6 Things That Successful People Do When Everything Goes Wrong

by Paul Hudson

Life is a pain in the ass. Things do run smoothly from time to time, but there’s always, and I mean always, a rough patch looming somewhere around the bend.

People say if life were easy then it would be boring… maybe they’re right. But a bit easier couldn’t hurt. Unfortunately, that isn’t the way things are. Life is tough no matter who you are.

Sure, it’s tougher for some than others, but life for human beings is tough for all of us because we are capable of deeply wanting things. Because we can want things with all our soul, we find ourselves going after what we want.

While finding such a purpose in life is part of the battle, it isn’t even half of it. No matter what you are going after in life, if it’s something worth having, then it won’t come easy.

As it goes, the more you want something, the more affected you will be when things don’t go your way. Wanting something with every fiber of your body and being denied it, is a form of torture.

It’s during such times that people are truly tested, their willpower pushed to the limits. Moments like these require as much focus as possible. These pointers will help as well:

1. They take a break.

Yup. That’s right. Most would do the exact opposite – delve deeper into the issue at hand, ponder and worry away regardless of whether or not there is a solution.

The truth is that it’s very difficult to get a clear picture of the situation – any situation – when you’re standing in the middle of it.

To get a good grasp on what exactly is going on, the most successful do what most others wouldn’t: They step away. The most important decisions require the most attention – but attention only on the problem itself.

When you’re standing in the middle of it all, knee-deep in a mess, you can’t possibly figure out the best course of action.

You’re too caught up with everything else that is going on around you, everything else that isn’t actually a part of the problem. Or the solution for that matter.

2. They sit down and reintroduce themselves to their goals.

It’s not always the problems themselves that bring us down. Sometimes it’s also the solutions. Sometimes it’s the pressure that we find ourselves under. Sometimes it’s the sheer weight of the workload.

Life gets us caught up in the trivial. As a wave, it pulls us and forces us to change direction. The reason it can sometimes feel as if you’re swimming against the current is because you most likely are. The systems that we have in place are structured in a way that only few will ever succeed.

We are taught to be average. Swimming through a sea of average is daunting and exhausting. Those who push the hardest are most prone to burning out. It’s times like these that we should sit down and remind ourselves what we set out to do and why we set out to do it.

3. They force themselves to slow down and get back in touch with reality.

The more we work, the more we get into this semi-automatic mindset. Although we’d like to do nothing but plan and theorize all day, without physical exertion and actually get sh*t done, sh*t will never get done.

When you get into the rhythm of things it’s hard to snap yourself out of it – regardless of whether or not things are going well or poorly. It’s not so bad when things are looking up, but if things are starting to go wrong then you may be on your way to crash.

The more difficult life gets, the less likely you achieving your goals may seem, the more you should slow down.

You’re worried because you know something is wrong. The most important thing is figuring out what you should be doing instead. The first step on the right course is admitting you’re on the wrong one.

4. They get a second opinion. And then a third and fourth.

The most successful people live by one important rule: It doesn’t matter if it’s your idea as long as it’s the right idea.

Some people, for purposes of feeding their egos, they want all their ideas to come directly from them and not the mind of another. This is stupid. Most of those thinking this way never get a chance to feed those egos anyway because they never come up with something good.

Or don’t come up with the right idea enough times. Being successful is not about doing something right once; it’s doing something right every time -- or enough times. Your idea may be the best one. Your opinion may be the right one.

Nevertheless, getting another perspective can only help. Even bad ideas have known to spark amazing ones.

5. They remind themselves of how great their lives actually are.

The best way to avoid hating your life is to remind yourself that you have a good life. When things go wrong, life gets a little bit darker.

This doesn’t mean that we should forget about all the good and focus on the bad. On the contrary, at times like this, it’s all the good in our lives that can help us pull through. No matter who you are, there is always – and I mean always – something to be happy about. Hell, you’re alive.

All those particles that you are made up of somehow got together and created you and gave you life. Most particles aren’t so lucky.

The fact that you’re a living thing makes you incredibly lucky itself. The wisest don’t allow themselves to focus on the negative. Negativity is ugly. Surround yourself with beauty.

6. They plan and then attack. Moping isn’t allowed.

To be successful is to have a good, logical plan and to carry it out in a timely manner. You have to think, plan and then get it done.

When your life is a messy hell, you do need to remove yourself and get centered, but once this is done, it’s time to hit life with that right hook. Don’t confuse meditation for submission.

You still know what you want and want it just as bad, if not more. Although it may be impossible to run on high-gear forever, that doesn’t mean we can’t run on high for the majority of our time.

Don’t allow yourself to get too comfortable and jump back in the ring when you have your strategy and new burst of energy to take on the world. You’ll need it.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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