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August 30, 2019

How To Feel OK When “Bad” Things Happen

Some people are more sensitive to things that don’t go to plan. They can suffer for days, even weeks over a piece of “bad luck”. Others aren’t as sensitive. However most people will feel down about certain events in their lives from time to time. However there is a mindset I can teach you that will significantly help you.

But first, as an illustration, look at the farmers story bellow…

The Farmer And His Son

One morning a farmer’s horse broke free and escaped from his field. All the neighbours rallied around, shaking their heads, saying “This is awful, you must feel terrible losing your beautiful horse.”

“Hmm, maybe” the farmer casually replied.

The next day the horse galloped home with 6 wild horses in tow. His neighbours whooped in delight “Wow you’re so lucky having seven horses for the price of one”. “You must be ecstatic!”.

“Maybe” the farmer again replied.

The next morning the farmers son attempted to break one of the wild horses. He is thrown violently in the air, thudding to the ground breaking his leg. The neighbours gathered round shaking their heads. “This is terrible”. “You must be so upset”.

“Maybe” the farmer replied.

A few more days passed and the army arrived to visit the farmer. They asked to sign up his son for compulsory conscription to fight a war. The farmer took the army officials to his son who was led down with his leg bandaged up. They took one look at his son’s injuries and declared they could not take him.

“That’s wonderful news” the neighbours enthused. “You must be so happy your son doesn’t have to fight”.

“Maybe” the farmer again replied!

The farmer knew something that none of his neighbours knew – there isn’t really a good or bad. And he knew the reason why…

The reason is that you don’t know the outcome. Let me explain…

There Is No “Good” Or “Bad”

Say you don’t get that break and land the new job you’ve been after. You may feel down for a few days because of this. However unknown to you, you might have become involved in a car accident on your way to your first morning there. Or the job might not have been as pleasant as you were hoping. You might have been forced to spend your days working with nasty co-workers for example. Or the job was much more stressful than you anticipated.

It may have been a blessing that you didn’t land that job. You’ll never know for sure.

Many people would focus on the lost opportunity in these circumstances, and feel that their life has deteriorated. But you can’t possibly know for sure what the actual outcome would have been. So why suffer?

In another scenario, a person may have a choice of two different routes on their drive home. They randomly pick one and set off. Pretty soon they begin to curse their bad luck as they are hit with traffic jams. “I always seem to pick the wrong route.”

But how did they know that it wasn’t worse traffic the other route? Or that they might have run over a nail and got a puncture? Perhaps they did pick the “right” route, but didn’t know it.

Life Is Not Perfect

Many people find fault with their decisions because the outcome wasn’t perfect. But the outcome is rarely perfect whatever you choose. By not expecting perfection, you can learn to be content with your choices.

This also works the other way when “good” things occur…

For example, a person may win $1,000,000 on the lottery. Naturally they feel delighted. Probably even euphoric.

However a year later their liver packs in with too much drinking and fine living. Or they end up losing friends and family due to the sudden change in their lifestyle. Perhaps they couldn’t handle the responsibility of possessing such a large sum of money. Or they couldn’t handle the jealously of so called friends.

It could be that they would have been happier without the lottery win. Nobody knows for sure. So you must also keep your emotions reined in when something “good” happens. You can’t know how good it actually will be for you.



Once you learn to control you emotional response to “Good” and “bad” happenings, you are no longer at the mercy of what goes on around you. There are many things around you that you cannot control. They will control your emotions, but only if you allow them to. By staying indifferent about everything, you maintain control over your own happiness.

By knowing this you can better deal with what life throws at you. You can keep a calm head no matter what happens – “good” or “bad”. This allows you to think more clearly when navigating through life’s trials and tribulations. It also stops you wasting unnecessary energy cursing your “bad luck”, or over celebrating apparent good luck.

Take a neutral view of things that happen in your life. Some things will go to plan, and some things won’t – and there’s nothing you can do about this. You cannot change the world around you. But you can change your view point.

You can choose to view happenings for the neutral things that they really are. What might be “bad” now, may turn into a good thing later, and vice-versa. Keep a level head and navigate life like an expert sailor navigates the wind. Sometimes the wind will be behind you and sailing is easy, and sometimes it will blow you backwards. Just keep sailing.

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Jon Rhodes  |  Contribution: 585