5 Daily Mantras to Keep Moving in a Positive Direction
By CJ McClanahan
In the face of difficult situations, I’ve quit… a lot.
For example, my senior year my family moved to Indianapolis from Denver. I had played for my high school basketball team had expected to start.
However, at my new school in Indiana, was told I’d be a “role” player, at best. Before the first practice, I bowed out in protest.
In college, I had business school teachers that could barely speak English. I struggled in a few of classes, so I dropped them and switched majors after deciding to go to law school.
My first semester in law school, I visited the dean and let him know that it wasn’t at all like what I had seen in LA Law… and I dropped that too.
Through my mid-twenties, I had a PhD in quitting. When the going got tough and success wasn’t a guarantee, rather than buckling down and pushing through, I was headed for the door.
Back then, I assumed the slightest obstacle was a clear sign that I didn’t have what it took to finish. Ironically, I probably spent more energy inventing excuses than it’d take to just get it done.
Right around the time I took my third job, I began reading books on personal growth and self development.
I realized I had a choice to make…
I could continue to abandon my jobs, projects or other challenges as soon as I ran into adversity, or I could stick it out, regardless of the possible failure.
This time, I chose the latter… and I’ve continued to choose the latter.
It hasn’t gotten easier to achieve massive victories or live a life free of stress. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Over the years, I’ve shared the lessons and concepts I’ve learned with hundreds of thousands of professionals.
I’ve turned a handful of them into mantras that can be repeated daily to keep you moving in a positive direction.
5 Daily Mantras
I Accept My Failures
The Road Less Traveled, one of my favorite books of all time, begins with these powerful words:
“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult.”
The same is true with failure. Once you accept the fact that it is a necessary part of your life, you no longer fear it quite the same.
I Will Win the Day
The main reason people quit is that they can’t imagine dealing with their current challenge for the next year, month, or week.
We can’t deal with a year’s worth of adversity all at once.
That’s why we need to ask ourselves one simple question every day: “What can I do in the next 24 hours to make progress?”
That’s it. You’ll be amazed at what you can do if you only focus about doing it for a day.
When I Share I Heal Faster
As you may know, I’ve suffered from clinical depression and anxiety since I was in college. I can tell you from experience that sharing my story with people I trust makes even the most trying days bearable.
Humans weren’t design to face their challenges alone. We are wired to build communities to work together towards a common goal.
Go find a group of people that care about you and ask for their support, it will lighten the load almost immediately.
I Find Solace In Reflection
It’s been said that there’s no such thing as a mistake, only life lessons. I don’t completely agree with this advice because it frees you of the responsibility to pay attention and improve.
Instead, I encourage my clients to spend five minutes at the end of every day to reflect on their day with a simple question – “If I could go back to this morning and relive this day, what would I do differently?”
Sometimes It’s Necessary To Quit
The simple truth is that every now and then, you should quit. This happens when you take on a challenge without understanding all the facts or the rules of the game change midstream.
When this happens—and it will—carefully consider the amount of time and effort you are committing to the project and ask yourself – ‘Is it time to cut my losses and move on?”
The key is to understand “why” you’re giving up. It can’t simply be because it’s hard. Finally, if you do quit, move on and resist the urge to beat yourself up for walking away. I apologize if you were hoping for advice that would transform your life overnight.
That’s not the way meaningful change works. However, if you commit yourself to working on one strategy at a time, I guarantee you’ll enjoy massive benefits.