Problems, Injuries, Setbacks and Disappointments
I’ve been lying in bed with intense nerve pain in my hips and back for the last 3 days. Not quite how I scripted the start of 2020. To be fair, I’m probably still experiencing the hangover that was 2019.
Last year contained some highs but many lows. My beautiful daughter was born, but she showed up almost 3 months before her due date via an emergency procedure. We spent several stressful weeks in the NICU, something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
I played some of my best pro golf in smaller events early in the year but made a few errors in key events that prevented me from getting the tour status that would set me up for the year. I haven’t practiced or played for most of the year.
Months of crappy hospital chairs, stress, no exercise or sleep, and a bad diet has resulted in a body that feels like it’s trying to end its own misery.
I achieved exactly zero of my work and financial goals of 2019. But even more upsetting was all the commitments I needed to break and balls I dropped as our life went into a tailspin.
I promise this post isn’t just me complaining. I’m just here to say that life will corner you in a dark alley and beat the shit out of you sometimes. When that happens remember that you’re not alone and this too shall pass.
There are 3 critical things I’ve taken away from this past year, that I feel could assist you if you encounter some difficulties or major setbacks in your life.
1. Don’t stop moving your body. It doesn’t matter how much or what type of exercise it is, just get moving in some way every day. There’s an intrinsic need for movement (ideally do this outside) that affects our physical, hormonal and mental health.
2. Find a way to be grateful. ‘What am I grateful for?’ never worked for me. A friend gave me a phrase to use when things got really scary or when I found myself getting extremely negative, depressed or overwhelmed. The phrase was ‘What’s good about this?’ It sounds crazy, but if you repeat that sentence to yourself over and over, eventually your brain just finds something. Especially because the first 20 or so answers will be ‘NOTHING’. But if you keep asking the question your brain assumes it missed something and it will enlighten you with a variety of positives and things to be grateful for.
3. Problems are an element of life. Naval Ravikant has spoken about this in interviews. We have this crazy idea that ‘one day’ we’ll wake up and all our problems will be gone, we’ll have a life with zero problems. The energy we waste on surprise, anger, fear, victim hood or depression because we have problems makes no sense. There’s no future reality where you don’t have problems, the magnitude, complexity or impact of your problems might catch you off guard but the fact that you have problems shouldn’t. If problems are a part of life then we’re better of using our energy to solve them. Ray Dalio has a very matter of fact system for dealing with problems; Identify, Diagnose, Make a Plan, Follow Through.
1. Naval Ravikant has a bunch of great podcast espisodes
2. Ray Dalio’s ‘Principles’ video series on Youtube is incredibly valuable