are on their journey. You provide suggestions for those who are down to help them pull themselves up, and for those who are doing well you give advice to help them stay strong. I consider myself a very positive person, but like everyone I can always use a little encouragement. Thank you for giving me that encouragement!

  • Thank you sooooo much for this! When you’re going through something hard, it’s often difficult to look at the situation in many ways. This was so helpful, as are all of your posts!

    Thank you!!!!!!

  • Thanks so much for this inspiring advice. It’s already starting to help me see things more clearly.

  • I love this blog, just found it on stumbleupon. Everything you wrote on this list I have said to myself or my husband this past year (we both lost our jobs in the past few years). I know what you say is true because I have lived it myself and can tell that you have too. Thank you for your wisdom and through the wisdom, your support for all of us going through hard times.

  • I have been on a search for soooo very long! And I’m not sure how I stumbled across your site, but, I want it to be known how very Thankful I am!! Life altering situations have recently consumed all that has ever mattered to me! They have buried me emotional. But your words are helping. You have no idea how much YOU have given ME Strength!!! Thank you!

  • I love your blog and everything you post is so… I don’t even have a word for it :) It makes me smile, and I know it’s helping me change and be a better person, and I am thankful for that.

    Love you guys :)

  • Thank you for your blog, it makes me so thankful, grateful and inspired… warmest regards :)

  • What a great read! I bookmarked it and pinned it and am planning to pass it on. Thanks for sharing it!

  • Thanks for lightening my life, again.

  • This is brilliant! It’s given me a lot to think about.

  • Dear Marc and Angel,

    Thank you for today’s 40 lessons..it gives me hope for a better tomorrow . It ain’t over till its over! I’m going to be more positive to my approach to living a fulfilling, healthy and rewarding life. Love your phrase : Bad news is nothing is permanent ; Good news is nothing is permanent .

    God’s speed
    Grace

  • Thank you for distilling the wisdom of both letting go and moving on. This was a great read.

  • You guys give me hope and a way to live. Your words are always uplifting and inspiring. And this post is one of your best. Happy New Year to you Marc and Angel :)

  • My favorite is #31–
    You are ONLY competing against yourself…

    Thank you so much!

  • Thank you Marc and Angel… For your inspiring commentary on life and continued dedication to helping others, through your insights and wisdom. You have certainly made a positive difference in my life and given me the strength and inspiration in the face of adversity.

  • It seems that you always manage to have an answer for every question I ask. Thanks for motivating me to do my very best. I truly appreciate your inspiring words.

    Thanks,

    Nirmala

  • Great post, YES! You have given me some renewed hope.

  • I can’t tell you how much I look forward to your posts. I feel so excited when I see something from you in my inbox. My life is richer for having you in the world. Blessings on you all wishes for wonderful adventures in the new year.

  • I just want to say thank you. Thank you so much for what you both do. Your blogs are amazing and inspiring. I have been going through a tough time and reading your blogs gives me hope. Thank you for all that you have done for me and for all of your other readers.

  • I was looking for some serious answers when I read this. I was having a tough time coping up with the death of a loved one, but reading this has not only made me feel better it has even provided me a new direction to my thoughts.

    An excellent way to begin a new year.

    Thanks for this beautiful piece of advice.

    Happy New Year!!

  • Hi Marc,

    This is the first article I read for 2012 and I think it is one of the best posts someone can read to begin the New Year full of positive energy. What you are saying is the truth and you express that truth with a clear and direct way.
    Thank you for sharing with us :)

    Lenia

  • Marc & Angel, your posts are insanely awesome - I keep them open on my screen and refer to them often. Happy New Year!

    Pete

  • Totally fabulous stuff Marc and Angel. You guys are truly one of the few spreading sincere positivity across the world. Great work, hats off :)

  • Marc,

    You hit the nail on the head once again. When people make your decisions for you its like Jim Henson has his hand up your crouch and hes making you talk, you might as well be a muppet. Make life yours. Make your own mistakes.

    Happy New Year
    Rick

  • Simply… Thank you! This post gives me hope.

  • Thank you! Whew, you just went straight to my soul and reminded me why being human is such a ride! The road map to my higher self is always plainly in sight when I read your words. Thank you,
    Kelly

  • “And a smile doesn’t always mean a person is happy. Sometimes it simply means they are strong enough to face their problems.”

    The above quote is my favorite part of the entire article. But it makes me wonder… is it wrong to strive towards having that mentality, that–smile even though your heart is breaking mentality–or should we be striving towards being so strong that nothing gets you down so badly that you have to force yourself to smile in the first place?

    Thoughts?

  • This post may very well have saved me. Thank you for the guidance.

  • @Alicia: The key is to focus on the silver lining - on the good things in your life right now - and then use this positivity as fuel for creating a better tomorrow. It’s certainly not an easy thing to do, especially in trying times, but staying positive has worked wonders for me.

    @All: Thank you so much for the encouraging words and added insight. We love reading every one of your comments. Every day you inspire us. :)

  • I am going through a lot right now and I am thankful to have read this post. It uplifted my spirits. :)

  • Truly inspiring…I need to print this out and put it on my office wall!

  • What an amazing post! Just what I needed to begin the new year :)

  • I am so delighted to read this blog, not only this but all the blogs that this one has, it opens my mind more on how things are around me, how life goes on what ever happen…its a great year to start together with the blog of marc and angel :D god bless you and keep it up..

  • After recently going through a very difficult situation and not seeing how I could bounce back and have hope again, I look back now and realize what a better person I am due to that difficult situation. This is a great post reminding us all that tough times only make us better. Thank you! :)

  • Hi Marc,
    I know that many of us have this belief that we have to be strong during tough times but I believe we need to go through our emotions first before we can move on successfully.

  • We love the practical suggestion on cultivating hope (number 21). Sometimes speaking it out makes it real and helps us to embrace what is already there. You’ll find us quoting you on our blog soon (with due credit, of course!) Thanks for all the insights.

    Hope on Hope

  • Thank you sooooo much! You are simply a blessing.

  • As we enter 2012 I found myself in a very dark space when I was reflecting over the past couple of years. I was focused on feelings such as fear, regret and sadness. Hardly the way one should approach new opportunities…

    Strangely enough, the day in which these these low key emotions peaked was the day I discovered this article. I read it and it completely changed my perspective towards the positive. The week has went by and my spirits have been lifted entirely. I have shifted my focus towards opportunity and being present. I now feel excited, centered and inspired!

    Thank you so much for sharing this article. It gave me (and I am sure others) perspective and it is very valuable.

    Thank you :-)

  • Thank you! This was perfect…

  • Marc
    this site is amazing! I have tweeted it to Oprah. You share so much of what she speaks of. This past year I have learned so much with my 7 year old son being treated for cancer (stage 4 neuroblastoma). I have learned every single one of these 40…and I am so grateful that I did..I am a better human being and I am able to send that positive energy out into the world. So many resonate with me…but I do remember a very difficult time while my son was going through treatment in hospital and as I sat in the dark by his bedside one night, I was lead to read a passage by Rumi on my computer: “God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches you by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly - not one.”…which you point out in #36 Everything In Life is Two-Sided. It is through experiencing sorrow that you can truly appreciate joy, feel despair to appreciate hope. What other way can we learn to feel one unless we feel it’s total opposite?

  • Good stuff, Marc & Angel! I agree, happiness’s about leaping on faith alone and amidst uncertainty at the right moment; timing is everything but if we focus too hard on a foul past we get scared & miss a great future.

  • Thank you so much for the amazing and inspirational things you post. I too as I saw Annie posted have been going through a tough time over the last several months. A stupid mistake that happened in a moment by myself, has been eating away at me and overwhelming me for months. I lost my home, friends I have known all my life, everything. I have been working on forgiveness that I have been able to allow myself yet because I know without it, I can’t move forward. Thank you for what you write, you make me believe that things can get better. I am lucky to have found you.

  • This was valuable. Thanks Marc and Angel!

  • Amazing and powerful! Thank you for your heartfelt words. I love and look forward to your blog posts. :)

    Tamra
    Paper Hope

  • I am a new follower to your blog, and I must say that this article came at just the perfect time. Words are truely inadequate to express my appreciation, but take my thanks with the understanding that it means so much more. Thank you.

  • Perfect list - and so SO true! Thanks for putting it all so succinctly ;-)

  • You guys totally, absolutely rock. Just wanted to let you know that I added you to my blogroll <3

  • Thank you so much. This list is very helpful to me.

  • Nhyrie Villaceran
    January 11th, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Thanks for this! I agree with every point.

  • Sometimes placing positivity against reality can be tough to look at, but your words here are helping me. They’re telling me to believe and to keep pushing forward. Well, hope starts from here I guess… Thank you =)

  • Thanks for another great post :) Things always come in the right moment, in the right place, in the right way… Sometimes it’s just difficult to recognize it straight away. Feeling stronger today :) Thanks.

  • So sorry to hear of all your sorrowful experiences you and Angel have had this past year. It is wonderful for us, your fans, that you can still add wise tenets that benefit us. I love what you say about placing your hand over your heart and saying “hope lives here.” Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Love to Marc and Angel,

    Hey guys, great job! I was moving through great kind of depression and your blog, quotations and wisdom helped me a lot to overtake all these all worries. I love this blog.

  • Again, what a great post and great lessons. I’ve also been through some serious hard times, especially in the last few months. I’ve learned a few of these lessons too, but learned even more today after reading this. I shared it on my blog - hopefully my readers will love it too (I KNOW they will). Live, laugh, love…

    -mars

  • I can’t adequately express my sincere gratitude for finding this post today. Many, many thanks to my FB friend who posted it and also to you two for creating it. One of the greatest gifts I could have ever realized at arguably the darkest time of my life. Bless you both and everyone who has added a comment. Hope indeed lives here…

  • Thank you. Really needed to remind myself that ‘I’ still matters to me. This was a great reminder. Thank you so much. :)

  • Judith Shainholtz
    February 25th, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    These life lessons are inspiring, motivating and eternal truths.

  • Excellent, inspiring questions! Carry on!

  • Always be looking straight forward. :) Thanks for the reminders.

  • Marc, I feel much better after reading this post, thanks for the wonderful life lessons.

  • Marc, I just wanted to say thank you for this post. I have been crying for the past 6 hours. I have been trying to deal with a life that seems to kick me when I’m down and drop me on my face when I am up. I have been struggling for the past 5 years and there is something inside of me that breeds hope and positive change but sometimes life gets to be too much to take. I get tired of trying to convince myself that things will get better because they seem to just get worse. I have been trying to be hopeful for 5 years now. I swear 5 years feels like a lifetime when you are trying to overcome life’s hardships but at the same time 5 years feels like nothing when life seems to be going the way that you want. After reading your post I realized that having hope is ALL that I have to hold on to and that’s not such a bad thing!

    Thanks Again Marc And Bless you And your Family :)

  • Thank you. I really needed this today! :)

  • Lo Kiat Vui @ Kelvin
    July 10th, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Two Thumbs Up!!!

  • Thank you for the words I needed to see at a very bad time in my life. Some of them will help me and some of my own will help me too. The words reminded me that I needn’t be too ashamed of not being as perfect as many people expected me to be, that the opinions of those people are not all there is and that my own opinion of myself is the one that matters most.

  • I am so glad that other people are talking about finding strengths more than focusing our energy and precious resources on OUR WEAKNESSES? This is what i talk about in my latest post, too!

    This a simple tip that makes a huge difference in my clients’ lives.

    Great JOB!

  • Thank you for making me feel better at least for a moment… I hope i will be strong enough to apply all this.

  • I came across your message as I was sat in the car, looking on the Internet for comforting stories from people who may be going through the same thing as I am now. I’m expecting my first baby in January and I’m terrified of the prospect that my husband and I might not make it through that far. Our relationship has been up and down for many years mostly due to outside elements such as major debt problems, losing jobs, no family to speak of for either of us, because of finances we have nothing in our lives and instead of it bringing us closer together it’s pushed us further apart. There’s massive resentment on both parts and any love that we once showed to each other is long gone. I do love him though and I think deep down he still loves me. I don’t want to break up but I feel the situation for years has been chipping away at the both if us and neither of us seem to know how to get any enjoyment out of life anymore. What will be will be I guess and I try to stay positive. Your words helped me for a minute even though I cried through most of them, so thank you.

  • I was feeling hollow and exempt from feeling, some of these lessons struck me off guard and I thank you for that. Sometimes it’s difficult for me(And probably other people) to find the motivation and power to move on forward and give it your best.

    When I feel down, I feel weak too. I hate that feeling, but it’s rather hard to escape it once you’ve been caught in it. Back when I was hunger a good night of sleep usually put me back in track for a new great day, but then I noticed it wasn’t the case anymore. This is why I’m grateful for this post, it helps me find new ways to overcome depression and essentially find the man I once was.

  • Feel so much better after reading this post. Thank you so much! Feel so recharged and excited for the coming days. :)

  • These were very inspiring. Thank you so very much!

  • Excellent! Very motivating! Ready and geared to face the world with a new outlook on life. Oftentimes we are caught in a situation and let it drain us to the point to where every moment leaves you thoughtful and hurt.

    Lets fill that void with happiness and with an effort to do better each and every day.

  • This was wonderful to read. My mom had a severe stroke on October 3..and has been in the hospital since. There were many complications that came along after her stroke. As well as a minor heart attack. We were hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. She is doing absolutely amazing now, and I have been with her almost every day. I can’t seem to not go see her most days. It’s exhausting, but well worth it when I see the smile on her face when she sees me. It’s such a strange feeling..I feel like I am mourning the loss of my mother, best friend, even though I get to see her everyday.
    I am grateful to have her with me.
    Thank you for posting this. Very nice to read. Sure helps you think about what is truly important in life.

  • This has helped me feel so much better. I am really glad i found this page. Thank you very much indeed.

  • Wonderful post. Very encouraging and helped me see a clear view for today and moving forward. Thank you for sharing!

  • Amazing post. Really helped me to see things in perspective and get out of self pity mode. Thank you so much, this was a blessing to read. Chloe x

  • I cried when I read this post; it’s beautiful written. Very inspiring and reminds me of the important things in life.

  • Your website is keeping me alive.
    Thank you so much for all the time and work that you put into all this as. Sometimes it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel but I make sure I read your writings in the morning and at night and they help so much.
    Thank you

  • Dudes, this helped me today… you made a difference.

  • Fantastic. Holistic view amazing!

  • Very helpful… it seems like you are someone who really understands pain and healing.

  • Thanks for the inspirations. It is always wonderful to find other caring people who support the world through optimism, sharing practical wisdom and skills. God bless you!

  • Thanks to my wonderful husband for sending me this site.

    Everyone needs an angel. He is mine sent from the heavens to bless me!

    Great article!

    Love Christina

  • Million thanks for sharing this, I’m suffering for depression and was searching for something to motivate me and it helped me alot.

    Your article might not helps physically but it helps mentally. Sometimes, people are just looking for a way to express them out.

    I must come back here and read them again and again.

    Again, Great Article

  • This is a great list. Two really resonate.

    20. There is always something to be thankful for. Each day I give thanks for all that I have been blessed with - it is a great feeling.

    37. You have a choice. My wife reminds me that in every situation you have a choice how to re-act and, therefore, how it will impact you.

    Great inspiration.

    Thank you

  • Beautiful! I really needed this. Thank you!

  • This was a wonderful read. Thank you for a few new tips and a ton of great reminders. #5 especially resonated with me. You guys are amazing! =)

  • Thank you. This helps.

  • A year later and I am still finding inspiration from your post. Thank you!

  • Thank you for writing this, it has helped me to see the world in a better and different way.

  • Thank you very much…

  • Marc and Angel,

    I cannot begin to thank you guys enough! I’m 17 years old and for the past two months I’ve been extremely depressed, hopeless and I wanted to give up on everything due to many different problems and obstacles. I felt the nightly sadness and crying coming on tonight and i was so determined to not have that happen! So I googled “ways to find strength” and came to this. I have been praying God to give the strength to get past this depression and these hard times. I think this was God’s way of letting me know things are going to be okay. This seriously changed my life and brought me happy tears for the first time in probably over 6 months.

    Thanks so much. You are a blessing.

  • Helpful and inspiring article, as always. You are amazing, thank you.

  • True happiness comes from within me, it is my choice. Thank you to reminding me.

  • My fave article. When I am feeling down, I read it again and again.. until I feel good.

  • Thank you so much.

  • Going through a tough period..wife kicked me out of our home, after 18 years and three wonderful kids (15, 10, 6). Feeling lost… she denies infidelity… actually I do not care at this moment, soo painful. Thank you for a nice piece..gravely needed. Be blessed.

  • Your Facebook caption about emotional rage is what got my attention today. The knee-jerk reaction to private troubles seems to be to unload on social media, and then we wonder why people underestimate our ability to manage our problems or our competence to help them with theirs when they need it. The point is not to hide your troubles or pretend you don’t have them, but to use discretion in who you share with and how. No drama.

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