Sometimes, very bad things happen that upon first (and second or third) glance seem to put a kink in the long-term direction we'd envisioned for yourself. People die, money trees elude us, we fail our exams, or get rejected by others. There are times when nothing seems to go our way. There are times when our hair looks funny but our hands are indisposed carrying two grocery bags down the street and we can't position that flyaway piece in time to make an attractive first impression.

So, what do we do about it? Are we going to be disappointed? Well, maybe our first reaction is to yell out, "$^$#%!!" That's fine and good. We must take all these frustrations out of ourselves and be true to how we feel in the moment....

And then once your pillow is drenched with tears and your punching bag exhausted in pieces in the corner, it's time to move forward with a clearer picture of what you want to be, do and have for yourself in this world. Everything that happens is useful and to your benefit if you look at it in the right way.

Make life fun. You're thinking that's the furthest thing from your mind right now, but listen: So what if you have nothing left? That means you might as well go for what you really want - you have nothing to lose, for real this time! So what if you failed the exams? Maybe you'd be more successful and much happier in another field. You were rejected by the one you thought you'd be with forever? There are plenty of others out there who are compatible with your personality and naturally light your fire. Stop tolerating things you don't want! I know you don't want to hear that at this moment, but it's true. So suck it up and get out there! Go for what you REALLY want! You'll know you're onto what you really want when as you're doing it and thinking about doing it, you feel, well, good. The good feelings let you know when what you're doing and thinking is in alignment with yourself - the true self; the inner fluffball that is you.

Don't waste your time and energy on things that are in the past or that aren't under your control. This craptacular situation is helping you to get clear about what you DO want. Be thankful for that! Yes, that's easy for me to say; but what's the alternative? You might as well seize this moment to turn things around for yourself by fixating your mind on something that moves you. What do you stand for? What do you value? Even a little bit? Think more about those things that you care about, and then take some action.

Set yourself free. You are free, whether you realize it or not; you have the power of choice. Move forward with a clear picture of what you want. You become more clear about what you want, through living. Live one day at a time, do what you can in the present moment. Do what you can, with a vision of what you want in each activity, and the future will turn out just fine. Believe me. And believe in yourself.

Sometimes we get bored thinking about what we like, so we subject ourselves to unnecessary mental and emotional torture. We ask ourselves, "What if this sucks and I don't do a good job?" or "What if my family leaves me and I'm lonely forevermore?" or "What if I set my tv recorder 5 minutes late and miss the opening scene of 'Lost'?" Well, stuff happens. So what?

Remember Epictetus? Nobody does; he was born and dead around 2000 years ago. Anyway, he has some enduring words that fit here: "We are disturbed not by what happens to us, but by our thoughts about what happens." Mmmhmm.

Okay, I'll put away the pom-poms. At least appreciate that this life is a process, and it's fun, and even when it's bad, it's good. Carry on, my wayward son!

Author's Bio: is my online notebook where I present my collection of self-actualization learnings, audio tapes, ideas, writings, whatever my heart desires and deems worthy of postage. :) I hope you get something out of it too, and apply what works. That's the key - integrate what works into your life, making it a habit! You're successful the moment you commit to living what you want.