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Last Updated on January 25, 2021

5 Ways to Deal With Hardship and Pain in Life

5 Ways to Deal With Hardship and Pain in Life

Life throws many curve balls our way—it could be said that when one person goes to bed heartbroken, another could wake up finding true love. It’s a never-ending cycle of disappointments and achievements, but although we might presume that each of us are capable of getting back up every time life kicks us to the ground, that is far from reality. Sometimes it really hurts being in a situation you have no control of, and making decisions that seem completely unfair to you will definitely find their way into your life. Regardless of the tough issues you may face, it’s getting back up and moving forward that counts the most when you need to deal with hardship. This is a list of 5 things I’ve tried in my own life just to help me believe in a brighter future and get past a tough situation.

1. Reflect On the Bad Times in Your Life

This may sound like a bad idea, but it does serve a purpose: you may feel depressed when thinking about past sorrows, but the idea behind reflecting on past hardship isn’t to run you down; it’s to prove to yourself that you have gotten past them. Usually we’re afraid that a tough time will break us, but when you think about the countless times you’ve actually gotten past what you thought was the worst experience in your life only proves that you’ve gotten stronger. Allow those victories to be an opportunity for you to see beyond the baggage in front of you.

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2. Write or Talk About How You Feel

I’ll be honest: keeping my feelings to myself used to plague me and made me feel alone, but when I found someone who actually genuinely cared about me, it became natural to share how I felt with her and that contributed immensely to my ability to overcome troublesome situations. Not only did I speak to her about how I felt, I also decided to blog about it, and though talking to strangers about your issues may seem crazy, it actually isn’t. In fact, it’s what therapists regard as their bread-winning strategy; the ability to be neutral and use their lack of a personal relationship with you as a means of helping you. It doesn’t matter if you want to talk, sing, or write about how you feel, just get it off your chest and the weight on your shoulders won’t seem so crippling.

3. Detach Yourself From the Situation

It can be overwhelming when you’re in the middle of a heated argument or office politics, and there’s no way you’ll be able to make a rational decision when caught in the midst of a fire. They say that running away from your problems will never help, and though that’s partially true, it doesn’t mean that you need to submerge yourself so deeply into a situation that you run out of air to breathe and lose the ability to weigh the pros and cons of your choices. That happens more than we like to admit, which is why its important to detach yourself from a situation long enough to think clearly without having people hanging over your shoulders. This helps because you finally have a break to think things through and in cases like this, a lot of thought is needed.

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4. Remind Yourself That You’re Not Alone

It’s easy to curl up into a ball and feel like your world is closing in from loneliness, and it’s so hard to remember that there is definitely someone out there who loves you. I know for a fact that we Lifehack readers are tough folks, and the fact that you’re here means that you have the strength to realize that help is but a URL away. Regardless of who or what you depend on, you need to remind yourself that you are not alone; you have people who do care. Even if it’s just one person, that’s enough to give you reason to remind yourself that you will never truly be alone. Sometimes it’s strangers who may share the same feelings as you do. Think about it—you may not know any of these readers personally but they could be in the exact same situation as you, so in fact, no one is truly alone.

5. Accept the Results and Get Back Up Again, Only Stronger

Finally, it’s time to come to terms with what has happened. Regardless of whether the results of your choices proved to be helpful or not, it’s time for you to accept them and get back up. This time you have a new experience to add to your book of life so the next time something tries to knock you down, it won’t be easy because you will be strong and determined to push forward. Life will go on, time will never stand still, and it rests upon you to make the right decision of moving forward. Don’t dwell on “what could be” or “what if” circumstances; things are done, and it’s time for you to see that you may have a new battle scar, but you will certainly have gained a whole lot more character.

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Featured photo credit: Simon Migaj via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on April 9, 2021

How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

It is hardly a secret that the key to successfully accomplishing one goal after another is learning how to stay motivated. There are, of course, tasks which successful people may not like at all, yet they find motivation to complete them because they recognize how each particular task at hand serves a greater goal.

It’s impossible to expect your motivation levels to remain at 100% all the time, but there are things you can do to maximize your stores of motivation and push forward. Here are 5 simple yet effective tips for staying motivated.

1. Find Your Good Reasons

Anything you do, no matter how simple, has a number of good reasons behind it.

You may not be able to find good reasons to do some tasks at first, but if you take just a few moments to analyze them, you will easily spot something good. If you’re ever stuck with some tasks you hate and there seems to be no motivation to complete it, it’s time to find your good reasons.

For each goal you set, there needs to be a reason behind it. If you don’t nail down your “why” when you begin, your motivation will soon falter, leaving you miles from achieving your goal. This isn’t the way to learn how to become motivated.

Some ideas for what a good reason can be:

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  • Rewards: This may come in the form of money (a salary or a raise, for example) or some kind of award.
  • Personal Gain: You will learn something new or improve yourself in a certain way.
  • Accomplishment: Achieving a feeling of accomplishment and recognition for achieving a goal can be a huge motivating factor.
  • A Step Closer to Bigger Goals: Even the biggest accomplishments in history have started small and relied on simple and far less pleasant tasks than you might be working on. Every task you complete brings you closer to the ultimate goal, and acknowledging this always feels good.

2. Make It Fun

When it comes to increasing motivation, attitude is everything. Different people may have completely opposite feelings towards the same task: some will hate it, and others will love it[1].

Why do you think this happens? It’s simple: some of us find ways to make any task interesting and enjoyable when we begin to lose motivation.

Take sports for example. Visiting your local gym daily for a half-an-hour workout session sounds rather boring to some, yet others love being in that environment. For those that hate going to the gym, finding a team sport in their community may serve them best.

A simple approach is to start working on any task by asking yourself a few questions:

  • How can I enjoy this task?
  • What can I do to make this task fun for myself and others?
  • How can I make this task the best part of my day?

Expecting a task to be enjoyable is one way to learn how to stay motivated. Most tasks have a great potential of being enjoyable, so looking for ways to have fun while working is a great habit to acquire.

3. Change Your Approach and Don’t Give up

When something doesn’t feel right, it’s always a good time to take a moment and look for a different approach if you want to learn how to get motivation.

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You may be doing everything correctly and efficiently, but such an approach isn’t necessarily the most motivating one. Quite often, you can find a number of obvious tweaks to your current approach that will both change your experience and open up new possibilities.

That’s why saying “one way or another” is so common—if you really want to accomplish your goal, there is always a way; and most likely, there’s more than one way.

If a certain approach doesn’t work for you, find another one, and keep trying until you find the one that will both keep you motivated and get you the desired results.

If you can’t find the right approach, you may need to go back to motivation basics to find your motivation style. Check out Lifehack’s Free Assessment: What’s Your Motivation Style?

4. Recognize Your Progress

Everything you may be working on can be easily split into smaller parts and stages. For most big or long-term goals, it is quite natural to split the process of accomplishing them into smaller tasks and milestones. There are a few reasons behind doing this, and one of them is tracking your progress.

We track our progress automatically with most activities, but to stay motivated, you need to recognize your progress, not merely track it. Tracking is merely taking note of having reached a certain stage in your process. Recognizing is taking time to look at the bigger picture and realize where exactly you are and how much more you have left to do.

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For example, if you’re going to read a book, always start by going through the contents table. Getting familiar with chapter titles and memorizing their total number will make it easier for you to recognize your progress as you read. Confirming how many pages your book has before starting it is also a good idea.

Somehow, it is human nature to always want things to happen in short term or even at once. Even though we split complex tasks into simpler actions, we don’t quite feel the satisfaction until everything is done and the task is fully complete.

For many scenarios though, the task is so vast that such an approach will drain all the motivation out of you long before you have a chance to reach your goal. That’s why it is important to always take small steps and recognize the positive progress made. This is how to keep yourself motivated in the long-term.

5. Reward Yourself

Feeling down about doing something? Dread the idea of working on a particular task? Hate the whole idea of working?

Right from the beginning, agree on some deliverables that will justify yourself getting rewarded. As soon as you get one of the agreed results, take time to reward yourself in some way. This creates external motivators to help you feel motivated in the long run.

For some tasks, just taking a break and relaxing for a few minutes will do. For others, you may want to get a fresh cup of coffee and even treat yourself to dessert.

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For even bigger and more demanding tasks, reward yourself by doing something even more enjoyable, like going to see a movie, taking a trip to some place nice, or even buying yourself something.

The more you reward yourself for making progress, the more motivated you will feel about reaching new milestones.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have these five ways of staying motivated, it is a good moment to give you the key to them all: mix and match!

Pick one of the techniques, and apply it to your situation. If it doesn’t work, or if you simply want to get more motivated, try another technique right away. Mix different approaches, and match them to your task for the best results.

Finding good reasons to work on your task is bound to help you feel better, and identifying ways to make it fun will help you enjoy the task even more.

Learning how to stay motivated is as simple as finding what works for you. If you need a reward, schedule one. If you just need to find your “why”, take time for introspection. Do what you need to do and start tackling those goals.

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Featured photo credit: Lucas Lenzi via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] The Positivity Blog: How to Get the Boring Tasks Done

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