The Simple Secret to Overcoming Life’s Pitfalls

My last article here turned out to be a great success, so I’m back again. For those of you who missed the post, I wrote about how I was able to completely turn my life around from being broke and miserable to working for myself and loving each day. Though my post may have made it sound like I live some amazing existence, life certainly isn’t all plain sailing for me.

In fact, just like anyone, I certainly go through low points now and then. As we were nearing the end of 2010, a few of mine all collided at once. The first thing that hit me was the inevitable breakup I knew I would have to go through with my long-term girlfriend. As much as I cared about her, I knew she wasn’t the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.

Though the person on the “receiving end” of a breakup will claim it’s definitely the worst side to be on, I think it’s just as difficult to be the person that ends it. My decision had came after thinking about the situation for a long time, and wasn’t just some overnight impulse.

On top of that, I was coming to the end of the lease on my apartment, with no replacement in sight. In the space of two weeks, I viewed over 20 places, and fell in love with many. Three days in a row (I didn’t even know this was possible) when I was supposed to move into consecutive properties, the process fell through on the actual moving day. To say the whole thing was frustrating and stressful is an understatement.

In a glimmer of hope, I ended up finding a place I liked. It was in the area I wanted to be in, came with two swimming pools and was close by to many of my friends. I wasn’t worried that the place was completely unfurnished, as I thought it would be fun to decorate it however I wanted. It seemed like things might be looking up for me.

Then, my bank account was frozen.

I couldn’t access a single penny of my own funds. Since I’m in South Africa, my UK bank closed access to my online banking as they were worried about potential online fraud. Despite the fact that they do this to me once per month, calling them didn’t actually resolve the issue for once. They wanted me to send them a hand written letter, back to the UK.

For two weeks straight, I slept on the floor in my new living room. I had no fridge, no TV, no sofa. Nothing.

Dealing with all of this after the end of my relationship and a frantic two weeks of apartment hunting left me feeling exhausted. Despite these struggles, I wasn’t miserable at all. In fact, those few weeks were some of the greatest I’ve had.

The “old Glen” definitely wouldn’t have felt like this. But the new Glen possessed a secret that helped me get through all of this with ease. The secret is this…

You must just keep pushing forward with something

The things that happened to me would probably get a lot of people down. I know they would have affected the person I was just a few months before the event. I believe the reason for this is that we’re constantly striving to go forward in areas of our lives, so when that forward momentum stops or slows down, it’s a blow to our emotions.

When you come out of a long-term relationship, you feel like you’re back at square one. Was the time you spent with another person completely wasted?

When the apartments I was supposed to move into were out of reach, I felt like I had wasted all of the time putting the deals into place.

And finally, when I was sleeping on my living room floor in pitch darkness, I definitely didn’t feel like I was taking my life in the right direction.

Yet, I was. Because the “secret” I possessed allowed me to keep focusing on going forward with something. As long as you’re taking one aspect of your life in the right direction, then in my experience, it can completely overshadow all of the negativity you’re feeling.

For me, it was focusing on my business and my health. These are two things that I can work on where the more I put into them, the more I’ll get out of them. For you, it may be learning a language, playing an instrument, or something else you’re working towards.

When a friend of mine came out of a nine-year relationship, she was devastated. Instead of dwelling on the hand she was left with, she hired a personal trainer, renovated her house, and took up weekly dance classes. After a few weeks, I had never seen her happier.

Just a few days ago I received an email from one of my students who is now making $3,000 per month online which enables them to pursue their dreams of being a professional drummer. Absolutely nothing can get me down on days when I receive messages like that. And they’re just a result of me moving forward with something (in this case, my business) in order to help others as much as possible.

So, whenever you feel like things aren’t going your way, just place your attention on something you can dictate. Something that will allow you to see forward progress. Can you start eating healthier? Can you research into ways to make more money? Can you become an early-riser?

It doesn’t matter what the thing is. It just matters that you enjoy doing it, and you see progress happening.

About Glen Allsopp

In 2009 Glen Allsopp sold the 10th biggest personal development blog in the world, and now writes on the topic of Viral Marketing at ViperChill.

Comments

  1. Glen, I can relate to some of your experiences here, and I agree that you eventually have to put your all in to something. For me, that something was God. While I already felt that I had developed a strong relationship with Him, especially during events that happened years earlier, I really leaned on my faith for sunshine during those stormy days. I have never let go of that experience, and it’s something I continue to look to in both good times and challenging ones. Thanks for reminding me of the importance of moving forward.

    • Hey Sheila,

      Thanks for the comment.

      I’m not a religious person, but I definitely see where faith and beliefs can help people get through tough times.

      You’re very welcome.

  2. Sitting and wallowing in pity will get a person nowhere. Choosing to keep moving forward in at least one area of life will help propel you forward, and eventually move you past the situation.
    Great post here!
    Bernice
    10 steps to learning for life

  3. Awesome post Glen. Definitely can related to this. It seems like when one thing begins to fall, everything falls. And I’ve found the worst possible thing to do is sit around and feel bad about myself.

    I used to do that a lot. And then one day decided, enough, I’m doing things my way. Ever since then, I’ve been much happier.

    Thanks for this post and look more from you here at Feelgooder.

  4. Since last few years, nothing is going good. I tried the things to turn my way, but every effort was in vain. Finally as you said focus on something. I did focus on something and believe me I feel better.

    Thanks for the post for uplifting my fighting spirit.

  5. Great as always Glenn 😀

    It’s nice to see you somewhere other than ViperChill.

    Keep up the good work 😀

  6. Nice post Glen, and you’ve hit on something special here. Life will always have something up its sleeve that can knock you sideways or shake you to the ground, but even if you end up knocked or shaken, the simple knowledge that you’re doing something that matters to you allows you to retain your sense of self.

    That’s confidence – being able to choose your behaviour with implicit trust in that behaviour, even if conventional wisdom says you should be curled up in a corner feeling miserable.

    Confidence isn’t knowing all the answers or pretending that everything’s peachy, it’s just getting on with it in the ways that work for you.

  7. “You must just keep pushing forward with something”

    I always tell people that this is the definition of progress. Progress means moving forward. It may seem slow, but if you keep moving forward, you’ll eventually get where you want to go.

    Great post.

  8. Thanks!

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