When All Else Fails...
Life isn't always going to go our way. Here are 4 techniques that might help when life has won the grand prize of being the world's biggest shit-show
3. Intense Realism
In a similar vein, Intense Realism (as described in Chapter 1 of The 50th Law by Robert Greene) is the ability to accept reality as it is (and not as how we wish it was). And as Greene argues, it allows us to finetune skills we might not otherwise have learned. We have to be sharper, for example. We have to be better at spotting opportunities. The real danger, he says, is not necessarily in the situation itself - it's in denial: "When things get tough and you grow tired of the grind, your mind tends to drift into fantasies," he writes, warning: "Reality has its own power—you can turn your back on it, but it will find you in the end, and your inability to cope with it will be your ruin."
4. "F**k It"
If all this seems a bit too much in the given moment, the last technique is quick, painless and simple. It requires saying F**k It (and meaning it), which author John Parkin, highly recommends as way of "giving in to a situation" and accepting it, warts and all, as it actually is. He advises it when faced with intractable situations, his idea being it helps us let go, release stress, stop worrying and wanting something so badly. It requires "giving up of our normal rational approach to dealing with things", and the need for everything to be exactly the way we want it to be. Instead, it allows us to breathe again, to gain a bit of perspective and to feel a bit freer in difficult moments.
So the next time we are looking at our lives and it feels like a crushing disappointment, these techniques might help, the key always being to remember that the pain lies in the desire for it to be different - and the liberation comes from squarely facing up to it exactly as it is.