“Nothing is certain except for death and taxes.”
No matter who you are, you will face tough times.
No matter how good you are, you will face unfair or unexpected things.
No matter how successful you’ve become, you will face challenges.
Whether it’s for your career or life, these tips can help get you through.
Don’t Spend Too Much Time on Feeds or Watching the News
Of course, some people can do this easier than most, but avoid getting caught up in the emotions or hysteria of others. People are emotional, not rational, and emotions are contagious. And media loves to sensationalize a story and make it much worse than it actually is.
Hans Rosling has dedicated his life and a few books to exposing how the data shows the world is much better than people think. Look at numbers and experts, not the news.
Don’t be that guy who let’s a negative mindset consume him and is always focused on those better off than them. It’s more productive to be grateful for what you have and improve your life.
Plus, you don’t really know their lives. You can’t assume. I’ve followed the celebrity suicides over the years, and it’s shocking seeing people who seem to have it all from the outside reveal how sad they are.
Cara DeLevingne has 40+ million followers on Instagram and is one of the most well known models out there.
Yet she struggled for many years to make any money in modeling, then felt imposter syndrome and depression when she became rich.
You may feel still inclined to compare yourself to others: “Oh, but this person never had any major problems! She always had tons of friends, she had beauty, money, blah blah.”
The book The How of Happiness shows numerous studies that prove that social comparison is one of the biggest negative effects on our happiness and well-being.
You get to decide what you absorb. Is it going to be media, knowing that media fear-mongers, clickbaits, and often accentuates fear? Or is it going to be data, trusted experts, and positive friends?
Realize What You’re Worrying About Is Usually Small Stuff
“You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.”
I understand that sometimes, it doesn’t seem small. Maybe you or your loved one is facing possible death. But often, most of us what worries or stresses us hasn’t happened and won’t happen. The chances are tiny. Yet here we are hurting our health, happiness, and enjoyment of life worrying about it.
Worrying and preparing are only productive up until a point. After that point, put it out of your mind because you’re not getting enough back from what you get out of it.
Most of the worry or pain you give yourself isn’t helping anyone or anything. Will Smith once had a speech where he revealed how he was scared for days leading up to a sky diving event. He admitted that all that fear up until the moment he jumped was pointless since it didn’t help him at all.
There are many, many children who are living off $1 a day or sitting in a hospital about to die from an illness. You have a lucky life!
The entrepreneur Ryan Lee used to work at one of these hospitals. When he would leave after work, he would see people fretting about the stupidest of things. Someone cutting you off while driving or burnt cookies should never be a huge concern. Constant reminders will help you keep that in mind.
Count your blessings of good health.
When I move towards this stuff, I remember what Warren Buffett said, “There was a 1 in 196 chance I would be born in the US. I was born lucky.” (There’s 196 countries)
I’ve had some tough times where things were not working out financially or in any other area of my life. It was tough for me to count my blessings. But even then, I tried my hardest to be grateful to be born in this country with the education, access to the internet, and all the other things we take for granted.”
Keep Trying New Things And Be Patient
I was never one who was that good at making friends.
I was an outcast.
Unfortunately, that can make you feel down on yourself when you’re eating in the cafeteria alone.
It’s tough when you are in a situation where you can’t escape and you’re constantly reminded of it.
First off, realize that all things will pass with time. That doesn’t mean to simply endure or bottle up the pain right now. Put your best foot forward. Try your best. Have a different perspective. And see the good in what you have right now. You can enjoy your current life to a degree.
I’m just saying that even when you do all that, things may not be ideal. And with patience and hard work, you’ll find yourself somewhere better. As I write this, I sit in a cramped room. It’s not the most comfortable, but one day, I know I’ll make enough money to afford a spacious, comfortable room.
Many people get hung up about high school but I really mean it when I say that in the grand scheme of things, it will pass in the blink of the eye. I didn’t believe it when I was young but it’s so true.
It can be easy to compare yourself to people who just naturally had no problem making friends.
Instead, keep trying new things and with time, something will hit.
There is a certain magic in this.
If you try out 3 new things a day, over the course of a year, you’ll have tried over a thousand things. I’m sure one of those things will bring you joy and even a wonderful career.
And even if just one of those works, it could change your life.
Of course, this can apply to a number of things:
Dating: Sitting at home pissed off or going to one social mixer or club or volunteering event a day or one a week.
Networking: Sitting home pissed off or reaching out to one person you admire for coffee every week.
Friends: This is my personal favorite. I could have been sad and moped around, but eventually I hustled hard. In school, I would go to at least one new club a week: salsa, nutrition, volunteering, and so on. Even when I didn’t want to. Many didn’t work out.
In fact, it arguably never really worked out.
I graduated and I couldn’t say I ever felt fully fulfilled or accomplished in terms of making a solid network of friends.
Perhaps it was the nature of the system: you go to one class after the other, each class has completely new people in it, and clubs was the same way: a set amount of time doing an activity and then, immediately everyone left.
Sometimes, you just wouldn’t click that much with any of the people there.
A while later after school, during after a chance event, I found really cool people that liked me for me.
I met some really AWESOME people. They were just genuinely community-oriented, warm, nice people who would be interested in me and would talk to me as long as I wanted to talk to them.
Perhaps it was the hustle and bustle of school where people were in and out (literally there was a nutrition club where everyone just zoomed out after the speaker talked. It was not uncommon for that in-out vibe).
The point is that you can experience some incredible things if you persevere.
I’m definitely trying to get better at social skills and making friends myself but that makes all the difference. I know people who suck at it who either don’t believe they can get better or don’t learn or try at all.
If you do something you love, you will keep going when times get tough and when most logical people would quit. You’re not doing it for other motives. Therefore, you won’t quit.
Realize There’s Always Uncertainty
People think there’s only uncertainty when something catastrophic like a pandemic happens. Actually, there’s always uncertainty. Young people face a high risk of dying or injury each time they drive their cars. It’s one of the most common ways they die, statistically.
But they behave based on perception rather than numbers. They feel safe in their car, so they risk driving recklessly fast. They feel an airplane is less safe than a car since it’s up in the air, so they get anxious, even though you have a statistically smaller chance of dying.
You never know what can happen when you walk out the door. There could be a mass shooting or a virus. But that doesn’t mean to ruin your life with paranoia. It means you act rationally. You weave through the numbers and maximize your odds without it crippling your life.
As I write this, I’m in the heat of the coronavirus pandemic. I know there’s a diminishing return to prevention, so I’m not going to get disrespectful, uncivil, or make my life a cumbersome mess for that tiny amount of extra protection that may not even do much. I’m not going to walk around in a hazmat costume and fight people for food at the grocery stores or wash my hands twenty times a day. That’s going to cripple my life and hurt others — and for little to no pay-off.
I’ll do what the experts say will help with respect and civility. That means washing my hands for twenty seconds and keeping my distance of six feet from other people.
Even when this pandemic is over, there will be other uncertainty. There will be stock market crashes and natural disasters. I love to use history and seasoned experts as a guide because they have strong experience. Of course, nothing is guaranteed because even past history can’t always predict the future. But numbers and data often do a much better job that wild emotion.
Here’s what Warren Buffett, once the richest man in the world and a man who has been in business for 80 years has to say. The hysteria of crowds often cause people to over-compensate. People feed off each other’s emotions and do irrational things. They panic and abandon stocks when stock prices crash even though the underlying businesses are still solid. He says you should be fearful when people are greedy and greedy when they are fearful.
Overall, I’m proud to say I manage uncertainty pretty well. In the long run, I do what I can to prepare within reason. Then, I remove unproductive emotions as much as I can. I’m not perfect at it, but I work on it. It’s a skill. And when crowds react to uncertainty, I see it as an opportunity, not a catastrophe.
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