post written by: Marc Chernoff

9 Things to Stop Doing During Hard Times

9 Things to Stop Doing During Hard Times

The most beautiful smiles are often the ones
that once struggled through the tears.

One thing I can say for sure: September 2008 through December 2009 was an extremely hard time for us.  In that seemingly short 15-month timespan, Angel lost her breadwinning job (which drastically affected our livelihood), we lost a mutual close friend to cardiac arrest, and then, just as we were starting to get back on our feet, Angel’s brother passed away unexpectedly as well.

As you can imagine, each of these losses felt horrific.  And when stacked back to back to back, it was sometimes difficult just to get out of bed in the morning – to make even the slightest bit of progress on anything at all.  But as days turned into weeks, months and years, we pressed forward, stronger and with a greater understanding and respect for life.

Now, sitting here several years later, with many other hardships behind us as well, I can honestly say that Angel and I have learned how to cope well with hard times.  It’s never easy, but there are positive and negative ways of dealing with difficult life situations.  And that’s what this post is all about.

Regardless of what you’re struggling with – a major tragedy or a minor personal battle – it’s time to STOP…

1.  Hiding from the truth.

Most people, at the first sign of distress, would rather deny the hard truth than face it.  But the truth does not cease to exist when it is ignored.  When you try to ignore it, you will find yourself living a lie every day as the truth haunts your thoughts every night.  Don’t do this to yourself.  Face the facts.  You simply can’t get away from your truth by moving dishonestly from one place to the next.

The truth will set you free, but first it may tick you off for a while, and that’s OK.  It’s always better to be hurt by the truth than comforted by a lie.  Because the truth hurts only once and then gradually fades, but a lie hurts just as bad every single time you remember you’re living it.

2.  Gripping tight to the fantasy of a pain-free life.

Pain is a part of life, and life’s pains have many shapes and sizes.

There’s the cold feet pain of moving on ‒ graduating, taking the next step, walking away from the familiar and into the unknown.  There’s the sharp growing pains of trial and error, of failing as you learn the best way forward.  There’s the immense, dizzying pain of life slapping you in the face when everything you thought you knew wasn’t true, or everything you had planned for falls through.

There are the more ambiguous aches and pains of success, when you actually get what you had hoped for, but then realize that it’s not quite what you had envisioned.  And then, from time to time, there are the warm, tingling pains you feel when you realize that you are standing in a moment of sweet perfection, a priceless instant of achievement or happiness which you know cannot possibly last, and yet will remain with you forever.

Even though so many folks forget, pain is actually a good thing.  It means you’re breathing, and trying, and interacting with the endless possibilities in this world.  Pain is for the living only; it’s worth fully accepting and dealing with while you still have a chance.  (Read The Road Less Traveled.)

3.  Revisiting the past over and over in your mind.

Sadly, people all over the world are continuously telling their one dramatic story and how their entire life has turned into getting over this one event from the past.  Now, every day of their lives are more about something that no longer exists, rather than the real life experiences waiting for them in the present.

We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.  You become a prisoner when you cling to what no longer exists.  If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.  It may be hard, but you have to let go.  Cling no more!  Realize that the past is like a foreign country – they do things differently there.  And “they” have nothing to do with YOU RIGHT NOW.

4.  Holding on to who you were before the storm.

Hard times are like strong storms that blow against you.  And it’s not just that these storms hold you back from places you might otherwise go.  They also tear away from you all but the essential parts of your ego that cannot be torn, so that afterward you see yourself as you really are, and not merely as you might like to be.

Ultimately, you realize you are here to endure these storms, to sacrifice your time and risk your heart.  You are here to be bruised by life.  And when it happens that you are hurt, or betrayed, or rejected, let yourself sit quietly with your eyes closed and remember all the good times you had, and all the sweetness you tasted, and everything you learned.  Tell yourself how amazing it was to live, and then open your eyes and live some more.

Because to never struggle would be to never grow.  You must let go of who you were so you can become who you are.  It is within the depths of the strongest and darkest storms that you discover within you an inextinguishable light, and it is this light that illuminates the right path forward.  (Angel and I discuss this in detail in the “Adversity” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

5.  “Worrying” or “thinking” a situation into something worse than it is.

What worries you masters you.  Needless worry and negative thinking will never lead to positive change.  However, a positive attitude and a little action can change everything.  So if you don’t like something, change it.  If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.  Being hurt is something you can’t stop from happening, but being miserable is always your choice.

No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse.  Negative thinking creates negative results.  Positive thinking creates positive results.  Period.  The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow are the “buts” you use today.  Things always turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.

6.  Acting like it’s not OK to smile.

Sometimes a little silliness is all you need to get a better perspective of life’s greatest challenges.  Silliness is the carefree, sometimes crazy, and often misunderstood stepsister of happiness.  May you be a friend to both, and smile your way through life’s twists and turns.

When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.  You’ll see why.

7.  Giving in and giving up as soon as the going gets tough.

All things are difficult before they are easy, and the roughest roads often lead to the top.  There are simply no easy roads to anywhere worth going.  Which is why you must endure the discomfort.  Do what is right for your future, not what is easy right now.

You’ll learn, as you grow older, that many of life’s supposed rules are made to be broken.  Even when times are tough, be bold enough to live on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it.  Go against the grain, refuse to conform when it doesn’t feel right, take the road less traveled instead of the well-worn path.  Laugh in the face of adversity as best as you can, and leap before you look fear too deeply in the eyes.  Dance as though everyone is watching, without giving a care in the world to what they think of you.  March to the beat of your own drummer.  And stubbornly refuse to give up and give in.

8.  Wanting to have all the answers.

Accept the feeling of not knowing exactly where you are going, and train yourself to love and appreciate this sensation of freedom.  Because it is only when you are suspended in the air, with no destination in sight, that you force your wings to open fully so you can fly.  And as you soar around you still may not know where you’re traveling to.  But that’s not what’s important.

What’s important is the opening of your wings.  You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as your wings are spread, the winds will carry you forward.  (Read A New Earth.)

9.  Obsessing yourself with negative news.

For every prominent newscaster who howls about how bleak and unjust life is, there are thousands of other people behind the scenes working tirelessly to make a positive difference in the world.  For every disheartening crisis that is breathlessly reported, there are thousands of real, meaningful success stories that don’t get the attention they deserve, but that have an enormous positive ripple effect on humanity.

Try not to obsess yourself with negative news, especially when you’re in the midst of hard times.  When you’re faced with negative news, learn from it and use this knowledge to work your way eagerly toward a brighter tomorrow.  Today is a choice.  Today, choose grace over impatience, laughter over worry, and beauty over negativity.  Life does get better and better when you choose to make it so.

The floor is yours…

What would you add to the list?  What do you try NOT to do when times are hard and stressful?  Please leave a comment below and let us know.

Photo by: Jeffery

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  • Wow, another post that really helps! I’ve been a huge fan of your writings – blog, book, email newsletters, etc. – for well over a year now, and I have to say, this post is one of my favorites. It really ties in well to much of what you discuss in the adversity chapter of your book, which I found extremely helpful.

    When I am having a bad day, I try not to let the chaos of the moment consume me. I usually try to have a tea break and that keeps me away from the stress for 15-20 minutes. I also find peace when I walk, as I have found that walking at least a mile a day helps keep my mind less stressed.

  • Thanks for this wonderful article. I feel burdened in life because of the huge emotional baggage I am carrying on my shoulders. I think a lot about the “could have beens.” But that past is not coming back and I know this. It took some ugly decisions to get me to where I am today, and that’s not a bad thing. After reading this beautiful article I have come to realize how much I need to let go of difficult times from my past. Surely, as I’m dealing with new difficulties, I don’t need to carry all my old ones around with me. Thank you for reminding me.

  • Thank you so much for this advice. Just reading what you guys have written here is making me feel so much stronger in the current hard situation I am in right now. I just bought your book, and I can’t wait to read more.

    To answer your question: I try NOT to complain. I do the best with what’s in front of me and I leave the “shoulda’s and coulda’s” alone.

    All the best,

  • #3 and 4 really resonate with me. I keep holding onto the past - the recent past - that really wasn’t very good, very rewarding or even worth remembering. And I want the me back who existed before the nightmare began. What I hang on to - I don’t know - maybe a dream of what might have been had a million things been different. Wow! I so need to move on. Thank you for shaking me awake!

  • I just love this post! Uplifting and moving! I am huge fan of you both, Marc and Angel. I started reading your posts a few weeks ago, and I feel comforted by the fact that there are loads of reasons for us to be happy and positive. Looking forward to more great reads.

  • I love how clear you are about exactly what needs to be stopped. I would add fanning anger onto the list. It’s easy to get stuck there, but it doesn’t help anyone.

  • Melissa Webster
    April 6th, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    Haha! #9 makes me laugh. This is so true. I used to be a political junkie and had to train myself to take frequent breaks so I can have fun with it and be informed without letting it get under my skin.

    Fox “News” is being forced on me daily at the moment though. So I’m coping by publicly calling them out on the lies, propaganda and hypocrisy, usually via Twitter. It makes me feel like I’m at least making some kind of difference and putting a positive spin on the situation to neutralize the negativity. And when it gets to be too much, I watch movies on my phone to drown out the noise completely. I’ve caught up on a lot of movies. :D

  • Thank you for writing this. I could relate to #3. And I often try to avoid reading anything negative in tough times.

  • Like they say - “This too shall pass…”

    Nice reminder of the fact that we should never resist the present, and always be strong and know that good or bad times are just like seasons. They WILL pass.

    Thank you for this lovely post.

  • Wise words. Excellent reminder on how it’s our own minds that construct a lot of our pain. And that it’s ok to be silly. Thank you.

  • Don’t try to rationalize what ever happened. Move forward with your life.

    Revisiting the past over and over again in your mind can make you miserable. Some people believe you can change the past, but I believe you can change how you look at the past. It happened, learn from (fill in the blank) and move forward with your life. Know that you’re not the only one who’s had missteps and possibly misfortune. Learn from the past and do better this time. Look at this way. You learned tough life lessons that can save you from repeating them, over and over, again and again.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help! I don’t mean money or full emotional support. If you have someone who will just LISTEN or give you a hug, you’ll be amazed at how much good that can do. Trying to do it all alone can be debilitating. Get by with a little help from your friends.

  • Thanks Marc and Angel for sharing your life and lessons with everyone. When times are hard and stressful, I try to keep it/myself together and not cry . Because I want to show I am strong. But it doesn’t always work out like that. Regards, Sheryl

  • Our family has had our share of negative news recently, too, and it is always best to deal with what’s in front of you at the moment–don’t try to think it too far out into the future–you never know what will happen between now and then. Thanks for all that you do.

  • Hi guys!

    Tough times are coming to an end as I let go of of my manipulative and cheeting boyfriend since 3 years. My intuition was telling me a long time ago he was no good, finally I let go.

    Today I’m feeling so light knowing I have endless possibilities. I’m sad but I see the light:)

    Your post really made an impact on me today. I realized the meaning of the road less travelled.

    Thank you for guiding me when I continue my journey on the road less travelled:)

  • Love your reminders to “shape up” … you both are so clear in what you say … also loved Sean’s purposeful “tea breaks” … actively managing the moment. Thank you for your words, Marc and Angel.

  • Beautiful! There is a point when I can no longer hide and have to face what I fear: the uncomfortable, uneasy, harsh side of life.

  • Wow! I just found you the other day as a suggestion from Bloglovin and I have to say it was a God-send! I started with 40 Regrets I didn’t want to have…which I DID NOT want to have! And now this, when I’m on the climb out of almost 2 years of dealing with chronic migraines and severe depression brought on by PTSD. I have to say I am blown away by your simple, yet profound writing style and ease of conveying a HUGE message in such a small blurb! I have post-its that say:

    1. DO NOT GET OVERWHELMED!!! all over my house! It’s easy to see how bad overwhelms us, but I have to remind myself that even on my good days I let the good overwhelm me and start feeling pressured to continue the “good feeling” for everyone. So it’s just a reminder to live in the moment and let it take 2 yrs to get life back together if I have to!

    2. Priorities are not needs based! The things that NEED my time (as in emergency, squeaky wheel type need) aren’t generally my main priorities in life so let them squeak!! If the house is not as clean as I’d like it or my to-do list is a little longer than I feel comfortable with, it’s ok! God, my health, and truly connecting with my family come first everyday!!

    3. Everyone messes up and it’s ok! I am really hard on myself and I truly forget that it’s ok to mess up! So that is what I remind myself when I forget small things or look back at all the things I’ve let slide over the last 2 years. It was a mess up and everyone is allowed to have them, now I’m getting better and I can fix what I can and say I’m sorry for what I can’t, either way I can’t go back…so life moves forward!

    Thank you!

  • I consciously tell myself that if I think of the negativity of the past, I will get more negativity because of the low vibrations that these thoughts come from.

    Good things happen when you change your thoughts and upgrade the frequency through which you vibrate.

    Whether we like it or not, people pick up the energy of our negative thoughts and we unknowingly drive them away.

  • Thank you, Marc and Angel, for ALL you do, and ALL the lives you touch! I will be forwarding this one onto my husband and daughter, as they both seem to be in a “rut” right now, and need to have some reality slapped into their lives. :)

    A change I’ve noticed in my life that may or may not go along with this article, was caused by cutting the boob tube altogether in our home. Yup. No cable t.v. and ours doesn’t work with the HD ears either.

    EVERY night before going to bed, I write in my gratitude journal…3-5 things that I was grateful for that day. I try to avoid writing the same thing twice, too, as far as things like “I’m grateful for my husband.” I find different things about my husband that I’m grateful for that were specific to that day, ie: “I’m grateful for Kristian’s kind soul,” “I’m grateful for Kristian’s amazing assistance today at the wedding I shot,” and so on. This way, I go to bed with gratefulness in my heart, resonating throughout my body all night.

    During the day, no matter whom I meet, cross paths with, and no matter what my mood is, I ALWAYS say “Hello!” with a big smile. Seeing people’s reaction back, or the amazing conversation that sometimes takes place, makes it all worth it, and helps me get out of funks as well, if I can feel myself going into one.

    Quite honestly, I come back here often, too, I come here when times are tough (I just realized I didn’t answer what NOT to do! OOOPS!).

  • #1, #3 & #5 really hit home to me this morning. I am caught up in this fear cycle lately that I am trying so desperately to break. I want to be happy again & genuinely smile. I want the old me back that didn’t have a care in the world & was just livin HER life. I want to be comfortable in my own skin. I don’t know where I lost myself along the way these past few months, but something’s gotta give.

  • I try to NOT keep it to myself. Talking openly and honestly about a struggle I’m having or a pain I am enduring has never failed to help.

    Thanks for all the other helpful reminders.

  • This is exactly what i need at this time to keep in mind in order and keep pushing forward.

    Thanks Marc and Angel.

  • Thank you for this. This was exactly what I needed today. And its encouraging to know that there is a reason for a certain situation in my life as painful as it is, just as there is a reason that you posted this today to help me find a way forward.

  • Dear Marc and Angel - Your blog has greatly helped me get through some tough times, and more importantly remember All of us have but ONE life to live, and it is our duty to be the BEST we can.

    Thanks for all the amazing posts and your life tips….

  • So here I am in a deep bi-polar depression. Almost none of this is penetrating or resonating with me at the moment.

    For all readers…it’s about the HOW… Thinking great thoughts alone will NOT get you from negative to positive. If it were that simple we’d all be happy all the time. It’s all in the HOW:

    How many times do I have to fight the negative thoughts? Every time, there is no number.

    How can I change when I am overwhelmed and its beyond my control? Refocus on something new to you. Learn a new skill. Read different book. GO to work via a different route. Force a small change in your life, and you will have no choice but to pay attention to it.

    How do I stop my own negative self-destruction? Spend as much time as possible with others, but only the ones who want you to get better. Read positive-laden books, articles, websites.

    Clean up your own mess: where you live, where you work, empty the fridge, purge the closets, detail your car by hand. Write your friends, on paper with pen, then send it with a card via the Post Office.

  • Really great post. I can see how your tragedies have shaped you and Angel. They’ve given you perspective and insight that only loss can give. Having experience the loss of my son, I had to make a decision that my grief was not a life sentence to sadness. It has helped me live more in the now and appreciate every day.

  • Well, THIS blog hit home. At the same time of taking care of my elderly Dad with multiple medical problems for years, my older child was diagnosed with MS. I cut back on my job to take take care of both. One just passed away, the other one is moving forward with meds and retraining, and is learning to adjust to many changes. In my heart I know I did the right thing, but financially it is very sad. Thank God my other two children are relatively healthy. Then you hear “we don’t consider care giving to be be employment” at interviews (?!), hence you have not been “employed”, (hence there is a lot of discrimination in being hired). Will reread this article as I feel I am clawing my way up a very muddy hill. Thanks for this blog. It is truly perfectly timed.

  • Thank you so much for all your inspiring posts! I enjoyed every single one of them and always can relate somehow and learn from it.

    Hard times - we all face them in life. So did my family and I several years ago. Several years ago, when the economy was going down my husband lost his job - the only income we had. He did everything to find another job which was an incredible stressful and so difficult during that time. After almost 3 years he finally was able to do some consulting work, which was something but not enough to feed a family. There where times when we where close to giving up, but we didn’t. It was so scary and sad to see our savings melt away for food and daily cost of living. Some “friends” turned away, but others where incredibly encouraging so as my close friend M. She was the one who made the necessary introduction which helped my husband get the life saving consulting job. A consulting job can’t feed a family but it was such a relieve having a little income. My husband worked very hard and after couple if months the CEO of this company offered him a part time job. Several months later when the same CEO offered my husband a full time position our worries and struggle during the past years (4 years in total) where washed away with happiness, relieve and JOY.

    What a ride. Those 4 terrifying years felt like a free fall to us. It taught us a life lesson: never ever give up! There will be light at the end of the tunnel. Those 4 years were an incredible journey for my husband, my 2 children and me. There where days, weeks, months, yes, even years filled with so many emotions - hopelessness and frustration, but believing and not giving up turned things around for us. We even found new honest friends and keep those close in our hearts who stayed with us during those dark days. This was a life lesson we never wished for but taught us so much more than any happy day could ever have. Today, when days are filled with responsibilities and amount of work we barely can handle, we are grateful to have all that. We are grateful to have each other, we know together we are strong and can get very far by only believing.

    Thank you so much for all your incredible posts and life lessons - they are do inspiring and helpful in many ways. Those are the things that keep us going!

  • I really like number three as I always feel as though the past is clinging to me, and that people will eventually find out. I worry they can see it in my eyes, hear it in my voice, feel it In between each word. Then one day I realized, no one is even paying attention to you Jen! The past doesn’t exist in the now… it doesn’t need to be told eventually or reveled one day… there’s so much more awesome stuff going on right now to trip over and slip on! :-p

  • Thank You Marc,
    I was deeply moved by Your thoughts. I have been going through a really tough time right now. On Saturday I had one year anniversary of the death of my Father as I’m dealing with some other problems that bothers me a lot.

  • Stop thinking of revenge.

    Don’t get me wrong, I try to get ‘even’. Work on getting even with those who do good to you. Forget those who harmed you.

  • I find today’s writing beautiful. It’s a life lesson that’s timeless.

    I work on tolerating mistakes and imperfections. Sometimes letting go and spreading my wings in the unknown yet part-of-me elements, I need to allow myself to fail, to fall; I even need to be willing to die. Given the terms of existence, that’s not a bad thing - being willing to die. It’s an acceptance of reality and then, once accepted, I can turn my attention to the lightness and loveliness and adventure of living.

    I’m very grateful for your sharing of your life and the wisdom you’ve gleaned, your strength. Marc and Angel and all the folks who post replies: Thank you!

  • Marc:

    I am grateful for the courage and tenacity that Angel and you both demonstrated during that rough patch in your lives. You are a living testimonial to the power of overcoming hardships. I only have to look in the comments to see the positive impact that you are having on so many people.

    You and Angel inspire me.

  • A very powerful post… when things get really tough I focus on letting go of past mental programming that compartmentalizes everything into categories like “bad, wrong, painful, unfair” etc.

    I don’t try to make them “right”, I just focus on watching my attachment to judging them; knowing that at some point, something good will come if I release resisting what is.

    e.g. my spouses massive heart attack helped him to change unhealthy habits and let go of stress; looking after my Mum in her last months brought healing and joy to us both; leaving an unfulfilling career brought the self-esteem to embark on a new, creative path.

    It might not seem like it at the time, but the treasure’s there if we can open to it.

  • This is a great post.

    One thing that I stop doing when going through hard times that I think could be on your list is to Stop Ignoring the Power Within Your Own Being.

    What I mean by this is our inner worlds very much so dictate our outer worlds. So instead of ignoring the Essence of Life within each of us, honor that powerful source that can open your highest potential or keep you repeating the past. The great thing about life is that we have the opportunity to re-direct our experience thought by thought, choice by choice, and action by action.

    Thank you for sharing your insights.

    Peace & Respect,


  • The hardest thing in the world is remembering #6; it IS OK to smile.

  • I s-o needed this today and you touched on all the points that I have endured and also engaged in which have not been useful nor helpful to me..Such as living way back in time and ruminating on how things were instead of getting on with the job at hand and living every day..Recently a woman in a ‘play production’ really really pulled the rug from under me and I was really shocked and devastated. She had been on an ongoing basis most abusive to me. My tummy churned every time I had to show up but I carried on as she gave me a solo to sing and I really wanted to take part…This toxic situation continued and I was told by the pianist that I had the prettiest voice in the group and someone else as well. I was thrilled and those nice comments seemed to sustain. Well,suddenly she took me from the solo but said I could carry on with the dance etc. part of the play…I was crushed and I did not see this coming at all.

    I showed up the next Sunday and thanked those few that had been kind to me and turned in my costumes and left. There was a phone call from one member to return on my answering machine but I never returned.I am a person from an early age who allowed people, a former husband to bully me I have a rather high tolerance level. Too high really!! I am working on this issue and yes, I was aware this woman was being abusive but I felt the solo worth it.. When that was taken from me, I threw in the towel.

    All the points you covered today reflected so much of what I have gone through..with family, former husband and the outside world…It was so timely and required reading for me..I have learned so much from your articles and they touch on so much that is current in my past and present life..I am appreciative to you both and thank you sincerely…’it must get better somehow’

  • This is a great post! I feel #3 and is very true - at least for me. Although my mistakes made me stronger and they even taught me many valuable lessons, but I cannot get rid of the guilt completely. I think it has to do with the fact that I was raised Catholic..

  • In response to Nancy Joyce: I love your posts and I also find a lot of help in reading what others write about their lives and healing. My husband of 20 years left me for a much younger woman. I was devastated at first and wished bad things for them both. I actually was making myself more miserable than anyone else could. Then I remembered that my Father who had been a family court judge for most of his law career had once told me “The best revenge is living well”. I decided that I was going to be the best person with the best life that I could possibly make for myself. I have come along way, I am happy, independent, actually enjoying the freedom of living alone, embracing what comes next in my life and enjoying every minute. Don’t let resentment ever come into your life!

  • Could you be any more perfect in timing of this post to pop up in my feed. Thank you again.

  • I love this post, it came just when I needed it, as so often your posts do! You are my go-to place when I wake with worry or fear and cannot sleep. Just reading a few of your posts will often free my mind and put things back in perspective.

    Number 1 and 5 of this post spoke to me particularly and today I woke and took practical, tangible steps toward change. Now I’m going to embrace No 7 and not give up on making the change!

    What I try NOT to do in tough times is wallow in it, and give in to the self pity. Just a tiny productive action or a simple grateful thought is the beginning of things improving.
    I thank you sincerely for your posts!

  • Hi, I strongly agree with these article - very realistic and motivating. Remember that negative thoughts will give us a devastated life, always keep #6 in mind,” When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile. anyway, we only have one life to live, so let’s live our life to the fullest. Thanks for sharing, have a great day!

  • The best thing I’ve done for myself during the mind-shattering horror my now ex-husband has put me through is to make sure I am sleeping. I’m not ashamed to admit that I got a little help in the form of a prescription from my doctor. Without that little help, I would be up all night ruminating and these posts (which are so helpful) wouldn’t even sink in. I believe I’d be a lost cause without the help sleeping.
    So, my advice, sleep!!!

  • Melissa Webster
    April 8th, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Here’s one to add to the list: Don’t work in a hostile work environment. Life is too short to work with people who don’t like you and intentionally manipulate situations to alienate you.

    There’s no such thing as job security, so why force yourself to spend the majority of your time in a toxic environment? The poverty wages aren’t worth it.

    Find a job where people are happy and you’re happy to be there, so you can’t wait to get out of bed and go to work every morning.

  • I have chronic depression. Everything on your list is SO understandable…I know in my mind those good things to do, but depression breads negativity and then continues the cycle. My mind knows, but I cannot move. Very frustrating…

    I print some of your lists and try to read them everyday. It helps. Like someone commented above, something has gotta give.

  • Good collection of thoughts here. What’s worth considering: being “stuck in the past” isn’t just about dwelling on the bad things. It can also be about dwelling on the good things, which leads to destructive nostalgia, “rose-colored glasses,” etc. Living in the present means letting go of past things, period.

  • @All: Thank you so much for sharing your insight with us. Angel and I truly appreciate you sharing these little pieces of your stories. Like many of you often mention, your comments are equally as important as the original posts we write. I gleam a great deal of wisdom and inspiration from your words.

    So keep your heads held high and look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder. Let life’s challenges make you stronger and wiser. :)

  • All of what you said it true. I would add one caveat and that would be, not to obsess about what is true for you now. Face the truth, do what you can about your situation and then turn away from it for a bit. Sometimes staring the truth in the face day after day is just too much. That is, until something changes.

    When you’re enduring a marathon of “hard times” sometimes turning away allows you to get out of bed each morning.

  • Great article. Lots of wisdom here.

    #5 resonates with me. I always say, “Worry never helps….it only hurts you.”

    I’d add to NOT blame anyone or anything for your pain. Not God. Not your friends. Not yourself. Like you wrote: “Pain is for the living only.” So, if you’re going to blame for your pain, blame life! :)

  • Yassine AîtLaaraj
    April 14th, 2014 at 4:25 am

    One Word, Just Wow… ;)

  • You gave me positive thoughts to be ok today, tomorrow and the next day and so on.

    I’ll stop worrying now. What is meant to happen will happen. And what is not,is not.

    I will not be better. I will be better.

    Thank you. And God bless us.

  • Get through the tough moments would never be easy for me though i keep reminding myself that things will be ok as it will. Only after things are better then i’ll be all right.

    Your posts are very inspiring, this is the place i would come to to get some support. A sincere gratitude.

  • Great site. Boy, I have also had a tough 6 months. I recently gave up on something important to me (#7). Its the first time in my life that I have ever thrown in the towel and what an amazingly negative experience, knowing now that I can’t get it back and finally realizing the value of what was lost.

    Its been 6 months of could have / should have (#3) and now I am fighting to gain control as not to lose even more important things.

    Hanging on tight at the moment and reading all posts with interest.

  • What a great article! Don’t react on negative emotions. Stand back and annalise them first. The more you think about something, the more it controls you.

  • Wow! Just what I needed to read today. This addresses some of the issues that I have been going through lately.

    We frequently face hard times after a great loss in our lives. Although loss is painful, I like to look at the loss as an opportunity and space for God to move new things into our lives.


  • I can relate to so many of these points. Thank you for posting this and I’ll be continually working through them to reach the other side :)

  • simply so good….

  • It’s okay. It’s okay to want someone you can’t have. It’s okay to want something more. Its okay to cry when you’re hurt, and it’s okay to stay mad at someone who hurt you. Believe it or not, it’s always going to be okay. That’s just how it works. Sometimes things don’t work out how you want them to, and most of the time, it seems like they never will. But eventually, everything is going to iron out some way or another. You just have to believe, keep your faith, and move on.

  • Awe-inspiring…I now have to get out of working at McDonald’s at age 41 as crew member…life is indeed hard but I have to use my adversity as strength.

  • “Not holding on to who you were.” This is also relevant to anything relating to the past. Too often we do this for fear of what the future may bring. How about centering on RIGHT NOW, even if we aren’t sure what is happening right now? Living in the moment, taking in a deep breath, sighing it out. It’s in that short space of experiencing mindfulness that we can see life isn’t that bad after all. It’s not easy to do at first, but if we decide to focus on now rather than the past or worries about the future, we actually free ourselves of all that angst that comes with being stuck in the past or future.

  • Another great set of points. The one about not holding onto who you were before the storm is particularly powerful for me.

  • Great advice to listen to when times are tough. I also try not to obsess with the negativity and think of things that I should be grateful for. Great read.

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