Rule #1: Don’t Make Things Worse…

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    109 people had breakthroughs this week. Will the next one be you?

    Two things for you to think about

    Sometimes it’s the constant desire to “fix things” that keeps breaking them in the first place.

    Sometimes the most useful thing you can do… is nothing. Coincidentally, this is usually also the hardest thing to do.

    Reflect: Then consider sharing this thought with others.

    One thing for you to ask yourself

    What problem in your life would potentially improve if you stopped meddling with it? Like a scab that would heal if you stopped picking it, what problem can you stop picking at and see if it gets better on its own?

    Recommended: Use these as journaling prompts for the week.

    One thing for you to try this week

    Pick an issue in your life and for the week commit to not making it worse. Simply decide that it’s not your job to fix it. Try it for a week. Let me know what happens.

    Remember: Small changes lead to lasting breakthroughs. Reply to this email and let me know how it went for you.

    Last week’s breakthroughs

    In last week’s newsletter, I asked you to turn a negative emotion you’re dealing with into the best thing that ever happened to you.

    Geevin took up my challenge and discovered the motivational force of fear:

    I am moving to a new job and it is a more senior position than my current role. On the one hand, I am so proud of myself for landing this job and progressing in my career, but on the other hand, there is this whole set of fears that I deal with constantly—whether I will be able to do the job properly or whether I am truly qualified for it.

    But after reading your email, I thought to myself, this fear is actually good. It’s going to make me do my best, and give 110% to my employer and I am sure I will be good. I think it’s about channeling your fears in the right direction, and it will be an advantage to you.

    Steffi is flourishing after coming to terms with her unemployment:

    Recently, I’ve been struggling with (voluntary) unemployment. Even though I opted to leave a toxic workplace, and received compensation due to horrible abuse from my manager, I haven’t stopped talking myself down. I’ve felt like a huge failure for not hanging in there and not getting many job interviews.

    Both this week’s prompt and one of your YouTube videos, where you said pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional, helped me realize that I actually chose to suffer.

    Ever since I stopped beating myself up and talking myself down, and instead accepted the situation I created, I’ve managed to score multiple job interviews. More excitingly, these are all roles I dreamed of getting when I was at my previous job. Taking the leap to focus on my mental health and start over led me to exciting opportunities.

    While this next reader is finding joy in disappointment:

    Disappointment. That’s a negative emotion I deal with a lot. And I normally respond by being angry with myself, telling myself I shouldn’t be feeling disappointed and I must stop feeling disappointed right now!—a harsh, critical, and angry voice against myself. And guess what, I just end up feeling awful.

    What I find is if I walk towards, indeed run towards, my feelings of disappointment—if I embrace them, love them, accept them, then I can let joy, warmth, happiness, and fun into that space. Once I embrace my feelings of disappointment, I feel happy!

    Counter-intuitive though it works! Whatever I resist persists. Whatever I embrace transforms into feeling great.

    As always, send your breakthroughs by simply replying to this email. Let me know if you’d prefer to remain anonymous.

    Until next week,

    Mark Manson

    #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
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