How to Thrive in Hard Times

Millions are out of work right now.

You can see many tenacious people on social media exclaiming how they had to apply for hundreds of jobs and conduct dozens of interviews to get one offer.

With all this going on, it's crazy to grasp just how abundant of a world we live in - and even when we do; that understanding can disappear very quickly when we get hit by reality personally.

How this personal aspect of how our perceptions tend to change in proportion to how those very things impact us (such as falling victim to hard times) is somewhat of a phenomenon. Analyzing this is what led me to create the "Mortar Theory". Let me explain how it works.

Many years ago I was debating with a friend about morality. His position was that certain personal violence crimes (even the one that starts with the letter R) should be legalized; because if they were, the people who commit them would lose interest. He seemed content and convinced with this perspective.

Then I sad to him, "Great, so are you volunteering your wife to be first case study?"

He then looked at me like a deer in headlights - and I never heard him share that opinion again.

So, what exactly is my "Mortar Theory", and why should you care?

The closer the consequences of one's perspective hit to themselves personally, the more likely they are to change their perspectives. Therefore, we should always personalize every perspective we form; BEFORE propagating it.

This will keep us from saying and doing stupid and reckless things.

Imagine the impact that would have if all politicians applied Mortar Theory in their daily work? Yahtzee!

Do this in hard times to ascend

There are many things we CAN do to keep moving forward, such as not losing hope or focusing on the next task. All the self-help books address these things.

But, one thing we absolutely must start doing in order to succeed is not only to do certain things, but to NOT do certain things - and the biggest thing we should NOT do is think with an entitled perspective.

For example, let's say something tragic just happened to you. How helpful is it to have a mentality such as this:

"Why did this happen to me! I deserve better! I should have XYZ!"

The reason why this mentality is so destructive is because not only does it not help you in any way, but it also distracts you from what you actually need to do to ascend. So in other words, all this perspective does is keep you exactly where you're at now, in the storm.

It's also incredibly destructive to one of the most important principles in life: gratitude. The more you start to think that the things you have are things you deserve, the less you will appreciate what you have. As you appreciate what you have less, the worse you will treat what you have - and the worse you treat what you have, the less you will hang onto what you have, and those things will go from being what you have, to being what you HAD.

Cute, right? Not really.

Now, isn't this contrary to what all the self-help books say:

"You DESERVE everything you want in life".

"You are a god!"

"It's all about you!"

"Everyone is waiting to give you exactly what you want."

Let's call a duck a duck. All comments like these are designed to manipulate your emotions so that you can feel good, and then temporarily trust the people saying them; so that they can steer you towards buying something else from them:

It's wrong - and it's sick. But you're at fault too for letting them manipulate you.

Have you ever heard the expression, "When it rains, it pours"?

What do you think happens to someone with an entitled mentality when not just one, but several lousy things happen in a row?

They breakdown. Depression sets in. Hopelessness. Addiction. Suicide. Divorce.

So what's the right answer here? A mentality adjustment.

Whether we deserve anything or not, it doesn't help us at all to think along these terms. What helps us is focusing on the reality of our situations, performing a gap analysis, and then implementing plans to get through the storm. Period.

It's absolutely critical that we do not undermine effort either. When people think they deserve something, it's a subconscious excuse from putting forth the seismic effort required to achieve massive goals; such as overcoming a tough economy.

Look how poisonous entitlement is? It kills effort and gratitude!

Although not necessarily easy, it's simple to get out of hard times. We can't will the hard times to disappear (another lie of self-help books; we aren't God people!); but if we focus on implementing plans designed to get us out of hard times, that will yield incredible results compared to those whom are sitting on their posteriors saying, "I deserve better" and refusing to do anything more.

To add a humorous example, when was the last time you watched a movie about someone who sat on their posterior complaining all day - and magically having all their problems get solved?

Sounds like a horrible movie, right? It is. In fact, a movie like this would probably upset most people, and maybe even cause some riots.

We know this perspective would yield a horrible movie, and all signs point to it yielding a horrible life.

Let's adjust our mentalities from "I deserve XYZ" to "Here's what I can do to achieve XYZ", and then start taking action.

Getting through hard times is something you ABSOLUTELY can hope for - and it's something you can ABSOLUTELY achieve as quickly as possible with the right mentality. Not mind games required.


J. Patrick Nichols

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