What To Do When Life Comes at You Fast and Hard…

Ever feel like right when you start to get a grip on things life decides to throw a curveball your way? And let’s be honest, it’s never just one curveball. There’s an old expression that when it rains it pours. Sure can feel like that where you experience hurdle after hurdle and no matter what you do. Bad events stick to you like glue. So what’s the solution? How do you prevent this from happening to you? Well, that’s exactly what I (Phil Svitek) explore in this lesson along with the help of some Rocky Balboa and Gandhi quotes. I explore how to handle life’s adversities!  Thank you for tuning in and comment with your thoughts please!


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Ever feel like right when you start to get a grip on things life decides to throw a curveball your way? And let’s be honest, it’s never just one curveball. There’s an old expression that when it rains it pours. Sure can feel like that where you experience hurdle after hurdle and no matter what you do, bad events stick to you like glue. So what’s the solution? How do you prevent this from happening to you? Why don’t we explore, shall we?

In another lesson called Recognizing Patterns of Causality vs Simple Correlation, I discussed the notion that as human beings, we have a habit of taking two statements of truth and linking them even though they may be completely unrelated. And simply put, when bad things in our life happen, most of us think the two are tied together. I’m willing to bet the majority of times bad things happen in quick succession in your life, they are not related. 

Also, as a society, we have a bias towards the negative which in this case translates to us thinking we’re a victim of life and that the world is out to get us. 

Both of these are beliefs, and limiting ones at that. They are not true. Far from it. Everything you’ve ever heard about life being harsh is just someone’s opinion ultimately. There’s evidence for that argument, just like I’m about to present you my argument against it. The duality of this presents an interesting paradox. But let me ask you this: why choose misery? That’s what the former viewpoint of life offers. I’m trying to offer you an alternative. Don’t get me wrong, misery in all actuality is just as agreeable as happiness. But do you really want to live in misery? I certainly hope not.

I want you to understand that all of life is a choice. You define how you see the world. We see the world not as it is, but as we are. So if we see the world as cold and dark, it’s because we choose to see it that way. It is possible to shift your perspective however and see a different side to life, one that is much more enjoyable. 

You might be thinking that’s easy to say but what about when you’re facing debt, don’t have a job to pay off that debt, just lost a family member to an illness, your significant other of many years broke up with you and you have kids to take care of all at the same time? I’ll give it to you, that is a lot and is very easy to see how anyone can feel overwhelmed when faced with that sort of laundry list of circumstances. And you’re allowed to feel overwhelmed at times. In fact, here’s a trimmed down version from Rocky III where the titular character experiences these emotions:

Rocky: How did everything that was so good get so bad?

Adrian: What’s so bad? Tell me. What?…

Rocky: Nothing is real if you don’t believe in who you are. I don’t believe in myself no more!…

Adrian: That’s not it. Why don’t you tell me the truth?…

Rocky: I’m afraid! All right? You wanna hear me say it? You wanna break me down? I’m afraid. For the first time, I’m afraid.

Adrian: I’m afraid too. There’s nothin’ wrong with that.

Rocky: There is. For me, there is.

Adrian: Why? You’re human.

It’s true, even someone as grand as Rocky Balboa is actually human and feels pain and suffering. So all that to say, give yourself permission to go through those certain emotions. The key though, don’t stay there. 

Ever solve a problem without stress? You might not even remember doing so because of how effortless it probably was at the time. When we try to do any activity in a state of stress or anxiety, we can’t do it, at least not to the best of our abilities. And that’s the key component and why you must choose to not stay in self loathing and misery. When life comes at you fast and hard, you must choose to remain calm in order to navigate those turbulent waters. The more clear headed you are, the easier those problems will become. Again, we don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are. So what are you? A nervous bundle of energy or cool, calm and collected? 

There’s a school of thought called stoicism which I have subscribed to in the past year and a half. Summed up, it’s an ancient Greek philosophy that teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions. In modern day, I feel we’ve bastardized the word stoic. Whenever I’ve seen it used, it’s used to describe someone as cold, uncaring and emotionless. 

From my own experience, that’s not the case. I feel lots of emotions — both good and bad. I just choose not to wallow in the negative ones. I push them aside as quickly as I can. It’s a simple perspective shift, but whenever bad things happen in my life, and they do happen and happen all at the same time, I make a concerted effort to not buy into the idea that they’re related. The only aspect that makes them related is that they’re happening to me. That’s it. 

You may argue that’s just me being blissfully ignorant. I’m not. I’m making a conscious effort to resolve those problems rather than spending time thinking about why those things are happening to me. By doing this, the storm passes quicker. 

Ever hear about the law of attraction? If you think positive thoughts, good things will come your way? If you think negative thoughts then bad things come your way? I used to think it was utter nonsense but recently I’ve stopped thinking that. For the third time, we do not see the world for what it is, we see it as we want to see it. So when I saw so much negativity in the world it was because that’s what I chose to focus on. Now I don’t. By concentrating on matters of goodness, I’m much more apt to overcome life’s hurdles. 

This thinking doesn’t mean I’m blind to the struggles of the world. I clearly see the rising homeless population in my own city. I am alarmed by the growing rate of murders and suicides. There is darkness in the world. I know this and you know it. The only way to change it is to be a guiding light yourself. As Gandhi taught us, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” That’s what I try to be. That’s what you can be. 

Allow me to go to Rocky one more time to help cement these points. This quote is from Rocky Balboa:

Rocky: Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth, but you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!… But until you start believing in yourself, you ain’t gonna have a life.

It really is that simple. It comes down to you. Simple? Yes. Easy? Not always. But practice it. Shift your perspective! How do you do that? Well, first off, you practice beforehand while life isn’t seemingly kicking your ass. It’s like an athlete in preparation for a big match. An athlete doesn’t show up on the day of the match expecting to win. They train for months, even years, ahead. That’s how you have to view this. You must be patient and allow yourself to stumble every so often. 

What’s practice look like? It comes in many forms. You tuning into this series is one form of that because you’re being given the tools and insights to overcome life’s challenges. There’s other amazing podcasts and videos out there that also do this. Check them out. Books are fantastic. Mediation. Exercise. A gratitude practice, which I went over in my lesson called Why Cause and Effect is Bullshit! Eating healthy is another one. You’d be amazed at how food can truly affect us. Therapy. Therapy has become a big one for me. I know from my friends, a big reason they don’t go to therapy is either because of the stigma attached to it or because of financial reasons. Without spending too much time on it, the stigmas are false. As far as the financial limitations, let me tell you about a breakthrough I had recently. I’ve done a lot of work on myself and can handle a lot of pressure I couldn’t not too long ago. But there was a point where I was feeling cracks in my armor, if you will. Rather than deal with this on my own, I went to see my therapist and immediately I felt in control of my life again. I used to look at it like “how much is this going to cost me.” Now I look at it as “how much is this going to cost me if I don’t?” As soon as I went to therapy, not only did I feel in control but it allowed me to problem solve which also brought in new revenue streams for me. Over the course of just one weekend’s worth of work, I not only made enough money to pay for the therapy session, I actually earned so much extra income. I’d say it’s hard to believe but I don’t believe that anymore. I choose to dictate how my life goes. I choose to dictate how I handle adversity. And I believe I can always make more money when needed. And I am. It’s fantastic. 

The only thing I have to touch on and be honest about when it comes to handling life’s hurdles is when death is involved. Even though I worked at a hospice for four years and have dealt with death in many forms over the years, I still don’t know the best way to handle and process losing someone. I really don’t. When someone dies, they’re gone. You can honor them and think about them, but it doesn’t bring them back. If there is any advice I can give you then it is to do everything you can not to have regrets. If you value someone in your life, then tell them. Show them. Don’t let death be the catalyst for this because then it’s too late and nothing is worse than too late. 

Sorry if that sounds like a down way to end this episode. It’s not meant to be. In fact, it’s meant to inspire you to show the world your love, kindness and compassion. This includes yourself. Life is like a river. It’s always moving. Things come and go, whether that be material possessions, problems or people. Accept this. Honor this by staying present and you’ll be able to deal with life as it comes your way. If you’re ready to make this choice, please let me know in the comment section.

But, that’s all I have for you in this lesson. But please feel free to click over to any of the numerous lessons I’ve created just for you. I have so many you can check out along with other free resources. All you have to do is go to my website at philsvitek.com. And if you prefer to learn by reading, I’m thrilled to announce that I will be coming out with a book that not only teaches my principles but also provides exercises so you can put these ideas into action. I will provide more information closer to its release, but if you’re interested, please sign up to my newsletter, comment down below or hit me up on social media. Lastly, a huge thank you to the people that helped make this episode financially possible. If you too would like to support this show, you can either head on over to my Patreon or sport some merch from my store. Links are down below as well. Or you can just tell a friend about this show and we can build a great community of like-minded creatives. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to tune in. I’m @PhilSvitek on social media and I’ll see you next time. Bye!

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