If you feel like you’re at the end the road with nowhere to go, realize you are lying to yourself. You have imprisoned yourself in your own mind by telling self-defeating stories – stories about what your life should be like, what you should have already accomplished, and so forth. By doing this you’ve created a tiny space in your mind and you’ve begun to believe you are actually living in it.
But you are NOT. You are alive in a vast world with infinite destinations. Take a moment to remind yourself of this. Go outside. Look at the sky and the clouds. THIS is the space in which you really live. Breathe it in. Then look at your current situation again.
Here are some things you need to consider before you give up:
- You never fail until you’re satisfied with failure. – Failure is not falling down; failure is staying down when you have the choice to get back up. Sometimes you have to fail a thousand times to succeed. Which means you haven’t really failed yet; you’ve just found a bunch of ways that don’t work. So don’t get so hung up on a few failed attempts that you miss every new opportunity coming your way. All of your ideas that don’t work are simply stepping stones on your way to the one idea that does. As Winston Churchill once said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Read Awaken the Giant Within.
- What you have learned is what’s important. – Life always offers you a second chance – it’s called tomorrow. But this second chance doesn’t mean anything if you haven’t learned from the events of today. You have to acknowledge your troubles but gather strength from them, and laugh at your mistakes but learn from them. Getting a second chance in life is about giving yourself the opportunity to grow beyond your past failures. It’s about learning as you go and positively adjusting your attitude and efforts toward future possibilities.
- Tough times are just part of life’s natural balance. – Life lives, life dies. Life laughs, life cries. Life gives up and life tries. And life looks different through everyone’s eyes. In fact, who you were, who you are, and who you will become are three completely different people. And as you gradually grow beyond the person you were yesterday, keep life’s challenges in perspective. Hear life’s harmony, and notice the delicate balance. Realize that life is like playing a grand piano. The white keys create your happiness and the black keys denote your troubles. But as you go through life’s journey, remember that the black keys also create music.
- Pain helps you grow. – Sometimes things must change so you can change. Sometimes you must break a little so you can get a peek inside to see what an awesome powerhouse you are. Sometimes mistakes must be made so wisdom can be earned. Sometimes you must overcome heartache so you can begin to follow your heart again.
- Success is a way of living. – Don’t let your struggles become your identity. Not everything in your life will go as you expect it to. This is why you need to drop expectations, live in the present, and go with the flow, rather than against it. Remind yourself that it’s perfectly okay not to be perfect. Ultimately, success is not something you achieve, it is what you learn and how you grow as you deal with the realities of life – it is a way of living and being. Read As a Man Thinketh.
- You can choose differently. – The difference between a mountain and a molehill is your perspective. And in many cases, the only thing in life you have control over is your perspective. No matter what happens, YOU control what the meaning is, and what to do with the meaning you give to the circumstance. Choose to react in a way that motivates happiness, love, or forgiveness, even when circumstances make that choice difficult.
- It’s not supposed to be easy. – Just because you’re not where you want to be today doesn’t mean you won’t be there someday. Again, success is tied to long-term determination. Successful people keep moving and trying. They make mistakes, but they do not quit. If things in your life aren’t happening as planned right now, that’s okay. It just means it’s not the right time. Life’s brick walls are not there to keep you out, they’re there to give you a chance to show how badly you want something. They’re there to stop the people who don’t want it as bad as you do.
- Simplify, simplify, simplify. – Like all magnificent things, life is quite simple. Its simplicity is found not in seeing how little you can get by with – that’s poverty – but how efficiently you can conquer your biggest difficulties. Remember, the greatest wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials. Your most significant ideas and accomplishments will be genius in their simplicity. One day you will find the right words, the right decisions, and the right solutions that will lead you to victory, and they will be far simpler than they seem right now. Read The Power of Less.
- Life is still good. – You may have seen better days, but you have also seen worse. You might not have all your wants, but you do have all your needs. You woke up with a few aches and pains, but you woke up. Your life may not be perfect, but it is good. And more good things are coming down the road as long as you keep moving forward.
Photo by: J.T. Noriega