How to Keep Living When the World Seems to Be Against Us

Danny Oak

Embracing reality and taking control of our lives

I have awful legs.

30 years of sports have made them a mess.

They’re a medical log of surgeries, injuries, broken bones, and ripped flesh.

They’re not the worst legs in the world, as there are millions of people that have suffered indescribable accidents, and others who have no legs but have achieved things that I can’t imagine doing.

But my legs have issues that if I could choose I would rather not have. Still, they take me everywhere I go, so they’re not a real problem.

This got me thinking about why do I complain about my legs if they do what they’re supposed to?

It’s a matter of mindset. I’m focusing on the pain and suffering I had with each injury while ignoring how good it felt each time I returned to the fields after long recoveries, and how much more desire for the game I had than most other players.

I had recoveries lasting weeks, months, and even years, so I knew that I had to enjoy each moment because it could be the last for a very long time, so while others were worrying about winning, I was focused on loving the game.

My legs are awful, but they have taught me how to enjoy some of the most memorable moments of my life.

Thriving Through Adversity

We all have obstacles in our lives, we all have weaknesses, but while some people hit a wall and give up, others knock it down and use the stones as steps to move on.

The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.
— Marcus Aurelius

You should keep moving on despite any weaknesses and adversities because the moment you allow yourself to become a victim is the moment you hand out the control of your life and lose the ability to move forward by yourself.

Resilience is your co-pilot in life.

Adversities are a constant to human existence since the beginning of time, so what you need to have in mind is that the world is not conspiring against you.

You’re not special, I’m not special. Shit happens to all of us, the difference is what we do about it.

You may have been dealt a tough hand… someone did a terrible thing to you, you were born in the wrong part of the world, you suffered an accident, you have some disability, you’ve been betrayed, you’re bad at math, English is not your first language, your parents are poor.

It sucks, I know, but if you’re still breathing and you’re able to read this, then surely there is a way!

Of course some conditions are much heavier than others, and I’m not diminishing the impact that they can have on our lives, but look around, surely someone with similar adversities has already proved that it’s possible to progress even in such conditions. They didn’t let their past dictate their future, and if they have succeeded, why wouldn’t you?

In poker, the smart move is often to fold but in life we can’t use the same strategy, otherwise we’ll never leave the same spot.

We must play with the hand we got, and sometimes we need to go all-in.

Embracing Change

Change is not an imperative of life, and some may ask “what’s wrong with being happy with what we have and not aspiring for more?

There’s nothing wrong with it, and if you’re genuinely happy in the place where you are in life right now, that’s wonderful and you’ve already made it!

But there’s a big difference between being happy with “enough” and copping out to avoid the hustle.

For many years I’ve relied on every excuse I could find to justify my inertia, when in fact I just wanted to stay in my comfort zone, but ironically that didn’t leave me standing in the same place, because while the rest of the world kept advancing, I was getting behind by staying still.

At some point, I said enough.

I decided to stop thinking about why bad things had happened to me and started thinking about how could I overcome those obstacles.

I realized that nobody was coming to save me and that it was up to me to do something.

It may not be your fault, but it’s your responsibility.

I don’t know where I sourced this affirmation, but I know I said it to myself and I immediately got a sense of relief, because from that moment on I had nominated myself as the solver of my problems.

Keep Moving Forward

Living is hard and every once in a while life will throw us heavy stuff to make it even harder, but we can’t resign.

I have had my fair share of life’s bad moments, as you and anybody else did, but I believe we can take the hit and keep going.

But to do so you need to accept that:

  • It’s not personal, the world is not against you, life gets hard for everyone at some point.
  • People have thrived in worst conditions than you, so you can do it too.
  • Despite all its difficulties, life is a wonderful blessing and it deserves that you fight for it.

With these principles in mind, it’s now time to act:

  • Acknowledge that you have the power to control your life.
  • Realize that nobody is coming to save you.
  • Understand that it may not be your fault, but it’s your responsibility.

By taking ownership of your life, you are now in a position to change it for the better.

If you struggle to find a reason to do that, think about what your younger self would feel if told he would be settling for mediocrity at a certain point in his life.

If you have someone that you want to make proud of, use that as fuel to ignite the change in you.

I’ve started this journey because of my son, so he can have an example that fighting for our dreams is not only possible but worthwhile.

That’s my reason, what’s yours?

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I’m a writer with a background in customer service with a deep focus on communication. I write about Personal Growth, Marketing, Productivity, Writing, and all kind of tactics and processes that I use to improve myself as a person. My goal is to help others by sharing my journey in public.

Austin, TX

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