13 things to remember when you’re going through tough times

We’ve all been through tough times. And we’ve all got through them. It’s neverthless a fact that some people are better at coping with life’s challenges than others. So what’s their secret? Dr. Carol Morgan, a university lecturer and motivational speaker, believes it all depends on our attitude to what’s going on around us. She offers 13 pieces of advice worth bearing in mind for when the going gets tough.

1. What is, is

There’s a well-known Buddhist saying: ’Your resistance to “what is” lies at the root of your suffering.’ Think about this for a minute. It means that we suffer only if we refuse to accept how things are. If you can change something, do it. But if there’s nothing to be done, then you really have just two options: accept the situation and let go of your negative feelings, or indulge in a great deal of suffering, possibly for a very long time.

2. A problem is only a problem when you think it is

We often become our own worst enemies. Being happy really is a question of perspective. If you turn something into a problem, you’ll be full of negative emotions and thoughts. But if you think instead about the lessons you could learn from the situation you’re in, suddenly it will no longer seem like there’s a problem at all.

3. If you want to change things, start by changing yourself

The world you face on the outside often reflects your feelings and attitudes on the inside. You probably know people whose lives appear to be full of chaos and stress. Do you really think that happened completely by accident? We like to think that it’s changing circumstances which have an effect on us. In fact, it’s the other way round — when we make changes in ourselves, then our circumstances change.

4. There’s no such thing as failure. Everything that happens offers you an opportunity to learn something new

It’s time to strike the word ’failure’ from your lexicon. Throughout history, those who achieved great things came up against misfortune again and again before they enjoyed success. Thomas Edison is said to have once remarked: ’I never experienced failure when I was trying to invent the light bulb. I just found 99 different ways it didn’t work.’ Learn something from your so-called failures. That way, you’ll find out how to do it better next time.

5. If you didn’t get what you wanted, it means something better’s already on the way

I know this can sometimes seem difficult to believe. But it’s true. If you look back over any period of your life, you’ll probably be able to see that the good things happened only after something didn’t go as planned. Maybe, the job you didn’t get allowed you to stay with your family. Maybe it was something else — but it’s always the same pattern. Just believe that everything happens for a reason.

6. Appreciate the present

Every moment of your life is precious, and you’ll never get another chance to experience it again. So don’t let it pass you by. Eventually, all you’ll have left are your memories. Maybe one day you’ll even feel nostalgic for those moments which at the time didn’t seem fun at all.

7. Let go of your desires

Most people live day to day in a mental state which psychologists refer to as an ’attached mind’. This means that they attach great significance to achieving their desires, and when they don’t get what they want, negative thoughts take over. It’s much better to have a ’detached mind’. This is the ability to be happy regardless of whether you get what you want or not. In this case, a person’s emotional state is either neutral or positive — but never negative.

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