Use Your Obstacles to Build Your Road to Success

I’m feeling down lately. I’m seeing things that upset me and remind me of things that I regret. I still have trouble breaking out of it. On my facebook page I wrote about how hard it is to break free from depression because it combines your best memories with your worst experiences.

I listened to a James Altucher Podcast Episode 16 with guest Ryan Holiday Turning Trials into Triumph on the bus ride to work and decided to take notes. What I ended up writing surprised me so I’m sharing this not just to you but as a reminder to me in case I lose sight of what’s important to me and my perception and eventually, my response to reality gets distorted.

Here are the notes.

We have been sold the idea that: “Life is going to be like this” where everything is expected to be predictable. The reality back then was that if you get a small cut anywhere in your body, you can suddenly die. As a result people were thankful for each additional day they have lived.

Don’t get too attached to the emotional highs and lows of life.

Turn your obstacles upside down.

Bad companies = killed during crisis
Good companies = survive during crisis
Great companies = Excel during crisis This also applies to individuals. 

There is no good or bad in this world, there is only my perception.

Aircraft Fighter Pilots are trained to control their (response to) emotions.

The “worst case scenario” is an opportunity to grow instead of cry.

Sit down and envision the “worst case scenario” so you can prepare for it or learn to ignore if the actual consequences are negligible. In business this practice is called post moratorium.

Be grateful for the bad things because you benefit from it.

God created challenges for my benefit.

Abraham Lincoln is diagnosed as clinically depressed throughout his career.

When bad things happen it’s an opportunity to get used to living in a world where bad things happen.

If you don’t have the right attitude, you will believe that the world is against you. The world is just acting like the world. It is never against you.

Find meaning in your suffering. - Viktor Frankl, concentration camp survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning.

Look for meaning and opportunities in shit situations. -Practice Forgiveness -Practice Gratitude -Practice Generosity -Practice Compassion

Shit situations doesn’t mean anything about you or your value as a person.

Small shit situations prepare you for actual shit situations like getting into a car accident and losing actual body parts, being disabled or being cheated on and abandoned by your spouse.

Don’t’ be a dick when the coin get’s flipped.

Stoics: Emperor Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus.

A lot of things people chase are meaningless.

Peace and freedom as goals.

Stoicism enable you to think about events objectively.

Is it worth it to put off your current happiness and contentment in favor of a future that you do not know will exist because you got hit by a car or run into a car accident.

You can get hit by a car and die at any time.

Practice worst case scenario thinking because you have zero ability to predict the future.

When people are rude, they underestimate you. This is a huge advantage.

When people are critical or question your abilities they have lower expectations which enables you to over deliver.

Negative people and events are inevitable. Being or staying angry or hurt is a decision you make for yourself.

Marcus Aurelius wrote Meditations as a reminder to himself to correct the wrong that he did yesterday.

It is natural to feel upset so we need to remind ourselves constantly.


Thank you for reading.

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