In 2004 I returned to Perth, Australia, after a year of traveling overseas. I returned to a city with a ridiculously strong economy. Demand from China had driven commodity prices to record highs, and the mining industry was booming. For those unfamiliar with the geography of Australia, Perth is the capital of Western Australia, which is approximately one third of the land mass of Australia (ie it has A LOT of land for mining). In recent years, people have been flowing into Western Australia (in particular Perth) from across the country and, as a result, housing prices have soared. In fact, in November 2006 Perth overtook Sydney as the most expensive city in Australia with a median house price of $564,000 (I believe this has since reversed). Three years earlier, Perth house prices were less than half of those in Sydney.
During this period, there seemed to be endless news stories about the booming economy and soaring housing prices. Also, the banking job I had at the time meant I was dealing with housing appraisals every day. It was obvious that many people were becoming wealthy, but since I did not own any property and had little invested in the share market I was not one of these people. And for this reason, each housing appraisal or story of the booming economy was like a nail being driven further and further into my skin.
In addition to this, I lived in continual hope that I would be given a helping hand financially by my family to purchase a house. With the benefit of hindsight, I can say that the effect of this hope was to close my mind to what I could do to help myself. In essence, I wanted an easier life given to me. I even played the role of a victim by harbouring internal bitterness that I was missing out on the fruits of a booming economy.
Then, sometime in 2006 something very important happened: I changed my thinking. To be specific, I stopped wishing my life was easier and instead committed myself to being better. At first this consisted of taking small steps: I started to read self improvement books, visit the Steve Pavlina forums (I was a lurker for sometime before actually joining), and listen to podcasts and audiobooks. Basically I decided to stop focusing on what I didn’t have and get on with creating the life I wanted. Also, I shifted my outlook from one where I thought about what other people could do for me, to what could I do for other people (which manifested itself in the creation of this blog, amongst other things).
Now, I am certainly not wealthy yet (at least in the monetary sense), but I have rid my thoughts of any regrets and bitterness about the past. And importantly, I feel I am on the right track to become wealthy due to my own efforts. There are always setbacks, but I feel I have learned many lessons from my past. These days I take a “get over it and get on with it” approach to setbacks that cannot be changed. The following are some specific ways I deal with setbacks, both online and offline:
Thankfully I don’t receive many negative comments on this blog, but from time to time someone decides to write something nasty (note: this is different from constructive criticism which I welcome). I am a fairly sensitive person, so I would be lying if I said that negative comments don’t sometimes hurt.
What I have learned, though, is that negative comments have less to do with what I write and more to do with how widely read a particular article is. To put this another way, it is only the articles that become popular with the social media that seem to attract negative feedback. And if an article becomes popular with the social media, that means many people have enjoyed it, right? So a nasty comment might hurt for a second or two, but I comfort myself with the knowledge that many others have enjoyed the article and just get on with things.
I hate being ignored, but I have learned that it is an unavoidable consequence of putting myself out there and trying to meet new people. Since I have started blogging, I have tried to make contact and/ or establish relationships with a number of people online. There have been a number of cases where I haven’t received a reply, but by the same token I have had some great successes (eg this guest post on ProBlogger).
The occasions where I haven’t received a reply have led me to review my approach. I have come to realize that, in many cases, I don’t always approach people the best way possible. For example, I came to understand that I wasn’t putting enough thought into how I approached people who I knew to be very busy. So I have learned that taking a few extra minutes to craft a well-worded email can make all the difference (although sometimes I seem to forget this).
By the same token, I try to to reply to everyone who contacts me, although I am not perfect and I know I miss a few. Perhaps it is because I know I miss a few that I find it easier to discard any negative thoughts about not receiving a reply.
I have said it before and I will say it again: failure is the price of ambition. Failing is not simply something that “failures” (I hate that term) do. Rather, failure is a byproduct of stretching yourself. So if something doesn’t work out the way I planned, I take comfort in the knowledge that I have most likely stepped out of my comfort zone. To be honest, I don’t think I fail enough.
So I didn’t get rich from the booming economy while living in Perth – no worries! It doesn’t bother me anymore. What it has done is made me more aware of the opportunities that presently exist in my life. Considering I have moved to Vancouver, a city even more expensive than Perth, real estate is still off the table, at least in the short term.
Personally, it is the Internet that excites me because I see it as a place of unlimited opportunities. Blogging, in particular, is something that has the potential to open the door to my recently discussed dream of being a published author. Yes, I’m well and truly over the lost opportunities that existed while living in Perth and I am just getting on with creating the life I want.
Is there something you need to get over in your own life?
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21 thoughts on “Getting Over It, and Getting On With It”
Wonderful post! I got rid of my bitterness about things that I would have wanted to be and it definitely turned my life to the best (not in monetary sense) but definitely a better life.
Great article Peter, as you suggest we can always find reasons to be negative, but, at the same time we can just move forward.
You really know how to write from the inner depths of your being. I am so impressed with the way you presented this information. It was honest, easy to read and thought provoking.
I most definitely understood the feeling of receiving negative comments and how it can sting. Like you, I rarely get negative comments but gosh one day I suddenly had an avalanche of negative, even vicious comments in reagreds to a story I had written MONTHS AGO. Apparently it caught the eye of several pilots who wrote to criticize me for making the wrong decision as a pilot. I was stunned. But eventually it passed.
I can also relate to how much of a challenge it is to ge the attention of very busy bloggers. I’m excited to say that I did manage to catch the attention of a major blogger for a guest article that will be appearing next week. I’m keeping the blogger’s name a secret until the article appears – you’ll know it when it comes out. That’s how influential he is. But for a long time, I simply couldn’t get his attention. So I can relate.
Gosh, you are one cool guy. I saw the pix of you and your baby in a previous post. You looked GREAT. Those photos really added a personal touch for your readers to connect.
“failure is the price of ambition.” what a beautiful sentence!
That’s so true and thank you for reminding us of that!
I totally understand the feelings you went through living in Perth (as I live in Vancouver!) and you’re absolutely right about the choices we all have! we can feel bitter or we can persue our ambition!
Love your blog since I discovered it a couple of weeks ago!
I really enjoyed this article. I think it’s a great lesson that we can all learn from, sometimes seemingly negative events in your life turn out to be the greatest lessons. If we never go through any challenges, we miss opportunities to shape our character.
Thank you for the great article Peter.
ps. I found your site through Steve Pavlina’s forums, my handle is Jonathan Mead on their as well. =)
My only regret, which by necessity I have to get over and get on with it, is not getting this kind of insight and advice at an earlier age and not getting that time back to concentrate on the things that are meaningful in life. I read similar articles and always wonder, how old is the author? How much time and life experience has he/she had to come to such conclusions? I sometimes feel like I’m in hyperdrive, trying to make up for lost time, but always tempering that sense of urgency with a need to slow it down. It’s an challenging exercise.
Thanks, and I am definitely bookmarking and sharing this post.
“I shifted my outlook from one where I thought about what other people could do for me, to what could I do for other people”
Speechless, excellent article Peter!!!
I feel you on the negative comments Peter, me and Stephen were discussing it a few weeks ago as well. Yeap it stings, bad!
It is cleansing to purge out the negative thoughts and refresh your life. I have been in the same situation many times and have to focus and stay positive. I have basically quite watching television because the majority of the programming is so negative or just plain gossip. I watch the occasional sports event, nature show, documentary, or home improvement show, but I cannot remember the last time I watched the news.
I too had to change my thinking a while back and it has made all the difference. I talk to different people, I socialize with like minds and what I call “Life Changers”, and it is so much easier to succeed when you have your mind right. It’s not what others can do for you; it is what you can do for yourself and others!
Great post! I am with you on the failing, it’s part and parcel of success and should be celebrated. Of course saying this and doing this are two different things, but boy oh boy the learning to be had!
In love, light and abundance x x x
Great post! I think it’s very important to learn from our mistakes. It’s so easy to be discouraged and focus on the negative but the secret to finding success is finding the lesson in mistakes and trying again.
I think we can all learn something from this article. Letting go of bitterness and extending forgiveness are powerful actions to pursue. All the great masters teach these lessons. It is often tough when we fail, others ignore us, or we are harshly criticized, but by hanging on to these thoughts we only hurt ourselves. Great article!
I am very slowly getting over my own ego – I used to think I was king sh** but now I’ve mellowed a little in my advancing years (I hit 30 last year) and I’ve started doing a lot of the stuff you mentioned in your list. You can’t ever expect to become wealthy if you’re sitting waiting for someone to hand it to you.
Great post keep up the great writing.
A great post that helps others understand what a blogger might be thinking. On the e-mail issue it is hard to discern whether someone has sent a genrated e-mail or a genuine one when the contents are about RSS feeds etc. I think people are being conditioned to just ignore what isn’t more than a generated type of message.
There is no place for negativity. I just had an experience with a so called friend who was trying to pull me down into the pit of negativity. As a result there is no friendship to continue with while they continue to be negative.
Without failure we don’t know what success is. Failure is good if we learn from it. Lost opportunities are just that. There are more opportunites if one is willing to seek them though.
Keep up the good work.
Just wanna to let you know that I read your blog regularly. Althoguh I enjoy your thoughtfulness, I don’t often leave comments – good or bad. But this time, I’m leaving my comment because I have something to say about particularly failure. I think failure sometimes is necessary for our personal growth.
I like what Havelock Ellis said about failure: “It is on our failures that we base a new and different and better success.”
Even genius Albert Einstein said: “Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.”
In fact, I wrote a blog about “What is success?” http://www.lifecrisisguide.com/blog/2008/02/04/what-is-success/ It might be of interest to you. Don’t forget to leave your comment if you have any.
Regarding “being ignored”, I’m being ignored all the time. I take it as “Well, it’s your loss. I offer my ________ (e.g. friendship) and you do not accept it. It’s your loss.” Well, actually, I figured it out that some people are just not comfortable responding to strangers. The world is so big and so small. Their life may be just too busy to entertain every person.
To keep it short, you’re a thoughtful blogger. Keep up the good work man! Never lose heart. Your time will come! Hey, there are always people who make more money than we do. Look at those old monkeys in Hong Kong (where I work and live) sitting all day long in a stock brokerage trading arena. These people don’t have work. If any, their work is trading stocks everyday! hahahaha … I’m sure some make some good money out of it… but then there also are some (maybe themselves too) who lose money back to the market. It’s a win and lose cycle.
OK, good job!
This is a wonderful article, Peter, with many wise insights. Perhaps you missed some opportunity in Perth, but you are so insightful at your very young age that I am certain your past was just the launch pad for the great things ahead of you. Everyone has regrets about some past choice(s) they made, and with the 20/20 vision of hindsight sees how they might how made better decisions. The thing you must remember is that life is a learning laboratory, and you are a quick study. Perhaps you really didn’t miss an opportunity in Perth; perhaps it was always your destiny to leave there and make your mark elsewhere.
Forget about the negative people who want to rain on your parade. Hateful commentary is generated by jealous, insecure, and destructive individuals who would like to be able to do what you are doing but lack the talent or courage to do so. Instead they live their mean-spirited lives as snipers. I recently heard an interview with a wonderful writer who was asked how he handles venemous reviews from book critics. He acknowledged that he finds such reviews hurtful, then he noted that a particular reviewer who rips his work to shreds writes similarly vicious negative reviews of the works of other highly acclaimed writers. I believe the poison pen literary critic is a jealous and vengeful wannabe. See people like that for the small beings that they are; and if you are going to allow them to generate any emotional response in you, let it be pity rather than pain.
I want to thank you for your blog, it has motivated me to start my own “year of change”. I have started a blog journal to keep track of my year of change and also to use as a whip if I am lazy in changing my bad habits.
Great article man….like i told you before, your on the right path…I can feel it! I am glad I am part of your journey…and let me know if there is anything else I can do to help :)
Great post, and my first introduction to your blog. It won’t be my last visit.
I love this post and I can completely relate. I suffered with an eating disorder for over a decade and just did not believe that I could change myself. I was always waiting on someone to help me or a new diet etc. The change came when i changed my thoughts – when I believed that it was possible to completely recover. I have been completely recovered for several years now and have set up a site to help others.
Thanks for a great post and wonderful blog!
I stumbled on your blog but found it pertinent. I have been needing to leave bitterness and complaining behind me but more so I have got to do some discovering me and the stuff that gets me motivated. Blogging is an avenue that appeals to all my senses. I look forward to checking out the info you share. Thx