In the midst of particularly hard days when I feel that I can’t endure, I remind myself that my track record for getting through hard days is 100% so far.

1. Let visual reminders keep you focused and on track.

You can post meaningful quotes on your bedroom wall, or find a coffee a mug that has a motivational message on it (mine says “Every Day is an Opportunity”). But you can also take it a step further than that too. Few good things come easy, and when the going gets tough we often take the easy way out even though the easy way takes us the wrong way.

To combat this, I create tangible reminders that pull me back from the brink of my weak impulses. For example, I have my laptop’s desktop background set to a photo of my family, both because I love looking at them and because, when work gets really rough, these photos remind me of the people I am ultimately working for and I’m not the only one who’s successfully using this strategy. A friend of mine who has paid off almost $100K of debt in the past five years has a copy of his credit card balance taped to his computer monitor; it serves as a constant reminder of the debt he still wants to pay off. Another friend keeps a photo of herself when she was 90 pounds heavier on her refrigerator as a reminder of the person she never wants to be again.

Think of moments when you are most likely to give in to impulses that ultimately burn you out and take you farther away from what matters most to you. Then use visual reminders to interrupt the impulses and rebuild the momentum and inner passion that keeps you on the right track. Your ultimate goal is living a life uncluttered by most of the impulsive distractions people fill their lives with, leaving you with space for what truly matters. A life that isn’t constant busyness, rushing and resistance, but instead mindful contemplation, creation and connection with people and endeavors that truly matter.

2. Stop waiting for that elusive spark of passion.

Even with a healthy set of visual reminders and good focus, the grind will sometimes burn you out your body may eventually grow weary, you may lie awake some nights listening to your past regrets, you may miss your only love, you may see the world around you overcome by negativity, or know your respect has been trampled on by unfriendly faces. Life happens! And there’s no doubt that it gets hard at times.

That said, there is one action for daily healing and “breaking through” that works every time: BEING passionate with the small task in front of you. That’s the only positive effort that a battered mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or doubt, and never dream of regretting and you don’t have to wait either. You don’t have to search around or “find passion” somewhere outside yourself. You can simply bring passion into the very next thing you do today. You can put your whole heart and soul into it! Again though, that’s easier said than done. Consider these questions I presented in a blog post a few months back:

  • When was the last time you sat down, or picked up the phone, and had a conversation with someone you love, with zero distractions and 100% focus?
  • When was the last time you exercised, and literally put every bit of effort you could muster into it?
  • When was the last time you truly tried “I mean TRULY” tried to do your very best?

3. Give things you can’t control a little more space.

I see “the animals” and their “larger pasture” as a form of letting go and allowing things to be the way they are instead of trying to tightly control something, you’re loosening up, giving it more space, a larger pasture. The animals will be happier they will roam around and do what they naturally do. And yet your needs will be met too you will have more space to be at peace with the way the animals are. This same philosophy holds true for many aspects of life stepping back and allowing certain things to happen means these things will take care of themselves, and your needs will also be met. You will have less stress (and less to do), and more time and energy to work on the things that truly matter the things you actually can control like your priorities, your self-care, and your attitude about everything.

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