Many personal development ‘gurus’ lead people to believe that, once you follow their course of action, life will be plain sailing – only good things will happen –life will simply be one wonderful moment after the next. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I recently got a call from one of my clients, John. The very first words down the ‘phone were “I’ve lost all my money – what am I going to do? What am I going to tell Erika?” – his wife! After I had established that it was John on the ‘phone – and, indeed, that I was the first person he had called, I asked him what was going on, pointing out to him that nobody loses all their money. “Oh I have” he said in a panic. I asked him did he still have his home – “Yes” he replied. “Do you still have your holiday home – and your business?” – more “Yes”es. “So, you haven’t lost all your money, have you?” I asked. 

What happened was that one of his bigger stock market bets had backfired – and, even then, he hadn’t lost the entire investment. So, he hadn’t lost anything like “all his money”. He continued by asking me how he was going to break the news to his wife – to which I replied that it would better for him to talk to her than talk to me! But, again, he persisted – “What am I going to do? I thought I’d seen the end of this kind of hardship!” I explained to him what I now explain to you.

Shit happens – to everyone, all of the time. Sometimes little stuff, like you’ve missed your flight or you’re late for the most important meeting in your life! Or, bigger stuff – like John and his investment. Like venture capitalists steal your life’s work from under your nose. Or some scam artist runs off with your life’s savings.

This stuff happens all of the time. And the normal reaction – or over-reaction – is John’s. Panic, depression, stress, self-pity... Since when did reaction ever achieve anything constructive? Mostly, reaction makes things worse, not better. Surely, real action is what is called for – and real action cannot be taken by a panicked, stressed mind! As always, the best state of mind in life is a clear state of mind. Then you can see what’s really happening – “I’m down on one of my investments”, rather than “I’ve lost all my money”. If you can see that, then you’re in a position to deal with the reality of the situation and move on.

Bad things happen in life regularly. Only an idiot would think that we can control all the events that life throws at us. You cannot control them. However, you can, most certainly, influence them – quantum physics elegantly explains how your energy influences universal energy. But you cannot even influence external events if you’re mind is ‘all over the place’. The only thing you can actually control in your life is your own state of mind – and almost nobody bothers.

If you do control your state of mind, the first thing that happens is that less crap is likely to invade your life. Psychology and quantum physics tells us that you get what you expect in life. Expect good things and you tip the balance in your favour. The second thing you will notice is that, when bad things happen, you’ll be far better equipped to act on the basis of what has actually happened – not what a stressed-out you thinks has happened. If it’s a major setback, you’ll be able to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get going again.
But in a clear state of mind, you will also realise a very important truth. That bad things that arise also pass away. This is one of the key things that a clear mind teaches you – all things, good, bad and indifferent, arise and pass away. In the same way as a perfect moment, like the birth of a child, is long forgotten when you’re shouting at your children ten years later, so too do the bad things. For instance, what were you worrying about this time last year? 

OK – worse things can happen than losing money. People suffer serious illness, loved ones die. These are subjects that I deal with in separate articles. For now, I’m simply dealing with the ordinary everyday stuff that people think is bringing the roof down around them – it’s simply not.

Back to the key point. You need to cultivate a calm, clear state of mind. A calm, clear mind is the key to sailing through life’s ups and downs effortlessly – doesn’t mean there won’t be ups and downs – it does mean you’ll be properly equipped to deal with them.

Author's Bio: 

Willie Horton, an Irish ex-accountant and ex-banker who has been working as a success coach to business leaders and sports people since 1996, has been living his dream in the French Alps since 2002. Each week his weekly Free Self-Help Video Seminar is received by thousands of people around the world. His acclaimed Self Help Online Workshop is being followed by people on four continents - they say that it's life-changing. More info: