Life isn’t fair.
Sometimes it sucks.
Just when you think you’ve got the engine running and you’re on the road to your destination, a flat tire derails the best of intentions.
Setbacks are always a certainty, so it’s how you react to them that becomes the line in the sand between your successes and failures.
What you may not believe is that an obstacle or challenge to your plan can offer you the chance to feel significantly happier.
A review of 225 studies in the journal Psychological Bulletin examined the lives of the happiest people and found they were more likely to actively look for new challenges and undertake fresh goals which stirred up long term positive emotions.
Of the 275,000 people studied, those who welcomed adversity were happier, and as a result were more successful in their relationships plus they also earned higher incomes, had higher levels of community involvement, and enjoyed a healthier body that helped them live longer.
Take home message?
Adversity is what most people shy away from, but if you actively subject yourself to it, using these techniques, you’ll harness the neurotransmitter dopamine that will inspire you towards feeling greater levels of life satisfaction. Here’s how:
1. Commit to 20 minutes of daily personal development
Pick a subject you’re fascinated by and learn about it each day. It is hard, but with all the free podcasts, videos, and audio books it will cost nothing but your time.
2. Feel hot or cold
Whether it’s a sauna or an ice bath, commit to doing these for 10 minutes a few times a week, especially on the days when you don’t feel like it. Those are the times when you need it most, even if it’s just a cold shower.
3. Eat something you don’t like
You know who only eats the foods they like? Toddlers. Be an adult and commit to eating at least one healthy vegetable you don’t particularly like each day. You can wash your mouth out with chocolate protein shakes afterwards.
4. Get someone to challenge you
Try an expert workout from TRAIN cover guy Brian Mazza, founder of High Performance Lifestyle Training (hpltraining.com) who offers weekend events and daily workouts that’ll challenge you daily using the right levels of workout discomfort.
Brian has some sage advice about adversity. “As you continue to grow in your career and personal life, a new level of commitment, execution, and focus will be needed,” he explains. “Some of the old you will have to be let go because you outgrew that version of yourself. What got you to point A might not necessarily get you to point B, so be prepared for what’s about to be your new reality.”
Brian’s advice is to refocus and attack as you’ve never attacked before.
A big part of that is to find what you don’t want to do. And do it.
It will get you to where you want to be.