Rock Bottom was a cathartic story for me to tell and my purpose for writing it was not just to share my story,but hopefully to help others in the process. So I wanted to share with you the 10 most important lessons from Rock Bottom that I hope others will learn from my mistakes and my triumphs.
The Top 10 lessons from Rock Bottom for You.
We all have stress
Sometimes when we hit Rock Bottom we can feel quite isolated. It feels like you are in this alone and that no one understands. The reality is that we all have stress, just different stressors, you are not in this alone and if you just reach out the right people will be more empathetic than you think.
Your story is enough
Sometimes we can look at the world around us and see all of the terrible things going on and feel like our stress, our drama is insignificant. It isn’t a competition though, and what matters is not how big your stress is in the context of the world, but how big it is in the context of YOUR world. If it matters to you, then that is enough and you are worthy of love and support.
Self-love vs selfishness
“He loves himself” has often been used as a criticism for someone who is self-centered at the expense of others but in reality loving yourself is the biggest gift you can give not only to yourself but to everyone around you. Without this vital pillar it is easy to get into a world of critical self analysis that eats you up from the inside out and then radiates out to all those around you. And just because you love yourself, does not mean you cannot love and respect others too, in fact the opposite is true. When you fill up your own cup, you then have a solid foundation for that to spill out onto everyone else around you.
Your purpose is your guiding light
The world is crazy, and messy, and confusing at times and it can be hard to know which direction to go. If you are not careful you can end up running around in circles wearing yourself out trying to “fix” things and never getting anywhere. Whilst the road may not always be a straight line you need a guiding light to keep you moving forwards. That is your purpose. Used correctly it can be the filter through which you run every decision you make and give you great clarity in times of uncertainty.
Curiosity is key
In times of stress we all have a tendency to go into quite black and white thinking and to feel like there is only one version of the story, one action we can take and one result that is possible. The reality is that there are many interpretations that are possible and there are many different actions we can take as a result and the possibilities are literally endless. And there are pros and cons to every possible option. So rather than getting stuck in a fixed mindset, ask yourself what other interpretations could there be? What other actions are possible? And what other possible outcomes are there (no matter how unlikely)?
Expectations are the root of much heartache
So often it is not what happens to us that gives us heart ache but our expectations of what SHOULD have happened to us not being met. To see this in action all you need to do is look at the smiling faces of children in just about any third world country you can think of. These children do not have much, but they do not expect much either, and as a result they are far more grateful for that which they do have than many in the Western world.
The attitude of gratitude
Whilst managing our expectations can be difficult, consciously experiencing gratitude can be a far easier endeavor and ultimately can lead to the same result. By focusing on the things that we do have, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem, we are able to not only focus on what we are grateful for in that moment but train our brain to start to look for things to be grateful for on a regular basis. When you are bouncing back from Rock Bottom it can be easy to see the negatives but this small daily practice can really help to turn that ship around.
You are in charge
Whilst you may not be 100% responsible for the situation that you find yourself in, you are 100% responsible for what you choose to do about the situation. This not about laying blame, but about taking responsibility for that which you can control from here onwards. No one else cares about your life as much as you do, no one else understands your situation better than you do, no one else gets your purpose and dreams like you do. So if you are not taking charge of your own life, you are leaving it in the hand of less qualified people.
It is all worth nothing without action
There is no secret formula for making change without action of effort. If you do not act, nothing will change. You can have all the right intentions, all the right goals, and all of the mindset tools in the world but if you do not act on them then you will not get the results. And without actions and results, you will not be showing yourself love, you will not get the confidence from moving towards your purpose, you will not learn the lessons from your failures and you will get stuck in Rock Bottom for longer than you need to be there.
Miracles are real
No I am not talking about the biblical kind of miracles here, just the everyday ones. It is a cliché, but true, that the mere fact you are here on this planet is a miracle. The Desiderata says that “With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world” and it is right. Sometimes when we are stuck at Rock Bottom we cannot see the forest from the trees. We cannot see the miracles unfolding, our about to unfold around us. Just like I couldn’t see that the world was preparing me for my beautiful wife Stephie when I was bottoming out after a divorce. Choose to believe in miracles and you will open yourself up to a world of wonderful opportunities.
I hope you have enjoyed these 10 lessons from my book Rock Bottom. If these speak to you then you are going to LOVE the book and treasure it for years to come.