Perhaps you’re negotiating deep waters at the moment. Your life feels like it would if were one of these ships. Pain. Fear. Regret. Hopelessness. Sadness. Feeling like giving up. There doesn’t seem to be a way out. As someone who has been clinically depressed all his life and only got on to medication five or six years ago, I know what it feels like. And you don’t have to be clinically, suicidally depressed like I was to feel really, really bad.

And perhaps you tried things that didn’t work out for you, so, like me, you threw a few babies out with the bathwater. Painted them all with the same brush. Lost money in some scheme and now you refuse to look at anything else, for example. Or get disillusioned with churches and over time eventually became an atheist, like I did. Until we realize that all people with green hair or all churches or all business options are fortunately not the same. But meanwhile, you’re still feeling horrible right now.

You feel like “you’ve been rode hard and hung up to dry.” My Mom used to tease us and say, “Nobody likes me, nobody loves me, I’m just gonna eat worms…” Do you feel like that? Everyone around you laughing and having fun and you wonder if they’re just crazy because the end of the world has come and gone.

Or perhaps it’s MONEY. You squeeze those quarters so tight, the eagle screams. Your credit is about as good as a screen door on a submarine. You feel like you’re running round like a blind dog in a meat house trying to find money, and it’s not showing up. Everyone ELSE seems to have so much money they buy a new boat every time their other boat get wet, and here you are, getting deeper and deeper into debt. You feel like jerking a knot in your banker’s tail.

Well, here are five steps to take (unless you’re clinically depressed and you need drugs, like me):

  1. Get healthy. You can’t feel good dragging around a big gut and wheezing and sweating and trying to avoid decent food and exercise like you would a skunk in heat. Health affects our energy, attitudes, options and feeling of wellbeing a lot more than most people realize.
  2. Get laughing – there are plenty of good, funny movies and books (read P.G. Wodehouse) and happy people to get around if you really want to. You may not feel like it, but it works.
  3. Set goals and create action plans to reach those goals. And set those goals with the help of a successful people who has actually accomplished what you want to accomplish. That means finding a mentor in each area of life. For the money, find someone who understands how to make money. For raising kids successfully, find someone who has experienced similar problems to the ones you are encountering and who overcame them successfully, not someone who went to university and has never had kids. Same goes for health, marriage and relationships, and spiritual matters. If you seek, you WILL find, like I did. I found the right church and got back to God. I found good people.
  4. One of the biggest thieves of happiness is guilt, and you need to find the right people to help you deal with that. Unless you do, it will eat you up like cancer. It may even manifest as cancer.
  5. Reassess your values and beliefs about life, potential, yourself, God, other people, money. Two of the books I always suggest people read, apart from the Bible, is Atlas Shrugged and The Virtue of Selfishness, both by Ayn Rand.
  6. Finally, the foundation of true happiness is, in my opinion, a real relationship with God, and a church that can support you and fits your value system is essential. There you will find a supportive, empowering community of like-minded people to associate with.

It’s not too late to be happy. You can do it. Find the Pilot, the Lighthouse; He’s there waiting for you.

Robin Elliott   LeverageAdvantage.com