Let’s face it – we all have our moments when things don’t work out. Many people have those moments quite often, and when it gets too much, they start questioning their paths, their ideas, and their lives in general.
The most likely reason you struggle in life or business is that you’re missing the 3 key factors that make everything work:
- Decide to stop struggling
- Commit to change
- Take the action needed
It does not matter what you struggle with if you apply those 3 key factors, everything changes.
I know about this only too well. It took me over 20 years of struggle until I got the point. Every time I spiraled down, it took an extraordinary amount of energy to get myself out of it. Nobody can do this for a long time without burning out. There is only so much we can muster before we give in.
The reason you’re reading this article is very likely because you struggle, and you are desperately looking for a way out. If that’s the case – keep reading.
Let me tell you my story, as it might reflect the things you go through. Pick out the bits you identify with and make it work for you.
Going round in circles
I don’t know exactly what makes you struggle and the reasons for it, but very likely it feels like going round in circles.
When I was in my twenties, I had these superhuman moments. I came up with all these ideas, and I went straight for it. Some of my plans worked out, and some didn’t. But whatever I started, after a while I just got bored with it.
For the following years, I was continually searching for the next big thing, jumping from one opportunity to the next without ever feeling it.
You know, the thing that makes you smile and feel good – that feeling of content and happiness? Sometimes I thought I had it, but after a short time, it was gone, and I was back at where I started, right at the beginning.
Every time I had to start again – it became harder and harder. My ideas became flatter and less exciting until I just wanted it to be okay instead of extraordinary.
Drifting through life
I thought that I was alright. My business was doing okay and I had a great relationship. I lived a middle-class life without any excitement or ups and downs.
Until I met a cousin of mine, who I hadn’t seen for almost 20 years. We started talking and at one point she came out with the question: ‘What happened to you? Where has my cousin gone? You know, the cousin with all those ideas who couldn’t be stopped by anything?’
First I didn’t get what she meant, but then it hit me. What happened to this guy?
This thought didn’t let go of me for months. I couldn’t sleep properly – and I felt like a real loser, disappointed with my life and myself.
I didn’t want to talk to anyone about this at the time. It was too embarrassing. How did this happen?
If this is something you can relate to, read on.
The spark of change
One day I came across a video on YouTube from an event by Tony Robbins. He was talking about all the things I was struggling with and said that it’s easy to change it anytime you like. I was hooked. I wanted to know more.
I devoured everything I could find about him – and I would have loved to go and attend one of his events. But there was no way I could afford this. My business needed me to be here, and I couldn’t speak to my partner about it as I still pretended that everything was great.
So I started to look around for people in my area who watched the same videos and had the same dreams. I signed up to some meetups and eventually, I found one person not far from where I lived who I felt I could talk to. He had already been on the Tony Robbins path for quite a while and he had changed a lot of things in his life for the better. We became really good friends, and, with his help, I started to understand how to apply the things Tony talks about in his video.
I slowly began to change my life, and it all started with this: Decision time!
Return of the superhero
I learned that whatever it is I want to do or be, I needed to decide and commit to it.
The first step had to be to identify all the things I struggle with and give it a rating from 1 to 10.
The next step must be to decide which one is the first one to tackle.
The important part was not to change the things around me but to change my perspective about them. For my work, that meant to decide that whatever happens, I will love every moment and will approach it like this.
I decided to have happy workdays. This attitude changed almost everything. Whenever I was confronted by a miserable customer, my job was to find a happy part in it. How can I turn this conversation into a happy one? What do I need to do within my power and business rules to have these customers leave with a smile on their faces (without being a clown)?
Creating a chain reaction
In the beginning, this was very difficult as I often fell back into my old habits. But after a while – and with my friend as an accountability buddy – I slowly improved and managed to deal with difficult situations better and better.
I slowly started expanding this experiment to other parts of my life and, without fail, my life turned into a much happier life. Friends and family started to see the change and loved the new me. It was and still is a great experience.
As I mentioned, it all started with the decision to live a happier life, and by looking at my life from a different perspective. Like Tony says: ‘It is not the things that happen to you that shape your life, but how you react to the things that happen to you that will make the difference.”
Even little changes make a big difference
My advice to anyone who has had enough and is looking for change is the following:
Stop searching, and instead, decide to become happy and to live a life worth living.
Make the decision to change things around. Pick one area you want to change right now and commit to it. Visualize how your life will look like once it is change and start acting towards it. You might struggle at the beginning, but just keep going along your path and change will happen.
Don’t worry about the details too much. Start with the most obvious, and the rest will fall into place.
There are so many examples out there of people who have gone through hell and managed to live a happy life against all the odds. Why can’t you?