I was a millionaire and in a split second, I wasn’t. Now I’m on my way back up again. This time around, I have clarity on my path, things to do, people to meet and befriend, and how I must take good care of myself.
I could have blamed a lot of stuff to my bad marriage, but I tried not to. It was my fault, and I shouldn’t blame it on anyone. Instead, I’m grateful that I had to experience loss in life, so I can learn how it feels having nothing and no one. I lost an unborn baby, a house, a husband, and my net worth all within several years.
Hardships taught me that life is impermanent, and everything can be taken away from us in an instant, including people we love and things we accumulate. However, as long as I have my strength to pick myself up, life goes on. After all, we create our own state of equilibrium.
In two years I was in a post-divorce depression, I learned to love myself again, be compassionate to the child in me, and put everything behind.
I consistently thanked the universe around me, God, and people who truly loved me despite my shortcomings. In my solace, I read books about how people picked themselves up after life gave them bitter pills and read books about financial independence.
Some of the most influential books that helped me heal were:
- Startup investor Kamal Ravikant’s “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It”
- Philosopher Thomas Nagel’s “What Does It All Mean?”
- Harvard professor Tal Ben-Shahar’s books “The Pursuit of Perfect,” “Happier,” and “Choose the Life You Want.”
I also talked to many people, including a therapist who diagnosed me with a “mild depression,” stemming from a broken heart, and financial bankruptcy. Some of them gave me insightful advice; others simply shared their similar experiences. To all of them, I’m grateful.
From all these people and books, I learned about five habits, which I’ve been incorporating into my life ever since.
[Disclaimer: Please note that I was diagnosed with a “mild depression” due to divorce and didn’t need long-term therapeutic sessions nor long-term use of anti-depression medicine. If you’re suffering from depression, applying these habits may not help. See a therapist for professional assistance.]
1. Taking extra good care of myself.
This means keeping physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health in check at all times. Whenever a situation or a person makes you feel uncomfortable, take it as a sign to analyze what’s going on and make the best of whatever the result is.
Maintain and optimize your overall health by living healthy. Any negative influence, no matter how small, should be “cleared up.” If a relationship creates negativity, fix it. If it’s not fixable, leave it with a positive note. It’s better to be alone and positive than to be with someone and negative.
2. Focusing on external trends and happenings.
We feel sad because of expectation. If we don’t expect anything (from outside), we wouldn’t feel sad. It took me a long time to realize, internalize, and apply it in life. Now, instead of expecting things to happen to me, I expect myself to make things happen for others.
A good friend of mine Lyly once said, “When we need help, help others. It would make you feel better.” And she was totally right. Whenever I’m down, now I don’t focus on what makes me feel bad, but what I can do outwardly. In my words: Keep paddling whatever happens around you.
3. Clarifying pathways to financial progress.
Learn what VRIN (value, rarity, imitability, and organization) and Wealth Index are and how to apply them in life. By approaching your whole life as a “business,” you can get ahead financially in no time. The key is to take those business principles to heart. Knowing them intellectually isn’t enough. You must love applying them in everyday life.
Understand that you have a competitive advantage that no other person on earth does because you’re 100 percent unique in DNA, upbringing, and experiences. Understand that you must have something within you that you can “sell.” You can trade skills, experiences, and knowledge. Just find them and starting “selling yourself.”
4. Building a safety net with meaningful friendships and loyal followings.
When money is gone, loyal friends are what matters. And it’s completely true. Build your safety net long before you need them. Be helpful even to strangers. Praise people for even their smallest achievements. Do so without expecting anything in return.
Build loyal followings. These are people who admire you for your mind and heart. They love you for your strengths and for who you are. The Kardashian-Jenner clan is the best in this skill. They build loyal followings and interact with them. They give value to the audience by bringing positivity and reminding us that deep down inside, they are real people.
5. Building a captive market for rainmaking millions.
The little blue book creator Emanuel Haldeman-Julius was his own rainmaker by creating a captive market by selling millions of tiny booklets sold for 5 to 50 cents a pop to subscribers of the almost-bankrupt newspaper he bought. Today, it can be easily done with a mailing list.
The key is, of course, gradually growing and cultivating followers. Give a lot of value to them and expect nothing in direct return. After spreading so many seeds around, you should be able to rake your millions from relationships created.
These five habits helped me heal from depression and prepare me for a bright future, despite the hardships and so many losses I experienced in the last couple years. I hope they help you too. Keep smiling.