1. You must rule your emotions
If you’re new you’re gonna have a hard time doing this, if you come from dysfunction, childhood dysfunction, abandonment, loss, you’re gonna have a hard time doing this. If you’re going through a situational crises right now that someone in your life is really taking some actions that are scaring the heck out of you and you can’t sleep at night, maybe there’s untreated substance abuse, maybe there’s untreated mental illness, maybe you just experienced some type of a grief and loss or trauma currently, it’s very hard to rule our emotions. And there’s a statistic here that’s very powerful. It says,
People with emotional problems are 144% more likely to have an automobile accident than those who do not.
144% and this is probably the most staggering statistic I found. One out of every five victims of fatal accidents had a fight with someone within six hours before the accident. Now I’m gonna talk about a fist fight, it could be an argument on the phone, text messages, something at work, a blow up, six hours before a fatal car accident. One out of every five victims experience that, so if you’re thinking that your inability to regulate your emotions is just yours it’s your problem, there is a very powerful profound statistic that says, “hey, it impacts more than that.” Hot heads and cold hearts have never solved anything. Hot heads and cold hearts have never solved anything – what a bad combination that is. So if you ever feel like you’re getting heated, you are actually responsible for walking away until you calm down. I don’t care what the person did, I don’t care what the person said, I don’t care how the situation appears when you get heated, you are responsible for removing yourself if you’re unable to regulate your emotions, until your emotion subsides. And if you ever feel like your heart is so cold and frozen and dead, you are responsible for finding out why and doing something about it, because hot heads and cold hearts nothing gets solved, no one benefits from it, no one.
2. Remember what others can do for you when you actually ask for help
Not when your mom and dad ask for help for you, not when your spouse asks for help for you, not when your kids ask for help for you. When you ask for help for you good things happen. But why do people not ask for help? One, because they don’t want the change that you want for them. They’re content, cool with it so you can’t have someone change for you. Two, because we’re human beings and we got these things called pride and ego and we don’t want to look bad, and we don’t want to look weak. When are you going to get off that? When are human beings going to get off the fact that if I ask for help it does not equate to, or equal to, that I am a weak person? When are people going to realize that it’s not shameful or it’s not bad to say I’m struggling, help me? When are we going to stop living by our pride and our ego? I don’t know, man. People have been doing it for thousands of years so I don’t anticipate for it to stop, but maybe we can do a little better. Problems become smaller when you face them with help and support. Ain’t that the truth, ain’t that the truth?
3. Refuse to give up
The moment you say “I give up” someone else is seeing the situation and saying, “My, what a great opportunity!” One man’s problem is another man’s dream. I mean, this happens at work all the time, right? I know we can have a staff member leave disgruntled saying “I don’t like the way that this place is going, I don’t think this place has run well.” I mean, they don’t say this anywhere that I’m running of course, but “I don’t like this, the way this place is run,” “well I don’t like the operations but organized people aren’t treated well.” “This place is horrible, I don’t want to work here,” and they get up and go. If the place was a nightmare, it was trash and then the next person that comes in says, “Oh my God, I’m so grateful for this opportunity, I’m so grateful to be a part of this team, what a wonderful opportunity this is, I couldn’t sleep last night I was so happy,” perspective. We have guys and girls sometimes coming to sober living and say, “I don’t want to be here. What do you mean, you take my car away from me? What do you mean you take my phone away from me in my first 30 days? Come on now, I don’t like the rules. I don’t like the structure. We have a curfew? I can’t have overnights? What? Screw this! I’m out of here,” and they leave. And my hope is that they’re okay, nothing bad happens to them.
But then someone else comes in the room and says, “I’m just grateful to have a roof over my head today. I’m just grateful to be a part of a community. I’m just grateful that I have some support and accountability today, because I really need it. I’m having a hard time staying sober on my own.” One man’s trash, another man’s treasure. One man’s problem is another man’s dream. And by the way, when I worked with one of the people that said Hi here (obviously I’m not gonna say who), but I asked them a question point blank. “If the life you have now, if I told you like 20 years ago that you’re going to have a life you have now, what would you say?” He’d say, “Man, it’d be a dream. That means my dreams freaking came true.” But then you look at the life right now and people just look at the problems they have, it’s like, “Dude, your problems right now were your dream at one point in your life.” For a lot of people the challenges they have today at one point in their life was their dream. You can get that, but then we lose perspective because we stopped dreaming.
4. Refocus on the task
Here’s a very powerful quote. It says, “Concentration is the secret of strength in politics, war and trade.” In short, in all management of human affairs. So concentration is the secret of the management of all human affairs. I mean, no problem can sustain the assault of sustained thinking. Say that again, so when you’re experiencing problems I want you to know this. That no problem, not one problem on the face of this planet can sustain the assault of focused thinking. When you truly focus on something, when you give your entirety, all your mental faculties to it, when you ask for help, when you break it down like some people in the talk are saying, when you create little steps with accountability, and how to get to the end result, which is finding a solution for that problem, there is no problem. I can handle that but it’s a matter of, are you willing to unleash that sustained assault of focused thinking? Some people can and some people can’t. Some people get distracted by shiny objects and TV shows and the couches and unhealthy coping skills. And some people just say “I’m gonna focus, tunnel vision, take me a couple hours and I’ll figure it out.”
When I talk with people that identify with having attention deficit problems or they say, “I just can’t focus on anything,” I’ll tell you this. Even people that have diagnosed ADHD which impacts your attention deficit, ability to focus, ability to concentrate, ability to retain, at some point in their life by the way, because they get identified at a young age like grade school, they’re probably going through something in their home, that they had a hard time focusing to, they had a hard time paying attention to, because it was just dysfunction. So they just learned how to check out, stop paying attention to the environment. So when they’re in class they can’t focus on the teacher, so the part that the brain development was happening really impacted it. That’s why amphetamines help with that focus. But even those individuals, you put them in front of something they love, something they’re passionate about, they can focus for four hours straight. It’s not a focus problem. Life’s a motivation problem.
I always say, nobody in life is lazy, they just haven’t found the motivation to do, to act, to grind, to hustle, to achieve their goals. It’s all a motivation thing. So if you want to solve your problems in your life it’s not that you can’t focus on them. You need to find the motivation to why you want to solve that problem – the creativity, the energy, the enthusiasm, the vitality, and the motivation on your why to solve the problem. If you don’t have that then you’re not going to solve the problem. It’s just going to keep hitting you like another wave and you’re going to be in the ocean, just kind of trying to get your breath, another one comes, another one comes, another one comes, until they find out why do I want to get out of this damn ocean. Why do I want to get to the shore? Once you got your why, the how takes care of itself.
5. Rethink your strategy
If you’ve been doing something and it’s not working, my friends, I’m going to give you a newsflash, change your strategy. How often do you have to learn the message that if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to keep getting what you’re getting. So if you don’t like what you’re getting then change what you’re doing. Simple.
Sometimes we have to rethink and change our strategy in life. There’s nothing wrong with halftime adjustments. What do you think sports teams do? They go and play a game the first half, either their strategy was good or they underestimated the opponent, or they do everything right and they still need to make some changes because the opponent did some things that they weren’t expecting. They come out and they make halftime adjustments. In life it’s okay to make half-time adjustments. Look at the problems in your life, look at the areas that you’re going through, look at the challenges, the struggles, the obstacles, and if you need to make some tweaks and adjustments, and you need to make some changes with the level of your thinking and your actions, and change them. Stop living the same way expecting different results. It’s the definition of insanity.
6. Just do the work
The problem doesn’t go away on its own. The X factor is you, your perspective towards what’s happening and your motivation and willingness to resolve it. If you got the wrong perspective and you’re not motivated to solve the problem next year let me know how the problem is because it’s still going to be there five years from now. Let me know what the problem’s looking like these days 10 years from now. Let me know how it’s been to have a decade with the same problem. And if you’re saying, “Dude, whoa, calm down, what do you mean next year, five years, ten years from now? I’m gonna have the same problem?” Well, some of you can go back a year ago, five years ago, 10 years ago and identify the same problems in your life. So don’t tell me I’m wrong when I’m just saying facts. So what you want to do is, you have to look at the problems in your life and say the following. How long have I experienced this problem? How am I experiencing this today? And how much longer do I want to experience this problem? You got the answers. I taught you the solutions. I hope you embrace them. I hope you change your perspective towards the word Problem and I hope we all heal, recover and transform together.
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