Life is full of obstacles, challenges, and trials, but you choose how you take control and face them. Imagine one day, you fail your final because you couldn’t sleep, your car breaks down, and you have a cold. Your day continuously gets worse with one thing after another.

You keep thinking about the different ways you could end this miserable day. You could go for a run, a walk, or something else active. You could call a friend and have a spontaneous coffee date. On the other hand, you could go get hammered and try to forget. You have a leftover bottle sitting in your room and remember that a new coworker asked you if you smoked Marijuana.

Option 1: Kick Yourself When You’re Down

Let’s play this out. You contact your coworker, grab some Marijuana, and head home to party. As you start to get high and drunk, you contemplate the day. You remember how bad it has been, and you think about how it’s about to get that much better. Wrong! This is kicking yourself when you’re down.

Tomorrow, you will wake up extremely hungover. To cure it, you can start drinking again or take a few Ibuprofen and seize the day. Then you will remember that you had a horrible day yesterday and decide to finish off that joint you didn’t finish last night. The cycle continues, and day 2 just got worse than day 1. You are still kicking yourself when you are down. You are making your life worse by choosing to do drugs and alcohol by making bad choices that can lead to self-destruction.

Option 2: Take Control

Now, let’s go back and replay day 1. The same bad things happen, but you call your best friend and ask her to go have coffee with you at the mall instead. When you show up, she also brought your favorite dessert and a new record that you 2 have been talking about. You tell her about your horrific day and how it just seemed to be getting worse with each new bit of bad luck. She thanks you for calling her and opening up to her, and you realize you made the right decision.

You don’t have to go through life alone; people want to be in your corner. People want to support you and make your life that much better. If someone continuously tries to bring you down, they aren’t worth it. You can take control of your friendships.

You should only dedicate your time to those who are equally yoked with where you are at in life. It’s like having to choose between partnering with an ox or a donkey; which one is stronger? The ox carries the weight and drags the donkey along just to minimize the pain. It has no purpose to the ox. Find a friend who is also an ox, someone who will walk side by side with you and pull you along. They will build you up instead of dragging you down.

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