“Shit happens.”

A common phrase. It reminds me of the character in Forrest Gump who made loads of money off of this very simple statement, brought on by Forrest stepping in a pile of dog excrement. The key thing to remember about this part of the movie is that Forrest keeps right on running, he doesn’t even stop to wipe off his shoes. He runs all the way across the country.

Stuff Happens

Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. –Charles Swindoll

In this life, we all face different varieties of obstacles. They may be personal or professional. They can be financial, emotional, or mental. One’s circumstances can seem extremely difficult to maneuver around or deal with. It is imperative to remember, however, that no matter what happens to you in your life, the most important thing is how you handle it.

This is especially true when it comes to your own personal success. Failure and folly are sure to cross your path at some time or another, in some way or another. How you deal with these circumstances is one of the key indicators of how successful you will be. Here are three ways that I like to deal with any sort of negative circumstance that I have to face.

1. Learn

One of the best ways to handle any mishap that crosses your path is to learn from it. A quick way to find out if something works is if it fails, which teaches you to take another approach. You can learn from most all negative circumstances that come your way. Obstacles can teach you financial lessons, interpersonal ones, or they may simply teach you to be more persistent. If you can take a failure and turn it into an opportunity to learn and grow, it is no longer a failure. Try to turn your setback into an opportunity to comeback.

2. Motivate

Some circumstances are more overarching than any one event. Perhaps you are in a job that you simply hate. Maybe you are living somewhere that is not at all conducive to your larger goal. You can use circumstances like these to motivate you to do the things necessary to get where you want to be. Tired of living beneath that noisy neighbor who seriously blocks all your creative juices? Use every thump and bump as motivation to take the steps to get out of that apartment. Tired of seeing your family struggle? Use that as your driving force to take the leap to follow that new business idea. Whatever the negative situation may be, use the discomfort it causes as your motivation to do and be better.

3. Ignore

Though it may not seem like it, sometimes the best way to handle a setback is simply to ignore it. Often times, we internalize failure and mistakes and condition ourselves to believe that, because of these failures, we don’t deserve to pursue our passion, or that we aren’t smart or good enough to have what it is we want. Internalizing negative circumstances or situations is extremely crippling, and is very likely to impede any progress. So when something bad happens to you, fight the urge to blame yourself or the world, ignore it, and keep moving forward toward your goals.

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