Forward Progress Is Key To a Fulfilling Life

What does excitement for life look like?

This past weekend, I locked into hustle mode. I’ve been working on a side hustle that should radically change the way my business is run once I implement it.

I spent all of Friday evening jamming to some tunes and pounding on my keyboard. Then I woke up early Saturday am and immediately hit it again. Sunday am (right now), I’m doing the same.

Why? Excitement for forward progress! The future is hopeful. Even when I’m dealing with trouble on the day to day, I know I have a plan that will change my current situation.

Being in a funk

Recently I’ve been chatting with some friends that are in a funk and feel like the world is out to get them. They are dealing with some serious life altering moments —potential loss of job, lack of money to pay rent next month, death of a family member, etc.

These moments are real and they can be very dark, making you question everything in your life. I’ve been there and can soooo relate with the feeling of overwhelming darkness and lack of hope. Pain. Despair. Loneliness. It’s a spiraling effect.


The power of manifestation for the negative

When bad events continually happen to you, it’s hard to see past them. It’s easy to feel as if life is out to get you. Positive people in your life rub you wrong, because they don’t get it. You want someone to be in your misery with you.

Soon everything starts to cave in even more than it already is. Someone cuts you off in traffic, you get a parking ticket, your coworker says something rude … it all becomes reassurance for your shitty position.

Amor Fati

I recently did a video for Ryan Holiday who preaches stoicism and one of the videos was on this concept of “Amor Fati”. The idea is…

“Not merely to bear what is necessary but love it”

This is hard advice when you’re in the darkness, but for a second LET GO of the irritant that someone isn’t being sensitive to your position and they “don’t get it”. This message really spoke with me and I invite you to consider it.

Life is throwing you curve balls

Instead of seeing the negative moments as punishment, see it as an opportunity to PIVOT.

You are experiencing a moment that is life altering. Be it a death, a loss of job, an unexpected pregnancy, a broken engagement, an empty bank account, etc. Your life is changing — you don’t have power to stop the change, but you get to choose what direction the change leads you in.

Negative moments are signs that change is needed. The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing, but expect different results.

Change caused depression, Change will get you out

I think the best way is to create positivity in your life is to focus on your future and making forward progress. As hard as it is, you need to allow yourself to enjoy again. Force yourself to seek it out.

  1. Be around people who are striving for excellence, it will rub off
  2. Pursue a passion that allows you to forget time
  3. Take a trip
  4. Live vicariously — watch movies, read a good book, watch Ted talks, go see speakers, attend panel discussions, etc

When you introduce one of these three into your life, your future begins to look hopeful. It won’t immediately change your solution, but it will feel like an arm around your shoulder. A subtle comfort in a world of discomfort.


Small glimpses of Light

You’ll still have moments of darkness, but the subtle interspersed moments of light will give you hope and hope cures.

Making forward progress — be it through meeting new friends, finding a new hobby, having a trip to look forward to, etc — will paint a picture of light at the end of the tunnel.

Your life has changed. See the change as an invitation to pivot. What is next for you? The future is yours for the taking.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Join a community college course
  • Take a class to learn to paint
  • Take a class to learn to cook
  • Join a book club
  • Book an airbnb in a city you’ve never been before
  • Go to a coffeeshop and watch Ted talks while being surrounded by others who are working on their laptops
  • Look up local events that you might otherwise not go to. Choose one where something is happening (a presentation, a panel, etc.) that way you don’t feel alone — even if sitting by yourself in the crowd.
  • Go to church, even if you don’t believe, just to be in that environment
How have you dealt with pain in the past? What advice would you add to help someone overcome a dark time?

Amanda Horvath

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