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5 Myths so Good That They’ve Been Embraced as Truths

5 Myths so Good That They’ve Been Embraced as Truths

For the past couple of years, rumors have been flying around that this economy is so tough, that the recession has hit so hard, and it’s just getting worse—oh Gosh Molly, it’s so bad. In fact, it’s so bad that people are using their last pennies to buy tickets to Miley Cyrus concerts (FYI those sold out). Geez, yeah, we’ve never seen such bad times. The world was flat, until it wasn’t.

I respect experts and I love conducting thorough research just so I can feel that much more confident about what I “know.” Sometimes after a while, your own birth-given intelligence kicks in and you wonder, “Wait a minute…” Not everything is meant to be questioned, but below are some well-known facts, where, at second glance, are not all that factual.

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1. “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

Nothing has ever been further from the truth. Think back to RIM’s BlackBerry: they came out as one of the most powerful companies and they did what they did and got 55.3% smart phone market share, they kept doing what they did and that number dropped significantly to about 0.6%. Kodak kept doing what they were doing and filed for bankruptcy. Dinosaurs kept on keeping on and became extinct. You get the picture.

2. “You have as many hours as [insert name of very successful and powerful business man].”

Actually you don’t. Maybe when they were plain and ordinary like you, but think of Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft: he has over 90,000 employees. Multiply that by, let’s say they work a normal 9–5 job, so that’s roughly 8 hours (lets exclude workaholics who work weekends and fortune 500 executives who are known for working 80+ hours weekly). When that math adds up, Bill Gates has approximately 720,000 extra hours a day. So the saying here should be, “you have as many hours as the people who are just like you; to get as many hours as Bill Gates, start employing people and buying their time.”

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3. “Entrepreneurship means being your own boss.”

It’s a statement that should be taken with lots of salt if your main reason for going the entrepreneur route is to become your own boss. Maybe you won’t have someone micro managing you or someone to report to when you clock in and before clocking out, but try having your customer as a direct boss. You set up your calendar according to their schedule, and you want to make sure they’re happy. Even when you were holding down a job, the customer was number one priority but an unhappy customer didn’t threaten your job as much as it would if it were your company.

4. “Good things come to those who wait.”

“Yeah Molly, so I was just like sitting and waiting and it all just happened. Hey, everything I’ve ever wanted, like, it just like, fell on my lap.” Patience is good; it is a great virtue, but good things come to those who go out there, take action and make things happen and have never waited for anyone to give them the go ahead on their dreams and goals.

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5. “Fail your way to success.”

*Disclaimer: failure is sometimes the best thing that can happen to someone. I must admit that this was a tough one to put in. It holds a lot of weight, and it’s true to an extent. I do not believe failure is a rite of passage to becoming successful. Yes, it’s important when it happens, and you MUST make certain you learn everything that lesson has to teach. It can also become an excuse for people to not plan, and then execute poorly. The Internet is packed with information on just about anything, so failure can be mitigated and more manageable. There’s nothing new under the sun, so if you follow and take guidance from people who’ve walked that road, your chances for success should outweigh the possibilities of failure.

Featured photo credit: Jan Erik via unsplash.imgix.net

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Kayiba Mpoyi

Writer by birth

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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