Society feels like it’s in a death spiral for some.
It’s not but it can feel that way if you unlock your phone or dare to watch the news. No matter how smart, sexy, or sophisticated you’re friends are they’ll have plenty of days from hell.
A few sentences can inspire them again. Oh, and you can say these same sentences to yourself when you have the day from hell.
“The worst of times create the best of times”
I worked with a colleague in banking who got their face ripped off.
In a single week they didn’t get a promotion everyone thought they deserved. Their mother passed away. They found out their partner was cheating on them with a friend they met at a couple’s BBQ.
To top it off they found out they had cancer.
All in one week.
I said this line to them on their day from hell: “Right now you won’t know how, but these times will turn into amazing times.”
Fast-forward to a few years later, and they had beat cancer, remarried, left their pain in the ass job, started an eCommerce business, and got over their mother’s death.
In fact, the death inspired them to go all-in on life and take more risks. When winter hits there’s always summer right around the corner.
“Channel that negativity into something useful”
When I talk to real estate agents I grow horns on top of my head.
I become an angry devil because I hate selfishness … and real estate agents are the best example in Australia of this epidemic.
My wife always reminds me to see negativity as energy. So I do. I go on a run or lift the heaviest possible weights my skinny arms can handle at the gym. The negativity becomes fuel. It becomes an opportunity.
One customer I worked with got angry with banks. They pissed him off so much, he created a fintech business and ate their lunch.
He eventually sold that project back to the bank he hated the most for a multi-million-dollar profit.
Now that’s how you use negativity to stick-it-to-the-man.
“Not getting what you want helps you get what you want”
I never got to finish high school the way I wanted to.
I was separated from my friends and forced to do a different form of schooling. It hurt like hell. I missed the proms, the 18th birthdays, the first cars, the friends who hooked up with each other — all of it.
To make up for my school failures I studied sound engineering. I thought I’d become the next Dr Dre and sit in recording studios all day. After I graduated there were zero sound engineering jobs.
So I got into a startup. Things went crazy. I got what I wanted. Then it all fell into a heap and I left it all behind.
Banking became my life. I tried to get cool jobs working in the stock market. Didn’t happen. I started writing online.
8 years later I got what I wanted and learned this is the hill I want to die on.
What you don’t get shows the mirages in your life. The false things you think you wanted but didn’t.
“There is no failure only lessons”
Failure is a dirty word. It assumes all of the effort was for nothing.
But every experience in life teaches you lessons. Those lessons bizarrely form your eventual path to success. When someone thinks they’ve failed, help them see all the lessons they learned along the way.
Chances are they’ll feel better when you do.
And those lessons will unlock the value they can bring to the next opportunity in life.
“You’ll look back on this as an event you appreciate”
There’s nothing I appreciate more than spending years living with a dark mental illness.
Without it, I’d have no energy or reason to aggressively try to overcome it. Through the struggle came all the tools I now use to live a life I’m pretty happy with most days.
But when the worst happened and I experienced back-to-back days from hell, I felt like giving up most of the time. It seemed like a burden.
“Why me?” I’d say.
Remember: you’ll appreciate this day from hell in the future. Tough times make for great stories that’ll inspire others (and you).
“These are the moments your reputation is built. Choose wisely.”
Our fellow humans can be a source of great suffering.
They cause many of our days from hell. When dealing with toxic knobheads, everybody around you is watching.
- You can say things you’ll regret later.
- You can attack the other side.
- You can seek revenge.
This is how the average person reacts. However, the way you deal with toxic humans is an opportunity too.
If you choose to be the better person and manage your emotions, you gain hard to earn reputation points.
A strong reputation can help you recover from anything.
“You’re doing the best you can”
Living as a human is extraordinarily difficult.
Every day we’re dealing with a firehose of tiny problems that look like Mt Everests in our head.
It pays to remind yourself and others that we’re all doing the best we can.
- Maybe your decisions won’t be perfect.
- Maybe you copped a dose of bad luck.
- Maybe you don’t have access to all the information.
- Maybe you could have done better in this difficult situation.
There’s always something else you could have done in retrospect.
But you didn’t.
You’re living in a meat suit controlled by a monkey brain that has out of date software from 1000s of years ago.
“Help someone who’s had a worse day than you”
Perspective is everything.
One person’s day from hell will never be the worst in history. There’s always someone doing it worse than us. What’s helped me is to use days from hell to help others.
During one of the darkest periods of my life I spent time at homeless shelters. I walked in angry and came out positive again.
There’s no way you can talk with a person who lives on the street, has no money, and doesn’t get to eat and still think you’re having the day from hell.
Suddenly, in that moment, you see the huge privilege you already have by just having access to the internet.
If today is your day from hell, go be part of someone’s even bigger day from hell. Problem solved. This is what keeps the future of humanity bright.