The ups and downs of life can be frustrating. The down times seem long, and the up times are sometimes dampened by the fact that you know it won't last. How can you handle these "winters" of your life? Here are four thoughts and strategies that have been incredibly helpful to me for the past few years, allowing me to grow faster than I imagined was possible.
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THE SECOND MIX PODCAST: https://secondmix.net
This is the Second Mix Podcast - a dose of personal development leading to personal growth. My philosophy is that personal development is business development and that mindset, especially a success mindset, is the primary factor that leads to self-improvement. I like to talk about things that matter with people who care as well as bring you some old-school motivation and valuable information from the original masters of inspiration Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, and more. These guys helped me turn my life around in just a couple years, I've 5X my income, improved my relationships with my wife and kids, and I've completely changed my entire network - and so much more! I use this podcast to tell you how I did it, the thinking behind it, and as a way to get to meet great new people who are all moving forward by helping people become more than they are.
Don't wish things were easier, wish you were better - Jim Rohn
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Matt: I am not a doctor, and this episode is not a cure for any actual disease. I'm referencing people going through the normal ups and downs of life. If your ups and downs don't seem normal to you, seek some professional guidance. If I was having chest pain, I'd call a doctor and have no shame in doing that, and there's no difference when you're experiencing abnormal mental and emotional pain. That being said, I'm going on with the show.
Here we are in winter, January 22nd, today, and in winter it, it's the season that after Christmas and the holidays, it seemed to be the most boring time of the year. I thought this most of my life, but all that changed when I learned some things, especially when I discovered a secret.
To my thinking, that unlocked a lot of power for me. We have summers and we have winters in the year, and we have summers, and we have winters in our lives, and I can't wait to discuss how to handle that reality in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
Sometimes we have up days and it seems like everything is right, and some days we have down days and it seems like everything is wrong.
There is a deception involved with this when we're down. And we think that there's something wrong with that. That is a deception. We have this belief during our up times that this is the way it should be, and we have an equal and opposite belief during our downtimes that this is not the way it should be.
This paradox leads us to think a couple of dangerous thoughts when we're up. We believe that we should stay there forever and we keep doing things that keep us feeling. We get down faster because instead of taking advantage of the up times, we just worry about when the down is going to hit. So we have this negative thinking while we're up because we know the down is coming.
The crazy second half of this paradox is that when we are down, we think we're gonna be there forever. So voicing the paradox, as I've heard myself say it, or at least think. I would say I'm up, but I'm not gonna be here forever cuz the downtime is coming and then when I get down I think, oh my gosh, I'm gonna be here forever.
The secret, the beautiful thing about this life that I want to relate to you is this. In fact, if you only remember one thing I say in this whole episode, remember this: the ups and downs in life are the way it's supposed to be.
This is the way it's supposed to be. Going through the seasons is the way that it's supposed to be. There's nothing wrong when you are down. If a flower had sun on it 24 7 and never got to experience night and dark and rain, it wouldn't last so long or be so beautiful. We are supposed to have the ups and downs we experience the full experience that life has to offer us and downtimes are a part of that.
Jim Rohn calls these. "the winters". Plants go through it. We go through it. All nature goes through it, not just the actual season of winter, but to quote Jim, some are short and some are long, some are hard and some are easy, but they keep on coming. The winter when you can't figure it out. The winter, when it all goes, smash the winter, when it turns belly up, when it won't work.
When you've run outta money and you've got a broken heart when the nights are unusually long and your prayers seem to go no higher than your head. Once I found out about how to handle the winters, mostly from Jim Rohn, but from also reading hundreds of books on the topic, hundreds of books in personal development. I learned these four things, and these things are what help me get through the winters of my life, and I wanna share them with you.
Number one, you recognize that it's totally normal to be down. This is the way it's supposed to happen. So when you are down, don't think I shouldn't be like this. The first thing is to recognize. That you should be like this. You should be a little sad, a little down, a little bit of feeling powerless. That stuff is normal and it should come.
The second thing, and these all kind of go together. The second thing is we won't be here long. Winter doesn't last forever. On the good days, know that a bad day is coming and on a bad day know that a good day is coming. It doesn't last forever. The nights don't last forever. The bad times don't last forever.
Rainstorms don't last forever, and sunny days don't last forever. It's supposed to go up and down and it doesn't last forever.
Number three, in the winter. Get better, stronger, and wiser. So how can you do that? How can you do those three things in the winter when you're down? How can you get better, stronger, and wiser?
I'm gonna give you a brief list. Uh, you could read books, work on skills, take courses and classes to kind of up those skills. You can clean up your list, the things that you've been neglecting. Uh, David Allen in the book, getting Things Done, talks about open loops, and he talks about how these open loops kind of drive us crazy and make us feel on edge all the time because we have these open things that we know that we're supposed to be getting done, but we're not getting them done.
If you go to that list, clean up that list, do those things that you've been neglecting that is going to help you get better, stronger, and wiser for those up and productive times. You could look for more clarity on your goals, make plans that align with your goals. I mean, just sitting down and going through the judging work of goal setting.
, what better time to do it when you're already down, right? You're already down. You're like, I'm gonna be here forever and this is boring and this feels. Like, I just don't like being here. Then, okay, open up a book and spend 45 minutes, spend an hour and a half, whatever it takes to just thoroughly go through your head and think about the things you want to get done in this life, the places you want to go in this life, and then take the next 10 hours after that of being down to start making plans to get each one taken care of.
That kind of thing is going to help you be stronger. And I don't, this doesn't always work like this, but I, I do wanna say it. Sometimes when you get your list of goals done, you feel great. And it's like it rips you right out of the down and puts you into an up. But it doesn't always work like that. It doesn't always work like that for me.
So I don't want to advocate that this stuff is gonna make you feel better, but it's not about feeling. It is gonna make you better, stronger, and wiser. Some more things you can do to get better, stronger, and wiser. You keep in touch with your network. Start talking to them, making phone calls. See how everybody's doing.
See if they need help. Give them encouragement, give them help. Uh, there is a, there's a philosophy out there that I believe in that whatever you need in your life you give it away and it will come back to you, which means I need more love in my life. I give away my love, and all of a sudden that love comes back to me.
Um, and that, and that has proven true. Again, time and time again. If I feel lonely and I, I need some companionship, I give away companionship. And of course that kind of thing comes back to me. So keep in touch with your network and reach out to new people. See if you can meet any new people. Give them ideas and see if you can, uh, pick up, pick up more ideas from them
There are a million ways to get better, stronger, and wiser. And something tells me by now, you already know after listening to this list, you know a lot of what you need to do, so use these down days to take care of it. And L, let me go over this first one. So it's totally normal to be down. That's number one. We won't be here long.
That's number two. And in the winter, get better, stronger, and wiser. That's number three. Now this whole thing is about how we handle the seasons. So we do have to take a little bit about, talk a little bit about the uptimes. So number four is take advantage of your up times. So now let's picture it. You spent the entire winter, whether it was two days or whether it was six months, you spent the winter.
getting better, stronger, and wiser. Now you're feeling excited, you're feeling inspired. You're ready to go. Life is looking really good. You've got an opportunity. You've got something in front of you that you can be working on. Now you are up. Take advantage of your up times by putting in as much activity as you can, even if you don't feel like it.
One of the things that we can do in our uptime Uptimes is say, I feel really great!. I feel like this is gonna be a beautiful night. I'm gonna watch TV for a couple hours and eat some pizza, and then I'll get to work. Right. How often does that work out for you? I know that it never works out for me. If I say I'm gonna do it after I watch TV and eat pizza, well that's not gonna happen.
And that actually leads to faster downtimes some of the time. But, Taking advantage of the up times means I'm gonna look over my plan. I'm gonna make sure that every day I'm taking steps toward each of my goals, and then I'm going to, no matter how I feel, I will be up. So I have the energy to do the things that I have planned out because I know that as I plan things out, I'm going to eventually achieve my goals.
I'm about to do, uh, I believe next week, uh, is coming out a book Jam, a book Summary of the Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. And in The Slight Edge, he talks about this, uh, this also, you hear it in the Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. You hear it in, uh, the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. You hear it in.
Atomic Habits by James Clear. We do these small things and those small things compound into success. So when you are in and uptime, make sure that you start, some of these things. Make them habits so that when you hit a downtime, they are still habits and you keep going through these success motions. , even when you don't feel like it, when you're in a downtime.
So I used to say this and believe it. I used to say that I don't want to be up or down. I wish I could just even things out and feel the same thing all the time. That way I wouldn't have to worry at all when I'm feeling up that the downtime is coming and I'd never have to experience a really downtime because I'm just kind of even.
But now, Now that I know that winter is the time for me to dig in, to learn, to grow better, stronger, and wiser, now that I know that winter is the time to make myself ready to take advantage and make the uptimes far more productive, I am now excited even about the downtimes. . It is a wonderful feeling to wake up and say, you know, I'm kind of in a bad mood.
I'm kind of feeling bad, but you know what? I've got these plans and I've got this life that I've designed. And you know, even though I don't feel like it, I, I have to nail some of these goals. I have to do some of these activities that are goal reaching activities. I have to take steps forward. I have to move the needle every single day, whether I'm up or whether I'm down. And that is actually a wonderful feeling because I am telling myself this is a totally normal feeling. I won't be here long. It's time to get better, stronger, and wiser, and I'm getting ready so that I can use those new skills and the new wisdom, and my new strength to take advantage of the up times.
All right. Thank you for listening. make this a wonderful, amazing week for yourselves. I'll see you next time.