Things get tough. It doesn’t make a difference who you are, there will be those times that challenge you to your core. And these days, the hits just keep coming.
Life will pelt you with the adversity day in and day out. If I were superstitious, I’d say life was trying to beat us down. I live in a country with thirty three percent unemployment, the highest income inequality in the world, recurring electricity blackouts, and we could even run out of water. That’s something really scary to consider!
How do you navigate the basics of life, when all these other things are nipping at your heels.
I learned a long time ago, that life is not a bed of roses. Many times it seems as though everything is against you. But all those bad thoughts, you’ve got to put out of your mind, and just keep going. And if you keep at it, sooner or later things are going to come your way. Sooner or later you will get want you want. Sooner or later you’re going to break down that door of hardship and get to the other side to success.
Train the Mind
Negative thoughts have this uncanny knack of persisting when things go wrong : “Why did this happen to me”, “I wish I’d done that differently” etc, etc, so on and so on. These are the thoughts that will keep you in hardship. These thoughts never help; that’s why I find filling the mind with useful compelling information becomes so important. The best way to do this is with books.
I read steadily, and I read a wide variety of genres. I specifically do this to ensure that my brain is being fueled with ideas. This takes your mind of off all the troubles whirling around you, and at the same time is prepping you for future opportunities. It keeps your mind primed and ready for that opportunity around the corner that can bring you success. I cannot count the number of times that I benefited from something I had read years earlier. Don’t worry about the naysayers beating at the door, keep your mind active and feed it. Just keep reading and you’ll just keep going.
Train the Body
As above, I’ve always found that when things get bad, you have a tendency of dwelling on the horrible stuff, on the stuff you cannot change. If you don’t have a way to counter this, bad thoughts can spiral into an awful abyss of loathing.
The best and most effective way I’ve found of almost instantaneously yanking your brain into a better place is to physically train. Personally, I find that getting on the treadmill, starting with a jog and then ramping the speed up to a point where my lungs are burning is something bordering on miraculous. I love to to see how hard I can go, how fast I can run and for how long. My mind is instantly refocused on my physicality, banishing any negativity from my mind. Every once in a while you can even hit this momentary point of bliss that is pure exhilaration.
This specific process teaches you something: When you’ve still got five minutes to run and the treadmill speed doesn’t let up, just keep going. When speed is getting faster and your thighs are burning, just keep going, When you’ve got a cramp in your leg and your body wants to yield, just keep going. When there’s a runner ahead of you and you don’t know if you can catch up, just keep going.
Train your body, and you learn to just keep going.
Train the Soul
The one thing that I hate about life, and this happens more than I’d like; is that what you want you don’t get, and what you get you don’t want. All the while you’re being taunted with the knowledge that some Instagram influencer is living it up, some kid sold a startup for millions and you didn’t buy Bitcoin when you had the chance. Jeff Bezos just became the worlds richest man this year and Amazon paid zero in taxes. When you see this stuff everyday on the media and the news, it can be demoralizing. Worst of all it can darken your soul.
The only medication for this ailment I’ve found is compassion. And personally, Veganism is the path that highlighted this to me. It doesn’t make a difference why you choose to be a vegan, but somewhere along the line, compassion will set in, materialism will start to fade and the bigger picture comes into focus. And as much as I still struggle with materialism, I know that quantitatively and qualitatively being a Vegan is good for the planet, good for the animals and good for my soul.
It can be tough being a Vegan, knowing what you know and living in a world that refuses to acknowledge the truth, but you know what, you’ve just got to keep going.
Things are rough. But the only way you can achieve success is to keep going. Some are lucky enough to have been born with this type of persistence, but for the rest of us, we can achieve it too. Train your mind, Train your body and train your soul. Surely but slowly, as the sun always rises, you’ll will develop persistence and you will just keep going. In the end, everything works out.
Photo by Thanos Pal on Unsplash
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