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Life Sucks (Sometimes) But Not Always

"Why do we complain of Nature? She has shown herself kindly; life, if you know how to use it, is long." Seneca

Indeed, life is better when things are going well. The boundary between failure and success in life is a matter of perspective. A life situation can seem overwhelming to one person and an opportunity for another.

We might ask, what is the difference between these two individuals? The simple answer is the person's mindset. Some of us tend to worry about mistakes and become cautious out of fear of making another mistake. While for others of us, the disappointment is short-lived and replaced with a fresh perspective "this may take some time and effort to accomplish, but I am capable of bouncing back."

The wisdom from our previous experiences prepares us to deal with similar situations. On the other hand, we are limited by what we do not yet know, so each new endeavor is an opportunity for growth. We cannot always benefit from hindsight to deal with new and unfamiliar challenges. Instead, we adjust our mindset to be successful, which is strengthened by deliberate action toward our goal. We continuously recreate our lives through our thoughts and actions. Fortunately, we are not fixed on a time and place. Instead, we can use our growth motivation to scale new heights.

My eldest daughter repeats the phrase "It builds character" to her younger sisters when they appear to complain about something they perceive as challenging. She may or may not grasp the full gravity of what she repeats to her siblings. However, the message is one they will likely grow to recognize as an essential feature of living.

Psychologist Albert Ellis reminds us that our irrational absolutist way of thinking and speaking has consequences for how we live and our relationships with others. So while we struggle to deal with difficult times, it is crucial to recognize and accept that things do not go according to plan on occasion.

Instead of thinking life sucks, consider the following:

  • Life is unpredictable.

  • Recognize that feeling sorry for yourself should only be temporary and not a permanent state of mind.

  • Seek and find happiness in life.

  • Focus on practical things you can control, not those you cannot.

  • Be mindful of your voluntary and involuntary responses to what you consider unpleasant.

  • I can still improve even after a setback.

  • Endeavor to be your best self; saying you "acted out of character" shows your emotional reactivity.

  • Sometimes you will live as a rebel, which does not mean you are uncooperative. It just means the "thing" you are rebelling against does not align with your values.

Embrace life's challenges, good, bad, or indifferent. Life is unpredictable. Life's unpredictability helps shape our character, vision, and wisdom.

Stay Naturally Curious.

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