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Jun 26, 2010

How to Create The Circumstances You Want

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.” – George Bernard Shaw

I’ve always loved this success quote, because it takes a common perspective on life – namely, that life is a series of events you have to react to – and turns it on it’s ear. In reality, where you end up has less to do with your circumstances than with where you decide to go in spite of your circumstances.

The decisions you make in the thick of today’s circumstance are the defining factor in what your circumstances will be in the future.

You do this by deciding that you’re going to overcome today’s circumstances, no matter what they are.

But this is easier said than done. It’s easy to let the circumstances of our day – our current financial picture, our current relationships, our current motivation levels – and see them as the defining factor of where our life is headed. It’s a simple thing to let yourself be discouraged by all the things that are going wrong and feel that you can’t easily stage a turnaround.

But “easier said than done” doesn’t get us out of responsibility.

Even though it’s not easy, no one is going to change your life except for you. Only you can create your own circumstances. But to create the powerful circumstances that you want to call your future – in spite of the challenges you face in today’s circumstances – you have to understand a few fundamental things about how circumstances work.

And to understand how circumstances work, you’re going to have to “unlearn” a few of your preconceptions about them. I’ll refer to these preconceptions as “myths” since they aren’t true (but seem true!). Then I’ll drill down to the rules about how they really work. I’ll call those rules the “Laws of Circumstance” here because I don’t have anything snappier to call them (oh well).

Myth#1: My circumstances prevent me from doing what I want to.
Law #1: A circumstance is a fact. A circumstance with an opinion is an excuse.

This is a tough law to swallow, because we all like making excuses. Excuses help us get out of taking action as well as help us get out of feeling guilty about it. We even have a spiffy word to get us out of calling it an excuse: “rationalization.” But it’s still an excuse, because it’s basically a less painful way of telling ourselves that the situation is insurmountable, and there’s nothing we can really do about it now.

Of course, that’s a load of crap. We might say something like, “I wish I had the time to start a business, but I’m already working two jobs (or I have two kids to take care of). I just don’t have the time.” Listen to the message of this statement: I don’t have the time because I have two jobs (or two kids).

Here’s the problem: one is not necessarily linked to the other.

It’s a fact that you have two jobs, or two kids, or whatever. But that’s all it is – a fact. In reality, all it is saying is that for a certain number of hours a day, you are dedicated to your work / your kids, and that those hours are off limits. That’s a plain, emotionless fact – and nothing more.

But when you add opinion to the mix, you get into trouble … into rationalization … into excuses. You start to see this fact as the defining factor that dictates what you can and can’t do. And that tends to stop you in your tracks.

You become saturated with the emotional equivalent of a brick wall – the feeling that because of X, you can’t do Y. And you don’t take action – or worse yet, you take a halfhearted action and don’t it follow through to completion (leaving you feeling even more disempowered).

And that’s the danger of rationalization.

It keeps you in a disempowered state of mind and makes you feel that there’s no real chance for improvement, because you’re taking your circumstance (fact) and taking it to a less than logical conclusion.

I say less than logical because we generally don’t use real logic when dealing with circumstances – in other words, we don’t ask ourselves how to change those circumstances, or how to work around them.

We say “I don’t have time because I’m working two jobs” and stop there, rather than apply logical thinking to the situation: How can I free up time elsewhere? or How can I change my job situation so I’m not working so many hours?

The most malicious part of rationalization is the sudden stop it puts on our creative juices, our ability to work ourselves out of a situation. Our excuses literally excuse us from taking the (often difficult) action of “rising above our circumstances.” We all do it – I do it, you do it … but you’ve got to stop doing now (or, at least begin the process of stopping!).

So how do you do this?  You basically decide you’re not going to take no for an answer when it comes to your goal. When you decide that – and I mean you make a firm commitment not to settle for leaving your goal behind – you can rise above your current circumstances and create new ones.

It’s not a matter of “working harder” – it’s a matter of working until it gets done, period. Circumstances (facts) are not supposed to prevent action (but they do because of the emotion we attach to them).

Check out the dictionary definition of circumstances:


  1. A condition or fact attending an event and having some bearing on it; a determining or modifying factor.
  2. A condition or fact that determines or must be considered in the determining of a course of action.

Look at both of these definitions. Neither of them says our common view of a circumstance: something that prevents us from getting what we’re after. Both of these definitions call circumstances a condition or fact that forces you to have to adjust to it as you follow through on your course of action.

Let’s apply this right away in your own life with a simple but extrordinarily effective exercise:

  1. Consider one circumstance that you feel is the “brick wall” preventing you from getting the goal you want.
  2. Now, imagine that you had no choice but to accomplish your goal. Imagine it as a life or death situation.
  3. Brainstorm as many ways as you can to work around this circumstance or negate it entirely (even if it’s not an easy thing to do). Take your time doing this, because remember – you absolutely have to make this goal happen. Your “circumstance” cannot be used as an excuse.
  4. Get cracking. Now. Your goal is waiting.

I truly hope that you don’t blow this exercise off – because it’s easy to do. You’re may be telling yourself, “This won’t work,” or “I don’t have the time to do this,” or “i don’t think I can pull this off …”

Just keep in mind that those thoughts are a load of … well, you know. Your mind is going to fight you with excuses and rationalizations because there’s that part of you that resists the possibility of failure, or resists the challenge of hard work … but you have to tell that voice to shut up. You have to stand up to it.

Myth#2: My circumstances make things harder to accomplish.
Law #2: Circumstances are strength training exercises designed to make you more powerful.

“No pressure, no diamonds.” – Thomas Carlyle

This quote really hammers home a timeless truth about circumstances. We tend to want to view problems as things that make things harder on us, when the opposite is true - they are actually incredible opportunities to push past our limits, and become stronger. And that strength will serve us exponentially as we move forward to our goals.

Remember that old 80’s movie The Karate Kid? The New Jersey teenager, Daniel Larusso, asks this Japanese neighbor Mr. Miyagi to teach him the secrets of martial arts for an upcoming karate tournament. So Mr. Miyagi agrees – then promptly puts him to work sweeping his yard, painting his fence, waxing his car.

Daniel got pretty ticked off at this … here he was asking for martial arts training and he was given the gruntwork of taking care of Mr.Miyagi ’s property. Finally he gives up and says “I’ve had it!” He tells Mr. Miyagi that if he’s not going to teach him how to fight, he’s out of there. He’s tired of working on things that have no bearing on his goals for the future.

And here’s the part of the movie where everything became clear. Miyagi throws a punch at Daniel and suddenly his arm flys up to block it – exactly as it had a thousand times before as he painted the posts of Miyagi’s fence. He tried to trip Daniel with his foot, but Daniel pivoted out of his way without thinking – exatcly as he would have moved if he was sweeping Miyagi’s yard.

Finally, it clicked. Miyagi had Daniel doing grunt work to train him in the basics of movement that would prepare him for greatness in the ring. Because he toughed out the work in front of him, he would have the skills to use in the arena.

Now, your circumstances are no different. You may have things that seem like roadblocks in front of you, things that are getting in the way of you reaching your goals … but they aren’t roadblocks. They are tests. They are the challenge you face to create more discipline, more courage, more staying power, more creativity … everything you will need to meet your goals in the future.

Think of it this way: How do you build muscle? By lifting weights. Heavy weights. And when you get used to them, you increase the weight. That’s the only way to do it.

So take another look at your circumstances. What if you stopped looking at that situation as a roadblock and instead decided to take it as a challenge you are destined to work around? Decide for yourself right now that it’s not an obstacle – it’s simply a weight, one you will find a way to lift, no matter what.

The pressure is on in your life because there’s a diamond in the making. So leverage that pressure and find out how to what’s currently challenging you into one of the best things that ever happened to you. Get to it now. You’ll thank yourself for it.

So here’s your homework …

  1. Consider one circumstance that you feel is the “brick wall” preventing you from getting the goal you want.
  2. Now, imagine that you had no choice but to accomplish your goal. Imagine it as a life or death situation.
  3. Brainstorm as many ways as you can to work around this circumstance or negate it entirely (even if it’s not an easy thing to do). Take your time doing this, because remember – you absolutely have to make this goal happen. Your “circumstance” cannot be used as an excuse.
  4. Get cracking. Now. Your goal is waiting.

Just one more thing before you go …

I’d like to ask you to do one important thing for me – spread the word about  this article.  I hope it’s been “clicking” for you, and I want it to really get some reach.  Click that retweet button below if you would, and spread the word however you can.

And when you’re done with that, use the comments below to tell me how you’re going to quit allowing “circumstances” to rule your life.  Do it today – you’ll thank yourself for it.

That is all -


50 Responses to “How to Create The Circumstances You Want”

  • Jun 28, 2010 LaVonne Ellis

    Dave, you could so beat Tony Robbins’ ass. Nobody shakes up my thinking the way you do. And I really need it right now, so thanks for the perfect timing.
    LaVonne Ellis´s last blog ..From Blog to Business- the Mindshift My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 28, 2010 Brooke Yool

    Sweet. So true. Yes, I whine about circumstances a lot, myself, but I’ve been trying to change that. I’ve been off of work for months due to a worker’s comp injury, and my work is all physical. I’ve been whining about limited income… so instead, I’ve found a few small freelance writing jobs. I have no resume/reputation, so they pay squat for now, but at least it distracts me from self-pity. And here’s hoping that a year or so from now, I’ll be back at work *and* getting the good writing gigs. :)
    Brooke Yool´s last blog ..You Can Get And Stay Fit- on vacation- too- My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 28, 2010 Nick

    Great stuff as usual mate…go get ‘em.

  • Jun 28, 2010 Maryam Webster

    Excellent points Dave, you nailed it good. Some of the ace takeaways here:

    * A circumstance with an opinion attached is an excuse (what a GREAT distinction!)

    * It’s not a matter of working harder, it’s a matter of working until it’s done
    (as we say in coaching: “it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be done. Done=DONE.”)

    * Circumstances are strength training to make you more powerful (I would also say “more flexible and better resourced” as well)

    So often our main issue is emotionalizing events. Events happen, people and situations come and go. What matters is the choices we make in how to react to these things.

    I know which clients are going to make their stretch goals and which are not by how they respond to crisis. Those that respond with “what else is possible? where am I NOT looking right now?” always succeed. Those who respond with “woe is me, why does the universe hate me?” will rarely get past the superficial circumstances they perceive are the problem.

    The problem is how we choose to respond. And that is always a choice, no matter how right or wrong the “circumstance” might be, how rich or poor we are, where we live or what our race or educational background might be.

    There’s another intervention I like that anyone can do, if I might chip in another tool. It’s the NLP standard called Conflict Integration and it’s really simple:

    Create a symbol for both the goal you have, and the “circumstance” that blocks you.

    Put your goal symbol in one hand and your “circumstance” symbol in the other. ONE AT A TIME, feel what each is like, how heavy, light, soft, hard, greasy, dry, hot, cool or whatever it feels like. Observe what it looks like or sounds like, etc. Each of your symbols will have a unique way of manifesting for you. Get a good sense of each.

    When it feels right, bring your hands slowly together one on top of the other. Inside, alchemy is happening, a transubstantiation of problem into solution.

    Again, when it feels right, open your hands and look, feel and/or listen to what’s inside. There will be a solution for your particular circumstance in what you find there.

    Again great article Dave, thank you for the brilliance and help you share!
    Maryam Webster´s last blog ..What Kittens Have to Do With Making Better Choices My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 28, 2010 Maryam Webster

    PS: Dave, I have had a Gravatar account for years. Any idea why mine is not showing up here?

    BTW – thanks for the CommentLuv! ;-)
    Maryam Webster´s last blog ..What Kittens Have to Do With Making Better Choices My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 28, 2010 Dale Morgan

    You know, when you receive good
    words to move forward with, and
    you can plainly see and feel the TRUTH of it, it seems almost
    embarrassing NOT to step through
    those ‘brick wall’ places.

    Inspiring stuff.

  • Jun 28, 2010 Carl Harris

    The circumstances I’m most interested in getting through, and helping others get through, are emotional blocks.

    ‘I feel terrible in a trapped emotional state and am powerless to remove it’.

    The fact is we have emotional blocks and get emotionally stronger by going through them and connecting more deeply with our personal value systems.

    I know quite a few people who use their emotional blocks as an excuse to prevent their own progress and resent it when people try to help them ’see the way’.

    Nice post, Dave, many thanks.
    Carl Harris´s last blog ..Drilling for Emotional Wellness- Emotional Representations and Reflections My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 28, 2010 Michele Nicholls

    You are so good at rubbing our noses in what we already secretly know, and pushing us into putting into action! Roll on next monday’s kick in the butt ;oD
    Michele Nicholls´s last blog ..The role of arithmetic in fashion- My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 28, 2010 Tamarisk

    You don’t get what you deserve. You get what you get.

    It’s what you do with it that makes the difference.
    Tamarisk´s last blog ..Apologizing – A How To Guide My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 28, 2010 Mary E. Ulrich

    Great points. Love the Karate Kid reference, what an amazing lesson for each of us. Dave, thanks for being our Mr. Miyagi and showing us the way. But do there have to be so many damn fences?????

    I always think of Viktor Frankl and his theory that in impossible situations, sometimes the only thing we can control, is how we choose to react.

    It is so difficult to see others moving forward quickly and accept our pitiful small steps. Maybe it is procrastination, maybe it is fear or “perfectionism”. But maybe, it is just the best you can do at this time.

  • Jun 28, 2010 Isabelle

    Hello Dave,

    great article. Actually, just what I needed after waking up way to late and realising that Monday was to slip away from me..

    When I started to read your article I recalled reading somewhere that people feel happiness when they are moving towards their goals, even if their circumstances are to be considered hard. Knowing that you are on your way to a better life gives you feelings of happiness. Just feeling noticing some proof that you’re on the right track might be what’s needed for overlooking your “bad circumstances” and keep fighting..

  • Jun 28, 2010 Sherrie St. Cyr

    I like that you take time out of the equation – “Take as much time as you need for this exercise”, because so often my clients go from “I can’t do it by Thursday” to “I can’t do it at all”. Taking time to come up with one possible step gets them into action and what seems like it will take forever ends up getting done sooner than if they had stayed stuck trying to get it done by Thursday.
    Sherrie St. Cyr´s last blog ..Are You Waiting for Certification My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 28, 2010 Mary

    Dave, great article. I passed it on to two of my coaching clients, as well – we can all benefit from it. You really struck a nerve with me, too, since I’ve been moaning about how hard it is to get new clients, etc. So, I’m off to do the exercises you gave again and again until I have my answer.

  • Jun 28, 2010 kate

    Perfect timing!! You just completely validated everything i am currently working towards. Where we currently live is keeping me locked into a career i am no longer in love with because this area is very expensive and my current career pays the bills while we don’t get to take advantage of any of the fun stuff. So, our giant work around is to MOVE! (there are many many additional benefits too!) THANKS for this post, i feel a little less crazy now ;)

  • Jun 28, 2010 Jess Webb

    Wow – this was utterly and completely the kick in the ass that I needed this Monday morning! ;) Thank you! I was going into this week feeling like something’s gotta give, somehow I’ve got to buckle down and get my business where I want it to be…

    My biggest take-away from your post today was the part about sticking with it – “Circumstances are strength training exercises designed to make you more powerful.” This is a big ahah! for me this morning, as I realized I have been playing half-ass and not really giving it my all, not really pushing through when things get a bit tough.

    Thank you, Dave!
    Jess Webb´s last blog ..5 Facebook Resources to Help You Build Your Business My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 28, 2010 Barbara D

    My blocks are mostly internal, so the work seems to be identifying which ones are myths and which are facts. But the one I’m choosing to work on has to do with skill sets. I need to be a better writer, and have a stack of blog posts in draft form because they don’t seem good enough.

    I guess my job is to get the posts into shape and get them out there. Or trash them and move on. It might mean going back to some sources of writing instruction and inspiration that usually just sit on the shelf. Or calling on other people for input.

    Instead of banging my head against the “wall” of my circumstances, will brainstorm on how to use the resources I already have to the best advantage.

  • Jun 28, 2010 Brett

    As fate would have it, your newsletter showed up in my inbox this morning after a very hard weekend. I’ve been battling to get my business off of the ground and one circumstance after another – from moving to wedding planning to health issues – have kept me from going ahead full force. But when I allowed myself to actually feel how down I was about not following through on my entrepreneurial dream, I came away stronger. I faced it head on and saw my circumstances for what they were – immovable facts. As your post mentions though, when you tie in the emotional opinions it becomes a rationalization. And man, I’ve been a master rationalizer the past few months. Just calling myself that really helps. I won’t beat myself up over doing this because as you mention, we all are prone to doing this. I will, however, continue to look at circumstances through a new lens and see them as opportunities rather than the brick walls I’ve been leaning against.

  • Jun 28, 2010 Mark Keating


    Great stuff, as usual. Thanks for the Karate Kid reference (and reminding us that the REAL karate kid isn’t related to Will Smith).

    @Barbara D: I have a similar issue. The good news is, if you feel your posts aren’t good enough, then you already know what you need to do to “fix” them. Get specific. Pick one. Pick it apart. Make it better. “Done” is a beautiful word.

  • Jun 28, 2010 Pooja

    I read your article regarding circumstances exactly when i needed it the most.You are really an angel lighting up everyone’s life.

  • Jun 28, 2010 Linett

    Thank you Dave! I started on this path 7 weeks ago removing 1 obstacle (literally by having major surgery) and now realizing that those old excuses no longer apply to my life. Do I have to take baby steps while recovering..yes. But I am still stepping forward. This just reminded me to take care of the little things that fell by the way-side. Missed work opportunities, Missed communications with people who are important.
    Thank you so much for the big push in the right direction.
    Happy Monday!

  • Jun 28, 2010 Patti

    Thank you Dave. This is my first opportunity to read your posts and it was the perfect article to start my Monday. I am working toward change and your focus on circumstances and treating them for what they are was very enlightening and helpful. Thank you. I hope to receive future posts.

  • Jun 28, 2010 Cath Lawson

    Hi Dave – This is awesome – I’m going to try it out right now.

    I put off a lot of things over the last few things – telling myself I couldn’t do them because my son was ill and my daughter had huge problems.

    Now I see that it was crazy. I wasn’t devoting myself to caring for them 24/7 and I could easily have tackled some of my goals.

  • Jun 28, 2010 Michelle Russell

    Dave, I love your stuff (I own a few of your products), and most of the time I like everything you’ve got to say, but there’s one thing I have yet to see you address, and this post brings it up for me in a big way.

    I’d truly love to hear your response.

    The “ass-kicking” brand of advice you offer works for many people, but there’s a subgroup of us out here (which I’m allowed to affectionately call “Type A, control-freaky perfectionists” because I’m fully aware that I’m one of them ) who are already so used to beating ourselves up that we don’t really need posterior propulsion–we do it to ourselves too much already. (Yes, we have long and very flexible legs.)

    And because we tend to overcommit ourselves, many of us have lives that really, truly ARE that busy. Ultimately, yes, it’s our choice to be so busy, but many things are absolutely legitimate necessities. And for the things that aren’t…well, first we have to consciously *realize* that we;re asking the impossible of ourselves–something we’re not very good at.

    In short, we OVERestimate our responsibilities and commitments, plus our ability to meet them all, while we simultaneously UNDERestimate the time things will take us.

    It’s a recipe for self-flagellation and low self-worth, and adopting your “no excuses” attitude on top of the stress we’re already inflicting on ourselves is apt to make us feel more inadequate, overwhelmed, and (possibly) depressed than we already do.

    Is there anything you’d change in your message or say to those of us who are already way too good at kicking our own asses?

    Thanks in advance for any response you choose to make. :)

  • Jun 28, 2010 Diane

    Many good points, including “decide you’re not going to take no for an answer when it comes to your goal.”

    Life’s daily hurdles can stop you, or make you stronger. It’s how you approach them that makes all the difference. Thanks for today’s “kick.”

  • Jun 28, 2010 Techquestioner

    @ Michelle Russell:
    You should examine all your commitments and “circumstances” and determine which ones you enjoy and want to keep, and which ones are joyless obligations, and then follow Dave’s instructions on figuring out how to change, diminish, or let go of committments that keep you from doing what you really want to do. You also have to learn to evaluate how much time an energy a new commitment will take, and say “NO” politely if you do not want to take it on when others press you to do so.

  • Jun 28, 2010 Hugh

    No Pressure, No Diamond = one of my new favorite quotes. Awesome.

    My “circumstance” is that I don’t have enough energy to work on my goals everyday. This is due to a lack of consistently good sleep. I will brainstorm right now and figure out ways to get quality sleep so I can have more energy to work on my goals. Thanks for the ass kicking.
    Hugh´s last blog ..Why is Obesity Acceptable My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 28, 2010 Mike Reeves-McMillan

    Thanks, Dave. Excellent stuff, and I’m glad to report that when I reflected on the main circumstance that’s troubling me I realised I’m already doing a lot about it. Which is inspirational in itself.
    Mike Reeves-McMillan´s last blog ..Better Living Through Time Travel Part 1- Fixing the Past My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 28, 2010 Joe


    Thanks for another great post. I know I fall into the trap sometimes of becoming overwhelmed by circumstances.

    But it’s not the circumstances, as you say, it’s the emotions attached.

    I’ll give your exercise a shot tonight. Thanks.
    Joe´s last blog ..A Different Way of Writing My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 28, 2010 Ruth

    Absolutely!!! Just what I had been mulling over, realizing that there was no absolute if-then relationship between what I was FEELING or EXPERIENCING or THINKING. No “because”. Just “and” as in, “I’m really tired and I’m not doing my work” or “I’m really sad about what happened and I’m choosing not to set that aside and complete a project.” The honesty of AND.

    Thank you for expressing exactly what I’m mulling over in a powerful way, exactly when I need it!!!!

  • Jun 28, 2010 Karen Wilson Wehrle

    What a wonderful post! I’ll write a blog post about it and link back to you as part of my 30-day blog challenge.

    Choosing which is my biggest circumstance will take some thought. I think it’s lack of money, but I’ve become quite an expert at being “stuck.” Stuckness is familiar and comfortable, no matter how I suffer–which makes no sense at all.

    Oh-ho! Is this faux circumstance my biggest block? Hmm. Off to work your steps before another 24 hours goes by. Must blog post first, as it gets me back on track with the challenge.

    Thank you so much!
    Karen Wilson Wehrle´s last blog ..Online Business Marketing–How to Use Social Media for Branding My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 28, 2010 Maria Mazara

    I’m having a perfect Monday! I found this blog today and I’m very inspired. My head is full with cool ideas. Thank you.

  • Jun 28, 2010 Brandon Yanofsky

    I just graduated college and have been struggling with so many issues: a lack of structure, motivation, purpose, just to name a few. But just reading this article has brought some new energy to what I’m doing. And once I do the homework, I know I’ll be even more prepared to knock down my barriers.

    Thank you.

  • Jun 29, 2010 frank

    no excuses. either you’re doing or not. doesn’t matter what’s in between. really good article. now off to edit that video.

  • Jun 29, 2010 Jennifer

    I sat and read (and re-read) this for a long time yesterday.

    What happens if the circumstances can’t be changed? If attempting to smash one brick wall only leads to another?
    Jennifer´s last blog ..Opinions- Please- My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 29, 2010 Marlene Hielema

    Coming in a day late on this, but glad I read it. This is your best “kick in the pants” yet! I have many family circumstances that cannot be changed, and they become excuses far too easily. Time to find the workarounds! I see some gaps I can create for my work, even if it’s 6-10am on a Saturday morning.
    Marlene Hielema´s last blog ..Get your lost colour back- My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 29, 2010 Karen

    Dave, what a wonderful and motivating post. We have no excuses, I mean, rationalizations, when it comes to our circumstances. If we are not happy, we can move ourselves into better situations. After all, we’re not trees and stuck in one place for the rest of our lives. This relates to not only physical space, but emotional, financial, spiritual uprooting, too.

    I’m loving your very thought-provoking series lately.

    Thanks for sharing this,
    Karen´s last blog ..The Secret Stress Buster No One Dares Tell You About – Guest Post My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 29, 2010 Maddison

    Thanks for this one Dave. I sure did need it. Things have been a bit tough going for me these past few weeks, today I finally got the good news that it’s going to be smoother next month.

    It was hard, but I kept pushing. Reading your words makes me see that what I went through is just a part of success.

    Happy Rest Of The Week To You!
    Maddison´s last blog ..Maddison’s Thoughts My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 30, 2010 Thea Westra

    A great article and will Tweet it definitely! :) Plus will add you on Twitter.

    Thank you for posting this inspiring piece, Dave. Love that I found your blog. Looks magnificent.

    “A man only begins to be a man when he ceases to whine and revile, and commences to search for the hidden justice which regulates his life. And as he adapts his mind to that regulating factor, he ceases to accuse others as the cause of his condition, and builds himself up in strong and noble thoughts. He ceases to kick against circumstances, but begins to use them as aids to his more rapid progress, and as a means of discovering the hidden powers and possibilities within himself.”
    – from

    Thea Westra
    Thea Westra´s last blog ..Day 276- Article- Accident Or On Purpose My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 30, 2010 Amy Harrison

    Great Article,

    One thing that has held me back was worrying about money. It wasn’t a circumstance as such and I’d never use it as an excuse but it was holding me back. I’d hoard, play it safe and go without until I was miserable. One day I decided not to worry, and then a few months later I decided to really not worry and not just pretend I wasn’t worrying.

    It’s like a brick wall has been smashed. I think in terms of opportunities and possibilities instead of price tags and checking my bank account all the time.

    I’ve just told myself to go, play the game, work hard, offer value, work harder and trust that the money will come by those actions, not by obsessing about it.
    Amy Harrison´s last blog ..6 Simple Steps To Screw Up A Guest Post My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 30, 2010 Michelle Russell


    Thanks for your comment. But I’ve actually been working on all those things you suggest very deliberately and consciously for the past few years. It was tough at first, but I’ve cut all the fat out of my commitments and I’ve learned how to say no to new ones I don’t want.

    My question was more along the lines of how to reconcile Dave’s no-nonsense, ass-kicking, “just do it” approach with the fact that, for some of us, this just causes us MORE internal stress.

    In other words, not so much about the externals of time and task management, but the internal tendency to judge ourselves harshly.

  • Jul 2, 2010 wbailey

    Michelle Russell, I totally agree, being one of those types myself. Sometimes because of consciously choosing lots of commitments, you literally don’t have time for one more thing unless you set something else aside. Though I suppose in that case you would say, “I’m totally committed already” rather than, “I don’t have time.”

    But Jennifer, you’re the only other person that touched on what I’m going to say:

    There are some circumstances that truly can’t be changed. I am in love with someone who is both 1) absolutely uninterested in me as anything other than a friend because of her innate sexual orientation and 2) lives in Africa while I’m in the U.S. Due to circumstances entirely out of my control, a physically close daily romantic relationship with her is probably impossible.

    Now, if I gave up on the relationship altogether then that would be an excuse. I fully acknowledge that it’s possible–and am doing my darndest–to maintain a wonderful friendship otherwise and be very happy for at least that. But sometimes circumstances just can’t be changed.

    No amount of determination will bring someone back from the dead either, come to think of it.

  • Jul 3, 2010 Sharon Ass-got-Kicked

    Dave, I have been mulling over the current topic all week: Creating your Circumstances.
    Again, I am impressed by your ability to communicate such profound ideas in such an easy read style. This is one of those articles that I have printed out and am writing notes. Especially profound is “imagine you had NO Choice but to accomplish your goal”. I could comment so much on your entire article. You are right-on with your insight.
    I truly thank you.
    I really look forward to your Monday morning Ass Kicking!!! Sharon Ass-got-Kicked

  • Jul 6, 2010 Valeria

    Thanks, Dave! A lot! You’ve inspired me to, I think, a great shift in my lifу! Actually, I’ve decided to get to Happiness anyway.!

  • Jul 8, 2010 zephaniah

    there is someone who can help regardless of your circumstances……

    if you let HIM….

  • Jul 9, 2010 Lauren

    eliminating negative beliefs is a great way to change your outlook on circumstances. Like has been explained another way, circumstances have no inherent meaning.

  • Jul 23, 2010 LUCKY

    I have read this post four times from start to finish. It improves my understanding and in turn the quality of my life every time.
    Thanks Dave, you do Rock My Day.
    LUCKY´s last blog ..Why do Liberals Hate Oil My ComLuv Profile

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