“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
NOTE: This post has been updated with new information and moved to here:
4 Reasons You Need to Keep Doing Hard Things to Be Happy, Healthy and Successful
Photo by: Jake Bellucci
Braja Patnaik says
This is a very motivating post. When circumstances challenge and overwhelm us, we want to give up. It helps to remember how similar challenges were overcome in the past. Reading inspirational quotes, posts and books keeps the motivation high.
There is a small technique I use not to become overwhelmed by huge audacious goals: I try to break it down into small, bite-sized, achievable goals. Thus when going gets tough, I do not focus on the larger goal, but just on the next bite-sized milestone.
These days, I am preparing for a marathon. Some days it is very difficult to run my target distance. I try not to think about how much I have to run next week or the subsequent week. I just focus on today’s run. Even during the run, I just focus on the next lap. I am happy if I am able to finish that. Thus, I try to collect small wins which help me propel towards my larger goal.
Thanks for sharing this post.
I always have my moments of feeling like crap and these come every so often. They can last a while too.
What gets me through it is the reminder and realization that I ALWAYS bounce back. No period of struggle lasted for long and no matter how bad I thought it was, time proves to heal all. Something better always comes along or my mind allows itself to rest for a bit and I realize things aren’t as bad as they seem.
What helps me hold on is to breathe the air of dawn. Then I am alone, and nobody and nothing cuts me down yet also I am not alone, it is the World and me and I connect to the limitless skies. My dreams take shape at this time.
Searching for posts like this that remind me of what I’ve forgotten or struggle to bring to mind. Thanks.
Great post. A real post for living life day-to-day. Thank-you.
Anto Francis says
Thanks Marc for the wonderful post. It in facts helps me focus more on my resources rather than complaining about the downsides and get depressed.
Connecting with nature helps me with my stress and out of control thoughts. Take a walk, sit quietly and listen to the birds, count how many butterflies you see. Remember that the thoughts are just that…. thoughts. Relax….breath… and let them pass through you. Know that we are all part of so much more than just ourselves. Connect with your higher power by taking a quiet moment to pray or meditate this too will calm your mind and bring peace to your mind, body and spirit.
I was just telling myself I’m tired and have to let go .. you always seem to post what i need when I most need it.
Exactly what I needed to hear, when I needed to hear it.
Thank you, Marc & Angel.
Life IS a struggle! The question is what to DO about it. Just like Braja Patnaik, I break things down into small steps…after taking a deep breath of course. 🙂
I literally live by the following quote, which I have displayed prominently to remind me:
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”. ~Lao-Tzu
Love these encouraging lists (definitely more than the “9 lies to unlearn” type posts) – Love that they focus on abundance and positive thought. Thank you.
This was great to read, thank you. I have a tendency to want to leave romantic relationships “before I get hurt” and half the time I feel like I’m only half in them. One foot out the door ready to bolt the other foot in it. Looking for signs to run. This was timely as I woke up thinking those thoughts, again and … as I said very timely.
I just love all the great advice but here is my question. My emails are overwhelmed by spiritual teachers of all walks of life and it’s always the same message: don’t give up, follow your dreams but seriously how does that all begin? Don’t say “with one small step” because I don’t understand that either. Sure, there is something I would love to do but there is no way it is possible so yes, it would seem I fill my days waiting for some kind of help but it doesn’t come. I really am stuck. Now what?
This is a great post for a Monday, especially after the Super Moon. Then again, Mercury is retrograde until July 20. You may experience a bumpy ride. Hold on to your soul. 🙂
“Am I working too much with not enough downtime?” Yes, I’ve been working extremely hard without enough downtime.
“Am I eating healthy balanced meals?” I’ve been slacking on this one. And I’m a vegetarian!
“Am I spending enough time with those I care about?” I’m spending too much time with those I care about. Sometimes the people you care about can bring you down. It’s all right to step away and love them from a distance.
“Am I involved in relationships that cause me excessive stress?” YES!
“Am I constantly worried about some other time and place?” I have a tendency to be in the future because my present isn’t as I’d like it to be, even though I understand that we create our future by staying present.
Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed and want to give up. But I remind myself that I have free will and can choose differently.
I can choose who I hang out with on a daily basis.
I can choose what I do and where I live.
I can choose to Let Go and Let God.
I can choose to be happy and free, NOW!
Make it a great day and week! Don’t give up, yet. Focus on the light and it will shine brightly in your life.
A wonderful post what I needed to hear. I am facing adversity and sometimes it looks like its winning and I read this and know I sm not alone and it is part of humanity. Thank you
I loved the note of surviving the storm and emerging with little else then raw being. I am in the storm I know. Thank you for the message; I will hold it close.
This post reminds me of the question, “How do you eat an elephant?” One bite at a time! It is true. Take life one step at a time, sometimes going back a step or two to be able to more forward. Thanks for the encouragement.
Needed this today…thank you 🙂
At times like this I count my many blessings and give thanks for everything I have, and everything I have accomplished in my life.
And I try and remember that things always work out in the end. And if they haven’t worked out, well, then it’s not the end 🙂
Sometimes am fed up of life.sometimes,I ask myself what am I doing in this world?sometimes I feel like giving up my dream.But I thank God,for using you to give me the strength to hold on,to my belief.Thank U.
Hello! Greetings from Philippines.
I have this problem going on. I don’t know if I call this a problem but this bothered me always. My office mates who are very close to me are resigning, and it makes me feel sad to see them go. They are the ones whom I can be myself with and who also help me in times of difficulties. When I think about them, it just makes me feel like I want also to resign but I was hired just last year and I need to have more experience…Is this feeling normal? 🙁
Marc and Angel- This was a good one for me today. I’m working a job that requires more physical work than my body can handle. I’ve never felt old or short and this job makes me feel both! I know I’m working here as the pathway to where I need to be-and I’m open to that awareness. Today’s post reminded me that I’m not crazy, it’s not hopeless and God’s purpose for me is beyond my own limited thoughts of today.
Once again you two have touched my heart and mind, thank you.
Lorrie Jones says
Thank you for this wonderful post. I so often forget that I DO have something to offer the world…no matter how I am feeling in the current moment. I feel restored this morning after reading yet another of your wonderful articles. Thank you again.
Great post. I am with Andrea though. I am in a lose lose situation right now. I need physical help to get out of it, and have no one or no money to hire someone. I am disabled. I need to sell my house before I end up homeless, and after I sell my house and pay back my Mom for the upgrades needed to sell it, I will be homeless. I have a few more things to do to put it on the market, and because of my disability, I cannot do it myself, and do not have the money to hire someone. If I don’t get these things done, I won’t be able to sell the house at a price high enough to pay my mother back. So…where do I start. I don’t qualify for help from Habitat for Humanity. Local churches are too busy helping others, and I understand that. I can’t take out a loan to have someone help me clean walls and paint. I’m already in debt up to my ears. What do I do besides take a small step?
Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that maybe we need to go get a massage too, sometimes we need another person to help us, remove the old and bring in the new, sometimes we just need someone’s hand on our shoulder, sometimes we just need someone to say, “I understand”. Those things can take stress off our minds so quickly! We must also remember to do this for others, when we see them or know that they are stressed.
Bridget Lee says
Great article, and so fitting for me. Especially about the giving up, and feeling down (I’m bipolar) and my ups & downs (or yoyo moods) seem so extreme at times.
Sometimes it’s good to hold on a little longer, but ONLY a little longer. I held on once hoping and praying that the wrongs in my relationship would just go away, and things would get back to “normal”. They never did… and that’s all on me. After far too many lost years of hoping and holding on; until I was in such an endless abyss that there wasn’t even a pinpoint of light, I finally gave up on hoping for that miracle, and just blindly jumped into the void of life. Yes, it was difficult, it was terrifying in fact, but I made it. I survived the bad times, and hopefully came out stronger in so many ways.
I still at times have intense regrets that it took me so long to admit to failure (on both our parts), and can’t help but wonder “what if” about so many things during that void of time. Had I been wise I’d have just walked away long before I finally did, but so many can claim that as well, I’m sure. That hind-sight can really come back and bite a person, sometimes again and again. The biggest problem I’ve had with the hind-sight terrors is when I tend to dwell on those “what if’s” too much. None of us can live in the past, none of us can really escape those memories. All we can do is learn from them, and keep looking forward. It’s hard to look forward, to have hopes and believe in dreams when we’re focusing too much on the might have beens. But it is possible. Long ago I read an inspirational article (not sure who wrote it) that said “Each morning when you wake up, think of 3 things in your life that you are grateful for. And each night think of 3 things that you did, and/or 3 things you are grateful for. That has really helped me grow in so many ways.
The main thing is to always believe in yourself, and at times you may have to give yourself a kick in the backside. Always have faith in your beliefs, your skills, your value and your dreams. Buddha said ” There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth. NOT going all the way and NOT starting.” Whether it be truth, or any other element of your life, Buddha was so right.
Camille Scielzi says
Thank you Marc for such a wonderful message! Today started with a bad flare up of a chronic autoimmune condition and it seemed almost unbearable to get out of bed. Living with this condition has brought so many negative changes that trigger the cycle of feeling depressed and alone. After reading your post, especially point #3, it motivated me to get out of bed and stop the “poor me” cycle to move onto having a more productive day. Thank you for the insights and generous sharing of wisdom.
Bridget Lee says
MARY: I too am disabled, and find it hard to ask for, or find help. But there are organisations, agencies and people that can help you. Sometimes it takes a while, but don’t give up hope.
Small steps are just that STEPS! It’s like the Buddha quote I posted here just a bit ago. (Paraphrasing: Not starting is a mistake), at least you’re doing what you can, no matter how small an effort it seems to be to you.
I hope you can find the help you need. And in the meanwhile, please keep on believing in yourself.
Introverted Musings says
“Being extremely stressed-out and feeling overwhelmed is not a sign that you are psychotic or “going crazy.” It’s just that stressful experiences make it harder to think clearly and can make you think you’re more out of control than you actually are. The craziness you feel is stress. It’s not time to give up, it’s time to regroup and hold tight to your sanity. The more you relax, the saner you will feel.”
This is what struck me most about this post. It took me a long time to realize that stressful experiences were so stressful because of that helpless feeling it gave me. Thanks for clarifying a solution by finding a way to relax to maintain sanity. Very helpful!!
Christine Pitt says
Each day I read your messages as part of my morning routine. I do this before I make one phone call, step outside, or read any other mail or blogs. Just doing that helps me to start my day on a positive note. I especially like this one because I have
often felt overwhelmed with life’s very bumpy road. Thank you for your suggestions and wisdom.
David Rapp says
Another great post and it fostered some great commentary. For those disabled folks, keep asking about charities, organizations, volunteer groups, etc. They are out there.
I like the “raw form” anaology. Michaelangelo was asked was the statue of David in the Marble, or did he make the David out of the Marble. He replied “Neither, I took away everything from the marble that was not David.” Oddly, he had passed that massive piece of marble every day for 3 years before he finally “noticed” it. I wonder how much I am walking by everyday, never seeing the potential behind the work.
I have never truly loved myself, nor will I probably ever truly believe in myself despite of my “accomplishments.” But a good friend reminded me that my son is watching my every move, and I have to at least try to be these or appear to be these things, or he learns a bad pattern. So I will fake until I make it, that is my small step.
Christine Pitt says
Each day begins with reading your messages. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Sincerely, Christine
Susie Gajewski says
I am in the middle of a storm created by my husbands Midlife crisis. It feels so out of my hands.
I focus on myself each day. I work in my gardens and try to be thankful for the littlest of things. baby steps! Thank you for this post.
Geez, I NEEDED to read this post and all the comments thereafter. I have been feeling so weighed down and down trodden.
I have been a caregiver for my mother who I love dearly and who is one of my best friends. She is in Stage IV heart failure (last stage, I hate this term) and has been given “maybe a year” to live. This has devstated me beyond beliefe. I just lost my dog last year who I had for nearly 18 years, and yes, I was grateful for those years! Losing him nearly killed me. Now my dear mother.
I am also launching a business with my fiance and I’m doing most of the administrative work. It’s not his fault that this is so. He’s a work horse – but he will be doing the actual “work” for the company. I’m doing the paperwork and we are preparing for a presentation tomorrow morning – live in front of many people. I’m so tired and worried about my mother and for being up all night to check on her my spirit was just sagging. I also work full time job as well.
I read this post and it seemed like a message from the angels. Thank you, I needed this. I am eternally grateful for what I have, I just need a break!! I’m glad I’m not crazy, and just stressed. My boss at my current job also doesn’t care that I need time off with my mother either. That was hard to swallow since I have always respected him.
I guess we just have to make the most of each day and not let other people’s energy/belieft affect us adversely. I love this blog, it keeps me going – it’s so positive that without finding this by “accident” (are there any?) I’d probably be somewhere in a grassy meadow based institution with a thorazine drip in my arm.
Thanks Marc and Angel!
I needed this reminder today! Thanks.
For Andrea, Mary, and Bridget:
I know, easier said than done. But explore every and any opportunity of help. There are numerous unadvertised efforts in play to help people keep their home.
1) In California there is a movement for unemployed called Keep Your Home California. They may know of a similar effort for disabled in the same economic predicament.
2) Go online to the city website where you live and see if there is anything offered there.
3) Clubs like Rotary and Kiwanis are often looking for hands-on project to help people in need. Although they usually like to help a larger number than 1, they may see this as a chance to create a city-wide project for you as well as others in your same situation.
4) Put a free ad on a city web posting for help in exchange for something you can do. You probably have talents you forget others’ don’t have, so think deep and offer the help in exchange for what you need.
Just a start, and I am sure other people here have other ideas. But the first step is taking a step. Take it.
This article hits home today I’ve been in burn-out mode for the last 3 months.
I’ve realized that my body, health and mind needs complete rest.Work and studies as always is taking it’s toll so a few days to escape from the chaos is on the cards for July.
My faith and spiritual connection is key to my survival without it I’m an empty vessel and feel completely lost. Quite time in the word, prayer with praise and worship music each day/night uplifts my soul. I’m also thankful to be blessed with loving, supportive and praying friends.
Christy King says
Great post. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt my life was too much of a struggle, only to find that I’m really happy only a few months after being in the pit of despair. At the time all you can think of is how awful everything is, but it really does get better.
Thanks for this post. It was something I really needed to read right now.
Here’s to making it another day!
Joann Henderson says
Today i felt like giving up on my dreams. I seems as though i take one step forward and something knocks me back to square one. I want to succeed at something. Seems like everything and everyone is against me, thanks for the email today.
Thank you for a great post. I love all of your posts. Today I called the Hospice Crisis Hot Line for the second time in a week. My beloved Mom passed away two years ago June 20th after a very long painful battle with pancreatic cancer, I never left her side. The same week my mom died my house sold in another state while I was in Hawaii caring for her, and my step father. My husband and I were separated, while this was going on and I ended up staying in Hawaii for two years cleaning up 40 years of an unfinished life, while continuing to take care of our family business from a distance. My husband moved us cross country to California from Florida while I was still cleaning up the aftermath of my mothers life. More than half of my possessions got stolen during the move and our truck blew up.
I ended up falling in Love with an old friend in my home town while I was in such a weakened state. Five months ago I finally got on a plane and came home to live in a rented room of a crazy woman’s home after living in my own 3000sq foot house all of what was left of my positions packed in box’s. My husband has been hired and quit 8 jobs since he moved to Ca. Much of my life savings was spent to support him while I was still helping my step father. I am still in Love with my friend and he is now making an ultimatum.
Needless to say I am at the end of my rope, I am paralyzed to move and can barely function. The death of my Mom is finally sinking in and I no longer can see the point to life. I considered ending it and spent a day staring at my husbands loaded gun just wanting the pain of loss to stop, this is when I reached out to the crisis hot line. I am 53 and all who know me consider me one of the strongest people they know always lending a helping hand and money when people need it. I have helped so many in my life and oddly when I just need a shoulder to cry on suddenly no one was around. I am a Mystic in training and practice a Mystics Path each and every day. I have lost all but three people that I love in this life. I have never had many friends. I have lost all of my pets and my Mom who was the love of my life. I have read about Joy I can count on one hand how many times in my life that I have actually experienced it. Today I choose to live another day even though I can hardly stand being in my own body because of the pain I am experiencing.
Thank you so much for the post today. All I can say to anyone reading this is…reach out when you can to someone who is hurting you never know you might save their life. Peace and Love and Gratitude, just for today.
John S says
Being stressed out can sometimes feel like you are “going crazy.” One thing life has taught me is that difficult times usually pass. I try and make sure I come out of difficult times having learned something. It just make you better at dealing with difficulty in general.
Thank you so much for that post, it was just what I needed. Whenever I feel like I’m losing control/confidence, your posts always strengthen me and come right at the perfect time. Thank you for everything you guys do!
Josh Brancek says
Marc, thanks a lot for these tips and your wisdom!!! It made a huge impact in my life!!!
Thankyou for the words , being older then most it takes me longer to bounce back. Each year a little longer. When happiness fades we search for more.
Maybe the answer is somewhere between our stars
Never stop searching…
Holly Wolf says
Great post. When I have those feelings it’s usually an indication that I need to slow down. Slow down your breathing, your mind, your activities and your emotions. Busy is a great escape from experiencing the emotion. When you slow down (and you really can, the world won’t stop, I promise) and take time to think, feel and reflect, those negative thoughts take a back seat to the reality that you are doing the best you can in this moment.
Thanks so much for this great reminder. You’ve helped me realize that I am probably not going crazy, but I should try to reduce my stress.
Great post! We so often get ATTACHED to our view of the way things SHOULD be, that when they don’t go that way (which they so often don’t) it takes great fortitude to redirect our thoughts, beliefs and visions. I find so many things in the Buddhist philosophy and in Taoist beliefs that deal with this so effectively for me. It is all about letting go and flowing with the nature of things and not offering resistance (which is NOT the same as giving up, but rather doing what you can and letting nature take it’s course). So much human suffering could be alleviated simply with an open mind and heart—acceptance.