When the Train Falls Off the Tracks

If you’re striving to improve your life, it’s inevitable, you’re train will fall off the tracks.  You will have a bad day, lose a customer, get fired from a job, get some bad news, make a mistake, get sick, have your feelings hurt, get in a bad argument, etc.  Something bad will happen to you.

This very thing happened to me yesterday.  What I wanted to accomplish, I didn’t get done.  Nothing seemed to go my way.  People were mad at me. Old insecurities and fears came back.  I wasn’t productive.  I felt defeated.  I wasted time. I worried.  I let my mind wander and entertain negative thoughts.  I was starting to feel depressed.

What Not to Do: Make yourself comfortable.  Often when I reach a self-defeating state of mind, at the end of the day, I think about what can make me feel better.  Before I think through the consequences; I’m stuffing my face with comfort food,  watching TV and drinking beer.  Maybe you deal with this in a different way.  Do you withdraw, get lost on the internet, get angry, seek sexual pleasure?  I find myself looking for anything that can make me feel better.  In my search for immediate comfort, I find it and then before I know it, it’s gone.  Instead of feeling better, I feel worse.  My belly is full, with garbage that makes me feel tired.  I was entertained but now my my mind is dull and slow.  My confidence was inflated but now my body feels lethargic and dehydrated.  I numbed my depression but now I feel even more depressed, tired and insecure.  I’m once again reminded, quick fixes are never the solution.  IMG_0217

What to Do: You had a bad day and you decide you’re not giving in to any quick fixes.  Why? Because you know they don’t work.  You want to feel better, not worse!

  1. The Battle is in Your Mind: Do you ever wonder how some people are able to bounce back quickly from disappointment? After all, everyone deals with bad circumstances in life.  These folks believe that no matter how things are going now, they will get better.  Earl Nightingale said that “a man becomes what he thinks about.”  This video will change your life.  Listen to it when you get a chance.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If you think about how bad your life is, how broke you are, how you’re not good enough to make it and how nothing ever goes your way, guess what? You will live like you’re not good enough. You must turn your thoughts to what you want to become.  Think about what’s possible, what you’re grateful for, the opportunities you have, the great people you have in your life.  The fact that you live in an age where you can access free information about almost anything.  The battle is not against your circumstance, it’s in your mind.
  2. Get Up and Move:  Go outside, go for a run, go for a hike, take a bike ride or play some basketball.  Do something active!  It can help break the cycle and clear your head.IMG_8641
  3. Talk About It: Tell a friend, a mentor or your spouse about how you were derailed today.  Make sure this person is trustworthy and supportive.  When you share your struggles with someone else, what makes sense in your head, often sounds crazy out loud.  I told my wife about my bad day.  I told her about how I questioned everything I was doing and how the day felt like a huge waste of time.  She reminded me of everything I’ve accomplished recently and how everyone has bad days.  It was a vulnerable moment for me as the provider of our family. But, saying it out loud made me feel better.  It helped me dismiss some of the lies I was entertaining.  It helped me regroup and get back on the tracks.
  4. Ditch the Quest for Comfort:  It’s alright to feel uncomfortable.  It’s part of life and an essential part of growth.  A successful person understands that doing the right thing is more important than feeling comfortable.  Deep satisfaction will come when you don’t strive for a quick fix.  Success is a collection of several small decisions to do the right thing.  Ask yourself, what would be best for me and others around me in the long run?
  5. Get Inspired: Remember what I said about free information?  Instead of filling your head with junk. Go to YouTube and watch free video’s from any one of these legends.  One video could completely turn your day around: Jim Rohn, Les Brown, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Og Mandino, Bob Goff, Tony Robbins.
  6. Start New:  God’s mercies are new every morning.  Maybe today was a wash.  Don’t let it carry over into tomorrow.  You have an opportunity for a fresh start.  Go to bed early, wake up early, start your day with a run and a healthy breakfast.  Drink a lot of water. Take time to pray or meditate.  Focus on being your best today and no matter what happens, choose to to the right thing.

What do you reach for when you have a bad day?  What helps you get back on track?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “When the Train Falls Off the Tracks

  1. Excellent post Michael. Your point about it being okay to feel uncomfortable is well taken. We have an amazing brain that will tell us what we need if we listen. When we feel uncomfortable that is not a sign of an uncontrolled emotion, deficiency or weakness. It is our mind telling us that something is not right with us, that there is a problem that needs addressing. Therefore, it is not something to be avoided or covered up but rather it is something to be addressed and embraced so that we can determine the cause and provide a solution for ourselves.

  2. Well said Clark. Why is it that everything in me wants to avoid the discomfort of my weakness? It’s so difficult to address and embrace but, man oh man, the progress that can be made!